Just a quick post to show you a project I just contributed to.
I recently was invited to join a do.good stitches group (I was on the waiting list for a few months & didn’t expect to get the invite in the middle of the Foster Teen project, but it’s all good!) I’m now part of the BELIEVE circle which makes quilts for kids in the foster system. (see a trend here, I swear I was randomly picked for this circle, I did nothing to influence it, but it does make one wonder….)
It’s a monthly bee where someone posts directions & guidelines & everyone submits a block or two by the end of the month.
This month we were instructed to improv piece at least 4 raindrops.
(Another bad photo, I know you’re shocked!)
I can’t wait to see what the end result looks like!
In my last post I mentioned that I didn’t have any pictures from the trunk show. Well, that same day a woman who attended the trunk show shared with me the pictures she took.
This is sweet quilt I made for a class sample. This is one of my favorite patterns for beginners.
These are a few of the first quilts I longarmed. I’ve learned a lot since those days!
This is called a winding ways quilt. I started this in Alaska & only recently finished it.
A Seven Sisters quilt! One of my favorite patterns!
A log cabin quilt I made with a friend
while J was deployed.
A Double Wedding Ring quilt! This is one of my personal favorites & was a feat to accomplish, but it was well worth the effort.
The sunflower quilt! My only hand quilted quilt! My sister pieced the top & I quilted it, took 15 years & I’ll never hand quilt again….
And my first official quilt! Just look at those pastel calicoes from the 1980s!
Thank you Heather for your pictures!
Last Friday several ladies from my mom’s group came to my house for a trunk show. Several of the women recently started quilting & had heard I was a quilter & were very interested in seeing my work. So 5 ladies, 7 babies & many cups of tea filled our living room that beautiful morning!
I gathered most of my quilts from various places in the house (closets, quilt racks, boxes, backs of chairs, beds, & cribs) & chose my “favorite” quilts I wanted to chat about.
I knew in planning my talk that I wanted to share more than just the stats about the quilt. I mean, there’s so much more to a quilt than what fabric I used, what pattern I chose & how I quilted it. I wanted to share my story through the quilts & my thoughts on quilting as a hobby or vocation.
It was a wonderful experience to share from my first to my most recent quilt & be able to talk about who I was at the time I made it.
Because, when we create we are invited to learn a new piece about ourselves. And when we continue to create, we are able to remember who we are.
I could go on & on about last line, in fact, I think I will in a bit (I hear Teapot waking up….)
I didn’t get any pics of the trunk show, but after everyone left there was a heap of quilts in the middle of the living room & Teapot took to climbing & hugging the pile. Or actually this pic might have been after all the playing when she was tired (but not too tired to actually nap!)
This is another quilt I longarmed for Quilts from the Bluffs. Isn’t it the most darling little quilt?
I love the design & balance of this quilt.
The 9-patches are bold & distinctively stand out in the quilt. And by adding in the skinny teal inner border they gave the quilt a nice “pop”. Now your eye isn’t getting bored with looking at pink & brown.
The complementary print fabric adds texture and subtlety- see how it appears to hang out in the background & doesn’t overpower the 9-patches? This is a great use of a print fabric!
Then the added brown cornerstones in the outside border then create a sense of continuity.
For the quilting I chose the pattern “Jilly” by Keryn Emmerson
because the round design worked with the flowers in the print while at the same time the center of the swirls gives some dimension to the quilt.
This quilt is one of the best examples of traditional quilt design I’ve seen recently. I hope this quilt is kept a little girl warm this chilly winter!
If you remember I posted back in December about the VAT “to do” that was impending.
(Quick recap, the EU was going to make me file & keep track of a lot of tax info for every country that had a citizen buy a digital download from me. I opted to not sell any digital pattern to an EU citizen.
Well we can have a party now because Etsy has figured out how to keep track of this for small businesses like me so guess what folks??
Yes! I now have patterns available for sale on Etsy!
These are digital downloads with immediate access- just like with my Craftsy patterns, only through Etsy I’m able to sell to EU citizens.
Thank you so much for being patient with me through this- I’m so glad Etsy worked out a solution that enables us pattern writers to get back to business!
Around week 39 of pregnancy I suddenly couldn’t stand coffee. I tried for about two days to choke down the stuff, but I finally gave up & made some tea- I’ve been drinking tea ever since.
I’ll give everyone a moment to process that- I’m not drinking coffee anymore! (And I haven’t completely lost my marbles!)
I realized a tea cozy would be helpful to keep my tea from going cold in the mornings & a few weeks ago I had the sudden need to do some improv piecing, so I decided to finally make the cozy.
I used the template and basic directions from Lily’s Quilts. Which was an excellent tutorial! (Although it I were to make this again I’d tweak the template to fit my teapot better.) For the piecing I used a foundation piecing technique with my scrap batiks. (I keep all my batik scraps, no matter how small- batiks are far too expensive to be throwing away the remnants.)
There was little planning involved with the piecing, I just pulled fabric out of the scrap bin & looked to see how I could incorporate it into the design. It came together quickly & was just the freeing type of creativity I needed that day.
I knew I wanted tight quilting & I threw the pieces onto the longarm with some Warm & Natural batting scraps & did some straight line quilting approx. 1/4″ apart using Bottom Line thread in silver/gray. Some lines are closer than others, basically I just winged it, wanting the same freeing quilting experience.
For the lining I used some old teapot fabric from my mom’s stash that was a Mary Engelbreit or Debbie Mumm design from the 90s. Not my favorite & doesn’t match in the least, but hey, it’s a tea cozy lining- let’s not get too uptight about things.
For the binding I used some leftovers from some project I can’t remember but I made waaaaay too much for! I used a machine binding technique since my hand sewing time is precious.
Overall I’m incredibly pleased with how this turned out- I love coming into the kitchen in the mornings & looking at my beautiful tea cozy! And it’s been very effective in keeping my tea warm so three cheers for my idea working out in reality!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Is there anything cuter than looking at pictures of babies on quilts? Well, maybe babies in bluebonnet fields if you’re from Texas 😉
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.
We recently discovered however it fits perfectly in Teapot’s new play space in our living room.
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.
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!
I recently finished this gingham baby quilt in order to practice a new quilting design: Easy Orange Peel. The end result blew me away!
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.)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!