Monday, September 19, 2011

I won a ribbon!!

Remember how I entered 4 quilts in the local quilt guild quilt show last week.  I about hyperventilated driving over to drop them off and why was I doing this because no one was going to like any of them.  Yeah, well, I won 3rd place for one of them.  I was going to take pictures of all of my quilts hanging in the show, but when I got there, I had forgotten to put the memory card back in the camera.  I had Hubby take this picture after I got home from picking them up.
I've been meaning to post about this quilt for a while, but it never seems like the right time.  I designed this quilt myself.  A local quilt shop sells the pattern and one of these days, I might get around to selling it on etsy or some such place.

I started quilting because I wanted to make a throw for our living room and because I wanted to make this quilt for my kids.  I didn't know exactly what it would look like, but I wanted to make a fabric wall hanging with a Christmas tree on it.  I wanted to make an advent calendar where the kids could hang ornaments on the tree each day in december.  I saw this fabric I loved at the LQS, it was Figgy Pudding by Moda.  It was just the right combination of colors, lots of blue and an olive green with hints of red. I didn't buy any because it was expensive and I didn't know what to do with it.  I thought it would be on sale after Christmas and I could get a bunch cheap.  HA!!!  Little did I know.  I went back after Christmas and all they had left was one honey bun and some 3/4 yard bundles.  I bought what they had and brought it home to figure out what to do with it.

The quilt in the picture is actually the second incarnation.  The first used narrow strips for the background, but I thought it was too busy, so I simplified the background.  I took my first version to my long arm quilter to ask her how to proceed with making the pockets for the ornaments (that I still haven't made) and she loved it and asked if I had ever thought about selling my patterns.  I was dumb founded.  I didn't have any patterns and this was only my second quilt.  I had no idea how one went about doing that sort of thing.  I still don't have any idea what I'm doing, but it sure is fun.

PS  I won a ribbon, 3rd place out of 22.  I won a ribbon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grey and Yellow spread

I've been trying to get pictures of this on going project for weeks.  I cannot get a decent picture.  I apologize, but I wanted to share it anyway.  I've been playing with quilt as you go techniques for a while now.  I've made a bunch of pillows, which inspired this huge project, a king sized bedspread.
 This is what I've been doing with that big stack of grey and yellow fabric.  I'm making a king sized bedspread.  It's not a quilt because there's no batting.  I just wanted a light layer to throw over top of our two down comforters.  Yeah, Hubby and I can't share covers, so we each have our own queen sized down comforter, on a king sized bed.  It's warm and functional, but not pretty.  Enter the bedspread.
 I pieced the horizontal sections in strips about 12 to 18 inches tall.  Each section was made of WOF strips that I sewed together in different configurations.  Each section started off at least 3 WOF wide.  As I've been assembling the top, I've been off setting and trimming to 110 inches wide.  I'm using flannel for the back, so it won't slide when it's on the bed.
I started with one piece of flannel 110 inches long.  I laid one section on the flannel and quilted it down.  Then I laid another section right side down with the edge alined with the first section that was already sewn down.  I sewed the second section to the first one and the flannel backing as you can see in the picture.  Then I flipped the second section down and quilted it to the flannel.  As I got close to the edge of the first piece of flannel, I sewed a second piece of flannel to the first.  My goal was to never have more than one WOF of the backing rolled up in the throat of my sewing machine.  So far it's working.  I appear to have gotten slightly off of square, but it's not too bad and I'm getting close to the end of my second piece of backing.  My third piece of backing will go on the other side of the first, so again, I don't have too much fabric in throat of the machine.

I'm staying mostly horizontal, but with the occasional vertical to break things up.  I had a vague picture of where I wanted to go with this project, but each section was made improvisationally.  I'm trying to keep the same fabric from touching and to keep the seams from lining up.  I think it's going to be great when it's all done.  The only question will be whether our bedroom is hip enough for this bedspread.

Those are totally terrible pictures, aren't they?  Try taking pictures of something 88 inches by 110 by yourself in windy, sunny conditions.  It's hard.  There isn't a piece of floor in the house big enough to lay it out and our bedroom is too dark to lay it out on the bed.  I brought it to the DSMMQG meeting on Thursday and hopefully someone snapped a nice picture, they'll share with me.  The DSMMQG meeting was awesome by the way.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Harvest Pillows

I just finished up my second commission.  I made four pillow covers for a friend.  She said she liked the construction of this pillow, but wanted harvest colors.
I wanted all four pillows to be different, but have a similar feel.  I kept all the pieces rectangular and perpendicular or parallel.  I constructed them all with my favorite quilt as you go technique.  It's just perfect for pillows.
The top two covers are parallel strips.  Some of the strips are pieced and some are single pieces of fabric. The bottom two are log cabins.  I bound them in my favorite tan burlap print, which is also what I backed them in.  I hope my friend likes them, if not my MIL already called dibs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A few quilty musings and a WIP finish

I dropped off four quilts at the local Quilt Guild show.  I can't even tell you how anxious this makes me.  I practically hyperventilated on the drive over.  Don't even ask me why I paid for judging on 2 of the 4 quilts.  The local quilt guild is not so supportive of the modern quilt movement.  Everything I bring in for show and tell gets a polite, "that's nice."  Then someone points out where a print is sideways.  This might explain why I drive 2.5 hours for the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild meeting.

Speaking of which, the DSMMQG is meeting this Thursday at 6:30 at the West Des Moines Library.  I'm going if you are local and want to catch a ride let me know.

I spent part of Saturday afternoon working on a little project with the Wee Monsieur.  I finally found a craft project he is willing to do with me.
He is willing to tear paper with me.  As long as he can do it while dressed as a pirate.  Like any guy, he wanted to know why we were ripping up paper then glueing it back together.  He also wanted to know why I was rubbing ink all over perfectly nice paper.  The spooky explanation worked for a while.

I've had this Halloween banner for years and have started it a couple of times, only to run out of time before Halloween and set it aside.
Like all WIPs, once I sat down to do it, it took no time at all.  I don't know why I set it aside for that long.  I think we worked on it for maybe an hour and a half.
I love it!  Now I just need to decide where to hang it.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I love Halloween!  This year I have a few Halloween projects to knock out before I get to work on Christmas.  There are of course the kids' costumes.  The boy wants to be a ghost pirate, just like his favorite playmobil guys.
I think he imagines he'll looks something like this.  I just hope he's not too disappointed when I can't whip up a giant crab for him to ride around.  In comparison, Baby Girl's request to be a pink fairy princess seems simple in comparison.

In addition to the costumes, I some how got roped into making the kids a Halloween quilt.  Ok, we were in the LQS and it was the first time they were excited about fabric, so of course we got some.  I started with one of these panels.
I cut the nine big squares apart and I'm in the process of layering two more concentric rings of coordinates around them.  It should finish up just shy of 60 inches square, which is a fine size for a quilt for kids.
 I need to add the last two sides to the squares, but I think they look good.  I have an awesome orange and grey zig zag for the backing, but I'm also thinking about some brown minky that I have.  Minky would be super cuddly and good for fall.  Tying this quilt might be a good solution and get it done quickly.

What should I do with the left over piece?  They would be ok on pillows, or make cute decals on trick or treat bags.  Should I just hold on to them?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dead Simple QAL

I really have a ton of projects that need to be done by Christmas, but I couldn't resist joining in with Lynne's latest QAL.

Lily's Quilts

The Dead Simple QAL is all about the palette.  Try a color combination outside of your usual.  Some folks found their palette at Design Seeds.  I was hesitant at first because I thought it was a solids project and as much as I like solids, I didn't want to do a completely solids project right now.  Then I saw that people were using prints as well.  Heck, I needed a good fall wall hanging.  My living room is blue and brown, but I wanted to incorporate fall colors, orange and greens.  I couldn't find a palette that had all the colors I wanted, so surprise, surprise I made my own.  I did what I usually do and found a fabric I liked that had all my colors and worked from there. 

This is my inspiration fabric,  Remix.

I spent a lot of time working out the correct kona solids, but then I realized I could use prints too.  I went to Hawthorne Threads, who have a color grid that you can use to search their inventory.  It's the best idea ever.  I don't know why more places don't do it.  It gives you a reliable way of judging the color of fabrics on line.  I started adding fabrics to my shopping cart and I realized, "hey, I think I have some of that already...and that one... and that one... Crap!  I already own every single fabric I need for this project."  I might even have had multiple cuts of a few of them.  (Hangs head in shame)

So here is my selection.

 I'm not totally sure about my yellow and my tan.  I included two possibilities for each.  I want this to read orange and brown with pops of green and blue, so I might adjust the concentrations as I'm working.  I'm aiming for a wall hanging so I'm not going to follow the sizes Lynne gives directions for.  I'm also not totally sure about the white.  I can't decide if I want to do charm squares or 2.5 inch squares.  I'm thinking 3 feet by 4 feet, so 2.5 inches square would be doable.  I can always cut charm squares and then cut them into little squares if I need the challenge.

I love picking fabrics.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You know it's an illness when...

The back to school supply list says beach towel and you think quilt.  The Wee Monsieur was supposed to bring a beach towel to use as a rest mat, so I made him a quilt.  Earlier in the summer I had picked up a panel at Joann's that had a word map on it.  It was sort of an awkward long rectangular shape, but I knew I had to get it.  The kids like maps and I like to use every opportunity for them to learn something.  When I started thinking about the rest mat, the world map panel seemed a perfect fit.

I took the panel and put a border on it to bring it up to size and give myself a place to embroider his name.
I love how the blue framingon the panel worked with the tan border I added.  That tan is the same burlap print I used on my MIL's quilt back.

I went back to find something dark for the backing and found a great indigo blue map print.  I sold it to the boy by pointing out the pirate ships in the corners.

I quilted this following the printed latitude and longitude lines on the map panel and then did a few echo lines in the border.
I used a soft grey thread to quilt with because I didn't want to go buy more thread and I thought it would blend best if I occasionally didn't hit the printed line perfectly.

Here is the boy with his quilt/rest mat.
He says he loves it because it has his name on it.  I love that I'm able to make my loved ones unique quilts that make them feel special and loved.