One thing I've been trying to work on is doing some more of my own quilting, especially on the smaller things. I don't have a long arm, and no prospects for getting one, and free motion quilting on my machine mostly eludes me, so I've been practicing walking foot quilting. Just so we have a nice picture near the beginning, here's something I'm going to quilt up myself. More after the photo!
I think this is really cute, and it was easy to make, too. The problem with practicing quilting is that they advise you to make some scrap pieces to practice on. I hate doing this, mainly because it seems so wasteful. I have enough potholders and such, so what would I do with practice pieces? My solution is to make some "practice square" quilts, that will turn into donation quilts once I finish with them. This way I get the practice and it remains something useful. I actually made two really big practice squares, including the one above. Here is the other:
These are simple square in a square in a square (in a square) pieces that finish at 36 inches square, perfect for donation to Sarah's Hands to Help Challenge this year. Yes, they got wet when I took pictures because, yes, it was raining again, but don't worry--these will be washed well before they're donated. These will certainly give me enough room to practice, don't you think? (For anyone who is interested, I've posted the cutting sizes for these quilts at the end of this post.)
I've already been practicing some, including on the doll quilts, and during my sew day with Nancy I managed to quilt and bind this little quilt, which is also 36 inches square:
I did not make any of these blocks. They are from a swap that I did with a quilt group a few years ago. I made this little top with leftovers from a larger top, which is still unquilted. The quilting here is better seen from the back:
It's mainly straight lines, but hey--no puckers or wrinkles! It's simple but I like it. Everything fit perfectly and the quilting went fast. I have another one basted and ready to go, too:
This was also a small top that I actually cut down a bit to make it 36 inches square. You may recognize the pattern as Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion. This is all I managed to make of that pattern, and I plan to be a little more adventurous with the quilting on this one. Maybe I'll make some spirals! Or diamonds!
By the way--the two little quilts that I've already basted are spray basted, and I hate it except that they did not move at all when I was stitching things. Usually, I thread baste quilts, which I think is just as fast and easy and far better than pinning. Is spray basting supposed to smell that awful? I had to air out the quilts before I could work on them. Plus, they were quite sticky. I may have to wash them twice to be sure I get all the basting spray out before they're donated. Any suggestions, maybe for a better brand? I used June Tailor's Quilt Basting Spray. Definitely not my favorite!
So there are my practice squares! I did get both the book and the Craftsy class by Jacquie Gering, and have found the book a bit more helpful. The class is good but repetitive, and really geared toward beginners. I haven't tried her more advanced class, though.
Hope you're all having a wonderful week! As a last comment, look what popped into bloom on Easter Sunday:
Spring is finally coming!
Sharing at Let's Bee Social.
Square baby quilt measurements:
To make the 36-inch square in a square tops, begin with a 9-1/2 square in the center, then cut the following pieces and join them around the square in order. Squares can be oversized a bit and then trimmed to size after each round if you prefer. Be sure not to cut off your points!
Center-- 1 9-1/2 inch square
Round 1-- 1 10-1/4 inch square cut diagonally twice to make 4 triangles
Round 2-- 2 9-7/8 inch squares, each cut once diagonally to make 2 triangles, for a total of 4
Round 3-- 1 19-1/4 inch square cut diagonally twice
Round 4-- 2 18-7/8 inch squares, each cut once diagonally