Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm on a Roll Here

Back again with another finish to show you.  I finished this quilt top and showed it off here awhile ago, but now, here it is in all it's crinkly goodness.

 I. LOVE. THIS. QUILT.  I cannot get over how much I love the colors and the quilting and the crinkles since I washed it. The colors are so vibrant. 
 I started this quilt back in February and was just going to make it like all the others I saw on line, with 16 different color flowers. Then, I changed direction.  To a rainbow quilt. I am so glad I did.
 I had trouble deciding on the binding. I could have used almost any color. I went with an orange print from V and Co. Simply Color for the two sides of cool colors and the green raindrops from Laurie Wisbrun's Jack and Jenny line for the warm color sides.  I am pleased with this as well.
 For the back, I use a large chunk of this wonderful flower print. I bought a couple of yards of this several years ago and was debating on how to best use it. It is Honey Meadow by Michael Miller. I was just a little short, so hence, the yellow corner.
                                                Isn't it pretty?
                                                    One more look.
And the pretty binding. I think this is getting a hanging sleeve and going up on a wall in the living room. That's Mr. GQ's idea.  Then I can look at it all day long!
Talk to you soon.
Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts finish it Friday.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MSBHQAL is over!

We started in early September. I quickly became crazy and decided to go big or go home. I made a quilt top for my queen size bed. I loved every minute of the QAL and I loved seeing everyone's interpretation of the pattern. But one thing I know for sure, I ain't quilting that beast. I don't do large quilts on my Bernina any more. So I am saving up to have a long arm quilter that I know and love her work, quilt it for me. I want an all over curved design...maybe flowers or something swirly.  I hope to have it to her by the end of November at the latest. But until then, here is my beauty:

Thirty blocks, two inch sashing and 6 inch borders and it fits my bed like it was made for it. Oh, wait, it was. This was a great experience and I'm glad I jumped in. Thank you to Molli Sparkles for the great job you did in running this QAL. I would sew along with you any time.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cardinal Quilt Finished

I have really been sewing my little heart out over here. I am so excited about finishing up a bunch of quilts. I have finished 3 in the last 2 weeks. Here today is the Cardinal Quilt for my sister K. She isn't a computer person, so I can show it here with no worries that she will see it before I mail it to her. (heavy picture warning)

 This is where I started. I knew I wanted wonky stars, but I couldn't seem to get it to work for me.
 I tried several random arrangements and then, I gave up and came up with a more even and symmetrical plan. I thought I wouldn't like it as well, but I was wrong.
 This is the unquilted top. The color of the background is so light, it looks tan here on the deck.
 Here it is all quilted up, though and you can see the pretty pale blue.  The fabric I chose for this, was where I started before I had a design plan. My sister loves cardinals and they remind her of our hometown. She has lived on the west coast for so long now, she forgets about them. Last year she made a trip back east and kept talking about how nice it was to see them and how she missed them.
 So when I saw Laurie Wisbrun's Holiday Sweet Tweets fabric, I knew I had to get some and make her a quilt. This quilt decided it needed lots of quilting.  I started outlining the stars, but quickly saw it needed so much more. It was easy enough to follow the piecing lines to come up with the pattern
 I left the star centers unquilted and I love the way they look. All the crinkles in the background are so wonderful and lend a bit of old fashioned sweetness to this quilt.  I have never put this much quilting into such a small quilt.  I would do it again, but hopefully not too soon.
 This quilt has 17 hours of quilting in it, not including the binding. I gave the borders a softer, rounded quilting design. I used a continuous figure 8.
 The back of the quilt is a chunk of swirly blue I have had forever and some Kate Spain Terrain, along with the last of the Sweet Holiday Tweets.
 I really didn't want to buy more fabric, but I really didn't like my binding options in my stash.
 So I took the quilt to my LQS and found this wonderful stripe. I only had to get a half yard and with tax, it was only $6.  Not too bad.
 See how pretty it looks with the edges?  I think that fabric was just waiting for this quilt to bind.
And now, I just need to box it up and ship it.  Soon. Or I won't want to let it go.  I think my sister will like it.  See you soon with another finish.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Time!

I love this Festival and I start by saying Thank you to Amy for doing this twice a year. I know it is a lot of work! The chance to show and see so many great quilts is amazing.

I have shown this quilt before, but I have been thinking a lot about it and the experience of making it, and I wanted to revisit that, so that is why I have chosen this one to share here.  This quilt is from my Sunday Morning Quilts Bee. We help each other make quilts from the book by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison.

 When I first got the book and went through it, I fell for the Gumdrops quilt. So different and so cute. I had to have one. When I started the bee, I kept thinking about it. During year 1 we made slab blocks in different colorways and swapped them. During year 2, we started making the quilts.  I changed the colorway of the quilt for my version.
 This was so very different from the slab blocks. We had to take our chosen quilt and figure out how to break it down to assign "blocks" to be made for us. That part was fairly easy, each quilter could make me one strip. I figured it out, made one, posted pictures of the process I used, along with directions.
 When I started getting them back, they were great, but I quickly noticed the variation in each quilter's work. How different some of them were. I was so grateful to these quilters for their work, but it pushed me as a quilter too, to figure out how to make this work.
 Some rows were too short, some rows were too long. Some rows had tall gumdrops, some were very short. I soon embraced the differences and assembled my quilt top. If you notice, up on the top left, there is a big, white spot. Rather than make a small couple of pieces to fit there, I just added some white to those rows. This is not a show piece, it is just for me to love and enjoy.  And I do.
 I also took two of the strips that were batiks, beautiful but way different than the others, and made a pillow to go with the quilt. I love the way the pillow turned out.
I am going to do a third year of this bee, and I have learned so much from these women. Everyone interprets things differently and it is always fascinating to see the creativity of various quilters on the same project. As a quilter, it stretches us to be able to assemble what we are sent and make the completed quilt. And it doesn't always turn out the way we imagine in the beginning, but it will certainly be a beautiful quilt all the same.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wicked Serendipity

Welcome to the first day of the Wicked Blog hop 2013 edition. This is such a fun and creepy time of year and there is no end to the crafts and sewing you can do, in addition to making costumes for your kids.  The reason for the title of my post today is this; last fall I won a bundle of cute Halloween themed fabric from a hop on Sew We Quilt. Now, I had no idea what to do with this. I do not really go in for Halloween quilts, though there are many cute ones. I don't decorate for Halloween any more since the kids all grew up and left.  But my daughter had a great idea when she saw the bundle...she wanted an apron to wear while handing out treats. She liked the idea of being holiday festive without an actual costume. Further, she reasoned, I should make aprons for her two sisters as well.  And so when this hop came around, I put two and two together and this is the result:

 For each apron, I used 6 fat quarters. I designed the apron pattern myself. The only thing different is the colors of the fabrics. It was fun to make three similar, yet different.
                                            And they had to have pockets.
                                          And of course, a ruffle on the bottom.

 Joann helped us to find buttons for each of the apron pockets. Headstones for the purple...
                                     ...metal skulls for the black...
                                           ...and some adorable pumpkins for the orange...
                               ...as well as one cute spider web that was perfect for the bib.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my Wicked aprons today. Now, go forth and visit all of my lovely wicked sisters and see what they have conjured up for you.  And I don't want to forget to thank Wicked Wendy for being such a wonderfully wicked cheerleader and of course, Madame Samm who continues to find wonderful themes for these super fun hops.
Tuesday, October 22nd
                                                                        Sew Incredibly Crazy

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Friday Finish

I have been sew busy this week. I have finally finished quilting my sister's quilt. It took 16 hours at the machine. But it is not bound yet, so that is not the finish I am going to show you today.  This is the finish for today:

 My new tablecloth!  I know, not as spectacular as a new quilt, but I love it! I have made several tablecloths and I know that since most quilting cottons are not wide enough, they need to have borders added to them.
 I fell in love with this print and bought two yards of it. It reminds me of a tablecloth my sister has that she bought in France.  The colors are much brighter in this fabric, but I still adore it.
 I found some blue and a pale yellowish green in my stash. They match the green and the blue in the fabric pretty closely. I only had fat quarters of them, so I ended up making narrow strips out of them and then adding a wider red border.
I took the pictures outside on the picnic table. Better light out there and my dining area is a mess right now anyway. So happy to have this. I think I will save it for the holidays.  Hope you have a great weekend.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Lots of things in progress here at GrammieQ's place. I have only one week to sew my fingers to the bone before I go back to work. With the top to my MSBHQAL finished and waiting to be able to get some fabric for the back, it is full speed ahead with other projects.  Here we go:

 I put together another set of the HSTs that I have and am loving the way this is looking. There are only going to be enough for a large pillow, so that is the direction I am going. This is two of the four sections done. Any extra few I have I will work into the back of the pillow design.
 This hunk of loveliness is called Floral Fancy by Swirly Girls for Michael Miller. I saw it in the Hancocks of Paducah catalog. I ended up going on line and getting it elsewhere, since I am not happy with Hancocks service. I am making a table cloth from it. My sister has a beautiful table cloth and napkins that she bought in Italy, and this design, while brighter, reminds me so much of that one. What do you think, sis?
 This lovely AMH flannel has been sitting in my sewing room for almost 2 years waiting for me to make some PJ bottoms for my oldest daughter. I finally cut them out, using a tracing I did of some existing PJ pants.  I think I will sew up the seams and have her come for a fitting before I finish them off.
 This is the biggest project of the week. A quilt for my sister K. I had a quilting plan for it, but when I sat down and started on it, I felt like it wanted so much more quilting. Has that ever happened to you?
 So I am giving it what it wants and I am very thrilled with the results so far.  I have about 9 hours of quilting into this now. and I'm not sure how long to finish. I think I am more than half way there, though.
It's going to be a beauty, I think. The most quilting I have ever put into so small a quilt. I think it's around 60 x 60.  So that's what I am up to. How about you?
Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanks, Crazy Mom

It's my vacation week this week. It's really a staycation, designed to get more sewing done and chill a bit before the retail holiday madness once again becomes my life's normal.  I hope to sew a lot and share here with you. First up, a shout out to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.  She has the cutest little thread catcher pattern on her site. I broke down and bought it because I couldn't figure out how I wanted to make one until I saw hers. Well worth it.  This thing has so many uses.

 This one sits on my cutting table. I made it using an interfacing stabilizer. It has stiff sides and stands up quite nicely. Holds lots of trimmings for its size.
 This one sits on my sewing table. It is actually the first one I made from some loved Noteworthy fabric. I made this one with batting, because at the time I had no interfacing on hand. Couldn't let that stop me! Ha! It did not stand tall and it kind of bothered me after a couple of weeks. So I emptied it and got out my No. 8 Presencia pink thread and hand quilted it in straight, vertical lines.
Now it stands straighter and I love it even more. It too, holds lots of threads and clippings for me.  I still need to make one for my ironing station. I will get there, soon I hope. Let's just say it has reduced the number of errant threads on my floor...a lot!

But wait...there is one more use for this so called 'thread' catcher.

My husband uses packets of Stevia in his morning coffee.  I have two trash cans in my kitchen. The paper packets still get left on the counter. Grrrr. Asking nicely wasn't working. Perhaps it was the sleepy morning brain not quite functioning yet.  My solution?

 I made another one in a kitchen print I had been saving for heaven knows what. I used interfacing in this one too, to get a crisp, sharp feel. It sits on the counter, next to the coffee pot and you know what?
It works! No more paper packets on the counter. Thanks honey! And thank you, Crazy Mom!