Monday, February 28, 2011

Finished Tree quilt

Yay! It's done, with time to spare! It will be hard to part with this baby.

I made this quilt to be auctioned off as a fundraiser at my 3 year old daughter's upcoming preschool Art Show. They have had different paintings and quilts auctioned off in the past and each year the students are represented on the piece. She goes to a wonderful Montessori preschool with about 65 kids, so I was a bit limited...larger things like hand prints or pictures wouldn't fit. The logo for the school has a tree on it, so I decided that was the ticket!

I had each child write their name on a leaf. I then raw edge appliqued the leaves to a tree on a piece of linen, along with some apples for the teachers ;)

I wrote the child's name on the leaf as well (for the younger kids), and added their age. I love how the raw edges of the leaves frayed up a bit after a washing, and will continue to do so!
I had a few leaves falling from the tree, with some spiral quilting, and more scattered on the ground.

Even the school resident pet, Oreo the rabbit, is represented on the quilt! I gave you a closer look at him here. A heart with the school initials was "carved" into the tree trunk.

I sashed this puppy with a thin line of espresso brown solid, and quilted some free motion loops here in matching thread. The outer border is a Moda Basic Grey green dot, which I quilted in a meandering pattern using white thread. Since the tree was so busy, I wanted the sashing and quilting to be more subdued and not distract from the Main Event.
In the center portion of the quilt, I actually added the leaves and apples as the final step, so the applique step provided the quilting as well! High Five for efficiency! This was also a smart decision as it took a while, between colds and vacations, to get the leaves in from all the kids, and I would never have finished in time otherwise! The rabbit and tree stump were appliqued with turned edges (which were then top stitched), so I quilted "bark" on the trunk afterwards. Wish I had used a contrasting thread as the knots and such are pretty groovy but are hard to see.

For the back, I chose Patti Young's Andalucia Mod Dots, which were perfect in color and design for continuing the leaf motif! Found it on "clearance" at my local Fabricland for $10/m (regular price $22/m- as IF!!). I added a couple small stripes with brown again for consistency with the front and to breakup the busy fabric. It was a great backing choice to hide all the different quilting on the front, plus such a happy, child-friendly pattern!

The binding is a bright orange with leaves on it, from my stash from the LQS. I decided to give Rita's tutorial a go and attempt some machine binding. I could write a novel about what I learned (translate: screwed up) during this process, but again the busy fabric of the sashing/binding/backing fabrics saved my hiney and I think none will be the wiser about its imperfections aside from me.
This is the first time I have made a quilt for someone who is not friends and family, and who actually paid money for it! This didn't hit me until I was in the trenches with the binding....I am hoping the (many) imperfections will be embraced as "adding character"! Also, I am glad that the format of the auction is not bids, but rather tickets that are hopefully the quilt will bring in lots of money for the school in ticket sales while the actual winner will not have paid more than $20 for their ticket. Who can complain at that price, right? :-)

Quilt stats:

Materials: cotton (assorted prints from stash from Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Moda, etc; Moda Basic Grey Eva, Patty Young Mod Dots) and linen
Finished size: approx 60" by 70"- a generous lap quilt
Designed by: Me
Special Techniques: raw edged and turned applique
Quilted by : Me
Quilting pattern: loops, meandering, and applique through 3 layers
Binding: machine
Keeping it Real (a special section to confess all of my screw-ups!):
-I cut my backing too small, and in a couple spots it was smaller than the quilt top. I meant to trim back the top during the squaring up process to fix it but I guess I missed a small area, so initially the binding didn't cover all the batting on the back. Had to take off the binding and pull it farther back and restitch.
-When I did the machine binding, I missed about 20 small sections (an inch or less each) in the back that I had to go back and resew. Frequent pinning was a necessity, and by the last strip I had it down.
-My first pen I bought to have the kids write names bled in the fabric; Ms. Karen saved the day with a dollar store marker which washed up much better, though there was some marginal bleeding/fading.
-I have MUCH to learn about turned applique....

All in all it was a great experience, and to benefit a great school!
Linking up to Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday- go check them out!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finished New Wave quilt

I started this quilt waaaaay back in August, when I was still pretty new to quilting (it's all relative, right?). I thought the New Wave pattern would be perfect for out at our wavy beach ;) And the retro feel of the Nicey Jane was perfect for our little '50s cottage. But, things got busy as life tends to do, and this quilt kept getting pushed to the back burner as I finished up projects that were gifts for others. Then all of a sudden it was fall, the cottage closed up for the winter, and my motivation gone.

So, here we are in February, dreaming of hot and lazy summer days.....and working on this quilt was just the therapy I needed as winter continues on.

Waves on the front, so on the back, I decided to add another favorite outdoor element of cottage life- the stars. I made five stars, one to represent each of us in our family, and framed them in a beautiful sea foam solid. I think this is my very favorite color. I added some grey to compliment the sashing in the front- simple and pretty, I think.

Quilting- a nice wandering stipple pattern that puckers things up so nicely...kind of like ripples in the water :-)
Binding in Nicey Jane Welcome Road.

Now, we just need to add summer! Only a few more months....

I must admit that I didn't love this quilt top at first. I much preferred the Nicey Jane quilt I had made for my friend Samantha, and wasn't too excited about finishing it off. I still prefer that pattern, but I really love this quilt, too. I love its cotton-candy happy color scheme and the crinkled stippled goodness. It feels fresh and fun- just like a day at the beach!

Quilt stats:

Material: cotton- Healther Bailey's Nicey Jane, sea foam and medium grey solids
Finished size: 54 by 61 inches
Design by: Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!, modified to make larger
Quilting by: Me
Quilting pattern: free motion meandering/stippling
Binding: Nicey Jane Welcome Road, stitched by hand
Keeping it Real (a special section to confess all of my screw-ups!):
- On THREE separate occasions (slow learner) a large portion of the backing edge folded over on itself during quilting and I had to rip those sections out and redo. Doh!
-I miscalculated the lengths of strips aroundthe stars for the back and had to rearrange....

But...mistakes add character ;) I love it!

Linking up with my friends at Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday :-)

Friday, February 25, 2011


Will be parking my butt on the couch to do some binding this weekend and catching up on a backlog of t.v. shows on my PVR- pretty much the only time I watch t.v.! Will have some quilty goodness x3 to show you soon!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

McKinley quilt revisited

One of the first quilts I made was for a sweet little girl named McKinley. I had such fun with it and so many questions about it I ended up making the pattern available- you can see it on my sidebar or click here. Anyways, it is really cool seeing stuff made by your tutorials pop up in the blogosphere (maybe I should make a Flickr group??), and today Kelli tipped me off that Natalia at Piece N Quilt had posted one on her blog yesterday. She did some magical quilting on a quilt made by MaryAnn.... take a look at this!

Nicely done, ladies!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday


Top: Nicey Jane New Wave quilt
Middle: fundraiser tree quilt
Bottom: Postage stamp quilt

Quilting time! Pounding it out! It's gonna be ~cRAzy~!!!! Whoop whoop!!!

Ahem. Better back off on the caffeine, eh?

What are you up to this week? Get your nose in everyone else's business at Lee's WIP Wednesday link up ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes life is so awesome.

Today was my "day off"- no work, kids at school, time to catch up and do a bit of stuff for me. I was driving by my favorite thrift store and had to pop in to check for vintage sheets, with Amy's awesome vintage quilt fresh on my mind. I was not disappointed, found this pretty here:

I am loving the orange/pink color combos lately! Also, spotted these two lovely hand stitched place mats (2 for $1.29). I think they would make sweet pillow covers, don't you?

Lastly, I got a PILE of 100% wool sweaters. Several of them were ONE DOLLAR. Seriously. I got a great brainstorm when I saw them....I have a tutorial brewing in my head for y'all as I type, hopefully next week once I wrap up a bit more quilting!
So, to recap: sheet not to be used as sheet, place mats not to be used as place mats, and sweaters not to be used as sweaters ;) Plus a couple sweaters and an apron for me to actually use as is (not shown here), all for.....$20.58. Love that thrift shop!

And another awesome image to leave you with. Those of you with kids will recognize how rare and precious these moments of collaboration are among siblings- my son reading a bedtime story to his eager sisters. Yes, it is a Halloween story in February. Yes, The Middle Child is sitting in the doll crib. {love}

Life is awesome!

Time's to pick up the kids, dash to hockey, make dinner, do homework..... See you tomorrow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Double identitiy

Children's book? OR....quilt inspiration?

Me thinks these city images would make for some very cool blocks.

On the list for "someday" ;)

In the meantime, I have enlisted a rabbit like these ones for my fundraiser tree quilt.... the preschool has a black and white bunny named "Oreo" that I thought would look cute under the tree. What do you think?

Friday, February 18, 2011

A surprise in the mail :-)

I got a message from my friend Red from Crafter Meets Stamper the other day. She and I have kind of "re-met" via our blogs- she and my husband went to school together years ago. Anyways, she said she had a SURPRISE to send me! So. Of course I could think of nothing else all week ;) And once it arrived, I tore the package open before I even had my coat off. And look what she made for me!!

A whole bunch of sweet hand stamped tags to attach to my woolly creations! Aren't they adorable??

I love this little sheep- "Knitting keeps us from unraveling." Though I think it is too late, I seem to be plenty unraveled ;)

Thanks so much, Red, for the wonderful surprise! I have enough tags here to adorn a whole lotta knitting...better get back to it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Haven't had much to show you lately, but I am multitasking with a bunch of projects.

Priority- I am putting together a quilt to auction for my daughter's preschool in 2 weeks. Had each of the 65 kids sign on a fabric leaf in their sweet little preschool script, and am appliqueing them to a tree. Coming along!

It's Time Already- My Nicey Jane New Wave quilt top that I made in the summer (look, grass!) has finally got a back and is basted and waiting for some quilting love.

I'll Get There- As predicted, I finished my postage stamp quilt top in a frenzy, then nothing. But I have fabric for the back and will get moving on that soon.

On the Needles- I am feeling super duper-ly smart that I have figured out how to knit in the round on double pointed needles and a circular needle, with the help of You Tube. I am part way through a new hat. I don't think I will ever see the end of this monster sized ball of yarn.....

On Deck- once I clear the above off my plate, I am excited to get going on my daughter's Rainy Days and Mondays quilt, a FFA2 quilt using Kate's awesome new soon-to-be-released pattern for the other daughter, some quilt ideas for my box-o-Bliss, and I PROMISE....I am going to cut into some of my uber-stash of Anna Maria Horner. One pile, for starters. Baby steps ;)

Linking up with Lee and friends at Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.

Monday, February 14, 2011

He loves me, he loves me not

The Middle Child, age 5, came to me yesterday, dressed in a tutu and fairy wings, but eyes downcast.

"Mom," she said, " I have to make sure I wear at least one beautiful thing to school each day, it's very important."

"Why?" I asked.

"Tyson used to like me the best, but now he said he likes Pyper the best. I need to look pretty so that he will like ME again."

I cuddled her into a big hug, and assured her that the best kind of boy to like are the ones who like you from the inside out, for being smart, funny, creative first of all, and not primarily for being pretty (which she certainly is). I told her that when boys get older, they don't change their minds so much, and that her Daddy chooses to love me the best every day.

Right at that moment, my husband returned from running an errand with a huge bouquet of pink roses as an early Valentine's gift for me. Both of our eyes lit up. The Middle Child smiled.

"You are right, Mommy, someday I want to marry a boy like Daddy."

I'm sure glad I did. He loves me :-)

Wishing you all lots of love this Valentine's Day! XOXO

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Note: If you have a minute today, pop on over to the Love Nest Quilt Contest and vote for your favorite bed sized quilt. There are some stunners! I have entered Big G's hockey quilt ;)

The Good:

My friend Suzy (you know, the one with the twins?) gave me this awesome tote for my bday. I love how it has OCD on it, but that it refers to my other OCD problem.......

The Bad:

Our roof is leaking. Again. We have had it fixed 3 times. Looks like we are going to have to rip off this beautiful cedar ceiling and the fun that brings to fix the problem. Ugh.....

The Beautiful:

Back in October, I won a giveaway from Craftiness is Not Optional from The Modern Marigold and opted for a gorgeous rainbow dress for my daughter. Well, Amanda basically found out she had to move 5 minutes later, and got really busy so it took a bit of time for her to get it to me. So she sent me a BONUS know, for being slow with my FREE stuff???? Seriously! How sweet is she? She sent me a beautiful DIY vintage linen bunting set. I love it!!! Finally whipped it up. What a perfect way to brighten up a long winter! Aren't those vintage fabrics yummy?

And here is where it will live, in my craft room above where I sew. I'm not even going to pretend to clean it up for you...fabric piles, clutter- this is how I roll ;)

Want one, too? She has a couple listed in her shop here and here. Thanks again, Amanda!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

At some point....

...this all has to get folded, put away, and a bunch of new loads started!

And that time is now. Looks like no crafting tonight!

What chores have you been neglecting for sewing time?

p.s. If you have a minute today, pop on over to the Love Nest Quilt Contest and vote for your favorite bed sized quilt. There are some stunners! I have entered Big G's hockey quilt ;)