Golden Tapestry by Anita Goodesign

I love when I can combine my two favorite hobbies, quilting and embroidery, into one great project. While shopping at my local quilt shop one day I noticed the owner working on an interesting project. It was a tapestry quilt which is done completely in the embroidery hoop. The design is called Golden Tapestry and it’s by Anita Goodesign.

I bought the CD and several cones of thread and headed home excited to work on this interesting quilt. I already had a bolt of off-white fabric that I wanted to use for the background and bought a border fabric that matched the thread for the main design. There are 2 fabrics and 2 thread colors used in this pattern. You start by hooping 2 layers of cutaway poly-mesh stabilizer, then when prompted float your batting and background fabric and the machine does the rest. It bastes the layers together and then stitches the background micro-meander first. Each block is finished with the design being stitched out between the meander stitching.

IMG_1902

IMG_1903

When the blocks have stitched out, square them up leaving a 1/2” seam allowance using the basting stitch as your guide and then sew the blocks together sewing on the basting lines.  They need to be pinned very carefully because each block is bulky. I used a walking foot to help guide the fabric through evenly and pressed the seams open to help eliminate some of the bulk.

IMG_0659

I completely finished the first half before starting on the second half

The back is unfinished because it is intended to be a wall hanging and you won’t see it. I serged the edges and used hem tape to hold them to the back of the quilt.

IMG_1226

I love wall hangings and have made quite a few but this one is my favorite. It looks like it was a lot of work when in reality it was very easy. The hardest part was changing the thread on my single needle embroidery machine. I used my Bernina 880 instead of the multi needle machine because I wanted to stitch out the largest design and the mega hoop was the only hoop that I own that would fit the design. I will say that it was a time consuming project but I would get the machine started and then work on something else while it stitched out.

I made this quilt to match the sewing room in my old house. We have moved and it doesn’t match the walls of my new house so I hung it in the upstairs hallway beside the door to my sewing room.

IMG_0676

I recently found another design using the same method in a Christmas pattern. I enjoy Christmas sewing and look forward to making my next wall hanging!

IMG_1228

 

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.

IMG_1202

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.

IMG_1206

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.

619pyixjJiL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_

 

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).

IMG_1180

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!

Monthly Mini Quilts

This is an idea that is inexpensive but a little more time consuming, especially because I made 7 sets of 12 quilts at one time for Christmas gifts a few years ago. To make it a quick gift, you could start with one quilt and add to them gradually for each holiday! They were a huge hit and I still look forward to changing my little quilt each month even after using them for several years! The stands are made by Ackfeld and I bought them at my local quilt shop.

IMG_1161

I found them a little cheaper on Amazon (although the price has gone up considerably since I bought mine) but I try to support my local quilt shop when ever I can. If you cannot find them at your LQS, they can be found here. I purchased all of the designs from Embroidery Library (with the exception of the Christmas design) when they were having a 10 for $10 sale so I only have $1 a piece invested in the designs. I had to re-size most of them but it only took a few seconds using the sizing program on my machine. I already had all of the fabrics in my stash that I used for the borders and I used odd pieces of scraps out of my scrap bin for most of the backings (this is why they do not match but luckily you can’t see the back 😉). There is no set pattern, I made most of them the same (small sashing and borders) and simply folded over the top to make the sleeve for the stand.

IMG_1164

Scraps of muslin and polyester used for back of quilts

IMG_1157

IMG_1162

A new quilt for each month of the year!

***One little note, the stands come in several pieces and have to be assembled before using. They were very wobbly and flimsy and fell apart every time I changed the quilt. I bought some gorilla glue to use on them and now they are sturdy and hold together perfectly.

Design Credit: Embroidery Library

Christmas Pattern Design Credit: Melissa Lynn Designs

Just FYI: I receive no compensation for clicks to designer’s website or purchase of designs. Thanks!

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.

IMAG0203IMAG0204

 

IMAG0206IMAG0205

 

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!

IMG_1151

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 Continued…

I’m still working on the t-shirt quilt for my son. I added the borders and got it quilted over the weekend. I added the binding this morning and now it’s time to hand sew the binding to the back which takes me forever! I am so slow with hand work, I would never have the patience to hand quilt like my grandmother did! The quilt turned out to be 102”x70” which is a good size since my son is almost 7 feet tall (6’8 to be exact and still growing). I loaded it sideways on the longarm machine because it’s much easier to work across a long row instead of starting and stopping constantly.

IMG_1064

I’m not happy with the backing of the quilt but there is nothing I can do about it now. I went to my local quilt shop on Saturday to buy wide backing so I wouldn’t have to piece it (I’m on a very tight time schedule). I guess we had a miscommunication about yardage because when I got home and loaded the quilt on my machine I was short about 15” of backing fabric. I take full responsibility for the mistake because I have been overwhelmed with everything going on trying to get my son ready for school. My LQS is about an hour and a half round trip and it’s closed on Sundays so I went to Walmart and bought a sheet to use for the back rather than waiting and making another trip. I’ve used sheets in the past but to get the color I wanted I had to buy a (more expensive) brand that I have never used before. It has a sateen finish and the tension on my longarm really gave me problems, most likely because the sheet has a very high thread count. I finally worked through the problem using King Tut thread and loosening my thread tension and roller tension. (I have a bad habit of rolling my quilts too tight!) Tonight I have a date with a needle and thread. I’m going to put on a good movie, fix a cup of coffee and start sewing…

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!

IMG_0924

 

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.

IMG_0930

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.

IMG_1061

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.

IMG_0600

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…

IMG_1062

 

 

Mistakes in Quilting– Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star

There is nothing more frustrating than to realize you have made a huge mistake when working with a pattern for the first time (or any time!). I usually catch it early enough to correct the mistake but this was not the case when making the Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star Quilt. I had heard from several people that it was an easy quilt to make but it looked impressive and complicated. I bought the Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star ruler, pattern and pulled fabrics from my stash and was ready to get started. I had a dear friend help me with the first couple of blocks and I was impressed with how simple it was.

When it came time to sew my blocks together, I must have turned the first one the wrong way. Not realizing it, I put the whole queen sized quilt together with the blocks turned incorrectly. I added the borders, quilted it and even completed the binding before realizing it!

5e16c6ddad386e00938cf89a9ca06c0a--star-quilt-blocks-hunter-star-quilt-pattern

Example of a correct block

IMG_1424

Incorrect block (my quilt)

One day while visiting one of my online quilting forums someone posted a pic of her Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star quilt in the same colors. In my mind they looked identical but when I posted a pic of my quilt to show her I realized my mistake. Unfortunately it was too late to correct it.

IMG_1425

I was so disheartened I wouldn’t even use it in my spare bedroom. My mom came over for a visit and fell in love with it so I gave it to her. She didn’t see a mistake but simply a quilt she thought was beautiful and colorful. Looking at the above picture I can appreciate it a little more but I haven’t made another quilt with this pattern because I was very discouraged. The ruler made it easy so I will eventually make another one but I will use a design wall and make sure my blocks are turned correctly next time. I’ve made lots of mistakes in my quilting  journey but this was the worst one.