Friday, September 9, 2011

More Christmas

I've been trying to keep up with getting gifts done for Christmas. Plugging away doesn't sound so great, but I think that's what I'm doing. Having lots of health stuff going on.

Here's a simple patchwork I did for a very dear friend. I used two charm packs of Le Poulet from Moda, sashed it, backed it and bound it with yardage from the same line. I also used a red perle cotton floss to add a little pizazze! Washed in cold water so it wouldn't bleed. I think it turned nice. = )

My friend's home decor is primary colors with a nautical theme. Don't know that these particular fabrics are nautical, but it seemed like a good fit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Yeah. It's been a while since I posted anything. A lot has been going on in our lives. That's putting it mildly. Vacation. Major health turns. Oh well. God is good.

I did manage to finish up the Christmas surprise I took on vacation. It's all labeled, quilted, washed, folded and ready to go. = ) No pics. It's a surprise!

Despite major back pain and some neurological deficits, I had several WONDERFUL quilt shopping days in Northern Michigan with my dear friends, Bev and Alice! I think we hit a total of five shops on 3 different days. It was a good trip. = )

I guess I'll just show you all the stuff I got, while I work on it. A little at a time. First things first.

Georgia B's Quilt shop in St. Ignace on the UP was a find! and a keeper!! She had a 40% off everything sale going on--to try to make room for new inventory. Got several charm packs and some yardage to go with precuts I already had at home.

Two of my charm packs were Sunkissed, by Moda. I wanted something sunny, maybe a little girly, to do a baby quilt for my niece. She's having a baby girl in October. I just did simple square piecing and chose to do some of the hand-quilting with a pretty green perle cotton floss. I love how it turned out--really cute!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Purple Plus

    Here's a quilt I made for my niece, Mandy. She's headed to a new job opportunity in South Korea and I figured she might like to take a little piece of home with her.

    I started out with purple, gray and black scraps. Cut them into 5 inch squares and laid them out according to my index-card-sketch. This quilt was my inspiration.

    Sewed them all together and bought a piece of purple cotton to put on the back. I stenciled on four hearts in each square and began to hand-quilt. It took a little longer than I'd figured. I was still hand-quilting the night before her going-away party, Saturday--but I got 'r done. Saturday morning I added the binding and threw the finished piece into the washer and dryer.

    I think it turned out pretty cute. Most importantly, Mandy loved it! = )

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, June 27, 2011

Christmas Surprises!

    I've got two projects in the works that are Christmas surprises! Yes, it's a little early. But, I'd rather have things done way ahead of time than be rushed at the last minute. So ... I have two Christmas surprises in the works. = )

    Here are a couple peeks at the fabrics involved. The recipients will probably be able to figure out who they are by the fabrics involved, but that's ok. They won't be able to see the grand design. The first is from Lily & Will II and the second is from French General (both by Moda).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two More Finishes!

    I got TWO projects finished last week! It was a very productive week, indeed.

    First, I put the final touches on my Summer placemats. If you'll remember, I did some Grandmother's flowers with hexes and scraps. I decided to applique them onto solid white, back them with a sunny yellow tonal, and bind in yellow, too. I started out hand quilting them, but quickly gave that up. Hand quilting through 5 layers is no picnic! (At the edge of the flower there's 1. flower fabric, 2. turned under hem, 3. white background, 4. batting, 5. backing)

    Anyway, I resorted to machine quilting. It's the first time I've done that (other than practicing on scraps). Didn't turn out too bad. All straight-line, of course. Not nearly confident enough to try free motion ...

    Second, I finished the scrappy baby girl quilt I made for my friend. I decided to machine-quilt it, too. Again, all straight lines. = ) It turned out cute. However, I think I like the look of hand-quilting better. Looks a little more ... oh ... primitive, unique.  I just like it better that way.

    So, now I only have four things going. Addison's big quilt is on my frame and about 30% quilted. I have almost all the blocks done for Jericho's big quilt. Will probably start laying it out and putting it together sometime in the next week or so. I have a couple "surprise" Christmas gifts in the works, too. = ) Oh! I almost forgot, I purchased a charm pack of the Grand Finale fall collection to use in my Autumn placemats. Need to find a pattern!  Plus, I think I want to try a rag quilt sometime soon ...

    So many possibilities!! = )

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Liberated Wedding Ring - Finished!

    I got the inspiration for this beauty here. I got the fabrics for her at the International Quilt Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio the first week of April. And now, she's finished!

    I ended up not using the black quilting thread. It looked awful. I think there was too much contrast between the cream background fabric and black. It just didn't look right. So, I pulled it out and started over with cream colored thread.

    The center of the cream square has an eight-point star in it. Not sure you can see it too well in the photos. I also quilted in each individual piece of colored fabric. It took a little while! = )

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scrappy Baby Girl Quilt

    A friend of mine is having a baby girl in August. I decided to make her a crib quilt. Imagine. = ) As I looked at patterns and considered fabrics, I really wanted to do it as economically as I could. So, I got an idea ...

    I decided to try a snake quilt. You take 2 1/2  inch strips and sew them together end-to-end, ending up with a very long 2 1/2 inch strip. Then, you sew one end to the other. This will make a 4 1/2 inch strip that's half as long as the original strip. You repeat this until your quilt is appropriately sized.

    Well, I pulled out all of my red, pink and purple scraps and cut a big pile of 2 1/2 inch strips of varying lengths. I sewed them all together and ended up with a very long strip--approximately 825 inches long!

    I sewed it in half (cutting at the halfway fold) four times. It ended up a quilt top approximately 32 1/2 inches by 52 inches. It seemed a little too long, so I trimmed it back to 44 inches in length.

    So far, my baby girl quilt hadn't cost me a dime! Well, I thought about going to pick out something for backing. Then a wild and crazy idea went through my head. What if I could make the whole thing for nothing. What if it was completely fashioned from upcycled and on-hand materials.

    So ... I found this piece of fabric that I had and was big enough for the back. It's not an exact match, but I think it works just fine. I have purple quilting thread that will look awesome in a swirly pattern!!

    Only problem is I don't have any batting on hand. Hmmm ... I think I might try recycling an old blanket.

    This is actually turning out pretty cool!

Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Liberated Wedding Ring Top Complete

    Well, I finished the top for my niece's Liberated Wedding Ring quilt. It's a wedding gift. The wedding is in September. The top finished out at 42" x 42". I saw this quilt featured on Quiltstory several weeks ago and was smitten!

    Here's a shot of what I got for backing and binding. Not sure if you can see it, but the backing is a cream with tiny gray dots. I bought black quilting thread. My Blessing quilt had contrasting thread and I really liked how it turned out. So, we'll see how this looks in several weeks!

    AND ... I had plenty of leftover black, gray and cream fabrics. So, I decided to try my hand at making a bag. Here's the pattern I used. However, instead of using one piece of fabric for the outside, I pieced several strips to get the look I was after.  I think it turned out pretty good for my first try. = )

    I've linked this post to Fabric Tuesday on Quiltstory!! = )


Fresh Poppy Design

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Taking the Plunge!

    I've been blogging about quilting and reading what others blog about quilting for about three months now. I've seen several different swaps that looked like fun, but I was always too chicken to sign-up.

    Well, I decided to take the plunge.

    Jennifer, at Ellison Lane Quilts is hosting a Rainbow Charm Swap. Sounds pretty easy, and--more importantly--not too scary. Pretty confident I can cut 5 inch squares. Although, I'd better not get too cocky...

    The bonus, when it's all over, is that I'll end up with enough rainbow-hued charms to make a pretty quilt!!

Rainbow Charm Swap

Monday, May 23, 2011

Frugal Baby Boy Quilt

    In my last post I mentioned that I'd started a quilt for a friend having a baby boy next month. It's made from the leftover HST's from grandson, Jericho's, quilt. All I needed to purchase was the green polka dot for the borders and enough muslin for the backing. Everything else I had on-hand.

    When I began cutting the bonus triangles from Jericho's quilt, I pressed both seam allowances to one side. But, as I progressed, I switched to pressing the seams open. I'd read that pinwheels are a little easier to piece if you press open. So, that's why I switched.

    Well, they ARE easier to piece ... but they're not easier to hand-quilt. It's so much easier to hand-quilt along the ditch on the HST's I pressed to one side. So, on my next pinwheel project, I'll need to decide if I want easier piecing ... or easier hand-quilting. I don't really think it makes much difference in the appearance of the pattern. And, many experts tell me that pressing seams open won't lead to inferior stability. Oh, well. Guess I'll decide when I make my next pinwheel project.

    Here's a couple photos. = )

I've linked this post to Quiltstory's Fabric Tuesday!

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time to Focus

    It seems I have too many irons in the fire!  Addison's quilt is on the frame. Jericho's quilt is probably about half pieced. Niece's quilt is about 60 percent pieced. Placemat flowers are finished; I'm working on the leaves. Oh, and I started a crib quilt out of the leftover triangles from Jericho's quilt for a friend who's baby is due in June.

    Made a trip to JoAnn's today to get a few things. White solid for background to grandmother's flower placemats, and bright yellow for the backing and binding ... green polka dot for borders and binding on the crib quilt, as well as backing fabric for it ... sewing machine needles ... thread.

    AND ... I decided to make a slipcover for our highchair. On Easter, Jericho slid down and got stuck in a wide space on the back left when one of the "spokes" broke (decades ago). It took several tries, but I think it turned out pretty cute. We'll see how it works with an actual child in the seat. = )

    All this to say ... I haven't posted anything in several days because I've been trying to get things finished before I begin something new. I'm trying to focus!!  It's a lofty goal, I know, but one I really need to stick by ... both for sanity's sake and the sake of our finances!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Placemats III - Grandmother's Flowers

    There's one particular quilt pattern that has always moved me. Here's a photo I found on flickr that displays it beautifully. It's called Grandmother's Flower Garden. It's made up of hexagons that have been English paper-pieced into a beautiful arrangement. I want to make one. I found one on one of the blogs I read, and she called it her "lifetime quilt," presumably because of the amount of time it would take to cut, piece and quilt such a beautiful, inricate piece.

    Well, you know me! The best way to start a long journey is with a simple step forward. = )  So, this weekend I began the process ... and what better place to begin than--PLACEMATS!!!

    It's a small project where I can practice a difficult technique, not getting overwhelmed with the process. It's an opportunity for me to work out many of the kinks and see if I really want to bite off the larger project.

    Here are a few of the flowers I've made for my placemats. I figure I'll make 7 ... since there are seven of us who dine at the table ... Grandson, Jericho is still in the high chair. I figure only two flowers will fit on each. So, I'll need to make 14 flowers. Almost halfway done!! In my quest to have an ample supply of seasonal placemats--these will be our Summer placemats!

I've linked this post up with Quiltstory's
Fabric Tuesday #35!!

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Liberated Wedding Ring

    I picked most of the fabrics for my version of Little Miss Shabby's Liberated Wedding Ring quilt at the International Quilt Festival, held in Cincinnati back in April. I got a cream with black dots for the backing, and a black and cream stripe for the binding at Stitches Quilt Shop in Glendale, Ohio. The batting and solid cream background fabric came from JoAnn's.

    This quilt is to be a wedding gift for my niece and soon to be nephew-in-law. Originally, they were planning a wedding for April, 2012. Well ... The new date is 09-10-11. September 10th! That's only 4 months away! Oh, well. I should have plenty of time to finish the quilt by then. Here are a couple shots of the blocks I've gotten done so far.

    And ... the UPS man brought me something special today! Here's a photo.

    It's my brand new quarter inch piecing foot with guide for my sewing machine!!  YAY!!!  Not that I'm expecting to make perfect quarter inch seams from this day forward, but surely they'll be better using this foot. Surely. = )