Friday, August 28, 2015

Marquette University {Quilt}

This quilt is exactly how I pictured it when I decided I would make a quilt for his graduation.

The pattern Rah, Rah Rally (by Melissa Corry) caught my eye quite a long time ago. I took a quick screenshot before I had a pinterest account and I will admit...It took quite a bit of investigation to find it. 

Luckily, he still had not decided which of the eight schools he wanted to go to up until the beginning of February. It gave me time to purchase the book, Moda Sweet Celebrations Featuring some Moda Bakeshop Chefs. 

As soon as I had the go ahead, I scrambled to order Kona solids (Corn Yellow, Blue Jay, White, Marine). I also picked up this aaaaaaamazing Minky by Shannon Fabrics. 

Embossed Geo Cuddle in Midnight by Shannon Fabrics

I had a few oopsies on the logo. One that  I forgot to mirror correctly. One that was too small. I felt like Goldilocks when I got the size "juuuust right". 

He is taking it to college with him and I loved that he had it on our recent family vacation to Lake Powell. 

Our favorite vacation place, my favorite college kid, and a quilt.  

Who can ask for more, really.

Quilt Stats: 
Finished size: 71" x 88"
Pattern: Rah Rah Rally by Melissa Corry (Moda Sweet Celebrations Book)
Fabrics: Kona Yellow Corn, Kona Blue Jay, Kona White, Kona Marine, Shannon Fabrics Embossed Geo Cuddle Fabrics
Quilting: Free motion square quilting on longarm machine.

My Little Big Man

An accidental photo taken at the perfect moment during the quilt photoshoot.
  Lake Powell, Utah.

My Little Big Man,

There you were.  Plopped in my arms the first time.  Quiet.  Content.  Your eyes closed as if you were just not ready for the big world, but peeking every so often to see what all the fuss was about.  You took my breath away, I loved you so much.

There you were.  Crawling around.  Stopping to sit.  Then you would turn around and give me that sneaky grin because you caught me watching you about to get into something.  My heart would burst with love.

There you were.  Toddling about.  That perpetual “Oh?!” look because you were caught throwing the remote or phone in the trash.  In that way you pretend that you didn’t do something...but you realized you did something naughty...but maybe I wouldn’t notice.  I loved you so much, cute were you?

There you were.  A big brother.  So sweet. So gentle with your brother Jacob.  I sometimes was afraid you would strangle him with all that love you had for him.  I was so scared that I couldn’t love a second child. That I loved you too much I wouldn’t have room. Your love for him eased me and I realized I didn’t have to split my heart.  It just grew bigger.

There you were.  Always in a dream world.  Tossing stuffed monkeys up in the air.  Lining up your Little People toys and cars.  Playing video games in the grocery store aisle with your fingers moving a joystick that wasn’t there.  I knew you were a daydreamer, but also needed a sense of order like me.  I love that we had that in common.

There you were. 
A big brother again.  So capable. So ready to teach your other brother how to be a big brother to Jonathan.  A mentor.  A leader.  If a heart can have pride?  Mine certainly does.

There you were.  Struggling in school.  Daydreaming in class. Fighting me tooth and nail to do homework.  But then taking control in fourth grade. Showing me that you didn’t need me anymore.  I knew then, that you were going to be ready for any challenge in your future. You understood success because you experienced and understood failure. You gave my heart confidence.

There you were.  Scraping your shoes out in the dirt.  Knees bent.  Glove at the ready.  Prepared to spring and catch any ball coming your way.  Or standing at the line on the court.  Spinning your tennis racquet.  Ready to take on the biggest and baddest.  You never cared.   You were like a Titan.  I loved your fearless heart.

There you were.  A big brother again.  You held your sister Jamie so sweetly.  So gently as she passed.  You had your heart broken.  We all had our hearts broken.  But you stood strong and made me laugh in the car just twenty minutes after I had just wailed my pained soul out at the entrance of the hospital.  You made me laugh all the way home.  I will always be grateful for that.  You will always have my undying love.

There you were. 
Conquering what seemed to be the impossible.  Acceptance to Strake Jesuit Preparatory High School.  You changed that day.  You became more confident.  More capable than I have ever seen.  My heart was less scared for you.

There you were.  A big brother again.  You knew how much that little boy was going to heal us all.  James worships the ground you walk on. They all do.  You are worth worshiping. My heart worships you.

There you were. Driving. Looking out your review mirror at me.  Spending more time with friends.  Locked up in your room.  Separating yourself.  Getting ready to leave the nest.  Preparing my heart to let you go.

There you were.
  Hands shaking.  Ripping open the envelope.  Crying.  Joyful. Thankful.  Your greatest childhood dream and accomplishment.  Acceptance to Marquette University.  My heart soared for you.

There you are.
  Listening.  Agreeing.  Disagreeing.  No matter what? Always there.  Becoming the man you are today.

I will miss you. But I'm so happy for you and your adventure. Be the difference.

I love you, My Little Big Man.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Class of 2015 Auction {Quilt}

Graduation time is coming up soon!

Every year the 8th graders that want to participate are asked to turn in t-shirts that have meaning to them so that they can be made into a t-shirt quilt for the school auction.
Sometimes they are shirts from their past.  
Some give you a glimpse into their possible future.

 Some tout their favorite sports team. 
 Some are their jerseys they wore for their sports teams.  

Some can just be shirts that they happened to wear to every single "free dress" day.
And best of all? Some say "THIS IS ME".

After careful thought, a layout is chosen.  This year it was happenstance that were put in a "rainbow" sort of order.  Normally there is a plethora of school t-shirts that seem to be blue and red like the school colors, but this year the students seemed to have a fantastic range of color that just couldn't be ignored.  

The center features the front and back of their 8th grade shirt.  This year's theme "Captains of the School"

Each t-shirt is backed by a stabilizer, then pieced together.  Quilted with Rainbow Superior Thread with an organically moving rectangle/square free motion quilting on my longarm.

A variegated thread color called Tapestry.  Much like its name, it weaves throughout very well making the colors of the t-shirts sing and tell their individual stories.

Backing is gray dotted minky.  Very soft and snuggly!

Binding is a stripe that picks up so many of the colors in the quilt itself.

It was a pleasure to work on the quilt this year as our second son graduates and prepares for a new chapter in his life.  It is the 10th Auction quilt (sometimes two in one year like this year) and the 2nd T-shirt quilt I have lovingly dedicated my time on for the school in the past 11 years along with countless other sewing projects like prayer table cloths, tote bags, rosary bags, and Christmas program costumes. 

 It was bittersweet because we are moving from the area this summer and leaving behind a very beloved school.  A place that has nurtured and supported our sons through such an important time of their lives. 

Happy Graduation Class of 2015!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rainbow Interrupted {Quilt}

My first donation quilt for the year.

This quilt is for my son's elementary/middle school program. It is a fundraiser luncheon to raise money and awareness for the kids that have special needs. I have been wanting to do the Strip and Flip Pattern by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew for quite some time. 

This quilt is utterly and completely made of scraps and stash.  Even the batting was pieced batting scraps. 

I made adjustments from the original tutorial because I wanted mine to be more lap quilt rather than a baby size. Lap quilts seem to fair better at auctions than any other size. 

I can't recall exact changes, but I do know I adjusted my strip widths to be 3" instead of two.  I also made my "flip" section wider so the overall width would be proportional to the length. I basically made two quilt tops WOF to get the larger cut. 

I promise I didn't waste, I 
cut a significant strip width so that I could finally use my butterfly fabric I bought from my friend Bree at Distant Pickles

Side note:  I still have a bit leftover and plan to use it on another backing someday. I tend avoid pieces backings as of late and the only piecing I seem to do is a vertical or horizontal strip to add width or length.

The luncheon was very beautiful and successful. As I was leaving? The person that won it, pulled me aside to ask me how she should take care of it. My response to everyone who asks me that when they recieve one of my quilts?

 "Love it. Love it. Love it.  And throw it in the wash on occasion."

  I was soooo happy that it went to someone who knew me and was going to a family who will love it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Baby Bridesmaid {Quilt}

I couldn't help myself. I could not stop calling this quilt "Baby Bridesmaid". 

Why do you ask?  The satin is from a bridesmaid dress!  
My friend messaged me and asked if I could make a baby quilt using the dress she wore to her friend's wedding.  A memory quilt of sorts. 

I knew right away that the best quilt would be to make the Ruffle Quilt from the Moda Bakeshop. I thought that the Satin would not be fun to piece and quilt over.  So why not make it an accessory for the quilt. 

My friend sent me the nursery line. Wouldn't you know it?  No blue.  A girl nursery!

I did have a
Dear Stella bundle that had perfect baby's, but the peach just wasn't pink enough. So the search was on!!!   I stumbled on Cybthia Rowley's "Oh Baby" line.


Before I knew it I had a patchwork top to quilt with flowers and leaves.

With a super warm and soft Minky backing.  

Then I Added the cut strips from the dress and did a rolled hem and attached the ruffles.

I wish I had enough of the dress to bind it with satin, but ended up using the same solid blue I used under the ruffles.

This quilt was UTTERLY scrumptious! 

And I was so happy to hear it was well recieved by the mom-to-be!! 

Excited to also be linking up a finish post for March!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Sunday, March 1, 2015

ALYOF: March Goal

March's Mission includes four quilts. A memory quilt, two t-shirt quilts, and one super secret project. 

The memory quilt seems to be the best choice to make my March ALYOF goal. 

My friend messaged me and asked if I could make a baby quilt using the dress she wore to her friend's wedding.  A memory quilt of sorts. 

I've already purchased the fabric.

 And cutting has commenced. 

If I could have this done by the end of the week?  I would be extremely happy!!
A Lovely Year of Finishes
Linking up with A Year of Lovely Finishes 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Argyle Socks {Quilt}

I was determined to get my oldest son's quilt done by his 18th  birthday....which is tomorrow! 

I made sure it was all quilted before I left this past weekend, and had even started the binding.  So it wasn't a hard feat to finish it this week even with my QuiltCon Hangover.

This is the third quilt I have finished from the Hexagogo Book and is called the Argyle Quilt.  I named it Argyle Socks because he wears the craziest socks and now I feel like I need to buy him some crazy argyle ones!!  The original quilt has more feminine colors and I wanted his to match his existing comforter set.

The hexies are all from my stash or scraps which made it fun.

The background is Denyse Schmidt from my favorite line of hers...Florence. 

I could go on forever about the things that mad me frustrated about the construction of this quilt, but I've decided to just focus on the good things so that I don't have ill feelings about it ;)

The backing is minky again....per his request. He has been spying his little brothers minky-backed quilts (Quirky But Solid and Slime) for awhile now and was hoping he would get the same warm and cuddly quilt.

The quilting was a challenge for me in many respects.   There are so many different things going on that free motion seemed the best option.

Paisley and straight line quilting on the borders.
Curved accents on the gray hexies.
Swirls on the colored hexie diamonds. 
Half moon circle quiltling on the background.

It has a LOT of texture.

NOTE: I often get asked about minkey backings.   To answer the questions ahead of time. Yes...I use batting.  Yes.  It is heavy (8lbs).  But the boys love the weight of them and they are probably the warmest quilts we have in the house. Yes.  We live in Houston.  Yes.  We do get cold here occasionally.  And not everyone loves air conditioning!

I have one more quilt in mind from the book and that is a long term one. I'm dying to do the British flag one...any Brits out there that want me to make it for them?  I really don't need one!

LInking up with A Year of Lovely Finishes!  I made my GOAL!!!!!



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