Quilter’s Cutting/Ironing Table 

After months of being frustrated with a regular skinny ironing board and cutting fabric wherever I could clear the space (often on the floor), I finally got the cutting and ironing table I’ve been wanting.

The Ikea cutting table

The cutting table is straight from Ikea, about 24″ x 40″, with the adjustable legs so it’s tall enough to stand and cut comfortably. I’ve seen lots of people online making theirs out of shelves, which would be great, but I needed the table to be portable since it’s sitting right in front of our other storage shelves.

The removable ironing table top is the cool part. My husband used a piece of plywood about 48″ x 30″, and screwed smaller pieces to the bottom so there’s just enough room between them for the table top to fit snugly.

Bottom of the ironing table

Then I stapled layers of insul-bright, batting, and duck fabric to the plywood per this tutorial, and voilà! An ironing surface big enough to lay nearly a yard of fabric out, full width.

Finished Ironing Table

Cathedral Window Wall Quilt 

I’m not sure if this cathedral window wall hanging actually counts as a quilt, since it has no batting, but I’m going to go ahead and call it one. I’d been seeing cathedral windows in my Pinterest stream for a while, and thought I’d like to make one if only they didn’t have to be done by hand. Then I saw these pillows and knew I had to make some (still on my list), but I used those tutorials to machine-sew this hanging. This pin inspired me to change up the pattern a bit.

Here’s the finished quilt:

The window panes are white kona cotton, and the windows are made from part of a charm pack of The Morris Jewels by Moda.

There are a couple places where it doesn’t lay totally flat, especially up at the top where I was just getting the hang of it, but overall it went remarkably well, especially since I was improvising the orange peels between the windows. I started out sewing one edge at a time, but quickly grew comfortable enough to pin and sew an entire row at a time.

One lesson learned for next time is not to let the corners of my posterboard template get too worn. I ended up with a lot of less-than-sharp corners, which made it hard sometimes to get the finished windows to look right. (Though looking at the pictures now rather than scrutinizing it up close, almost all the imperfections disappear. I love it when quilts are forgiving like that!)

Easter Morning: A French Braid Wall Quilt 

This is my most ambitious quilt to date (finished quilt, anyway). It’s the biggest by far since I rebooted this hobby, and the first to get all-over free motion quilting. Here it is in its full glory:

I can’t take credit for the design; as usual, I fell in love with a picture on Pinterest, and this time I copied it as closely as possible (though I did change the size a bit). It now occupies the entire wall from floor to 9-foot ceiling on our basement stair landing, where I see it every time I go down to quilt.

This quilt marked my first time using a spray baste, and I doubt I’ll ever do it any other way now unless I need to use polyester batting for some reason. So much quicker than all those pins, and no shifting of layers no matter how I manipulated the quilt around my little machine.

Quilting this baby took almost a month, mostly because of all the starts and stops. I almost wish I had chosen a more all-over pattern, but with the individual Celtic knots for each stripe and diamond, I was able to use 9 different thread colors. I thought it would be a good idea to minimize the contrast while I’m still new at free motion quilting. It made for an interesting quilt back hiding against the wall.

Quilt Back

I’m still using quilting paper; a little tedious to get it all torn away, but easier than marking everything on the quilt top. I also really like how the contrast lets me see the whole quilting design so well, and it’s easy to see where I’ve already quilted.

Nothing else new on this quilt – except, perhaps, the use of a yardstick to hang it, since it’s so much heavier than the little wall quilts I’ve made so far!