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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

April Believe Circle Bee Blocks

There hasn't been a lot of stitching going on lately but I did manage to complete my bee blocks for April with a day to spare. Whew!

Tiffany was our quilter this month and she challenged us with some half square rectangles in jewel tones. While these were a little slow to start, they were lots of fun to make. More than 30 different fabrics went into these blocks so they were great scrap/stash buster blocks.

The half square rectangles require a right and left side, which meant making half of the blocks one way and half another. Other bee members offered advice to make this less confusing, which was much appreciated. That is one benefit for waiting until the last minute to make these.

Thanks, Tiffany, for the challenge. This is going to be one bright quilt. I cannot wait to see the finish.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Be The Good Quilt Finish

It's always good to finish a quilt, but I am going to miss working on this one. Every part of it was fun, from figuring out the design, to working with such awesome fabric (flow by zen chic for Moda), stitching up all the letters, and getting it quilted and bound. The best part was your participation in guessing what it was going to say. Thanks for playing with me as this project progressed.

See those feet. They belong to my teenage boys who deemed it pajama Saturday. Those feet are size 13 and size 12. The boys are 13 and 15. Kind of scary to think that they are both still growing. The good thing is big boys can hold up big quilts easily. I don't have the exact measurements for this quilt but it is almost square and somewhere in the 65-inch range.

The weather here is gorgeous this weekend. Couldn't resist a shadow shot.

I went with my original plan for machine quilting. There are four straight lines between each row of letters with wavy lines of quilting placed at random widths across the rows of letters. I like the result. Not too fancy and simple enough not to distract from the message on the quilt.

Did you ever have trouble writing in a straight line on the board when your were a kid? I did. It was always either going up hill or down hill. There is some of that in this quilt, too. If you look closely at the second row, "THERE" has some up hill quilting going on, especially over the letter T. It is just extra charm for this quilt.

The back is a solid burnt orange. It was a piece that had been hanging around in my stash for a while. Originally, I considered a pink binding but pink and burnt orange were not going to work together so I picked a lime green Moda Marble instead. I love it when I can use up stash to finish a project. The thread used throughout the quilt is a light gray Aurifil 50 weight. It was perfect to blend where it should and contrast where it should.

There are seven different filler blocks throughout the quilt, all simple combinations of half square triangles. A tutorial is available over on the Moda Bake Shop for the filler blocks.

Thank you Moda for letting me play along with your Spell It With Moda celebration.

I think I am going to take this quilt to work and hang it in my office for a while so I can remember this message every day.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Believe Circle March Bee Blocks

This month's quilt is being hosted by Robin from Ormond Beach Quilts. She wanted something really masculine and asked for these simple yet striking black and white blocks.

They come from a quilt posted on the Moda Bake Shop called the Gift Box Quilt. The Moda Bake Shop is a great resource for charity quilt ideas.

One thing I like about our quilt circle is that we tend to have good balance between simple and challenging blocks. This is a month where I appreciated the simple.

I like the way the addition of a wider strip in the middle of this quarter log cabin block makes it suddenly more modern. The color combination adds to the modern look as well.

I cannot wait to see how this quilt turns out.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spell It With Moda - Be The Good

Spring has definitely sprung here in the sunny southern United States. The forsythia in the backdrop have already started greening up. Hopefully, there will be yellow flowers for a few more days.

Did you figure what it said before today's post? If not, the secret is out now. And it was great fun playing hang man with you. If you have been following along, you might notice that I completely changed out the BE THE GOOD. I wanted it to stand apart and it just wasn't when I was using a color for the background and a light for the letter.

I wasn't a big fan of mixing up the background colors either. This is much more consistent and not nearly as distracting. The filler blocks, which I'm calling confetti blocks, turned out good, too. They are simple half square triangles arranged in different ways. I have a tutorial for the Confetti Blocks over at the Moda Bake Shop so please go check it out and leave a comment, too, if you'd like to.

Now it's time to start thinking about how to quilt this. I have been pondering it while piecing it and can tell I am going to overthink it if I'm not careful. Right now, I'm considering horizontal lines, some straight, some wavy, thinking it might sort of imitate a piece of lined notebook paper. We will see.

The fabric collection used for this project is Flow by Zen Chic. It should be arriving in shops this month.

Remember, if you'd like to make something of your own, the letters are available individually on Moda's Pinterest Board.

Or, if you want a quick resource with everything in one place, check out the Spell It With Fabric booklet available at many local quilt shops and online stores. I did a quick Google search and found some great resources for purchasing the booklet.

Linking up with Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.
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