Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love Blooms

Happy Anniversary!!!
OK it's a bit late but this is our 30th Anniversary Quilt.
We went out-of-town for the weekend before so on Monday (our actually anniversary day) I had a free day, that of course I didn't want to do anything I usually do and especially not any housework. So I escaped to make us a quilt for our bed. I had recently purchase a small jelly roll of strips in fun colors that I couldn't resist. I looked around in my stash and found a sparkly maroon that I liked with it and I was off. I really didn't have a pattern in mind but just started making block. I took 8 1/2" block out of the maroon and sewed the strips to the outside. After I got all those sewed the next step was to figure out how I was going to place them, straight or on point and what in between. I decided for simple and straight with just a plain block of dark green (from a bolt I had from a possible upholstery project. And I was going to town. I got a lot of it done. In the next few days I just had to pick out my favorite 4 prints to buy and add for borders and then off to Jaime's to quilt it with a wonderful flower stitch, going along with my love blooms quilt.

Lesson learned:
Love does bloom just like quilts. Sometimes we don't know exactly what we will get or end up with. We make a decision, choose our mate then we just jump in whole-heartedly. We make decisions as we go, keep working and working and working. Giving our all and doing the best with what we have. Bordering it all with lots of love, adding a little spice & sparkle or highlighting the favorite parts here and there. Behold we look back at the whole picture after 30 years of love and hard work and say WOW! Look what we have done and look at where and how our love has bloomed!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quilting for Service - a family affair

One summer we were very busy making quilts for service. The need was for fun happy quilts for children. Many people got together and drew on white blocks (backed temporarily with freezer paper) fun happy pictures to put on our quilts. We just used regular crayons and then ironed the colors into the fabric to make it permanent (Make sure to use paper bags under and on top of the fabric)

We volunteered to sew them together into quilt tops. One of my daughters volunteered to make some from scratch, completely into quilts. She had each of her cousins and sibling to color at least one block. Then she put them together and we tie quilted them.

These quilt tops made us happy and we worked on these fun bright happy colors. We hope that all the children who received them felt happy and loved as they got to use and enjoy their quilts.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Twisted Joy

It's quilted, its bound, it's done!!!
I have been hoping and thinking that life would settle down so I could get some quilting done, but I never was fitting it in. I talked to A-J and she had a slice of time between her big quilting projects on the quilter and DD-6 was home from school for October Break, so we decided to jump at the chance and squeeze it in too.
We finally broke away some time and got it done. DD-6 and I went over today to Aunt J's and got her quilt for her bed finished. It's amazing what a finishing touch the quilting does, it helps to blend and makes it oh so huggable. DD-6 chose out a fun twisty meandering quilt pattern that just fits this quilt. The center blocks are pattern called "Twisted Sister". The outer strips are just a way to use up the leftovers and make the quilted bigger to fit a twin bed. A fun way to use up the scraps. This quilted I have named to be "Twisted Joy!"

Lesson learned: We is never really time to do these things, we just need to plan, squeeze it in and get it done anyways!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kimree's Quilting

Kimree has been watching me all year work on quilt after quilt in any of the spare moments I have. She asked me if she could make one and I jumped at the chance. What a great way to learn how to sew. I decided it would be easiest to sew long strips together and then cut and rearrange and resew. So we started to sew. At first it was slow going, she would sit in front of me and I would be in back but she wanted me to help hold and help her guide all the time. She would control the presser foot and the speed but she wanted my help for the rest. But strip after strip she improved, getting better and better, her confidence grew and pretty soon she was sewing on her own. I realized while we were sewing these strips, I better come up with a slightly easier plan or pattern, what I had in my head would take too many matching sections and this would frustrate her and ruin her confidence in sewing on her own so I just decided to cut our rectangle of strips into 3 pieces and put sashing strips in between so then we had no matching seams at all. (whew...much better!)

Wow Kimree's quilt turned out great!!!

Then we were able to take it over to Aunt Jaimes house and quilt it. Kimree is a real technology baby, because she was very comfortable working this big quilting machine. Just put her at the computer and she goes to town (She wouldn't let me touch it)

The other night as I tucked her into bed, under her beautiful quilt, I mentioned I needed to get some of mine finished and she said "I can help you get yours done".

Think Outside the Box

One thing I truly love about quilting is being able to think outside the box (or square). Thinking outside the box is what quilting is all about and what makes each quilt so wonderful and beautiful. Recently I ran across a great pattern (on the internet here)that taught this fun easy 3 seam pattern for making 3-D bow tie blocks. I tried it once and was hooked, what a fun simple block to easy and fast! So I proceeded to make a whole group of scrap blue and white blocks using up lots of my stash. When I got a group of them done my oldest daughter suggested "what would it look like if you sewed a 3rd fabric in the center" I thought that sounded great so then a whole new group of blocks began to appear. What fun!!! These two groups of blocks made into some darling beautiful quilts for grandbaby-4 (a boy) and grandbaby-5 (a boy) which I am giving to them on their birthday.

Mason Blocks and Logan Logs ...9-08

Lesson Learned...Think outside the box (or blocks)! The same block with exactly the same fabrics looks totally different when mixed up a bit. There is more than one way to do things and both are great!

And if you think these are fun...just wait till you see the next one for grandbaby-6 (a girl) It is in progress and will look even more different and will use both types of block - the 2 color and the 3 color. I can't wait!!!

Simply Beautiful

Back in 2000 the 3 boys were upstairs in our "blue room" so I first made a quilt for Son-1, then did one for Son-2 then finally this one for Son-3. Of all of these 3 quilts I think this one is my favorite. The pattern is very simple but very striking. A great example that simple is beautiful, striking and often best.
(This quilt was done in 2002)

Lesson Learned: I think maybe I need to simplify my life. Focus a little more on a few things and do them well and beautifully so the threads of my life can be woven into a striking simple tapestry, filled with the most important things

Dont Change - Do what YOU love now!

This was my first major quilt project. I started this back in 1982. I wanted to make a beautiful quilt for our bed. I purchased all the material and planned on doing a log cabin quilt using Eleanor Burns "Quilt in a Day" book. I was so excited I was doing it in blues and pinks a great blending of my husbands and my favorite colors. Right as I was starting to work on it I realized that when I got it finished when I put it in our bedroom, it wouldn't match the rest of the decore. Specifically I was worried about matching a rocking chair that I had just recently re-upolshtered in a rust colored fabric. I thought if I would just change my plans a little I could match my rocking chair and make the quilt for our room and still love it. So 3 of the fabrics I changed to be rust instead of rose and maroon colors. And off I went sewing away, getting my quilt done. After I got the blocks all pieced I laid the blocks on my bed to get the arrangement and realized it was nice but I no longer LOVED it.
I kind of fizzled out in excitement to finish it for 2 reasons
1. I realized all this work MUST be quilted, it wouldn't be good enough to tie it (it wouldn't do it justice) and since I hate hand sewing that was a big, big deterant and
2. I really really missed those colors that I had first bought and planned to use, everytime I looked at it I think, I wish I would have....
So the blocks sat and sat and sat for years unfinished. Finally about 12 years later, I finally drag it out and sewed it all together and placed the borders around it into an unfinished flimsy, still not sure what I will ever do with it when I do get it finished because it doesn't match anything in my room anymore and I would probably never put it on the bed to use. So what do I do?? We do use it once every year at christmas time when we get it out and pin it across the hallway over the entrance to our parlor where the Christmas tree sits hiding from enquiring eyes what Santa brought on Christmas morning until we are all fed and ready to go in together.
Log of Love....abt 1994
So what have I learned......
Don't change to match (especially a piece of furniture that I have long since changed and re-upholstered too). It is important to make and do what sings to your soul NOW, so you can enjoy it NOW. It is important to fill our homes and especially our bedrooms with things that we LOVE and enjoy NOW. We probably will change things later but that is OK we need to sing OUR SONG NOW!

Always Learning

I have always loved quilts of every kind.

This is not a quilt I made, just one I love

Whenever I see a beautiful quilt, it makes my heart sing.

Over the years I have dabbled in quilt making. Actually to be perfectly correct I have dabble more in piecing and making "flimsies" as I have heard a quilt top that is pieced but not yet quilted and finished called. I have really enjoyed all that I am learning about quilting and about life. It seems that each time I finish a quilt, I learn something new, something that applies not only to quilting and sewing but also to life. This blog is where I am going to share about projects I am working on and also what I am learning as I sew.