Saturday, December 15, 2018

Finishing My Christmas Makes

I should be Christmas shopping today, but will have to wait till next week to finish up. The town we go to for intense shopping trips is just over an hour away. Believe me, we go with a list and do not leave until everything is checked off! All my Christmas makes are finished now--the doll quilt and the potholders I made for my mom.
The doll quilt is finished
This doll quilt was so much fun. I haven't made one in years! My granddaughter has a 'My Life' doll {18" tall} and so I made sure this quilt will be plenty big enough to properly wrap around her baby. No just laying it on top and calling it good! Growing up, my sisters and I got a doll every year for Christmas until we were eleven years old. It was always frustrating when our doll blankets weren't large enough to swaddle our bigger dolls! It was a very big deal. And so this may look large to you, but at 32" before being washed and shrinking a bit, it should definitely work well for whatever Miss Lucy Mae decides to do with it!
The colors are so saturated looking!
It was probably a bad day to begin with, but when I started machine quilting the straight lines I ran into trouble immediately. The fabric was being pushed all over the place and really panicked me for a bit. It took some time, but then I realized that my dual feed wasn't attached to the stitch-in-the-ditch foot like it was supposed to. Arghh!  I flatly refused to take any of the stitching out. {My internalized mantra for the day: It's just a doll quilt for a 3 yr. old!!}. Thankfully, when I switched to the walking foot for the in-between stitching lines that weren't 'in-the-ditch', then it mostly smoothed out and behaved properly. Well, after I finally remembered to place the walking foot 'arm' over the bolt like it needs to be....  Okay, so there are a few eensy weensy puckers. Sue me. Both attachments are genius, but I've found to my chagrin that you do have to use them correctly.....
A fun, happy looking finish
I've had this retro looking decor fabric for years. Found it at a rummage sale and picked it up on impulse. This year I was thinking of all the things that I could get my mom for Christmas and realized, she has everything. Isn't that so true of most of our parents? So I took the plunge {I do so hate the pressure of Christmas makes}, and sewed up three usable potholders. No fancy little hanger thingy on the corners, she would never use it anyway. I used Insul-Brite batting on the inside and also one square of regular batting. They still feel fairly flexible and so I think they should work well. The binding was all leftover pieces from the binding tote which thrills my frugal soul.
Retro looking potholders
In little bites of time, here and there, I have also been tinkering around with Playing With Scale #2. Since I don't have the amazing design wall that some of you have, I decided to use the 'parts' method. It's a Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston thing I first read about years ago in their book 'Collaborative Quilting'. Wowsers, that book seemed expensive at the time, but it pretty much changed my life.
The first layout audition for Playing With Scale #2
Who knew that quilters were allowed to have so much fun with their quilting! After getting the initial parts sewn together, then I did a tentative layout right in front of the living room door. There really isn't any other option during the Christmas holidays. Moving very quickly {and crossing my fingers that none of the family would come home early}, I was able to determine that I needed more triangle units. Also, Wouldn't it look better with an applique block or two?  hehe  You knew that was happening....
Adding some more triangle parts
At the very least I was able to make notes about what widths to trim the larger strip/triangle parts to. I'm totally out of the light green background fabric that I used in those units, or I would probably make another one or two to better balance the quilt. Yes, it's still very rough looking--needs a lot of moving and switching things around before it starts to properly gel. This is one that I don't feel excessively compelled to get perfect though. Ultimately, I want it to have that old fashioned utilitarian look/vibe of just making do. I did get rid of the pink/blue triangle in the center though. Ughh. Some things just have to go....

Linking to Wendy's Peacock Party once again.


  1. Your little dolly quilt came out beautifully--and I really like those triangles...
    I also hate this Christmas rush rush rushing around...
    hugs, Julierose

  2. Cute dolly quilt...and I won't sue you, LOL!!! I love your pieces and parts quilt, and I have checked out that book from the libray over and over. Yes! Add some applique if the mood descends!

  3. Your grand-daughter will never notice the stitching, she'll be too busy making sure her doll is wrapped up safe and sound in her new quilt. I have never made potholders but perhaps a thought for next Christmas.
    Now, your Playing with Scale - I just love it Audrey!! I'm now waiting to see your applique additions!

  4. looks like you have been very busy - she will love the doll quilt. I hate shopping at the last minute - good luck !!

  5. Such a bright and cheerful quilt, she is sure to love it! And you know your mom will love the potholders, though I wonder if she will save them for use at the table rather than the stove. You know how moms are, if you made them, they're too nice to get dirty or worse yet scorched!

  6. Your doll quilt is so incredibly pretty - bright and cheerful and just fun. We do tend to find mistakes in our own work that nobody else would ever notice. Your improv quilt is very nice too.

  7. Loving your quilt from the 'parts department'! When I look through the Collaborative Quilting books I always wonder how long it would take to just make a ton of parts in a variety of colors and have them ready to be put to use at a moment's notice. I'll never know. I barely have enough time to get all the blocks put together for the quilts I know I am going to sew...

  8. I did the same thing last night - forgot to put the arm over the screw for the walking foot. So the plaid on the back went crazy and looks like a zig zag. Not taking it out!
    Collaborative Quilting has been one of my best purchases, too.
    And... I secretly have some red and white strips similar to your Playing with Scale. Mine look awful but you're inspiring me to try again.

  9. I love your Playing with scale project Audrey! The layout combining stripes and triangles is really interesting. I've just finished a mini top using improv triangles and really enjoyed making these blocks.

  10. I love that Kaffe fabric in the middle of the doll's quilt. I'm sure your granddaughter will love it too. Thank you for linking up to my Peacock Party.

  11. Lovely gifts, and a really exciting "parts" quilt started. That book pretty much changed by life too!

  12. That is the cutest doll quilt! She will be thrilled! I don't have a design wall either so "parts" quilting is how I get things together. I think if we ever build a house it will be just a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and one big design wall!

  13. You've done a great job on your holiday sewing. The sweet doll quilt will be well loved. Hope your mom uses her potholders. I've been known to put gifts away not wanting to "use" them up. No design wall here. Just a design floor here and there.

  14. Oh that playing with scale 2 quilt looks lovely and the doll quilt is so sweet. Warm greetings

  15. Your little dolly quilt will be loved, I'm sure! And what mom can't use pot holders! I burn mine all the time. LOL
    Another fun improv you've got going.

  16. That is the happiest sweetest doll quilt - I'm sure it will bring a smile. I too appreciate that relaxed 'make do' philosophy. Your potholders - a useful and pretty gift!

  17. I don't have/haven't read Collaborative Quilting, but sounds like maybe I should track down a copy! I love that doll quilt and agree completely that it's important to make these things big enough.

  18. I like that spikey scale one. Like teeth, or combs, or picked fence sections. Looks like it might work with scraps, even. Very creative, Audrey!

  19. Love the dolly quilt, and I'm sure it will be well-loved! How thoughtful of you to make it big enough!

    Love your parts and pieces! It looks so good with those snippets of triangles. Yes, Collaborative Quilting is one awesome book! It changed how a lot of folks quilt. Have you seen Freddy and Gwen Collaborate Again? You can get some used copies on Amazon for not too much. It continues where Collaborate I left off. I reference both books constantly.

    Happy New Year!


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