Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Project: Alphabet Soup

I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
Mark Twain

Thanks to everyone for your advice about what to make with the adorable alphabet fabric that I found in Missouri! After some consideration, I decided to go with a simple piece that can double as a wall hanging and a light cover. In addition to its versatility, this had the advantage of being quick and easy to make.

Sure enough, I was able to start AND finish the alphabet "quilt" for Mariana this weekend! Here are some shots of the front:

1-6 and A - I:

F - I (repeat) & J - U

R - U (repeat), V - Z and 7 - 12:

For the back, I chose a cute pink fairy-ballerina cotton print:

Here's a close-up:

I have very little quilting experience - just enough to have been thoroughly aggravated by the top layer stretching out beyond the bottom layer when I sew. This time, in an attempt to overcome this problem, I invested quite a bit of time in extensive ironing and hand-stitching all of the layers together carefully before moving to my machine. While this helped a lot, I still had some slippage... :(

So, I'm thinking of investing in a walking foot for my machine. What do you think? Does anyone have one? Do you like it?

Parting Shot: In addition to working on the quilt, I snuck in a trip to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL with my sewing friends. Juana braved the camel ride!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend with lots of sewing and little slippage! ;)


gwensews said...

A quilt needs extensive basting--even with safety pins, all over the quilt to keep it from shifting. A walking foot may be beneficial, if you're just going to do some straight-stitched lines. A lot of people do "free motion" quilting, using a foot such as a darning foot and lowering the feed dogs.

Your quilt is very nice, and I'm sure will be loved for years to come.

SunnyQ said...

A "walking foot" - that's it! Thanks GwenSews for the advice (I thought there was another foot I couldn't remember, and it was the walking foot); lowering the feed dogs sounds exciting - and scary!

Great job Gwen! Your first quilt is BEAUTIFUL! I'm sure Mariana will love it! :>

AmeliaSews said...


I use a walking foot all of the time for straight-line stitching, but gwensews is right- you need to baste heavily before that.

When I did my SILs quilt, I taped the back to the floor and made sure it was completely taut then laid the batting on top and smoothed it out working from the center outwards. Then lay the top on and do the same thing. I then pinned and pinned and pinned some more. In those 4" blocks there were at least two pins and I would have preferred 3 or 4 if I hadn't run out of pins :). I had very little slippage.

Free motion quilting is also very fun. I've never tried it on a really big quilt, but have done some fun things with doll quilts. I'll try to dig up some old pictures and post them on my blog.

Zep said...

I like the way your ABC's came out. I bet a few teachers would love to have that hanging in their classrooms.
Quilting isn't my thing either. I don't like when my projects take a long time to sew...and then what do you really do with it in the end - put it on a bed, hang it on a wall?
My MIL could make some beautiful works of art in quilts. I'm happy I own some of her art work but..I do not like sewing quilts.
Walking foot would work. Pins prick you when you sew - basting is best.
I've been to that zoo before :) not in a while. If you join the zoo society you can go to a whole list of zoo's for free. We took our kids on a zoo vacation once. Drove from zoo to zoo. It was fun.

Beth Conky said...

Love it. It's really cute.

Christine said...

The quilt came out beautifully, and my guess is that Mariana won't even notice the slippage! :) I know I didn't.