Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Zig...and a PSA.

The Zig

This quilt was intended as a gift for my BFF's birthday...in February. It's a zig zag quilt made from 1/2 square triangles. I used an assortment of green, blue, and orange fabrics, the inspiration fabric being Amy Butler's Royal Garden in orange & blue. I love that stuff! Because my friend's favorite color is orange, I wanted the orange to stand out a bit more, so I added a strip of orange squares in the middle of the orange zig-zags to make them bigger. I'm really happy with the way they turned out.


The top was finished in February, but the quilting was just started last week. And I didn't put it in the sewing machine to quilt it. I decided that I was going to hand quilt it. With no hand quilting experience. None. It can't be that hard, right?

So I sandwiched and basted and bought a quilting frame and some great Perle No. 8 and went to town.


Here's the problem. I did NO research before beginning this experiment...except for reading Anna Maria Horner's (amazing) blog. She did a blog post a few weeks ago about hand quilting and it got me all in a dither. So what's the problem, you ask? I used my normal batting. I shouldn't have done that. For anyone interested, Warm & White (or any other punched cotton batting) is NOT advisable for a hand quilting project.


It hasn't ruined the project, but from what I've come to understand, the process of making the needle punched batting forces the fibers together so tightly that it's sometimes nearly impossible to push a needle through by hand. The results are stitches that sometimes force bits of batting out through the top of the quilt. It's not quite bearding, but it looks more like the needle has a bit of batting wrapped around it. I've had to go back and use my needle to push the batting back inside the quilt.

It hasn't made me so mad that I undo everything I've done. It's just made me mad enough that next time I'll know. For some tips on batting to use with a hand quilting project, I went here. This forum had a lot of information. It basically said that wool is the most desirable, easy to work with batting, but most people love Hobbs batting because it's not quite as expensive as wool. And some of it's even fusible! No basting!

So that's this week's Public Service Announcement. Do your research and don't use Warm & White to hand quilt. It's hard.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nerd Alert!

I kind of love the library. And I kind of went and checked out some quilting and embroidery books the other day. The greatest quilty book find?

Treasury of American Quilts by C.I. Nelson

While I don't think I can show you pictures of the innards of this book, suffice it to say I've been googling to see if I could get my hands on my very own copy. And wonder of wonders, it's available for mere pennies at Amazon, ebay, and anywhere else that sells used books that only nerds would want to own! Hooray!

No sewing yet today, but I did receive the 3rd of my 8 swaps from the Sew, Mama, Sew! Fat Quarter Swap. I'm pretty stoked to get the rest of them! I just need to put mine in the mail...I should go do that.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Recently, I donated a quilt to be sold in an auction for earthquake relief in Haiti. It was the first quilt that I made that was sold. It's hard enough to give someone a handmade gift but to create something that a stranger is paying money for! Scary! Turns out, the quilt came together quickly and the only real problem I had was that I wanted to keep it!

The quilt was made with a selection of fabrics from Amy Butler's Love line and Kona white. With such large prints, it made sense to do everything on a large scale, so I made one giant maverick star (measures 36" square).

Then I added a patchwork border and a solid white border. It's backed in a solid piece of Water Bouquet...which got me into some trouble because when my sister-in-law saw the quilt she immediately commissioned me to make her a purse out of it! Of course, I said yes (a perfect excuse to go to the quilt shop!). Then I quilted it with random curved and straight lines.

The finished quilt measured 44x55. The perfect size for the little girl that it went home to!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Hello, cyberspace! I've been skulking around Blogville for a while and decided it was time to out myself. So here I am, World Wide Web. I'm Erin and I like quilting. I can't help it. I'm smitten. I thought for a while about starting a blog, but couldn't really justify it. I mean, who'll read it? Who will care that I'm making quilts? And aren't blogs kind of...um, you know...lame? But I decided that I don't care who reads it. And I care that I'm making quilts. And Lord knows the threat of being lame has never stopped me before (for proof, see Erin's entire childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood). And, P.S. All of the blogs that I read are fabulous and aren't at all lame, so what am I afraid of?

In my sewing machine right now, this bad boy:

The spiderwebs are made of Kona Coal and AMH Good Folks. I can't wait to have it finished. It's the first quilt that I'm making for me, so I'm pretty stoked. It just needs its border and a backing, and then it's ready for quilting. I think I'm going to do something like this for the quilting. My sweet little sewing machine just isn't trustworthy enough for anything more hardcore than straight lines with a walking foot...

Well, I'm off to cut some fabric and watch this guy try to catch a fly: