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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Memory Quilt #4 and My Not Quite Formal Flowers

Here is memory quilt #4.  I  actually did what I set out to do - make 4 different patterns.  
What's really funny is that I thought I knew which one would be my favorite, but as I made each one, they all became special.  My favorite changed four times!!
We'll see which one ends up in my house.....
Last year I was obsessed with making these bright leaves, it was my car project several times.  When it was all said and done, I had over 400 and needed to think about what to make with them.  
My Dahlia Revisited was the first project to use a bunch of them.  Since I had to make more purple and green to make the colors work it didn't go very far in trying to use up my 400 plus leaves.
 I needed another car project last month and decided to start a vase of flowers with bright blue stems to go with the bright leaves.
I knew I didn't want it formal like "Vintage Blooms" below, so it's quite modern I think :).  I like the B&W vase with the colored leaves.
So instead of Baltimore Album like this.....
I got this!  And did you notice there are no flowers - just leaves?  They are not in their final places yet, but it's pretty close.  The yellow dot for the background will work for this once I get another border around it to set it off.
I've started the applique but it's now become a lunch time project at work, so it might take a while.
And since this is the year of green and purple for me, I'm getting ready to start a new green and purple quilt.  This time I'm adding black and white.  I've drawn it out in EQ7 so we'll see how things go.
After the sadness lately, there's a lot of  happy color therapy going on :).
Happy stitching today,
Karen

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Little Package of Happiness

I had a little box waiting at my door - my prize package from Quilters Newsletter from the 45 year challenge.  It's so much fun to get goodies in the mail :).
These 12 spools of Aurifil thread are so beautiful.   I can't wait until I have time to play with all these different colors in some very pretty projects.
There were 2 fun looking patterns from Pre-Furred Quilts. 
There were 3 rulers from Omnigrid.
This "On Point" ruler looks really interesting - I'll open it and try it soon.
These 2 books offer a lot of inspiration.  I have never tried dyeing my own fabric, but this book sure has a lot of information.
These blues and creams are so beautiful.  I'm not sure what I'm going to make yet, but they are scrumptious!

On a personal note, we had the estate sale yesterday at my brother-in-law's house.  It's quite overwhelming to empty an entire house and try and sell it.  My brain needs a little break, but I will be ready to start creating soon, I'm sure.
Karen

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Momoe's Star from a New Friend


I got an email last month from someone who lives in Ottawa, Canada.  She was looking for information about Momoe's Star and had found my blog after doing a search.  I've made 3 of these quilts, have taught several workshops on the pattern and blogged about it here, so my blog came up when she did a search.  We communicated back and forth several times, and then a few days ago.......
I received these pictures.  In about 5 weeks time, Anita Brazeau completed her first Momoe's Star as a gift for her sister.  And this is NOT a small quilt either.
I am completely blown away by the beauty of the quilt and the speed by which she made it.  She told me she machine pieced the blocks and hand pieced the quilt.  Anita, you are amazing and your quilt is too.  I hope your next Momoe's Star is for you :)!
Happy Stitching,
Karen

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Green and Purple - The End of the Story

I can now tell the complete story of my little green and purple quilt.  First of all, it has a name, "Dahlia Revisited".  And it was created for a very special reason.  I made this quilt for the contest that Quilters Newsletter was having to celebrate their 45th Anniversay.  The rules were simple, create a quilt that celebrates 45 years of quilting, make it 45"x45" and attach an artist statement explaining why the quilt represents 45 years of quilting.  I found out a few days ago that I was chosen as a finalist and that my quilt placed in the top 5! I've won a great prize package and I found out my quilt will hang as part of a special exhibit for QN at the Quilting Live event in Atlanta next month!
I didn't even know anything about the contest until after our quilt show in April when I was catching up on some reading.  The grand prize was a Bernina - which kind of caught my eye.  I've never owned a Bernina and thought that would be fun.  But I didn't know what to do that would represent 45 years until I did the math.  I made my very first quilt 45 years ago - 1969!!
Here is my very first quilt - simply named "Dahlia".  It's a Lemoyne Star with a gathered star flower in the center. Not a typical pattern for a first quilt - but it must have seemed like a good idea in 1969.  There are 30 blocks, it's a generous queen size, and it's completely hand pieced!  Not only are the blocks hand pieced, but all the sashings are hand pieced.
Lest you think that was easy, you can see here that I had a little bit of trouble.  To make things more interesting, all the white fabric is a sheet.  I guess I thought since the sheet worked so well on the front, I would use another one on the back!!  True story - but remember it was the 70's and I had no clue what I was doing.  (The quilting speaks for itself.)
In addition to having trouble doing the hand piecing,  it seems I also had trouble with the applique.  I wish someone would have told me to match the thread.  Guess I had a lot of white thread lying around LOL!!  
But back to the challenge....  What led to my idea for "Dahlia Revisited" was when I realized that somewhere in my stash there were scraps from this quilt and I was pretty sure I knew where they were.  Yes, I've been saving my scraps for 45 years!  
I searched EQ7 for a pattern and couldn't find anything close.  I also couldn't find anything similar on  the internet.  So I made a Leymone Star block out of my original 1969 fabric and tried to create my original block.  After 45 years, I didn't have a clue how I'd made them so I had to just kind of make it up as I went along.  It's not exact, but it's close enough.  This block does look a lot like a block I found called Amish Dahlia.  Does anyone know anything more about this block?
Well I eventually got the block made and then found lots of fabric from my stash that I could use.  If you remember from previous posts, I agonized quite a while on the quilting, but in the end, I was pleased. 
It's such a happy quilt.  The colors were a little hard to match exactly, and I didn't know what to use for the vine.  Suprisingly, what looked best was the original fabric.  I found a long piece cut on the bias that I had used for the binding.  It was perfect.  
So here they are together.  I am so thrilled that QN thought enough of my quilt to award me a finalist prize (even if it wasn't the machine LOL).  When they told me that these quilts would hang as a special exhibit in Atlanta next month, I realized that "Organic Pink Pickles" will also be hanging as a special exhibit for the NYC MQG DWR Challenge at the same event.  Two of my quilts hanging at Quilting Live!!  It really doesn't seem real.  Needless to say, I am planning a trip to Atlanta next month to see both my babies :)!!
It will be Sept. 11-13 if anyone is interested in going.  I'll be there :).

Thanks for sharing in my joy,
Karen

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Memory Quilt #1 is Done - on to #2

Well, the tumblers are done and can I just say love!!  This went together so fast.
The blocks finished at 7 1/2" for a pair by 4 1/2" long so the quilt is 60"x68" which is a really nice size.
I did not spend a lot of energy trying to match things up and just went with the good ole grab it and sew technique!  Every so often it is so refreshing to sew quilts like this.  So much freedom, so fast, so fun.  I will trim the sides straight and then it's ready to baste and quilt - no borders.
Here is quilt #2.  I have always wanted to do this pattern, but never have had a very big stash of stripes.  When I realized that I had about 8 or 9 striped shirts I knew this was the time to try it out.
Here are some on the wall.  The pinkish red was the first one I cut and I had the stripes going the wrong way.  I have decided to scrap that one all together.  The fabric is really bad and I found a few others to add instead.  I'm cutting strips 4" wide and using the companion angle ruler.  So far so good.  Each block only has 3 seams so these blocks go together super fast also.  

Two good choices so far for easy, interesting patterns.
Happy stitching,
Karen

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Memory Quilt #1 is Tumblers

I've been looking at so many patterns and there are so many choices but I've decided to start with the tumbler.  I'd seen a video of a tumbler quilt made with charm squares and a specialty ruler.  So I cut my own 5" charm squares and used one of my wedge rulers and made my own template.  There is practically no waste using 5" squares.
We got home last weekend from a week at our timeshare in the NC mountains.  Can I say heaven??  We spent time with the grands and our kids but I did get one alone morning.  The hubby was playing golf, the windows were open, I had a cup of coffee and I just savored some quiet time with my sewing machine.  I didn't get many blocks actually sewn together, but I did get a bunch cut out.
I didn't have to work today, so I really went to town chain piecing.  This pattern goes together so fast!!  I said that I wanted to do 4 different patterns, but it's tempting to make more than one of this one.
So far I'm really liking it.  I'm thinking that I won't put a border on it, just square up the sides.  Once I've got it laid out, I'll sew sections together and then sew the rows together.
Here's a picture that I took for my sister, the flowers were glorious!!  It's just so hot here in Florida - they don't look like this.
It's good to be home, hope you get some stitiching time.
Karen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Making Memory Quilts


Last weekend my DH and I started going through my BIL's household things.  We made an inventory and tried to get a plan as to how to handle all that.  I have decided to take some of his shirts and make some memory quilts.  I think I will be making at least 4.
There were lots of shirts to choose from.  I have no idea how many I will need to make 4 medium - large lap quilts.
I've been looking on pinterest for ideas, there are plenty.  Not sure how complicated I want the pattern to be as 4 is a lot to make.  Plus I'd be using the same group of fabrics and I wouldn't want to get bored :).  So that's why I'm thinking I'll do several simple patterns and break things up. That way people would have a choice.  I need to keep looking.  Any suggestions?
It's a little weird to be taking perfectly good shirts and cutting them up.  It's also weird that my BIL is not here any more to wear them.  I'm not sure I could do this with shirts that had belonged to my husband or my son......
I watched Bonnie Hunter's method of "de-boning" a shirt on you-tube.  I modified her technique slightly.  She snips and then rips a lot of the seam and plackets.  I just don't like all those strings!  After one or two times I just decided to cut everything.  Doesn't really take too long at all.

Have any of you made a quilt out of shirts?
Any helpful hints?
I'm kind of in the mood to start before too much time goes by.  Maybe this will be my project when we head to the North Carolina mountains next week - yay!  I was struggling with what to bring.
Happy stitching,
Karen