Quilted liner for a basket

My guild had a basket raffle as a fundraiser, where members brought baskets (or bags, or whatever) filled with fabrics, chocolates, gift cards, etc., and then we raffled them off.  I got a basket at Michael’s and decided it needed a liner for the bottom.  I chose a bright red and white polka dot print – a Christmas-y feel without screaming “Christmas” – and layered it over some batting.  I measured the basket and made it slightly larger than that.  Then I quilted a white spiral from the center outwards.

I trimmed the batting to fit in the basket, and then I folded over the edges of the polka dot fabric (which I hadn’t trimmed) and stitched along the edge.  It’s not perfect, but it works.

Here you can see how I did the edges:

It looks like it’s still slightly large for the basket bottom, but it served its purpose.  My basket included a couple of breakables (it was wine-themed) and I’d really wanted something to cushion the bottom of the basket, plus it’s so cute and bright.


Sewing Machine Cover

Happy Veterans’ Day!  Thank you to all who have served.

My blog post today isn’t very thematic.  I’m sharing a quick project I threw together for myself:

In our new apartment, we tend to get some kind of sawdust or something along one wall, I guess from the people upstairs walking around. Unfortunately, my desk with my sewing machine is against that wall and sometimes I notice sawdust on the desk. In October I took my machine to the shop because it wasn’t running properly (turned out a thread had somehow wormed its way into the inner workings of the machine and gotten tangled up) and I resolved to make a cover for the machine when it came back, to protect it.

I decided to use this tutorial from Forth Worth Fabric Studio, with a slight deviation that you’ll see below.

I picked out a gorgeous fabric from my stash – I think the flowers are mums?  I layered it with the grey leftover from my grey and teal quilt (which I still haven’t blogged about – next week!) and quilted wavy lines in white thread. I quilted around the flowers, more or less, but I didn’t worry too much about that. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

For the binding I chose the gold fish fabric that’s leftover from my brother’s wedding quilt. I was just using it for my Quilt of Valor blocks and I still had it out.

I had a lovely royal blue sitting around – I’d cut it up to bind the blue doll quilt but I decided to use it for this instead. The tutorial calls for ties on the sides of the machine cover but I decided I’d rather secure one long tie in the back and wrap it around to tie in the front. So I took three strips and sewed them together, then folded it in half lengthwise and sewed the tube closed. I did pointed corners and left one spot open to turn it. Turning it took awhile but I managed!

This past weekend I didn’t get much time at my machine – we had to go visit my parents to take care of stuff on Saturday, plus my sister was staying with us – but a trip to see my parents means a few hours on the train so I had time for hand sewing. I used it to stitch down the binding and now my machine cover is finished!


Pink Blossom: Part IV

Here’s part IV of “Pink Blossom”: the pieced back and the binding.

I pieced the back out of baby-themed flannel I had.  I used squares I’d bought years ago at a fabric store with a nickel scrap bin (boy did I love that!), which I cut to uniform size and sewed into rows, and then I used larger pieces to make the rest.

I went sans batting because they live in a relatively warm climate and I figured she wouldn’t need it. (Plus my mom put batting in hers so they’ll have a heavier quilt if they need one.)

The binding is from two more pinks that I’d ended up not using, a solid from the same keepsake quilting collection and a pink polka dot. It coordinates nicely and again ties in the polka dots.

I hand stitched the binding down with matching pink thread. I haven’t labeled the quilt yet; I like to put the baby’s birth date and my niece is a couple of months away from hers. My plan is to take the label down with me when we visit and sew it on then.

Want to see some pictures of the quilting from the back?  Of course you do!

Lastly, here’s a shot of the finished quilt.  (That’s my dad modeling it for me.)

Pink Blossom: Part III

Happy Tuesday, habibis!  It’s time for part III of Pink Blossom – I want to show you the rest of the quilting I did, on the three outer borders that I designed myself.

For the next border I quilted straight lines in pink.  For the woven-look border I quilted two straight lines in pink in the pink sections and two wavy lines in teal in each teal section.

I quilted through the corners like this:

For my final border I quilted each fabric differently. For the pieces leftover from my woven-look border, I quilted straight lines going out to the edge of the quilt in matching thread.

For this pink, I quilted wavy lines in coordinating pink thread.

For this pink, I quilted a “rainbow” in straight lines, because I liked how the teal looked against the print and the print had almost all the colors in it. The rainbow is teal, then yellow, then light pink, then two lines of the hot pink.

For the yellow fabric I did two different things. On the top and bottom borders I used a saucer to trace a half circle and then quilted the circle, then quilted two more circles a quarter inch above each one.

For the other two borders I did quilted the semicircle and then quilted straight horizontal lines  a quarter inch apart within the semicircle. (I did that because on the side borders the yellow prices were wider, so I could get a larger arc.)

Bobbin thread thoughts:   I mostly used white bobbin thread, rather than coordinating thread like I usually do. Since I switched top thread a lot, using white bobbin thread made things a little easier. I wasn’t constantly switching out my bobbins or needing to have five or six colors wound at any given time. (I used light pink, a deeper pink, yellow, green, teal, and cream threads on this quilt.)  However, I was having some tension problems and I found that for the deeper pink and the teal, in particular, the bobbin thread showed, which really bothered me. I ended up using matching bobbins for those colors as the quilting went on.

Tomorrow I’ll share the pieced back and the scrappy binding!


Pink Blossom: Part II

The quilting for baby H’s Pink Blossom quilt is going to be two posts. I quilted this a lot. I even ripped out some handstitches I’d done and quilted in its place. The reason I quilted so much – and concentrated it in certain areas – is because I was concerned that my hand stitching wouldn’t hold. If I had just kept the quilt for myself I wouldn’t mind; if something broke I could fix it. However, since I was giving it away – and as a baby quilt, no less – I wanted to make sure everything would stay put. Baby quilts get a lot of wear and tear and washing and I didn’t want to worry about the quilt falling apart.

I started from the center and worked outward. The dogwood blossom had been appliquéd on using fusing and a blanket stitch. I quilted freehand in the center of the blossom using coordinating pink thread.  I went around the inside edges of the “petals.” Then I sewed curves from the inside corner of each petal, first concave and then convex. (Or vice versa?)  It’s not perfect because I did it freehand, but I don’t think anyone will mind. Then I quilted around the outside edge of the shape, still in pink.

A section of my blanket stitch had broken, so I fixed that by hand.

Later, I realized more of my blanket stitching wouldn’t hold. I took out almost a whole petal’s worth. The rest seemed fine, so I debated simply restitching it by hand, but out of concern that the rest of the blanket stitch might break at some future point I ripped it all out and did a zigzag stitch in blue, which is what I’d used originally for the blanket stitch.

The fabric I’d used for the base of the dogwood blossom appliqué is very light and I think it stretched when I was doing the appliqué. I hadn’t squared it up, I don’t think, before I added the next border – and as you’ll recall, I’d struggled with the mitred corners, which may have been the bigger issue. Regardless, the center wasn’t flat. When I started to later the quilt I did my best to get it as flat as possible and I pinned the excess under the mitred border. To hold it in place, I zigzagged along that whole edge in pink thread. It helped a lot, but it’s still not perfect.  It should be visible above.

For the mitred border I did freehand curved lines in cream thread. I have to say, I love this fabric, which I don’t use very much.

The next border was the one with the jewels embroidered in satin stitch. This is the only hand stitching that I didn’t end up quilting over, because I didn’t know how to do it in a way that will still look good. So I expect the embroidery thread on the jewels to come out at some point. I’m going to visit my brother and his family around Christmas and when I do I’ll see how the quilt is faring and tell them I’ll fix whatever breaks in the future.

In the blocks around the jewels I stitched straight lines in all the teal HSTs with matching thread. Then I stitched straight lines in the yellow HSTs next to the jewels, in yellow thread, just to hold everything in place.  In the above pictures, I hadn’t done the quilting in the yellow triangles.

In the next border I did cream wavy lines again. This fabric is from the same collection as the other border.

Next is the last border I put on using the Handstitched class instructions, with the English paper pieced storm at sea blocks.  I started with the borders themselves. In one I used a saucer to trace curves along the top and bottom and then two sets of curves that meet up in the center. That was too much marking, so in the other polka dot sections I quilted wavy lines, all in yellow thread.

In the corner pieces, the storm at sea blocks, I used yellow thread to sew approximately quarter inch lines around the seams. At the edges I marked some of them to go into the next border. It looks like this:

Later I got nervous that this wasn’t enough quilting, that my hand piecing stitches might break and the rough edges come loose.  (You can see them in the above picture – visible stitches!) To prevent that, I went back to these blocks and stitched, not in the ditch, but in the seam allowances, using matching thread for each color so it would blend in.  I don’t seem to have taken pictures of that.


Pink Blossom: Part I

Hi habibis! Happy Labor Day to those of you in the US!

Remember this quilt? When you saw it last I needed to add the English paper piecing storm at sea blocks. In July I finally pulled out the blocks and the yellow and white polka dot fabric that I’d cut to comprise the rest of the border. I decided I was sick of this quilt and I was going to make a doll quilt out of it. Then I measured it after I put the border on and it was way too big for a doll quilt. What to do?

At the same time, I’d been ruminating over what quilt to make for my baby niece. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first child later this year, a baby girl. Baby H will be the first grandchild on both sides and her arrival is eagerly anticipated. We had the shower planned for Labor Day and my mother said she was going to have her quilt done by the shower, so I figured I’d better have mine done by then, too.

Then I had a brilliant idea. My sister-in-law M loves pink. My Handstitched quilt had a lot of pink, plus teal and yellow – great baby colors! Why not make it the quilt for baby H?

I pulled out all my pink fabrics and auditioned them with what I had already to design my additional borders. I’d already decided to move away from the instructions from the class. The quilt as designed wasn’t what I wanted to make. (I’ve learned from now on not to take a class unless I really want to make the design. Something can be great but not speak to me, you know?)

I used a fabric with large dots in shades of pink red and black for the next border. It ties in the pinks in the quilt and the polka dots (which, of course, I love).

For the next border I envisioned a cool weaving effect with teal and pink. This teal, by the way, is a michaels purchase that I used here. I believe the pink is from a keepsake quilting collection of pink solids.  I had to be creative to get my design out of diminishing teal scraps but I love that I was able to achieve it.

For the final border I used some hot pinks with extra scraps from the other borders.


You can see a shift in colors from the center, which has some greens and creams, to the outer borders, which are heavily concentrated in pink with pops of teal and yellow, but I think it still works and feels cohesive because I have a spectrum of pinks throughout and I used the same teal in everything. I’m very happy with the aesthetic.

Tomorrow I’ll share some of the quilting!


Maria Sangria Monday

A little change of pace this week: Mama S AKA Maria Sangria is guest posting today, rather than my usual post tomorrow.  She’s sharing her first two quilts:

Hello fellow quilters!  I am rozsamaria’s mother.  Rozsamaria got me started in quilting a couple of years ago.  I made two quilts with her help and the help of some lovely ladies from Empire Quilt guild.  The first quilt I made was a small dog themed quilt for my husband.  I did a combination of machine and hand quilting.  I machine quilted straight lines going across the quilt and around the border that goes around the middle of the quilt.  I hand quilted dog bones in the corners.  My husband loves dogs and he loved this quilt.

After that I started a baby quilt even though no one in the family was expecting.  My niece was already married and my son Ryan was getting married soon.  I figured whoever had a baby first would get the quilt.  My niece won.  She had a baby girl in March.  I love this fabric and the quilt turned out so adorable!  Of course, my niece loves the quilt too.  I did all hand quilting on this quilt.  I quilted around each block and around the animal in each block.  On the outside border I hand quilted around many of the animals.  I used red thread and the quilting shows up nicely.

In my next guest blog, I’ll share with you my two projects that I completed this summer.