Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A new beginning and an ending

Last year, my assistant at work lost her dad. A few months later she asked me if I would make a quilt out of her dad's ties. It was to be a gift for her mom for Mother's Day. Having never done a tie quilt before.... I said sure. (Sometimes I have trouble saying no, and I love a challenge) How hard could it be?? As it turned out, not hard at all. And what would we do without the internet? A few clicks, and there was everything you could possibly want to know about making a tie quilt. The hardest part, was disassembling the ties. Those silk threads were pretty tiny.
This is my friend, Barb. She was so thrilled with the results and her Mom uses it regularly. It's a very special thing to make a remembrance quilt for someone at the end of their long life. At the other end of the spectrum, is a new baby. This is the quilt I designed for my newest great-niece, Kennedy Lynne. These are the colors and shapes of the fabric in the nursery. This is my sister Debra - she's the proud grandmother.

I just cut random 2 1/2" strips and then appliqued circles. It was so fast and fun and my niece was thrilled. It's a little hard to tell, but each circle became the center for a quilted flower motif. Lots of the fabrics had circles in them, so it was a happy quilt to work on. Yellow, green and brown is a little non-traditional for a baby girl, but this quilt was adorable.

Hope your day is sunny.
Until next time,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Found a few more

I know these are out of order, but I found a few more random pictures from the Quilt Show a few weeks ago. This is Cynthia England's newest quilt. She did a trunk show and workshop for our Guild last year, and came back as a vendor. She is a delight.

And her work is unbelievable. These pictures do not do her work justice, but it was awesome.
This was part of her booth, showing patterns available. It was like a little mini quilt show all by itself!
This is a Gwen Marston pattern I found in a calendar a few years ago. My friend Sheree and I did this for the Silent Auction.
I appliqued the top and Sheree did the quilting. It was so cute.

This is my friend Faye in front of her quilt. She enjoyed standing and watching people enjoy her quilt. She had never been to a quilt show before.
And finally, this is the picture of the quilt that inspired me to make "Upstate Beauty". Considering that the picture was about this big, no pattern, no nothing, I'm pretty satisfied.

Until next time,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Changing the Fireplace Quilt

Probably the thing I dislike most about my house is the fireplace. My DH loves it, but it's too dark and massive for my tastes. I've talked to several painters about painting the brick or the grout and they all said I'd probably make it worse. So several years ago, I came across this great frame and decided to do a series of quilts to fit inside the frame. What else do quilters think of putting in a frame??? I loved it!!

I started with this one. I had just started machine quilting and this was my first "major" project. The pattern appeared in American Patchwork and Quilting (my favorite magazine) as the alternative layout and I had all the scraps, so I had nothing to lose if I totally ruined it or I didn't like it.

I had just repainted my dining room a clay brick red, and needed to bring some red into the living room so this seemed perfect. It's mounted to a 24 x 36" foam board with a staple gun. It's not perfect, but for my first attempt, I was pretty pleased.

Here's a sample of my "wonderful" stitching - like I said, it was my first attempt.

But it seemed so wintery, that I knew I needed a spring quilt next. Probably the thing I love the best is baskets and leaves. I love to applique' and so I knew what the next project would be.

I brought in the red this time in the flowers. The gold adds a lot of warmth and kind of brings the quilt out. This one was hand appliqued and hand quilted . They're really small and I love to hand quilt. I had a blast doing this one.

So this is the spring quilt, and will be up for several months. You'll have to wait to see the rest, so far I've made 5. Still to come are my summer, fall and Christmas quilts.

This one absolutely makes me smile. My daughter loves dragonflies, and so these remind me of her. There is echo quilting around the whole thing. Framing quilts gives them such a different feel.
Happy Spring y'all (tomorrow), it's still chilly here - especially for Florida. But the sun is shining and I know the heat will be here too soon for me.

Until next time,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thank you gift

About 10 years ago, a good friend of mine asked me if I would make a t-shirt quilt for her niece who was graduating from high school. I'd never done one before, but I said yes. I had it long arm quilted by a friend and I saved the little scraps from the sashings.

Several years later, she called me again. Another niece was graduating... you get the picture.

Four years ago I plunged into the world of machine quilting myself (not long arm) and so I started quilting those t-shirt quilts myself. I believe there have been a total of 7. With so many strings left, there was only one thing to make - a string quilt.

The colors are so wild, and I'm sure will bring memories of all her nieces. I'm delivering it tomorrow. Hope she likes it. I forgot to take a picture of the back, but it's very neutral so she can turn it over LOL.

So thanks for trusting me, and thanks for the memories.
Until next time,

Monday, March 8, 2010

A special quilt, a special ribbon

This quilt was made in the summer of 2008 as an entry in our guild's quilt challenge called "Shades of Nature". Each participant got 3 paint colors (on an index card) and you had to make a quilt based on those colors. This quilt ended up being # 7 in a series of 9 quilts (I had a slight learning curve drafting my own pattern in EQ6). Each one is different. I kept a few, sold a few of them, and still have 2 left that are for sale.

My 3 colors were a creamsickle orange, bright yellow and lime green. I had never really worked with batiks before, so this was a blast for me to have an excuse to buy little 1/8 yd pieces of lots of fabrics. I have never entered a quilt in the machine quilting category before. I was a little nervous, but felt like this was my best effort. And I figured I'm at the point where I'm ready to hear some constructive criticism from the judge. Probably having it in the small category helped, but either way, I was thrilled.

I still love these colors, they are way outside my normal, but that's the whole point of a challenge - right??
My computer has crashed, so I'll be a little limited for the next few weeks waiting for my new one.
Until next time,

Friday, March 5, 2010

My non-birthday

In all the rush of the quilt show, my birthday, or non-birthday, snuck in. For those who want to know how old I am, I'm somewhere between 14 and 15. I'll give you a hint, this was not a leap year. Anyway, I got lots of sweet cards, and it was a good day.
Until next time,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

First Quilt Show Pictures

Here is the reason I stopped blogging for about 6 weeks. It's called "Upstate Beauty" in honor of growing up near Rochester, NY and fall being my favorite time of year. It's based on an antique quilt I saw in a magazine in 1995. I ripped the page out thinking one day I'll make that quilt! With close to 3,000 little spikes, if I hadn't had the deadline of the show, this quilt would probably still be sitting in a box.

But, it's not, it's wearing a red ribbon, for 2nd place. I was thrilled. As hard as I worked on this quilt, I knew that it had its issues. (Don't we all know exactly where the "issues" are?) Last summer I bought a book called Quilting in the Limelight by Philippa Naylor. I read it cover to cover, it's an absolutely incredible book. Philippa is so extremely talented, that trying anything she writes about is inimidating. Well, I tried 4 new techniques on this quilt from that book! I think the first time you use a new technique, it's risky. It may or may not work. Mostly, mine didn't work, but who knows what would have happened if I hadn't tried them. There is always a learning curve on new techniques. Plus, I was teaching myself, which is more difficult than if you take a class to learn a technique. Next time will be a little better, I'm sure.

I'm very pleased with the quilting design in the open spaces. I drafted the design to mimick the arcs of the blocks. I used a Kaufman Batik, so hand quilting thru a batik was not the best thing to achieve a small stitch. Plus, I do not use a hoop, but quilt in my lap (which also is not the best to achieve a small hand stitch). But, this quilt is for me, and on many levels, it achieved everything I had hoped for. It will occupy a place of honor in my house. I used Bamboo batting for the first time, and love it!! This quilt, with all its seams and use of batiks, already feels like it's been washed 100 times.

My friend, Kim Brackett, of Magnolia Bay Quilts and author of Scrap Basket Surprises, showed up Saturday afternoon for a book signing with our local quilt shop. She graciously stood in front of my quilt (what else??) for a picture.

I will post more pictures, now that the show is over, I feel like I have a portion of my life back. There is one more deadline looming, but I'll tell more about that another time.
Until next time,