Sunday, February 7, 2016

Graffiti Quilts - Not Planned and Planned

Two Graffiti quilts completed, but made from Shirtings from the twins Dad, Gramps and my shirt stash.  Doesn't everyone have a shirts stash?  The first one, the green one for Louis was inspired by Katy over at KatyQuilts with her Improv Quilt.  I tried the improv, it looks so liberating, so free, so fast an easy.  It brought be to a screeching halt.  When I have a plan, I can look at the plan and go.  I know what I need to do and get it done.  But this no plan stuff, oh boy I just don't know how to do it and do it without halting to a snails crawl.  So I got the green one done, it's a baby quilt not that big and I can just push through it.  I love the colors of this quilt.  I wasn't confident in the graffiti quilting so I chose a thread color to match the backing.    The grid on the shirting material is freehand grids, not measured, organic, ya that's the word I want!! More on the graffiti quilting at the end.  Glide thread, cotton sateen backing, hobbs 80/20 batting.  All make for a pretty nice drape of the quilt.
Unplanned Back 
The second one I needed a bit more of a plan.  EQ7 to the rescue.  I went with triangles, they look great, modern and a consistent patch, I used the accuquilt triangle die, even easier!  Then I just randomly decided in each row where the blue would end, threw in a couple of blue triangles like they were falling off, and it looks pretty unplanned right?  I think this took me even longer than the unplanned quilt above.  But it's done and I think it was worth the effort.  I just quilted the horizontal lines on this not the vertical, in the shirting material,  I got lazy.  I used a light blue thread on top went with 60wt  bottom line rather than glide, getting a bit more adventurous, but not overly confident, shirting material on the back and hobbs 80/20.  I like this combination a lot better, nice softer drape. More about the graffit quilting next.

The quilting, oh my this was way out of my comfort zone.  I had Karlee Porters Graffiti Quilting book, six of my doodles and my ipad with the internet close by.  It's really had to just change up the quilting pattern as you go and do what *feels* right.  Well shoot, feathers feel right all the time but I know I can't do feathers all the time.  I would almost literally do one collection of "things", take a look almost all are in either groupings of three or five, stop, check the book, check my doodles, check the internet and figure out what needed to  be quilted next.  It was definitely a learning experience and really stretched the way I had to look at quilting.  Oh and an added bonus, I actually did some ribbon candy quilitng, I was so happy, it even looked pretty decent a few time. Here's some detailed pics on the quilting.  I definitely recommend giving it a try.  I tried, and now I'm going back to my comfort zone and feather something ridiculously!

There were a couple of questions about dense quilting and softness.  Good questions. First, nothing is ever as soft and cozy as hand quilting, absolutely nothing.  I really want to do a blog post on this with examples, one of these days....There are other things that contribute to the stiffness or softness of the quilt.  I think you need to consider softness with air pockets and with drape.  If you associate softness with air pockets, then no dense quilting will never be as soft as less dense quilting. If you associate drape with softness then there are things that you can do to have a very soft drape.  Use a thin thread, the more dense your quilting the thinner the thread. There is a difference between the 50wt  thread  and the 60 wt thread with dense quilting.   Batting, use cotton batting if you want a soft drape, poly if you want a stiff quilt (which you will want if you plan to hang - one layer of cotton, one of poly and your quilt will lay very flat with dense quilting).  I think backing makes a difference too.  Minky is very pliabe, shirting material and cotton sateen all help keep that drape nice and soft.    I really do want to do a blog post with pictures and attempt to show the drape of different combinations of batting and dense quilting.  No it's not as soft and airy as less dense quilting, but drape, which does not have to be stiff and can be quite pliable very dense quilting.

Don't forget to stop by the linky parties, so much inspiration out there.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Two Fun Finishes

I love baby quilts. They are so fun, so quick and you can try out all sorts of new things.  These two are for the twins that are due in April.  I got to try out quite a few new motifs.  I wanted something different on each quilt and different in each strip.  I think I did pretty good.  That wasn't the plan at first.  Rarely does my original plan actually look much like the finished product.  I wanted to do an all over free motion design with an elongated swirl and then echoing a few times in all the strips.  I hated it.  Took me ten minutes to quilt and 3 hours to rip it all out.  But really I didn't like it.  Then I decide ok, since fast and easy wasn't going to work might as up the complexity level, something different in each strip.  I got a little lazy on a few, just quilted the fabric, hey it works.  The zig-zag on Calvin's is interesting as it looks like different fabric on each side of the quilt doesn't it?  I quilted on the green line on one side, and the white line on the other.  The shadows make it look different.  I really didn't, and still don't, like the green peas in the first green strip of Calvin's but I just wasn't going to rip that out.  I don't think he'll mind :)  One of the arrows in the bottom of Calvin's the point is way off center.  Again I wasn't going to rip it out.  But the key lesson here, is that if you just look at those one individual things they may not look all that great.  But mix them up with everything else in the quilt and you might not even notice.  Now that I told you, it may be all that you notice!! I hate when that happens.  Details on the quilts, they both have Hobb's 80/20 batting, Premo soft thread on top, magna glide in the bobbins and super soft minky on the back.  Just love how the quilting shows up with minky. The fox is from The Red Boot Quilt Company, super cute. I had so much fun with these.  Can't wait it meet these two little guys.

Something different in each strip. Sometimes just using the fabric pattern was good and of course there had to be feathers

A little ruler work

Not that happy with the numbers, but I don't think Louis will mind.  If he does, I"ll make him a new quilt :)

Sweet little fox

Loved picking out the pants for the fox

super soft minky on the back

Love how that looks.  Hobbs 80/20 batting, magna glide in the bobbin, premo soft thread on top

Here's Calivin's, can't wait to meet them both

ruler work feathers, nothing but pure fun

The argyle pants are my favorite.  

Just using the fabric on these for the quilting motif in the striped and zig zag strips.  The zig zag looks totally different on the other side, the only difference is quilting on the green line vs the white. The shadows make all the difference

See pea pods thingys in the green, I really don't like it, but just left it and it's fine with everything else.  The zig zag looks totally different on the other side, the only difference is quilting on the green line vs the white. The shadows make all the difference
One got numbers the other letters.  

love the back of this one
And what do you do with the left over minky?  Why you make burp cloths!  The burp cloths that I made that match the quilts are with a towel which is ok.  But those minky burp cloths, wow, you could wipe my face any time with those.  I've got a few different scraps of minky left and will definitely make a few more. Here's a free pattern that I used, quick and easy. When the babies are done with them, they'll make the cutest dust cloths

Just a little progress on the quilt that has plan but isn't suppose to look like it has a plan.  Sheesh this looking like there is no plan is really time consuming!!  When I think improv and no plan, I think cut sew, cut, sew and boom you're done.  That is not how this one is going.  It's slow moving, only 4 more rows to go.  I've the got the true improv quilt on the frame, pretty excited to get started on the  graffiti quilting.

ready for some graffiti quilting, trying to pick a thread that will blend in yet I still want to be able to see it.

Done' forget to check out the linky parties on the side bar. I added a couple of new ones.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Planning without looking like you're planning

So last week I tried the whole improve quilting thing, I LOVE the LOOK of the improv. It's the whole no planning part that I have a problem with.  I'm a planner, what can I say, I need a plan, I love plan, I live for a plan.  So I did finish the green shirting improv, which I'm kinda up in the air about it.  We'll see if quilting can save it, that is the best part right.  I learned a lot from this one.  I need to cut blocks, not the wonky strips.  I need uniform.  I love the scrappy and I love the improv look.  So I decide I would try triangles and do in in EQ7 so that I have that improv look and still have a PLAN.  How's that for win-win??  Pretty excite eh?   And here's what I came up with - looks like no plan but don't tell anyone there really is a plan ;) The first one is the pic from eq7, the second from real life.  Nice for the twins right, similar but yet different. This one uses the triangle die from Accuquilt

no plan look but plan is there comfort

A little bit of progress on the twins quilts, here's a view from under the frame.

Not a lot of quilting as we had Birthday Boys this weekend. These cousins are almost exactly 10 years apart.    One is 14 the other 4, their birthdays are two days apart.  Love them both to pieces!!
Birthday Boys

I added a couple new linky parties on the side bar, take a look and go get inspired.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Till Death Star Do We Part

I was so close to being done, actually thought I was done and took this beast off the frame. Then decided the borders needed more quilting to be a bit more even. Definitely have not learned the "less is more" lesson yet....I got this monster loaded back on the frame. I guessed I had 4 more bobbins worth of periwinkle thread left, but really only 1.5.  Ordered more periwinkle bottom line (has anyone ever not had enough periwinkle thread?).  Took it off the frame again while I wait for thread. This quilt is fighting me all the way! Here's some pics, I do like the way it's turning out. I used a 40wt thread, Glide, on top to get some thread play and circular motion around the stars. The thread play helps define that a bit more. The McTavishing in the black areas gives it a cosmic feel. I'm really not sure what type of baking it is, more like velorish  type of fabric. It is super soft to the touch and slightly a bit more plush than minky. So close to having this one done!
added quilting in the rings helps, just need more thread for the bobbin
corner star
I think the McTavishing gives it a big of cosmic feel
I used Glide thread on top so there would be some thread play on the veins fo the feather for a circular motion around the stars
it's getting closer - This is Till Death Star Do We Part aka Moonglow
Lots of texture.  Wool batting gives a log of loft
getting closer
seems a little uneven doesn't it with no quilting in the rings?
I also started a new little project.  Have you ever had one of those quilts that just stay with you once you've seen it and you just know you have to make one.  That's how I was with KatyQuilts Improve Shirting Quilt The minute I saw this I fell in love with it and really was intrigued by the whole improve quilt making.  I"ve thought about this quilt so many times since I first saw it, and nows the time when I'm going to give it a try. I'm a program manager by day, quilter by night and I plan things.  I plan, I replan, I risk mitigate the plan, it's all about the plan.  So making a quilt without a plan was very intriguing to me.  I have to say it is a bit hard.  I pulled out my shirts.  I've got yellow and green shirts for one twin, blue and yellow for the other twin.  I did have to have a bit of control, enough to keep me happy and that was one strip from each shirt in each of the 9 different piles.  I chose to have 9 strips for the quilt.   They will be anywhere from 8 to 2 inches - ok I have planned how wide each strip can be, yikes I can't help myself!  But I did just slice those things up, no rythm or reason, trying to keep each slice of the shirt between 1.5 and 3 inches.  Each of the colored strips I'll keep between 24 and 36 inches.  I'd like to have a 45 in square quilt when I'm done.  I love how Katy did the cross hatching in the shirting material, I'm definitely going to try that.  Then in the white spaces I"m going to give the graffiti quilting a try.  Here's what I have so far, ok so it's not a quilt without a plan, it's got half a plan....but it's a start

Don't forget to check out the link parties.  I also saw that Hands 2 Help 2016 is getting started shortly - so excited.  We have a couple of ladies who help to make quilts.  Last year our little group made 9, wonder if we can do better this year?  I've added the button on the side bar.