Thursday, April 19, 2012

Needle and Thread

needle and thREAD

The thing about sewing quilts is that it takes a long time (at least for me). I usually break up the quilting process in stages. First, I spend a good deal of time looking at fabric and dreaming of the possibilities. Then, once I have the fabric home, the lovely little stacks of coordinating fabrics sit for a while. I love looking at them all neatly folded and it takes a great jolt of energy to begin the cutting process. After I've cut the fabric, I usually put it all away until I'm ready for stage two: piecing. I love to piece the quilts, but once this is done, I usually put the whole project away again for a while until I call the quilter. I have a wonderfully talented quilter who transforms and elevates my simple quilts. When I get the quilt back, the next stage is to sew on the binding. My quilt is nearly completed and the binding is the last hurdle. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The quilting process isn't always fun, but it is enormously satisfying and I guess that's why I love to sew quilts.
I'm nearly done with Sammy's Hungry Caterpillar quilt. I stayed up until 1 AM last night determined to finish hand-sewing the binding, but I only managed two sides. I set the quilt aside curious about when I started this project. So, I hopped on the computer to look at my blog archive. I knew that I had posted a picture of the quilt when I finished the piecing and I wanted to see how long this project lingered unfinished. Well, it's been two years. I determined that I had bought the fabric sometime in 2009, but I was saddened that I had hoped to give this quilt to Sammy for his 5th birthday. He will be 7 next week! I had hoped that I would have given him this quilt when The Very Hungry Caterpillar was his favorite book. I realized that I had been side-lined with pregnancy and the birth of the twins in 2010. Happily, Sam is still excited about finally getting his quilt and today is the day!
You can see that only half the binding is complete, but another hour or so and it will be done! I'll post a pic of Sam and his quilt a little later. I think this quilt will look better with a little boy in the picture too!

I've actually managed quite a bit of sewing this week. In my determination to learn how to sew something other than a quilt, I am working on another Lazy Days Skirt for Tess. I bought a half-yard of some owl fabric and some matching ribbon at Jo-Ann. Each skirt gets a little easier, but Tess can't have a wardrobe filled with these skirts, can she? I'm just about done. All this skirt needs is the elastic! It took less than an hour!

I also managed to iron all the fabric I purchased for a Bargello quilt from this book. I've never done anything like this before. I don't think it will be very difficult and I love the Sea theme I've chosen for this simple quilt. All the fabric is from  Here's an example of a Bargello quilt from the book Instant Bargello. I actually am going to use this pattern below.
These are my nautical fabrics for the Bargello quilt.

I also managed to finish the topper for my Between the Lines quilt too! Okay, I neglected a lot of housework to devote to sewing, but it was SO worth it!

Those two solid vertical pieces on the right make me crazy. I realized when I sewed it that no matter how I flipped those vertical strips, two of the same fabrics would always be touching. I should have ripped it out, but I just didn't feel like it. Now, it looks like a glaring error. Ugh.
 I still have to cut the fabric for the backing and binding. I guess that's another stage of the quilting process! I usually only cut the fabric for the topper first. I know it's less efficient to not cut everything all at once, but I'm usually so anxious to begin piecing that I only cut what I need to get the topper done. I think of the topper and backing as separate phases of the quilt process. I'm thinking that I may try and quilt this one myself because I really want to learn how to do a meandering quilting stitch.

As for reading, the stack by my bed is very big right now, but I'll just highlight the new book I just bought that is about sewing. I just ordered an embroidery hoop and I'm ready to embark on a new needle art! Do I have time for this? Absolutely not! Am I excited? Absolutely!
That's it for this week's sewing adventures! Be sure to check out Needle and Thread at Elizabeth's today! Happy Sewing!


Elizabeth Foss said...

How is the book? i've promised not to buy myself any more neeedleworks books this year (except for Anna Maria Horner's when it comes out in the fall and the Joanne Figuera one I preordered;-), but that one looks good. And I like the "beginner" aspect...

You were so productive last week! All good. I think I might make some more of those ribbon skirts. I have some darling ribbon begging to be something worthwhile...

Jeannine said...

You got so much done! Those quilts are beautiful. I haven't heard of Bargello quilts...very neat effect.

And the owl fabric is absolutely adorable. I love bird fabrics of all kinds!

I have not yet gotten too into embroidery, but have heard lots of good stuff about that book.

the momma said...

Wow! You have been busy!! Congrats on finishing the caterpillar quilt. I think that was one of the very first posts of yours I read.
That book looks awfully sweet! Oh to have money to buy all the lovelies that strike my fancy and the time to put them to use....

Rachel Proffitt said...

Wow- that is some busy week!
Of course you can have a wardrobe filled with lazy days skirts... in every colour of the rainbow ;)

Andréann said...

All that work is impressive! Wow!
the sea quilt will be so beautiful!

hannahw said...

So many projects! Wow! I found you through "needle and thREAD" and this is my project this week:

Jennifer said...

I love your quilts, Carmie!