Thursday, April 26, 2012

Little Hands...Finished!!!

I'm happy to say that this little cutie is finished!

Hand print Quilt for preschool teacher gift

I have to say that it turned out so adorable!

Hand Print Quilt

I had to take a picture under my favorite Rose Tree of China bush.  I like the way the flower petals dusted over the top of the quilt.

Bumblebee on Rose Tree of China Bush

While we were there, we had some little visitors--the cutest little fat bumblebees were collecting pollen on it.    Probably 5 or 6 of them.  Yes, this picture is doctored up, but I love how the brighter colors accentuate the little bee.  The colors on the bee are more true to life now, though.  I love that little bright orange stripe on his back!

Hand print quilt

Anyway, that little yellow hand on the right hand side of the quilt is so light that it's hard to see in the pictures.  It's the smallest handprint on the quilt and so cute.  It's sad that it's not quite as bright as the others.  Something to remember for next time!

Hand Print on Quilt

I've never made wonky blocks before, and so I didn't think about the fact that when I cut the blocks, it would be exposing the bias of the grey.  Even though I was being careful with them, I couldn't figure out why some blocks were starting to get slightly stretched (as I was unpicking seams), until I realized that they were on the bias.  Luckily, all went together well.

hand print quilt backing and binding

The binding and backing fabric are from Masquerade by Henry Glass.  The grey is Kona Coal.

hand print quilt

I LOVE the binding and how it pops against the grey.  I used it also around the red handprint.

hand print quilt, loopy quilting

I quilted in the ditch around the white block and then around the colored border of each block.  I quilted the grey in my looping quilting pattern.

This little quilt measures about 36" X 43."  Perfect for a little wall at the preschool, I think!

hand print quilt, little hands, loopy quilting detail

A bigger view of the quilting. 

hand print quilt, wonky blocks

I left the handprint blocks alone, and let them speak for themselves!

I have to add a note here and say that this quilt was NOT my idea.  My friend Rachelle wanted to make a quilt as a gift for her daughter's preschool teacher with all the kids' handprints on it.  

I happened upon her at our LQS and she told me what she was thinking about.  I offered to help her make it, since Rachelle doesn't sew.

We designed it and chose fabric together and then I pieced and quilted it.  I'm honored that she trusted me to work on this special quilt that she is giving to someone that means a lot to her.

I so enjoyed creating and finishing this little quilt.  I know that there's a lucky preschool teacher out there that's going to be so surprised and happy with such a special, meaningful gift!

And, on a final note,

I'm going to be adding a tab on my blog soon called 'Commissioned Quilts' or something to that affect.  I've done a few commissioned quilts and would like to start doing more, now that my little kids are starting to get older, and my second-to-youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  

I'll be including this quilt as an example, although this quilt isn't a 'commission.'  But I thought it could maybe count as one because I made it for someone else with specifications requested by them.  (Does that make any sense?!)  

{If anyone would be interested in that sort of thing, feel free to email me:}

Linking To:

April Finishes

Crazy Mom Quilts


Mother's Day

Yes, I know it's a little early to be thinking about Mother's Day.  It is three weeks away.

My husband was sitting next to me on Saturday night as I was drooling and dreaming about all the fabric and other sewing-related items I want. *sigh*

Suddenly, out of the blue, he asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day!  What a happy coincidence.  I luckily had windows open of the items that I've been dreaming of.

A Bundle of Bonnie and Camille's Vintage Modern
(I always look here first)

A Just Curves 1/4" Presser Foot
(You can also find this on Amazon, but this website has lots of valuable info and tutorials for this foot)
(If you haven't visited Jenny's blog before, you won't be sorry you stopped in!)

My husband Doug is a wonderful, loving guy.  He is willing to go out of his way to give me what I want, even though I'm sure he rolls his eyes about my sewing obsession most of the time.

With him in school right now, our cash flow is {slightly} restricted.  

He gently informed me that I could go ahead and order the things that I showed him for my own Mother's Day gift, but that I would have to give up flowers and a card from him.

He thinks he's got me there.  I LOVE flowers.  And I LOVE getting cards from him.

But...I can sacrifice the flowers.  And I'm hoping he'll give me a card anyway. :)

What have you had your eye on lately?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Little Hands

I've been working on this quilt for the last couple of weeks with my friend Rachelle.

It's a gift for her daughter's preschool teacher.  She thought some little hand prints on the wall for her would be sweet.

I think she's right.  They are SO sweet.

This is my favorite block.  Maybe it's the red.  But probably it's the little person behind the hand!

I am loving this little quilt so much!  

I'm going to be quilting this up today.  I'm planning to quilt-in-the-ditch in each seam on the hand print blocks, and then do my loopy quilting in the grey areas.

All super-pinned and ready to go!

And look what's been blooming in my front yard!  It's my Rose Tree of China bush.  It's my very favorite thing in our yard.  Three years ago it was just three little twigs.  Now it's humongous!  

This proves that Spring really is here in Idaho.  Finally!

I'm linking up here today:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I hope everyone's having a great week!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Modern She Made Swap

I'm SoOoOo excited to be a part of the Modern She Made Swap!

Modern She Made Swap

This is my first you-make-something-for-your-partner-swap, so it's been exciting to learn how these things go.

It's been so fun to see all the fabric choices and watch all the projects come to life on Flickr.  Click the button above to go see what's been going on there!

After getting the profile of my partner and doing some online stalking of her, I finally feel ready to unveil my fabric choices for her!

I had so much fun choosing these fabrics!  Part are from my LQS, and part from my own stash.  I love how they look together and I'm really hoping that she'll love them too!

As far as a project, I'm thinking either a mini quilt or a sewing machine cover for her, with a circle of flying geese or a New York Beauty Flying Geese block.   What do you think?

I love the idea of a swap.  I don't usually make things for myself, but I love to make something for someone else.  So in a swap, I get the best of both worlds!  I have the excitement and joy of thinking of someone else and making something to surprise her with, but I am also going to get a fun surprise in return!  I love it!

So are you involved in any swaps right now?  Which ones, and what do you love about a swap?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Dry Spell

Wow.   I feel a bit sheepish.  It's been two weeks since I've posted.

My life has been exceptionally crazy! We had spring break two weeks ago, then my husband was home for spring break the week after.  We had a birthday party for my son on Friday and then my family had to speak in church on Sunday.  Ugh!

This week it's been my turn to teach in our little Mommy & Me preschool group that my daughter Ari is in.  And, I've just been playing catch-up for the rest of the week.  I haven't had much time to sew or post on my blog at all.  I appreciate everyone's patience with me!

Thursday I had a ring at my doorbell and found this:

with this little cutie tucked in:

I have been batting-less for a LONG time.  I've just been waiting for a really good sale at Joanne's, and they had one last week, finally.  I had a coupon for 20% off your entire order, so I got each of these king sized packages for about $24.  I decided to stock up and get 5.  I'm so excited to get to work!

I'm thinking I can fit two lap-sized quilts, as well as 3 or 4 baby quilts onto one of these batts, which measure 120" X 124".

I'm planning to start with these:

The top one is my Strawberry Shortcake quilt.  The bottom one is my Ten Little Things baby quilt.  The two middle ones are older UFO's.  

I'm excited to get them all finished!  And I'm excited to try out my new Hera Marker on a couple of them!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Finished!...Again!

I finished it!  My 7-year-old WIP that I've put away so many different times that I can't count them.  I learned my lesson (see the previous post), and did it right.

patriotic quilts, fourth of july quilts, children's delight quilt pattern

I did change the binding on it, since I had to take it off anyway.  I like the blue binding much better.  
I feel like it calms the quilt down just a little bit, and doesn't clash with the quilt.

This red is the old binding.  I think that it clashes with the other reds, and makes the quilt feel busier.

What do you think?

(notice the black eye...his first of many, I'm sure.
It comes with the territory when you're a rough-and-tumble kind of guy!)

I'll celebrate my finish and show some fun pictures with my little (and not so little) helpers.

My daughter Ari decided she needed to put some "style" into the quilt.

It looks like some super awesome water ballet moves!

A close-up of the binding and some of the quilting.  I didn't end up quilting the border at all.  I put the binding on all by machine.

We did some fun kid-in-quilt tossing, but I couldn't get one non-blurry picture, so I thought I'd make a collage so you can see how much fun we all had!

I was planning on taking it outside and taking some fun shots, but we woke up this morning to this:

A couple of inches of snow on the last day of our Spring Break.  Bummer!  

We could only stand a couple of outside shots.  Brrr!  That's what happens in Spring in Idaho!

Even though I don't {LOVE} the quilt, we're still going to use it.  It will be one of those quilts that I won't mind it being dragged and tossed around...even taken outside for a picnic or used to make a fort.

That is, if my husband doesn't steal it.  He says he REALLY likes it, because it's so linear.  He's an analytical-type of guy and needs everything laid out in straight lines.  {Example:  when we plant trees and bushes, he has to measure everything so it's perfectly spaced apart, from side to side and front to back--but don't tell him I told you that! :)  }

That's why everything I love he says, "meh--s'okay."  And everything I don't especially like, he loves!

I hope everyone has a great Easter Weekend!

(linking to:)

April Finishes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My OLDEST WIP Becomes a Finish, Then a WIP Again...

It's sad, but true!  Monday night, I had a completed project.  Tuesday morning, it became a Work in Progress.  Again.  {sigh}

I finished this quilt top SEVEN years ago.  I didn't know what to do with it as far as quilting it, so I folded it up, and put it away.

I've taken it out from time to time and done some work in stages on it.

A couple of years ago, I quilted it, but when I came to the borders, I ran into a BIG problem.

At the time I had pieced the top, I hadn't learned that you have to measure the quilt top in the center, cut the borders accordingly and then sew them on that way.  Instead, I just cut the border big, sewed it up, and cut off the remaining fabric.


I got about halfway up one side and I realized that this was happening...and that it wasn't going to be able to be quilted without the fabric folding over on itself and creating a big mess.

Knowing I was going to have to tear out all the quilting I'd done on the border, and then remove the borders, I folded it up, and put it away again.

So, about two months ago, I did unpick all the quilting in the borders, and pulled the borders off.  And then I folded it up and put it away again.

Monday, I decided I was going to finally, FINALLY, finish this quilt.  So I measured the borders and re-sewed them on.  Instead of doing it the right way, I sewed it on right through the batting and a quilt-as-you-go method.

Then, at the last minute, I decided to change my plans for the binding.

But after I was finished, I decided I don't like the binding.

In fact, I think I don't like the entire quilt.

That's the reason that you don't let your WIP's get too old.  Because then you ask yourself, "WHAT WAS I THINKING??!?!?!"

But at this point, I decided it didn't matter, I'm done.  I'm not doing another thing to this quilt.  So I went to bed, and the next morning, I threw it in the washer, to see if I liked it any better after it was all soft and crinkly.

I pulled it out of the dryer yesterday, and realized that my border had pulled out of my binding in places.  Grrr!  At one point in my contemplation of this situation, I actually thought about doing nothing and letting it go, until the fabric frayed so much that it would need to be thrown out.

Of course the fabric had pulled out of the border.  I was working carelessly, just wanting this quilt to be finished.

So, there are some very important lessons I've learned in this situation:

  • I can't walk away from problems with my projects.  There's a difference between giving yourself some time to contemplate and regroup, and ignoring the problem.  I should have tackled it and finished the quilt seven years ago regardless of the problems.
  • I'm a quilter; and therefore, each quilt that I make deserves the same dedication and care as any other.  Why would I just become sloppy and careless for a quilt that my family is going to use?  I need to spend the time to get it right, because I started it and it needs to be finished.  Even if I don't love it anymore.
  • I was NOT going to blog about this quilt.  I don't want to admit to everyone that I've been lazy, careless, etc.  But this blog is about my quilting, the good and the bad!  Even the best quilters make mistakes....that's how we learn.  I'm determined to learn from this!  I'm a quilter, for all the good things that I create, and all the not-so-good.  {It was my husband who said that to me.}
So, there you have it.  A very long story that's probably very revealing of who I am.  {gulp!}

Well, I'm off to finish removing the binding and then to finish this quilt the right way!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Christine over at Quilt Monster in My Closet very kindly reminded me:

Quilt Monster in my Closet

It's going on over at her blog today!  I'm linking up with her as well.  Anyone have any old projects they're finishing up?  Hop on over and link up as well!  At any rate, go see what everyone's pulling out of their closets!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day

Wow, April 1st!  This year is just flying by.  I don't know if any of you feel like this, but it seems like the older my kids get, the faster the time goes by.  It's a little scary!  

Looking back at the month, not only did it fly by, but it was not a very productive one for me.  I did accomplish a few things, though!

1.  I had my first giveaway!
2.  Cleaned out my sewing room.  (same post...more on this later!)
3.  Finished Ten Little Things Baby Quilt top.
4.  Finished Strawberry Shortcake Quilt top.
5.  My little helpers in my cleaning and organizing endeavors (they're just cute so I put them in there).
6.  Tried some paper-piecing (more on that soon).
7.  I received some super vintage fabric!  (more on this also coming soon!).

My plans for this month are:
1.  Get 5 quilt tops that are sitting in my cabinet sandwiched, quilted, and bound
2.  Hone my paper-piecing skills and try my hand at some New York Beauties!
3.  Figure out what I'm going to do with my super-vintage plaid fabric I was gifted (with your help, of course!)
4.  Write my {first} tutorial.
5.  Finish a significant portion of Swoon blocks.

Can I do it?  We'll see how to month unfolds!

So what did you accomplish last month?  And what do you have planned for this month?

I'm linking up to Fresh Sewing Day with Lily's Quilts.  Go see what everyone else has been up to in March!

Lily's Quilts