Ticker Tape Baby Quilt

Phew!  There has been an awful lot of sewing going on lately, but I am happy to report that the last baby quilt has been delivered.  And this is it. 


Admittedly, not the nicest of days for photos, but I'm very happy with how this quilt turned out.  It's for one of my husband's colleagues, who teaches environmental science.

It's a ticker tape quilt, which means that scraps of fabric are quilted directly on to a larger piece of cloth (in this case gray), batting, and a backing (navy).  The edges of the scraps are left raw.  One of my favorite things about this quilt is that I can look at it and see scraps from almost all of the other quilts I've made in the last few years, which I think is pretty cool.


Having never made one of these quilts before, the rhythm that I fell into was to complete the quilt in sections.  So, I started with the water, and more or less worked outwards from there.  This quilt was a little bit of a pain (literally... lots of pins), and I was surprised at the amount of effort that laying out a fairly even distribution of scraps required.  That said, this was very simple to put together, and I'd like to do another one sometime soon (and not just because my scrap bin is looking a little overwhelmed).

I'm happy to report that there's not much that I would have done differently with this quilt.  If anything, I would have planned a little better (I underestimated the amount of time that it would take to finish).  Also, the back of the quilt is a little messy, so I probably could have done more there.

Here are a few more photos!


Washington Capitals Baby Quilt

As promised, I have been quilting up a storm, and here's my second October finish!


This quilt is for our former debate coach and professor, who has just become a grandfather :)  He and his daughter are both big Caps fans (so much so that they were able to get us all tickets to the Blackhawks-Capitals Winter Classic last season), so I thought that this theme was pretty appropriate.  Even though it's not my team of choice, I'm really, really happy with how this turned out.


I don't usually post tutorials on how to actually quilt, but I was pretty dedicated to getting the rink layout correct and to scale.  This required a lot of squinting at google images of rink measurements and then doing fractions to get feet to inches and whatnot.  My big takeaways were that the metric system may have us on that one, and that I should really record this in case I (or anyone else) ever wants to make a scale hockey rink.  My quilt is 43" x 41".

All the measurements here are in centimeters.

All the measurements here are in centimeters.

And here's another close-up of my measurements.


One of the things that I like the best about this quilt is that it's (a little) 3-D.  Most of that is accomplished with buttons, but I also used actual netting for the goals, which turned out pretty darned well, if I do say so myself.


And the center ice logo is hand embroidered, with hand-painted stars on the red line.  I love that Hobby Lobby sells an "ice" fabric in both bright white and light blue - it's just a little bit of extra detail that I think brings everything together.


As with the Gone Fishing baby quilt, there are a lot of things that I really like about how this turned out.  Which is obviously not to say that I wouldn't do things differently, were I to do it again.  Specifically:

  • Most of the stars on the red line look good (I painted them on ribbon with an acrylic paint/fabric medium mixture when I couldn't find an appropriate substitute).  In a few cases, however, the paint has chipped off a little, and I'm not sure that it will stand up to repeated washings.  My guess is that this is more of a display quilt than a wash weekly quilt, so I'm hoping that it will be okay, but if I were to do it over, I would look harder for a printed ribbon substitute, rather than painting my own.
  • This is more of a time management thing, but I feel as if I've been actively working on this quilt forever.  And I have been.  It's one that took a lot longer because I picked it up and put it down so many times.
  • I think I would have considered the bird logo a little differently.  What I did was take the total height of the navy (approximately 22") and make a logo that maximized that height, cut it in half, and sewed it on.  I think that in retrospect, I would at least consider taking the total height of the quilt (~41"), making a logo that fit that height, and then appliqueing the ice rink on top of that (difference shown below).  Ultimately, I'm happy with what I did, based on the actual Caps logo and how it turned out, but I think that if it had been a different logo (so, for future reference), I would have gone with the second option.
Please excuse my PowerPoint image rendering.

Please excuse my PowerPoint image rendering.

Anyway, that's two down, and one more to go.  The last one has a fair bit of work left to do, but I'm still really hoping to finish it up by the end of October.  It's a little different, but I'm already tempted to keep it, and usually that doesn't happen until way, way later in the process.

And one last picture.


Interested in seeing more of my projects?

Gone Fishing Baby Quilt

It's been a little while since I last blogged, but rest assured - I have not been idle.  Mostly, I've been traveling, but I've also been sewing up a storm, and since gifts are starting to be delivered, I can share some of what I've been working on!


The first of my October finishes (note the foreshadowing here), was for one of my college roommates and her husband, who are expecting a baby boy in the next few months.

When last I talked to my friend, she was thinking of possibly going with an owl theme for the nursery.  So, knowing that I wanted to do something adorable, I scoured Pinterest.  Let me tell you, there are a lot of awesome owl designs out there.  I was drawn to something like this, because even though it wasn't a quilt (at least I don't think it is) I felt like it was different, and I liked the inclusion of the cat, and the colors.  I figured that it would be pretty reasonable to convert to an applique quilt, and it was.  As it turns out, my friend opted for a nautical theme for the nursery, and I breathed a deep sigh of relief.


I'm really happy with how this quilt turned out.  I think that in retrospect, the only things that I would have done differently were:

  • Change the design on the red and orange fish.  I was fine with the colors/embroidery as I did it, but now as I look at the quilt, I'm less in love.  Also, fish have fins.  That's something I know to be true.
  • Because this quilt is a lot of layers of applique, it's a little more bulky in some places.  I was able to thin out a lot of it by going in from behind and cutting out some layers, but I could still feel the difference around some of the seams.  I think I could have planned a little bit better in how I was doing the fabric layering.
  • The cat feels a little static to me.  I feel like I did a good job of capturing motion with the owl, but the cat still looks a little stiff.  Maybe I could have changed his expression or something to add a little more animation.

Two more baby quilts soon to come!

Interested in more projects?

DIY India Ink Inspired Antique Pewter Trash Can

Guys, pretty trash cans are stupid expensive.  I've been keeping my eyes out for a while for a small silver/pewter can for our master bedroom, and I just can't get on board with paying $100 for this one from Osso, or even $58 for this one from Rosemont, when ultimately, they're just pretty plastic.  I saw the can below, from India Ink, and, while it doesn't really work for the patterns in the room, may very well be discontinued, I thought I could probably use it as inspiration to come up with a much more cost-effective option.  So I did.


And mine even has the added benefit of a liner that also matches our bedroom color scheme.  Here's what I did.


  • One plastic planter, left over from when we last replaced our cat-eaten house plants
  • Glue gun and glue sticks (I have a mini glue gun, and used 8-10 glue sticks for this project)
  • Permanent marker
  • Silver spray paint (I got mine for $3.50 at Michael's, with a 50% off coupon)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Scrap cloth/sponge/paper towels
  • ~3/4 yd of fabric for the liner
  • Ribbon of choice


Start by cleaning off your container/planter/whatever (the surface should be clean and dry).  Draw your pattern directly on the can, using a sharpie or other permanent marker.


In retrospect, I would have started my pattern at the top of the can and worked down, as opposed to starting at the bottom and working up (my can was narrower at the bottom than the top).  But, that probably wouldn't have been nearly as big of a deal if I had chosen a different pattern.  Oh well, I kinda adjusted as I went along - the technique is pretty versatile.

The next step is to trace the lines that you've drawn with a hot glue gun. This adds texture to the can, which is important for the antiquing step.


Once the glue has set, clean up any little bits that aren't where they should be, and spray paint the can with two coats of metallic paint (I chose silver, but any metallic should work).  I knew that I planned to put a liner in the can, so I didn't paint the inside.  If you're not thinking of doing the liner, spray the outside and the inside.


The next step is to antique the can, to give it the nice pewter look.  I know that you can totally do this with a tinted glaze, but I went to Michael's to get some, it didn't have a price, I asked one of the associates how much it cost, she told me it was $4, I brought it to the front and it rang up for $10.  I was a little annoyed at the process, so I opted to try using black acrylic paint first, knowing that Michael's is ~.1 miles from here.

My process for antiquing involved mixing one part water with one part black paint.  I then painted that directly on the raised glue, and using a cotton rag to evenly distribute the paint.  I worked in sections that were 4-6 inches wide at a time.  This gave the can plenty of variation in the antiquing, making it look more like actual pewter.


Making the liner is pretty easy.  I traced the top of the can on the fabric, and then cut one inch outside of the traced circle, to allow for the seam.  My circle had a circumference of 39".  Then, I cut the material for the sides, which was a 39" x 16" rectangle.  The can is 12" tall, so the 16" allows for a finished seam and enough to fold over the top of the can.


I started by hemming the long end of my rectangle.  I then sewed the two short ends together, with the seam and the hem facing outwards, to create a cylinder.  I pinned and sewed the circle to one of the ends of the cylinder, with all seams facing outwards (so that they'll be hidden when the liner is in place).


My last step was to put the liner in the can, and cut slits every two inches or so, all the way around, to weave a ribbon through (I like bows).


I think it's a pretty solid improvement, and I liked the glue gun technique.  This was more or less experimental, with a lot of figure-it-out-as-we-go.  I think that in the future, I'll probably actually use the correct glaze, and I may go for a more intricate pattern.

Interested in more projects like this?