Posts tagged ‘quilt’

January 30, 2013

Finally, an HST we can all get behind.

by Decemberbaby

The decluttering and purging continues unabated. Today somebody bought our old 27″ TV for $50, enabling me to clear some space in the basement and brag that “my house just lost 100 pounds!”  I’m also keeping up with my “five minutses”, and after three weeks of one small task a day, the difference in our home is striking. I love my new system.

I haven’t been doing much sewing lately (aside from N’s pants,) but I do have a backlog of photos to share with you. So, without further ado, may I present…

My very first HST* quilt!

*HST=Half Square Triangle. NOT Harmonized Sales Tax. FYI.

This quilt began as a promise. For her birthday last July, I told my old nanny (as in, she came to live with us when I was 2 years old, and she’s still with my parents) that I’d make her a quilt as a birthday/Xmas gift. I googled some quilt patterns and showed her the pictures, and she chose a fairly traditional HST pattern.

I thought it would be fun. I thought it would be easy. I started with pre-cut squares, for heaven’s sake. How hard could it be?

Apparently, very. HST triangles need to be sewn, then cut, pressed, and then trimmed to a uniform size, making sure that the diagonal seam is precisely in the middle of the square. It’s exhausting.

But it was worth it. Behold!

Maureen's christmas quilt

Relevant details: the HST’s are made from Cuzco and Ticklish by Moda, along with Kona white. I used more batting than usual, and in addition to the thin cotton batting, there’s a layer of fluffy polyester batting. I really wanted that puffy look and feel. Adding to the puffiness, I tried to keep the quilting pretty minimal.


The backing is a cuddly pink minky. I love how defined the quilting is on this back.

Maureen's christmas quilt back

The binding was problematic. Well actually, it’s my procrastination that was problematic. I was racing against the clock on December 24, and I absentmindedly started sewing the binding on the front, instead of the back. After experimenting with a bunch of things (all of which looked terrible) I decided to embrace the flaw and machine-finish the binding with a zigzag stitch. It actually looks kind of cool. Not cool enough to make that mistake again, though.



maureen's christmas quilt binding


Finish it off with one of my labels…


maureen's christmas quilt label

And Voila! A finished HST quilt, ready in time for Christmas.

maureen's christmas quilt 2

The entire time I was cursing the HST’s and swearing I’d never do this again, but I already have plans for a quilted duvet cover for my bed…

November 18, 2012

Polaroid Pictures… a baby quilt

by Decemberbaby

I’ve finally finished this quilt that I’ve been working on for two months. I’m thrilled with how it turned out, but oy, what a headache it was to make. It just occurred to me that the baby whose quilt this is might not understand why the pictures are surrounded by a white border that’s just a tad thicker on the bottom… do kids even know what a Polaroid picture is these days?

Do you see why it gave me a headache? No? Well, with the exception of two pictures, all of the polaroids are sewn in as part of the quilt – not added on top. Have a closer look:

All the random angles made the whole thing impossible to plan – the placement of the seams was completely improvised. I’m mostly pleased with how it turned out, though.

I chose images that would appeal to both the baby and his parents (his dad is a longtime friend and former roommate of Mr. December.) For the child, vehicles and animals and storybook characters. For the parents, Yoda and Chewbacca, a tie fighter, and a dragon. Oh, and a tent – a nod to the extensive canoe trips we used to take together.

I personally love the dinosaurs, both of which are hamming it up for the camera. My favourite, though, is the hippo.

I’m especially in love with the quilt back. It’s one of those things born of necessity (I didn’t have quite enough blue minky) that turns out really, really cool. I’m thinking I should use this design as a quilt front next time.

See? It’s a giant Polaroid! Do you like it as much as I do?

The back view also gives you a good view of the free-motion quilting I did. I quilted with primary-coloured variegated thread to add some colour and pop to the solid grey. I also chose a bright primary-striped fabric for the binding:

Yup, there’s the binding, the free-motion quilting, Chewbacca, and – yes! – one of my snazzy new labels!

It won’t be hard to say goodbye to this quilt. As much as I love it, it gave me some real grief. It’s a very good thing it’s destined for a good friend of ours; it makes all the effort and frustration feel worthwhile.

ETA: I’m linking this up with Sew Modern Monday.

October 18, 2012

I was feeling quilty…

by Decemberbaby

Not guilty. Quilty. And I’ve had the pieces for this quilt all cut and ironed for months now… so I pieced, quilted, and bound it in three days (roughly 3 hours of work a day.) The top is pieced from flannel and a jersey knit (I had to stabilize the knit with interfacing before piecing with it) and the back is turquoise minky.

The quilting itself was an exercise in frustration. It must be nice to have a sewing machine with a longer arm than the one on mine – I have to work with such a small frame to quilt that I spend most of my time repositioning and securing the frame. It was worth it, though, as I find stippling (the pattern of quilting I used on the main part of the quilt) very satisfying to do. I quilted the side strips with freehand lines, which I rather liked. I’ll have to do some line quilting on something one of these days.


ImageImageImageWell, that’s one unfinished project down, 53,000,000 to go. Up next… an improvisational I-spy quilt with my polaroid blocks.