Hexagon doll quilt: a finish

I’ve finally finished my hexagon doll quilt!  I’ve only been working on this since, what, February?

For the quilting, I attempted wood grain quilting within the trunk and branches of the tree.  Then I went all the way around the edge of the tree, in a pale blue.

I did wavy lines across the “sky, which I extended into the border, and curved lines – switching to a variegated yellow/green thread – in the “ground.”

Do you recognize the binding?  It’s from this quilt.

I had decided ages ago to sew buttons onto the quilt to be “fruit.”

The finished front:

The pieced back, using pieces from my stash.  I love how the oranges play together.



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!


June Charity Sewing

Habibis, I have to confess that June was the first month in which I didn’t keep my resolution of dedicating one sewing day a month to charity sewing.  I was trying to meet an end-of-June deadline for something (which I missed anyway), and I had so few sewing days that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice one for charity sewing.  That being said, I did do a little bit of charity sewing.

Yes, that’s right, the Handstitched projects are back!  This one was designed to be a tote bag, but I don’t need an embroidered tote bag, so I decided to make a doll bed instead.  Months and months ago I made my little EPP hexagons, all in green/leafy prints, and cut out my light blue square to serve as the background.  Finally in June I pulled it out, embroidered the trunk with a stem stitch, and started to attach my hexagons.  I’m almost done.  I may do a little more embroidery and then I’ll add some kind of border and sandwich it to get it quilted.  I’d love to have a couple of finished doll quilts when my guild meets in September, but we’ll see how summer sewing goes.

I’ve seen other people sew their hexagons on by sewing across from corner to corner, and I love that look.  In this case, I wanted to make sure the ends of my embroidery were covered up, so I sewed around the edges.  In the Handstitched course, Rachel had suggested pre-attaching hexagons that would be adjacent, prior to sewing them down, but I didn’t bother with that and just sewed one on top of the other.

Handstitched Quilt Update

Hi habibis!  Here’s my update, a little delayed.

I’ve made more progress!  But it’s slow progress…

I’ve finished all the Storm at Sea subunits. Now I need to go back to the class instructions to refresh my memory on how to join them into the full-sized blocks and then I can actually put this border together!  The next border is more fusible applique, which I already know how to do, so from here on out the assembly should go quickly as long as I can spare the time for it.  April is already flying!

Recent presents

Hi habibis!  I wanted to share a few presents I made recently:

I made this quilted bookmark for a cousin for her birthday, using leftover Air Force fabric.  I quilted it with white thread.

These sashiko coasters are from the Handstitched class.  (Yes!  I finally finished a project from the class.)  I didn’t follow the instructions 100% when it came to the design because I couldn’t figure out how to replicate it properly, but I’m very happy with the design.  I made them as a birthday/apartment warming gift for my friend R.  I love the geometric print, and I think I matched it up nicely with the solid.  I used variegated thread.  I swear I took pictures but I can’t find them, so here’s a picture R took.  Isn’t she a great hand model?

This shoe bag is for my friend A.  I let her pick from a few different fabrics, all of them blue/purple-y. (She loves cool tones.)  I wish I’d made it bigger – it should fit most shoes, but I would have liked something larger.  I love the butterfly print.

Handstitched Quilt Update

Hi habibis!  Happy Easter and happy Passover, if you celebrate them!

I’m a good six weeks (two months?) behind on this quilt – too many other projects keep getting in the way.   I can’t prioritize sewing for myself over sewing for others.  We were supposed to be finished in the next week or so, but I’m still stuck in the English paper piecing stage.  Here’s my progress so far:

So that’s about it. Who knows when I’ll finish the quilt…