Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Status Update & Blogger's Quilt Festival

So we survived Hurricane Sandy with no loss of power or storm damage (as far as we know)!  Hooray!  However, it makes it rather hard to take nice outdoor pictures when you are surrounded by a "Frankenstorm"!  I prepared for the loss of power this time extensively, after losing power this summer for several days to the crazy derecho that caused such damage to the grid in the middle of a heat wave.  On Sunday afternoon, I baked fresh cinnamon rolls, filled all our water pitchers, and waited in line in the cold rain for 3.5 hours to get my early vote cast, since we have a super important opportunity in Maryland this election to vote for equality that I didn't want to miss!  I hope so much that we are the first state to approve marriage equality for everyone by the popular vote.  With gay aunts who are very dear to me and a model of a successful marriage, the issue is very personal and important to me...it must be, because I mistakenly only wore flip flops, and it was cold, but I waited for my turn (though I had a lovely chat with several folks in line around me, which made the waiting much easier!).

For this fall's Blogger's Quilt Festival, I had a real debate.  I thought about sharing the first big quilt I ever made, more than a decade ago now, since the improv pieced back is still a favorite design - I called it my Frank Lloyd Wright inspired quilt and always preferred the back to the front.  Alas, it is so faded from constant use that an indoor picture just doesn't do it justice, so I'll share it another day (or better yet, make it again in better fabrics).  Maybe I'll even write it up so it will be my first official pattern!

But for now, I'll instead share my latest finish - a quilt for the new baby of my friend Kakuti and her husband Chris, who will be arriving any day now.  This quilt is a variation on a pattern that many of us used for last year's 100 Quilts for Kids.  I altered it a good bit, so some of the squares are now rectangles and the middle of the three borders is wider than the others...next time, I'll make this even more pronounced, I think, as well as perhaps substituting a larger piece for the center.  I used a charm pack of Half Moon by Moda as well as a variety of black and white prints that I bought in my first fabric shopping spree that I'd been saving for FOREVER!

I pieced the back to take advantage of those wonderful large polka dots, and I wanted to include some red, as well.  I used the binding tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts to machine bind it using a 2.5" starting strip (versus my normal 2.25" width), and I was very pleased with how it turned out...only one place where I had to go back to recatch the binding.  I think the key is definitely lots of pins, and by my third side I figured out how to pin from the top, which made it a little easier.  I also loved her measurements for how to overlap the ends - it worked perfectly and was much flatter than my usual tuck-under-one-end method. 

I did straight-line quilting with my walking foot in black and red. It required a few thread changes as I worked from the center out, but I think it was worth it to have the texture without distracting so much from the design.  I really like how it turned out - as usual, it will be hard to give away, though I'm very excited to share it with such a lovely couple. 

Luckily, when I bought the first charm pack, I decided to buy 2 so I could make one for our future child.  I've been making charity quilts and quilts for close friends' babies for awhile now, but I've decided I really need to start a stash of quilts for when we have a child, since many bloggers have mentioned that they had a hard time quilting once they were pregnant.  So, you'll likely see something like this again if you keep following my intermittent blogging!  I'm going to have a lot of big finishes in the next few weeks to share, and I plan on quilting a lot when I'm in Georgia around Thanksgiving taking care of my mom after her back surgery.  While she rests, I'll be sewing up a storm in the next room between bringing her little cups of tea and snackies!  While I'm home, I am very excited about giving my brother his new duvet cover and my nephew his new Chasing Chevrons quilt, plus I've got gorgeous fabric for a log cabin for my mom that I may wait to sew once I'm down there (or maybe I'll get it done in advance, we'll see)!

Blogger's Quilt Festival Statistics

Finished quilt measures: 40″ x 40″

Special techniques used: machine pieced, machine quilted with walking foot, machine bound

Quilted by: ME!
Best Category: Favorite Baby Quilt, Favorite Home Machine Quilted Quilt


  1. This is a lovely quilt! Glad to hear that you were so organized prior to the storm and that it passed you by without too much bother.

  2. I am excited to see your frank Lloyd wright quilt. That's a great idea to get started on quilts. I didn't get much sewing done while pregnant lol.

  3. So glad to hear you made it through the storm unscathed! And your voting is done, hurray!

    This quilt is lovely, very graphic - and perfect for a baby quilt, as they see high contrast things first, I'll bet this will be the baby's favorite for years!

  4. I love this quilt - and the quilting on it really turned out nicely! Congrats!

    Another gorgeous quilt . . . you are really on a tear these days!

  5. Love this! So glad I follow your blog, cuz I didn't get much time in on the Bloggers Quilt Festival, and I would've been sorry to have missed this! Can't wait to see what November brings:) (best wishes to your Mama, sounds like she will have great post-operative care!)

  6. This is a really fun baby quilt!! I love the black, white and red theme, it's so striking! Great quilting too and super fun polka dot backing!!

  7. Baby is going to love those colors. And I love that you preserved a huge piece of those polka dots on the back. Awesome!


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