Thursday, July 30, 2015

Prairie Points on Safari

Sometimes (ok, a lot of times) between other more involved projects it's nice to do something quick and fun.  This little baby quilt with its row of decorative prairie points was just the ticket.

The entire center of the quilt is a panel, pulled from the remnants bin at Hancocks. Somehow I also ended up with 2 coordinating prints, so I sewed them all together into a quick top one afternoon.  The prairie points were a new-to-me skill from this tutorial here.

It proved to be next to impossible to get a good picture of the finished quilt due to the light colors. The colors in this are more saturated than they show in the pictures, but the palette is still quite muted.

Quilting was a quick stipple in the panel and side blocks, leaving the sashing unquilted. After a wash and dry the points come out with a little bit of a bed head, but lay flat after a quick press with an iron.  I actually kind of prefer the wrinkled points. The remind me of sunflowers for some reason.

The quilt measures 40" square, a generous size for a baby quilt. Backing is a super soft blue flannel; I decided to go with something brighter for the backing since the colors on the front are so soft.

I was planning to list this quilt in my store but sold it has already sold to family friends for their soon-to-be first grand child. Perfect timing ;)

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Call for Blocks!

As most of you surely already know, I run a charity called Covered in Love providing comfort quilts to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital where I work. (If you didn't know, now you do! Click on the link up there to get up to date.)

The blog world has been very generous to my project; thank you everyone! The local Tyler Modern Group has volunteered to make blocks for the cause so I thought it would be fun to open it up to the internet at large. You can make a few blocks or a bunch if you want. Send them in to me by the end of the month (email merlin775 at gmail or leave a comment for my address) and I'll assemble our blocks into quilts.

For August, let's make flying geese blocks. For each block you need to make (8) flying geese, each measuring 3"x6" finished or 3.5"x6.5" unfinished. You can make the geese any way you like. Martingale has an awesome tutorial here for making flying geese unit 4 different ways AND has included charts for the cutting measurements for each technique.  You can make your geese from any color combinations in the color chart below. Make a simple 2 color block or a scrappy block with lots of different fabrics. Then, arrange those (8) geese any way you like into a 12.5" unfinished block.

Personally I prefer the 4 geese at a time method (toward the bottom of the tutorial page), for that one you need to cut (1) 7.25" square and (4) 3 7/8" squares. I made 8 sets (32 geese) and mixed those up to make 4 blocks.  Make your geese any way you want, make as many or as few blocks as you want, and send them my way during August. Next month I'll post a new block.

(Edited to Add: View finished quilt here)

Tyler Modern ladies, you can bring your blocks to our meeting at the end of the month. Questions? Comment or email me please! Thanks in advance, I couldn't do this without you guys :)

Linking to WIP Wednesday and Oh Scrap!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Flannel Scraps #1

If you've been following along then you'll remember those flannel scraps I've been cutting down ;)

The first flannel scraps quilt is up on the wall.  This one had more of the dark, "manly" colors.  I cut 2.5", 4.5" and 8" squares and arranged them more or less randomly.  Finished size will be 56"x72" (my goal size for Covered in Love quilts).
I'm not in love with this one; hoping I'll like it more once it's quilted up.  Right now I'm wondering what to back it with. Seems like a flannel quilt top needs a flannel backing, but that will make it significantly heavier. Plus, I would have to piece it.  We'll see.

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday and Cynthia's Oh Scrap.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beaches and Sunsets {Hawaiian Shirts Memory Quilt}

This quilt has been in progress for, suffice it to say, waaay too long.  At long last though it is done and somewhere in a box it is traveling to its new home.  I made this quilt for my friend Nate and his family from his father's shirts. His dad passed away last year.  These are not just your usual sampling of shirts, but Hawaiian shirts! This man had style.

I used 6 Hawaiian shirts, 1 orange polo, and 1 blue polyester athletic shirt. Only the light yellow 0.5" sashing came from store-bought fabric.  The blocks finish at 7" and the whole quilt measures 56"x77".

Apparently when they make these shirts they meticulously line up the pattern, but that is in fact a pocket closed with a button.
Any time I make a memory quilt from clothes I like to include elements that identify the fabrics as clothes, things like pockets and tags.  If you've been reading this blog for a long time you may remember Harley memory quilt I made for my cousin her dad's clothes.  I did the same thing on this  quilt, including 6 pockets and various tags and buttons.

The top is quilting with a loose swirl. I went around the pockets to avoid sewing them closed.

I didn't stabilize any of the fabrics in this top prior to sewing. The Hawaiian shirts have practically no stretch although they are quite thin.  Both the solid colors shirts did have quite a bit of stretch, but I think since they were cut into such small patches I was able to get away with it.

I made the backing from panel of batik fabric and from the remainder of the Hawaiian shirts. And of course it got a label.

Obviously I make a give away a lot of quilts, but making one for someone I personally know and care for is the most special.  I haven't seen Nate since I was visiting him in California a couple years ago, but I can send my love in a quilt.

Hoping this simple quilt will ease the grief and sending love from Texas <3 br="" kat.="" nbsp="">

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fabric Dyeing Class: Results

I went to my first class ever today! Fabric dyeing with some folks from the local modern group.  We learned different folds and how to mix the powdered dyes.  I'm pretty tickled with my results. I did 4 fat quarters and a bamboo rayon scarf.

I plan to use these FQs as focal fabrics for quilts, somehow.

The scarf is for my mom. She starts chemo this week so we are looking for head-cover alternatives.  We were fortunate that she only had a small cancer and they caught it early, but she still has to go through chemo and radiation. We'd appreciate all you good thoughts and prayers :)

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Flannel scraps and School Spirit Take 2

First of all, thank you all so much for all your kind words on my post about Elvis and Wilson.  I miss them very much, but Miss Rory has been doing great to distract me.  At this age they are very needy and into everything so you can't not be paying attention to them for very long!  We also had a good visit with friends this weekend and the Oldest WIP was finally returned to its rightful owners (they were thrilled!)

"Really, I'm helping!"
I finished cutting up my flannel scraps and counted them up. I have the makings of 2 quilts. One darker and measuring 56"x72", the other bright and girly finishing 64"x80".

I am also putting together the second A&M quilt for a friend.  It may look the same but yes, this is a different top than the one I pictured before. Hoping to get it sewn up tonight!

Linking to Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Design Wall Monday @ Patchwork Times.

She has already figured out the guaranteed way to get my attention: wait by the foot pedal and pounce!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Cat's Meow {a quilt in memory}

This week's quilt is literally the cat's meow. I scored 11 of these cat blocks during Cynthia's orphan adoption event. They came from the very generous Laurie at ThreeOldKeys.  I made a 12th cat block (the peeking cat on the lower left) to finish out the set of cat blocks and built them up into a top with browns from the stash.

I sashed all the blocks up to 12.5", then they are set in a "Dancing Nines" type arrangement a la Bonnie Hunter, where the outside sashing alternates sides.

The cat blocks I was sent included 6 paper pieced 4" cats, several odd sized larger cats, and a couple of applique cats.  Moon cat is one of my favorites.

Quilting was pretty simple, just outlined the cat blocks and stippled in the background.

There was one exception to the simple FMQ.  I did a cat FMQ in this nine patch that needed something a little more (tutorial here at Inbox Jaunt).

Although a couple of my FMQ cats did end up looking a bit like squirrels.

I'm told these blocks were made by the members of a long defunct quilting bee.

This quilt is bitter sweet for me. Sweet because I obviously love cats, and I love it whenever I can take UFO blocks and finish them out. Plus it's another quilt for Covered in Love. Bitter because, well, Wilson has been missing since the beginning of June. One of the hazards of living in the country is that there are always bigger, hungrier animal lurking in the woods. We actually lost Elvis, too. I've been too sad to mention it on here until now.

It's been over a month and I still keep looking for him, wondering what he's doing, and wanting to go to the door and call him. I always assumed he'd die of a pneumonia one winter, and that we probably wouldn't have too many more years together with his compromised lungs, but I thought I would have time to say good bye.

These boys. I miss them.

I'm absolutely not "over it" yet, but I am telling you about it today because this week the next chapter began. Her name is Rorschach, aka Rory, and she's 6 weeks old.

Notice the "ink blot" on her forehead.
Learning to sleep through the noise of the sewing machine.

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

School Spirit

The sewing machine has been humming right along here, making a pair of A&M quilts for a friend who wants to give them as Christmas presents.

I first made 2 panels with the A&M logo. One is applique, the other is reverse applique. Both have batting sewn in under the letters to make them pop.

The first quilt is laid out (minus the bottom 2 rows which didn't fit) and partially assembled.  I put these quilts on hold for the moment to work on an older WIP.

The memory quilt made of Hawaiian shirts from my friend Nate's dad is under the needle finally getting quilted.

Large swirls.  It is difficult to be really careful not to get any puckers or distortion of the shirts because there won't be much krinkle happening to disguise any mistakes.  I am hoping to get it done and bound today.  Hope you are having lots of sewing time, too!

Linking to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

1,008 Little Squares

1008, that's how many 2.5" scrap squares are in this little quilt!  Every time I start to think my scraps are running low it's like that jar of flour in the Bible story-- they never run out!

This is another Covered in Love quilt. I am going to piece together a tri-color backing for it and then it will go in the pile to be basted.  Meanwhile, I realized I had enough flannel scraps to make an all-flannel scrap quilt, so I've been cutting those up.

I decided my largest squares would be 8.5", so I am also cutting 4.5" and 2.5" squares, whatever is the largest size I can get from that particular scrap.  Soon to be assembled!

Linking to Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Design Wall Monday @ Patchwork Times.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Historic Route 66 Quilt

This was a fun quick quilt that evolved out of a remnant bin find. I got two pieces of the Route 66 novelty fabric from the bin at Hancocks and decided to create a quilt around it.

 I pulled tone on tone fabrics to match the colors in the primary fabric. You can see a little bit of my design process in this WIP post.

Quilting was a simple stipple over the whole thing.

I ended up having one extra square of the Route 66 fabric to incorporate into the backing along with the labels. This is another quilt for Covered in Love, if you aren't already tired of hearing me talk about it go to the charity page to read all about this charity!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.