Thursday, May 30, 2013

Trying Something New

Over the years, I've made many T-shirt quilts.  I love making them.  The challenge of trying to make something cohesive and artistically pleasing out of a pile of old t-shirts - well, it definitely keeps this old brain engaged :).
This quilt is for a girl who's graduating from high school as a gift from her parents.  It was so special to work on this as my DD graduated from this same high school 19 years ago! How is that possible (oh yeah, I just celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary LOL!)
This quilt turned out bigger than most, there were a lot of t-shirts and I had a hard time getting it all in the picture.  It ended up with 36 blocks.
Her mom told me that she loves camo :).  Perfect for the back.  Moda put out a pink camo several years ago, but I couldn't find ANY!  So I found this pink camo fleece.  This is the new part - I've never used fleece as a backing for a quilt. 
I decided not to use a batting as the quilt was so big and it didn't need the extra weight. The fleece gives it the perfect amount of loft and it's snuggly soft.  It behaved perfectly and looks great!!  So in the last month I've quilted minkee and fleece -feels good to be trying new things.   I used the curly design from the b/w fabric to do an overall curl, comma design.
It's getting picked up today, I hope she's pleased.  There's always a bit of apprehension when you're making a quilt for someone that they don't see until it's done.  But I have a feeling she's going to love it.
Thanks for all the sweet anniversary wishes, have a great day.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Forty Years Ago...

40 years ago yesterday, I married my college sweetheart and we started this great adventure. It still doesn't seem possible that 40 years have gone by.  I think this picture has faded a little, but that powder blue tux still looks pretty good - gotta love the 70's!!
You can see the cake topper, it's filled with freshly cut lilacs picked that morning from my backyard.  Lilacs are one of the things I miss most about living in Rochester.
But I still have the cake topper, and I bought some silk lilacs many years ago to remind me.
This is the most recent picture of our family taken last Thanksgiving.
Since this was taken, we found out we have a new baby due in July.  Karis will have a baby brother named Jack.  We can't wait.
I am very blessed.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day as we remember those that gave all.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Road Trip Project

We got back last week from a short, impromptu trip to Charlotte to see our kids and grandkids :).  Always fun, and always a time to spend the 9 hour (each way) road trip working on a hand project.  I have decided to go back to my brights and start making leaves.
Right now I'm just making them and starting to formulate a plan.  All I know at this point is that it will have a pieced center and appliqued vines with leaves.
I'm pretty much using everything in my tote of brights.
My favorite method (at the moment) of hand applique is to prep the pieces using templates.  I thread baste them, then press and pop out the template.  This says "L" for large, I'm using S,M, and L leaves.
As you can see, it doesn't look like my bag has been touched and I made over 200.  These were all some of the leftover 2 1/2" strips from previous projects.
Remember last summer when I helped Cameron make a miniature of my Happy Quilt?  These are the same fabrics.
The reason to go to  Charlotte was to see these little people (and also the big people)......
they are so precious.   All dressed and ready for church.
Karis was inseperable from Cameron the whole weekend, so sweet.
And we got to see James' last t-ball game :).
And my Mom and Dad came down and spent the day with us - always so special. 
I'm still working on other things, so the leaves is a long term project. 
Have a great day,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Just Couldn't Wait...

I found this picture and realized I had forgotten to put it in the last post.  This was the stage where I had ripped out 8 scallops and 56 petals. :(   At least the hand applique came out easily.
Here's the finished top waiting to be basted (not my favorite part).
It took a total of almost 4 hours, watched a cute movie "Leap Year".  Not riveting my any means, but entertaining.
Almost finished - yea!
And here's the first few stitches.  I know it should seem overwhelming to hand quilt a large quilt like this, especially when it will have LOTS of quilting.  But it is so exciting to me.  I know what's waiting to come out.  I'll outline all the vines and flowers and then start the background.  That will be a ways off.
I won't bore you with lots of updates, but had to share that "Jubilee Tribute" in officially on its way.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Jubilee Quilt Update

This quilt has taken me on quite a journey.  Today I finished hand appliqing the last little piece (at least I hope so).  Last year I feel like I spent weeks staring at the borders trying to figure out what to do, I finally made a plan.  A big thank you to Janet from Quiltsalott.  I sent her pictures and asked for her opinions.  What she told me it needed was exactly what I had thought, but I needed someone else to say it.  So thanks Janet.
The first plan was 4 scallops with 9 petals on each scallop.  That grew to 5 scallops on each side with 11 petals.  Then came the flowers, a variation of the the center flowers complete with those fussy little leaves.  Then what to do at the bottom of the stem.  A decision to make 2 berries for each flower - seemed to be perfect........ until I sewed the borders to the center.  I didn't really know what I was doing, so I didn't measure very well.  I ended up needing to rip out 8 of the 20 scallops - 2 of them completely.  Then I had to rip out petals - a total of 56!!!!!  Oh well, live and learn.  But I am proud to say, it is done!!!!
It is so hard to remember a year ago when it started out looking like this.
I found this piece about 6  months ago and knew if was perfect for the back, it is absolutely beautiful.
Thank you Jo :).  So I'm ready to baste and then start the hand quilting.  It needs to be done in time for our quilt show next April.
I sometimes thought this day would never come.  I know it's not done, but it's a whole lot more done than it was 6 months ago.  I'll share quilting updates from time to time.  I still love everything about this quilt :)!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Soft Breezes

My neutral quilt is finished except for the binding.  I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
These really are "quiet quilts".  So different from the bright, happy fabrics we see so often.
I quilted an all-over design, one of my favorites.  I call it meandering vine feather.  Kind of covers it all I guess :).
It's going to live at someone's else house soon - I hope she likes it.
The back is a soft yellow - you can't really tell from this.
This is the first quilt I made from this pattern, I asked our guild members for yellow or blue strips and created this for a program I did for the guild called "Miagia" which stands for "Make it and give it away". 
It's a summery looking quilt.
This is the 2nd quilt I made, I call this one Autumn Breeze.
It's all batiks, each block usess a different light batik for the background.  It's still a flimsy, I need to finish this soon.  Can you tell I really like this pattern??? LOL
This is original quilt "Summer Breeze" done in soft Robyn Pandolf's early fabric lines.
It's from Kim's first book - so many great patterns.
I'm off to work, have a great day.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My New Light is Amazing!

This is the new light I bought at the Cindy Needham workshop I took last month.  It is fabulous!
This is the first project I quilted after I installed the light.
My friend made this darling Amy Butler quilt for her new granddaughter (due in a few weeks).  I quilted it for her.
I did an overall design and it turned out darling.
The new mom loves butterflies so I added one.  It's hard to see from the front, but shows up well on the minkie side.  This was my first time to work on minkie, and it behaved perfectly.
This is how my workspace normally looked before my light.  I've started working on the new neutral quilt.
Here's the same thing with my light.  It is absolutely amazing how much better I can see.  It was especially helpful this time as the thread blended into the neutral colors and was very difficult to see.  I am so happy.  Too bad I didn't see a big improvement in my quilting LOL!
I should be finished by tomorrow - yea!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shopping at My Favorite Store

I bet you thought I was taking a trip, well, I was.... to my stash.  I realized years ago, that buying the fabric I really liked was like starting my own fabric store where everything in it was my favorite.  So when I look at my stash, I think of it as my own store :).   I keep most of my scrappy pieces (and some bigger pieces too) in these plastic containers.  They're folded so I can see each piece.  
I am starting a new project, and decided I wanted to do low volume neutrals.  So I pulled fabrics that I wanted to use and cut 2 1/2" strips of each.
The strips on the left will be the focal points with the lights being used in the main body of the quilt.
Of course, I always make sure I have a kitty that fits into the color scheme.
Here are some of the blocks up on my design wall... I think I'm going to like it.  Recognize the pattern??  This will be the 3rd time I've made this pattern - guess I kind of like it :).
And today I say good-bye to my sweet calendar girl.  How I've enjoyed having her in my kitchen each day, but it's May 1st and I know Tammy and Avis are excited it's their turn now.
Have a great day, I'm off to do some hand quilting on our Opportunity Quilt :).