Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Western Baby Quilt

My customer used cute western fabrics in this baby quilt and what a fun quilt this was to finish~!
It has caramel colored minky on the back.
Rope inner border: This was the first time I had an opportunity to use a little gadget called a 'Rope a Dope' from Deloa's Quilt Shop.  It was amazing.  I have rope stencils, but they are so tedious to draw on a quilt and then difficult to do well.  I rarely used them.  Once I got the hang of this little ruler, it went along very fast.  Yup, it's just a little ruler!  It comes in 3 different sizes and I highly recommend them.
...lassoing a few Longhorns...  
...some barb wire on this cute retro cowboy print.
Yee Haw~!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Black & Blue Geometric

My customer pieced this for her niece's wedding.  The newly weds will use it for their bed cover.  We used a higher loft batting so it's really more like a comforter.
It's a nice bed cover size, 95 x 107.
Using the large secondary diamonds as a guide, the quilting was kept pretty simple to retain some loft.
Not a very good photo of the back--end of the day lighting . . . and before the lint roller.  But, you can get a general idea of the  pattern it creates.

Friday, May 20, 2011

T-Shirt-Quilt in Progress

Who knew t-shirt quilts could be so fun?
This has been really fun to work on this week, and it's for a June 11th college graduation . . . but I have a wedding quilt on the frame to finish for a May 27th wedding first and then back to fun times to get this quilted.

Last week, I cut up all the shirts.  By the 5th or 6th shirt, I was getting a rhythm and it really didn't take too long to go from this...
32 Shirts
to this....
There were even a couple of sweat shirts in the pile.  Here I pieced together the logo from the front and the words from the back.  Then I appliquéd the number from the sleeve and the words from the hood to make one 18 x 16 block.
This shirt was well worn and had a dime sized hole the the right end of the football.  The "1st String" logo was on the back of the shirt and with a little machine appliqué, made the perfect cover-up for the hole.
It was quite a challenge to use all the shirts and keep it from being stadium-cover size.  There were all sizes of shirts: college, high school, jr. high, grade school, and even a few pee-wees from T-Ball and Little league which were child's size 6-8.  To make this all work, I pieced it in vertical rows of 10", 12", 14" and 16-18" adding different sized sashing strips to make them all fit.  

The flimsy is done and ready to be quilted.  For more Friday finishes, head on over to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for her link up to Whoop Whoop Friday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I just discovered "Blogger's Quilt Festival"

Grab yourself an adult beverage . . . or if you are like me, a large icy Diet Coke with Lime . . . and head over to Amy's Creative Side for some show and tell.

Over the past 5 years, I have made over 50 quilts and quilted over 200 quilts for others.  However, I decided to share a quilt that is near and dear to my heart.  It is not a bright, shiny new quilt, it is not my best, it is not the prettiest, it is not the most fantastic quilting--but it IS my first quilt.  It was made with love and the inclusion of a few symbolic details.  This is an adaptation of  the pattern "Winter Wonder" by Meme's Quilts.

Here in Idaho, we have pretty hefty winters.  After living in state for 26 years, graduate school took my daughter to Las Vegas, Nevada  for 3 years.  Year-round wearing of shorts and flip flops made her really miss Idaho's changing seasons.  So, I made this "Winter" quilt for her and sent it to her the second Christmas she was there.  Made with flannel and homespun, she would always have "winter" no matter where she lived.

It's all machine appliquéd but the characters have hand stitched expressions.
You see, this one is longing for the snowflakes also!
These two snow people represent our daughter and her hubby.  During her high school days, she had a dark teal colored parka that she wore to school and also wore when she went skiing.  She had a matching knit head band that she wore to keep her ears warm.  She loved wearing that outfit because she loved that color.

Well, at this point her coat was long gone, but I still had her headband in our box of winter accessories.
I took the headband apart and made a 3-D hat for the snow lady and with upholstery thread, sewed on a fuzzy 3-D pompom. 
Here is another knit strip used for the man's hat band.
For their eyes, I dug the buttons out of my grandmother's button box.  One set of buttons from her maternal great-grandmother and one from her paternal great-grandmother.  Rudolph's eyes are some old mother-of-pearl hand carved buttons.
I had never used a longarm quilting machine so I called my best friend whom I have known for over 50 years.  We used to sew together when we were kids and we are still sewing~!
Back of the quilt.
She lives about 100 miles from me, so she invited me to come and stay over night and she would help me quilt this quilt on her Gammill.  We had a great time!  We worked late that night and then next morning, her hubby made us sourdough pancakes topped with fresh blackberries topped with fresh homemade whipped cream.  Yes, it was amazing I know.... I felt like a princess~!

Anyway, these trees encircle the entire outer borders as do the stars.  I chose these evergreens to represent the circle of life as they are continuously self-renewing.  As for the stars . . .  she would always be a "star" to me.
   The heart/mittens represent that I will always hold her heart in my hand.
I love her even if she acts a little "flaky."
I wrote a letter to her accompany the quilt explaining all these things and more.  Of course, she loved it, but it pretty much resided on the back of the couch until she finished school.

  Then they moved to Minnesota where it's been on active duty for the last 3 years.

It's Been a Busy Week.

Whoop, Whoop Friday Link Up~!  I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict to see what everyone has been doing this week:

 . . . finished my Hands 2 Help Charity Challenge and mailed it off to Judy of Green Fairy Quilts for their charity.

Hands 2 Help Quilt

. . .  pieced and quilted this little denim camping quilt for my grandson's 7th birthday.

 . . . made 3 patriotic pillowcases
 . . . cut out 32 t-shirts for a graduation quilt for my nephew.
. . . in between, I mended 2 pair of jeans, replaced a 26 inch zipper in a sweatshirt and installed a new 3.5 inch zipper in a teeny tiny pair of capris.  Replacing this little zipper took 4 times longer than that huge 26 inch zipper!  Next time Grandma might just buy her a new pair of capris!

I even got the lawn mowed this week.  I feel like the Energizer Bunny~!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Camper Denim Quilt

This denim quilt (44 x 54) is for our little grandson who just turned 7.
He loves to camp, fish and hunt with his Dad.
Since I am the "used-denim-pants-receiver" in our family, I have 2 shelves full of denim pants strips--enough for about 12 (60 x 90) quilts.  
A couple of years ago I took about 6 garbage bags full of denim pants that everyone had given me and cut out all the usable parts--eliminating about half of the bulk of the pants.  Here are another dozen pair from my son to cut out usable parts before shelving.  Not too much of his pants are usable, he wears them pretty thin before I get them.
Over the years, I have tied exactly 8 denim quilts: all for family.  Back in the day, before rotary cutters, it was quite a chore to scissor up a pair of pants, then trace the 6 inch squares (I still have my cardboard pattern).  That was just the beginning: cut the squares, sew, and then when the top was assembled . . .and this is my favorite part . . . use the pliers to pull the yarn through the quilt.
My hubby's quilt with flannel backing.
Then came the longarm quilter.  Now, I know to always use a brick pattern so there are no 4-piece junctions and the seams all have to be pressed open.  A little spray starch helps make them crisp and flat.  One thing I have always done, is turn some of the denim wrong side out to get the color contrast I need.
This is just simple freehand swirly-water quilting. 
I used a higher loft batting.  When this is folded up it will make a great cushion to sit on.  Folded in half it will make a nice mattress pad for his sleeping bag.  Denim can be drug around the forest for a week and it still looks great, as it doesn't pick up the dirt like other materials.  
Camping flannel for the back.
I found a plaid flannel in my stash that matched.  There was enough to splice my 45" width of fabric to make the backing and a bias binding.
Happy Camper label.
Here is a link to several other Denim Quilts quilted on the longarm in last couple of years.


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