Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogger Quilt Festival - Group or Bee Quilt

It's time for the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival over at AmysCreativeSide.com. I love to look back at the past and think about the quilts I have made. One of my favorite quilts I made last year involved a friendship block swap. I had 12 amazing friends make the Lover's Lane block from Quilters Cache during the Summer of 2011. I requested a solid black with three different purple batiks in the blocks. I got quite the variety! When I layed them out at quilt retreat last year, my friends suggested a gradiation of color and it worked great for this quilt.
Friendship Quilt
The outer border is one of my favorite fabrics and I bought the rest of the bolt!
I quilted it with a purple verigated King Tut on the front and a dark purple Bottomline in the bobbin. The backing is the same as the large border. This is a close up of the quilting on my friend Jen Buettner's block.
I used a Thermore batting, so the quilt is very thin and lightweight. I love the drape and how it looks over the back of my chair. I am constantly reminded of the amazing friends I have through quilting. Each of the blocks is signed with the makers name.
Friendship quilt

Blogger Quilt Festival - Bed Quilts - Dad's Crown Royal Quilt

Initially when I asked my dad and brothers to save the Crown Royal bags from the bottles, I figured in 10+ years I would make a quilt. They thought a quilt out of the bags would be neat, so they enlisted the help of hunting friends who run a bar and they saved the bags too. I originally planned to make a quilt for my brother Jim. I finished his in 2011. Then my dad and other brother Ed decided they wanted them too. I knew it would take a while to get more bags, so I started a quilt for Ed. The blocks are done on his and the sashing is a very slow work in progress. Dad announced last May he was getting married to Ann and I knew I had to act fast. I knew his had to be different than the boys quilts. One night I suddenly remembered a couple pieces of gold fabric with purple hourses I had put in a box for a massive sewing room garage sale. I went digging and found the horse batik. Since Dad and Ann are both horse lovers, I figured it was perfect. I took it to my favorite local shop, Fabric City and found a couple purple batiks to go with it. I decided to use the 5 Yard quilt pattern, which was easy and fun to make; however, I had to increase the number of blocks because he said he wanted a queen size quilt. I spent most of July making the blocks and quilted it at the beginning of August. I entered it in the county fair in August. My Dad and Ann didn't go to see the quilts, so they didn't see it until after their September wedding. I had an offer to buy it, but because it was so special I told him it would cost $2,000. I started to freak out when I thought he might actually come up with the money. I love how the quilt turned out and it really is one of my absolute favorite quilts. I used a wool batting which makes it light weight. I quilted it with a purple King Tut and dark purple Bottomline. The colors are vibrant and warm and go so well with the purple and gold of the Crown Royal bags. My dad loves the quilt and it only came off the bed once, for a quilt trunk show I did. He brought it up and took it home the same day. He won't part with it! IMG_0221

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May Sewing Stuff

One of my favorite things about quilt retreat is the sharing of gifts. I made quite a few things to give, but finished up at the last minute. I made these zippered pouches using the leftover pieces from my PJ pants I made for retreat. I have one more to gift before I show it, but I did some embroidery on it. I would have liked to do them all that way, but time worked against me. Maybe next time I'll prepare ahead of time a little more. I finished these at 9PM Thurs. before retreat!

Zippered bags for retreat friends
I also made everyone a needle book to put in their bags. I was thinking it would be a cute little hand sewing kit.
At the retreat Jenn worked on her blocks for me for the friendship swap I am in. Gaila's were already done and they are going to look so good together. I totally got a rash of shit for "having the hardest block" I can totally take a joke though and Emilee & Tammy will just have to suck it up and make the blocks. I couldn't have asked for better friends to share the amazing weekend with. Nicole and Cindy were there too and it was so much fun.
Friendship Blocks
Before I left for retreat I made this notebook cover for my friend/co-worker Kim's graduation. I was the instigator behind her going back to college at 49. I encouraged her, supported her, and really was a cheerleader to push her to complete her degree. She only had to take 7 classes to finish and she graduated. I'm like a proud mom with her kid graduating, even though she's old enough to be my mom. Education is so important, no matter what age! Although she says if she ever utters the word Masters, she's gonna kick my butt.
On our shop extravaganza on Sat. I picked up some english paper piecing 6 point stars pieces. I drew out the pattern and was thinking it would be a lone star, but it's only 6 points, not 8. I stopped at the quilt shop and ordered the 8 point star pieces.
English paper pieced 6 point star
I also picked up a few fabrics and have them all cut out to make my star. I have 1 of 6 diamonds almost done, then I have to baste a bunch more! It's turning out really pretty.
Star Quilt fabrics for EPP star
This is my April Ahhhh #8 which took me almost all of April and the first half of May. I'm not sure why it took so long, other than I was procrastinating. It's called Tumbling Stars, but I made tumbling blocks. I have also packaged up all the beginner and intermediate ones, so I should be able to stitch them up much quicker now. I'm leaving the advanced ones for later.
Ahhhh #8 Tumbling Stars
So in a nutshell that's what I've been working on. I haven't turned the machine on since I got home. Actually it's still packed as I want to do some embroidery and I need to work on that. I'm still in school and it's keeping me very busy each week. Thank goodness for pumping breaks, so I have time to stitch.

Kids Pictures

The kids do some of the cutest things and I don't always have my big camera out, so I've taken a few on my phone. Mathew is almost always smiles in the morning, especially when I'm getting ready for a shower before work. He loves to sit in his tub and giggle and smile at me. This cute outfit is from Jody a former co-worker whose daughter is 6 weeks older than Mathew.
Mathew April 28th 2013
Mikaela fell in the mop pail one night and she was so funny trying to get out. She's been doing some of the funniest things this month.
Mikaela in the mop pail
Mathew loves to smile, the tub is great, as long as there is no water in it! This onesie is from Diane, a co-worker.
Mathew 5/1/13
Kay gave Mathew this onesie. He was flapping his arms and moving all over the place. Such a cutie, especially in the morning. That's definately a trait he got from his daddy.
Mathew 5/7/13

Mathew Paul - 5 months

Mathew Paul turned 5 months old on May 5th. He's become a very active little baby. He's learned to roll over and prop himself up. He's also smiling and giggling.
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He's just so precious and such a handsome young man. He looks just like his daddy.
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He's gotten some of the cutest outfits and just happens to have quilts to match. He loves to lay on a quilt on the new hardwood floor we put in the bedroom.
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He's just started to eat a bit of rice cereal with his milk and so far he's liking it and sleeping better, so I'm one happy momma!
Mikaela is in the process of transitioning into her big girl bed. It's been a fight, but slowly she'll get used to it. Hopefully by the time we go camping.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Quilters are Crazy 2013 Retreat

This weekend was simply amazing! I went with six of the best friends a girl could ever ask for to Outlaw Ranch for quilt retreat. I knew it would be challenging to be away from my family, but I also knew how much I needed the friendship and support of my friends.
In preparing for quilt retreat, I made a bunch of kits up with blocks prepped and prepared to create tops. I find I don't like to make tops at home, so it was fun to get them ready to put together. I felt so productive actually having finished tops to take home.
I started Friday afternoon with these Dilly Dally 5" blocks and made this Easy as 4 pattern by Me & My Sister. I also have backing all prepped and a piece ready for binding. The backing is to the right. This one was for a friend, but she had a different theme, so I changed gears and now it is ready for the next baby girl I need a gift for. I finished this before supper on Friday.
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This chevron is from a Max and Whiskers layer cake. I had other plans, but I ended up making this for a sample for a class I plan to teach next quarter. I love how it turned out and can't wait to quilt it. I need to get a backing for this one. I finished this late evening Friday.
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This is the Unity quilt top I had mostly completed. I added the borders and got the backing ready. This was finished Sat. night.
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Emilee worked on these plus blocks.
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Nicole finished her 2nd quilt top, a plus quilt she designed herself.
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Nicole, Cindy, Jenn, Emilee, Tammy, Gaila, and I Saturday night
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Gaila made this table topper from Atkinson designs.
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She also made this little wall hanging from a Moda candy pack. She sent it with me on Sat. and I found the border so she could finish it.
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Friday night I laid out this Thangles BOM and started sewing it together while I pumped. Around 2AM I found my way to bed, but I was awake at 6 AM, so I sat and sewed it all together while I pumped. I had it into this top by breakfast at 8 AM. I have a border to put on, but had left it at home.
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Saturday was spent on Scrappy Swoon. I spent all day on it and I'm just not loving it. I went to bed at 2 AM with the top done and left it on the design wall. When I got up at 7AM, I just kept looking at it and really not liking it. Well I have a couple squares out of place and I need to do some ripping. I just didn't want to spend any more time on it.
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Here's a more true color picture of it. I used purple/green/black batiks. The colors were all the same value, so it just didn't set the star off enough. I'll still finish it and I think put a big bright purple border on it to make it big enough for our bed.
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Gaila made these wall hangings for her mother and mother in law from a panel she got from me last summer.
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We had a small forest of Aurifil trees which we finished. Mine was the pine beetle infested one!
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Throughout the weekend I worked on this one. It's a scrappy chevron using 5" squares. I marked while I pumped, sewed while I pumped, cut while I pumped, and pressed while I pumped. As Nicol said, Keep calm and pump on. This will be another sample for my chevron class.
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The weekend was truly amazing and I can't believe how much fun we had. I was so thankful to have such understanding friends and be away from home. Paul and his mom had a great weekend with the kids as well. I can't wait for the next one.