Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quilting Practice

I tend to go overboard sometimes. I won't lie. Why make one when I can make twenty? Never mind if I don't need any at all. But sometimes I get an idea in my head and I must go with it or I will literally lay (lie?) in bed thinking about it until it's out of my system. Such is the case with my weekend quilting adventures. I had a pile of lovely red and white scraps sitting on my sewing table for a few days, and thought "Hey, that would be a nifty quilt block!" I didn't have enough for a quilt, so I thought "Oooowwweeee potholders! Yesssss!" So I dug out a bunch of scraps and settled in for the afternoon.

First I decided to practice on a single square of fabric without any piecing, the front and back being the same (I haven't quilted anything in a looooong time). I am in love with this fabric but only had a small bit left--perfect for this project:

The binding isn't my favorite--red might have been a better choice. And it's reeeaaalllly stiff. I was using that Insul-bright stuff that has metallic something or other punched through to reflect heat or cold back to the source. I followed the directions and used two layers of that with some cotton batting in-between. I showed it to my mother, who thought it was a bit too stiff for a potholder. When I reread the directions, they recommended it for use in oven mitts, so there'd be one less layer. She told me she would gladly use it to set hot dishes on as the ones she has are falling apart from ages of use. 

This one is the reason I wanted to try making SOMEthing quilted--the colors just looked so cheery together.

It looks wonky on the bottom but it's really not--it's just the way I cropped the picture. The cherries and polka dots contrast is my favorite. So fresh and pretty! There is one thing I didn't notice until I was almost done, but seeing as what it's going to be used for it's no biggie:

This is really a blah picture but if you look closely at the stripes you can see it's more of an off-white instead of a true white that it's butted up against. But again--it's a hot pad. And we're drippers and sloshers around here so I'm not going to worry too much.

And this is the back: it looks like a picnic :)

Then I got carried away. I had bought a pack of coordinating fat eighths months ago, and decided that I must use every one of them. This is a little bit too busy but it all goes together anyway. It's just a LOT:

I'm not sure what I was thinking with this one. It probably would have been better if I had chosen two or three, but go big or go home is how I roll (haha) so there they ALL are. I'm a big fan of grid quilting--it's easy to do and I can use blue masking tape as a guideline. On the first two, because they were square, the quilting lines created squares. Because this one is for a casserole dish, more of a diamond pattern was created:


And here's the back:

Ummmm.....was there anything else.....AH! I used my walking foot for this because it was layer-licious. It definitely helped keep everything nice. I think the backs would have been way squiggly without it. If you look closely you can see my pitiful binding job. If any of these were quilts I would have hand-sewn the binding on. I've resigned myself to the fact that it just looks so much better (I hate hand-sewing). But for this I machine-sewed it and it's kind of icky. But by the time I get to the end of a project I'm eager to be finished. If I could get away with it I would leave all the ends hanging off of the afghans I make (isn't weaving in the ends the worst?).

Then I ran out of the insulated batting so I had to stop. Who knows what I would have come up with? I probably would have made a quilted hot water heater cover (which is one of the recommended uses of the stuff--true story) out of 572 circles that don't match.

Chins up, lovelies--it's Wednesday! We're halfway there!!


  1. You are so funny. I love these pot holders!!!! I know what you mean by can't stop!!! I am SO that way too.

  2. I know that when I get in the groove sometimes it's hard to stop too. I think your potholders are pretty cute.

  3. I think they're lovely! The second one is my favourite, it really has a 1950's retro feel about it - so nice. xo



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