Sunday, December 5, 2010

Father's Day Quilts**

**Back-posting from my personal blog. Father's Day 2010**

Here are my Father's Day projects - postage stamp wall-hangings.

These two are for my stepdad:

I made two wall hangings/mini-quilts for stepdad (maybe 20"x20" probably smaller). The photo in the upper left hand corner and the one on the bottom. The fabric is called Neptune, after the god, not the planet (though, I guess the planet was named after the god as well...). So, it has a maritime/nautical theme. There are fish scales, waves, seaweed, shells, fishes, ships and anchors. I thought they would work well in the cabanas that he is building on the Eastern Shore.

I did all the work with my new machine, piecing, quilting, binding. I used a new binding foot, but it wasn't that successful (you can see how the bottom one doesn't lay flat, it is partly the quilting stretching the fabric and partly the binding). The one in the upper left was quilted with straight lines going one direction and I hand stitched the binding - looks a lot better, but not quite as interesting as the lower one. The squares in the middle are 2". I used a varigated blue thread to do the quilting that went from dark to light blue. The top right is the back of the quilt on its left, which I pieced with 5" squares.

Here is the quilt I made for my dad:

This fabric is called Midwest Modern, by Amy Butler and I just used the oranges and blue/greens. You can see how small the center pieces are - they should be 1 inch square (smaller than a quarter) but some of them are a little more rectangular. On this one I tried a more ambitious quilting pattern (for me), which you can see around the border. It is called a straight-line meander. I also added a small pinwheel block with the left-overs and pieced it in the back. I quilted around the pinwheel and added a button flower on the front, where the points meet. I can't remember how big this one measures - probably close to 20"x20" as well. I used the unfortunate binding foot on this one, too. (I really should learn that when the quilts are so small, I should be able to do the binding by hand...) The quilting thread is varigated green, yellow, and orange, so perfect for this quilt.

The theory behind these quilts is that they are made from scraps of fabric from quilts that will eventually reside in my house. So, a small piece of my quilts will also live in my dad's and my stepdad's houses, as well. Also, I love both of these sets of fabric so much and I didn't want to waste a speck of it.

To make the centers I used this tutorial from Elizabeth Hartman, who does amazing work and has a great blog called Oh Fransson (which I believe is an Astrid Lindgren reference). You can see how nice and flat her quilt is against the wall and she used a traditional curved meander (which I have been completely unable to replicate... thus, the straight-line meander).

Here are some construction photos from my dad's quilt:

You start out with a square of fusible interfacing on which you draw a grid (these squares started at 1.5"). You lay our your squares. When the fabric is ironed to the interfacing it sticks.

Then, you flip it over and iron the first row along the seam and sew. Repeat.

Cut a small amount off of each seam and press the seams open.

Now you have a rectangle with one set of seams sewn.

Flip it over and sew the perpendicular seams. Trim, iron open. The back now looks like this:

When you turn it over - voila, a mini quilt top without the borders.

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