Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Summer is a great time of year in Michigan.  Or anywhere, I suppose.  But we particularly relish it here as we know changing colors await us in the fall, followed by a LONG winter.  Our winters in the Detroit Metro area haven't been terribly bad the last few years, but, just the same, it's not WARM then, we have less sunny days, you have to wear coats.  You get the idea.

But in the summer, you tend to be drawn to the outdoors.  Which means, as a quilter, that you may not sew quite as much.  Summer can be a time of vacations.  Last week I had a nice, short but sweet, vacay with my husband, enjoying some Pure Michigan, up on the Leelenau Peninsula, one of my favorite places right now.  The beaches we found were stunningly beautiful, the food was great, and some really nice wines are being made up there.

Time to think about sewing again.

Before that vacay, by July 4th, I was determined to quilt, bind, label & gift the quilt top I had made for my niece Sarah's 21st birthday, which was in May.  By the way, quilters are allowed to stretch a gift out into maybe 3 times of giving to the recipient----a box of fabric with a pattern, a finished top, and finally, the completed quilt.  This is perfectly acceptable!

The pattern is "Diamonds & Squares" by Kate Henderson, who has a blog entitled Two Little Banshees .  She's a young Australian quilter, and I love her use of color, large pieces & great fabrics.

First, got the backing made, batting cut to fit & the whole thing basted, using my old design wall in the basement.  There's some paper pinned to the wall around it, so that the spray fusible doesn't get onto the design wall.  Or the floor!

Then the machine quilting commenced.  Always just a BIT of a chore, getting into the mindset, figuring out HOW I want to quilt it.  I chose an overall pattern for this.  It's intended to be a quilt that gets used, cuddled under & washed.  A lot.

I found this design to be a lot of fun, very smooth & pleasing for FMQ.  I tend to enjoy curvy, flowing quilting.

All finished!  Although, oops, I was actually still sewing the binding on the back by hand, but had to get these pictures taken, and finish the binding in the car, on the way to giving the quilt, LOL!!

 I like washing it after quilting (to get that adhesive out), lay flat, block as necessary, then bind, once it's dry.  I've always loved the look of old quilts, so soft, washed a million times.   A little shrinkage is good & adds to the look. 

And, the back.  I used some quick pieced blocks down the middle, and a backing fabric with pink & green, which were, at one time at least, some of my nieces favorite colors.

A close up of the back.

 I'm on a quest right now to make sure all of my loved ones get new quilts from me.  Most of the nieces & nephews got quilts when they were born (if they are under the age of 26 or 27, which is how long I've been a quilter).  After being reminded in the last couple of years how unpredictable life can be, and your time here on earth, I'm in a hurry to make these quilts.

Sarah's sister, Lindsey, and her husband, Dave (who just had their first anniversary in May), got their quilt last fall.

This was a lot of fun too.  I used a Twister Ruler.  You cut squares, sew them together, add the border, then cut it apart, put those blocks back on your wall as you cut, sew them together again.  Voila!

Gotta go hit the sewing room, try to get my 'mojo' back!

Have a good week!