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Friday, December 28, 2012

Secret Christmas projects - now exposed! =cD

Over the Holidays I had several Christmas projects that were being given as gifts, that I had to keep secret.  OHHHHH it was tough!!  haha.   Well here they are:

The first quilt I'm showing you is the WVU quilt.  I've lived in Cabell County, WV my whole life, so I am a Herd Fan from wayyyyy back.  BUT, WVU is such a big part of my heritage, that I could not pass up the opportunity to make a quilt for one of my dear old friend's hubbies.  ;c)
 Started out by printing the WVU logo backwards, and tracing it onto fusible.  Then I cut that out and fuse it to the center white piece of fabric.
 This quilt is just a series of borders, applique, and quilting. .  once all the borders were complete...  I penciled in WVU WVU WVU WVU around the thin white outer border... the corners are little blue WV symbols ;c)
 With my darning foot and a wide zigzag stitch, I went around each WVU.   The center was quilted with my version of McTavishing
 In the wide outer blue border, I appliqued the words:  "Let's Go..  Mountaineers!"  In yellow fabric
 And the back is some licensed fabric with WVU print on it.  
Another shot of the finished quilt!  

 The next quilt I made was for my friends in Texas.   I feel like I know this family so well, since I've seen their pictures up close and personal ;c)  They're great people BTW!     Sharon, Raymond's daughter, had this quilt made for HER daughter. . .  when LAST Christmas, her daughter had one made forHER! haha. .  paybacks.. but the GOOD kind!  

Sharon picked out all the greens and browns for this quilt.  The white areas are Mr Kotz's shirt remnants.  The center block is called "Texas Tears". . this is a memorial quilt for Mr Kotz.  From what I can tell, Sharon and her daughter must have loved him very very much.  
And here's the back where you can see how I appliqued through all 3 layers of the quilt.  It gives an interesting effect on the back of the quilt.  

And last but not least, I made ONE more Crown Royal quilt. . BUT. . since this was the last quilt I completed before Christmas, I did NOT have a chance to get a finished photo of it before I had to get it in the mail.  But here is the TOP!  ;c)

I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas !!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adoption Quilt!

Introducing:  The Adoption Quilt.
I finished this amazing project just last night.  So here's the idea - This quilt is for a lady who adopted a child (Nathanael) and whom lives in West Virginia. Her baby shower is this Saturday!    The center block, is the state of West Virginia and represents Nathanael.  
Also represented in this quilt, is her 6 other "sponsered" children.  
3 of those kids are from Indonesia:  Gilbert, Jeniati, and Jonardo.
1 is from Haiti - Augustin
1 is from Uganda - Joseph
and 1 is from Ecuador - Mavelin.

The 4 outer corners are globes.  

All of these blocks were raw-edge fusible appliqued.   I attached the pieces with a narrow zig-zag in dark brown thread.   The names of each child were machine-embroidered on each block.

 I'm mostly proud of this block:  Indonesia - The other countries were easy to applique  . but Indonesia is a series of small islands.   I marked the islands with a thin pencil, and then went over them with my machine, and a darning foot!  I put stabilizer behind the fabric, and used a free-motion embroidery technique!
 Haiti - and Augustin
 West Virginia - and Nathanael
 Indonesia - and Gilbert, Jeniati, and Jonardo
 Ecuador - and Mavelin (LOVE that name!)
 Uganda - and Joseph
 Here's a closeup of one of the corner globes.   I quilted the globe backgrounds with a heart stitch, and the "water" part of the globes with a paisley stitch.  
This quilt also was the first time trying these little squigglies for the sashing. .   This stitch has totally changed my quilting life forever!! They are so versatile easy, and fast. . and sOOO cute!!  (But I'll go more into this in another blog post )

Here's the finished back of the quilt!  I used fabrics from the front of the quilt on the back too!  
Let me know what you think!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My fabric challenge quilt

I won "Best Quilting" in our local guild's fabric challenge.  It's kind of like the Hoffman challenge, but we are given "ugly" fabrics. . or hard-to-pair fabrics, and everyone is to make a quilt.
The winning categories are:
Best Quilting,
Most unique use of fabric.
Best use of color.
Best MIXED technique and
People's Choice.

I wish I would have got a photo of everyone's projects, but I didn't =c/

But here's mine!!

The block I used for this quilt is from the book "50 paper pieced stars" by Carol Doak.  This block is ALABAMA. .   I just chose it because it looked the easiest. and I had a very limited time to complete this project.  The very center of the 8-point stars is the first fabric in the challenge.  The other fabric we were required to use is the fabric I used on the borders.   We were given a fat quarter of each fabric.  I used EVERY LITTLE PIECE of the fat quarter for the borders for this quilt.   I mean there was not a speck of it left!
I quilted the outer borders with burgundy thread in a feather pattern.   The black areas I did my version of McTing, and I outline quilted the stars.
This was the first sorta contest I have participated in, it was fun to see what everyone came up with!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quilt made from baby clothes from the 1980s

Just finished a quilt made from my friend's baby clothes.  
These baby clothes were given to a quilter who was going to make a quilt out of them, but she got sick or got busy or something, and never was able to finish it.   This previous quilter had cut up all the clothing into (rough) rectangles that measured 2.25" x 2.5"  Some of these rectangles had been sewn into 9-patches.  Everything was cut with a template and regular hand scissors (=c0
 I thought it was odd that they were cut this size.   Typically 9-patches are cut into squares, not rectangles.   Also, if the squares were 2.5", as you probably can imagine, the possibilities for the blocks would have been MUCH greater.   The blocks and therefore the QUILT could have been much bigger and there would have been many more block options, etc., 
BUT, I love a challenge, and so what I did was cut most of them down to 2" and treated them as strips to use with the EZ angle ruler.  This way I could do flying geese and HSTs for blocks.   I also cut a few of them into 2" squares and made NEW (even) 9-patches:c)   

 Here you can see the previous quilter's 9 patch block on the left, ,and my flying geese block on the right.
And here are an assortment of the 9-patch blocks on the top, and an assortment of my NEW blocks on the bottom.  All of my new blocks measured 4.5" UNfinished.   The HSTs of those sawtooth stars measured 1" FINISHED ! LOL ;c)   Yes, very teeny tiny!

The finished quilt top:   All of the fabric for the blocks (including the white) was made out of baby clothing.  The striped rose print for the sashing and binding was picked out by the quilt's recipient.  My friend, Beth, was nicknamed "Rose" when she was a little girl, so the rose has special significant to Jackie, her mom (for whom I made this quilt)
I found the inner border floral fabric and outer border pink fabric at Phylis's Quilt shop in Hurricane  (Thank you for your help picking out fabrics Phyllis!!).   The floral-y fabric had such a beautiful, vintage 80s-feel to it I think.   AND, it included all the colors from Beth's baby clothes.  It also helped make that transition from the stark white of the baby clothes used in the blocks. . to the creamy beige used in the striped rose print.   I never thought I could make white and beige work together, but I really think it works in this quilt!

After all the piecing was complete - it was time for Katies' fun playtime. LOL
For each of the blocks, I quilted a circle/feather type of deal.  I made a circle template with cardstock and marked just the outer circle, and did the feathers and inner circle by hand.  (which is why they're not perfect and I WILL mark them NEXT time!)

 For the inner borders, I quilted a feather with an echo, but as you can see in the next photo, I was not satisfied with just a normal feather.
 I thought the feathers were too fat, so I added a vein in each one to fill it out a bit.  This was the first time trying this technique and I really like the way it looks!
 For the sashing and outer borders I tried another new quilting motif. . a free-hand leaf pattern.   It definitely would have looked better if I would have marked it first.. . I started to mark it, and then got really confused on the math, and gave up ;c)
 For the pink and rose striped areas, I used Mettler cotton pink thread.  For the white/block areas and the feathers, I used #Aurifil poly variegated quilting thread.   When Jackie saw the quilt in person, she said she really liked the variegated colors.   Since they are a fine pastel, with a bit of shimmer, I thought it was perfect for this quilt too!

 And right now I'm working on a photo memory quilt - with the colors sage, brown and white.  I picked out these fabrics for the quilt and will have a blog post on it soon! ;c)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Crown Royal Quilt

  Sorry I haven't been updating my blog very much, but if you want to get the latest photos, and updates on my current projects - be sure to "LIKE" my facebook page!!

So here they are:  My latest Crown Royal Quilts are complete! 
This is the "block" - and because these blocks are so BIG, these quilts are not as versatile as the old crown royal quilt pattern. These are only available in Twin-size or bigger.  
Here are the "special" crown royal quilt bags /logos that were used in this quilt.  I used these special colors and textures for the cornerstones, so that the main blocks would stay consistent. 

 Here is the center quilt pre-borders
 For the border star blocks, the lights and darks were reversed.   I've made SOOO many of them the opposite way, I screwed up a gazillion times and had to do ALOT of seam-ripping/unpicking ;c)
For the borders stars I used the gold/leather crown royal quilt.  and purple background.
 Here are the two finished tops!
 I used the leftover bag material from the BACK and SIDES of the crown royal bags for the sashing.   For all the other purple areas I used a mottled purple quilting fabric.

 Here are the two quilt tops on the wall, without flash ;c)  My camera seems to have trouble capturing the color purple.
 Here is me quilting the quilt with my big-guy machine ;c)  Yes, I think the name of my sewing machine is "big guy" . .  I never claimed to be creative.  LOL
 For the backing I used a purple minky fleece.    When I ordered it from, I thought it was just as dark as the purple quilting fabric and the crown royal bags.   But when it showed up in the mail it was a bit lighter.   Like a lavender or something.
 Here are the 3 quilts finished!   I used gold binding on one, and purple binding on the other.
 Here's a shot of the backing. . it's the same on both quilts.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My handmade Halloween Costume

For this pattern, I used Simplicity Renaissance pattern 3809.

Simplicity Sewing Pattern 3809 Misses Costumes, U (16-18-20)

   I am horrible at garments, but I did make it through!  Some of the things I learned when making this pattern:   Grommets/eyelets, Boning, adding Lace accents, and bustling an overskirt.   
I'm most excited about the boning and grommets though.  I really think this will come in handy in the future.  

My mom things we look like the characters from Les Miserables that sing "Master of The House" - Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. 

 I didn't make my husband's costume  - we just used a dracula store-bought costume for him.  we ditched the cape that came with teh costume and instead used a midieval looking jacket that we found at our local flea market for $5.