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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brooke from Pitter Putter Stitch, cute bright happy quilt!

Hi all, I found this blog when I was blog hopping around the little world we all share. This quilt caught my eye immediatly, I love the bright happy colors and prints.  Make sure to go check out Brooke of Pitter Putter Stitch!

Thanks Heather and Megan! I’m excited to have my quilt featured here on Quilt Story.

I fell in love with the Make Life fabric line by Sweetwater the moment I saw it featured in a quilt online. I ordered the fabric and went to work on a baby quilt that I could use to practice free-motion quilting.

Since I used a charm pack (42 pre-cut 5” squares), I wanted to see what sort of variety I could come up with instead of laying the squares out in a simple grid or nine-patch setup. But, I also didn’t want to spend too much time piecing the top in case the free-motion didn’t turn out. (No one wants to ruin a quilt that they’ve spent so much time on, right?) I sewed the squares into a nine-patch and then cut them all in half once on the diagonal. I then paired each new triangle with a different triangle. You can see the entire process by visiting my blog, Pitter Putter Stitch.

The amazing thing to me about this quilt is that I was able to get it all pieced in one night. That never happens! Since I work full-time from home, my day is filled with work and taking care of my two little ones. I only get sewing and quilting in after the kids have gone to bed. Usually, my quilting process averages a couple months per quilt, so you can imagine how accomplished I felt piecing the top in one night and finishing the entire quilt within a week!

For my quilt guild activity that coming Saturday, two of the girls were going to demonstrate some free-motion quilting techniques. After the demonstrations, I thought stippling would be a piece of cake; after all, they made it look so easy. Boy, was I wrong! I brought the quilt home and, a little bit discouraged, put it away for the day.

I pulled it out a day or so later and decided to just tackle it. Stippling will be harder for me to master, but I think I can get loops down after a few more practice sessions. It turned out better than I thought – not perfect by any means, but certainly usable.

A few things that I learned making this baby quilt:

• Trying something on a smaller scale (a baby quilt) makes it so you can get a lot more done in less time. My quilting attempts before this were all on a larger scale.

• I need to be less arbitrary in my selection and placement of colors. Sometimes I think that if you use pre-cuts from the same fabric line it’s easy to think that everything will mesh together just fine without you having to make conscious decisions about where to place certain blocks or pieces. My quilt has a few sections that are too heavy with red, dark brown, and white.

• Pay attention to your binding fabric when you sew your strips together. The binding on half of this quilt only shows the dark brown, yellow, and green paisleys while the other half shows all the other colors too.

• When free-motion quilting, it was definitely easier for me to push the pedal all the way down and try to move the quilt slowly. This felt strange at first because I’m used to pushing the pedal down completely and then moving the fabric quickly under the needle when I’m piecing. It took a while to re-train my brain to take things slowly.

All in all, I think this “first” was a success for me. I enjoyed the process of making a smaller quilt and completing it within a shorter timeframe. If you’d like to see more of my quilts and check out what other sewing projects I try to tackle, come on over to Pitter Putter Stitch and say hi. I’d love to meet the rest of you quilting bloggers out there!


Mary said...

I absolutely love Make Life, and this quilt is amazing! I love the design. Great job!

KennaCaroline said...

This is really darling!

Franie said...

I love the colors. Charm packs are great! You did a good job on it despite how you feel about the first time stippling. We all start some place. You are doing great!

Michelle said...

Such cheerful colors! As a FMQ newbie too, I can relate to the "oddness" of trying to figure out how fast to move the quilt in relation to the needle speed. The quilt came out beautifully!

Megan said...

I LOVE the quilt! The colors are great and I love the twist on the 9 patch. Great advice too! Thanks Brooke!!

Emily said...

I love it! Looking at it I was wondering how you did those triangles using charms without screwing up the spacing. Very cool!

Heather said...

Thanks Brooke! I love this quilt. Thanks for being our first feature!

Sara said...

i'm super impressed and i love the fabric combo!
thanks for sharing :)

becky @ becky ann designs said...

Congrats on your first stippled quilt. I haven't tackled that one for myself yet. I might try it on a doll quilt first.

grammajill said...

what a cute quilt! Love the colors. If you are just starting out, a charm square pack is the prefect way to get the colors right. A real hard one for beginning quilters. Glad you love hour long arm. Wishing you many hours of happy quilting on it. Have you named it yet?

Laura said...

I just finished a make life baby charm pack quilt as well! I totally agree with you about only being able to sew when the child(ren) are asleep! That's literally the only time I get anything done! haha