Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Care and Feeding of a Quilt

It occurred to me when I sent my niece her new quilt last Friday and I included a note with the quilt's "story" that I also needed to include instructions for how to care for the quilt. Do you do that? Some folks just have no idea how to care for a handmade quilt.
 So let me tell you what I do. I think it's important to protect the quilt from harsh soaps and such. I like to think the quilt can be worn out by love first. So my first piece of advice is to air out the quilt occasionally on a cloudy day to minimize fading of the fabrics.
 I only actually wash my quilts if they really need it. Maybe once a year for a quilt that gets used on a bed daily. Less often for others. When I wash it, I use mild soap and cold water. I dry it on a medium setting.  I don't hang them to dry, because as the quilt ages, it could damage the fabric's fibers.
 If quilts are not being used on a bed and are being kept folded, refold them periodically so the fold lines don't become too permanent. This really helps over the long haul for a quilt's life.
I didn't always include these instructions when gifting a quilt, but I feel like I need to since I have become more aware of how quilts hold up over a lot of years of use. What do you do when you gift a quilt? I would love to know if you have anything to share.
This is my sister Nina's quilt that I made to replace one she had bought that was faded by the dry cleaners. It was the first quilt I gave care instructions with. As a side note, it went missing after she passed away and now it is lost.

Also, please always label your quilts in some fashion. It doesn't guarantee they won't get lost, but if found it can help to identify them. I am amazed that people steal quilts. I can't imagine what they are thinking. You can read about this missing quilt here.  As of this writing this quilt is still missing.
Talk to you soon.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Beautiful Friday Finish

I have finished the quilt for my niece and have just returned from the post office, sending it off to her. I am thankful that it is done and pleased with the way it turned out. Pictures? Of course.
 I chose the Churn Dash pattern for two reasons. Number one, I have always wanted to make a Churn Dash quilt and number two, my sister encouraged me to use a traditional pattern and make it fit my niece's sensibilities with the fabric choices.
 Now, apparently I can't count, because I had these blocks left over. But fortunately they look wonderful on the back of the quilt. If she gets tired of the front, the back is like a whole new quilt.
We decided on shades of blue, since that is her favorite color. We threw in a few grays for interest and made some of the blocks reversed also for interest. I decided to make a few blocks out of 4 smaller churn dashes. The large blocks finished at 12 inches so it was easy to just make 6 inch blocks and slip them in there.

I love the combinations of fabrics and the shades of blue in here, from the very dark to the very light and all the blues came from my stash.
 I made the label on the back from one of my new labels from Dutch Label Company and stitched it to a leftover 6 inch block and then hand stitched it to the back of the quilt.

I can't wait to hear how she likes it. I know it will be just perfect for her. Talk to you soon.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Churning Along

This is going to be my Friday finish. The quilt top is not finished, but for the last nine days, not counting weekends, I have been piecing and pressing these churn dash blocks and today at 4 pm they were finally all done!
We went from this, last Monday May 7...
...to this today. This is 41 blocks all stacked up. I was planning to do 6 x 6 which is 36, but I had counting difficulties. So the extras will go on the back of the quilt.
 There are 6 of assorted greys, all 12 inches square...
 there are 6 dark blues that are reversed...
 there are 11 dark blues in assorted fabrics...
 there are 13 assorted light blues, some there are 2 of...
and finally there are 6 of these, made from (4) 6 inch blocks.

The background fabric is Swiss Dots by Riley Blake. I originally ordered Navy on Cream, but when they pulled the bolt to cut is at the Fat Quarter Shop, they found it was mislabeled and was actually black dot on cream. They were so kind and called and emailed me right away. I decided to go with the black on cream and they rushed it right out to me.

Now I don't have EQ or any software to help me design quilts. I do it by trial and error and graph paper. So I had no idea how much fabric to buy. All the other fabrics were in my stash. I ended up buying 3 yards. I though it was enough. I had cut all my pieces and counted them and labeled them with post it notes. But I ran out before I got finished and ended up ordering another yard.

I think if I had counted how many blocks I had at that point, I was probably fine, but I assumed all my blue pieces were correctly counted. Ha! So I cut more background when I received the extra yard and I finally realized I had extra blocks. Now I have about a half yard left and it may become the binding, but I am not positive on that yet.

The next step is to figure out an arrangement, but that will be tomorrow. I am tired right now.
Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Blue, Blue, My World is Blue

I'm working on a new quilt project for my niece. She loves blue. So with my sister's help, I pulled almost every blue in my stash for this. My niece is going through a rough time right now and so I am sewing all the love I can into this quilt for her.

These are the first three blocks. Now I have to get back at it so I can get this thing done. Talk to you soon.

Friday, May 4, 2018

My Latest Crush

I bought a jelly roll of V and Co. Confetti Ombre Metallic awhile back. I really wanted to see ever color in the line. When I got it, it was even better than I had hoped. I made room in my creative schedule to make something out of it immediately. And this is what I made:
I stumbled across an on line tutorial for a rail fence quilt made from a jelly roll, and just knew that that was it. So I began piecing and cutting and piecing.
 I loved how vivid all the colors were at the dark ends of the fabric. The light middles were soft and beautiful.
 I quilted it with Pearl cotton in as many colors as I could find that went with the colors of the fabrics and I think it worked out well. Hand quilting has a softer drape to it ant that is exactly what I wanted. I used the black to bind the edges and it frames it beautifully.
     It's my new favorite lap quilt. It's small, but so soft and so pretty.
And for the back I added some of the leftover pieces to a strip across the quilt. I loved this fabric so much, that before I even finished this quilt, I ordered some more. I'm not sure what it will become just yet, but I am looking forward to using it. It's too pretty to let it just sit in the stash. Talk to you soon.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.