Janet's Creations

Janet's Creations
Gemma's "I Spy" hexagon quilt

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 wrap up!

Can anyone tell me where the year went to?  I have so many projects swirling around in my mind that I can hardly wait to get back home and get started.

Things that I did not get finished or started in 2011 are as follows;

Kaitlyn and McKenna's Bug quilts are just so darling and all I have to do is the FMQ(swirly lines for those not in the know)
Something that is ready for sandwiching for Diana and Mike!
That is all for the UFO department

Now for the planned but not started section - yikes so much to sew and sew little time!

Namaar's grad quilt - when does he finish Divinity School?
3 quilted tableclothes 2-round and 1 rectangle  not even sure now to tackle a round quilt!
A set of napkins maybe 8 of them
Quilted placemats, table topper, napkins, coasters and wall quilt in the grape motif for a wedding gift!
A Stained Glass Paper pieced quilt for myself - guess that will move to the bottom tof the list :)
A Disappearing 9 patch for Mychelle in Virginia
A retirement quilt for my good friend Barbara Jones
A wedding quilt for Amanda and Ken Grant aka my best friend's daughter in Canada

Anything I forget?
This does not include unexpected baby or wedding quilts.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"lil" twister wreaths on parade

I took my first quilting course with my good friend Clara during the second w/e in December.  I loved the pattern and went a little wild :)  They are totally addictive!  The double border on is for our house!

An unsolicitated and unaffiliated opinion of many different quilt battings

Warm and Natural - great to work with a bit heavy for larger projects but it is easy to FMQ. It never disappoints.  I have bought it at Joanns and also on Overstock always with a coupon or free shipping.
Hobbs 80/20 fusible batting - I ordered a bolt of this from Batt-Mart, but I didn't know that it was fusible - dumb mistake eh!  So I wasn't able to iron fuse it for these quilts.  However, I did spray baste it and I loved how light it was when FMQ, and how it looked when washed. I will definitely use the regular 80/20 in the future.  I did some small baby quilts, wall hangings and tote/purses with the fusible batting and it is outstanding for smaller things (a large twin size and under)
Bamboo/Cotton batting -  I tired this batting in the 50/50 queen size.  It was light weight and easy to FMQ however I didn't truly like how it looked after washing.  I like the traditional crinkly look and this was used on the Disappearing 9 Patch and wasn't as crinkly as I like.
Quilter Dream Green Batting  - is made from recycled green soda bottles.  It has a greenish tinge to it, so watch for using it under white fabrics.  It was fine for FMQ and quite soft.  Polar fleece is made from the same material and it super soft.  I may use it again it doesn't get the crinkly look I love.
Pellon "Nature's Touch" quilt batting -  this is reported to be made in the USA - so for those who prefer American products this might be for you.  I found this batting to be a bit on the thin side but there was nothing to complain about, FMQ easily.
Fairfield Cotton Quilt Batting from Walmart -   In my quest for acceptable batting I even tried Walmart's. There was nothing special about this batting.  It was lightweight, easy to FMQ and a totally inexpensive buy for around $18.00 for a king size batting that I used on a super queen size quilt.
Hobbs Thermore Quilt Batting - I hated this batting! For some reason it and I were incompatible!  I ended up using 8 sewing machine needles trying to FMQ a regular queen size quilt and I will never use it again.  Here is the description from the Connecting Threads website "The hollow fibers of this 100% polyester (siliconized) batting act as better insulators. A special patented process eliminates fiber migration in Hobb’s Themore® batting. It can be quilted up to 6-8" apart. Use this ultra low loft batting to hand or machine quilt clothing and quilts. Available in queen size (90" x 108"). 0% shrinkage. "
Pellon's Legacy - I bought one of these at the Road to California quilt show to try.  It was King size and a great price.  It was very nice to quilt with.  I would buy it again on sale, is there any other way to buy battings but on sale! 
Morning Glory low loft polyester from Walmart - I did a bunch of charity quilts right after Christmas 2012.  I didn't want to use my beloved 80/20 or 100% cotton batts, so I picked this type and brand up at Walmart.  I used Elmer's Washable School Glue to sandwich them and it worked okay for sandwiching and FMQ fine, but I would not use this on a quilt that I was making as a gift.

These reviews are based on my experiences only!  Perhaps your adventures would be different.  The quilts involved with these batting were sewn on a domestic machine - Viking Sapphire 830, using Essential Pro poly thread from Connecting Threads http://www.connectingthreads.com/threads/quilting_threads.html or Gutterman cotton thread. My machine prefers the poly thread and I use the same thread in the bobbin when using poly and either So Fine or similar light weight thread  when using a thicker thread to FMQ.

The Virginia Project April to December 2011 - Quilts for our family members in Virginia :)

This quilt was for our niece, Mika - who actually trembled when she realized what her Uncle and I had given her.  The backing was a challenge as it was a Robert Kaufmann but it has a metallic gold finish that proved difficult to lay flat to spray baste. I forget the name of the pattern but I called it the Garden Trellis. It is mostly LQS fabric except for the green which came from Joanns. It is an overlarge Queen with 4 coordinating pillowcases

This one was for niece, Tania, I used fat quarter bundles from Tuesday Morning and the cream was from Joanns.  The backing was from Connecting Threads clearance section and made for a great backing at under $3.00 a yard.  The pattern was a variation of the French Reel pattern by Moda. It is also an overlarge Queen with 4 coordinating pillowcases.

A Disappearing 9 Patch for Danita and Leon (Nee Nee and Lee Lee) for this quilt I used Fat Quarters and cleared Joanns out of these colors when they went on sale for 99 cents! The backing was from Connecting Threads in the $2.96 a yard clearance section it was called Bricks.  There are 4 coordinating pillowcase from material out of the Joanns Red Tag section.  I thought the piano key border was exceptionally striking on their quilt.

The quilt was for SIL Gloria aka TuTu, it was out of some quilting magazine and was called "Something Blue"  the original pattern was much smaller so I enlarged the size to a Queen.  The navy blue mottled is from a road trip to Rosie's in El Cajon, Ca and was on a discounted table for $ 2.50 a yard and I bought 10 yards I think - it is by David's Textiles the white on white is from either Joanns or M & L in Anaheim.  Each quilt has something new that I tried and this one involved a lot of half square triangles cut made from strips cut on an angle and also the set in points. 2 coordinating pillowcases to finish off the gift.  The number of pillowcases per project was based on how much fabric I had to work with.  Some folks got 2, 3 or 4 pillowcases.  The backing is the same navy blue.

What type of quilt to make for a 13 year old boy?  Well. here is what I did for Jordan, Lee Lee and Nee Nee's son.  A friend of mine had given me some pre-cut rectangles and about 4 rows already had sewn together.  She was done with quilting -  she said.  So I re-in forced those lines she had done on the machine and tried to follow her pattern.  The squares ended up a bit wonky but I carried on. The something new on this quilt was that I finished up someone elses UFO.  It has a burgundy backing that was double width fabric,  I wasn't so keen on the double width fabric and truly do not mind piecing my backings.

This is a trip around the world for Angel,  another teenager in the family.  I used LQS fabric for the body of the quilt and David's Textiles for the green border.  This was the first quilt that I had sewn on my Viking Sapphire that Carnell got for me earlier in the year, even before the Virginia Project was conceived.  The pillowcases on the left match the backing which is a Kaufmann that I got at M&L's for $1.98 in the flat fold section, it is called Petite Granville and has the cutest roosters in a French style pattern.  It was a pleasure to FMQ as the backing was such nice material.

A 'manly" quilt for BIL - Donnie.  I chose the Hourglass #4 form the Quilter Cache as I was running out of time and wanted something quick!  The cranberry is a batik, the green from Walmart, the landscape is a Robert Kaufmann that I found at M&L's for $2.98 a yard and bought it all! The black border and binding is called Morse Code from Connecting Threads and the backing another bargain from the Connecting Threads clearance section and is called Clogs.  I FMQ this one with black thread and I couldn't for the life of me keep my place, so I tried yet another new technique and flipped it over and did the FMQ on the back side.  It worked like a charm.

This was Shawanda's quilt aka Wanda.  She chose the pattern when we went out in the country to a little quilt shop called The Millstone here is there website http://www.millstonequilts.com/ I have no affiliation with the shop but it was lovely and right around the area that Carnell grew up in. Wanda's pattern was called Starry Night and she asked that I make it in purple with bright colors.  My Secret Sister at the quilting guild had given me a bundle of batiks that I augmented with some more batiks and the rest of the from Connecting Threads.  I learned to use Triangles on a Roll http://www.trianglesonaroll.com/ for this project and that is what made for such crisp ends to the half triangles.  This was a labor intensive quilt and I FMQ with a Sulky variegated thread.  $ coordinating pillowcases and the backing was from the  Seconds section of Connecting Threads at $1.98 a yard and was perfect for backing.

A Grandma's Fan for Miss Chris . Lee Lee's mom. A rounded fan in each corner was a challenge as applique is not my thing - thus the reason it is not bed size but rather a really large throw or coverlet. My stash provided the material with 2 coordinating pillowcases. The Petite Granville was used for the backing.

I made this for Tiffany it is called a Wickedly Easy quilt and that I so true.  Tiffany really likes the color blue so it has that as the main color with a few splashes of yellow, white and black.
A true labor of love,  our son Terry bought his first home in August and has moved into a beautiful brand spanking new home in Henrico, VA.  His father and I are his first guests and he said he was honored to host us.  There is something about southern manners that warms the cockles of your heart.  Anyways, Terry is truly his father's son and is a mountain of a man.  Thus, I didn't want to skimp on his quilt and it measure 12 feet by 12 feet.  The landscape and brown are Kaufmann material and the Wedgwood blue is a Kona.  The pattern is the Double Irish Chain and was really fun to make.  My g/f, Clara loved the fabric and pattern so much that I gave her enough landscape to make a quilt for her nephew.  There are 4 matching pillowcases under the quilt.  It is truly large enough that even on a King size bed he can tuck in the pillows. The backing is once again from Connecting Threads Seconds department and was called Espresso and had a leaf pattern on it.  I FMQ on my Sapphire and for nearly all the quilts I used the poly thread on a cone from Connecting Threads - have to love the free shipping on orders of $50.00

I have to thank my husband first of all for all his patience and monetary kindness during this quilting spree, we decided in October to surprise his family with a Christmas visit and to take the quilts.  I still had 4 quilts to make and 9 bunches of pillowcase!  I spend nearly all weekends and evenings completing these quilts.  Thank goodness his job took him out of town 3 times so I could quilt from right when I got home from work until I was too tired to do anything else.  Also, I need to thank my g/f Clara for giving me some of the fabrics she would never use out of her 1/2 yard collection - hugs Clara, and last but not least my sister Barbara who came for a visit at the end of November and saw how much I still had to do.  She, while not a quilter, jumped right in and planned the menus and did the cooking so I could FM, bind,  and make pillowcases for 6 quilts.  Plus, when my neck got so sore from FMQ she had some excellent medicine from OTC from Canada to ease the pain.

I tried different patterns, techniques and battings for this project.  I will list my opinion in another blog  for your edification :)

50% Bamboo/ 50% Organic cotton batting-