Sunday, June 26, 2016

Story of a Quiltmaker

There are days when writing about what I'm working on is just not that exciting so I have decided to do a quilt maker interview instead.  I think you'll enjoy this.  Get ready for cuteness overload!

Saturday I got to spend most of the day sewing with my BQF (best quilty friend).  Would you like to meet her?

This is my friend Robin and she is the one who taught me how to quilt using my Bernina.  So it's her fault there is a new quilting blog in the neighborhood.  All her fault.  :)   I packed up my sewing machine and all my sewing tools and headed over to her house.  Now WHY in the world would you go to all that trouble, you say?   Well, she's really good company for one, and two . . .Robin, her projects, her ideas and her sewing room INSPIRE me!

Love this banner, and I want to make one!

A little part of her stash with a featherweight hanging around . . .yep, it works,

A miniature clothesline and miniature clothespins that hold pictures or labels of whatever recent projects she is working on.  So cute!  And a view of Miss Organization's scrap system.

If Robin had the desire to try, she would be a smokin' good quilt blogger.  I kid you not!  She is good at everything she does.  She sews, she knits, she is an excellent writer and actually did a blog for a while, just not about quilting. She does not do things halfway.  Here is an example of what I mean.  When she started to really get into knitting, she started her own knitting podcast.  She bought a lamb and a spinning wheel and learned how to spin her own yarn!  Are you KIDDING me???    I told you she doesn't do things half way.  Here are a few things out of the many, many she has made.   

Sweater and headband


The Baa-bie Hat.  A popular free pattern.

A beautiful knitted "quilt"

Robin has been sewing in one form or another since she was a little girl but quilting for only about the last 8 years when grandchildren started appearing.  Here are her first two quilts she ever made.  She was good at it from the start!

First quilt ever for her first grandson

Second quilt ever made for her first granddaughter.  These were both found in a 2008 issue of Quilting Magazine.  Did you notice they both have prairie points on two of the corners?  And applique!    She just jumped right in!

Here is a table runner she made when she decided she better start using up her own stash and not go buy anything new.  

Here is another quilt she is working on right now all from her stash.   Is this the cutest or what???  Just waiting to be quilted.

Here are some of her favorite blocks from this quilt.  I think the fabric line was Vintage Market.

Here are two projects she was working on yesterday.  Having recently welcomed her 2nd granddaughter in to this world (7th grandchild total), she is busily making teething rings . . .

and patchwork bibs.

Her granddaughter's name is Wren and she made the greatest birdy flannel quilt for her.

Here is the back

Closeup of birdy with party hat

There is the cutest story about this particular granddaughter's name.  One day, Robin was talking to her mom and telling her that her daughter had decided to name the baby Wren and her mom immediately said, who in the world would name their kid after a bird?  Robin looked at her and said, You??  I just cracked up when she told me about this.   

To be fair, her mom didn't name her after a "bird" but after a character in a book she had read so she didn't consider it naming her after a bird.  Still . . . too funny!!

So that's my BQF, Robin and just the tip of the iceberg of things she has created.  I hope you had fun "meeting" her.   

I'm still plugging away at the green and purple chevron and hearts quilt.  Here is the result of the tedious HST trimming I did on Saturday.  Bleh.  Talking about Robin was waaaaay more fun.

Since I have so few things to show yet of my own, I'll probably be sharing her creations once in a while if that's ok with her!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Please do come again!!

Linking to:

Monday Making at Love, Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Design Board Monday at Bits N Bobs

Friday, June 24, 2016

Quilting Chevron Quilts

Before I get to the quilting stuff I just had to share this little thing that amused me.  Have you ever seen Little Shop of Horrors?  It's an old cult classic with Rick Moranis and Steve Martin.   If you haven't seen it, you should.  In spite of the title, it is not a horror movie with lots of blood and guts, it's actually quite clever and off the wall.  If you have seen it, you will appreciate the following.  I was leaving the office one day and saw this right in the middle of the sidewalk.  All alone.

I looked around to see what tree or shrub it might have come from and couldn't see anything (cue Twilight Zone music).  Doesn't it remind you of that creepy plant from this show?  I can just hear it saying, "Feed Me, Seymour!!"    OK, so my mind tends to go in silly directions sometimes, please don't hold that against me.  :)   Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

So as you all know, I'm making a chevron quilt with hearts and here is the first heart!  I'm not even done cutting out the pieces for it all yet but I couldn't resist sewing at least ONE of them together.  :)

While I'm in the midst of piecing this, I have been pondering about how to quilt it.  I've done searches all over the place for ideas and while there are OODLES of tutorials for making chevron quilts, I haven't had much luck finding ideas on the quilting part of it.    Even in the images I've found there aren't a lot of good pictures of the quilting.  Here are my favorites so far:

Found at Sew Kind of Wonderful, I couldn't find the exact post this was on.

Found at Piece N Quilt

I would love to see all the different ways you've quilted your chevron quilts.  Will you share them with me?   I can't imagine there are very many people out there who haven't made a chevron quilt by now.  I'm needing ideas!!  I would be delighted to do another post showing any ideas that are shared with me with a link back to your blog.  

Linking to:

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

House Block #2

Hey fellow fabric fondlers and quirky quilters!  I'm not good at it, but I gotta try some alliteration now and then!

My anxiously awaited fabric order came today!  Oh man, it was like Christmas!  I'll give you a sneak preview of just a few of the fabrics.   Since I've been on a "house" kick lately, I had fun playing around with it and made a tropical hut for your viewing pleasure!  I almost hate to cut into this stuff!

I'm not a pattern writer, but I definitely AM a pattern user.  Coming at this from the pattern user side of things,  I wanted to point out something missing on this pattern that would have saved a little time. I would very much appreciate someone doing the same for me if I had written one.

At the beginning, the quilt is shown already sewn.  When listing the fabric amounts needed, the pattern only mentions the name of the fabric shown in the illustration and the amount used.  It didn't tell where each fabric was so I had to figure it out by comparing the fabric names to the picture.     It would have helped if there would have been some text overlay on the picture of the quilt identifying the name of the fabric.  Either that, or just a generic 1/4 yard is needed for this, and 1 yard is needed for that, etc.   It didn't take a super huge effort to find everything, but it did take some extra time to figure out exactly what I needed.

While waiting for that box of scrumptiousness to arrive, I made another house block.  Here it is!  Can you see the cats in the windows?   Those windows are only 3/4 on an inch wide so I was so happy to find something that fit them!

So, that will probably be as far as I get on the mini house quilt for a while as I've got some serious sewing to do with what little time I have.  Maybe I'll make some more if I need a break.  We shall see.

I've been playing around in Picmonkey a little bit and made this signature in a heart.  Not in love with it, but it was fun to play.   I'll keep experimenting.  

Thanks so much for dropping by and please come again!
Linking to:
Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts
Fiber Tuesday at The Quilting Room
To-Do Tuesday at Stitch All the Things
Show & Tell Monday at Anja Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

House Block

So while I am impatiently waiting for the fabric to get here for quilt #4, I had to find something to do with myself!  I have always wanted to make a house block quilt but not one with all the same blocks.  I want oodles of different houses!   I decided to try a technique I've not done before.  It took me a bit to figure out how to stay on the edges correctly (don't look too close)  but I think I finally got the hang of it.  This is a 6 inch block and I love how it turned out!  I'm thinking I will just make three more and make my first mini quilt.   For anybody else looking to do house blocks, I found a great post at Quilt Inspirations with links to lots of houses.

This was a fun project that didn't obligate me to hours and hours of work.  A nice filler!

Some of you are participating in a Rainbow Rose Quilt Along and I really wanted to participate, but didn't think I should start another project yet but I was envying the fabric pulls!  Isn't that silly how even just playing around with your fabric is fun!    :)   My daughter would be rolling her eyes at me about now.   

So, I decided to at least do that part,  Now I've got a rainbow project ready to go if I want.  I like it so much I've just left it sitting on top of my desk as a decoration . . . for a while anyway . . . until I need the space.

Well, that's all for now!  Thanks so much for stopping by and if you have any really nifty house block patterns you want to share with me, I would LOVE that!

Linking up to:
Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She
Scrap Happy Saturdays at So Scrappy
Oh Scrap!  at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Plan for Quilt #4 and Antiquing Finds

Aren't quilters the BEST??  I sent out a plea for help with coming up with a quick and easy quilt pattern I could use with kelly green as the focus color and she wanted it to be girly.  I was told by several that kelly green is not very girly.  :)  Even so, I got three wonderful suggestions and the neatest thing is that I was already kind of considering one of the ideas that was sent me so that just confirmed it. Kate Swallows of Life in Pieces pointed me in the direction of this idea.  I'll be making a pattern called I Heart Chevrons by Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft.

Here is what I will be making:

Instead of reds and pinks, I will be doing the hearts in a variety of large scale floral prints by Kaffe Fasset and Amy Butler that feature a lot of greens, purples, pinks and blues.  The chevron rows will be green and purple.  I may decide to throw in one hot pink heart in there somewhere. We shall see!  The back will be this!

I have ordered all the fabric and I can't wait to get started!  My hubby's cousin, who is hiring me to do this, said I have free reign to do whatever I want.  She said to surprise her.  YIKES!!  I was not at all comfortable with that so made her look at my idea to make sure I wasn't way out in left field and she likes it.  Whew.

I've been admiring all the mini quilts that are being made out there and I haven't made any yet (but I will!) so until I can get some made, I have decided to use my wall space for rescued orphan stitched things.  During one of my lunch hours, I stopped by our local antique shop and found these two:

I thought that was kind of clever :) 

They both look like they are dirty or stained but that is just the glare off the glass.  Knowing how many hours it took to make these, I couldn't bear to just leave them homeless!

This one is perfect for my (future) sewing room.  Right now we are living with my husbands parents while we're waiting for our house to be finished.   We are remodeling a teeny tiny little house  into a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, not so teeny house and you will not believe the transformation!  I'll share that in a future post.

Hmm!  Maybe I will have time to make a mini quilt while I'm waiting for that new fabric to get here!

This one, I didn't buy.  Maybe I should go back and get it?

Today, I'll be linking up to :
WOW = WIP's Wednesday
Needle and Thread Thursday

So glad you stopped by and hope you'll come again!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Third Finish Ever! YAHOO!

It seems like I worked on this for hours and hours!  But I suppose that is because I had to spread out the work over a long period of time (after work and on weekends when there wasn't some other family function going on)  I really should time how much I sew on a project to get an idea how much time it actually takes.

OK, I don't mind if you laugh about his, but  I chose and bought the fabric before I even knew what pattern I was going to use!  Not the best planning in the world, I know, but choosing the fabric is one of my favorite parts and I couldn't wait to get to it!  I knew if I didn't have enough, I would have to improvise or alter my plan but here is what I started out with:

Since I knew I had five different fabrics to work with, I started looking for patterns that used five fabrics.  I WISH I had the talent to design  my own but I'm just not there yet.  Not even sure if I have that desire as there are so many great patterns out there already.  Why should I?  :)

Even though I have only been quilting for a short time, I have been reading and hoarding books and magazines for years!  I've been a wannabe quilter for a long, long time.  So I finally found a pattern I liked in the 2013 May/June issue of Fons & Porter.  It is a pattern designed by  Kimberly Jolly called Strawberry Skies.

And here is my reduced version of this pattern!

I got lots of good input from fellow quilters about how to quilt this but ran out of time to practice so had to go with the two things I'm most comfortable with.  The blocks are just done with a swirl and the aqua border is done with a meander.  I meant to do them in a bigger motif than I actually did so it is a bit more dense than I wanted.   And yep, there are is a big pucker on one of the peachy stars but I keep reminding myself, "Finished is better than perfect!"  (Thank you, Angela Walters!)  

Thank you to all who gave me suggestions on how to quilt this!  I really do appreciate all the input I received and wish I had had more time to practice some straight lines.  I also want to send out a big thank you to Sandra at Mmm! Quilts! for her binding tutorial.  I always did struggle with how to join the loose ends and her tutorial worked like magic!  You can read that here:  Binding Tutorial, Take #2

 This is me looking like a proud mama.  Hee, hee!

In spite of its imperfections, the important thing is that Katie loved it!  And I loved making it for her.

NOW . . . I need some design help.  And I'm willing to pay if you have the perfect pattern! 

One of my husbands cousins liked this quilt so much she wants me to make a quilt for her expected grand daughter but a little bigger in size than the one I made for Katie.  She needs it by August, which for me is pretty quick.  I work full time so I don't have a gob of hours to devote to this.  I need a fun, but simple pattern.   Their baby room is kelly green . . .
And even though you can see teddy bear bedding here, that is not really the theme they are going with.   She wants it to have plenty of kelly green and be very girly.  I also found out that the mother is considering doing the curtains in a soft purple.  I've actually seen some color combos like this on a few blogs lately, I wish I would have written down who they were!  So may I please ask for help from the blogging community?  I'm going to be doing some googling for fabric tonight but if I have some suggestions as to who has some wonderful Kelly green prints, that would be awesome! I don't get out very much or have oodles of time to shop online so don't really know what's available.  I would also be excited to buy a pattern from one of my fellow bloggers if you have a pattern you think will work.  
I am excited to start this project!   Here is hoping some of you out there can help speed things along! 
I am NOT a designer so really do covet your help.

Linking to:
Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River
To-Do Tuesday at Busy Hands Quilts
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Let's Make Baby Quilts at Michelle's Romantic Tangle

Happy Quilting and Designing!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Baby Stuff!

As you know, I am working on a quilt for my niece's baby who is due in July.  Her shower is this Sunday so I will FINALLY be able to show you that finish.  But in the meantime, I am also in charge of making a diaper cake for her shower.

So since my blog title includes CREATING, I thought I would show my creation in progress.  This is kind of the rough draft.  After I got this built, I have decided to make some changes so I'll show you the final result when I get that done.  It turned out to be harder than it looks!  The ribbons are lumpy because of the diapers underneath so I have a plan for that.  The top will be different but just LOVE those teeny, tiny shoes!

Sorry for the yellowish tint to the picture.  I took it with my iPhone and don't have my favorite editing program handy.

So how many of you have made a diaper cake before ?  Would love to see your creations!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Free Motion Quilting

Hello friends and fellow quilters!  It has been a while since I was able to post as I've been out of state to a conference for work.  I didn't even have time to visit a quilt shop!  I did find that there was one within a mile from where I was staying, so that was frustrating.

The hotel where I was staying was having some sort of Alice in Wonderland party going on and there were all kinds of artists displaying their talents.  Here is a sand scultpure in the works.

You can almost hear the Queen of Hearts shouting "OFF WITH HER HEAD!"

These five mushrooms are several feet tall and made of blown glass.

Here is a closeup of one of these.  Amazing stuff!

And here are some ceramic figures of the mad hatter and March Hare.  Kind of creepy looking but I can still recognize the time and talent it took to make them.

Anyway, just got home and had to do SOMETHING!  So I decided to practice some FMQ (free motion quilting).   I have a baby quilt all finished for my niece and wanted to do something different than just meandering but I haven't really learned anything else yet.  Sooooo . . , here is my first attempt at trying some new things!

 Feathers are not my strong suit.  But I will keep practicing!  I love how they look when done right.

I need to figure out a better way to go at this.  Sometimes I can't see where I'm going!  But nevertheless, this is a LOT of fun!!

Hopefully, I'll have my 3rd finish to report after this Saturday (my niece's baby shower)  Stay tuned!  Which pattern up above do you like the best?  Do you have suggestions for some other patterns I should try?  I'm not sure whether I should try any of these or play it safe and do a meander.

Happy quilting!