snug

snug

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Laptop Cases

     I had planned to make laptop covers for both kids before Christmas.  My plans ran out of time, but I had some time on Christmas day, and got going on my daughter's.  For both, I used the Noodlehead's tutorial for a wide open pouch, and simply planned the dimensions to fit the computer (a MacPro). 

The finished computer bag.

A perfect fit!
     I have a stash of science fabric for my scientist daughter, and we chose the lab critters for the cover.  I cut the fabric generously to allow for shrinkage during quilting, and quilted the fabric on top of the batting.  I found some left over flannel from childhood pajamas to use for the lining. 
A close up of the critters doing science! (already quilted with a simple and quick loopy pattern.

 
Showing the quilting from the batting side.  Without a fabric on both sides of the batting, it does stick sometimes, and creates lots of fuzz.
The Parisian flannel
With the zipper installed.


Sewing the parts together.  This is really a very easy pattern!
Top stitching around the zipper.

The fussy cut little tab!

      My son (and his computer - an HP) came home later on Christmas, with his computer wrapped in his fuzzy vest.  I took care of that the next morning!
The computer "case"
I had some novelty fabric featuring old cigar boxes.  He loved it.
I put the fabric on top of some scrap batting, and quilting the two pieces together.
The finished top piece with the loopy quilting.
I had some old cowboy flannel, which I had to piece together for the lining.  I opened the seam to make it as smooth as possible.
 
The final product (with my new little tag)!

A view of the finished bag.
     These were quick, useful and fun projects.  Two happy kids - two protected computers!  It was actually fun to work on them after Christmas - no pressure!  I'll double check the measurements, and add them later this week to this post.   I am linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts.
 
Happy New Year to all.
Take care,
 
Gretchen


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Orange is the New Wonky Cross Quilt

The Orange and Pink Wonky Cross Quilt!  Lake Erie seemed calm after dropping about 7 feet of snow!
 
Some of the 84 inches of snow which landed at our home over a two day stretch!
     The recent record lake effect snow storm in Buffalo provided me an opportunity to finish my most recent project, an orange and pink wonky cross quilt for my sister.   I had asked each of my sisters to send me the answers to the following questions - what are your favorite colors, and do you prefer modern or traditional.   The first to respond said orange, with hot pink, and modern. 
 
     I started pulling fabric from orange, pink and tangerine bundles I had purchased from Marmalade Fabrics, and adding others from my stash. 
 
     I cut 7 inch squares from the fabrics.  Each FQ produced 4 squares.  I cut strips from the rest, some 1 inch, and the others 1 1/2 inches wide.
     I started making the wonky cross blocks, getting better at placing the fabric as I was going along.


     I used little thread catchers at the end and the beginning of each piece.  I had seen this tip on another blog (and can't recall where!).  This saves all of the rethreading that I otherwise seem to do when starting and stopping a piece. 

     Because the strips differed in size, the end blocks were not uniformly sized.  Once the block was completed, I trimmed each to a 6 1/2 inch square.  This ended up making the construction of the finished quilt so much easier and uniform!
     Once I had the pieces on my design wall, I noticed that I needed some more dark fabrics for contrast.  I pulled some black Kona cotton, and also some dark purple solids to provide a bit more punch.  I also added white Kona strips as well. 
Blocks with no black or white strips
I like the energy this quilt has.
     I wasn't sure what I was going to do to quilt this.  I initially planned to do the same curvy quilting I tried on my Turquoise Triangle Quilt , with plans to use both pink and orange Aurifil thread.   I started with straight lines every 3 inches and a curvy line in between.  Then I decided to do loops instead, and just use the orange thread.  I figured the front of the quilt was busy enough!
The backing shows the finished quilting pattern pretty well.
     I finished the quilt with a dark orange Kona solid.  I used a break in the storm to lay it out in the sun.  The yardstick, which I don't think was actually touching the ground, gives you an idea of the depth of the snow.
The quilting shows up pretty well in the sun on the front of the quilt.
My trusty quilt holder showing off the back of the quilt.  I found this fabulous fabric in the red tag section at Joanne's. 
Another view, with a mound of plowed snow in the back.
    We were housebound for 5 days, but luckily had heat and lights, so sewing could be done.  This was a very cheerful project to work on!  I finished some other projects as well, and will post about them soon.  In the meantime, getting ready for the holidays!

Take care,
Gretchen



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Scrappy


A scrappy collection of yellows and blues

 
Fall 2014 BQF ButtonI am entering the Blogger's Quilt Festival at  Amy's Creative Side.   One of the categories is a scrappy quilt, and I want to share the scrappy blue and yellow quilt I made for my mother earlier this year.  You can read and see more about this quilt here.
     I believe I used about 40 different fabrics in this quilt, all left over from earlier projects.


A close up of the assortment of fabrics
     I also pieced together the back with leftovers from an earlier quilt project.   I love a good scrappy finished piece. 
The back of the quilt, using up some stars from an earlier quilt.

Thanks for looking!
Take care,
Gretchen 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Turquoise Triangle Quilt

 
     Finally finished!    
     I began this quilt in June 2013, when I ordered a half-yard bundle of fabrics from Marmalade Fabrics.   This bundle, with turquoise, white and a pop of chartreuse had 5 fabrics in total.  I wanted to see what I could do with that bundle. 
The fabrics from the bundle.   The dotted fabric and the solid were ombres, so cut up, it looks like more than one fabric.
I had also pulled a chartreuse solid to try, but ended up using just the 5 pieces from the bundle.
      Once I had the fabrics, I had to chose a pattern.   I wanted to try a triangle quilt, and used this Quackadoodle tutorial to get started.  I cut smaller triangles than the tutorial, as I wanted a maximum scrappy look with this quilt.   I started with scrap fabric to practice.   
I used some cheaper fabric I was not crazy about as my test pieces.  I always find the cut pieces far more interesting and likeable that the big yardage. 
       The test worked out, so I cut 5 1/2 inch strips, and then cut all the triangles.
The strips.  I cut the strips to maximize the differences in the tops and bottoms of the ombre fabrics

I used a number of rulers to assist with cutting the triangles.
     I was able to get 140 triangles out of the five fabrics, with just a bit left over to use in a future project.

The pile of triangles.
The left-overs.
     I did a lot of arranging and re-arranging the triangles on the design board.  The result could have been a nice baby quilt (and that may be a project down the road), but I wanted something bigger, so I decided to use the triangle piece as a center panel.
Up on the design "wall".  I use a folding screen with some flannel on it as my "wall".  It is easier to take up and down.  Here it is in the living room next to my sewing machine.
     The trick is getting the seams all together when the triangles and rows are sewn together.  I struggle with consistent seam sizes (even though I use a 1/4 inch foot).  I was pretty happy with how most of the seams turned out. 
Pretty good.

Excellent

Oops.
Once I sewed all the rows together,  I trimmed the sides and added a wide border in Kona white.


     I finished the top in May, and prepared a back, and then did nothing for months. I finally got around to finishing it up during my recent "staycation."

Getting ready to pin.
A close up of the backing.  This was a nice cheery print I found yardage of in the Joanne Fabrics red tag section.
     I really struggled with trying to figure out how to quilt this.  Many triangle quilts I see on-line are finished with echo quilting around the seams.   I initially contemplated straight lines in parallel with the seams and was going to try using frog tape to keep the lines straight on the white.   I had also thought about doing bubble quilting on the dotted fabric, but I just couldn't do it after all the bubble quilting on  this quilt.   
     I happened upon a picture on-line of a triangle quilt which was quilted in wavy lines side to side, using different color threads.  I thought I had bookmarked that site to give credit to that quilter, but now cannot find the link anywhere!  I liked that quilting alot, and decided to tweak it for this quilt.   
     First, I used my walking foot and did straight (ish) lines using white Aurifil thread lengthwise down the quilt, roughly in the middle of the triangles.   
     Still using my walking foot, I put two wavy lines in between (or crossing) the straight lines.  I tried to vary these as much as possible.  The straight lines kept it a bit controlled.
A sideways view of the white wavy lines
Checking out the thread (Aurifil medium teal).  I used Warm and White batting in this quilt.
     I then used the turquoise (teal) thread and sewed a wavy line around each straight line, and then two wavy lines in between each straight line, looping over and around with other lines.  I was using the walking foot.  I might try this again just doing it free motion.  It felt forced at times, and I think I need to get my machine tuned up.   Despite the challenges, I really like how this turned out.
Close-up of the finished quilting


Chester approves.
Close-up of the quilting with the binding, before tossing in the washer and dryer.
After washing and drying.  I wasn't sure how the varied spacing would turn out  after washing.  It looks fine.
The back

A full frontal shot in the bright sun with a calm lake.  
     The finished quilt measures  about 48 x 59 inches.  The center panel is 33 x 43 inches.  It is a nice size lap quilt.
    I was happy to have successfully made a triangle quilt, made a quilt from a fabric bundle, and tried a new quilting technique! I always seem to have more projects than time and was glad to have finished three quilts (this one, the Tranquility quilt, and the Plus quilt from homespuns) while I was on vacation.   
 
Enjoy the beginning of fall!  
 
I am entering this in the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy's Creative Side.
Take care,
Gretchen