Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Learning New Quilting Patterns

I've decided that I want to do a new quilting pattern on every quilt that I do, at least for a while.  I've had several to work on lately, so I'm getting a lot of practice and getting new designs under my belt.

My neighbor brought me two pieces of flannel and a nice lofty poly batting for a quilt for her new granddaughter on the way.  She usually makes simple tied quilts, but decided to do things a little differently and asked me to quilt it for her.   She said she just wanted something cute, so I had pretty open-ended instructions.

I decided to do an allover flower design. It turned out really cute, and my neighbor loved it!  The quilting is almost completely lost on the front, but really shows up on the back with the solid flannel and lofty batting.  My flowers are a little wonky, but that will continue to get better with time, and more practice.  

Now that school has started again I no longer have a babysitter. =(  I was hiring my 14 year old neighbor to come play with my kids while I quilted, but she's got too much on her plate to keep coming.  As a former junior high teacher I totally understand, but I'm going through withdrawals and it's difficult making the adjustment to having very little "me" time.  It makes me feel selfish, but I am a much happier mommy if I get some time to myself.  So my sweet husband took today off of work to spend with the kids so I could have a mental health day and get caught up on some deadlines that are coming up that I've made zero progress on this week.  Namely, I've got 5 quilts that need to be quilted and bound for Phoenix Quilts by next Friday.  I've had the tops for about 6 weeks, and was sure I'd have them done in plenty of time, but I kept having other things come up and now it is crunch time.  I was going to give them back to Julie at the next Salt Lake/Ogden Longarm Guild meeting, but it turns out my husband's grandmother's 95th birthday party is the same day, in California.  So I'll be delivering these quilts back to Julie somewhere along I-15 as we are on our way there September 8th.  If any of you have any tips on how to keep a one year old happy on a long road trip, I'd love to hear them!  He's a crabby one when he's in the car too long.  Yikes.  But I sure love him anyway.

So, back to quilting.  I finished the flannel quilt above last night.  This morning I loaded this quilt and got it completely quilted and off of my frame before my family came home for lunch.  Wahoo!  It feels so good to make fast progress on something.  Allover patterns are so much faster than even semi-custom quilting.

This quilt is 56x56 and is just beautiful.  I quilted it with allover double loops.  This pattern isn't much harder than regular allover loopy quilting, but it was something new that I hadn't done before.  The thing I noticed when I first started practicing drawing the pattern was that my loops were all facing the same direction, so I had to consciously think about making them face different directions.  I like how it turned out, and I hope the family that gets it does too.  The woman who pieced this (her name is on the other side of the card) did a beautiful job.
 With so much on my plate this week, and planning/packing for a vacation to boot, I asked another neighbor if she would do the binding on this one for me, so she picked it up this afternoon.  She said she might not give it back. =)

This afternoon I pieced the backing for another Phoenix Quilts quilt and got it loaded on my frame.  I'm planning to do swirls on this one.  I love swirly quilting, and I really want to get good at it, so hopefully all goes well.  I've got some serious doodling practice to do on my white board before I jump in on this one.  Maybe I'll get some time to work on it tomorrow.
I am so glad I was able to make so much progress today.  I feel like maybe there is hope that I'll get all of these done in time!

I'm linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced today, and TNT Thursday at Happy Quilting.


  1. Wow! You've been busy. Your quilts look great.

  2. Your quilting looks beautiful, I can imagine how busy you are with a little one!

  3. Your quilts look awesome! I was thinking with the flower one that (depending on age) the "wonky" flowers were actually appropriate. If it's an elementary aged kid, it just seems "wonky" works. :) Random request: When you put up dimensions, do you think you could say what size of bed that would be? Clearly you don't have to, especially if this blog is geared towards people who quilt a lot. But when you say "56X56," the size means absolutely nothing to me...I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures! :)

  4. Your quiltining looks fabulous!!! Way to go in trying new patterns. And that is so awesome that you are quilting for Phenoix Quilts!!! What a special project to be part of ;)


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