My New Darling Quilt

It’s kind of funny, but I feel like most of the quilts up until now have just been for practice. I think I was practicing for this one. Let me introduce you to my favorite new quilt:

Image

I made it using pretty much all art gallery fabrics (a few from just about every line) and a few joel dewberry prints. I sashed everything with Kona White, and used straight line quilting (my favorite).

Image

Here’s a close up. I think these prints are SO darling and sweet! This is definitely a girly quilt – the kind of quilt you snuggle up with on the sofa and watch a chick flick.Image

I used a turquoise Moda print, some lime linen I had left over from the backing on my family lattic quilt, and a beautiful little pieced strip of half-square triangles framed in solid white for the back of the quilt.

Image

The quilting detail really looks great from the back too. The linen is heavier than quilting cotton and adds a nice bit of warmth and structure. Image

I can’t resist a quilt roll-up! Hopefully, someone out there can’t either because though I intended to keep this quilt for myself, I’ve put it up for sale in my Etsy shop. I’ll be sorry to see it go, but my house is a bit overrun with quilts, and I just can’t keep them all.

Two Variations on a Storybook Quilt

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in about 4 months. I briefly reentered the world of the full-time worker and barely had time to quilt, let alone blog (especially with the holidays). However, things are finally back to normal with me back at home being a full-time mommy and an every-spare-waking-moment quilter. I’ve been at it a week and I’ve finally finished up about 4 quilts that had taken me four months to make. I wanted to start off by showing you these two sister quilts, which are made with the same fabrics and design, but finished in two very different ways:

Storybook Quilt #1:

 ImageImageImage

I fell in love with this line of fabric by Alexander Henry immediately. It’s so sweet and subtle compared to what I normally navigate towards. I chose to finish the first quilt using more traditional methods, using an all-over free-motion stippled quilting design in a simple shade of white to give the quilt a nice hand-me-down, crinkly texture, and used a light gray cotton solid to machine bind it.

Storybook Quilt #2:

ImageImageImageImage

For the second version of the quilt, I skipped the outer border, used a bagging method of quilting to give it a modern edge and skip the binding process all together, and then straight-line quilted around the blocks. This method was a bit nerve racking because there was no way to correct excess backing fabric issues as I quilted, as the edges were already sewn closed. However, the edge looks so crisp and modern and the ¼” line of quilting around it helps give the impression, not to mention the structure, that a traditional binding provides. The only problem was that I must have used some pre-shrunk white that I had used with a minky quilt for the sashing, causing the shrinking after quilting, to be a bit wonky. I think it has a nice bubbly feel though because of it.

Image

 

(note: on both these quilts, I got a bit excited and took pictures before trimming my loose threads…they have since been secured and trimmed away for a nice clean finish).

Which one do you think looks better? I really want to give the bagging method another go (and post a tutorial if anyone is interested in how I do it – comment if you do please!), but I do love a nice hand-sewn binding as well.

Another Quilting Adventure

by. elizabeth lowe

Take A Look At These CHARMING Quilts

So a few weeks ago, after a depressing interview experience which we will not be speaking of, my husband took me to my favorite fabric store. He got a bit carried away with a shopping trip, turning it in to a shopping spree that included 4 charm packs, a fat quarter set, and a bunch of individual cuts. So I’ve been having fun all week making some beautiful charm quilts using Moda’s Odds and Ends and Serenade collections.  It’s fun holding a whole collection in your hands (and only spending $10 to do it), but charm packs can also be quite limiting, not just in size,  but also because there’s usually only 1 of each print and you get stuck with some prints you don’t necessarily love. I’m so happy with how they both turned out (except for maybe the shade of brown I used on the zig zag quilt’s border).

Image

Image

Be sure to like my look for these beautiful quilts in my Etsy shop, like me on Facebook, and leave a comment.
Coming soon: Tackling Minky and Porthole Pillow Tutorials. Stay Tuned.

Another Quilting Adventure

by. Elizabeth Lowe

To Keep It or Sell It

A few months ago I realized two things: 1) Though I’ve made a lot of wonderful things in the past year, with the exception of the Woodland Crib Quilt I made for the little man in my life, none of them have been for me. Everything I’ve made has been either a gift of something to be sold in my Etsy shop. 2) I’ve yet to tackle anything larger than a crib quilt. Having realized both these facts a few months ago, I decided to embark on a mission to make my family a picnic quilt to be used on our summer vacation. While I’m glad to say the quilt is finished and came out beautifully, a lot of things along the way did not go as planned.

Here’s the finished quilt:

Image

ImageImage

Image

About the Quilt:

I wanted it to be something my husband and son wouldn’t be embarrassed to sit on or carry around, so I tried to find neutral/manly prints to use. Most of the fabrics chosen came from Quilt Blocks and a few came from Reunion. I’m pretty happy with the prints. My husband helped pick them out, so he was very eager to see this quilt finished, which was fun. This is where the fun ends though. I had so many blocks to make for this quilt, that I quickly became tired of the repetitiveness of sewing, ironing, trimming, pinning, repeating. Though it was all worth it, I should have given myself more time to spread out the job. The next problem I encountered with this quilt was that I was constantly wrestling it. This thing is giant! (Approx. 60″x80″). Getting the quilt top and backing pieces done was such a struggle that once I was finished, I put it way up high on a shelf and hid from it. I was too scared to think of basting and quilting it. So it sat up there for a few months (way past our summer vacation deadline). Finally, I kicked my husband and son out for the day, rearranged the house to make room to baste it, and set out for a day long quilting marathon. By the end of the day, I was both loving and hating the quilt, but I was almost done. Binding took 3 days, and by the end of the third I was in love again with my hard-earned quilt.

The Problem
It’s been a few weeks now since I finished the quilt and a problem has developed: I’m terrified to use the quilt. It’s so warm and snuggly, not to mention way more satisfying to curl up under than a store bought blanket, but with a 1-year old and two small dogs, I’ve so afraid it’s going to get ruined. So I’m thinking about selling it. I would rather someone use it than keep it out of reach all the time or see it get destroyed I think. I guess it’s time to start planning a new family quilt that might better disguise the tortures my young family will put it through in the coming years.

Look for it soon in my Etsy shop.

Another Quilting Adventure by Elizabeth Lowe

My First Sale!

So last night I finally got around to listing a few items on Etsy, which I’ve been putting off doing for way too long. This was the first batch of listings for things I’ve really liked and was proud to put my name on and sell. Less than 24 hours later and I’ve sold one of my three listings. My beautiful little girl playmat is going to be on its way to North Carolina tomorrow. I’ve got to get the tags I designed printed, buying shipping supplies, and get it sent off. I guess I was being cautious in not being ready to send things off in case no one wanted to buy them. Once all that’s done tomorrow, I’ve got to figure out what to do to celebrate. I’m thinking a fabric shopping spree! Any suggestions for my next Etsy worthy project?

Busy, Busy, Busy Bee…

So as I’ve mentioned, I’ve spent the last year practicing and learning a lot about the wonderful world of quilting. And while I’ve been busy (sewing almost every day this past year), I haven’t been posting or listing much of anything. I’ve been biding my time, waiting until I felt like a could be a confident teacher other newbies. Well, with that being said I’ve suddenly tried to document all my work from the past year (accomplishments as well as mistakes), get items listed on my Etsy page (so I can buy more materials, yay!), and keep working on all the projects I’ve got in various stages of completion. It’s been a busy few weeks. Now that I’ve tackled a lot from my to do list, I’d like to share my efforts with you…

First of all, I finally got some items listed to my Etsy shop:

Two crib quilts:

And a Playmat:

Baby Girl Playmat w/propI also completed some long overdue projects (the playmat being one of them), including a crib quilt for my niece (who’s already a month old!) and some porthole pillow covers. I will post in the coming weeks about both of these. I’m also looking forward to a much needed day alone tomorrow to hopefully get the quilting done on my largest project yet. Again, pictures to follow soon. In the coming weeks I hope to get a lot more published, including a bunch of tutorials (porthole pillow technique anyone?).

Let me know what you do to help keep projects progressing when you really would rather just veg out in the comments area. Have questions? Email me.

Another Quilting Adventure

Love, Lizzy Lowe

Reviewing My First Year: Projects 5-9

As I learned more about quilting techniques over the next few months, I also learned a lot about quilting fabric. Enter the designer quilt fabric lines period. I absolutely love going to the fabric store and matching up fabrics much more than I enjoy buying them online. However, with my now grabby and squirmy baby, buying fabric online was looking like the better option. When I started looking, I was amazed at the ridiculous amounts of fabric available and the complete collections they came in. I was taken immediately with pre-cuts. They were budget friendly for me and took a lot of the pressure off when buying fabric online where I couldn’t accurately compare colors across collections. My next 5 projects all use them.

Project #5: A Woodland Crib Quilt for Parker

ImageImage

Project #6 and #7: A Half-Moon Crib Quilt and Pillow Cover

Image

Image

Image

Both use the Half Moon Fabric Line by Moda which includes a wide range of bold prints and patterns, and are available in my Etsy shop.

Projects #8 and #9: Sweet Crib Quilt and Playmat for a Little Girl

These pieces both use the Domestic Bliss Fabrics from Spring 2012. I love the berry purple colors with the saturated blues. They both came out beautifully. I tried a few new things with the playmat. I added ribbon tabs for attaching infant toys to it as well as rounding the corners for a different look. It was also my first time with applique and I think it came out pretty darn good.

ImageImage

These will be posted in my Etsy shop sometime this week.

If you can’t tell, my quilting skills have gotten much better, I’m trying a bunch of new things, and taking better pictures (I really need to get better lighting). I’m also realizing that I’m going to be a lifelong quilter at about this point (my poor husband).

Have questions? Leave a comment. I’d love to answer.

Another Quilting Adventure by elizabeth lowe

Reviewing My First Year: Projects #1-4

Project #1: A Crib Quilt for a Friend

Having once helped my mother make a quilt when I was about 11, I thought I was stepping into the game a step ahead of the beginner. Alright, let’s be honest, I thought I was already a bit of an expert. So when I approached this baby quilt ideas as a gift for a friend and a quick practice quilt before making quilts to sell on Etsy, I just dove in head first without a plan and a whole bunch of unsubstantiated confidence. I went to the fabric store with no idea what I would need and just bought random amounts of fabric based on guesses of what I would need (regret #1). I then did a Google search for images of modern quilt designs and decided to go with a ridiculously intricate first design that required me to piece together 260 three inch triangles (regret #2). Finally, I monumentally underestimated the difficulty of free motion quilting (regret #3). The result: I bit of a slapped together mess (Sorry Amanada, I really do owe you and baby girl another quilt). See for yourself:

Misaligned seams and horrendous tension problems aside, the quilt was not a complete disaster. It was just very “handmade” looking. The experience was quite humbling. I realized that I had a long way to go before 1) quilting anything to be given as a gift, and 2) made anything to sell. Next step: Practice, Practice, Practice.

Project #2: Family Christmas Stockings

For my next project, I decided to focus on something small and for personal use to practice getting my seams more consistent. I made these three stockings for my son’s first Christmas. They use a Christmas line by Robert Kaufman and I just traced a stocking I already had and looked at it’s assembly to figure out how to do it. Was this the best method? Probably not. But I do like how they came out. I think by the time I get them out in a few months I’ll finally be brave enough to hand embroidery our names on (and I’ll get better pictures of them when I do).

Projects #3 and #4: Practice Pillows

These two pillows are by no means two of my favorite things I’ve ever made. I just dug through my very small stash of fabric (from one month of quilting) and slapped together a few impromptu pillow covers for practice. I learned a lot about fabric selection and choosing the right quilting design to really accentuate the personality of the piece though. My seams by this point had become much more accurate and I was beginning to feel pretty comfortable with quilting (straight line quilting at least, though I was practicing free-motion a bit too at this point). I like the pillows pretty well, especially the back of each, but I would do things differently if I were to make them now.

So there you have it, my not so easy introduction to quilting. I learned a lot from these first few projects. For the other beginner quilters out there reading this, know that you will get much better, much faster than you think if you keep at it. Stay tuned for some much improved quilting projects and photographs.

Have a Question? Leave me a Comment.

Another Quilting Adventure by elizabeth lowe

Hello world!

As a beginner quilter whose only taken up the hobby less than a year ago, I’ve found the wonderful tips, tutorials, and patterns of many of my fellow quilting bloggers immensely helpful. I’ve been considering starting my own blog for months, but convinced myself to wait until I felt like I really had something to I’d really improved. I’ve had very few days this past year as a quilter that I haven’t sat down at my machine for at least a few minutes a day. I’ve come a long way and learned a lot. Now I’m ready to share my journey as a beginner quilter, looking back over my first year retroactively, and diving into the world of a lifelong quilter, sharing my tips and tricks with both new and lifelong quilters.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.