Friday, August 29, 2008

easy quilt ideas

WARNING: Do not be fooled by the post title. This was NOT an easy quilt. Each flower pot is appliqued, and tiny ric rac was sewn around each square. It took hours upon hours. It's beautiful, but the lucky baby who had this hanging over her crib was terrified of it. Maybe the flower centers looked like dozens of eyes staring down at her while she slept.

This quilt was not simple, either. Look at all those adorable forms of transportation for a kid to discover while he's fighting a nap. This also included hours of applique, not to mention all the time cutting out those intricate shapes. This blanket is never found on the owner's bed. You know what is? A simple fleece blanket that involved no sewing. This quilt, as cool as it is, turned out to be a totally unappreciated endeavor.

Sometimes all our hours of work on a quilt seem like a waste when others don't love it as much as we do. But, for those of us who live with the quilting bug, we still need to quilt, right? Today we'd like to offer some advice to all of you quilters out there, experts and novices alike. Simplify.

Each of the following quilts was made primarily from pre-cut fabric. Cutting fabric is my least favorite part of the process, and can take hours (especially if you're geometrically-challenged like me).

This quilt was made from pre-cut 6.5" x 6.5" squares found on eBay. They feature almost every pattern in a popular Amy Butler line. Stacy did not have to find and buy all the different fabrics of this line and then spend time measuring
and cutting, hoping to have enough squares. They came washed, ironed, and cut, ready to be pieced. She offset the blocks to make a brick pattern and skipped the border altogether. She found a simple backing (not an Amy Butler print, so it was cheaper) and used the same fabric for the binding. The quilting is a large stipple. This gorgeous quilt is simple, economical, and beautiful.

This sweet baby blanket was also made from pre-cut squares on eBay. It took two packs of 4" x 4" squares to complete it, plus a small border, backing, and binding. It's finished with small stipple machine quilting.

This baby quilt is even easier than sewing squares together. It's just strips of fabric, cut at the cutting counter where it was purchased. It's as wide as the bolt, then each strip is either an 1/8 of a yard, a 1/6 of a yard, or 1/4 of a yard. The strips were sewn together, then a few pieces of ric rac and other trim were sewn along a few of the seams for added interest. The quilting is very simple--just a few wavy lines across the strips. A fun and fast project.

If you love buying fabric, you have to love Moda's charm packs. Just like sellers are doing on eBay, these pre-cut squares from the manufacturer feature most or all the fabrics in a designer's line, just to give you a little taste (at a little price).

Stacy saw this cute pattern from Me and My Sisters Design called “Seeing Spots”. She loved the way it looked and decided to make it, but change it up a little for a more mature look. She used the charm pack for Moda’s Urban Chicks Summer in the City line. It is hard to find much of that line now, but Moda has some great new lines coming out. All you need is a charm pack and some additional yardage for a the background, border, binding, and backing. Trace the circles in different sizes using household items, like a drinking glass.

Okay, so this one did take a teeny tiny bit of applique action, but a circle is a lot less difficult than some of those shapes on the quilts above!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating beautiful, intricate quilts that take painstaking hours to make. That satisfies a need in many of us to be sure. But don't be afraid to give yourself a break once in a while and make something fun and unique that is also simple. That satisfies another need altogether--the need to have a finished quilt!

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10 Responses to “easy quilt ideas”

Casey said...

I've never actually sewn a quilt yet, but I think for my first one I'm going to go the precut route. I love that seeing spots quilt!

Christy クリスティ said...

Your quilts are out of this world beautiful! Thank you for your quilting tips!

PaisleyJade said...

I would love to attempt a quilt oneday - absolutely love your blog - thanks for sharing so many beautiful things.

jenifer said...

I just copied the cutest, easiest quilt... it is a cotton striped rag quilt with ric rak... thought you might like the idea-- check out my blog--

i've also seen the dot quilt just quilted with a circular free-motion stitch, not the button-hole applique... it leaves the edges raw the fray, but takes a lot less time...

anyway, thank for the adorable "easy" quilt ideas... your blog is a lot of fun!

Nanette Merrill said...

Wow that is really darling. I love it.

Audrey said...

You have inspired me! I decided I'm going to attempt a quilt! Anyone want to babysit for me? How do you girls do it with your kids!! Amazing!

Lift Up Your Hearts said...

Let me clarify on the strips quilt. Did you ask the cutting person at the counter to cut the fabric into those strips and they obliged? And then did you not wash them before sewing them? I'm intrigued!

Jen said...

I just love those flowerpots... even if they seemed scary hanging over a crib! :)

eileensideways said...

i tweeted your blog on twitter about the baby being terrified of the flowery eyes, lol. beautiful site, love the color fabric selection.

folksmith said...

i had to laugh about the baby being upset about the quilt that was hanging over it's crib...too funny.

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