Friday, March 28, 2014

Fabric for the Next Two Quilts

I have two more little buddies that I MUST make quilts for.  I had fun this week doing a little fabric shopping.  For the little brother...
Yes, if you are keeping score, this will be my second Star Wars quilt.  Why not?!

And for his sister, I found these:
And then a little shopping trip to Marden's in South Portland, Maine with my mother-in-law yielded these:
Combined with some fabric in my stash, I have this selection ready to go:
I am looking forward to a few days of cutting and sewing all this lovely fabric!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Couple of Little Finishes

I just can't make myself throw away fabric.   You might remember this quilt that I made for my son:
There's been a little pile of leftover backing fabric in the corner of my sewing room for a few months.  Today it became this:

Not the most sophisticated solution but one that made him very happy.  A soft squishy pillow to go with his soft squishy quilt.
It even has a zipper so the cover can be removed and washed.  Easy peasy.  One less pile of scraps staring at me.

My mother-in-law is one amazing lady.  I am not saying that just because I KNOW she will be reading this, but it is true!  For a young lady in her late 80's she is incredibly active, very crafty and, as my kids say, "wicked awesome."  Jean has been an active emailer, internet surfer, blog reader and game player with her computer for several years now.  She has a new Kindle Fire for book reading and faster, clearer internet access.  Therefore, she must have a cover for her new toy!
 I made a cover for my husband's Kindle Fire with his travel requirements in mind that I blogged about here.

I thought a more feminine version would be appropriate.
I was inspired by this tutorial at Sometimes Crafter.
Digging into my scrap bins for 2.5" squares was fun!

I hope she likes this little purse for her Kindle!

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Linking up with my two regular linky parties:  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Fabrics.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Tote Bag Redux

Thank you for all the wonderful comments about the Love of Home quilt!   I am humbled to have this quilt cited as an example of the generosity of our quilting community in this post by Gemma at Pretty Bobbins.  (I started following Gemma's blog for her beautiful quilting.  I recommend a stop by her weekly linky party on Thursdays where quilting technique ideas are shared.)
The gala with the silent auction was this past weekend.  I don't know specifically what the final bid for the quilt was but I do know that it went home to a wonderful family (friends of ours!) and the evening was a great success!

My little blog also got a nice shout out over on Little Island Quilting for a few of the blocks I contributed to her amazing project of making quilts for homeless kids in Mexico.   I plan to share many more of my scraps (in the form of 12.5" quilted blocks of course) with her.

Truly, I am inspired by the wonderful work so many of you do for others.  When I first started this quilting adventure two years ago, I was soothing an itch I had to learn something new and be creative.  I really didn't understand how much a handmade quilt could mean to someone.  I get it now.

On to New Business...
Last year I made my sister a bag for her birthday, Anna of Noodlehead's Super Tote Bag pattern.  She really, really loves this bag!
In hindsight, the color of the bag just wasn't right.  My sister is at "the stage of the game" (one of Mom's favorite expressions) where she is working full time (plus!), running around with all the activities associated with three busy kids, grocery shopping, etc., etc.  A darker bag would have been more practical.  I offered to make her a different bag either smaller, larger, more or less adornments but she insisted this bag was the perfect size to carry her life necessities along with her.  Therefore, here it is again.

OK, I couldn't make it completely black, I had to add a little color.  I think this black Architextures fabric looks great on this bag.  I also went a little heavier with the interfacing on this version.  I used a light weight and a craft weight interfacing on the gusset; I think this helps quite a bit to hold the shape.  Here you go, sis, a backup bag!

Linking up with Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday!

Fresh Poppy Design

I hope you're having a good week...we're getting more snow tomorrow.  Just what we need...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Finished - Love of Home Quilt

No matter the size, shape, design we understand the value of having a home, a place where our family will have a bed to sleep in, our children can have friends over, a kitchen where we can try our best to prepare healthy meals.  In our comparatively wealthy country, and specifically in the very expensive Northeast part of this country, there are thousands of families who are homeless every night.  One of the organizations that is laser focused on the ending family homelessness is Housing Families in Malden, Massachusetts.  A few hours each week my husband and I get to tutor children who have experienced homelessness.  I could go on and on about this experience (the adorable children, the trauma they carry with them, the challenges of helping with the math homework(!!) and so on) but this is a quilting blog...suffice it to say it is a gift to us that we have the opportunity to play a small part in these kids' lives.

I am contributing this quilt to their silent auction as part of Housing Families' upcoming Gala.(*)

I quilted the swirls on my Sweet Sixteen.  Believe me, there are a lot of swirls on this...I was feeling a bit dizzy towards the end with all the spiraling!  

 For quilting the sky, I went back to my domestic sewing machine, attached the walking foot, set the stitch selection and sewed those waves in the sky.

I was so pleased to find the perfect backing material.

The organizers of the auction have asked me for a value on the quilt.  You understand the difficulty of answering this reasonable question.  I am sure you have seen Molli Sparkles analysis of this quandry.  If I included the time involved in the quilting alone on this project, the value would be discouragingly high (potentially incredulously) for bidders to consider.  So, I provided a relatively low value that covers the cost of material and a bit more.  Honestly, I just hope that the quilt gets a respectable bid for this organization that means so much to us!

Quilt Facts:
Pattern:  Suburbs by Cluck Cluck Sew
Fabric:  Little Black Dress by Basic Grey, Kona Pewter and Raffia, Dear Stella Doodle Paisley (backing)
Thread:  Aurifil 50wt for piecing and quilting (Bottomline in the bobbin for quilting)
Size:  Approx. 63" by 73"

(*) - There are still tickets available to attend the Gala!  I'd love to have you join us!

It is a beautiful (but very cold!) morning here at our home.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Pretty Bobbins I Quilt linky party.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Swirl of Quilting

Thanks so much for your suggestions on quilting the Love of Home quilt!  Armed with your great advice and confidence from spending two days in quilting classes with the amazing Debby Brown, I went to it.
Many hours of swirls later, the quilting is done.  I feel like I've fallen into a quilting vortex!

Do stop by again in a couple of days for the pictures of the finished quilt!
Linking up with Lorna's Let's Bee Social and Lee's WIP Wednesday.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Love of Home Quilt Top Finish

Since we last chatted, I attended a Roaring 20's party wearing the dress I shared with you in my last post and, if I say so myself, we were the cat's meow.
After another fantastic trip to visit our son in Chicago, I am back to my sewing cave.  This is a quilt that will be part of a silent auction.  As you may know, one of the things my husband and I do to stay out of trouble is tutor children who are or have experienced homelessness.   Housing Families is a unique organization that not only helps provide temporary and permanent housing for these families, but also provides a wide range of services to support the future success of the family.  One of these programs is an after school counseling and tutoring program for school age children.  A quilt with homes seemed right.

The pattern is Suburbs by Cluck Cluck Sew and the fabric is Little Black Dress by Basic Gray.  I need to finish this ASAP and am a little stumped as to how to quilt this.  Any suggestions?


PS  Anyone in the Boston area who would love an evening of chef tasting and great music all for a good cause, tickets are still available here for Housing Families annual gala on March 22!  I understand there are some very special items in the silent auction!

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