05. March 2015 · Comments Off on Quilt Journal: My Momma’s Birthday Quilt · Categories: quilts · Tags: ,

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Eventually, all my immediate family will have a quilt that I made for them. So far, my brothers Jared and Ian and, most recently, my mom have received quilts as birthday gifts from me.  I’ve got ideas for Dad’s quilt and for Carl’s quilt, but I haven’t started on them. Their birthdays are in the fall, so maybe in 2015… maybe.

I knew that I wanted to make a quilt from my friend Elizabeth Dackson‘s book, Becoming a Confident Quilter, and the Precious Stones quilt was one (of many) patterns in the book that appealed to me.

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I modified the piecing a bit. I added more white squares to break up the white sections and make it a little more maze-like.

The most important part: Mom loves it! I made it for her birthday, which is at the end of December, but I didn’t actually finish it until January.  This totally worked out, though, because my husband had a business trip to San Antonio in early February, so I packed it in his suitcase. He hand delivered it to Mom for me. :) Hand delivery is always better than USPS. And because her birthday had come and gone a long while before delivery, she was totally surprised. Score!

 

Quilt Stats:

62 x 74″

Fabrics: Various Madrona Road prints, Navy gingham, Kona Gold, Kona Snow

Warm and Natural 100% Cotton Batting

Gray Minky Backing

Quilted with loopy flowers all over, with a wishbone pattern in the border.

Machine bound.

28. May 2014 · Comments Off on Drop Dead Gorgeous · Categories: paper piecing, pattern review, quilts · Tags: , , , , ,

 

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My friend, Elizabeth Dackson, is a super talented quilt designer, and I was thrilled when she asked me to test her newest pattern called the Drop Dead Gorgeous block. It’s not for the faint of heart, since there are several paper piecing templates, but it certainly wasn’t difficult, just time consuming. Time spent sewing is time well spent if you ask me, and the results are simply breathtaking!

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I turned my block, which finishes at 16 inches, into a 20″ pillow by adding a border using some 2.5″ strips of black kona cotton. I quilted using my walking foot, and then backed my pillow case with white minky dot fabric and stuffed and stitched it up.

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I do plan to use this pattern for another project. One block just isn’t enough! The secondary patterns that emerge when joining more blocks together are just amazing. Check out Elizabeth’s blog post about this block for more Drop Dead Gorgeous eye candy and to purchase the pattern.

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I’m thinking about trying it out in nothing but solids. I’ve never done a solids-only project… I wonder if I’m brave enough?

24. March 2014 · Comments Off on Pattern Testing: Modern Gears · Categories: pattern review, quilts · Tags: , ,

a031014_0276I am not a quilt designer. Yet.

I have ideas for quilt designs, but I haven’t taken the time to learn how to properly write a pattern that someone else can follow. It’s on my To Do list… I am so inspired by what others create, and it is fun to see how simple shapes likes rectangles, squares and triangles can be arranged to make so many interesting designs.

I recently had the opportunity to do some pattern testing for my friend, Elizabeth Dackson, of Don’t Call Me Betsy. What fun! I still need to piece a backing and quilt it, but the piecing was really straightforward, and I chain pieced most of it, so it went really quickly!

I love the way Elizabeth writes her patterns. She provides yardage and cutting instructions for multiple sizes, essentially doing all the quilt mathematics. There’s no guesswork if you decide to make a size other than the one she made. And, she even includes a coloring page so you can audition your fabric selections before you commit.aIMG_5038I went with Kona charcoal for the background, a turquoise kona (can’t remember the name of the shade, and I can’t get my hands on a color card right now…), an absolutely luscious gray cross weave, an orange mini gingham from Michael Miller and the purple is Newsprint stripe, part of the Collage collection.  I also used some purple ombre dots by Riley Blake and some scraps of a green dot print.

a030514_0279I’m not usually a fan of pressing seams open, but I like how nice and flat the blocks are with the seams pressed open. I admit, I still pressed the seams of my hst’s to one side.  Old habits die hard, I guess!

aIMG_5098I love turquoise and orange together. Such bright, happy colors!

a030514_0280Honestly, the purple was a real stretch for me. I am usually sewing for boys, to pink and purple are not even on the radar! But, this quilt, when it’s finished, will be mine. I’m the only girl in the house, and it has purple.  Therefore, it is mine. YES!

a031014_0270My only regret with this quilt is that I didn’t make it bigger! I just might make 4 more blocks to extend the quilt a bit before I quilt and bind.  We’ll see.

It’s a great pattern, Elizabeth! Thanks for letting me test it for you!

13. March 2014 · Comments Off on Twill Be at the Beach Quilt · Categories: quilts · Tags: , , , , , ,

My husband has lost quite a bit of weight over the last year or so. Weight loss brings along some really nice perks. He feels better. He sleeps better. He doesn’t snore as badly. He has more energy. He looks awesome… But he also had to buy a bunch of new clothes. His dress shirts still fit fine. They just look better on him. :) His jeans were another story. They were practically falling off of him without a belt.

So, as he retired a pair of jeans, the fabric “collector” in me (I’m not a hoarder, I swear!!) couldn’t bear to part with that much usable yardage! I started stashing them away last summer. I started saving the kids’ outgrown jeans too… And then I started saving twill fabrics from other projects. I didn’t really have a plan until November.

IMG_4232aWe went to St. Augustine for Veteran’s Day weekend. It was a little cold and windy (for Florida) when we went to the beach. Far too cold to get in the water, which turned out to be just fine because the beach we visited had riptide warnings anyway. No swimming allowed.

We didn’t dress for swimming. We took a picnic and played football. We hunted for shells. Even the little one didn’t mind not swimming, and that kid would probably swim in a snowstorm if such a thing ever happened here!IMG_4234a

 

IMG_0736aAs we were leaving the beach, I thought about how nice it was not to be absolutely covered in sand. No sandy shower right before jumping in the car. It was so nice to enjoy the beach and leave the sand behind. It was then that I decided to turn my stash of jeans into a beach quilt. Not that I think it will help so much with the sandy shower situation, but because sometimes it’s nice to have a sand free zone. Ok, sand-free isn’t realistic either… Sometimes it’s nice to have a comfy blanket at the beach, and denim is durable.

I didn’t really follow a pattern. I just cut some squares 9 1/2″ and some 6 1/2″ and some rectangles. Then I laid out the blocks on my design wall– umm floor– and rearranged them until I liked the layout.a021414_0295

 

 

 

I sandwiched the top and bottom together without any batting. Can I still call that a quilt sandwich? There’s no filling! :) I didn’t want my quilt to get too heavy, especially when it’s slightly damp, so I omitted the batting. I also picture sand somehow getting lodged within the batting, and that grosses me out a little…

I free-motioned swirly loops all over the quilt, and then machine bound with a red swirly twill from Premier Prints. (In fact, all the prints you see here are from Premier Prints.) a022014_0290

b022014_0288We had planned on visiting the beach for President’s Day, but I was sick, so we haven’t been able to use the “Twill Be at the Beach” quilt at the beach yet. But, it has been used in some fun backyard picnics!aphoto