Thursday, December 13, 2007

Andrew's quilt

I started this quilt while I was pregnant with Andrew, intending it to be a baby quilt for him. Perhaps not surprisingly, I didn't finish it (contrast this to my first baby, for whom I completed 3 quilts before she was born.) I finally picked it up again a few days ago (Andrew is 19 months old.)

I picked up several fabrics from a coordinating set, featuring fanciful animals. Back when I was pregnant, I fussy cut several cute animal scenes and surrounded them with colored strips. I had 6 blocks like this one when I got distracted and put the project aside.
I'm not sure I had a clear vision for the quilt when I started it, and if I did I have since forgotten that vision, so I've been trying to figure out what to do with these 6 blocks. Here is another fabric from the collection that I purchased, an adorable border fabric.

I think I had envisioned oritinally using this border fabric on all sides, but looking at it now it seemed too wide. So, I ended up deciding to try putting just a panel along the bottom of the 6 blocks, which I matched up and sewed together using filler strips to even things out. Here is where it stands today. (Oops, I'm not sure why it came out sideways... you'll have to turn your head to get a good look at it.)

I don't know where I will go from here, but hopefully I'll come up with something. Probably not the best approach to quiltmaking, but at least it is coming together, and heck, with bright colors and silly animals how can you go wrong for a little guy?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Wonky house first try

I am crazy busy at work, and facing a work event tomorrow that starts at 7am and goes through dinner, which means I won't see the kids on either end. Thinking about it has me in a bad mood, so I've been stalking around the house restlessly trying to figure out what to do with myself. I don't seem to be hooked on much TV these days, and I'm too restless to settle down and read. And another tulip block seems boring. (I have only finished one so far, and I have many to go, so it's not a good sign that block two seems boring...) So, I decided to try Tonya's house tutorial. Somehow that seemed like just the thing. It is my first try at freehand piecing. I messed up the roof -- it's offset terribly. Looks pretty funny, but it was a good first try. There is a cat in the doorway, and a mouse in the window, in case you can't tell what those are. Hee hee hee! I have no idea what I will use this for if anything, but it was sure fun!

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tulip blocks coming together

In an earlier post I showed 1/4 of this block, and now I have one complete block done. I am using one of the quilts in "At Home with Patrick Lose" for inspiration, but I am kind of choosing fabrics as I go. I found a great green in my stash for the sashing inbetween the four segments of the flower. Now I have to decide what color to use for the sashing inbetween blocks. I am amazed to see the difference sashing makes. In this first photo, I took a picture of the block against a white fabric:
Next I laid down my inspiration fabric (planned for the wide border) and then a sheet of the same dark green I used inbetween. Wow does it jump out so much better!

And then just for kicks I laid it on top of a sheet of purple. The purple also coordinates with the border fabric, so this is another possibility. I can't decide which I like.

The center square, by the way, is cut from the border fabric. I thought it would look interesting if each square looked slightly different. I'm cutting the squares carefully so that I get mainly the pink/orange/red shades, not the greens.

By the way, I like this digital camera. Somehow seeing the pictures seems like it gives me a different perspective than looking at it live.

Well, my progress is painfully slow (remember I have a one year old and a three year old in the house!) but at least I am quilting again!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dianne's Quilt Finished

I have finished the quilt for Dianne, the wife of Jeff's dying partner, Ken. I had the hardest time trying to decide what to do for her, and finally decided to go for this sampler quilt, inspired by Alex Anderson's beginning quilting book. I have actually never done a sampler before, and ordinarily wouldn't think to give one as a gift, but something about the variety appealed to me for this particular quilt. This sounds sappy, I suppose, but I feel like the variety is appropriate in a quilt that celebrates a life, and is intended as a comfort to someone who shared that life. I showed it to my mom and she pointed to the single Friendship Star block (middle of the 2nd row from the top) and said "that's Ken." Made me cry. Anyway, I hope Dianne likes it, and derives some comfort from it somehow.

I try to make sure that I try something new with every quilt I make, and while none of these blocks are difficult by any means, most of them were new to me. I am also particularly proud of the fact that I found quite a few fabrics in my stash to round out this quilt. As mentioned in a previous post, I purchased several fabrics just a few weeks ago in Big Bear, envisioning that the whole quilt would come from these fabrics. But it quickly became apparent that I needed more variety, and was thrilled to find that my gradually growing stash had some gems in it that matched with the overall tone of this quilt.

It's finished now except for the label on the back. I haven't labeled most of my quilts, because I don't have a very good system worked out for labeling yet. (Any suggestions?) But I feel like I should probably label this one. But other than that, it's done. Here it is:

As I mentioned in my last post, inspiration and momentum continue to strike, and I am beginning work on my next quilt. Here is a sample of one quarter of one block I am working on for baby Katie.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Quilting momentum continues

I finally figured out what to do with the fabrics I purchased for Dianne's quilt, and it came together so quickly, once I got started. It's all done now except for the last bit of hand stitching on the binding, and the label. I will post a picture shortly.

Meanwhile, I'm very excited about my next quilt, which is more than a year overdue. I purchased these fabrics before baby Katie was born, intending them to become a quilt gift to her mom, my neighbor Ann, at the baby shower. Needless to say, I missed the deadline (and then the next deadline, Katie's 1st birthday, too!) But inspiration has finally struck and I have a rough plan for this quilt, and these lovely fabrics. More to come soon.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

A sad source of inspiration

I was driven by an almost irresistable urge to find a fabric shop when I was on vacation in Big Bear a couple of weeks ago. It was upon word that Jeff's law practice partner, who has been sick for much of the past year, has taken a turn for the worse and may not make it through the month. Since hearing that I've been irrepressibly drawn to the idea of making a quilt for Dianne, his wife. I can only imagine what she must be going through. It's not like a quilt can do much at a time like this, but maybe even so small a gesture could help a little.

I pictured in my mind something with soft browns, muted pinks, and pretty greens. Fortunately for me, Big Bear has a nice fabric shop where I found the colors on the right of the photo.

I found a few other fabrics in my stash upon returning home that coordinate nicely, so I'll add those for variety (the fabrics on the left in the picture).

I've been working quickly (it's a simple design), but don't have pictures yet of my work in progress. Hopefully I will be done in a few more days and can post the finished product. I've been extremely sad and really affected by what's happening, and the quilt making process has been a nice way to channel that energy. I hope she enjoyes it, and I hope that I finish it in time for Ken to see it too.
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Finally quilting again!

Inspired by Cheri's gift of an I-Spy quilt, I decided last week that it was time to get back to my quilting. Many things have kept me from it for the past year or two, not the least of which was the feeling that I didn't really have a good place to quilt in the house. So Jeff helped me set up a quilting station using an old plastic table we had in the garage. A lamp and powerstrip was all we really needed to complete the setup.

To get back in practice, I decided to start with a simple project, a gift for a neighbor girl named Emma, whose birthday party was this weekend. I used some fabrics from my stash:

Here is the finished product, which she can hang over a doorknob or on a small slice of wall somewhere.

Here is a detail of the letters, which I appliqued on with the help of a fusible web. Then I used a blanket stitch on the machine to outline the edges for readability and to keep the edges firmly attached. I like the way it turned out.
I hope she enjoys it. I know I enjoyed making it, and the feeling that I am finally back in the game!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Spy Quilt gift from Aunt Cheri

Since it's quilt related, I will post a link here to my post on the family blog showing off a beautiful gift quilt we received today from Aunt Cheri. Click here to see it!