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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Winds of the Seasons" --Completed!

Here's my first entry for the quilt show, all done including hanging sleeve and label. It's hand-quilted... my stitches aren't terribly small yet, but they are pretty even, and the larger stitches (I think) work well with the folk-y style of the overall project. In the panels, I quilted the house outlines, the hills and the paths. There's a ribbon pattern quilted into the blue sections of the sashing, and then I added the cute little wooden buttons in the center of the pinwheels to make it that much more homespun-feeling. It's not "master quilter" quality, but I think I met the guild challenge of taking pre-printed blocks/panels and making them my own.

Christmas Sewing

This is "Dutch Iris" designed by Eileen B. Sullivan at The Designer's Workshop.

This is the first Christmas project I finished. My mom has a serious "thing" for irises, so when I saw this kit at the quilt festival, I knew I just HAD to make it for her for Christmas. Paper piecing is one of my new favorite types of quilting, since it's so precise and makes such intricate pictures with ease. Due to the way I piece (preferring newsprint to freezer paper) my iris is a mirror image of the original... and the cute little ladybug is graciously hiding a pretty major flaw in my piecing. So it's not perfect, but she loves it and that's all that really matters anyway!

These are based on the Tremendously Tidy Travel Pillow created by Charlotte at Charlotte's Sew Natural. Everyone in our house got one of these (except me... I'll make one for myself later). The baseball one (for Elijah) is actually one of her kits, and I pulled together fabrics for the camo pillow (for Jack) and Dora pillow (for Abigail) on my own. The pillowcase is really cool... the inner liner, shown in the second picture, is attached to the inside of the outer case and serves to keep the 12x16 pillow clean and inside the case... neat, huh? And they go together very quickly-- I can see many more pillows being made from this pattern!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

My Surprise Find

Not far from our house is one of those shops where you can rent a booth and sell whatever you want... candles, Avon, homemade crafts, antiques, assorted junk (trust me there's LOTS of that category there) Honestly, I think I've been in there all of 3 times in the nearly 3 years we have lived here. Well, today I just happened to pop in, mostly to get ideas on what I could charge if I started selling miscellaneous craft items. I made my way through the aisles and found a booth way on the back wall with a sign indicating that the items were being sold by the family of a woman who had passed away back in October. What first caught my eye were the four 8 fat quarter bundles marked $2.50 each (usually you would pay $2.50 per FQ, right?), plus I later learned that there was a 20% off sale going on... I decided to poke around a bit further and found a non-descript plastic bag containing the above 38 applique leaf blocks. What a treasure trove! They will make a beautiful quilt top... for a whopping $20 (after the 20% came off). I told the shop owner that I would try to complete the quilt and give her a picture of it to share with the woman's family, which she indicated they would probably like.

Hey I just finished one project today... time to add another one to the pile, right?? (Oh and I can't post a pic of the finished project, since it's going to someone who reads my blog :-) Sorry, you'll just have to wait)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pumpkin Blocks from Guild BOM Swap

This is the pumpkin I made for the drawing. I especially LOVE the strip with the polka dots. (And Mom, recognize the last strip, with the leaves?)

And here are all my little pumpkins, save one which I should be getting soon from someone who forgot to bring hers to the meeting. Now I get to decide what to do with them... thinking of adding a full moon block (and/or black cat?) and maybe making one pumpkin into a jack-o'lantern for a true Halloween feel. We'll have to see (this project MIGHT get finished for next Fall, but right now I have bigger fish to fry...).

A Big Step

Today's post is all about my quilt-making. So far, I've been "small-potatoes"-- making little projects and a couple of cute little baby quilts for friends. I've made some larger quilt tops, like for Quilts of Valor, but those are quilted by someone else. Well... as of last night, it's official, I've signed on to be a "real" quilter.

Our local guild will be having a show in January. I had already planned to show one of my quilts, "Winds of the Seasons," since it was specifically made for the guild challenge (using pre-printed blocks/panels), but I wasn't going to enter it to be judged... After asking some quilty friends and soliciting advice from our guild president, I am not only having that little wall-hanging judged, but I'm also entering my latest creation, now entitled "Santa's Blizzard Blues." You can see both unquilted tops on my quilt page. Now I just need to actually quilt both of them! I'll be hand quilting the smaller of the two and (gulp!) machine quilting my big, lap-sized quilt. Now I have no illusions of winning ANYTHING, but maybe I'll at least be able to get some constructive criticism and a little "direction" from some people who really know their stuff.

Wish me luck!

Oh and I forgot to mention! I also won the drawing for this month's block of the month! Each month the guild ladies who want to participate make blocks from a pattern and bring them to the meeting. The block for last night was a cute simple pumpkin on neutral background... I made one (I usually participate) and actually won the 15 blocks--enough for an entire quilt...woohoo! Now I can put them together at my leisure and have an Autumn/Halloween quilt. There's a picture of the blocks that I received over on my quilt page.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I've Got a Name: "Santa's Blizzard Blues"

Here is the completely finished top... If you click on the picture, it will come up bigger. The pattern is called disappearing 9-patch (Thanks Helen!). The finished size will be approx 58 x58. It uses Moda's "Snow Village" charm squares -- you can even see Santa in his sleigh in one of the squares. Just leave a comment with your suggestion... I really need help (everything I've come up with is either terminally boring or terribly cheesy...LOL)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Completed QOV #2

Here are the pics of my second completed Quilt of Valor, quilted by Edith S. in Odessa, TX, with an all-over stars & loops quilting pattern. I'm so happy with the way it turned out! If you look carefully at the close-up shot, you can see where she actually quilted the words "With deepest gratitude" into the inner border -- gorgeous! This quilt was sent to the Wilmington VA Medical Center.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"What Little Boys Are Made Of"

A baby quilt for a friend at church who is having a baby boy in September (her shower is this weekend). I hope she likes lime green...

This pattern is the "Star-Sashing Baby Quilt" from the (really helpful) book Quilting 101. It's really cool, because the stars sort of appear as you assemble the quilt, rather than being individually pieced, which makes it MUCH easier to handle. The name I gave this particular quilt comes from the fabric featured in the large squares which has frogs, crabs, fish and snails scattered across the blue-green stripes. I haven't quite finished the binding, but I wanted to get the picture up. Now don't look too close or you'll see why I say that I'm a quilt-topper, not a quilter... I really need to find a friend with a long-arm machine...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Quilt of Valor

I just finished the top for my second QOV. Now, it hasn't been quilted yet, but I'll be requesting a longarmer from QOVF later today. I still need to get a backing fabric for it... something simple. The pattern is another free one from Quilt Index, called "Richly Deserved." I thought this was a perfect name for a quilt going to a wounded soldier. I had to increase the quilt size from the pattern to be big enough for QOV, but it was just a matter of adding another row & column of blocks. The outer border fabric is WW2 theme Army print with newspaper, medals, postcards and the like. I had this fabric first (another one from the Christmastime fabric shopping spree with my MIL) and then pulled the colors out for the other fabrics. I personally think the end result is very handsome, but then I'm a little biased.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Hook 'Em Horns!"

A few months ago a very sweet friend did something for my family which was overly generous and totally unexpected. I won't go publicly into what he did for us, but suffice to say we could never hope to repay his gesture. He is an old college buddy of mine and like me totally bleeds orange. I made this little (the whole thing is less than a foot square) paper-pieced wall hanging for his office as a small token of our thanks. I had never paper pieced before, and I decided that I really like doing it--uses very little fabric & hard to mess up, even though I did in couple of places-- but even for my first time, I think it came out pretty OK. Hope he likes it, and if not I'll tell him to give it to his wife for a hot pot holder...LOL

"Winds of the Seasons"

This is my entry for our quilt guild's show challenge (only doing it since it can be entered as "non-judged"...LOL) The challenge is to take pre-printed squares/pictures of some type, cut them apart and make them your own. Back around Christmas, my MIL had taken me fabric shopping and these seasonal squares were one of the purchases we made. I took the changing seasons blocks, chose one color from each season and made little pinwheel blocks to separate them and carry over the feeling of the changing seasons, hence the quilt's name. As you can see it's not quite done yet. I can't decide if it needs another border--perhaps out of the blue coordinating fabric I used in the pieced sashing or maybe a pieced border using the different colors? Then I need to quilt it (likely by hand since my machine has been misbehaving and won't feed fabric right), and then bind it off in the blue. If anyone has border suggestions (or if you think it doesn't need one), please leave me a comment with your suggestion!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Pair of Twins

I guess they would be more along the lines of "fraternal twins..."

It's amazing how different two quilts can look even when using the same pattern and related fabrics. As you can see the yellow & green one is not quite finished... I'll probably replace this picture when I get around to finishing it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quilts of Valor

A while back I mentioned that a quilting friend of mine and I were planning to make a quilt for the Quilts of Valor program. For those who don't recall, this organization is made of volunteers who make and donate quilts to be given to wounded American soldiers. Well, we finally got ours 100% finished (almost anyway... we still need to put a label on it...). Then we can get a final destination to send it to so it can be given to a soldier. This has been a wonderful experience, and I'd love to do more of them -- I only wish I had more time to devote to this worthy cause (I hardly get any sewing time at all with homeschooling and caring for my two rambunctious kiddos, and much of that time is spent making clothes). The best part was having someone else do the actual quilting... Anyway, please visit my quilting page to see our quilt and then maybe try making one yourself! (and while you're here, check out my darling daughter in her new dress over on the family page)

Our Quilt for Quilts of Valor

This quilt and its presentation/pillow case will be going soon to an American soldier wounded in the line of duty. You can't really see close enough to tell, but the border fabric has words like "Glory... Freedom... Honor... Justice... Brotherhood" printed in the gold-tone stripes. The quilt pattern, called "Stars and Strips," is available for free from Quilt Index.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Stashbuster Squares

This is a sampling of the kinds of squares I made for the block swap. Quite the mish-mash, but overall really kinda pretty.

"Bluebonnets Squared"

A large-scale double nine-patch wall hanging/table topper (finished size around 1 yard square). This was my Christmas gift to my mother-in-law. She's the "master quilter" who has really gotten me started on this quilting journey. Her kitchen is all done in Texas Bluebonnets, and I thought this would look nice on her kitchen table. It is a very simple pattern with even simpler quilting, but that way it shows off the fabrics above anything else.