Friday, May 25, 2018

Button’s Globe {Teacher Quilt}

This year, Button and I got together in April to plan his thank you quilt to his teacher.

Button requires a little extra patience and care at school and we were grateful, as a family, for her extra kindness and support. We pulled out the Spelling Bee Book by Lori Holt that I had made the Joy pillow, butterfly and fox pillows.  I had originally planned to do letters, but he fell in love with the Vintage Life layout with the globes since his favorite subject seems to be geography.

He immediately became “bossy” and insisted on the fabric choices he pulled from my stash. 

I quickly was able to piece the blocks together. 

There was a bit of a slow down while I chose what to do with the “wire”.
I settled on a twisted chainstitch with a brassy gold perle cotton. 

We ran to the store to buy some sashing and border fabric.
He spotted the dotted blue fabric from the heart globe and we soon had a finished top to quilt. 

I was excited to be able to use my new Prostitcher program to do the crosshatch quilting on the globes. 

And also able to have fun and do free motion quilting everywhere else.  Stippling in the block backgrounds, wishbone in the sashing, and wild feathers in the borders. 

His backing choice wasn’t exactly what I would have chosen, but I just couldn’t argue because he was so determined to make decisions about her quilt.

We had fun digitizing his heart and signature for the quilt label. 

And I loved how excited he was to gift it to her. 

Quilt Stats:
Measures: Lap Size 
Pattern: Vintage Life by Lori Holt
Fabrics: Various scraps and stash. Sashing, Border, Backing and binding Joann Fabrixs. 
Quilting: Crosshatch and free motion on HQ Avante and Pro-stitcher

It was fun to see her open it

and also to see the reactions of his classmates and her!

And now it is summer....his favorite and my time of the year!!!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Baby Bridesmaid {Memory Quilt} Take Two!

I love when a client wants an interesting memory quilt made like the first Baby Bridesmaid quilt
When I was contacted to make a second quilt with a twist for a second baby girl?  
I was excited to do so!

The first design and fabrics were actually approved by her friend who commissioned me to make it, so this time she wanted me to use more pinks and geometric fabrics.  She also asked if I could do a different design.  After a lot of back and forth, we decided that blocks with strips would be a fun way to coordinate with the first quilt and yet be unique all on its own.

  If you haven't had time to read about the first quilt, the quick summary is that I cut up bridesmaid's dresses into strips.  Then I did narrow hems and ruffled the strips for cute accents that I appliqued onto solid blue backgrounds.

Last time, I just had long strips and the ends were secured and hidden in the binding.  This time I was worried that the ruffles would prove to be difficult when I pieced the blocks together, but I was surprised how smoothly it all went together.

I used the exact same dotted pink minky backing with solid blue binding and quilted flowers, leaves and loops on my longarm again for continuity with the first quilt.

Quilt Stats:
Measures: 45" x 54"
Pattern: Simple 3 strip blocks
Fabric: Joann fabrics and leftover cuts from Cynthia Rowley "Oh Baby" line
Quilted: Free motion flowers, leaves and loops on HQ Avante

I think she was pretty excited to have her hands involved on this one which it made it very easy for me to enjoy making.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Judge Memorial School Pride {Quilt}

"Live, Laugh, Love, Bulldog"

At the end of 2017, I decided I was not going to take on any commissions or obligations for the New Year.  I needed and still need to refocus my attentions on where and what I'm doing as a quilter.  The only obligation that I knew I had was my two son's high school auction quilt.

To make this simple, I did the exact same pattern as the one I did for Button's school auction, using
The goal was to keep it simple and use the cutest fabrics I could my stash!

I happened to have some fun stripes and dots I have collected over the years and a few I picked up recently for some Christmas projects.

 Along with the theme of simplification, I quilted it with a freemotion meandering pattern.

I had this black and white fabric with the intention of using it as a backing for a particular bee quilt, but I finally decided will probably never happen and used it on this one! 
It made the decision to use white thread to quilt even easier!

I love how the quilt label popped on it!
 I don't usually go "easy" with applique, but this year I really wanted to simplify this process, so I used wonder under, layered the logo, and used a blanket stitch on the raw edges.

Black dot binding seemed to put a stamp on my idea of a fun quilt!

Quilt Stats
Measures: 54"x 61"
Pattern: School Spirit by Riley Blake
Fabrics: Joann Fabrics
Quilted: Freemotion meandering on HQ Avante

I think it definitely was different using mostly prints over solids only like the other two quilts the past years.

I'll leave it up to everyone else on which of the three is their favorite!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Handkerchief {Memory Quilt}

"A gentleman carries a handkerchief, not for himself, but in case a lady needs one."

A box filled with 33 handkerchiefs and an unfinished quilt top arrived on my doorstop the summer of 2016 from a previous client's mother.  The letter that accompanied it, explained that they were gifts from her grandson. Her daughter-in-law gave them to her from her grandson over the years.  The family custom is that they were to be made into a quilt for his bride-to-be.  The grandson had finally found the young lady who he thought qualified for the title.  Over the years, she thought she would eventually learn to quilt, however, at the time, she was 79 and said she knew it just wouldn't happen.

The first challenge was to choose fabrics.  She had sent me a book she had bought and I gathered from it that she wanted me to stick to a traditional layout.  That meant sashing was needed.  I offered a few choices even though I really wanted her to pick a beautiful natural linen.  She really wanted this icy blue called Kona Cloud.  You always do what will make the clients happy!

As I was about to work on it before Christmas, when I had it scheduled, she emailed me and let me know that the engagement was sadly called off and that there wasn't a rush. She told me to take my time.  One of the WORST things you can say to me!!  I had a bunch of other obligations and I had wanted to make some family gifts, so I postponed it for the New Year.

I blinked and my new year rapidly filled and since there didn't seem to be a rush to have it since there wasn't an engagement, I took my sweet old time, here and there. Maybe too long.  I will say the appliqueing process was a bit tedious.  Since all of the handkerchiefs were different sizes, I decided to make a consistent block size and use a Kona White fabric foundation for each block. 

Some of the handkerchiefs were quite delicate, so I took my time. I used a straight stitch close to the edge of the colored rolled edges.  On the more plain rolled edges, I first did a straight stitch to tack them down and then did a blanket stitch to give them a bit of interest.

I will admit.  I reqlly didn’t feel ansense of urgency since she kept assuring me there wasn't a rush.
I also was very indecisive about the layout of the blocks.  There were an odd number of handkerchiefs and two were actually rectangles.  After a few days, I had an "aha" moment" and decided instead of using plain white fabric side set triangles and corners, I would use the handkerchiefs! I took two of the smaller lace-only handkerchiefs and cut them in half. And used four others cut in half for the side set triangles.

I ended up deconstructing the rectangle handkerchiefs and folded them in a special way to make triangles.  If you look super close you can see a seam where I hand stitched the edges together to make the pretty rolled edge.

You can hardly see the seams after I quilted it!

 After I finished all the applique, I had my layout and sashing put together.  Summer hit and I put it aside for some family issues and traveling I had to do. When the boys got back to school, I pulled it out to get ready to shop for some backing and decide on my quilting plan.

Hurricane Harvey hit.  Her daughter announced on Facebook that her mother's home, my client's, had been flooded.  I messaged to her that I still had the finished quilt (I had been planning to send it the next week) and the handkerchief quilt was still in progress. I would wait to hear where they settled before I sent both.  I thanked the lord that I hadn't sent the first to be lost forever!

At the end of October, my client emailed me her new address for her apartment and the fact that her grandson was re-engaged with the same young lady.  She needed the quilt! I sent her the finished quilt and told her I was going to speed up work on the handkerchief quilt!

When I received her thank you for the scrappy quilt I about cried!  That was the only thing she had left of all the projects she had made her children and grandchildren through the years.  That one sweet scrappy quilt!!!
 I was so excited to find the backing and make a quilting plan!

I chose an organic crosshatch for the handkerchiefs so it didn't overwhelm the tiny flowers.
On the corners with the lace edged corners and side set triangles,
Ole Betsy the longarm insisted on a few swirls.

The binding was a happy marriage of the white handkerchiefs, lighter blue sashing, and the darker backing from Kate Spain's Aria line.

The client really wanted her grandson's favorite color, navy blue as a backing.
I chose a very subtle tone-on-tone feathery navy fabric so it didn't argue with such a floral and delicate front.

I loved how the quilting made a great design on the back!

Quilt Stats:
Measures: 82" x 82" square
Pattern: Basic on point squares with sashing
Fabrics: Kona White, Kona Cloud, Aria by Moda, Navy blue backing from Joann Fabrics.
Quilted: Free motion organic crosshatch, swirls, and fillers on Handiquilter Avante

I sent it right after Thanksgiving, just in time for the holidays.  The thank you note I received from her was absolutely lovely, made me cry again, and was worth every bit of work I put into it.  If you are wondering, I could NOT bear to charge her for my work on either quilt.  My husband and I both agreed that it would be our personal donation to a sweet family that lost everything during Hurricane Harvey.  

It ended up being a glorious labor of love.


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