I’m so excited to show you Charlie’s finished quilt! I actually finished it the night before we left Florida two weeks ago on our family trip, and I had no time to take pictures before washing it, drying it and loading it in the car! These pictures were taken here outside the great little cottage where we’re staying right now. You’ll just have to ignore the fact that Charlie has loved this quilt well already, and it could stand another wash and a good ironing! (This is really how it will look from now on anyway!)The front is constructed with the 12” crazy (or wonky) log cabin blocks that I finished last year, along with the 12” blocks that I made with the crazy I-spy mini-blocks that I’ve completed over the last few weeks during the Sew Can She Crazy Quilt Sewalong. (
Don’t forget that you have until 10 p. m. to submit your Crazy Quilt project entries for a chance to win some great prizes!)I mentioned before that this quilt is made similarly to the house-quilts that my other children have. It’s constructed with a pieced top and a minky backing without batting and quilted in the ditch. I’ve machine bound some, but since I was short on time with this one, I just turned and topstitched it. The piece of minky that I had planned to use wasn’t quite big enough, so I added a smaller piece, and I love the look that it gave the finished back! It works perfectly with the craziness of the front.The pieced name turned out just the way I imagined it. Charlie thinks it’s, “So cool!” and so do I!I’m also in the habit of using my embroidery machine to add a quick signature and date to these quilts. (An amusing little side note: this is the first time I’ve used my embroidery machine since we moved from Texas, and I seriously think that every single piece that I needed, from the hoop to the card to the software, was in a different unknown place. I was digging through drawers and boxes and . . . I almost gave up, but I’m so glad I didn’t!)
Rather than adding traditional stitching embellishments to Charlie’s Crazy I-Spy Quilt, I chose to piece his name into it! Piecing together letters like this looks complicated, but it’s actually really simple. You just need to decide on a width and height for your letters, then use basic elementary school math to determine width and length of each strip. If you want letters like mine with straight edges and right angles, just draw each letter out on graph paper before getting started. This will allow you to determine your measurements really easily, but don’t forget to add a 1/4″ seam allowance on each edge!We’re on the road right now, but I finished up Charlie’s quilt before we left, and I’m planning to get pictures soon so I can share it with you before the end of the week. I did snap pictures of the remaining Crazy I-Spy Blocks before I sewed everything together:How’s your Crazy Quilt sewing going? Projects are due by 10 p. m. eastern this Saturday, May 18th. You can find all the details for entering over on the Sew Can She Blog. Even if you’re not entering, though, you might want to check out the Flickr pool for some great inspiration!
Have you used every single decorative stitch on your machine? I can honestly say that after this last step, in the SewCanShe Crazy Quilt Block Sewalong, I have!
I am thrilled that I decided to work with the variegated embroidery thread. It adds a wonderful, shiny touch to the project!
Before getting started I dug into my stash and pulled out my beloved Killington Flannel. Cuddled it for a minute, cut two layers, and then cut a woven print for the backing. Several pins later my quilt sandwich was ready for stitching! As you can tell I wasn’t doing any major measuring. I just laid the quilted top on the flannel, then the woven, and simply cut around them, leaving a bit of room in case anything shifted while I was sewing.
I thought about using little beads in the center of the flowers. But with a little girl that likes to fiddle and pick at things instead of finishing a meal, I knew it would become a problem and distraction for her. Instead, I tried out every single decorative stitch on the fancier of my two machines (spoiled much?), and used almost every single one on this snack mat!
There were a couple I avoided because they were a bit too messy on the reverse, or were prone to tangles. I definitely recommend testing every stitch you plan on using on your project first. Some may need you to adjust the length or width in order for the design to stitch out perfectly on your current project. Also, if you’re stitching with a different thread than usual (in this case embroidery thread), you need to know how your machine is going to fare with it. In my machine I was struggling with the thread catching and fraying, until I realized what the issue was and could fix it.
Do you remember how I nicked the fabric near the bottom with my rotary cutter, leaving a small hole? Problem solved!
A little Heat’n Bond, some fabric scraps with cute flowers, a tiny applique stitch, and a little lacey trim are all you need to add a special touch for a flower loving girlie-girl!
Unfortunately, because I had to stitch so much slower than usual to stop the thread from fraying, I wasn’t able to complete both blocks for this post. I’ll be completing the other one and posting it on my personal blog this weekend: Rooibos Mom. Once it’s up, I’ll come back and share a direct link to it right here!
Anyone who has been around me long enough, has heard me utter these words: “If it doesn’t come with an actual pattern piece, then I won’t sew it.”
Enter the Crazy Quilt Block Sewalong!
And you’re absolutely right, this is exactly the type of sewing I said I would never do!
But can I admit something? It’s actually incredibly fun! Even if you make a silly mistake like I did while trimming.
Do you see that nick in the fabric to the left of my oh-so-sharp rotary cutter? Oops. Thankfully with crazy quilting I can easily choose any number of ways to cover it up before my project is finished!
I was crossing my fingers a little by this stage. Just hoping and praying it really would look pretty after it was all trimmed off, and that I wouldn’t lose too much of my favorite fabrics on the edges, in the process.
As you can tell, it was a rather big block that I’d pieced together. And seeing as I am not making a quilt (I already have 2 in the works!), I decided to trim it to the very biggest size I could. As the sides are trimmed and moved out of the way, it’s amazing to see this cute block suddenly emerge from the chaos!
Ta-da! I love it!
In fact, I loved it so much that I stayed up late making another one! This one is actually much bigger than the first. It’s probably going to be a lovely big placemat. The first is probably going to be turned into a super cute snack mat for our little girl, who makes messes of about the same proportion as a wild animal at the zoo during snack and meal times!
Well, I’m off to put my photos up onto the SewCanShe Crazy Quilt Block Sewalong Facebook. Have you put yours up yet? I can’t wait to see what new ones have been added today!
Things are moving along quite nicely with the crazy I-spy mini-blocks for Charlie’s quilt. (I love that he gets so excited when he finds me in my studio working on it! I really have to get it finished for him before we leave on our trip!)I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to sew 10 or 12 of these mini-blocks. Either way, these are the first five finished blocks. (This week’s Crazy Quilt Sewalong Challenge is to show off at least one finished block.)For each block, I started with a fussy-cut focus piece and worked around it with the other scraps that I have on hand. I’m such a planner. These blocks definitely push me out of my comfort zone because they’re such an exercise in going with the flow. I am having fun choosing fabrics that are very “Charlie”. He was born in Texas thus the block below, and the Michael Miller Dino Dudes above makes me laugh a bit. I worked so much with Dino Dudes between the interlock, the woven and the various colors of jerseys . . . oh, and the PUL! This child wore Dino Dudes at least one day a week for the first couple years of his life!My blocks are incredibly simple compared to some of the amazing blocks showing up on the Crazy Quilt Sewalong Facebook Event Page! If you’re looking for inspiration, you have to go check it out!