Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reflections on 2016

2016 is almost over, and one of my goals was to use more of my children's prints for baby quilts, as I had almost two boxes of fabrics for that purpose. I tried to make one baby quilt a month, and here's the results of focusing on baby quilts in 2016:

Quilt 1:

This is a simple, quick pattern - just cut 14 each of three prints, and you have a quilt.  Only trick is laying it out ahead of time, to be sure I don't get squares mixed up while sewing squares together.  It's 30 x 35 inches.  I like the simplicity of this idea, and have 14 each of three other baby prints cut out to make another one.

Quilt 2:

This one is such a soft boy quilt that has my heart.  It has feedsack ducklings, Mother Goose fabric, stripes and a big center checked star - what's not to like?  36" by 48"  The backing will be blue checked flannel.

Quilt 3:

This was a kit, and I love it.  The colonial blue squares with stars are perfect as alternate squares with the pictures of children.  I blogged about these first three quilts in February (Here) if you want more information about any of them.

Quilt 4:

This was a "fix" of a baby quilt that had problems.  I took off circles, cut the puckered fabric away underneath them, and sewed the circles back on.  It belongs to my best friend Dee, and I gave it back to her after fixing it.  Here are three pictures of it:

See the "Pouched out" fabric below a removed circle.
The backing was bought in Shipshewana, and I love the striped binding that finished it off.  I don't know if it has been gifted to a baby yet,  but I was happy with the results.

Quilt 5:

This kit was in my stash for a long time, and I'm happy it is now a quilt top.  My favorite of all the ones made in 2016.  Here's a close-up of the children print:

It's 54" X 68" and I am keeping the directions to possibly make another one.

Quilt 6:
This is what I call my "hippy dippy psychedelic rainbow" quilt.  The small checked fabric is used in pinwheels, but there is not enough contrast to show that there are pinwheels there.  Lesson learned......don't go so psychedelic for both parts of the pinwheels, so you can see the contrast.  I did practice mitered corners on it, and three out of four turned out just fine.  It's a top, and will be a charity gift, as the fabric was donated to me for that purpose.  43" X 50"

Quilt 7:

This baby blanket should be for a "Born in July" baby.  It is another favorite of mine, and is backed and partially quilted.  Backing is solid red.  36" X 42"

Quilt 8:

Love, love, love this one too.  It's so cheerful, and I can see a baby loving it.  42" X 54" and has a flannel polka dot backing with it to finish it off.  Blog post about it (Here)

Quilt 9:

This is "cheater" cloth in that the squares are printed on only one piece of fabric, and when I attached the batting and white flannel backing, I stitched in the lines between squares, so there is stitching there and it doesn't look like "cheater" cloth.  The pink rosebuds would be great for a little baby girl.
42" X 66"

Quilt 10:
I was playing around with another piece of the "cheater" cloth, and sewed seams between each change in pattern, all the vertical and horizontal it looks just like the quilt above, but smaller squares, and more work.  This one is 38" by 60" right now, but it could be cut into something to coordinate with quilt 9.

Quilt 11:

This is a quilt top that someone else made, and I took it home to finish ......and it is still unfinished.  42" X 54"  The pattern is easy and pleasing to me.  I will take notes about it before it is donated to a charity.

Quilt 12:
This was a baby quilt made in December 2015, for my Great Grand Niece in Indiana.  She just turned one year old December 19th, and I made a doll quilt for her also.  She is such a cutie.  Doll quilt:

This quilt was made as I formed my focus for 2016, and got me started on this journey.  I like the pattern and will use it again. 

So looking back on this focus:   I find 2 quilts completed and out of my house, 10 quilts sewn into tops, and baby stash reduced considerably.  Next I will work on the above quilts by adding batting, backings, and quilt them on my home domestic machine, so they will be ready for gifts. 

I am glad I set a focus for 2016, and feel that it helped me move further along with baby quilts from my stash.  I am thinking about what my focus for 2017 will be.   Hmmmmmmmmm, fun to think about.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas to All

Are you ready for Christmas?  I'm not, but as they say.....Christmas is coming, whether we are ready for it or not.

Today I finished this pillow, which is now on our living room couch.  It was featured in a magazine, and there was a sample made up at The Attic Window, a local quilt shop here in Grand Rapids.  I liked the sample, bought the magazine, and made it during the year, but just finished it today.  The magazine instructions had "Happy Holidays", but I like to say "Merry Christmas" so I changed the words.  Also, I don't remember what the original pattern had as snowflakes, but the sample maker had used buttons, and I liked them.  So I used some of my teeny, tiny, baby purl buttons as the snowflalkes.

I have a whole jar of these baby buttons, and just love to look at them.  I do like teeny, tiny things, I know.

Here is a picture of the pillow:

And a close-up of the tiny button snowflakes:

Sophia Grace and Rosie wanted me to take their picture, and I wanted to tell you how easy the back of the pillow is.   Aren't they cute in their Santa hats?

Re the back:   I took two pieces of fabric, overlapped salvage edges of each piece, so I didn't need a seam on the open edges, and then sewed them to the piping and front.  Viola!   A pillow!

There isn't a need for a button or closure, the two flaps just overlap, easy-peasy.

Merry Christmas to you from me!  And a Happy New Year!

I'm linking up with Design Wall Mondays as usual.  (Here)

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016

It has been a beautiful fall day here in Michigan.  We're enjoying the pretty fall leaves inside and out.  Here's a picture throught the living room window of the backyard, where the leaves are falling fast:

Inside, my fall leaf quilt is on display on the railing near the front door, and we are enjoying it's beautiful colors.  The quilt pattern is "Third Weekend in October" and is designed by Ruth Powers.

I've been productive in my quilting studio - working on very simple things.  I've taken out my box of scraps, and have been cutting simple squares from the scraps.  While going through the scraps, I found several quilt blocks that were there from various sources.  Also in the basement storage,  I came across a bundle of dish towels that were purchased long ago, when I had plans to embroider them.  Yesterday, I fused the orphaned blocks onto the dish towels, machine blanket stitched around them, and made something out of nothing. Always a pleasure when I do that!

Here are my dish towels, ready to gift to new homes:

Hope you are having a beautiful fall day too!  Happy Halloween!

As usual, I'm linking up with Design Wall Mondays, to see what other quilters are working on.    (Here)  

Monday, October 3, 2016

What's Happening in October

First, here's a little doll quilt I just finished.  It's a project for the retreat that I go to in Shipshewana every fall.  The ladies at our table challenged each of us to make a little quilt using any nine of the Jane Stickle squares in it.  Jane Stickle squares are 4.5 inches, but they wanted the little squares to be 3 inches or smaller.  I made my nine squares to finish at 2 inches, but the quilt looked very small with only nine squares, and I didn't want to make any more - 2 inches is tiny!

So, I used some half-square triangles that I had to enlarge the quilt a little bit, and added pink and brown 1 inch hst's around the edge.  It is machine quilted very simply and last night I put the binding on it.

The quilt measures 12.5 inches by 12.5 inches.  I am looking forward to seeing the other ladies little quilts when we meet in November.

Secondly, I've been keeping up with the 365 Challenge of either 3 inch or 6 inch blocks.  The blocks have been mostly 3 inch blocks, and yesterday's block was one with mitered corners.  Ugh, I always have trouble with mitered corners.  I cheated and used hst's instead, and it went together very easily.  Here's a picture to show you what I mean:

I drew lines through the picture to show me how to convert it from mitered corners block to a simpler block using half square triangles.  I also used a small print fabric so the seams didn't show very much.

After 9 months of making blocks every day, I look for the easiest way to make them.  

Thirdly, I made binding, and am sewing it on a picnic table sized quilt that I made. The quilt is made from left over pieces from an aborted mystery quilt project from two years ago.  I started Bonnie Hunter's "Grand Illusion" and became disillusioned with my quilt.  The pieces and parts were made into four quilts.  This is one of them:

The quilt is about 55 inches square, and I have another one just like it.  I intend to use them as picnic table covers at the cabin.  I enjoy hand binding, and it will be relaxing work in the evenings this week.  What are you working on?

As usual, I'm linking up with Design Wall Mondays (Here)

Monday, September 19, 2016

365 Challenge Quilt Blocks Progress

Here's the block I worked on today for the 365 Challenge Quilt:

It has 45 pieces and finishes at 3 inches square.   It reminds me of the old joke about the definition of a quilter:  A person who cuts fabric into little pieces and then sews them back together again.  It sure is fun though.

What is on your design wall today?

It's Monday, so i'm linking up with Design Wall Mondays over at Judy Laquidara's blog:  (Here)

The whole 365 Challenge quilt layout can be seen here:  (Here)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Happy September Sewing

What have I been doing?  Well, I've been very busy, visiting friends, and having fun with friends that have come to visit us.  My quilting has been in bits and pieces, here and there.  But now it's fall......glorious fall, and my sewing machine will start humming again.

Here's the results of some of this summer's block-a-day blocks.  I am playing catch-up on the 365 Challenge project:   If you are interested in the project, go (Here)

Week 22

Week 23

Week 24

Week 25

Week 26

Week 27

Week 28

Friday, August 12, 2016

AQS Quiltweek in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Yesterday I stopped at the AQS Quilt Show in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  One of the winning quilts had beautiful hand quilting on a clam shell quilt.

Beautiful stitching!

There is so much variety in quilting now, and since I am still in love with the old traditional quilts, I feel like a dinosaur at recent quilt shows.  But I will show you what I took pictures of, and my thoughts on the quilts I liked.  I hope you like them too.

This was a little wall hanging made by Yvette Sullivan, of Lasalle, Ontario, Canada.  It's a pattern by Edya Sitar, and I had not seen it before.  I liked it because it looks so springy and perky.

Rainbow Nest

There was an exhibit of vintage patriotic quilts, and I liked all of them!  Here is a sampling:

This quilt is folded over at the top, and looks to be 6 Stars down by 6 Stars across.  One of the fabrics has Washington's picture on it, so the quilt was made at the time of the centennial in 1876, or after that date.  It measures 58 X 69 inches.

Washington Eight-Point Star Quilt

It has such peaceful, beautiful simplicity and I loved this little "mend" on one side.  It helps me remember that "finished is better than perfect" with my projects. 

No problem!

Another fun one from the patriotic exhibit:

V is for Victory!

The information next to it says it was made to celebrate victory in World War II, and is titled, appropriately, "Thumbs Up".  Interesting little "X" in the corner of each square too.  It's 72 x 86 inches.

Thumbs Up!

Another in the exhibit was a bold red, white and blue quilt:

Kansas City Star Pattern

Detailed Information

 Closeup picture:

Bold and Beautiful

Moving on from the exhibit of vintage patriotic quilts, here are a few that I photographed from the quilts entered into the competition:

A paper piecing labor of love:

Closeup of the center:

Titled "Why Not?" and made by Angela Petrocelli, of Prescott Valley, AZ.  She used light and dark values to perfection.  It took second place in large quilts, home machine quilted, and is 75 x 75 inches.  Many people who were looking at it wondered how many hours were spent making it.  I never keep track of the time, and I bet Angela didn't either.

I liked the sashing on this one, and took a picture to remind me of how I liked the dark squares of the nine patches, and how they emphasized the separation of the blocks.  It was made by Kathy J. Havelka, Louisburg, KS and is the Afternoon Delight pattern from Susan Garman.

Afternoon Delight

I love how the rows of nine patches look from the side view:

Quilt is 89 x 89 inches

Next is a quilt that has the detail of a photograph:

Thread painting by Jan Berg-Rezmer, Gladwin, MI.  Entered in the Wall Quilts - Home Machine Quilted, it measures 34 x 34 inches.  It is named "Stick with Me Kid" and the detail in the reflections in the water is incredible!


The yellow cat thread painting:

I wish I knew how to do this, but then, I have so many things on my bucket list right now, that I don't really want to learn any new techniques, other than faster and more accurate ways to piece the quilts I have in progress.

Hope you enjoyed this little mini quilt show.