Thursday, August 18, 2022

Delivered Quilts

In my last post (YIKES - that was over a month ago!), I shared pictures of a quilt I was making and my struggle with determining the borders. The quilt is done and delivered and I figured that I should share pictures. You can read more about this quilt and the smaller version I made HERE. In that post, I described the story behind my fabric choices and why I chose this pattern.

This is the quilt that will be auctioned this weekend, with the proceeds going to Lexi who is struggling with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma.


The quilt measures 70" x 84" and will fit nicely on a twin bed. The pattern is called In a Flash and it's from the Quick as a Wink - 3 yard Quilt booklet. I quilted random loops throughout this quilt and I like how it looks on both the front and back.

I made a lap size version of this quilt because I want Lexi to have a quilt to take with her to treatments and snuggle with while she is at home. If you have not done so already, please take a couple of minutes and read about the making of this quilt HERE and I think you will have a good understanding of why I felt the need to make this quilt. I want Lexi to know and feel how much she is loved by her family and friends. 


Lexi's quilt measures 50" x 68" and I think that is a perfect lap size. 

Please keep Lexi and her family in your thoughts. She can use all the good vibes you can send.

I have been working on other projects and spending time with family. I'll share more on that soon. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Border Options

Does anyone else start thinking about their borders well before the quilt interior is fully sewn together? The blocks are made, but they are not together and my mind is racing with border ideas. This quilt has moved to the front of the line (over the Granny Square Quilt - whose borders have still not been decided!) because of an urgent need.


The quilt is called In a Flash, and it is from the Quick as a Wink 3-Yard Quilts booklet. I have enlarged the quilt to the Twin size (instructions are included in booklet), but am changing the borders. 

The quilt is needed quickly because it will be part of a fundraiser for a 23 year old friend of Jack's granddaughter who has just been diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I have been asked to use the Hodgkin's color (purple) and Lexi's favorite color (blue). Here are the original three fabrics I chose. 


I chose the pattern, not only because it can be made quickly, but because I see this as a very simplistic symbol of the path Lexi's is on right now. Let me try to explain...

The purple fabric has arcs in it and I have made sure that they are all in the proper orientation in the quilt. The arcs remind me of rainbows, and rainbows remind me of good things - kind of like the calm after a storm.  


This purple fabric is used for the big blocks and are a focal point (as is her disease right now), but they are surrounded by the light fabric. 

To me, the light fabric is her support system - her friends, family, and medical caretakers. We are there to help her and to protect her as much as possible. 


The final fabric includes a variety of shade of Lexi's favorite color - blue; but it also includes purple and a very light color similar to the lightest fabric. 


Can you see the flowers in the fabric? They make me smile! This fabric has it all - her happy color, her disease, and her support system. 

The pattern itself reminds me of a stepping stone or path. The disease is "in your face" right now, just like the big purple blocks. The blue and light fabric chain blocks represent Lexi's path to navigate through this terrible time, but they never stop or give up. They continue upwards and onwards and they include her support group to help her every step of the way. 


I am thinking of adding a fourth fabric - a fabric that will frame the blocks and "stop" the disease. 


The rest of the borders are still in the pondering stage. After the dark frame, I'm thinking of a small border of the purple (the disease), another small border of light (friends, family, etc.), and end with it being all about Lexi - the blue fabric. 

I'll share pictures of what I decide. 

This quilt will be auctioned off, which means that Lexi will not have it. But, I have enough fabric that I am planning to make a duplicate, only smaller to give to Lexi. Hopefully she can take it with her to treatments or just sit with it and know that she is surrounded by love.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A New Project To Share

So much for posting more frequently! :-( 

Honestly, I've not just been sitting around eating bon bons and twiddling my thumbs; but since I haven't been sharing anything here, it certainly feels like that's the case.

In the past two weeks, I have completed a couple of secret sewing project for Tammy Silvers that I can't show yet, but I can show snippets. The first quilt is a Christmas quilt, and it is adorable. 

Take a look at this block The quilt is fun and easy to put together and I think I am going to use the pattern to make a wall hanging and table runner. I may even make a few placemats to go along with it. It really is that adorable!


I completed another secret project for Tammy and it involves a lot (320!) flying geese units. 


Yikes! That was a lot of trimming! I used a Studio 180 Wing Clipper to trim everything, so that made it much easier and faster. 


I've made some samples for upcoming classes, but I haven't taken pictures yet. Maybe this week...

I recently taught a Granny Squares Quilt class that was fun. I made the original sample I use for class back in 2014 and it was made using very traditional/30's reproduction fabrics. (I made a second version of this quilt in late 2014 that is very different, but it was made using a specific fabric that is no longer available. Check that out HERE.) 


While I still like the original quilt (and second version), I decided I wanted an updated and larger version so I headed to my stash and pulled out an older Alison Glass Sun Prints 2.5" strip pack. I found a fabric that I liked for the background and made up some blocks and step-out samples. 




I needed to add a couple of fabrics to end up with the required number of blocks, so I pulled two from my stash that I felt blended well. I am happy with the choice. 


I sewed and trimmed 48 blocks and decided to put them up on the design wall right away, instead of putting them away and work on something "more pressing." That's just one of the many ways I end up with a bunch of UFOs and I was determined that would not happen with this quilt.

Here are the blocks, with no sashing added yet. I wanted to get an idea of the layout and be sure no two adjacent blocks had the same fabric. Until I put this on the wall, I didn't realize how many yellow fabrics I used in making the blocks.  hahaha


I have started to sew in the vertical sashing strips and then sew rows together. After that, I'll add the horizontal sashing and decide about a border. I have a fabric I am considering, but I'm not sure about it and won't be until that top is complete. 


I have projects on which I should be sewing, but I needed a break from "required" work and this is perfect! I am looking forward to seeing this updated version of a very traditional pattern. :-) 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Whew! It's Been a Long Time

It sure has been a long time since I've posted. I thought about posting many times over the past two months or so, but I could just never find the time. Well, today's the day that I decided to make some time.

I've been busy creating beautiful quilts (some for myself, but more for designer samples), filling a long-term sub- teaching assignment, and just plain trying to play catch up. Jack and I had a wonderful time last month at the AQS show in Paducah. We traveled with six friends and had a magnificent time with them. This was our first time going to the show and I'm pretty sure that it won't be the last. The quilts were amazing!

As I said earlier, I've been sewing samples for a couple of designers. I'll share a few pictures today and try to share more over the next week or so.

As you probably know, I sew quilt samples and test patterns from Myra Barnes of Busy Hands Quilts.  I enjoy creating with her patterns and was honored to sew to a couple of quilts for her recently. Myra sent these fabrics for Waterfall, which is quite easy to make. (This is the third one I've sewn for her.)  


The resulting quilt was spectacular, even though my picture is not!


While is looks the same, Waterfall II is made using just once color family. These are the fabrics Myra sent for that quilt.


These were all used in the Waterfall quilt shown above; but this time the fabrics are all blue. Again, a stunning quilt resulted.  


I just received fabric from Myra to create another Waterfall II quilt and I can't wait to share that with you. It is going to be gorgeous. 

Besides sewing for Myra, I've been sewing for Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis. Here is her Juxtaposition quilt made using Kaffe Fassett fabrics. 


This is one of my favorite patterns to use when I need a quick and easy-to-make quilt. I've made it twice before and it always looks great, no matter if you choose the three fabric version or the more scrappy one that is made using pre-cuts. Here are a couple of pictures of two quilts made using the three fabric method. These were taken before the quilts were trimmed, quilted, and bound. 



I'll update with more pictures soon. In the meantime, I hope you have the opportunity to take the advice that I found on a candy wrapper. :-)


Thursday, February 3, 2022

Quilting Celebrations

A very common thing that many quilter do when sharing a project is to point out what they perceive as "mistakes." I can't tell you how many times I look at a wonderful quilt and then hear things like:

1) There are a bunch of seams that don't match up right.

2) I've cut off the tips of my star points.

3) That blue (insert whatever color you want) really doesn't match the other colors.

4) I didn't really follow the pattern, and it shows.

5) My quilting/binding, etc. is not very good.

6) This is just an easy project that has been sitting around for a lot of years. I should have finished it years ago. 

We need to STOP saying these things!

Instead, we should be pointing out all the positive and WONDERFUL things about our projects.

Let's try this instead:

1) I learned so much in the process of working on this quilt, and practice makes perfect on seam intersections.

2) I didn't make mistakes and cut off the points. I made a design change and created the "Pointless Star Wonder Quilt!"

3) I have expanded my palette and am learning that a quilt is so interesting when you step outside the box and throw in a color or fabric that is not considered "normal." I'm living on the quilting edge! Why don't you join me?

4) I started with a pattern and then spun off and tried my own thing. It was challenging, but a great experience. 

5)  I've been trying new things and am learning how to free motion quilt/bind my own quilts. That means I am finishing projects and THAT is amazing.

6) I am excited to have completed a project that I set aside because I didn't know how to finish it/got bored with it, etc. I am meeting my goal of clearing out UFOs and I am thrilled about that!

*******************************

I think we should all take a lesson from my grandson's teacher. 

Take a look at this picture and read the sign that he got to wear at school for an entire day - AN ENTIRE DAY OF BEING PROUD OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENT!

We should all be thrilled with our progress - no matter how small we think it is. 

We need to start looking at our talents and triumphs and not our downfalls. 

We need to be proud of reaching our goals or stepping up to challenges; and we need to be excited to share what we've done. 

We also need to be excited for others who are setting goals and reaching them or stepping outside their comfort zone and trying new techniques. We really need to be excited for those people who are just starting out on this amazing quilting journey. It's a great trip and is even more great to have some friends along for the ride.  :-)   

What was your goal or success story today? 

I'd love for you to tell me about it!

Monday, January 31, 2022

Together Quilt and Sew Along


I am hosting a Together We Sew Along for a private Facebook group to which I belong. We are using Sherri McConnell's Together quilt pattern and many of the participants are using the Sincerely Yours fabric collection. 


I've been doing my demos for the Sew Along using the same collection, but I'm making my quilt out of fabric from my stash. I will be giving my quilt away to an individual who is retiring after 30+ years of teaching elementary students. She is a wonderful person who is very patriotic. With that in mind, my blocks are all made using a variety of creams, blues, and reds. 


All of the blocks are sewn, and I will be introducing the sashing and cornerstones to the participants this week. I am loving these blocks!

Did you notice that I put them up on the wall in the shape of a heart? Ok, it's a pretty rough heart, but it's still a heart.  hahaha

I'll share pictures soon of the top when it's complete. I am looking forward to finishing this and gifting it. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Special Quilt from 2013

Jack and I made a quick trip to the library Saturday to pick up some books that had been ordered in for us. There was also a special Lunar New Year celebration that sounded interesting, so we scheduled our trip around that. 


Ring in the year of the tiger at our sixth-annual, all-ages Lunar New Year party! We'll celebrate with plenty of food you can take home, games, and crafts for attendees. Learn about the lunar calendar, nosh on traditional and Asian-fusion treats, and have an all-around fantastic Saturday!

Pick up a take-out container filled with handmade dumplings, noodles, sticky sesame wings, rice cakes, and more. Stick around to make tiger masks and pellet drums, and be prepared for plenty of fun! 

We enjoyed ourselves, learned some interesting things, and even walked out with lunch. :-)

While we were there, I took a few minutes to go to the Children's Section. 

In 2013, I was honored to make a quilt for the re-opening of the library. I blogged about it HERE.


The quilt hangs on the back wall of the Children's Section and can be seen from the main area. Of course I've seen it many times over the years, but I hadn't really looked at it closely for quite some time.


I will admit that this was a bit challenging for me, as all of the blocks had been made using paint - sometimes multiple layers of paint - and the blocks were stiff. Looking at it now, I wish that I had found a more fun way to lay out the blocks, but I am certainly NOT criticizing my work. 


I think the thing I like best and remember most about this quilt was being present during the unveiling. It was fun to see youngsters looking for their blocks and showing them off to their parents. I was also excited to meet the artists and let them tell me about their blocks. 


Sometimes it's just plain nice to look back at the quilts we've made and reminisce about the process.