My new design wall

I still haven’t had much chance to do any real sewing in the past few weeks, and unfortunately, that’s going to remain the case for a few more, but I did manage to set up my new design wall.

(I am so excited about this, it’s making me crazy that I don’t have time to use it right now.)

What I had been using was the back of a vinyl tablecloth. It worked pretty well, and it was good for my first design wall since it was cheap, but I couldn’t get it to stay firmly against the wall, and the fabric didn’t stick to the felt back as well as I’d like.

I knew I wanted to get two sheets of 4-ft. x 8-ft. Styrofoam insulation from the hardware store, but that couldn’t happen in my small car. After dreaming for months about all the quilts I could design if only I had a proper wall, I asked one of my friends at work if he would take me in his truck.

The boards didn’t fit in the truck bed, so I gripped them for dear life out the back window. I can only imagine what that sight looked like as we tooled down the boulevard toward my house.

To cover them with batting, I purchased a king-sized package of Quilter’s Angel batting, which is similar to the Quilter’s Dream I like to use in my quilts. I cut the batting in half lengthwise and pinned it to the back of the foam with some leftover appliqué pins. Take a look at the finished result:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can’t quite see the second board tucked behind the one with blocks from one of several WIPs, but it’s there. Eventually, once I get the room painted, I’ll mount the two boards directly onto the wall. Right now, I just have to keep something propped up against them. Even with that, it’s still better than the vinyl tablecloth.

The total cost of the project was about $70, but I think it will turn out to be well-worth the investment. It’s going to be so cool to be able to see a queen-sized quilt laid out and be able to easily arrange the blocks.

I can’t wait!

XOXO,
Sandra

Inspiration Friday: Help me pick my next project

If you’re like me, you probably have a bunch of fabric in your quilt stash that you just don’t quite know what to do with yet.

Or maybe you bought it for a pattern that you didn’t get around to making, and now you don’t like the pattern anymore. That’s the situation I find myself in as I contemplate my next quilt.

(Please don’t remind me of the WIPs in my stash that I should finish instead.)

photo 1Here are some close-ups of the fabric (apologies for the not-so-good iPhone photos):

photo 2 photo 3I bought this flannel about eight years ago, and had planned to make this:

photoI still like it, but as my tastes have gown toward modern quilting, it just doesn’t work for me with that fabric as much as some newer things I’ve seen would.

I have an idea of what I’d like to do, but I’d love your feedback. Which of these quilts do you think would work best?

roskelleyI like this hashtag quilt by Camille Roskelley from her Craftsy class, “Pre-cut Piecing Made Simple.”

oliverandsThis is a free pattern from Oliver and S.

Basket-Case_thumb1This is Fall Basket Case from Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew.

Whichever one I choose, I plan to use this fabric entirely for the background:

photo 4

The quilt will be for my bed, and I plan to send it for quilting on a longarm machine, since it will be too large to do on my DSM. I’d love to have some sort of maple-leaf pattern done in variegated thread all over as a contrast to the strong straight lines.

So, which do you like best? Quilt #1, #2 or #3? Or do you have another idea you think would be better?

XOXO,
Sandra

Finding inspiration in unexpected places

When I don’t have time to do any stitching of any kind, which has been the case this week, I still like to look at ideas for future projects. I often find they come from the most unexpected places.

Hexagons are all the rage in modern quilting, and I’ve been slow to jump on the bandwagon. But here’s a photo of a tile floor that really appealed to me as a possible quilt.

hexagon quilt ideaIn addition to the Greek key border, my favorite part are the dots of hexagon surrounding each flower-like shape. I also love the wide amount of negative space, but I guarantee you I wouldn’t make that in all hexagons!

One night, while watching TV, I saw a commercial for a mattress that had some exquisite quilting on it. Take a look:

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 10.03.01 PMIsn’t that gorgeous? I just love all the double-outlined paisleys. If I were a better quilter, I would so want to do a whole cloth quilt like this. Since the mattress is part of a $1300 set, making my own quilt is the only way I’ll ever see it in my bedroom.

I found this idea while trolling for fabric online. Available at fabric.com, it’s Swavelle/Mill Creek Indoor/Outdoor Oskar Terrace Flint and would be a very easy to adapt using jelly rolls:

Large_CZ-421Here’s another jelly-roll fabric idea; this time from Online Fabric Store:

TOWOXNA_1zWhile it’s not unexpected, I love finding inspiration from other bloggers and on Pinterest. Here are a few of my favorites:

daisy_baby_quilt-craftsyThis is a free pattern by Pipers Girls over at Craftsy.com that I pinned this morning. I like the texture of the sashing in the printed blocks and the solid background.

OK, this one, from KD Quilts is just too cute for words:

whole-alligator1I also love pinning quilts that are probably beyond my current abilities. This one is by Kent Williams:

rkentwilliams_around-the-bendThis last one, “The Ravens of Angels Crest,” by Thom Atkins, is definitely beyond my talents and always will be. But it’s so stunning, I just love looking at it.

Ravens-of-Angels_Crest_10_webWhatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you find a little unexpected inspiration. I want to say welcome to my new followers from the past few weeks, and a big thank you to everyone for stopping by. It really does mean so much!

XOXO,
Sandra

Finished: knitted baby blanket

I had hoped to show you a finished Halloween quilt with a new (to me) method for basting the layers before quilting, but no such luck. After I got the fabric all ready for the pins, I checked my stash of batting and found the largest size I had wasn’t large enough.

So, since there’s hardly a shortage of WIPs around here, I decided I would work on the baby blanket I started a few weeks ago as a way of feeling a little less guilty for not getting anything accomplished other than watching reruns of “Boston Legal.”

Denny Crane, anyone?

I modified the pattern to account for my not having quite enough yarn for the project, and I think it worked quite well. Take a look:

knitted baby blanketI think the stripes work pretty well for this, though I wouldn’t mind making this again with a single color. I used a different method to bind off, which I really liked. You knit the first two stitches (knitwise) and then put the stitch it creates on the right needle back on the left and repeat. Easy and fairly invisible once it’s done.

The finished size is a little small – 28″x32″ – but I think it would work for a newborn. Still, I might add a border on all four sides in another color. I have more Emu Superwash in a pale sky blue or I could try or some pale yellow. Anyone have any suggestions?

UPDATE: I decided to keep the blanket as is and save the rest of my yarn for another blanket, so that makes this another finish for 2013!

I hope to get more batting tomorrow and will be able to show you a finished Halloween quilt, sneaking it in just in time for the holiday. Until then, thanks so much for stopping by!

XOXO,
Sandra