Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making Time for a Special Quilt

So, I have many projects in the works but decided to take the afternoon to finish a UFO in a special way for a special little boy I will probably never meet...and I am very glad I did :)

 This quilt was made using a UFO project I had left unfinished so long ago that I had forgotten that I had the template for the small twister.  My quilt group was looking for one and I was sure that I didn't have it...this "evidence" of a top says otherwise, lol!  Still don't know exactly where to look for the template though!!
I used a football print to border it and some coordinating football players for the back...and...voila!  A baby quilt for a sweet one year old in a family our church is sponsoring for Christmas this year.  I spent a few hours praying for this sweet young guy and his family to be richly blessed as I finished this quilt.  Hopefully this quilt will bring him warmth and a smile :)
 Still waiting for more color from the trees around our property...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Beginning to Look and Feel Like Fall

 Just a bit...still lots of green yet...
 I need to harvest the last of the grapes...
 Another pocket of color starting...
 ...the temps are getting close to freezing at night...

So what is a girl to do but grab a mug of hot cider and start a new Fall quilt.  This way I will live in the moment, enjoy the season and try hard not to think about the winter we will soon be in.  

This is another brilliant pattern from my talented friend Soma from Whims and Fancies.  Thanks for sharing Soma :).  The pattern can be found here in her Craftsy shop.


Here is my first block hanging out with my pitifully small and not so pretty apple harvest from our backyard dwarf tree orchard...apples did poorly here this year.  This should make a very small batch of applesauce though.
Here is a closer view of the block, I just love how it looks truly leafy, so fun that it's the maples in my yard who are winking color at me too.  This block is so much prettier IMHO than the traditional pieced maple leaf block.  Look at all that pointy goodness  :)
I used an Anna Maria Horner print for the leaf and a Carolyn Friedlander Architextures print for the stem.  The dotty background is a print from American Jane, I believe it's called Ice Cream...summer, anyone??

So, now...does anyone want to have a leaf sew along with me?  I think this is a very addictive block...more must be made!  I am going to use my AMH stash, what do you think?

Progress continues on the Doctor Who quilt.  I had a seam let go in one of the blocks (the spaceship...one of those pesky quadruple thick skinny seams) when I was preparing it (removing the paper) for quilting so have been trying to decide how best to repair it...sigh!  It's looking like the best solution might be to...gasp...make a new block to replace it.  This is the block that stalled me out in the QAL originally so I guess it's fitting that it is the one holding up my finish, growl...whine...I believe this is why most people remove the paper while the blocks are still in individual form.  This is a good lesson to me that sometimes it is good to follow directions.

Enjoy the day!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Final Border and Backing Fabric - Check!

So I fell off the "no new fabric buys" wagon at the end of last week.  It was all due my son's Doctor Who quilt...and my desire to get it finished rather than let it sit languishing.

As I mentioned earlier, he was not impressed by my initial plans to put the blocks together without sashing...he wanted a bigger finished quilt...so sashing I did add...from re-purposed stash.  I had planned it for a TARDIS quilt but the fabric was just right for this purpose and still fit the Doctor Who theme but...  "No, still not big enough..."

So, this quilt that I've been so proud to say came entirely from stash...well...I can't say that anymore because we have purchased a final border fabric and a backing fabric specifically with this quilt in mind.  The fabric came in the mail today from Fabric.com and I do think he chose well anyway...
The Galaxy print for the backing is from Timeless Treasures and the circles print is from Patrick Lose for Robert Kaufman.  I will wait for the Boy's final ok when he gets home from soccer practice tonight to start cutting and scheming but I believe we are one step closer to Done!
My next dilemma will be deciding how to quilt it as there is a pretty deep contrast in the dark navy blues and the light vanilla backgrounds on several of the blocks.  I am leaning towards a medium grey thread with an all-over grid pattern but have not finalized on that yet.  Any thoughts or suggestions?

If you are looking for my Rush Hour Hop post, you can find it here and the schedule for the whole hop here

And if you haven't yet, please check out the posts from my gracious friends and tags in the Around the World Blog Hop, Patty, and Shari.  

You will find lots of quilty inspiration in those links, I promise!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rush Hour Blog Hop - My Day!

Hi all, it's great to be back to hopping...thanks to the brilliant and generous Carol and Madame Samm for letting me play in this very inspiring game of sew and tell.

I just had to have some bits of the "official" fabric of this hop from our sponser, Rush Hour from Studio E...and was lucky enough to find some online and in stock at Pink Castle.  I just love these two prints...beautiful!

As I have a slight obsession with black and white texty fabrics, I chose the numbers print and the itty bitty text print for my project...

This is made using Elizabeth Hartman's free pattern, Pincushion Organizer.  It went together easily and well and I think it showcases the beauty of these prints.


 The pincushion has a nice wool felt detail in the center...I love all the fun words and phrases in this fabric, how fun it would be to fussy cut in special blocks!!


The little removable scrap bucket is so adorable :)  I must admit to thoughts of carrying this bucket all about with me to better admire it's cuteness...
 That number fabric is just perfect, I wish I had yards and yards of it!!
 A pop of red inside is just right!!
Lots of space for my seam ripper and scissors!

Thanks for visiting with me today and be sure to visit and provide comment love to all the other hop participants today!!

Monday, September 29









Thursday, September 25, 2014

Getting Closer

So work continues on the Doctor Who quilt top, I have had intense negotiations with my son and it turns out he thought my original design would be too small...so I have bordered each block with a 2 1/2" sash and the quilt now measures 64" x 80"...
 I struggled to get a true to color picture as the top gets larger...


Here is a closer view of the Kaufman Royal and Navy Quilter's Linen (not actual linen, it's a cotton quilting fabric but it has a nice printed texture and compliments the colors used in the quilt) used for borders.  Dare I say it looks "Tardis-y"...I had originally bought this yardage with the thought to make a TARDIS quilt from the Navy...maybe someday.

The boy says it is still not big enough so an outer border is now planned...for now I am tearing off paper and trying not to disrupt any of those tiny seams as I do!!

As a sidenote:  a few friends have asked that I post some paper piecing tips I have learned as I completed these blocks...keep in mind that you can get better instruction from those more adept than I at paper piecing (my blocks are far from perfect).  A good place to look would be any of these designers in this post's suggested websites, but here are some of my humble suggestions...

1. Use yardage not scraps...really, it is so frustrating to try to make do and piece those tiny scraps to try and make a piece large enough to cover the area once you get to the 30th or 50th piece!!
2.  Use a thin, strong thread (I use Aurifil) it makes your seams stronger and less bulky.
3. I have had good luck using Carol Doak's Foundation paper for this project and loved that it helped make the seams less bulky and it is tearing away fairly easily.  A cheaper buy would be to get newsprint and trim to size to fit your printer.
3. Baste most joins and peek at the effect before you shorten your stitches for the final join.
4. Go slow...unpicking always takes longer, ask me how I know!
5.Make something you love so that you feel the smile as the image forms before your eyes...it makes the process more joyful.
6. Go ahead, make your seam-ripper your bff...you will be seeing each other a lot if you are anything like me. 

Second sidenote...as I began the process of removing the paper from the blocks last night, I was watching a PBS Nature show featuring penguins.  Guess who was narrating? David Tennant!!  Totally cracked my son and I up...we had to watch the credits at the end to be sure, but his name was there.  Nice to have a wink from Ten as we get close to the finish line.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Quick Finish I Didn't Start

I have mentioned in a previous post my Aunt Karen is moving and has gifted a few things my way...one of those was this quilt which was only in need of a binding...
 She made this in a BOM through a local quilt shop and she found the details for me to share here: http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0LEVx3TZSFUFXUAAg9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0MWl0Y2w5BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDUyM18x?_adv_prop=image&fr=ipad&va=tonga+rhapsody+block+of+the+month
It was quilted by a very talented longarm quilter by the name of Chris Kinderman.  I love all the feathers and swirling present in her choice of design.  This quilt finished at 75" x 90" and has a wonderful drape as it is made entirely of batiks.  The backing is the same fabric as it is bound in.
As I squared up and bound this beauty my kitty helper was right there with assistance in holding everything steady...see how serious she takes her job?

 Much thanks to my aunt for gifting our family this beautiful quilt :)
And, thanks to those of you who gave suggestions on how I might go about making a dress for this Tiny Tears that my Aunt Karen also gifted to me.  As a beginner at doll clothes, I have decided to start down the path of a pillowcase dress as suggested by Colette...my Aunt Sharon who also reads this blog has provided me with a diagram as to how to go about creating a yoke for the top of the dress and I found this beautiful crochet and embroidered pillowcase to use as the skirt at a fall festival with an antique tent this last weekend.  
My friend Cheryl and I were quite the pair digging through the linens...I saw several feedsack aprons I would have enjoyed bringing home also.  Since this is an 18 inch doll, I will probably need to narrow the pillowcase so she doesn't swim in it. I am still a bit intimidated to make a cut, but I am studying the project carefully...can you tell I am engineer-trained?? ...ha!!
Is it wrong that my souvenir D.C. Starbucks cup is filled with my favorite Coffee-mate spiked coffee for fuel?

Now I am back to the Doctor Who quilt today...my son has ok'd the newest plan for the top - Yay!  :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hey all, I’m excited to be tagged in in the Around the World Blog Hop by the wonderful Carol of Just Let Me Quilt! See her post here where she has given us a peek into her design process and shown some of her amazing projects.  Carol always brings a spark of fun and humor to her posts and it is fun to see all the amazing quilts and projects she completes :)

This hop is like a giant blog tag game where those tagged can share a bit about their creative process as well as what they are currently working on.

 Now, basically, being part of this hop involves answering a few questions and inviting a few others to join in...so here we go...


1. What am I working on?
I am currently working on finishing projects!  And trying not to let my head get turned by every new thing I see out there...but I very much enjoy starting new projects so I need to buckle down and get some finishes!!! (bwahahaha...so I can go crazy and start a bunch of new ones!!!)

The Doctor Who paper pieced quilt for my son (find patterns here) is taking quite a bit of my time and there are secret projects in the works for a couple of blog hops upcoming.


Recent blogpost on this here.


2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I don't really know that it does, honestly...this is a tough question as I think we are all unique in our quest to create. I guess I would say that my answer is that I often try to use my own twist on an existing pattern.  Maybe that's just a fancy way to say that I don't follow directions :) 

A recent swap early this year had me thinking that I differ a bit in that I love traditional and antique quilts as well as modern designs and quilt styles, preferring to mash the two styles together.  I love to work with low volume text filled background fabrics paired with saturated jewel toned fabrics for a fun contrast.

I often stray to a raw edge applique technique when I want to create something that is more personal to me...
College Backpack from a post here.
 
The Raven from a post here.


Cadillac Ranch from post here.



Tribute to Charlie Harper here.


 Self portrait here.




 I even have been known to go 3D once in awhile...the texty boxy bag uses my all time favorite fabric but you'll find a piece of that fabric in lots of my projects.


from post here...

3. Why do I create what I do?
When I came to this craft I was not even familiar with how to use a sewing machine.  Lucky for me my husband's mother taught him to sew and he passed the knowledge on to me.  Yes, my friends, my husband taught me to sew and started me on this journey...
Now that I have started, it sometimes feels like I need to quilt like I need to breathe!  I also really enjoy learning new skills, as my blog says, I love fabric and creating with fabric - as well as connecting with others who enjoy those things as much as I do.  As for the writing part, I started blogging as way to connect to a community of quilters and the show and tell and camaraderie that comes along with it.  I love my internet friends and the inspiration they provide on a daily basis!

4. How does my creative process work?

I am really interested in the planning and execution of a new project, as evidence shows with my many WIPs.  I love to look at Barbara Brackman's Quilt Encyclopedia as a start point.  I sometimes sketch before I start, and I do try to figure out specific measurements...though I rarely end up where I begin.  I love the process of choosing just the right fabrics. When I start sewing, I love to make changes as I'm working. I like the idea of a design wall, and I have a piece of flannel hung over a closet door, but I really rarely use one...usually I use my floor!  This is hazardous as my kitty helper usually wants to sprawl all over my design as I work.
 
Now it is my turn to invite three more bloggers to participate in the around the world hop. I've chosen some great blogging friends, two that I have known for awhile (and bonded over Doctor Who and so many other common projects!!), Patty at A Stitch in Time, and Collette at What about Rheema, and one I've more recently met, Shari at Living with Purpose.  

As with Carol, I  met them all in the wonderful sewing community Madame Samm has created at SewWeQuilt.  They all have constantly brightened my day with their fun posts and inspired me to try new things.  All three of them make absolutely gorgeous things and each have their own distinct style.  You should go visit them now to see what they are up to, you will find your day brightened as well :) and please look for their posts next Monday, September 29th to continue the hop.