Monday, January 10, 2011

The Christmas Memory Quilt - The End


Here is what I learned from this memory quilt experience:

1. If you have a plan...forget about it.  Now, this really just applies to me because I am so realitively new at quilting.  The original plan was to do a lap quilt for Darlene, but it ended up being around 60" x 50".  I was going to make smaller pictures, but I felt that it would  not look as nice as having twelve 8 x 10s!!!!  What a "Linda Jean" generated fiasco!  I thought I was doing such a great job until I finished the top and realized how freakin' long the binding would have to be.

2.  So much much time!!!  I knew that I had to iron all the seams so that they would lay properly and give a really nice clean and finished look to my corners and the top.  What I did not count on was the amount of exercise that was going to be involved with the "up and down" motions.  My bum was literally sore after making this quilt (and it is a bit firmer than when I started!).  And even better news...I managed NOT to cook a couple of fingers.  I will say it again...there is a butt ton of ironing involved in quilting.

3. The measuring and cutting was brutal.  I had a plan so when I did some of the initial cuts; they were based on the lap quilt size.  So when the size changed, my initial cuts were all rendered useless...ugh!  I had to recut everything with the new plan in play and I saved the old cuts for another project...don't panic because it was less than a 1/2 yard that was "wasted".  Rulers are your friend...good rulers are your best friend!

4. Hand binding is for the birds! So, there I was doing the initial sew down of the binding with my Mega Quilter and then the tasking of the "hand sewing" hit me right in the eye.  I did a whip stitch AFTER I re-learned how to do one via YouTube.  About 1/2 way around, my thumb was killing me to the point that I had to ice it a couple of times.  I really should find a way to hand sew without causing my hands so much pain.  It could have been that I was holding the quilt too tight for too long a period of time.  Oh, by the way, those binding clips are super schweet!

5. DO NOT USE FABRIC PHOTO ON THE ROLLS!  I learned this the hard way.  I had purchased some precut 8.5" x 11" sheets a while back and I used them for this project.  The precut sheets printed beautifully, but the sheets that I had to roll out and cut had some serious issues.  They would not print right, they curled under, and jammed up my printer.  Mind you that this was AFTER I cut them and weighted them down over two days! 

Normally, these sheets would run you around $2.50 per sheet retail and most folks charge $4.00 per sheet when putting them on memory quilts.  I royally screwed up 6 of the math from both points of view...ouch!

6. YouTube is your friend for everything and I mean everything!

7 and final point...I need to quilt more often!

Here it is ya'll!  My photo skills suck, but you get the gist of how it looked.  I will bring it to our end of January meeting so that you can see it in person...if I can pry it from Darlene's cold dead hands!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Robert Kaufman Sponsored Guild Challenge

Robert Kaufman has generously offered to sponsor a guild challenge using Kona solid charm packs. Many of you participated in the discussion about what color charm pack we will use and how we will use them. After all the ideas were in here is what the majority decided:

We're using the Kona Brights charms!
I love this charm pack and I am so glad that so many of you agree. The following colors are included:
My one request for this challenge was that the finished quilts be donated to a charity organization. Many of you didn't have an opinion on this one but when I suggested Preemie Quilts were on board. The Preemie Quilts will be donated to local Northern VA hospitals' Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).

There are a few requirements to adhere to when making Preemie Quilts:
  • Must be 100% Cotton! That means the fabric, thread, batting, backing, binding everything
  • There will probably be a size requirement. I am waiting to hear back from Jennifer at the NICU at Fairfax Children's hospital and should have more information to you soon. 

The Inova Fairfax Children's hospital is a highly specialized care facility and is home to the largest NICU in Northern Va. They take children and infants born within a 200 mile radius who require their services. I thought this would be a great place to donate since they care for some of the most critically in need babies in our area.

Many of you ladies were interested in making pinwheel quilts, but just as many of you had interest in other patterns so I am leaving that open for you to decide. If you would like to make pinwheels, the Missouri Star Quilt Company did a great video tutorial on youtube that I used for my Love Pinwheels quilt.Other ideas included color tessellation, blocks, log cabins, and half square triangles. You can add fabrics from your own stash to make whatever pattern you would like but make sure to use the Kona charms as well.

As you make your quilts I would like you to take pictures and blog about it! Sharing will help to keep everyone motivated and excited about this project. If you haven't been invited to contribute to our blog please send me an email and I will send you an invite. Ultimately we will be sharing photos of our quilts with the people at Robert Kaufman and our projects will be featured on their blog The Swatch and Stitch.

I will be handing out charm packs at our next two meetings. If you aren't able to attend and want to participate you need to make arrangements with me to get your charm pack. Please contact me at if needed. Otherwise I hope to see you at our next events!

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011