Thursday, August 18, 2016

Believe Circle Quilt Plans for September - Fire and Ice

It's my turn to choose our quilt design for the Believe Circle. I was inspired this month by a quilt I saw on Pinterest. 


It's going to be a fire and ice quilt this month.


I know I'm early, but my first granddaughter will be making her way into the world sometime around August 30, and I know as soon as that action starts, bee blocks will be far from my mind. So here they are, early.


I did not have any particular block in mind, so I drew a few simple ones out and had some fun.


Lately, every time I sit down to play with blocks, some sort of chevron design shows up. I rolled with it this time and let the neutrals take the stage with this block.


For the mixed block, I went for an improv fire.


And since there were already some strips cut from the second block, this third, very hot block was created.

Instructions for Believe Circle Members:

Make three 6 1/2" blocks this month. You may use any design you like... nine-patch, four-patch, stars, half square triangles, paper piecing, improv ...anything goes. 
One block should be neutrals, one block should be a mix of neutrals and "hot" colors, and one block should be all "hot" colors. You can use solids or prints. 
Have fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shadow Block Mini Quilt Quilt Along





Just two short days ago I received a note from Janice at Color, Creating, and Quilting sharing with me that she and her good friend Jen at A Dream and A Stitch wanted to do a quilt along using my Shadow Block Mini Quilt tutorial. How exciting is that?!

And they did not hesitate to get started. They have even set up a hashtag to share the finished mini quilts on Instagram (#shadowminiquilt). The big reveal day is August 29 so make a mini and join the fun. Janice and Jen have all the details over on their blogs so go check it out.


I am definitely joining in on the fun. It's time to make another Shadow Box Mini Quilt!

Thank you Janice and Jen for the quilt along. I can't wait to see what you create!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Memory Quilt Fit for a Queen


A Queen size bed, that is. This quilt is a commission memory quilt made from the night gowns of a special mom. Up until now, the memory quilts I have made were mostly from men's shirts. This is the first one I have done with pastels and florals. It was a sweet change of pace.


This is also the largest quilt I have ever made. It measures 91" x 114" and fits very nicely on a queen bed.


We covered all seasons with the gowns. There is seersucker and cotton knit, satin, and soft flannel. It is quite heavy since many of the fabrics required interfacing to stabilize them for a quilt.


The quilting was kept very simple. I used a cream 50 weight Aurifil thread to stitch through each block horizontally and vertically. Then I switched to a matching blue thread, also 50 weight Aurifil, to stitch down the center of all the sashing. All the crinkles are because the quilt has already been washed and dried, ready to be displayed on a bed or wrapped around a loved one.


The binding is the same blue fabric as the sashing and setting triangles. It is a Kona cotton in the color Evening. Such an appropriate color name for a quilt made out of night gowns.


I delivered this quilt to its owner this week. It was fun to watch her taking it all in. She knew stories behind each of these precious gowns and it was very special for me to share in just a tiny part of that.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Believe Circle Bee Blocks

Three months of bee blocks have come and gone. One of the purposes of my blog is to help me keep up with my projects and finishes. So here they are...



In May, Laura had us make these nine-patch plus blocks. Our colors were pink, lime, purple, orange, and low volume. This will make quite the girly quilt.


In June, Robin had us make some washi tape citrus blocks.


In July, Jennifer asked for herringbone blocks.

My next turn is in September and I am already plotting and planning our blocks. One thing I love about being involved with a group like this is that it keeps me sewing. In the ebb and flow of life, it really doesn't matter how busy or stressed or not I am. The purpose behind this sewing and the commitment to a group such as the Believe Circle help me to pause, relax, and enjoy the gift of being able to give with a little fabric and a little thread.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Memory Quilt to Remember a Special Mom


I am making another set of memory quilts, this time in memory of a special mom. This is the first one I have made using female clothing, and this one specifically uses pajamas.


While it takes extra effort to work with the different weights and textures, I love the result in the quilt. There is so much more to enjoy from a tactile point of view. Satin and flannel, cotton knit and lightweight seersucker. To sit and hold this quilt is a real treat to the fingertips.


The pattern is a familiar one from my memory quilt making experience. I like that it showcases bigger pieces of fabric from each garment. The solid blue is Kona Evening. It is not quite this bright in real life but it certainly does make all the feminine pastel fabrics shine.


All of these pictures were taken after the quilt had been washed so it is nice and crinkly. The quilting is very simple with a line of stitching surrounding all of the pieced squares and then diagonal lines through each square to finish it off.


The thread is a Sulky Blendable. It is a pastel color way with pink and blue and yellow.


The binding is made from one of the summer gowns. It is a large floral that includes all the colors. The finishing touch is a special label honoring a special mom and wife. This quilt was commissioned by her daughter and was given to her husband. There is a second quilt in the works. It is much bigger and a pattern that I have not used for a memory quilt before. I hope to be sharing that one soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Believe Circle Quilt Finish - Elephants!

Way back in February, it was my turn to be the quilter for our circle. I had my eye on the Elephant Parade quilt over at Sew Fresh Quilts for a really long time. She put it together as a quilt along and it was definitely on my list of projects to make. It would be a long time before it made it to the top of my list, but hey, if I could engage nine other quilters to help, it could actually happen.


So, that is exactly what I did. And it turned out so much better as a group effort. There is a wonderful range of fabrics that come together perfectly in this special quilt.


I love all those brightly colored elephant ears. And the extra critters hanging out with the elephants make it all the more fun.


This is the first time I have ever used one of my machines special stitches to do the quilting. And I confess that I copied the quilting design from the sample over on the Sew Fresh Quilts blog. I don't have a wavy stitch on my sewing machine, but I do have a scallop. I set it for as long and as wide as it would go and started stitching. The rows are about an inch apart.


One of the stitchers in our circle sent in this lovely elephant print as a bonus when she sent in her blocks. I had to include it on the back.


I like the texture created by the quilting. I will definitely explore some of the other stitches on my machine for future quilts.


This was so much fun to assemble and quilt. There is a child out there somewhere who is going to have a super cool quilt to call their very own.


The binding is a fabric that had tea cups on it. It was cute, but not something that would be a natural go to fabric for me. The colors, though, were perfect for this binding. Lots of gray with touches of the bright colors that are sprinkled all over the quilt. I was happy to find a use for it. And, it took every last bit of it.


I am very happy about this finish. It has been lovingly packaged and will be shipped off to My Very Own Blanket today. I am already pondering the design for our next quilt.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Quilt Repair and An Intentional Break

Recently, I took an intentional break from this space to focus on other, more important things. My family. They needed me. I needed them. It was a much needed deep breath of family time. Balance in all things is important, and I had gotten a little off kilter. I continued to sew and create. Not sewing would be a very ugly off kilter that no one wants to experience. Trust me on that one.


One small project I tackled was some quilt repair. I have several of my grandmother's quilts and they are used everyday, just as she used them. I noticed some flaps of batting sticking up on the quilt that is on my bed. That could not be left hanging for long. It is in the sixth round of squares. The black and white checked ones. Have you noticed that in most old quilts, there is one or two fabrics that wear out long before the others? I suppose one of them has to go first.


There is no way to match these old fabrics. I did not even want to try that. Luckily, this quilt has so much going on that it is easy to choose a fabric that blends right in with all the others. Can you see where I repaired it?

The arrows are pointing to the repaired squares. I used a muddy gray with sweet little mushrooms printed on it. I cut larger squares and carefully pressed under the edges, then hand sewed them to completely cover the worn square. I did not remove any of the underlying fabric or batting. It is all still there. I had to repair three squares, and I can see that there will be more to repair in the next year or so.

I suppose I could fold and store these quilts away to preserve them but I really love continuing the use for which they were intended. Use things; love people. Not the other way around.
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