my second quilt ever

I periodically read quilting novels by Jennifer Chiaverini (the Elm Creek Quilts series), which are a relatively quick read, and I find that reading about other people quilting keeps me in quilting mode.  Sometimes I learn things to (mostly, I learn that I do not possess the skills of most quilters and/or that I am doing things wrong).  In one of the books I read over the summer, she wrote that women used to make twelve quilts by the time they were married, and the thirteenth quilt would be a culmination of all of those skills.  I think I will have made thirteen-ish quilts by the end of this year, although I’m not in possession of most of them.  I thought I might do a quilt retrospective, of sorts, showing some of the quilts I’ve made as gifts for people.  I’ve already posted about my first-ever quilt, for my friend F.  My second quilt was for my friends J and N, who got married about six months after I finished the first quilt.  I made a log cabin quilt, because the pattern seemed relatively simple.  I used blues and reds/pinks.  Like all of my quilts, it looks very busy.  I wish I could provide more details about things like sizing – I think I used two-inch strips, but it’s been over four years and I don’t remember anymore.

I didn’t know, for example, that the centers of log cabin squares should always be red to represent the warm fire burning in the home.

Here’s the best shot I have of the full quilt.

I counted to double check, and the quilt is four rows by six rows of log cabin patches with one vertical strip and two horizontal strips in between.   There’s an outer border of dark blue.  I can’t remember what color the back is anymore.  I think it’s a solid pale yellow.

I’m not even sure how I quilted it any more.  The pictures I have don’t show enough detail.  I *think* I (hand?) quilted the center squares.  If I remember correctly, I was rather rushing to finish it before the wedding.   I thought it came out nicely, especially for my sophomore effort (as if I ever make anything that doesn’t have mistakes in it).  The colors and the pattern seemed to fit them.


thoughts on quilting

Z asked me awhile ago if sewing/quilting relaxes me, and I told him no, because I’m always bumping up against a deadline and rushing to finish things.  However, I’ve been on quite a sewing kick this last month or so and I realized that I do find it relaxing.  There’s something soothing about piecing block by block or the rhythm of hand quilting.  Lately during work hours I’ve found myself longing to go home and sit on my couch and work on Anlichan’s birthday present (which is only slightly belated so far).  I like making things for people, too – obviously, or else I wouldn’t keep doing it.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I’ve had for awhile and I wanted to put them into a post.  I’ve got a post that will go up next week, so this is just a little side note.

spry: summer snips

I’ve piled on shorts and a shirt to my chopping block of modding things.

So I took these Liz Clairborne khaki trousers off my mother’s hands because they fit at the waist. They were vaguely skinny, and high-waisted. Totally in right? Right, but they are not quite skinny enough.

Instead of doing the weird, semi-successful pants narrowing thing I’d been doing a lot of lately, I took inspiration from pinterest for DIY cut-off shorts! The key is apparently to cut at an angle.

cutting on the conservative side

I rolled them up once, used hemming tape, then rolled them in again. We’ll see how they hold up in the wash. I may or may not want to add an accent button on the side of each cuff to 1) hide the slightly wonky crimp at the side-seam, and 2) keep the fold tucked.

High-waist pants tend to bunch funny at the crotch, but maybe it’s not too bad?

It’s best to stay on a roll with these projects, so I kept on. I’d gotten this big button-down at a clothing swap because I liked the pattern and knew what I wanted to do with it.

I cut off the sleeves to start, of course, then (using another shirt as a template of course) tightened up the sides. Then, using another sleeveless collared dress as a template, I cut off the shoulders. Then did it another one up and cut off the back bits where my shoulder-blades are.

I always forget to take a “before” picture, but you know what a short sleeved shirt looks like.

Then I actually finished the edges. OMG I never do that! So, it’s quite nice. It would be better if I had elastic for the back to make sure it stayed up, but the bodice is actually rather snug, so I think it’s probably ok. I should/shall add tucks to the front so the arm gap is a little snugger (ie you can’t see too much of my chest from the side).


I am ready for a nice cook out party, right before summer ends (although technically it ended on Labor Day).