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!!!!!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

QuiltCon Hangover

The dust is settling around here and I finished all my obligatory sewing when I returned.  Now I can finally post about QuiltCon this past weekend.  I asked some friends "What do you want to see from QuiltCon.  I don't want to bore you."  

The responses were mainly three things. 
 "We want to see more quilts." 
"What did I take away from QuiltCon?"
"What do you want to go home and do right away"

I'm going to scatter the quilts throughout this post that struck a chord with me.  They are interspersed, no rhyme, no reason. I put my thoughts into categories that have been on my mind during and since returning home.  Please excuse the less than stellar phone pictures.  My bag was too heavy with tools and supplies for me to lug my nicer camera.

1) Fear.  I don't give myself enough credit. I need to be more brave about sharing all the patterns in my head. Submitting quilts to shows.

Edited: Deconstructed Star by Amy Struckmeyer.

  The very "well known" quilters are not the only ones in the show. And most importantly to not feel shackled in the thought of "if I did that technique it wouldn't be good enough".  You don't know until you try. 

Ack. Did not take a pic of the name.  Embarrased.

A secondary portion of fear? My loss.  I had quilted for years but with no real passion.  Since the loss of my daughter, I dove in head first and found solace and happiness on my grief journey.  Its often hard to explain. 

Self Portrait, Year Two (Beneath the Surface) by Penny Gold

When I saw this quilt, I thought.....some people quilt because they like the process and art.  I like it for both of those things, but it is sooo much more for me too. 

2) Frustration. I get wrapped up in finding my style and I don't open my mind to new possibilities.

Under the Sea by Barbara Cline

  I need to make quilts that are more "me" and less for the person I'm making them for. I appreciate a traditional quilt and can make one now and then, but I sure would prefer making more modern ones or traditional blocks with modern twists. 

Forgot the name, but pretty sure by Lee Heinrich

3) I'm Important.  I shouldn't always put myself in the backseat.  My husband was VERY supportive of this trip once it was all booked and planned.  It happened to land during a very important time of his new job, his first week.  However, he made sure to let the new company know...this week was for me and there was nothing he would do to alter my trip. name in my photo library.  I thought I was more careful than this!

I almost headed home early Sunday because I was tired and I was feeling guilty I was gone for so long. The kids were missing me and I had a three hour drive ahead of me. I almost skipped my lecture I was registered for. My roommate reminded me I paid for it and it was the only one I was most interest in. I am so glad I went.

Elizabeth Dackson "Don't Call Me Betsy" Modern Traditionalism lecture

 After attending Elizabeth Dackson's Modern Traditional lecture I feel more confirmed in the idea that that modern traditionalism appeals to me the most. I need to embrace.

Colorado 4x4

4.) Let it Go.  Ahaha moments can occur when I let it all go.  Great things can happen if I open my mind to that. This feeds off the lecture I took that last day and followed me home on my drive.  My home is traditionally decorated because that is where my husband I meet in the middle, but I am going to be more and more bold with my quilts.

This is by Nicole from Mama Love Quilts.  I didn't take a pic of her quilt name because there was a demonstration just to the side of me and I was trying to take a pic FAST ;)

My husband doesn't love the more modern ones, but they don't have to live in my home.

Spiced Chai Quilt by Kate Blakesly

 Make them and donate or sell them if they don't "fit" our home. Or?  Maybe start pushing my home decorations to fit them!!!  

Long Island Modern Sampler by Kim Saper

5).  NAMES.  Learn quilters names.  Not their usernames on social media.  But their actual names. 
I'm going to make a concerted effort to get to know all my followers names and those of the designers. 

6). Classes. If ever I have a chance to take a class locally or at a conference, I will be sure I attend something I've never done before. 

Triangles and Ombre Classes with Vanessa Christenson and Advanced Paper Piecing with Lee Heinrich

It was amazing to attend classes with people I really have admired for awhile.  It was also nice to learn new tips in some of the classes I took.

  Next time? I think I need to be more open to things that I have never tried.  Go outside my box and see what happens.  The ombre class was my "out of my comfort zone" class and I gained SO much from it.

7).  Lectures. Attend more lectures. I had an open Saturday morning/afternoon and wandered aimlessly around vendors and the show. 

I imagine I missed some things I could have taken away with me.  I have read that lectures are sometimes more informative than classes. I am certainly going to take that approach that if ever I make it back to Quiltcon. 

8). I am an introvert. I always thought I was a mix of an extrovert and an introvert because I can be outgoing and fun in a group, but what I didn't realize until this weekend is that it takes some major effort and energy. 

I don't regret exerting that little bit of energy. It was so worth it to finally meet people that I've been "chatting" with online for a few years. 

9.)  Roommates are awesome.  Who else can you talk to for hours on end!!  

I will admit. My anxious self was planning to find a cheap hotel or stay at a friend's house out of the way and drive into town each day.  However, I got an email from another quilter I had met in Hawaii while meeting Jennifer from Knotted Threads two summers ago.  

My roommate was Jen (Newbie Jen on blogger) from Quilter in the Closet and we would talk non-stop about quilting.  Our classes.  Our lectures.  What we learned.  What we were disappointed about.  It was amazing.  If I did that at home?  The boys would start rolling their eyes and put their Beats on their ears and turn up their itunes music!  My only regret?  We NEVER TOOK A PICTURE together.  So silly!

10). Conferences aren't the only places to learn.   Can't afford the tickets?  The airfare/gas/parking?  The hotel room?  I have to admit.  I "knew" the final total bill would be a bit high.  But I imagine it could be extravagant for other people.  And to do it every year?  I would definitely have to justify the cost.  Are you in the "I only have enough for fabric boat"?   Most of the ladies leading the classes and lectures have books, blogs, and classes on Craftsy.  Go to your guild meetings. Check out their schedule. Someone might be coming your way and you don't even know it! Take advantage. I'm signing up for another Craftsy class with Angela Walters this week!  

So what was I in a rush to go home and do?  
Finish all my UFOs and WIPS.  Clear them out of my closet and plastic containers.  I don't want to completely scrub them.  However, I DO want to start fresh.  Start new.  Start letting my inner self be expressed more.  I think it will be so empowering!


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