20 June 2011

a sunny afternoon in the garden.

[beautiful backyard view// rapidly growing tomato plant that I transplanted from a pot to the raised beds//mesclun and buttercrunch lettuce planted from seed]

19 June 2011

on quilting.

Well, I am an amateur quilter.  A few years ago I decided that at some point in my life I would make a quilt and the adventure began last summer.  I started making a super easy quilt with tons of different colors and fabrics and no apparent pattern and never finished.  So this summer I am determined to finish it.  The reason why it has taken me soooo loonnnnggg to finish this quilt is not because it is difficult, but because I spend about three hours every couple weeks quilting.  I wish I could spend more time on my quilt, but I just have tons of other time commitments.  Here I will attempt to guide you through the process of making a 4 square quilt. Actually, really this is just a step by step process for how to make each 4 square block, because I have not gotten beyond this point yet.

Step 1: Collect fabric.  My mom used to be a quilter before I was born and used up all her time and energy, so I found the majority of my fabric in our basement.  This is awesome because not only I am being environmentally friendly, but I didn't have to spend buckets full of money on new fabric.  I did stop by the local quilting store in my town (which is quite impressive for a town of 7,000) and spent 10 bucks on five different [small] pieces of fabric.  My mom also found some batting (the inside padding of the quilt) for me at a yard sale for $0.25.  Also awesome.  And most awesome of all- Joshua, my boyfriend, brought me some fabric from Africa.

Step 2: Cut three inch wide strips of two different fabrics.
You can choose any width, but I choose three inches because I liked the size.  Once I sew the squares together, though, each square will end up being a lot smaller than three inches.  Oh well.  I'm not striving for perfect in this quilt.  I'm really just doing it for the fun of the process and to have a handmade quilt to use.

Step 3: Pin the strips together.
Place the strips print side down on top of each other and put a nice row of pins in the fabric.  Simple.

Step 4: Sew.
 Sew in a straight line and remove the pins.  I made a 3/8 inch seam.

Step 5: Iron with the seam pressed to the dark side.

Step 6:  Cut smaller strips three inches wide.

Place the strips side by side with opposing patterns next to each other, as shown above and...

Step 7: Pin.

Step 8: Sew.
Step 9: Iron.

And there you have it, beautiful 4 square quilting blocks.  I made three blocks from the original two strips I cut.

Sidenote: please excuse the poor quality of the pictures.  They were taken in my basement sewing are where the lighting is terrible and I don't yet have an awesome camera that takes good pictures anywhere.  (It is on my wishlist, though.)