Christa’s Soapbox – Teach Your Kids (and Friends) to Quilt!

This week my boys were out of town at scout camp, so it was just us girls! My daughter and I put the time to good use by starting on her summer quilt project. Last year she made her first quilt, and now she’s ready to make another.

Jenna's Jelly Roll StripsJenna selected Cosmo Cricket’s Chemistry Jelly Roll since pink is her favorite color.

We laid the strips out on her bed to come up with a simple yet striking quilt design. She cut each of the strips in half first and then began sewing them end to end to create long strips of fabric, sort of like a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt but with straight edges instead of mitered ones.

Jenna plans to applique her name and add hearts to the top. It’s going to be “sew” cute!

While we were sewing, my friend Marci decided to pop on by to join the fun. Her boys are also at camp and she needed help to make some modern quilt blocks for a swap she’s doing later this summer. Marci’s a more of a sewist than a quilter, but I’m converting her!Girl's Retreat!Marci is making fun wonky blocks in shades of grey using Kona Cotton Solids.  She cut randomly sized strips and sewed them together, using improvisational piecing wherever she needed to make the blocks big enough. They turned out great!

Kona Solids Neutral GreysModern Grey Blocks

Whew, all this blogging about what other people are doing makes me want to go work on my own projects now!

What Was I Thinking???!!

What was I thinking? I’m trying to have a zen experience with my quilting by breaking up the negative space in my Modern Quilt with lots of different quilting designs. But I think I went a little overboard with all the small scale background fillers!

Negative Space QuiltingI actually do like the texture the quilting is adding to the quilt, but when you see how little of the quilt I’ve actually finished compared to how much is left to quilt, you’ll start to pity me…

The picture below shows about 1/4 of the quilt finished. I’m adding larger scale textures in each of the charm squares and a smaller scale background around each of the hands. I’ve quilted 12 out of 42 charm blocks which represents about 5-6 hours of solid quilting so far.

1/4 of the QuiltI am having fun quilting different designs in the blocks though. I’ve outlined some elephants, practiced my pebbles and grids and even quilted the alphabet on the lined paper fabric! Here are a couple more closeups, just for fun!

Closeup 1

Closeup 2I’m linking this blog post to the Free-Motion Quilting Project and WIP Wednesdays so I can share the insanity!!! This will definitely be a long term project. But if I quilt 1 block a day, I can finish it in under a month!

I used a clean toothbrush dipped in water to erase the blue pen marks once I quilted them.

Toothbrush EraserFor those of you interested in what materials I used, I started with 1 charm pack of Moda’s Bungle Jungle by Tim and Beck, and 2 1/2 yards of White Kona Cotton Solid. I sewed together a layer cake for the backing.

I am doing all the quilting with 60 weight polyester thread  in a light gray.  I chose Superior Threads bottom line in both the top and bobbin. It breaks too easily in the top thread for my taste – but it is very fine and blends beautifully. My batting is wool which gives a nice faux trapunto look to the little hands.

I hope I get more done by next week! I think I’d better go work on my jelly roll quilt now…..