Friday, January 31, 2014

Baby Quilt Top Finish

My son Zach has two very good friends who are expecting their first child.  This couple have been extraordinarily wonderful friends to my son during a difficult period in his life.  The least I can do for them is make a quilt!

 The pattern is Amy Smart's Baby Lattice Quilt.  Wanting somewhere to start on this project, Zach told me the nursery colors were grey and yellow and elephants seemed to be in the decorating theme.

Now, as I look at this quilt the yellow aspects seem more like mustard or gold colored.  Oops.  (This is a good example of why I need to take Rachel's Color Intensive class!)  All of the fabric came from my stash except for this fun toy pattern I could not resist (Where the Toys Are by Dan Morris).

The elephant aspect had me stumped until I found Happy Dance Quilting's pattern on Craftsy Charming Pachyderms.  By then I had cut all the 5" squares for the Lattice Quilt pattern; I will have to try the tumblers next time.  But those dancing elephants just had to make it to this quilt!

I invested several hours one day (I am sure a tiny percentage of time that one needs to achieve real proficiency at this skill) on practicing machine applique.  This book was extremely helpful.

My elephant good luck continued when I happened upon the perfect backing fabric.

This one is all basted and hopefully will be quilted up soon!  Baby is due in March!
Linking up with Amanda Jean's finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WIP Wednesday - A Variety of Projects

I think I am going to like my new multi-tasking approach to projects.  Here's a few things I have going on:

1.  Color Chart
In preparation for Rachel's Color Intensive class, I have started to make her manipulative Kona Color Card.  I think this is going to come in quite handy.
2.  Dusting off the Cross Stitching
Have you seen the Quilty Stitches Sampler Along at Little Miss Shabby?  For me this is the perfect combination of activities...cross stitching a quilting project!  All the supplies are assembled and I am ready to start stitching (did you notice the always attractive light goggles?).  In my enthusiasm to get back into cross stitching I also purchased this book of modern floral designs.

3.  Ready to Start Tula's Blocks
Wouldn't you say I have plenty of fabric to get started making blocks?  But then again I may have to wait until that bag of Tula scraps arrives...

4.  Experimenting with Machine Applique
There are elephants dancing across my current quilt top project!  I'll have more on this project soon.

The very helpful Nicole at Mama Loves Quilts pointed me in the direction of this book for machine applique instruction.

And finally, not really a project but a big step for me in my quilting adventures, is that I officially joined a quilt guild!  I am looking forward to attending the next meeting of the Boston Modern Quilt Guild and getting to know in person the talented people I have been admiring through their blogs!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!  Linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday party and Lorna's Let's Bee Social!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Finished - Kasey's Kerchief Quilt

We make quilts for many reasons.  For gifts, for healing, for donations, for fun.  This quilt was made for love. The love of a dog.
After 13 plus years, we lost our very special Kasey last year.

In the process of going through her things, we realized we had collected a surprising number of kerchiefs from her visit to the groomer, her "spa."  My husband was the first to suggest that a quilt should be made from these various odd shaped triangles.
I finished the quilt top in July.  This is a special quilt and deciding on the quilting took some time.  I finally sucked it up and jumped into the quilting and I am thrilled to share with you the finished Kasey Kerchief Quilt.  Kasey loved the cold and snow so I ran out in the 4 degree temps for these.

As this quilt is staying with us, it seemed like the perfect project to practice my FMQ'ing.  In each white stripe, I quilted lines both "free-hand" and with a ruler.  It took some time, but I think I have figured out how to hold a ruler and move the quilt at the same time.  Believe me, that is really is a lot to think about at the same time! Each white stripe has a linear and round-ish element.

For the incomplete chevrons at the top and bottom I experimented with more quilting designs.

The chevrons made of the kerchiefs are stitched in the ditch with monofilament thread (another first for me). All of this quilting created wonderful texture.

The backing of the quilt and the binding is a dark paw print that just seemed right for this dark dog.  Left-over kerchief slices add a little color to the back.
Someday I will figure out that if you want to hide your quilting imperfections, one should NOT use a black backing, even if using a thinner thread in the bobbin.
 I was unable to print a picture on my home ink-jet printer (after two failed attempts involving serious fabric jams).  I ended up using an iron-on method.  Kasey is in her 13th year in this picture and enjoying one of her favorite activities, riding in a boat.

Quilt Facts:
Finished size:  64" by 64"
Thread used:  primarily Aurifil 2021 and Aurifil monofilament.  Bottom Line thread in bobbin for quilting.
Fabrics used:  Kona White and Kasey's Kerchiefs (sorry don't have the name of the dark paw print fabric) and a little Best of Show (with the Bernese Mountain Dog's fussy cut).

Thank you for letting me share this special quilt with you.  Linking up with Amanda Jean's finish it up Friday and Jessica's TGIFF. Also, linking up with Pretty Bobbin's I Quilt: Imperfect Perfection.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Making Progress on Two Quilts

Breaking my normal linear process of taking one project at a time from start to finish, there is progress to report on two quilts.  Basting has begun on the Penny Patch quilt but came to a grinding halt with the absence of basting spray.

Table basting has significantly reduced my dread of the basting stage.  Thank goodness.

Quilting of the Kasey Kerchief Quilt (say that three times fast) is moving right along.

 The binding is ready to go.
 Love those little dog paws.

Hope your week is going well!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Penny Patch Quilt Top Finish

This was such a fun quilt to stitch together!

 Where did the snow go?  One week ago, we were battling frozen pipes.  I love New England weather.

Thank you Rachel for sharing this quilt pattern!

Linking up with Amanda Jean's finish it up Friday.

Quilting Book Circa 1977

I love quilting books.  I love books, in general, but my growing collection of quilting books is quite special to me.  We scooped up this classic quilt book at my mother-in-law's house (Jean, by the way is one very talented lady who does it all...quilts, crochets, knits, etc., etc.!).

I can remember when I wanted a bedroom like this (how about that orange shag carpet?).
 Who does this red bird remind you of?
There are some "new-fashioned" quilt patterns in this book.

Isn't this lovely?
I am putting this one on my "to-do" list.

I am sure Mrs. Arthur Woodburn would approve of the modern new-fashioned quilt community!
 And I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we had looking at Vanna White's crochet book from the same period!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Quilting Kasey's Kerchief Quilt

One of my informal quilting goals for 2014 is to improve my quilting.   I have started to work on quilting this one:
It is made from the scarves that our beloved dog Kasey collected over the years from her "spa" visits.  
 Straight lines on the quilting machine (Sweet 16) are kind of tricky.  I have been practicing with both the ruler and without.

 Slowly making progress and having fun!

Linking up with Lee's Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday and Lorna's Let's Bee Social!

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