Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye 2015

I've been staring at my unfinished project and unfinished blogposts list this week while company was still in town. Feeling down that there was so much to do and no way to get started with guests around.

So I decided to focus on what I DID get done this year.

-13 fully finished quilts
-5 t-shirt quilts (4 queen size)
-3 quilt tops
-1 quilt restoration
-3 large bean cushions
-1 full tree skirt
 -2 mini swaps
-2 quilted throw pillows
-3 quilted bags/totes
-3 new rosettes for La Passacaglia -1300 hexies basted

The majority resulted from my very own stash. Not too shabby considering we made such a large move and had to do renovate the studio entirely.

I had a long post with my goals in mind but honestly?  It's simple. 

Quilt more
Release more patterns
Sew my stash
Blog more. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Strake Jesuit Personalized {T-shirt Quilt}

The second commissioned quilt for Christmas was this Strake Jesuit College Preparatory quilt.   My oldest son graduated from there and I had made a smaller lap quilt for a friend whose son graduated (and happened to be the Valedictorian) along with my son.  An acquaintance saw it and had to have it for her son who has graduated there also.

This one was tricky because, again, she wanted a queen size and originally had sent me enough to only get 14 blocks. 

We finally agreed on a Kona Green sashing design with a stripe with his name appliqued on Kona Gray that she liked.  She also sent me some more of his cross country shirts to mix in.

I love working with minky backings for t-shirt quilt.  I feel like it contradicts the scratchy or rubbery screenprintins on the front and make a nice balance.

I also went with simple meandering in gray thread.  And a Kona Gray binding to tie in the gray stripe in the front.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 89" x 92"
Pattern: Custom by myself
Fabric: Kona Solids, Shannon Fabrics Olive Minky
Quilting: Longarm Meander

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Notre Dame-Michigan Game Day {T-shirt Quilt}

I was commissioned to make a T-shirt Quilt that include only Notre Dame vs Michigan Game T-shirts.  I have to admit, this Marquette University alum girl twinged just a tad, but I powered through!  She requested a queen and with only about enough t-shirt logos to make 14 blocks, I knew I had to put my thinking cap on.

My original mockup

 I remembered that a friend had asked me to work up an estimate for a simple Notre Dame logo and I worked the math to fit it in the center for this one.
I surrounded it by the t-shirt blocks and then added a gold border to frame it all.  

The fabric choices are very mottled solids gave the quilt some depth.

And, as always, I back my t-shirt quilts with minky, this one was Shannon Fabrics Navy.  Quilted it on Ole Besty Longarm with a large meandering and bound it with the gold fabric by Moda to mimic a second "frame".

It was a big hit for Christmas! 

Quilt Stats:
Size: 89" x 92"
Pattern: Custom by myself
Fabric: Riley Blake Basics Shades, 
Moda Fabrics Collection for a Cause: Love, Shannon Fabrics Navy Minky
Quilting: Longarm Meander

Monday, November 16, 2015

Daysail Palatina {Quilted Throw Pillow Cover}

 After making the Cotton & Steel Palatina mini for my swap partner,
I still could not shake it and wanted to do it again.

I had a certain person on my radar that had sent me a gorgeous mini out of the blue when I complimented her on it.  She wouldn't even let me pay for the international postage from Australia.

I had some leftover scraps from my Daysail quilt and thought it would make a great pillow cover for her!

I'm in LOOOOVE with matchstick quilting for throw pillows and minis.

 A zipper is hiding in this white dotted mint fabric.

 This red and white houndstooth from my!

Quilt Stats:
Measures: 18' Square
Fabric: Bonnie & Camille's Daysail by Moda Fabrics, Houndstooth,  Joann's White dotted mint
Thread: Gutterman White
Quilted: Matchstick quilting on Babylock Symphony

I love how it turned out and am contemplating making making a larger lap quilt version for myself.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tree Quilt {School Auction Quilt}

"Like branches of a tree our lives might grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one"

This quilt started out super easy but ended up being the most time consuming "little" quilt I quite possibly have ever made. 

I was approached by the auction chair from Button's school to see if I could take all the fabric that the kids tissued dyed and make a tree quilt.  The fourth graders dyed theirs very multicolored and the kindergartners and preschoolers did greens, blues and yellows. 

She envisioned a tree with birds and leaves with their names on them. I told her it would be "easy" to design bird and leaf appliqués in my embroidery software. I may now regret that word choice. 

I, first, pulled out my trusty ole freezer paper and started sketching a tree. I ironed it on back of some textured brown fabric that I had in my stash. I then, awkwardly, cut it out and appliquéd it on some Kona white background. 

And then. It hit me. What I thought were only a handful of green fabrics were more going to be more leaves than my spindly tree could handle. There were 20-ish pre-k 3 and 4 year olds, but 30 kindergartners!!!!!

Thankfully, I quickly came up with the idea that I could use the Kindergarten green blocks as border and started piecing them. 

Then I laid out my paper samples of birds and leaves laid out for size and placement.

 I embroidered. And embroidered. And hooped. And unhooped. And embroidered. And snipped stabilizer. Hooped. And embroidered. Not to mention a few thread color changes. 

What I thought would be a few hours slowly and excruciatingly became....
36 hours. 

  After that?  Quilting was easy peasy. I used a flannel plaid green from my stash for backing since it was a wall hanging.  

Quilting in negative space white what is now one of my favorite fillers. I happened to have some old green dyed muslin in my stash for binding.  The fabric was from my JJ's pre-K4 class auction quilt I made in 2006. 
How's that for a full circle?

Leaf quilting in the border seemed appropriate and is one of the first free motion quilting patterns I perfected on my domestic machine. 

I had to do some fun wood grain quilting on the tree trunk and branches. 

And of course, I'm a firm believer in labels. I made a label that I printed.
 I love putting clip art that reflects the top and a good quote or poem. 

Quilt Stats:
Measures: 36"x 48"
Pattern: none
Fabric:  Brown, kona white, tissue dyed by kids
Thread: Omnithread Bright White, So Fine Variegated Green by Superior Threads
Quilted: Freemotion on HQ Avante
**important note: this quilt cannot be washed!  The dye WILL disappear!***

 Despite the incredible amount of time it took, it was worth all the work. Stewardship isn't just about money, but time and talents. And I'm always eager to share all three with my boys' Catholic schools. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hexie Caddy {Pincushion}

 I love mini swaps.  Making them.  Receiving them. However..... 

It's the extras that always confound me!
Enter in my go-to "extra".  The Hexie Pincushion Caddy

Tutorial is available at Penny Hands.

This time I chose three colors from the Cotton and Steel with Essex Linen

Made my Hexie and rectangle templates.  One of the rare times I use glue under protest.
Then I simply handstitch them together....

Our Favorite Part!

Add stuffing and you have a fun gift!

And for size, that is not a small pair of scissors and those are large corsage pins for scale.
I put some colorful gel pens so it can be a pencil holder too!

I think it went perfectly with her mini, if I do say so myself.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Palatina {Mini Quilt}

I decided to join one more Schnitzle & Boo mini swap and this is what evolved.

My partner mentioned she liked the Lizzie House Meadow quilt.  

Image result for Lizzy House Meadow Quilt

Since I haven't taken her workshop and her pattern wasn't available, I seriously contemplated making my own version.  But, then I remembered my friend, Lindsey at Happier Than a Bird, using a pattern for a pillow cushion that she had made awhile back.

Palatina Pillow
Palatina Pillow

I shot her a quick message and she directed me to the the Palatina Pillow from There's a Thread.
I think the one thing that intrigues people the most with the Lizzie House Meadow quilt is the colors in the background.  I knew I wanted to switch the original idea of the low volume at the "back" of her pillow, behind the appliques. I instead wanted to move the low volumes to the front so that the colors revealed that cool secondary shape.

I chose the Cotton & Steel Basics fabric line to get COLOR!!

Here is my confession.  Their fabric lines tend to not really "fit" me. I like them, but generally can't see myself using them....until I bought their Basics line!!!

The big, giant DISLIKE my partner had was pink.  She said NO PINK!!!
 So I pulled as much pink from this GORGEOUS Cotton & Steel basics bundle  as I could.  I really worried she wouldn't like the purples I left in, but I felt that the mini needed their "cool" tones for balance.

I used the whites and taupe fabrics of my crosses.

I decided to use cardboard to secure the edges of the crosses while I hand appliqued them.
 When I was finished, I cut from behind, close (a bit more than 1/4")  to the seams on the back and then pulled the cardboard out.

The original pattern had minimal quilting, so I hesitated to matchstick the mini.

I do not regret it.  One bit.

The quilting hardly showed up on the linen backing.  I've been feeling lately that if you plan on doing intricate negative space quilting, don't use linen as a background!

 I love using a black and white binding on colorful or rainbow quilts! 

The quilt label is the circle of Cotton & Steel basics bundle. 

I sent along the mini with this coordinating hexie pincushion caddy.

More details HERE.

Quilt Stats: 
Measures: 18" Square
Pattern: Palatina Pillow by There's A Thread
Fabrics: Cotton & Steel Basics and Essex Linen
Quilting: Matchstick with Gutermann Thread on Babylock Symphony

 I also made a Daysail version as a gift HERE.

But I still have a serious hankering to make a larger version with the Cotton & Steel Basics leftovers!!


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