A Sweet Finish

8 11 2017

As you know, I’ve been working on a “Four Point Star” quilt as a gift for my soon-expected grand niece. Over the weekend I carved out several hours of dedicated quilting time and achieved my goal of finishing the quilt.

Using Sew Fine! off-white thread, I free-handed ruffled spirals all over the quilt. Perhaps you can best see the design in the following close-up. It’s always a toss-up for thread color when the quilt fabrics are of such high contrast as the teal print and the off-whites are in this quilt. By using a thin, off-white thread, I minimized drawing attention to the quilting in the darker areas of the quilt. On the other hand, if I had chosen teal thread to blend with the star points and the border, it would really have stood out in the very light background and sashing areas. When in doubt, I generally match the thread to the background fabric.

Multi-colored striped fabric, also from the “Flower Mill” line, makes a dainty binding, don’t you think? My niece has seen a picture of the quilt and loves it, so it will be making the trip from my sewing room to the post office very soon.

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“Four Point Star” Progress

23 10 2017

With a few hours sewing time over the weekend, I assembled my 16 “Four Point Star” blocks into a baby quilt for my soon-expected grand niece. Her mama gives a thumbs-up, so I’ll begin quilting it soon.

The fabric line is Flower Mill designed by Corey Yoder for Moda. Although there are several other colors of fabrics in the line, my niece asked me to focus on mint green, pink, and gold. I used 8 fat quarters: 4 green and 4 pink. Gold flowers in the border fulfill the third color requirement. The quilt measures 52″ square with 8″ blocks, 2″ sashing and first border, and 5″ outer border.

Being a traditional quilter, I generally use a darker fabric for the sashing, but in this case, I thought the light floral would lend an airy, feminine feel. What do you think? Have you made a quilt with light sashing? Were you pleased with the results?

 





Aidan’s Quilt

2 09 2017

A Step-by-Step Photo Journal

In July four-year-old Aidan and his family visited for a long weekend. It happened to be the weekend his cousins Kaleb and Krystine had finished their summer quilt projects and were ready for a photo shoot. “Could I make a quilt, too?” he asked. Absolutely! There is no better question to bless a quilting grandma’s heart!

We looked in my bin of juvenile prints and he selected a rocketship print and an seaside print (thinking he might make two quilts, one for himself and one for his little brother). Grandma Aby decided to focus on one project at a time.

We selected colorful tonals that coordinated with the rocketship print. The patchwork design is a variation of my “Steppin’ Up” quilt found on the Patterns page of this blog. Instead of cutting ten 4″ x 40″ strips, I cut eight 5″ x 40″ strips. Then we arranged the strips in color order.

Next, we sewed the strips together on the long sides, joining the first and the eighth strip to make a tube. Note whose toes are operating the sewing machine’s foot control.

   

I cross-cut the tube in 5″ increments and un-sewed one seam of each unit to make a “Steppin’ Up” design. We placed the rows on the design wall so Aidan could see what his quilt would look like.

I pinned and sewed the upper four rows together and then the lower four rows together. “Yes!” we are making progress!

After sewing the upper rows to the lower rows, Aidan joined his cousins for the photo shoot. If you missed it, you can see Krystine’s and Kaleb’s quilts on this blog post.

In order to make the quilt a little larger for this would-be astronaut, I added a narrow black border, a scrappy border made from 2 1/2″ wide strips, another narrow black border, and a 5″ wide red outer border. Aidan was enthusiastic about the “Blast Off” pantograph from Lorien Quilting which pictures a rocketships, stars, and Saturns. He selected a variegated thread of primary colors. Black binding completes the project modeled here by one happy boy!





A Stockpile of Quilts

30 05 2017

My friend and customer, Linda, recently mailed me a big box of quilt tops with backings. It was exciting to open the box and unfold the projects she has created in the past few months. My job was to transform the tops into quilts. Linda and I collaborated on quilting designs and thread color. And I’m happy to say, we are both pleased with the resulting stockpile.

Notice the gray quilt on top of the pile made with neutrals and text prints. It is a graduation gift for a young friend who asked for a feather quilting design. You would not believe how feathers in a gray poly thread transformed this simple patchwork design into a sophisticated quilt!

One of the lap quilts I think you’ll find interesting is the Owl – Yellow Brick Road. Linda selected the flannel owl print and then found tone-on-tones to coordinate. I find the effect of the owls peeking out between the squares and rectangles of colors intriguing, don’t you? I imagine they are playing “Peek-a-boo” or “Hide and Seek.” Baby will love the soft fabric and the bright, happy colors.

What are you stockpiling these days? Quilts, quilt tops, fabric, or ideas?

 





Dinosaurs say “Raaarh!”

10 05 2017

Last week daughter Trinity visited us ostensibly to help hubby celebrate his birthday. We celebrated, yes, but we also quilted up a storm. I quilted a fall quilt that granddaughter Krystine finished piecing this summer. Click on the picture to enlarge it; you’ll see the leafy edge to edge quilting design.

And Trinity worked on three baby/toddler quilts as well as a large lap quilt her friend pieced. Quilting and bindings progressed smoothly and on schedule . . . and then we paid a visit to our favorite local quilt shop, Loving Stitches on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, NC. The striped dinosaur fabric called Trinity’s name! She has a two year old great-nephew who loves dinos. So she mentally designed a simple quilt, bought the fabric, and stitched it up. I quilted a simple edge to edge design adding “raaahr” in the orange blocks, and I bound it while she worked on blocks for another quilt.

Needless to say, I had to lend Trinity a suitcase for the return trip. All six quilts would NOT fit in the two backpacks she arrived with. She couldn’t wait to visit Hagen and give him his “I love you this much” dino quilt. He loves playing with it, and the kid who never naps with a blanket fell asleep under the cozy, fun quilt Auntie Trinity made!

It is so rewarding to give a quilt to someone who loves and appreciates it, wouldn’t you agree?





First Quarter Challenge – Yet More Inspiration

30 03 2017

This year I’m making a concerted effort to use some of my pre-cuts, and I’ve challenged blog readers to do the same. If you’ve been following along from January through March, you’ve seen creative ways to use Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy.

Ilse sent a picture of a modern mini quilt using Brigitte Heitland’s Zen Chic collection. She wrote, “At the 2015 Nürtingen (Germany quilt) exhibition, all helping hands received a Quilter’s Candy pack from one of Brigitte’s many quilt fabric series, with the request to transform them into something special to exhibit at the upcoming 2018 show.”

The simplicity of Ilse’s quilt spells sophistication, don’t you think? I love the wavy quilting lines–close together where the colored squares are densest and farther apart toward the edges of the quilt where the squares are farther apart.

It will be so interesting to see all the quilts made with Quilter’s Candy in next year’s exhibition. (Be sure to send pictures, Ilse!)

 

Several other blog followers were inspired by recent posts. Darla sent a picture of a “Holly Hobby” placemat made by her sister, Anna. My post on the vintage “Little Dutch Girls” quilt reminded her of the placemat made years ago. I love the sweet embroidered flowers on the bonnet and sleeve cuff.

Helga contributed a picture of her “Sternen und Herzen” I Spy quilt in response to my question on the “Eye Spy” post. The quilt is about ten years old and remains at Helga’s house. All the grandchildren and young visitors can enjoy looking at it when they visit her.

Stephanie, inspired by the Polka Tot post, shared a picture of a patriotic quilt she made for Army Chaplain Sam Boone. She increased the block size to 9″ and used scraps and fat quarters from stash. Bowties are Chaplain Boone’s trademark, so this Quilt of Valor design suits him to a T.

With the first quarter of 2017 behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the second quarter’s challenge. Your role is to roll up your sleeves, unroll your jelly roll, and get the ball rolling on a new quilt!

 

 





“Eye Spy” Finish

27 03 2017

“Eye Spy with my little eye . . .”

I raided my box of 3″ squares and cut more from conversation prints for the centers of the patchwork blocks. Frames of primary colors were cut 2″ wide, and I cut 2″ corner squares of black and white polka dot fabric. I decided to extend the Nine Patch secondary design in the borders. (The math actually works out for 3″ finished squares in the outer border, but I forgot and cut 3″ squares as I did for the interior blocks. Extra points if you can figure out how I coped with my “Ooops.”)

While looking in JoAnn’s for sashing, I ran into a quilting friend from my guild. She propelled me toward a white with colorful triangles print instead of the white and gray print I was considering. I am pleased with the fun-loving results. Most of the squares in the interior of the quilt have a “twin” in the outer border so the recipient of this quilt has had fun matching the monkey, cat, cowboy boots, construction equipment, etc.

I quilted the quilt with white thread in a meander and loop, freehand design. And I bound the quilt with black Kona cotton.

Have you made an “Eye Spy” quilt? What was the most interesting conversation print you included?