26 July, 2011

Fall Quilt

 This is my fall quilt. One of the most involved quilts and I think it's the best loved. Mike has been sleeping exclusively with this quilt for three years now. No other works for him as well as this, he says. The weight, the length, the warmth, all of it is perfect. I don't know what I did to make it so perfect, but I'm glad he likes it so much!

Snowman Quilt

 My snowman quilt! I went through and found as many snowman prints in blue as I could and cut them into strips. This was both the most easy quilt I've ever made and the hardest. It was easy to put together, and it sewed similar to a pillowcase style, but instead of being actually quilted it's tied instead. Every three inches or so there is a nice tie of white yarn to keep the layers together. It's a lovely warm quilt and because of the way I made it it's really fluffy.

18 July, 2011

Grampa's Quilt

 More about the quilt's progress. Here it is with all the rows sewed together. Five up, four across, makes a decent sized lap quilt. This is where I had to stop, because we didn't have a backing, or batting, or binding. I waited until Mike got off work early and we headed down the hill to Joann's. For some reason all these plaid flannels were right up front when we walked in, took us two seconds to find the backing. I love it. I got some nice natural cotton batting, never used it before, but it seemed ritzy, and we were done right quick.
 Then it was just a matter of spreading it out, pinning it, and marking the lines for the quilting. Mike did that part. He wanted to contribute. I quilted one direction, then then Mike marked the other direction.
 And here it is all quilted. Each square ended up having an X through it, *almost* perfectly. I mean, none of the squares were sewn perfectly straight, so it's no big deal that the quilting didn't end up perfect either. I was looking for the "rustic" look anyway.
Finally, Wednesday night, just before midnight, while Mike was still playing his video games, I finished putting on the thin binding I got. I, of course, didn't count on the fibers of the flannel shirts being a bit too loose to hold the stitches of the binding. By the time I got it to Grampa on Saturday it had pulled away in several places. Thankfully he didn't notice when I gave it to him and my aunt promised to add a thicker binding to it when she could ferret it away from Grampa without him noticing. 

Okay, so I screwed it up, ala ME, but he liked it a lot. Grampa wears a lot of flannel shirts and the quilt was real warm, so I guess it worked out.

13 July, 2011

Half Done

Took me half an hour, and got the quilt top half done. Not bad at all! I think it looks pretty cool too, I mean, I've been planning a quilt like this for a while now, I might have gotten on it a bit faster if I knew it would come out this pretty. I'm sure Grampa will love it now!

12 July, 2011

Quilt for Grampa

  Well, if you don't know from reading my Facebook, my grampa has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and has been given a prognosis of about 2-3 months. Well, I've been telling my parents to keep me informed on what's going on and Dad IMed me last week, saying that I should come as soon as possible to see Grampa. He's worried that something sudden, like a heart attack, might happen, or that Grampa might get so sick he forgets everyone. This happened to someone Dad knew and he doesn't want Grampa to forget Mike and I before we're able to see him. So I said we could be there right away, but Dad doesn't have time off, so a weekend was a better idea. We'll be going up to NorCal Friday afternoon and spending a lot of time there on Saturday. 

Well, I'm pretty far away, and Grampa can't talk on the phone, so while I can visit for this small amount of time I can't actually *do* much. As a crafter, my idea of helping is making something. So I called my Aunt Yvonne, also a crafter, and asked her what I could do. A scrapbook page? Some sort of frame or something? What? She suggested a quilt, if I could manage it, to put over his legs while he sits in his chair and watches TV or plays his handheld games. She said she knows it will be a stretch, but he would appreciate it a lot to have something like that that I made myself.

I can do that. But, if you have any idea where Big Bear Lake is, you'll know that I'm a *little* secluded up here. There's no craft store, there's no WalMart, there's no NOTHING that might sell me fabric of a manly nature for a proper quilt. BUT, shoved over in the corner where I keep my fabric, were several of Mike's old flannels. He wears one nearly every day, since I met him over 10 years ago, and sometimes they rip or he outgrows them. I've been saving them so I could make a quilt because they're perfectly soft, and they're manly, so there you go! Aunt Yvonne said that was a perfect idea.
 The cutting in the beginning had to be done with scissors. It was a bit tough cos my wrists aren't that strong, but there's seams to work around and whatnot and you can't do that with a rotary cutter. I had five flannels and one pair of sleep pants to work with, that's it. Mike calculated how many squares of fabric I'd need and I set to cutting.
 Problem is, cutting is BORING. I HATE the cutting part. It's so tedious. I had a really hard time concentrating on it, which of course makes me feel terrible because this is for Grampa after all and if all he's (not even) asking me for is a tiny quilt then the least I can do is get it done.
I powered through the boringness late in the afternoon and got all the squares cut and ready. Then it was on to chain stitching! It's so simple, just put two random squares together and sew them, then do it with two more, and two more, never cutting or breaking the "chain" between them. Then all you have to do is sew six pairs together, take another pair and add a free square to it, and so the line of three to the others and you've got a nine patch!
Like this one. Twenty nine patches in a 4x5 strip configuration and you've got yourself a quilt top. Tomorrow when we go down the hill I'll be getting some backing, maybe a nice fabric for a border (cos that's a bitch to make out of old flannels) and some sort of binding. Sadly my Wednesday is packed and Thursday we're going down in the evening to see Harry Potter so while the beginning of my week I could do this no problem, the hard *quilting* part of this project will need to be crammed into Wednesday night and most of Thursday. It's going to be a stretch. 

But its' worth it for Grampa.