Pride Place Mat Set

I’ve been working on these since finishing Picnic Tea Party.  The weather, and throwing my back out, have made things a little slower than I like.  I’m feeling much better now, and my sewing room doesn’t feel like an oven.  Getting things done while I can!

I’ve finished the top for purple, the blocks for blue, green, and yellow, and currently working on orange.  Then I’ll need to get to work on red, get some bright rainbow fabric for the backing, and practice free-motion quilting.  I’m debating on using my quilting foot instead because I don’t really need too much practice, I can go in spaced out diagonal lines corner to corner, and it’ll be faster.  I want to get some variegated rainbow thread, quite a bit of it actually, to do the quilting.

All this has been done using the crazy quilt style I love to bits.

When the set is finished I’ll have it listed on Etsy at $120.

Have any of you created something to celebrate Pride?

Picnic Tea Party is finished!

This adorable and beautiful quilt is machine sewn and hand-quilted by me. The fabric is cotton and batting is polyester. I made this with the idea of a picnic or tea party in mind. The backing is a green batik fabric with various shades of green and a fern design. Grass stains won’t show up. The thread is variegated; photographs don’t do it justice.

Because of the polyester batting the quilt is also very lightweight and fluffy. Great for warmer days and nights when you really want a blanket but everything else makes you too hot.

Not only is it great for picnics and warmer nights it’s also fantastic as a small bed quilt!

It’s 60.5 inches x 60.5 inches.

Machine wash cold and tumble dry low or hang dry to give the quilt a longer life. It won’t fall apart in warm or hot water, but it will have a shorter lifespan, much like clothing. The batting and fabric are 100% cotton.

*I live in a cat-friendly home. One of my cats insists she is very helpful and likes to sit on my cutting table. I’ve set up a bed for her there, and she tends to sleep in it, but sometimes she wanders. Even though this is pre-washed there is a chance it may contain some cat hair. If you, or the person you give this to, are allergic to cats I recommend washing it when you receive this.*

You can purchase this here on my Etsy page and see it in better lighting here on YouTube.

 

Picnic Tea Party update

With my wrist finally feeling better I got to work on quilting Picnic Tea Party.  It’s too large for my small quilting frame, which is kind of a good thing because the temperature has risen quite a bit here.  We don’t have an air conditioner, and having a quilt on my lap when it’s 90 F just doesn’t sound like fun.  My large frame takes care of that problem.

The quilt and frame have taken over my sewing room.  When not in there I have to keep the door closed because of my cats.  I learned long ago they think it’s a hammock.  Not this time!  The door’s open only while I’m in there.  Jasper thinks he’s being helpful though.

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I think he’s just enjoying the shade and slightly cooler temperature under there.  By the way, the backing is fantastic!  A lovely batik in various greens with a fern print on them.  Couldn’t ask for anything better for a picnic blanket, right?  Grass stains will be invisible!

I had to fold up my table and ironing board to make space for the frame.  The living room really isn’t an option because it’s very hot out there and this make walking through the living room impossible.   Fine by me considering the lack of distractions in my sewing room.

I’m sewing around each of the blocks and an X through them as well.  To get the straight lines I use medium adhesive painter’s tape as a guideline.  It barely sticks, leaves no residue, and does the job.  I tried using one of my rulers, but it kept moving while I quilted.  Not amused.

The quilting is about 80% finished.  The edges will be done using my smaller frame, and that will be rather fast.  I’ll work on that part in the early morning when the house hasn’t warmed up at all.

The batting is a low loft 100% polyester, making this ideal for use in warmer weather.  It’s originally designed to be a picnic blanket, but the buyer can decide for themselves if they want to use it as such.  It’ll be great for a light cuddling!  The finished size will be about 60″ x 60″ with solid brown for the binding.

A little bit of info regarding the extra material around the quilt.  When quilting the batting and backing get pulled in.  It doesn’t seem like much until you finish and see how much less you have left.  I suggest that for hand-quilting you have a minimum of two extra inches on all four sides, while for machine quilting no less than four inches on each side.

This will likely be finished by Wednesday.  I’m working on it for about ten hours a day, and it’s been two days of hand-quilting.  I won’t be pricing it at the full price I ought to for the number of hours I’ve worked on it.  Why?  I want this to be affordable to more people.  This quilt in particular I’ll be pricing at $275, though my husband wants me to put it at $375 minimum.  No, I’ll keep it at $275; that covers all the materials and a good portion of the labor.

Workspace

Not everyone has enough room to do the work they want to do.  Some quilters don’t even have a room designated for sewing/quilting.  You gotta make do with what you have, right?

I dream of a larger room.  In fact, the sewing room of my dreams is about four times larger than this, with lots of windows, space for a long-arm quilting machine, space for my recliner so I can hand-quilt with ease, lots of shelves and built-ins to store things, and even a walk-in closet.  Oh, and a section set aside just for painting.  I want to have my sewing desk in the middle of the room or at least a good distance from any wall to make sewing easier.

Alas, it’s only a dream…

My husband and I have come to an agreement that when we buy a house the largest bedroom will be my sewing room.  Unless the master bedroom has a walk-in shower; in which case the next largest bedroom will be mine to play in.

What’s your sewing room like?  Do you have one?  How do you have your space set up?

I Dream of Elephants is finished!

It took awhile but it was worth all the work.  Here are a few WIP pics as well as before being washed and washing.

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I had just finished all the hand-quilting at 11:30pm, was well past slap-happy, and wanted to take a few shots before adding the binding.  I had a different print in mind for the binding, but changed my mind after setting the fabric next to the quilt.  This polka dot print works so much better.

Here I’ve attached the binding by machine and then followed up with attaching it to the back by hand.  The backing wasn’t quilt long enough so I attached a few scrap pieces in no particular order.  I love that it really ties in the back with the front.

The binding is now finished, but the quilt hasn’t been washed yet.  It isn’t until washing that it really comes to life.  The batting fluffs up, the hand-quilting tightens up a bit, and it overall looks more alive.  I really love how much lighter the binding fabric is.  The original I had chosen was more like the bird fabric you see in the bottom picture, only the fabric was lime green with blue, grey, and orange birds.  It was part of the collection, but in the end it didn’t work well as binding.  It would have made the quilt look heavier and taken away from how lively it feels.

The grey backing was an excellent choice.  The top has a very geometric design but the prints have a more organic look to them.  The backing ties into that very well with it’s soft geometric design.  Here you can see the results of the quilt being washed.  The hand-quilting tightened up, and in turn made all the sections fluff up more.  It’s so soft!

The finished quilt is 64 inches x 52 inches and available for purchase here on my Etsy shop.  I ship worldwide!  Sewn by machine, hand-quilted, many hours of work, and worth every minute of it.

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Jasper decided to celebrate finishing the hand-quilting as well.

I Dream of Elephants hand-quilting WIP

Here’s some WIP photos of I Dream of Elephants.

I sew the pieces together by machine, but I do the quilting by hand.

The thread I’m using is variegated, meaning it’s multiple colors.  You can see it more clearly on the back, as well as the details of the stitching.

I’m about 25% done with the hand-quilting, and will definitely have it finished by Thursday for washing.  After a quilt is washed the seams pucker a bit, and this makes the quilt fluffy and all the different sections are like little pillows.  A quilt isn’t a quilt until after it has been washed.

After the quilt is washed I’ll take photographs of it and list it on Etsy for purchase.  I hope these pictures better explain why I price the quilts the way I do.  Time + cost of materials + labor = final price.  This is looking to be about $425 when finished.

The binding, the part that goes around the outside edges of the quilt, is part of this fabric collection and is the same color as the edge of the flowers in the close-up shot.

Picnic Tea Party top finished

I finished the quilt top yesterday and it’s ADORABLE!  Perfect size for a picnic blanket.  I’ll be using a polyester batting to keep it lightweight and also fluffy.  Great for using like a regular blanket without getting too hot.

I used different FQ collections by Free Spirit as well as one solid.  They all look so well together I knew they had to be in a single quilt. There are 25 White House Steps Blocks, 12″ x 12″.  The pattern is from McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts 2012 ebook.

The backing is a batik in various shades of grass green with a fern print all over it, and the binding will be a solid brown.

I’m really proud of the results because it shows how much I’ve improved.  All the corners meet perfectly!  I pressed the seams open on the blocks, but pressed to one side when connecting the blocks and rows.

My husband is mildly terrified of all the prints, but the quilt isn’t for him.  I’ll be selling it on my Etsy shop when it’s done.

I also basted I Dream of Elephants yesterday and have started on the hand-quilting.  I won’t have it done by laundry day this week, but it’ll definitely be finished next week.  I’ll then immediately start on Picnic Tea Party.  This one shouldn’t take nearly as long because I’ll just be following the lines of each block for the quilting.

If I had the money I’d take this to a long-arm quilter or a quilting shop to have it done by machine.  Save me some time so I can move on to the next project.  Alas, I shall have to hand-quilt it instead.  I have a dark bright variegated thread for this, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.

As for my next project, it’s a Star Wars quilt.  My dream is to have Mark Hamill purchase it.  For those uneducated in Star Wars, he plays Luke Skywalker.  He’s also the voice actor for the Joker in various Batman games and cartoon series.  Oh, and he was the kidnapped professor in Kingsmen.