Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Karlie's Quilt -- Stars and Hearts

When my niece, Karlie, asked me to make a quilt for her I was delighted to do so.  When she said she wanted it to be black and grey with white stars and red hearts I thought that might be a challenge.  I've made quilts with stars,  and I've made quilts with hearts, but I've never made one with both.  I wondered if I could come up with a design where the stars and hearts played well together.  I got out my handy-dandy graph paper and started with stars.  (Don't anyone tell me I need to learn to design on the computer -- I've tried -- I can't.  I like graph paper.)

Every single black and white print came from my stash.  I have a pretty cool supply of B&W prints!

My original plan was to just put a black border on it, but I didn't like the way the stars would be cut off.  

You know what that means, right?  Out came the graph paper!

This is how I made the components I needed to get the stars to extend into the border.

Does that make sense?  Anyway.  This border was going to look lots better.

I had to at least throw some hearts into the backing.  

A little bit of everything actually ended up there.

That was still not enough hearts to suit me.  Now it was up to my friend, Shirley (Custom Quilting by Shirley Jackson) to work in a few more.  I asked her to do a simple meander and every once in a while, throw in a heart.  It's all good, she knew exactly what I meant.  She used a variegated black and red thread which looked perfect.

The hearts needed to stand out just a little more, so I embroidered around just those in the border.

Yes!  That made me happy.  In fact, I love it.


The best part was yet to come.  Seeing Karlie's face when I gave it to her.

There you have it.  The perfect gift for a beautiful young woman.  I know she loves it.  These pictures don't lie.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Finding Dory - Another Friday Finish

Even though I bought the "Finding Dory" charm pack two years ago I'm calling this quilt a fast finish.  After all, I just started working on it a few weeks ago.   I told you last week in this post that I had the blocks put together.  What I didn't admit was that I had measured the sashing pieces wrong.  For some reason, knowing full well that charm packs have 5" squares, I cut the strips 5 1/2" long.

That made for extra work because I had to trim twice for every single block.

After the top was put together I noticed that one of the pieces was upside down.  Either that, or these are some very directionally challenged jellyfish!

I did not take the whole thing apart, but I did feel like this -

I wanted to use blue for the border and backing, but I don't have a great selection of blues in my stash.  As I fell asleep one night, trying to figure out what to do, I suddenly remembered --- Gavin's curtains!  Okay, let me explain.   When my grandson was about six years old, I made blue curtains for his bedroom.  Of course all the photos I could find of the curtains have him in them, and in most of them he's jumping on this bed.  I'm okay with that!

The point is, when his room was redecorated a few years ago I deconstructed those curtains and saved the fabric, even the lining.

Basting came next (of course) and then the quilting.  I used yellow thread this time, and I really like it.

Every once in a while I had to leave my sewing room and do something boring -- like making dinner.  That's when I felt like this -

Did I say, "something boring?"  I meant, "something else." (Yes, I'm being silly.  I'm having fun with this. Can you tell I like this fabric?)

It's done and ready to donate to Choose Life of North Alabama.  

I thought you would like to see what Denise made.  It's so cute!  The snowball blocks set with the polka dots - love it!

This is my 11th finish for the year and the 6th for Choose Life.  I'm on a roll.  Just imagine what I could get done if I never had to stop and cook!

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for another Whoop! Whoop!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Up Next -- A T-Shirt Quilt

About a year ago (oh, alright, more than a year ago) while visiting family in St. Louis, I was asked to make a T-shirt quilt for my nephew.  I came home with two heavy boxes. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to get to it for a long while, I put them away.  The boxes were large, so into my sewing room closet they went. 

Now that I'm finished with some projects that were pressing to be done, I'm ready to start on this one.  I think.

I unpacked them yesterday. 

 Today, they all went into the wash.  

This will be my first T-shirt quilt, so I've been doing some research and talking to quilting friends.  I think I'm ready......

...... but, that's a LOT of shirts!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Gotta Love 15 Minutes Of Play

So, this just happened.  I sent an email to Victoria Findlay Wolfe, author of "15 Minutes of Play" to let her know I finally finished my Bee Block Quilt.  I started it in 2011, because of her blog, when I joined one of her Bee Block groups.   I posted about it the other day in this post. 

She posted details about it today on her blog -- http://www.15minutesplay.com/2017/08/a-bee-block-finish.html

I really appreciate her doing that!  Check out her blog -- http://www.15minutesplay.com .....

..... and her books -- https://vfwquilts.com/collections/quilt-books

She's pretty awesome!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Play Time

I didn't get a whole lot done this week, but I did do something.  I played.

At the 2015 AQS quilt show in Chattanooga my friend, Denise, bought a "mystery" charm pack at the Missouri Star Quilt Company booth for $5.00.  Even though I was determined not to buy any fabric that year, she talked me into buying one, too.

We both ended up with identical fabric from the Disney/Pixar Finding Dory line.  Denise thought we should do a challenge and each make a baby quilt from our charm pack.  That's what I played with this week.  

I started by putting a sashing strip around each block, thinking I would only use orange and yellow.  

But, no -- that would be too boring.  You know -- not colorful enough!  With such busy prints, though, I thought it would be nice to use all solids for the sashing strips.  I don't have a lot of solids in my stash so I decided to pull a few prints and see if the backs of the fabrics would work.   Some of them did!  

I managed to get about half the blocks made.  Not too bad for a half day of playing.  At least it's something. 

Did I mention that Denise's quilt is already finished?  I have some catching up to do.

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Another week earning a Whoop Whoop!  Check out her site to see what others are accomplishing!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bits 'N Pieces

This has been a very good week.  I completed my 10th finish of the year and checked off another UFO, leaving only five on the list.  "Bits 'N Pieces" is done!

Quilting this one was not a good experience.  (I was going to say that it was a huge challenge, or maybe a real hassle, or maybe even a pain in the neck, but I'm trying not to be too negative.)  First, I spent an hour trying to get the tension right.  I was trying to use a light grey thread on top and black thread on the bottom, but it was not working at all.  I knew it would be better to use the same thread on the top and bottom for the tension to work out.  My friend Faye at Mimi's Passions told me to think about using chartreuse or orange thread.  Now, why didn't I think of that?  I'm always suggesting that to other people, but I didn't think of it for myself.

You know what?  I really liked the orange!

Then, I had a lot of trouble stitching through all those layers.  In some spots with all the slashing apart and sewing back together, there were so many thicknesses it was really difficult to get smooth curves or keep the needle going without it getting hung up.   To top it all off, I managed to do this - 

Take my advice.  Don't do that.

I felt better once I decided on a binding color (with the help of Hubby) and I knew I was almost done.

Hand stitching the binding down is my favorite part of making a quilt!

Now that it's finished I really love this quilt.  There are so many fun fabrics in it, from plaids and selvedge edges .....

..... to thirties prints .....

..... to juvenile prints.

Even watermelon!

So, tonight I'm sitting back and enjoying my accomplishments (when I'm not doing a happy dance!)

I haven't kept a quilt for us in a long time, so I'm looking forward to snuggling up in this one, drinking coffee, and reading a book.  

I may just do that every morning!

If you want to see how the blocks were made look at this blog entry then read this one.

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Can I bet a Whoop Whoop?