Friday, November 20, 2009

Dancing Squares Baby

This quilt was made for my dear friend, Jamie's baby girl due on Christmas day. She helped me pick some of the colors, and then I added more fabrics. Most of these fabrics are from Amy Butler and Anna Marie Horner. I just started making log cabinish blocks of different sizes, then added strips of some of the leftovers as I planned my layout. The finished quilt is approximately 48x60. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and so is the momma!

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Circle Doll quilt

I wanted to make a small doll quilt for my niece's 3rd birthday last week. I decided to play with circles a bit among my scraps.

And the back.

I had a leftover circle and decided to use it for the label. I thought it was cute. The finished quilt size is 18x24.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ashlyn's quilt

Ashlyn has always wanted to make a quilt. Whenever I was sewing, I would often give her pins and fabric. She would stick the pins into the fabric and be pretty happy with that. Then, earlier this year, I decided to let her make a quilt that she could actually keep. My plan was for her to just glue fabric squares to a piece of muslin. The end. But, she knew that wasn't a quilt! She picked out the fabric, cut the fabric pieces, and glued them to the muslin. That wasn't enough for her. I explained to her that only mommy could use the sewing machine, but I did let her help guide the fabric through the machine while quilting and sewing on the binding. It took about 6 months to complete, in part because she would only work on it for a short time, and because I left it without the binding for a while.

Ashlyn is so proud. She keeps referring to it as her "very first quilt!"
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Quilt along

Quilt along and give away at Block Party!

Monday, October 26, 2009


by Carol Taylor

Five Bouquets
by Michiko Takakuwa of Japan
This isn't a style I would normally find interesting, but this was made of teeny tiny squares-nearly 53,000. It was pretty crazy.

by Lynda Christiansen, Eugene, OR

by Annette Bamberger, Germany

Habitat in the Sun
by Morag Orr-Stevens, Canada

Black-White and Chartreuse
by Gerry Smeltzer, Eureka, CA

There were so many more incredible quilts. These are just some of the ones that impressed me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pacific International Quilt Festival

I arrived home on Saturday, just in time to go to the last day of the Pacific International Quilt Festival on Sunday (by myself, I must add. After a day traveling with two children, going to the show by myself was heaven.) A couple of people who write quilting blogs had mentioned that they would be working at different booths, so I did try to find them, feeling for all of the world like an internet stalker.

The main reason I was there was not stalking or shopping, either. I wanted to see the quilts, of course! They did not disappoint. There were such a variety of different quilts that I think there would have been quilts for anyone's taste. These were a few of my favorites.

Color Me High on Life
by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz of Billings, MT

Coming Together-La Piaza
by Laura Fogg, Ukiah, CA

Leafing the Nest II
by Nancy Hinds, Covington, LA

The Painted Ladies of San Francisco
by Jo Names, Joy Waggener, Jeanie Ferguson, Lynda Lasich, Millie LaMoure, Marylee Drake of Grass Valley, CA

Monterey Bay Fisherman's Wharf
by Back Porch Employees (Jean Dunn, Gail Abeloa, Wendy Warth, Carol McCoy, Maggie Wentzel, Janet Tatlon, Sharon Winter, and Joan Hughes)

Not Even Solomon...
by Ruth de Vos, Australia

Carnival In Rio
by Kathryn Celliers-Louw, South Africa

by Marilyn Smith of Columbia, MO

Close up

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I took photos of many more quilts, so I will probably post more later in the week.

When we lived in Kentucky, Allen and I went to the American Quilter's Society Show in Paducah. Tons of quilters, quilts, and vendors, much like this. I was fairly new to quilting at the time. I'd never seen a long arm, I'm not even sure that I knew such a thing existed. I was pretty intimidated by the incredible quilting, both hand and machine quilted. I remember Allen telling me that the biggest difference between my quilts and these was a $10,000 machine. While there was (is) more of a difference in skill as well, he did have a point. No matter what your field, you can definitely be held back by your equipment. Obviously, the machine doesn't do all of the work for you, but there are some things that just cannot be done on a cheap sewing machine. I remember reading a cartoon recently where one person asks another "If I had a camera like yours, would my photos look just as good?" The response is "and if you had a piano like Mozart's, do you think that you could play like he did?" While I get the point, there is certainly skill and artistry involved as well, having a nice camera certainly makes a big difference.

While I still do not have a $10,000 longarm, while looking at some of the quilts, I did find myself thinking "I could do that!" Actually, I really mean that I could do that eventually. In other words, I don't think my machine is keeping me from eventually having the skills to do certain applique and quilting techniques. (Yes, there are still quilters who do everything by hand, but I will NEVER be one of them. I do NOT have the patience or desire to quilt by hand.) Now, some day I could reach the end of what my current machine is capable of doing, or I might just decide that it would be easier on a longarm (and I have the money and space for the investment.) In short, I found most of what I saw to be inspiring, rather than only intimidating.

Baby Maggie Quilt

I finished this quilt back in July for Maggie, not due until September. Her mom told me to wait and give it to her in person. While I definitely prefer to give gifts in person, I was so excited that I wanted to mail it. Anyway, Christal (baby's momma) picked out most of the fabrics with me and requested something simple and modern. With all of the fabrics, I wasn't sure that I liked the quilt at first, but once I started putting more together, I loved it. It is very bright and feminine.
I used a row of blocks in between a simpler pink for the back, and made a scrappy binding. And, I realize now that I didn't take a photo of the quilting. I quilted a curved swirl in the center of each block and then squared up the lines on the outer part of each block. Maybe not the best description. I actually quilted this one twice, because I hated the quilting the first time. I'm much happier with this quilting.

And giving it to Christal.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quilt Festival

Park City Girl is hosting an online quilt festival.

My entry is a quilt from earlier this year. I couldn't find the best photo of it, and I didn't make it for me, so I couldn't get another. Anyway, I made this quilt for the prayer shawl ministry in Germany. It was for a friend who had recently lost her fiancee in Afghanistan. I had also recently become involved in Jacquie's Project Improv. I was playing with improv blocks here. I really liked the palette of this quilt and was really happy with how it turned out.

When planning, I just thought it should do this way, so it bothered me when my husband held it "upside down."

I first blogged about the quilt here.

Go check out the rest of the quilts!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zig Zag Baby

This quilt started with an alphabet fabric. My original plan was to add more reds, a bit of white, with blue or green accents. With squares in the center and stripes around the outside. Then I saw some black and white fabrics while shopping. I bought several and totally changed the plan. I used the tutorial here, but added to it to make it a bit larger. I made extra zig zags for the back.

I LOVE the back. I like the black in between each band of color and I like that each colorway is scrappy, rather than all one print like the front. I can definitely see making the front of a quilt with these combos.
I thought I would probably follow the zig zag design for quilting, but I liked how stippling could soften the sharp angles. Again, change of plans. I really like how the quilt turned out. Hopefully, the baby's parents do, too. The finished quilt is approximately 44x56.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Another gathering of fabrics

Apparently, I am going to keep gathering fabrics and not complete anything. I may be adding a few more fabrics to this mix, too.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Quilt

I love these fabrics. Almost too pretty to cut...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bee houses

We are making blocks for Anna this month in our quilting bee. She requested pieced houses 2-3 inches, set in a 9.5 inch block. I didn't have enough of the background to set all of the houses, but I did try to even them a bit to make it easier to complete.

I started with the one on top, and that was not my plan. This was a bit harder to get started than I thought it would be. I realized that my house was going to be quite a bit larger than 3 inches, so I stopped and made another house. Looking back at the first start, I thought it looked a bit like a mobile home. So, I tried to curve out the edges and add wheels. I didn't allow enough and the curves ended up in the seam allowances. I still liked that one, though. Anna was right, these are definitely addictive. I kept making houses, until I didn't have enough fabric to keep making more.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Finished blocks in the mail

First I have a block for our virtual quilting bee for Meagan. Meagan wanted squares, no larger than 3 inches. Here is my take on a block made entirely of squares.

I'm interested to see how she pulls all of the blocks together. As I suspected, I like working with someone else's plans. It pushes my ideas into other directions. Perfect timing on finishing this one, since I received fabric for next month's block in the mail today!

I also told Amanda Jean that I would make a wonky star block for her quilt(s) for Quilts of Valor. I have wanted to make quilts for this group in the past, but hadn't "gotten to it," so I'm glad that I was at least able to help out with a block.

I actually made two blocks, because I over-wonked the first block so much that it wasn't the right size. I added a bit of extra fabric to two different areas to make them the right size. It just looks like a mess. I only had just enough of the red blocks for this one block, so I couldn't just redo those parts.

I went shopping for a bit of red that wouldn't overwhelm the blue that I had. This time, I cut the blocks at 5 inches, so I could trim after making the star points. Much better.

I'm still sending both blocks, in case she doesn't end up with the right number of blocks. She can trash it if it's not needed!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

IBOL Sundae

In honor of IBOL we ate sundaes. Except we did this yesterday, so since today is really IBOL Sundae, we will be forced to eat them again. Tuesday is the last day to send out bundles for IBOL! And, sneak peek of my latest quilt. I really like how it is turning out.
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