Camera Case & A Little Story About Me

J recently got me a new camera.  Nothing big & fancy, just a small point & shoot, perfect for tossing in the diaper bag or my back pocket.

Camera Case by Ormond Beach Quilts

Obviously it needed a case with my tendency to toss things in the bag of the day, & I’m never quite happy with the selection of cases, & there’s my “be a maker not a consumer” philosophy, so last weekend I dug through my stash & drafted a nifty pattern.

Camera Case by Ormond Beach Quilts

I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.  I’ve never made a zipper pull like that before & while it was a bugger to make (note to self, leave 2″ of zipper at end, not 1″), it adds the professional touch I wanted.
Camera Case by Ormond Beach Quilts

I pre-quilted the pieces with straight line quilting on my domestic machine.  Normally I would have done the quilting on my longarm, but the pieces were so small it wasn’t worth the time.

Speaking of my domestic machine, here’s a story you might find humorous.  Do you know I have a degree in Economics?  Even studied it in grad school.  At one time I wanted to research Labor Economics, but I decided to move to Alaska (yeah, that’s another story.)  Anyways, the point is that I’m from the business/finance world & I never even took Home Ec in high school.  So when I decided to leave that & become a longarmer, let’s just say there were some transitions to be made.  I remember coming home from my first longarming convention & telling J “these people kept talking about their domestic machine & I don’t get it.”  He gave me an appropriate stare.  I went on to say “I can’t think of any sewing machines that’s made in America anymore- they’re manufactured overseas.  Any anyways, I have a Pfaff, it’s German.” (Well *mine* was made in Germany, but let’s not get into that discussion right now).  He then burst out laughing.  I still didn’t get it.  (You do of course, right?)  Yes, he had to explain to me that it’s not an issue of foreign/domestic, it’s an issue of a machine made for commercial versus domestic use.

Yeah.  I know.  I love quilting & longarming life, but there’s still a part of me that thinks like an economist!

 

Civil War Quilt

I recently got a new laptop & so I’ve been going through files & came across a trove of pictures of quilts I’ve longarmed that never made it onto the blog.  So over the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting some of these great quilts I’ve worked on for customers & charities.

Civil War Quilt longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

Today’s quilt is a great civil war reproduction quilt my customer made for an auction at the Micah House in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Civil War Quilt longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

She chose the Arabesque panto & it was the perfect choice!   Arabesque is a fairly dense small scale design which complemented the small blocks beautifully.  It was impeccably pieced and a joy to quilt!

I hope whomever won this quilt is enjoying the talents of this piecer!

Living with Quilts & Making Things

Is there anything cuter than looking at pictures of babies on quilts?  Well, maybe babies in bluebonnet fields if you’re from Texas ;)

Babies on Quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

I made this tumbling block quilt about 2 years ago as a class sample & like so many of my quilts, it ended up in a heaped pile.

Babies on Quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

We recently discovered however it fits perfectly in Teapot’s new play space in our living room.

Babies on Quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Aside from the joy I get from choosing fabrics, trying new techniques & creating custom quilting designs, I love the warm fuzzies I get when we use my quilts around our home.  It’s more than a sense of accomplishment, it’s the satisfaction that only comes from creating.

Babies on Quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

When I create something from raw materials that we’ll use, so many things are happening, but most important to me at this time is that we’re teaching Teapot she doesn’t have to be a consumer of finished goods.

Think about that for a second.  Take a second to think about what it means to be creator of good rather than a consumer of goods.

Making things requires us to slow down & think about the process.  The time & resources make us decide if this is a need or a want.  It requires us to gather materials and make a plan.   It requires us to adjust when plans change or hiccups arise.

It requires us to think.

When we make quilts to live with, we’re reminding ourselves of what we’re capable of.  So yes, you should feel pride when you see that quilt you said more than a few curse words over but persevered & completed!  You struggled through that quilt & made it happen! Now go do it again!  Go make another quilt (or something else like clay bowls, or go grow some food), only this time make it more challenging- this is the best medicine for your brain!

Gingham Baby Quilt

I recently finished this gingham baby quilt in order to practice a new quilting design: Easy Orange Peel.  The end result blew me away!

Gingham Baby Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

This was a baby quilt I pieced back in junior high for the AIDS Baby Quilt Drive, the first of my quilting for charity.  (Does anyone remember that crisis?  It was the early 90s & I remember learning about the babies dying from AIDS complications at my LQS & pestering my mom that I needed to make quilts for them.  It still gives me upsets me to think of those poor babies.)

Gingham Baby Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

I made a lot of quilts for the babies, but somehow this one never got quilted.  (hmmm, seems to be a trend with me….)  I was digging around the studio for a quilt that would take the Easy Orange Peel design well & came across this one.

Gingham Baby Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

What I can’t believe is how striking the quilting design made this quilt!  I mean, look at the quilt- there’s nothing special here, just squares arranged in a diagonal pattern.  And gingham squares at that!  But the quilting just makes the whole quilt look all snuggly & precious, like you can’t wait to find a baby & wrap her up in it!

Gingham Baby Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

But Teapot doesn’t need another quilt.  Really.  She doesn’t.  And I did piece this with the purpose of donating it, so I’ll bring it to the next guild meeting & see if we can’t find a good home for the quilt.

Christmas Star Wall Hanging Pattern for Sale

My second pattern is now for sale on Craftsy!   Thank you to everyone who has already purchased my first pattern, the Patriotic Star Runner!  The success of that pattern gave me the much needed *umph* to prepare this pattern for sale.

Christmas Star Wall Hanging by Ormond Beach Quilts
You may remember this star quilt from last year- I had so much fun quilting the feathers!  But this is really a great pattern for a beginning quilter since it uses only half square triangles & squares to construct the star.  I did throw in partial seams for the border, but I promise the directions hold your hand through it, although nothing says you have to do the borders the way the pattern directs!

Christmas Star Wall Hanging by Ormond Beach Quilts

I love this quilt for the fact that it’s a beautiful holiday piece, yet it’s traditional enough to keep up all year.  You can also change it up & use a charm pack or 5″ scraps from your stash and this would make a great baby quilt!

Christmas Star Wall Hanging by Ormond Beach Quilts
This Christmas Star Wall Hanging pattern will be available until the end of August for $2- so don’t miss out out- there’s plenty of time to make this before the holidays are here!

 

 

The Sweet Mystery Quilt

Sweet Mystery Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

Here is the sweet mystery quilt I talked about in the last post!

I finished up the binding during a sew day with a good friend & somehow managed to sew on the binding while holding Teapot.  (Granted it took about 4 hours, but I still got it sewn!)

Sweet Mystery Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

So here’s the story of this quilt (I honestly can’t remember if I’ve shared this, so here it is again.)

I picked quilting back up while living in Alaska right after getting married & right before J deploying (circa 2006).  I spent the bulk of his taking classes & having a permanent quilting retreat in our dining room- you know just making the best of the situation.

During that time I discovered the quilting groups on YahooGroups (ahhh, YahooGroups, life before Facebook groups!)  One group I joined hosted mystery quilts throughout the year & I knew they were going to have one over Christmas.   This seemed like a great idea in October, before J had come home & I picked out my fabric (completely from stash!).  Then J came home, then Thanksgiving happened, then it was Christmastime & somehow life exploded into us hosting a wine tasting on Christmas Eve & then Christmas dinner for anyone & everyone who didn’t have a place. (Side note here, this is the aspect of military life I love- the impromptu family gatherings where one person/family creates a homey atmosphere with an open invitation.  I still remember who came to that dinner & the coziness that filled our home.  One couple is now married with a little baby, another friend lives near us & we still see her regularly, another woman we haven’t kept up with her, but I think about her.)

Ok, back to the quilt story, so we had a lot going on between the Christmas Eve wine tasting & Christmas dinner complete with turkey & me being me of course, still wanted to participate in this mystery quilt!  So between cleaning, cooking & being social, I pieced this quilt as the clues were released.  Needless to say I was exhausted at the end of the weekend & I had to go back to work on the 26th (I was working in Finance at the time & I swear all major holidays fall at the beginning of month-end or the end of month-end!) & then it just sat as a flimsy (unquilted top) for years!!  This was partly because I had one block turned wrong & it needed to be fixed & I was too distracted with other things to make that change & partly because I had grand custom quilting plans.

But now we’re here & my studio is small & I really need to make some space so I decided to quilt it with an edge to edge design (popcorn!) & move on.  This decision was incredibly freeing!  It gave me the motivation to switch that one block around & pop the quilt on the frame & get it done!  In the end I must say, having it done is much better than waiting to come up with the “perfect” custom quilting design & the Popcorn design adds to the sweetness of this quilt.

Sweet Mystery Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

The timing of coming to this realization & finishing this quilt seemed to be almost kismet.  My friend that joined me on that sew day knew a midwife who was gathering supplies to take with her to Haiti.  The timing couldn’t have been better & it serves to remind me that things do happen in time for their own reasons.

Longarming and UFOs for the 4th

We had a great 4th of July weekend around here!

I worked on my first customer quilt post baby! It was an adorable baby quilt for a new customer’s 3 year old son.

Dr. Seuss quilt longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts
She’s also a knitting designer.  If you knit you should absolutely go check out her patterns.  They are amazing.

Here’s a detail picture of the stars & loops design she choose.  Perfect for the fun Dr. Seuss fabrics.

Dr. Seuss quilt detailed longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts
I also worked on “mastering the art of maximizing nap time.”  Most of the time I’ve used nap times to nap myself, but Friday she took an extra nap & I found myself with a little bit of time & no dishes to clean (yay for J being home!)  So I was playing in the studio & pulled out a UFO & realized the only reason I hadn’t quilted it was because a block needed to be turned.  See?

Prissy Baby Quilt Before by Ormond Beach Quilts
So I took the 10 minutes & finally turned the block!  Ahh, that looks much better!  (It’s amazed me how it sat like that for 7 years….. it’s the little things that can really hold us back…)

Prissy Baby Quilt After by Ormond Beach Quilts
I also prepped the backing & it went on the frame Sunday morning!  Quilting is almost done & I can’t wait to show you- it came out great!

Prissy Baby Quilt on the fram eby Ormond Beach Quilts
How was your weekend?

Linking up with Design Wall Monday.

Easy Patriotic Star Table Runner Pattern

Easy Patriotic Star Table Runner by Ormond Beach Quilts

Let’s talk about designing quilts.  I probably design half of all the quilts I make for various reasons- most of the time though they are for the classes I teach.

When I’m teaching I like to emphasis only one or two new elements at a time.  I find this works best when teaching adults in the evenings- everyone’s had a busy day with work and family and life & let’s be honest- quilting is supposed to be fun.

For that reason I found myself creating lots of home decor type patterns- they are small in size, yet large enough to let the quilter experiment with the new technique.

Easy Patriotic Star Table Runner by Ormond Beach Quilts

This is one of my favorite patterns- The Easy Patriotic Star Table Runner.  I love this pattern because it looks like a complicated star that requires y-seams, yet in reality this is a great way for quilters to practice their precision piecing through flying geese and half square triangles.  And with only 3 blocks, you can finish this in time for the holiday weekend!

Easy Patriotic Star Table Runner by Ormond Beach Quilts

This pattern is now on sale at Craftsy & is on sale through July 4th for $2.00!  As with all my patterns I include lots of diagrams to help the beginning quilter on their journey.

If you make this , please email me a photo at robin@ormondbeachquilts.com- I’ve love to see your version!

My Favorite Quilt

I’m very excited to be a part of Sew Mama Sew’s “My Favorite Quilt” with Jessica of Quilty Habit & to share with you *my* favorite quilt!

Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?

Western Star by Ormond Beach Quilts

My favorite quilt has to be the Western Star!  This was actually a class I took at the Quilt Tree & the pattern is by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts.  I’ve always been drawn to star quilts & I loved how the scrappiness of this quilt made each star striking in its own way.  I used what I call “watercolor” batiks- that’s to say, batiks that don’t have a “print” so much as they appear to be hand dyed.  I love the subtle variations this brings to each piece in each individual star.  I remember standing in the quilt shop & pulling what had to be about 20 or so bolts of fabric & ruthlessly culling the choices until I only have the most vibrant fabrics remaining.  The most difficult fabric choice was finding the right light background- all the cream batiks were too muddy, yet white was too stark.  I ended up with print that looks like paint brush strokes & actually makes the dark batiks “pop!”

Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?

Western Star by Ormond Beach Quilts

No- I actually haven’t shown any quilt of mine in an official show.  I should really get onto that :)

What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?

I think of 2006  & all the emotions I couldn’t express in any other way than through the vibrancy of these colors- living in Anchorage, Alaska, being newly married & living with a husband deployed, adjusting to life as a military spouse, listening to the daily reports of service men & women dying, taking a dear friend to the airport as she deployed, becoming physically active for the first time & biking along the Cook Inlet, hiking near Mat-Su & being in awe of the Chugach mountains, learning to kayak, quilting for the first time with fabrics I bought & thus discovering my style, focusing my mental energy on more difficult quilt patterns, accepting that quilt making was my canvas.

This was the first summer I feel like I lived in the world as an adult, where political decisions suddenly impacted my life & where I discovered I wasn’t physically awkward, & when I rediscovered my love of quilting through my own style.

What do you like best about the quilt?

Western Star by Ormond Beach Quilts

I love how every star is vibrant in of itself & yet they do not overshadow each other when combined.  It reminds me that all parts of ourselves are vibrant & they won’t overshadow each other when we let them be in their fullest.

How did you grow as a quilter while making it?

As a quilter I finally nailed cutting 60 degree angles with a regular rotary ruler & I learned the value of having a top custom quilted.  This was the first quilt I ever “sent out” to a longarmer & when I picked it up from Val (my quilter), I was stunned at how she managed to make it even more beautiful.  I fell in love with custom quilting at that moment.

If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?

Western Star by Ormond Beach Quilts

I’d add another column to make it wider.  It just barely covers the top of our bed.

Where is the quilt now?

In the closet!  We use it as a summer quilt because it has a silk/cotton batting & since we’ve had a long winter, and then Teapot came, I haven’t switched out quilts yet.

I hope you liked reading about my favorite quilt, so I have to ask you now- What’s your favorite quilt?

Meet Teapot!

Baby on Western Star

I’ve been waiting & waiting to write this post & here it is!  On May 3, I gave birth to our little girl, affectionately known as “Teapot.” ( Our little one was in a funky position shortly before birth & while the Midwife was trying to figure out what she was doing, one of the midwifery students (also our Doula) said she’s “kinda like a teapot.”  I loved the name the moment I heard it!)

Life is pretty darn amazing now around here!  We’ve been spending the past 2 1/2 weeks snuggling, napping, nursing, changing diapers, & mostly taking it easy.  Mornings are my favorite times (yes, you did read that correctly!) now & I love to wake up just to see her smile & squirm!

I’m still taking a break from quilting, but every week we’re able to do more, so who knows, maybe I’ll be back in the studio next week?  In the meantime I *plan* to post pictures of quilts I’ve longarmed but have never shared!  (please keep in mind I *planned* to write this post for over one week!)

*this newborn photo was taken by a sweet friend, Jennifer Larkin, if you’re in the DC Metro area, I highly recommend her!