March 31, 2010 of 365 : oksana machine quilting her nine patch quilt
Oksana has been working hard on completing her Presto Nine Patch quilt. She put in a lot of extra work to make it a larger size and has been diligently coming by the shop to complete her machine quilting. She’s now finishing off the quilt with some hand quilting and I’m looking forward to seeing the quilt completed!
I’ve been wanting to show you this quilt for a few weeks, but wanted to make sure that it got shipped off to baby Chloe in Vancouver before posting the photos here. This is just the second quilt that I’ve ever finished. Can you believe it? I feel like I’ve got about a dozen quilts in progress and I keep starting more!
This quilt has undergone a quite a few changes since I started it a year and a half ago. When I took the Presto Nine Patch class, I thought the technique was so fun that I should make a queen-sized quilt. I think this is a particular ‘syndrome’ of new quilters. You want to make every quilt a bed-sized quilt. It’s incredible how much the more work, exponentially, it is to make a huge bed sized quilt. I am now quite happy to make large lap-sized quilts. Baby quilts are a breeze in comparison. I had discovered my abandoned quilt blocks and thought I would motivate myself for the Crafty Slacker’s contest that Toronto Craft Alert had, but I didn’t do much more than post about my abandoned project at the time.
Little Chloe was born a few months ago and I was inspired to give her a baby quilt in the colours of my childhood – pink & green. My first bedroom as a child was decorated in homemade decor all coordinating in pink and green. I loved the colour scheme and still have a soft spot for those colours.
I made the nine patch blocks smaller than what we did in class and then framed them with matching strips. I used a Kona solid in soft pink as sashing between the blocks. For the back, I used some scrappy bits. I especially love the green camouflage which contrasts the sweet girlie-ness in a nice way. I was able to put the front and back of the quilt rather quickly. I machine quilted by stitching in the ditch around and in the blocks using a variegated thread.
Then, I stalled when it came to doing a label – for a couple months. I was not too happy with the label I did on my first quilt. I had used embroidery thread and tried to free hand the embroidery, both were mistakes. I finally got up the courage to try doing this new label. I pre-drew the writing on my piece fabric and used the same variegated sewing thread that I had for my quilting lines. I’m happy with how it turned out. Variegated thread makes everything better.
For the binding I was inspired after seeing a scrappy binding the Karen W. was working on at a recent Quilt Sunday. It’s such a cute detail.
Before I packaged it up to mail it to the west coast, I washed and dried it to get the lovely puckered look. It is so satisfying to finish a quilt and then wash it! It is also extremely satisfying to hear that Chloe is enjoying the quilt as both a blanket and play mat and hopefully it will become infused with all her memories of growing up.
I’ve been a bit of a crafty slacker lately. The main reason is likely my entanglement with the Twilight series. I just couldn’t get anything else done while I was reading those books. It seemed like the best thing to do was just let it take over and read all the books as quickly as possible, so that I could get back to life in the non-vampire world. I finally finished last week. (Thank you to my Twilight enablers – mb & Gillian) Plus, last night I finished reading the online manuscript for Edward’s side of the story, Midnight Sun. Soo good. What I wouldn’t give to re-read the entire four books from his perspective!
It’s been mildly embarrassing to tell people that I haven’t really been making anything because I’ve been hanging out with vampires in my mind, so it’s time to get my craft back on! The freshly re-designed Toronto Craft Alert is having a fun contest right now to get people motivated to finish up abandoned projects. (which we ALL have) The Crafty Slackers Get ‘Er Done grand prize is amazing and even includes some choice items donated by the workroom.
This pink and green quilt was started in the Nine Patch Quilt class back in May! I got really ambitious when I found out how fun the nine patch is to make and imagined a huge queen-sized quilt. I’ve since accepted the fact that not EVERY quilt I make needs to be a queen-sized quilt. My goal is to just use up the pre-cut squares of fabric that I’ve got ready to go. I don’t have any illusions of finishing this project completely by the March 16th deadline, but I’d really like to make some headway on it. At the very least, I’ll complete the top and the back.
Sometimes I feel like a bit of a craft tornado, blasting through and leaving behind me a trail of unfinished projects. It’s certainly not for lack of interest, but usually I’ve overloaded myself with too many things at once. Perhaps you have sensed this about me already. Perhaps you are like this too? Too many ideas and ambitions and not enough hours of craft in the day. I have resolved this year to return to many of those abandoned items and finish them up, once and for all.
This sampler quilt was my first priority. I took Johanna’s sampler quilt class last January! It was one of the nicest class experiences I’ve had. Seven heavenly weeks of working alongside a superb group of ladies. The lessons I learned about quilting and sewing were invaluable. I fell a bit behind the class because of my shopkeeping duties and before I knew it, the class was over and MONTHS had passed.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been working on finishing this quilt. I even made an embroidered label. Apparently, I shouldn’t do freehand embroidery. The label is not my finest work and the next quilt label I do will be done with more care. (and hopefully skill!)
My patchwork potholders gave me good practice on doing continuous binding, so I found that part very satisfying. As soon as I had finished attaching the binding I threw the quilt in the washing machine and then the dryer. The satisfaction of looking at my puckery, washed quilt is incredible. In fact, I’m sitting on the couch right now underneath my sweet sampler and it’s so incredibly cozy.
I’ve got two other quilts in progess that I hope to finish this year – my queen-sized quilt and a nine patch quilt. Truthfully, I’d like to make ten other quilts this year but I’ll try to be realistic and account for the fact that I should sleep a few hours each night. Johanna is hatching up some exciting new quilting classes, so in the very least I’ll certainly have to ‘test’ those out.
For now, I’m basking in the sublime feeling of having finished my first quilt. I feel like I’ve been granted the honourable title of ‘quilter’, at long last.
Wow, I had the best time on Friday reading all your comments and ‘meeting’ many of you for the first time. Hello! Each of you shared really meaningful lessons and I’m so grateful for the time you took to participate.
The lucky winner of the snap coin purse is commenter #62 – Tammy!
I’m really excited about this coming year, contrary to the ‘doom & gloom’ tone that seems to be everywhere. I’m feeling buoyed by the amazing community I feel around the workroom and the blogosphere. When I look around, I’m so inspired by you and each of your individual talents. I’m determined to find a good balance between working hard and relaxing and staying in good health. I’m excited to learn as much as I can and to share it with you. Even the hard challenges we will be presented with this year will be opportunities for us to get closer to the life we want, I’m so sure of this.
Not to mention, there seems to be an abundance of good news these days, including some wonderful engagements. Congratulations to sweet Anabela & Geoff! And also to Jen & Kyle, who got engaged on their way to the Nine Patch quilting class before the holidays!