Two Bargello Quilts

I finally finished piecing the two bargello quilts that I have been working on for quite awhile. The first one, Wind Song, has 24 fabrics and is a king sized quilt. I started working on it over a year ago but put it aside for awhile to work on other projects. IMG_1205

I designated this year to complete most, if not all, of my UFO’s (a hefty aspiration!). Wind Song was on that list and although it was a very easy quilt to put together, the sewing of the strips was very boring and monotonous to me. I hardly ever watch TV but decided to put a television in my sewing room so I could stream shows while sewing. It really helped the time fly by so I was able to finish it quickly.

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I haven’t decided if I want borders on this quilt. On the plus side it would make it a very large king size quilt and it would drape nicely on my bed. I’m just worried that borders will detract from the movement of the quilt top. I’ll have to audition a few more fabrics and see if I can find something I like.

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Wind Song is a pattern that can be found in Eileen Wright’s book Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts which I purchased from my LQS.

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The second quilt is a three fabric bargello I began in a class a couple of months ago and posted about previously (for pattern details, please see earlier blog post on three fabric bargello).

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This quilt is a spin on the 2 fabric bargello quilt pattern. It is a very large throw size and I love how it turned out. I mitered the borders using the focus fabric and one of the insert fabrics.

I am having a hard time trying to decide how to quilt it. I don’t have a computer on my long arm machine and I am limited in my free motion quilting skills. I’ve been practicing some new designs so I will update when I get it quilted.

I’m doing something right now that I have never done before, I am in a test group for a new quilt pattern! It is a lot of fun and very interesting to see how much work goes into a pattern. The designer did not use any quilting software to design the quilt, but did it the old fashioned way through trial and error.  To give you a hint it is a twist on an old favorite, the Dresden quilt. I look forward to sharing it when it is done!

Luggage Handle Wraps

Another quick and inexpensive gift idea; Luggage Handle Wraps. My husband and I love to travel and go on cruises and I found this pattern to help us identify our common black luggage quickly.  I purchased the design from embroiderygarden.com. I’m sure that it is obvious by now that I love making in-the-hoop projects and this one can be completed in less than 10 minutes with one hooping. They are customizable and do not come with letters, lettering will have to be added in software or while stitching. They are reversible and there is an optional pattern which includes a vinyl pocket to add a card with your personal info in case your luggage is lost.

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The file comes with different choices of back ground quilting and these formats are included: ART, DST, EXP, HUS, JEF, PES, Vip, VP3 and XXX. The largest size is 5.03″ x 6.67″ so it will fit in most 5×7 hoops. I did make one change, I omitted the last part of the design which calls for adding snaps to hold them to the handle on your luggage. Instead, I used sticky-back hook and loop tape (Velcro) because it was quicker. I reinforced it with a little fabric glue and they have held up great. Color step by step PDF instructions are also included. I made the 3 pink ones above using scraps so this can be a great scrap buster project!

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Design credit: embroiderygarden.com

FYI: I receive no compensation for clicks or purchases of the designs I showcase on my blog. These are just tried and true favorites of mine. Thanks for looking!

T-shirt Quilt

Our youngest son will be leaving for college very soon. I have offered many times to make a quilt for his dorm room bed and he has declined every time. I was okay with that even though I have been saving his t-shirts since he was 10 years old to make him a quilt. While going through his clothes to see what was needed for school, he was sad that many of his favorite shirts were too small and decided that he did want a t-shirt quilt after all! Of course that meant that I had to put everything on hold (sorry 3 fabric bargello) and get busy!

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I quickly cut them up and ironed on a lightweight stabilizer.

His dorm bed is a twin XL so luckily it’s not a large quilt. I had to make a trip to my LQS because he couldn’t find anything in my stash that he liked for the sashing and borders. Before sewing on sashing, I like to arrange the squares on the floor in a pleasing order.

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I don’t use a pattern for my t-shirt quilts because I like them to look very random. I cut them into different size squares and use sashing on the sides of each block to make them the size of the largest block in each row. Then I piece them vertically instead of horizontally with sashing between each block. I use color coded sticky dots to number my rows and blocks so if they get out of order, I can quickly figure out where they go. Sometimes I get lazy with this step and just take a pic with my cell phone of the layout before piecing.

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After sewing, I press the seams open because they can get a little bulky with the t-shirts and stabilizer.

I got a little emotional cutting up some of his shirts because it hit me that he is leaving and we will be empty nesters in the very near future. I have been a homeschool mom for 12 years and I am excited to see the plans that God has for his future but sad that he is leaving. He will be attending college out of state and will be about 5 1/2 hours away from home.

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Below is a pic of my progress so far. I still have to sew on the final borders, quilt and bind it. We leave in one week to take him to school and I also have to get him packed and organized during the week as well. I will update with a pic when finished…

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My 5 Favorite Quilt Patterns

#5 Scrap quilt-

Being a quilter for almost 14 years I have accumulated a huge pile scraps. If I didn’t donate them by the trash bag full my house would be over run and I wouldn’t have anywhere to put them. I have passed them down to thrift stores and new quilters wanting to make a scrap quilt. This quilt is very easy to make and requires no pattern. I simply cut muslin squares 9 1/2” and sew random width strips corner to corner starting in the middle of the square and working out. Some people sew the strips to newspaper and tear it off when done but I like the sturdiness of using a muslin foundation fabric. When the block is finished, I square it up with a 9” square ruler. I usually work on 4 blocks at a time and sew them together when completed. When I have enough for whatever size quilt I want, I sew the 4 patches together and then quilt it. This method allows me to put a gift together quickly and easily plus there’s the added bonus of using up that forever growing pile of scraps!

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#4 Carpenter Star-

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I ordered this book from Amazon years ago and have made quite a few quilts in this pattern. The book has 2 patterns, the Carpenter’s Star and the Broken Star. I have made both but prefer the Carpenter’s star. It goes together quickly and easily and the instructions are great. It comes with printable paste up charts and there are no y-seams.

 

 

 

#3 Walk about pattern-

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I’ve made this pattern so many times that I rarely, if ever, take pictures of the finished quilt anymore. I also barely need to look at the pattern because I have it memorized! This quilt can be chain pieced and also goes together quickly. The patten offers instructions in every size from crib to king.

 

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#2 Keyboard Kaleidoscope-

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This is the quilt that I currently have on my bed. The colorful keyboard border around the center of the quilt makes it pop!

I made this quilt in a class at my local quilt shop, Accent Sewing, in Murrells Inlet, SC. I love the fabrics and haven’t changed out the quilt on my bed since I completed it. That is saying a lot because I used to change the quilt every time I changed my sheets! Now, the only time I use another quilt is if this one is being washed. I alway hang my quilts to dry (inside my house) so it usually takes a couple of days to dry.

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#1 Dresden (Express)-

I guess I am a traditionalist at heart because the Dresden quilt has always been my favorite. This was the 3rd quilt I ever made and my first queen sized quilt. At the time, we were living full time on our motor home and I wanted something pretty to put on our bed. The plates went together surprisingly fast using the Dresden Express ruler.

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My mom loved it so much I made a king size quilt for her bed also.

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mobile pics 172After I finish my current project (3 color bargello) I plan to make one in a king size for my bed. We no longer live on our RV and now have a king bed so the first one I made is too small. Maybe a Dresden quilt will tempt me away from the Kaleidoscope quilt!

 

Roses for Mary Quilt

I have made several embroidered quilts but the first one I made was the Roses for Mary pattern by Jenny Haskins. At the time, I had just bought a new sewing machine with an embroidery module and couldn’t wait to get started.IMG_1385

I signed up for classes with high expectations of getting this quilt on my bed in the near future… boy was I mistaken! The process was very slow, I had to multi-hoop the designs repeatedly and change the thread thousands of times on my single needle machine. It took me over 6 months working on it several hours each day to complete the embroidery. When the embroidery was complete, I used bright batiks that matched the thread for the sashing and borders. For the quilting I decided to echo quilt around the embroidery designs which took about a week to finish.

I finally got it on my bed and I was in love! I purposely walked into my room several times that first day just to look at it. One of those times my dog followed me in and jumped on my bed (something he’s allowed to do). I didn’t realize he had gone outside and gotten his paws dirty. He left a huge, muddy paw print on the edge of the white fabric where he jumped up. I immediately pulled the quilt off of the bed and tried to spot clean it. I have used everything and there is still a small stain on it. I put the quilt away because I didn’t want to chance something like that happening again. A few months later, I decided to try it again on my bed. I bought a baby gate to keep the dog out of my room (there were several other beds he could lay on) and was excited to see it again! Every time I walked into my room I noticed my cat sleeping on the bed (I’m sure you see where this is going…) I thought he looked sweet so I didn’t shoo him off. Later that night, my husband came into the den to inform me that there was cat vomit on our bed. It left a pale yellow stain that also didn’t come out. So, back in the closet it went where it remained for 7 years. I hadn’t seen or thought about this quilt in quite some time and I came across it while packing recently to move.

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My sewing room in the new house has a bare wall that my long arm machine sits on. I decided hang it on the wall behind the machine. The quilt is so long that I had to hang it sideways but at least I can enjoy it now without the fear of my animals doing any more damage to it.

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Maybe one day when our animals have passed (hopefully not for a long, long time), I will try it on my bed again. For now I will just enjoy it on the wall!