Monday, April 7, 2014

The Latest Guy Quilt: NFL, Quilted with Footballs

This was fun:

ProsperityStuff NFL Teams Quilt

Since my oldest son had a birthday recently, and since I hadn't made him a quilt in years, I needed to make a guy quilt.

ProsperityStuff FMQ FOOTBALLS!

When I had the idea to do something with NFL fabrics, I decided to check eBay for a deal on some team fabrics. I wasn't sure what I would find, but I figured the selection online would be pretty varied. 

ProsperityStuff Free-motion Quilting footballs

Almost right away, I found a set of NFL fabrics on eBay -- precut 4" squares, two from each of the 32 NFL football teams. Perfect. Easy. (A little overpriced, maybe, but where else would I find all 32 fabrics in one place!?)

ProsperityStuff Football NFL Quilt, Irish Chain

Pretty quickly, I decided what to do with 64 squares (+1 extra solid square) -- A basic Single Irish Chain layout. 
Simple. No frills. Guy quilt.

ProsperityStuff Throw Quilt, NFL Fabric & Shirt Fabric

I added a border row above and below, made with shirt-cottons (solids, stripes, plaids) to add some length to make a nice-sized throw quilt. (It's about 55" x 68".)

ProsperityStuff Quilt, NFL football FMQ

The fabric combo turned out nice (brown cotton sheet fabric for the top, and something fuzzy-textured-warm for the backing). My favorite thing is how the quilting turned out.

ProsperityStuff Quilt, made from sheet, shirts, & NFL fabric

Free-motion meander with FOOTBALLS quilted in! This was so fun, and surprisingly, not too complicated.

ProsperityStuff Quilt, starting a free-motion-quilted football

Maybe I'll take some more pics and do a picture tutorial on the FMQ footballs sometime. (I was surprised at how little I found online about how to quilt football designs into a quilt! I found a couple of ways that it works.)

ProsperityStuff Quilt, footballs quilted freehand

Anyway. This was fun. And my son loves it. I'm happy about that.

ProsperityStuff NFL Football Quilt, finished

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Playing with Orange Fabric

Every now and then, I find great deals on quilt fabric in unusual places ... 

My kids are amused that sometimes, at the thrift store, when looking at clothing and linens, I don't see shirts and sheets; I see "FABRIC"!

I've mentioned in the past (in one of my all-time-favorite posts) that my "favorite fabric designers" aren't the usual ... and I've made some fun things out of shirts and sheets ... also known as "reclaimed textiles". (For more posts on the subject, see my sidebar labels for Dress Shirt Quilts and Recycled Crafts.)

The bright orange fabric in this post was a 100% cotton sheet, and all the colored fabrics are cut from 100% cotton dress-shirts. 

The nine-patches are still in a stack, awaiting whatever's next.
The triangles have become a little quilt, which I'll be blogging about sometime later on ...

I don't usually work with this much orange -- but so far, I'm liking this orange-plus-solids-and-plaids combo.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

T-Shirt Baby Quilts

I've discovered that T-shirts make really soft, cozy quilts!

I mentioned a different T-shirt quilt a couple months ago (see post here).

I made two little quilts recently for my two newest nieces ... they're not sisters, but they were born just weeks apart, so I'm thinkin' they'll be good friends growing up.

I had fun with the quilting on these ... a regular free-motion meander, with little hearts here and there.

With my machine set up for free-motion quilting, I've discovered that it's remarkably easy to stitch in some lettering to personalize the quilt a bit.

I just draw the lettering on with my handy-dandy wash-out fabric marker, then stitch (more or less) on the lines, and then water-spray to wash out the marker. It's not perfect, but it works!

And I think it makes the quilts a little more personal.

Soft, cozy quilts for sweet little girls!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Martha's Colorful Vintage Quilt

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of doing the finishing work on this quilt for my friend Martha.

Finished Vintage Quilt - Foundation-Pieced Diamonds

Every now and then, I get to participate in a really long-term project. Quilting this quilt was the final step in a project that Martha's mother started a few decades ago.

Finished Vintage Quilt - Strip-Pieced Diamonds

The quilt top had been ready-to-quilt for many, many years, but there had been no one to quilt it.

Vintage Scrap Quilt - Strip-Pieced Diamonds

When Martha offered to pay me to do the quilting, I hesitated a little, since I don't consider myself a "pro" at quilting yet. But Martha wasn't in a hurry, and she said I could quilt it however I wanted to.

Vintage Strip-Pieced Scrap Quilt, finished

Since I love to make quilts, I'm fascinated by quilt-construction processes. One of the things I love about this quilt top is that it was foundation-pieced: the strips of quilt fabric were all stitched to a "foundation" square of fabric. Once the foundation square was covered in fabric strips, any excess was trimmed from the edges, and each square was stitched to other squares. 

(Here's what the quilt top looked like from the back - foundation squares in white and green.)

The back of the Foundation-Strip-Pieced Vintage Quilt Top

Another thing that's impressive is the variety of fabrics in this quilt. All colors & styles of fabric, including shirt & dress fabrics, flannels, florals, stripes, novelty fabrics, heavier fabrics and lighter fabrics -- they work together to make an amazing scrap quilt!

Vintage Quilt Top - foundation fabric piecing

Martha said that her mother sewed clothes, often for other people, and that she made quilts from her fabric scraps.

Front and back of foundation-pieced vintage quilt top

For the quilting, I used my favorite machine quilting style -- a free-motion meander. Light-green thread blended well with the light-colored fabrics, and contrasted well with the dark fabrics.

Quilting detail on vintage quilt Quilting and fabric detail on vintage quilt

When Martha asked if I would quilt this quilt top, she let me choose the backing and binding fabrics. 
The blue floral is the fabric I picked for backing, and the solid blue binding turned out just right.

Backing Fabric for a vintage scrap quilt

This is a big quilt -- in this picture, the quilt top is lying on a queen-sized bed, with about 12 inches of overhang on all sides.

Queen-sized Vintage Quilt Top

It really makes me happy to be able to finish-up-and-make-usable a quilt project that's been in the works for all these years.

Half of the quilt is showing in this picture ...

Finished Foundation-Pieced Scrap Quilt on the Clothesline

... and the other half is visible here.

Finished Vintage Quilt on the Clothesline

I'm honored that Martha trusted me with finishing her mom's quilt.

Foundation Pieced Vintage Scrap Quilt

I'm glad she can use and enjoy it now.

Vintage Scrap Quilt

I'm glad I got to enjoy working on it.

Vintage Quilt - Foundation Pieced Diamonds

Quilts can be, in many ways, links to little parts of history. This one certainly is. It reminds Martha of what it was like watching her mother at the sewing machine, doing the work she did so well. It gives me a glimpse into the life of a lady I never met, who, several decades ago, had jobs and hobbies that were probably a lot like mine.

 Finished Colorful Vintage Quilt

After I quilted this quilt, Martha sent me home with another one to finish up! That one's done now, too, and I'm hoping to blog about it soon, as well.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Kaleidoscope Finish!

Several years ago, while expanding my quilt-making horizons (thank you, Internet!), I discovered the wonder that is the Kaleidoscope Quilt. I've been loving kaleidoscope quilts ever since!

The floral fabric for this quilt was actually a twin-sized sheet I bought at a thrift store. It was so pretty, and just the thing for floral kaleidoscopes. In fact, I loved the sheet so much, it didn't even matter to me that I was buying a cotton/polyester blend sheet for quilting. :-) It works. The solid gray and the gray/blue print fabrics are both new, cotton sheets. I love the way the colors work together.

This one's been in progress for several months - see this post from September.

Like most quilt projects, the repetition of sewing piece-after-piece-after-piece gets - well - repetitive, but it's good to see milestones like the ones in this post from November.

I quilted this one all over with my favorite free-motion meander. I love the soft texture the quilting gives.

I've decided that I like little custom-details, like the extra curlicues in the gray border near the bottom of the picture below ...

I love a good kaleidoscope!

This quilt is 51" x 62". It's for sale on eBay. 
See the listing for this quilt here, or all my listings here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Little Bargello Quilt

Bargello quilts are fun. 

Way back a couple years ago, when I made a black and pink bargello quilt top, I planned a layout for a little bargello quilt made from the leftovers.

I got it started, but the quilt top sat nearly finished for ages. 

Until recently.

I finished up the quilt top, and I quilted it.

It's a small quilt - 39" x 54" great for a lap-quilt or baby quilt.

Since I don't know anyone who needs a little black and pink quilt right now, this one is listed for sale on eBay. (See this item, or all my listings.)

I love how the quilting turned out ...


It's an allover meandering free-motion pattern ...

The backing is a tiny gray floral. 


Technically, there's no gray in the quilt top, but it works!

It was fun to use some scraps to make something useful!

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