Monday, March 9, 2015

Faux chenille potholders to baby quilt (um rug)

Have you made faux chenille? Well I love texture and saw these little potholders at a local LQS and decided to give them a try.  They are great in the kitchen, look good, work hard and launder up wonderfully.  My hubby has big hands and he loves that I made them oversized, perfect for him.  I like the extra protection they give me. 

The rounded one on the bottom is my favorite because I finally got the binding on to my satisfaction.  These were fun and fairly easy to make.  I  have several more cut and ready to sew for those "quick fix" times I just need to sit at the machine.  This lady gives a good tutorial:
Now, from this success I decided to try the baby quilt, and this is what came of that bright idea:

Isn't that little animal print cute?  This blanket is very cuddly, soft and heavy !  Boy oh boy did I struggle with this blanket. At the end of it all I serged around the edges rather than apply a binding because I made several mistakes and just wanted to finish it off.  I don't know why I thought I needed to add a layer of batting (possibly because that's what I did for the potholders) - big mistake - it really made this blanket a bear to wrestle through the sewing machine.  I used a Warm and Natural batting (100% cotton) which is a heavy/dense batting anyway.  The batting and five layers of flannel were waaaay tooo much.  I was afraid it was going to turn out hard and stiff, like a rug, but after a couple of rounds through the washer and dryer it softened up considerably.  I may try another one without the batting.  (as soon as my shoulder heals and my left arm stops hurting - haha) At least it will make a good utility blankie for baby, something to toss on the floor for playtime.  Now that I write this up I am thinking it really would make a good little rug for the bathroom and it wouldn't need to be this large.  I have small bathrooms. 
 Adios, Bernie

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Never stop learning

Just attended quilt guild meeting on Monday - there was a used book sale and I picked up a few new (to me) books

Both books by Harriet Hargrave who is just a phenomenal woman, quilter and teacher.  About 10 years ago I was lucky enough to take a class from her on invisible machine applique through a quilt guild I belonged to and it was an amazing day of learning.  She is an excellent teacher.  But - I never followed up with what I learned because I thought I just didn't have the talent to do it (or the patience). :)   I am into the machine applique book to about page 23.  I love the look of applique on quilts, so am determined that this year I am going to start learning to applique and make some beautiful pillows at the very least.  Also have these on my design wall.
Which I want to turn into something like this
These are vintage hankies embroidered to blocks made into a quilt.  I have a collection of vintage hankies and would like to do this, but don't think I am up to all the hand embroidery.
Harriet Hargrave was a pioneer in regard to quilting on a home sewing machine, I will read the Heirloom Machine Quilting book and hopefully I can improve my erratic "scribble" free motion quilting.  Lots of room for improvement there.  It took forever for me to learn how to control the quilt, the speed of the machine and my hands to move the quilt sandwich with some control, and even though I am comfortable now doing something say up to the size of a lap quilt free motion, I would like to learn how to do more intricate designs and plan the quilting. 
It is snowing again today and so cold this morning - the weekend should see some sunshine and warmer temps - maybe we will be able to get outside for a bit and enjoy it.   Adios. Bernie