52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 22 – Denver Broncos Quilt

Quilt 22 52

I finished up the binding on this Denver Broncos quilt today, it’ll be in the mail tomorrow to my nephew. Last week was his 9th birthday and I had hoped it would be done in time but it’s just a tad late. He’s a Broncos super fan, so I know he will love it, even if it’s belated.

Denver Broncos Quilt | Just-Joshin.com

I sent the quilt out for long-arm quilting, which has a fun football motif. I kept the patchwork simple and used tonal fabrics to accent the logo fabric. The back is a different Broncos fabric as well.

Denver Broncos Quilt | Just-Joshin.com

Denver Broncos Quilt | Just-Joshin.com

I also did a paper-pieced pillow to match. I hope he loves it. Even if it is a little past his birthday.

Denver Broncos Quilt | Just-Joshin.com

52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 11 – Lap Quilt

Quilt 11 52
Quilt 11 of 52 in 2016: Made by Jen at just-joshin.com

I finished this quilt a couple weekends ago, but I can finally share it. I made it as a special request from a dear friend. Her aunt was recently diagnosed with Cancer and she wanted to give her a quilt to comfort her during her treatment. We picked out the fabric, which is Kate Spain Paradiso. (affiliate link.)

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The lap quilt is about 50×70 and I wanted to do something that was relatively quick piecing, since it needed to be done in a weekend. I paired the Paradiso with Zen Chic Modern Background Paper by Moda. (affiliate link.) I love using text fabric as a neutral.

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My inspiration pattern was this baby quilt from craftbuds.com. It uses a half snowball block. I adapted the idea and increased the size of the blocks. I only had six fabrics plus the neutral so I tried to keep one of each pattern in each row. I love the way the little neutral blocks formed and the text and scribbles give it fun character. I did the piecing in a couple hours on a day off work.

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For quilting, I went with basic vertical lines, but made them wavy every few inches.

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The quilt made its way to its new owner this past week. I hope it brings her comfort during her treatments.

52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 8 – Star Wars the Force Awakens

Quilt 8 52

(This is part 2 of 2 posts about the quilts I made for my sons.)

In my previous post, I showed off my son’s all-blue triangle quilt. Now here is my other son’s Star Wars quilt. I ordered a Fat Quarter bundle of Star Wars Force Awakens fabric way back at the end of the summer, without knowing much at all about the movie, but assuming he would love it. (He does. We took the kids twice in the theater in the first two weeks.) I got the bundle from Massdrop,(affiliate link) which is a newish social-driven shopping site. They have quilting supplies as well as some other things now. and the offerings vary daily. The more people buy in, the cheaper the price. Win-win.

I used the Hopscotch Pattern from Olive Tree, which I have made a few times before and found it works great with Fat Quarters. It’s sort of a disappearing 4-patch, which showcases larger prints.

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Like the other print, I sent this to Missouri Star Quilt Co for their quilting service. I decided on their service because they offered this pattern. It has TIE fighters and X-Wings in the swirls, which is perfect for this quilt.

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The back is Millennium Falcon print and a little topping of Force Awakens text fabric. I love the Millennium Falcon, so this backing fabric was an easy choice for me.

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I don’t know about you, but I think he likes it.

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When he was making his bed recently, he commented, “Geez this quilt is heavy, you must have put a LOT of LOVE into it!”

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Two happy little boys and their new, snuggly, made with LOTS of LOVE quilts.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 7 – All Blue

Quilt 7 52

This is part one of two posts on the biggest quilts I’ve made so far and the special little boys who own them.

The first two quilts I made, I did simultaneously in a quilting class I took when my boys had just turned 2 and moved into toddler beds. (Because when you’re a twin mom you do everything twice!) I used fabric I picked out when I was pregnant that never got made into quilts before they were born. Then a couple years later I thought I would make them twin-sized quilts before they moved into larger beds. I bought pirate fabric, then they sort of outgrew that before those quilts were made. For their 5th birthday they got twin-sized beds, but no quilts. By then I thought I’d do superheroes, but that didn’t happen either. They turned 6 in November, and still slept with their now-too-small toddler bed quilts. They love those toddler bed quilts. They called them “Snuggle Power” and believe they are imparted with love and snuggles from Mommy. My goal was to get them quilts done by their birthday, then by Christmas. You can see where this is going…

I asked each kid what he wanted and my son Joshua said, “Just Blue.” This kid LOVES blue, almost to obsession. Every coloring sheet from school comes back solid blue. Turkey? Blue. Gingerbread Man? Blue. Everything, always blue. So I went online and found at least a dozen different blue tonal fabrics, some with fun little things on them, some more subtle. There are jellyfish and whales, octopi, Japanese characters, feathers, polkadots, solids, swirls, and stripes. Each one a different shade of blue.

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Then, for some reason I decided on 5” squares made into half-square triangles. Which took forever. There are 300 squares. My goal to have the quilt tops done and ready to ship out for quilting by Halloween kept slipping further and further behind. I missed that goal, then they still weren’t done by Thanksgiving.

The good news is I did finish them over Thanksgiving and I sent them out to be quilted, but not in time to be done by Christmas. I was bummed, but my kids had plenty of other gifts for Christmas and here in Chicago it is cold for several months after the new year, so I knew they’d get plenty of use this year.

I sent them to Missouri Star Quilt Co, and they did an amazing job. I would definitely recommend their service. I haven’t outsourced quilting before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I know there is no way I could have done this beautiful work on my tiny home sewing machine. For this quilt I went with a stars and swirls design, which you can kind of see in this photo.

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The quilts arrived a couple weeks ago, I just haven’t had a chance to get decent photos of them. The lover of all things blue is thrilled with his All Blue quilt.

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And his brother is happy too. You can read more about his quilt in my next post.

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Disney Dudes Valentine Swap

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I am really bad at posting about the stuff I have sent for craft swaps, so I am going to try to be more on top of it. This is a package I sent at the beginning of February for the Disney Dudes craft swap, dedicated to all the men of Disney. My partner professed her love of Aladdin so I ran with it. I found this paper-piece pattern from Misha29 and apparently I got lucky to find the Aladdin-esque fabric on Etsy. (I later learned that it’s out of print and super hard to find.) It’s Lizzy House 1001 Peeps, which is delightful. I pulled the background color from the accent in the fabric.

Essentially I made this like a mini quilt but sewed it together with an envelope back and added a pillow form.

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Not bad for a street rat, right? His eyes were SO MANY tiny pieces. But totally worth it.

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One thing I really enjoy about swaps is finding little extras to include in the package. I recently got a Silhouette Cameo and decided to use that for small extras when I can. My partner included her favorite Aladdin quotes in her questionnaire so I put one on a mug with a little silhouette of the lamp. It turned out so cute.

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My most absurdly large extra ever was this Animator’s Collection doll, which is adorable but not exactly tiny. He was on sale when I was doing Christmas shopping at the Disney Store so I just could not resist him to go in the package too. My partner says she loved everything.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 2 – Batman Lap Quilt

Quilt 2 52

Would you believe I actually made two quilts in a week? I finished the first quilt as a last-minute baby gift and I decided that the newly minted big brother needed one too. It was sort of a cheater quilt, as I already had the fabric pulled for another project I didn’t end up doing. I only had a half yard of the Batman fabric, so I added in a yard of the dark blue polka dots. I think a lot of people don’t think polkadots are for boys, but I sort of love this combo for this quilt. It makes me think of the retro comic book effect. I used the superhero comic fabric for the back with all the “Pow” and “Zoom” bubbles.

The real secret to this quilt being done in a single day was it was quilt-as-you-go. To be honest, I have read tutorials about making table runners and the like with the quilt as you go technique, but I don’t know if I have ever seen it done with a lap-sized quilt. The backing is width-of-fabric by about a yard and a half. Then I cut strips, also width of fabric, from each of the other fabrics. My not-very-scientific plan was just take the measurement I had of the Batman fabric and divide it in thirds. Then I did 3” by WOF for the orange and actually did 9” by WOF for the dots, which I ended up cutting one strip in half to even out the pattern. Non-scientific indeed.

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If you haven’t done quilt-as-you-go, there are certainly no shortage of tutorials and videos online, but the gist is that you have the backing and batting already sandwiched, and as you’re piecing the front, you’re quilting it to the back. In this case, I arranged the stripes the way I wanted them then figured out the middle and started there. The middle-most fabric went wrong-side-down with the orange stripe that would be next to it right-sides-together. Then I stitched the width of the fabric with the 1/4” seam allowance, folded the orange strip up and pressed. I repeated with each strip until I reached the end then rotated it and started back at the middle and worked out toward the other end. Really, it’s only 9 sewn stripes the width of the fabric.

One thing I did to try to keep things lined up was lay out the backing and the batting, and then I basted around the edges so nothing got folded over or too wrinkly. I think that made a huge difference. Like I said, I have only really seen this done on a much smaller scale.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Quilts

52 Quilts: Number 1 – Baby Quilt

Quilt 1 52

I finished my first quilt for my 52 Quilts in 2016 Project, and it is already in the mail for its intended recipient. I wanted to do a quick quilt from fabric I had on hand as a baby gift. It’s a pretty basic 4-square design, I didn’t really follow a pattern, just did some quick math on squares and seam allowances. I added the construction vehicle with my embroidery machine after I had it all pieced, somehow that bright orange square really needed something. I used scraps from the rest of the quilt for the appliqué. The back is just the same orange, no piecing.

I just started doing free motion quilting and I admit I am not very skilled at it. I am trying to get it to be a little smoother and less jerky looking but I do love the texture it has when it’s washed.

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52 Quilts 2016 · Projects · Quilts

52 Quilts

52 Quilts in 2016
52 Quilts in 2016

It’s already January 2nd, so I am not off to a great start for any year-long project launch, but I am going to do it anyway! I started a baby quilt a couple of days ago for a friend’s new baby boy and as I was digging though my cache of fabric I though, gee, I could really make a lot of fun quilts from some of these. What if I made a quilt a week this year? Once I had the idea it just kept festering until I knew I had to at least try.

I sat down to brainstorm what I thought I could make just from what I have on hand or what I had already planned. I quickly came up with more than 20 projects just from my fabric stash.  My fabric stash is a little different from a lot of quilters. Until last year, I had been making primarily kids’ clothes and doing custom embroidery. I have a ton of character fabrics, kids’ fabrics, novelty and bright colors. (Which is actually what I love in fabrics, bright colors and fun designs.) I don’t have a ton of high-end designer fabrics, though I think I have enough fun stuff on hand to make at least a dozen baby and kid-size quilts.  I do have some quilt-shop caliber fabrics I can make a couple lap quilts and I am also signed up for about ten craft and mini-quilt swaps so far this year. I know I  can easily come up with 52 quilt projects. I already have some works in progress for Mini quilt swaps, and have been planning a twin-sized bed quilt for my nephew.

For the purposes of this initiative I am defining a quilt as anything larger than 12″x12″ so I plan to count any of the mini quilts I make for swaps. I plan to make some quilts for friends, new baby gifts and hope to donate at least 20. If I finish it this year, I am counting it, even if I started it last year or many years ago. I hope that I can complete at least half of the quilts with fabric I already have on hand.

There will be some weeks when I don’t finish one, I am sure. I’ll keep a running tally on this blog. (Which I will try to be better about updating, too.) I don’t have a lot of time to sew, Sunday is the only day when my husband and I are both off so I can lock myself away without fear the kids will tear down the house, but that’s also the day we do family activities. I have summer mostly off work, so hopefully I will have more time to create, but less money to spend on supplies I might need.

I know I will need batting and backing for most of the quilts, I have a lot of cuts that are 1/4″ to 1 yard, but not much that I have enough to back a quilt. Hopefully I can find a bulk deal on batting and stock up. I figure I can work out the details along the way.

Let the quilting begin!