Friday, November 23, 2012

modern quilting means less cut and piece

Ok, maybe most of you will disagree with me on this, but sometimes it is a waste to cut up a big beautiful piece of fabric just to sew it back together again. I know back in the day pioneer women cut up old clothes and grain sacks and used the best pieces for quilts. I think that's still a great way to reuse your scraps and worn clothes. But what about the new yard and half you couldn't resist from the quilt shop? Why not make it into a whole cloth quilt blanket?

Here are 2 of my "couldn't bear to cut up the fabric" quilts:

 The flying geese and the trees have such a wide open field feel to them, who would want to interrupt their flight?

 This fabric from Alexander Henry reminds me of a Mexican horse blanket. It had to stay in one piece!

These are simple 3 layer whole cloth quilts with embroidery floss ties keeping the quilt together. It is so enjoyable to make these quilts. Peaceful, too.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

my very first quilt kit is for sale!

When I started making quilt patterns, the idea to sell kits was not far behind. I've been waiting for the perfect quilt to sell as a kit and here it is:

The first picture is the kit with all the parts, the second photo is the kit all bundled up to mail. The green flower in the center is a coaster, one of the little gifts I like to add to surprise the customers. ( I usually include a bookmark, but of course, being me, I got tired of making them and switched to coasters. The only problem with coasters is I'm not sure if it is obvious what they are so maybe I need to include a tag that says "coaster"?)

Back to the topic, my first quilt kit, is the star fish quilt. So now I have the quilt, the pattern, and the kit available. I hope someone besides me likes them...
Here's how I described the kit deciding process:

love this quilt! It was such fun to design and make, I thought someone else might want to try it. Then I thought, it might be a hard for someone to gather all the little pieces for the star fish. Then came the great idea to assemble it all in a kit. I had enough fabric left over except the mermaid one, which was easy to order from my new favorite Etsy fabric store, Baileygirlsfabric.

I knew if I were buying a kit I would want everything to complete the project, including the batting layer and the back. So everything is here, except for the thread and the sewing machine. The kit is available, of course, in the shop for $42.00.

Monday, November 12, 2012

mermaids and star fish quilt from Sarah Jane

I love Sarah Jane fabrics for kids. The designs say childhood antics, old fashioned fun and lots of imagination. Her newest design set is called Out to Sea. I've already made some quilts from her ship fabric and map fabric, now it's time to take on the mermaids and octopuses.

I've had the mermaid fabric around the sewing a room awhile. I wasn't sure how to make it into a quilt. There's a lot of motion in the pattern with a red haired mermaid swimming and playing. There is also lots of open ocean, so to speak, or open space with just some tiny fish and water bubbles.

My last few kid's quilts have had large appliques to the side with most of the quilt left to show off the main fabric design. With the mermaid fabric, it seemed that the print wasn't telling the story by itself, it needed more. The problem then was that my mind needed to get out of the groove of single large appliques into something else. Finally it came to me.

The mermaid is holding a star fish, so I thought, why not add some more star fish to the quilt? Now the ocean spaces have bright star fish in them:)

The finished quilt and the pattern are available at Maryland Quilter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

having Christmas fun early

I'm having such fun putting together Christmas quilts. I decided that whatever I wanted to make, I'd go ahead and make. So here are my latest two Christmas quilts, one is a geometric bit of everything and the other is a super traditional nod to Christmas past:

This geometric quilt came together like a painting. I started with preparing the canvas, the three quilt layers of top, batting and backing. These layers were pinned to keep them from shifting. Then the fun began. All my scraps and small pieces went flying everywhere and the best ones landed on the quilt. These were moved and trimmed and layered and finally pinned in place. Then they were sewn to the quilt. I love sewing the appliques and quilting at the same time. It is just a lovely economy of effort and creates a beautiful pattern on the back of the quilt. This holiday quilt is a bit expensive, $105.00, because there is a surprising lot of time and dense sewing invested.

The quilt above  was labor intensive, this one was just fun and easy. I loved quilting following the outline of the little winding road between the houses. Such fun and I could almost smell the pumpkin pie, can't you?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

weathering the storm

Hi all,
I'm online with generator power hubby hooked up. We weathered the storm but it was hard. A pine tree fell and hit the deck but because it was rotten, it fell to bits and didn't damage anything.
A tree brought down live wires at out neighbors causing a huge fire in the woods below our house. Our two closest neighbors were evacuated in the middle of the hurricane and had to go to a church basement. The road on our side was blocked by the wires. We spent the night watching the fire and praying it didn't burn down the neighbor's house. He was calling us every couple hours to get updates through the night. Fortunately, some power guys helping from Ohio (thank you) came and turned off the power after about 8 hours of worry and jumping fire.
Now we just wait for the power to be restored.

The red cart is our neighbor's horse trailer. The fire was right next to it. I guess the forest was too wet to really burn because we saw few burn marks. This is out driveway with downed lines on it. The road is to the right.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

once upon a fairy tale quilt

I really love the fabric line, Fairy Tale Friends by Moda. I bought a bundle of fat quarters through a great deal from Craftsy. The fabric is rich in color and has a great texture.

 I used 4 fat quarters in the same color family to make this first quilt. The bundle came with two craft panels with scenes from fairy tales. I knew I wanted the quilt to showcase parts of the panel, but it took  a bit of thought to decide how to do it. Finally I chose a mottled red flannel as a frame for the pictures. The flannel is also used for the back of the quilt.

The best part of the project is that I only used 1 of the 4 colorways in the fat quarter bundle, so I have lots more fabric to mess around and make more quilts with :) Yippee! I'm such a fabric addict :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn fun and adventure

Fall is my favorite time of the year! The trees are changing color, the air is crisp, and a bit of scary adventure lurks around the corner :)

This is the view from my deck-- a gorgeous tree called a katsura. We planted it some years ago and it fit on the back of our pickup truck. Time sure passes fast....

I'm really proud of this cape because it's the first clothing I've ever made by myself from one of those tissue paper patterns Simplicity sells. This is my hubby dressed for a horseman's hunt ride coming up in November. It took his encouragement to get me to make the costume-- I'm glad he pushed me, it was worth the effort and now I'm not intimidated to sew clothes.

 My littlest one hamming it up for the camera:)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sarah Jane out to sea

I love Sarah Jane fabric. Here is a baby quilt I made from her new line called Out to Sea.  I enjoy Sarah Jane fabric because it reminds me of a vintage era of white picket fences and puppies and a slower lifestyle. I don't know if that world ever really existed but at least it lives in the imagination. When I sew with her patterns, it makes me happy :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hi Liz and everyone,
Sorry it's been awhile since I posted. I've been busy avoiding the blog, not entirely sure why, mainly I've been a bit discouraged. Anyway, I thought I should get up, brush the dust off the blog and write something.

I have been busy quilting, and here are my newest quilts.  They are mainly a bunch of baby quilts that are really satisfying to make because they are small and fast to work up. The Scottie dog ones are available as patterns in the shop, too.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I love love love this pattern

I've been having fun all week with this pattern. I had some leftover ovals from Kelsey's wedding quilt and was moving them around, trying to fit them into a lap quilt. Here is the result:

I liked it so much because the center pieces are the pieces that are cut out of the ovals, so there is no waste when you cut out the applique AND you get twice the reward from your efforts. I love that! In fact, I loved how the quilt looked so much, I made 2 more of them, each one a bit different:

I often like to make batches when I fall in love with a pattern, then I'm done and don't make any more, ever.

If any of my readers would like a free pdf copy of one of these patterns, just mention it in the comment box. Include your email address and which quilt you want to make, I'll send it to you :) They are also available to purchase in my shop.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

from really big to teeny tiny

I'm still recovering from the huge queen size quilt I made last week. So today I had fun with a little project. I found the idea for this one in a great book, Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. You start with a moleskine cahier pocket notebook. Add fabric pieces in whatever design. Sew it to the cardboard cover with a small zigzag stitch. I added a mini bookmark to mine. I made 5 and they are available in the shop. Well, I made 3 other ones that my kids got because I didn't get the hang of it till the 4th one. One of the perks to having a crafty mom-- you get all the not quite sale able stuff :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

the wedding quilt that wasn't

Here's the first try of a wedding quilt for my niece, Kelsey. She wanted black, white, grey and a bit of some other color. Somehow the quilt that I was thinking would be muted in color turned out dramatic. I still don't know how that happened. Then it was also too small when they moved and got a queen size bed. So now this crazy quilt is in the shop waiting for the person I must have made it for who isn't Kelsey :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

kelsey's wedding ring quilt finished!

I finally tackled my niece's wedding quilt and finished it. I'm so happy !! It was a real challenge to design and create. Large quilts intimidate me anyway, and I wanted this one to be special. Thank you quilter Liz for encouraging me to get on with it. It's great to have a friend and really neat to have one all the way in Australia :)

Here is some of the process behind the quilt. I wanted to make a double wedding quilt which is a traditional pattern. I am not traditional. So I had to bend the pattern to fit me. It had to be the best I could make it but also the most efficient. In other words, I don't have the time or patience to cut hundreds of little pieces and then sew them back together.

 So I converted the pattern to an applique design, sewn and quilted on a central panel.
I added a couple of borders.

 Here is the finished quilt. The pattern is for sale in the shop, the original quilt going to Kelsey, of course. Tomorrow I hope to show you the first wedding quilt I made for her, which turned out not at all as I planned. That one will be for sale in the shop.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

time out for babysitting and field trips

Summer is not quite over here, and it's still time for adventures and visiting. This week I've been hosting my two sweet nieces for the week. We've been to the zoo, many playgrounds and parks, and a nature center. My daughter has been begging to go to Meadowside nature center all summer. I kept putting her off, saying wait till your cousins come and we'll go together. I'm glad I made her wait because they had a great time.

The nature center has a cave which is so much fun to explore:

It also has a native american exhibit to play in:

The only thing missing this week is quilting-- I'm counting down the days till back to school and back to serious quilting!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gotta quit avoiding the wedding quilt

Here I am, making more crazy quilts, avoiding the really challenging project. I have to make my niece a wedding quilt and I'm nervous. Most of my projects are low stress and really, I don't know why this one bothers me so much. Partly because it's big, queen size, and partly because it's a new design. I don't want to cut into expensive fabric and screw it up.  You know, it really helps to share your anxiety. I feel better. Thanks for reading.

 Weird, both my new crazy quilts have a bird print, unintentionally.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Alexander Henry makes a ghastlie crazy quilt

I'm still going crazy with crazy quilts. That means the summer schedule is still a bit overwhelming. But that's okay, there is a season for everything and I'm sure it will get too quiet when school starts.
 I have a secret love, his name is Alexander Henry. Haha. I just love that design company! However I put together his fabric, it turns out good. Here is my latest crazy quilt in the Ghastlie design:

This quilt is reversible! Here is the back, just as ghastlie as the front :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

crazy summer, crazy quilts

Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed. With 8 people staying at the house this summer just keeping the fridge stocked is a big job.  When my life gets this crazy I can't concentrate enough to design a quilt.  I just want to relax with old familiar patterns. These comfort me and I still get some sewing done. Here are 2 quilts I made this week using my favorite crazy quilt pattern:

I used fat quarters from Amy Butler's Gypsy Caravan and Jenean Morrison's Grand Hotel. I had leftover fabric so I made pillows to go with the throws. I really love the Grand Hotel fabric and am fighting the compulsion to buy more:)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where does the time go?

It seems like I just posted here, but really it's been awhile. Sometimes days blur together for me. My youngest daughter turned 7 over the weekend and we celebrated both days. The baby is totally spoiled :) I did manage to satisfy my sailboat quilt craving. Here are the last 2 in the series:
 I've wanted to do a pirate theme for a long time-- so much fun!
The fabric is a perfect wave pattern; I was almost sea sick sewing it:)
 Another motif I've been wanting to use is the big dipper constellation. Here was my opportunity:
 This quilt is a crazy rag quilt. I'm tweaking my pattern so that I can make a bunch for the holidays. I sooo want to make a profit this year from my shop. Is that even possible for a quilter?