Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh, Those Sisters of Mine!

You may remember my sisters.  I made each of them a quilt.  Not one of them can sew a lick.  Or sew on a button for that matter.  They must really love me because they decided to make me a quilt.  And from the photos of them working on it, you can see that they had lots of fun!

This is Carol.....


..Dee Dee..........

..and Debbie.

They surprised me with it at a family bridal shower, and the word "surprise" is an understatement!  They also gave me a framed collage of the above photos and a few others.  All my nieces and great-nieces were in on the surprise so they were there that day, too, which made it very special.  To say I was sobbing almost hysterically is also an understatement!

Some of the fleece squares are tied together on the front, some on the back.  They used the same "technique" with the labels.   In some places the squares are tied together so tightly that the whole section is one big pucker.  And in case you are wondering what to do if you have one extra square leftover..........

Please don't anyone tell them that it is technically NOT a quilt.  I could not love it more!!

I know I am showing a lot of pics, but it was hard to eliminate any, and you have to see the labels.  

So, there you have it.  My special gift from my special sisters.  I love them bunches!  

Oh -- one more thing.  You have to see how much style this "quilt" adds to my home.  It totally blends in with the contemporary decor, don't you think?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Less UFO

There is such a wonderful feeling of satisfaction that comes from finally completing a UFO, especially when it is a gift for someone else.  I talked about this wall-hanging recently, and now I am happy to report it is finished and hanging in its new home.  I liked this pattern so much that I decided to stretch it over a frame rather than just hang it from a rod through a sleeve.   

I had only done this one other time, and even then I didn't have any instruction............ I just sort of did it.  (Kind of the way I cook these days.)   The last time, (when I made this wall-hanging in 2002) I completed the quilting and then added a wide border which I stretched around a frame made from 1 by 2's.  I simply thumb-tacked the border to the inside of the frame.  The corners ended up a little too bulky, but since it was "just" for me and since it hangs nicely in my breakfast room (and since I didn't know what else to do with it!) I decided to leave it as it was. 
This time I assembled the same kind of frame, but instead of a wide border, I attached a wide binding.  The corners of the binding had just enough slack....... that they could fold over the corners of the frame a little more neatly.   (I still used my ingenious thumb-tacking method to secure it to the inside of the frame.)
The corners didn't lay down perfectly flat (which, of course, drove me crazy) so I used the tips of my scissors (VERY carefully) as a stiletto and tucked the excess fabric in and then hand-stitched it down.  

Then, I had to hand-quilt that little one-inch square in the corner of the shadow, because even though I had checked the quilt several times, that tiny little section had not been quilted.  There is nothing like the "punch and stab" method of quilting when it is needed!

The other evening we loaded it into the car (very carefully since I wasn't thinking that 44" is a pretty wide item to load into a car) and drove it to our son and daughter-in-law's home in Alabama.  My dear Hubby helped me hang it in their bedroom last evening and it really looks great with their Glorified Nine Patch made from the same fabrics.  

I need to frame my wall-hangings more often.  I kinda like the way they look!  Now to tackle a few more of those UFO's...............

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

....and Speaking of Wedding Quilts

I guess we weren't exactly talking about wedding quilts, but since I blogged last week about one of the quilts I made for my older son I thought I would show you one of the quilts I made for my younger son.  And it actually IS a wedding quilt.  

Aaron and Leah went through my magazines when they got engaged and selected the Christmas Star pattern from the 2000 issue of Quilt It For Christmas, published by Quilters Newsletter Magazine.  Then, after they got married we went shopping for batiks at Colonial Quilts in Savannah, GA.  (I have a good excuse for their quilt not being ready by the wedding --- I made Leah's bridal gown, and that kind of took priority.  AND it kind of took a lot of time!)  

This is the completed quilt:  
It finished at 112" square.  The thought of basting it was a little overwhelming to me so I had a friend baste it for me on her longarm machine.  Then I hand-quilted it.  And I finished it before their 4th anniversary.  I really love this quilt!
Here's the quilt on their bed:

This is a close-up of the little wall-hanging over the bed:
Aaron had chosen the pre-printed black whole-cloth panel from The Stencil Company. When I was almost finished with the quilting, I realized I was using dark blue thread to quilt it.  Of course, I thought I had ruined it, but it isn't at all noticeable and may even make the quilting stand out a little more.  Having a wall-hanging framed instead of using a hanger is a nice way to display your work.  And having it hanging in your son's home, is an even nicer way!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

UFO Progress

Lately I have been in the mood to start some new projects, but I have a hard time doing that with a clear conscience when I have UFO's crying out to be completed.  (Yes, I know.  I have always been a little dramatic.)   So, I have been trying to spend at least a little time every evening hand-quilting on this wall-hanging. 
The pattern (called "Aussie") is from issue number 60 of Quiltmania, a French quilt magazine, published in 2008.  I was flipping through the magazine at Borders Books and ended up buying it just for this pattern.  Mine will finish at about 44" square, a little smaller than the pattern as published.
When I bought the magazine I had recently made a quilt for one of my sons using all Oriental prints, so I thought this would be a good companion piece.  I was able to use all but one of the fabrics from that quilt in the wall-hanging.  
This is the Oriental prints quilt, a 96" x 106" Glorified Nine-Patch I made in a workshop taught by Toby Lischko.  She teaches a technique that makes curved piecing a cinch, so if you ever have the opportunity try to take one of her classes.  She is a very talented lady.

I used a red and black dragon print for the border in this quilt and repeated it in the "shadows" on the wall-hanging.  
Here's a close-up of the quilting............
........and a picture of how I used two left-over blocks (and a fun dragon iron-on applique I found at Wal-Mart) on the back of the quilt. 

I don't have a whole lot left to do on the wall-hanging, so I am thinking that I may be able to check off one of my UFO's real soon and maybe start something new.   I'll let you know when I do!