Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas! (2004)

When I was at my sister's house for Thanksgiving, I finally managed to get a photograph of a blanket I made for her -- four Christmases ago, already.

Here it is:

Oops, wait. Wrong side. That's me (left) and Niece #3 (right) holding that sucker up, so that Mrs.5000 could take THIS picture:

So. Obviously, it's kind of an old-fashioned and very simple pattern, both chosen to match my sister's aesthetic. This was before I started making scrap & recycle quilts, but a lot of the fabrics here, especially in the nine-patches, is from very old scraps that I had come across. The quilting, which you can't really see here, isn't bad -- this is probably the first quilt where I really tried to make the quilting a decorative element.

I used some of the extra pieces from this project to make a smaller lap blanket as a present for my inlaws:

So, that's that.

Merry Christmas 2004!

And 2008!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Finished: "Batik Boxes"

There has been relatively little actual quilting going on lately, but the annual Thanksgiving family-chatter-and-handwork downtime let me finish off one that was threatening to become a perenial UFO. It's called Batik Boxes, and it's one that I also bought the material for and designed (in that order) on a Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving 2004, it says here in my notes. It was maybe 20% quilted at the beginning of this quilting season, so in the scheme of things it came together fairly quickly.

I've long thought of this one as a bit of an ugly duckling, so I was surprised to get quite a few family complements on it. But then, they're family! What are they going to say?

I had intended to do a dense stippled quilting of the orangish fabric, but recently abandoned that idea as more work than the quilt was worth. However, I will say that the workmanship is not at all bad, by my standards. It's likely the last piece I'll quilt "in the ditch" for a while -- I've found I much prefer quilting "near the ditch" -- but I was pleased by how consistently I was able to keep most of the stitches actually in the ditch, without slowing to a crawl.
[The back, with a book on it so that the camera could figure out how to focus.]

The pieceing, which happened a few years ago, was certainly easy. It was just a matter of cutting the two fabrics into two-inch wide strips, sewing the strips together in pairs, cutting lengths in increments of 3 inches + seam allowances, and sewing them back together like so to make the blocks:

The only tricky part was making sure to make the same number of blue-centered and orange-centered blocks.

(illustration made with my favorite quilt design software, Microsoft Excel)