Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mug Caddies for my Board Members

I made a dozen mug caddies for my Foothills Board Members and for several friends.  I made a handmade etui (needle case), and pin cushion to go in them, and several quilting items - and of course I put some sweets in them too.  Here's a picture with some of my Board Members holding theirs:
At the Christmas Party I was presented with some pretty "Baskets of Wishes" blocks in fall colors from members of the Foothills quilting group to thank me for my year as Chapter Chair.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all good things for the holidays and blessings in the new year!
Here are a few pictures of Zahn (our great grandson) from this year.  He's such a blessing to our life.
 Recipe for fun-kids and water
Clothes-Pin Man

Friday, November 25, 2016

Flowers Around My Cabin - Raffle Quilt for 2017

I finally completed the quilt I've been working on for months.  It's for my guild chapter's 2017 raffle (Foothills Quilters).

I'm so grateful that I was able to pass this off on Thanksgiving morning to the lady who is sewing on the binding. 

Back Story:  I quilted the quilt with an all-over feather meander in the center, small feathers in the red border, and outlined the applique, and then meandered around it.  I quilted this in mostly 2 hour stretches while my 2 1/2 year old great grandson was napping (on the days I wasn't so tired from chasing him around that I had to nap right along with him).

The ladies in Foothills made log cabin blocks for a quilt we donated to our meeting place.  I took the left-over blocks to make this raffle quilt (think left-overs = many blocks not true to size).  As you might guess, when asking for 12 1/2" blocks that will be 12" when finished, sometimes you get 12" blocks before they're finished.  That meant I needed to remake a dozen of the blocks to make them fit together.  We chose this star layout which I think is kind of unique and striking. 

I then gave a class on appliqueing an easy way (glue method), made kits for the ladies, and passed as many out as I could find takers.  After I collected them I made the ones that were missing for the layout I designed, and sewed them onto the borders.  Sewing them on took about 73 hours.  I missed a few session of keeping track so this number is conservative. 

Then I proceeded to figure out a design for the quilting and did some marking of the top.  Loading also took some thought because of the pieced backing, so I'm pleased that that turned out okay.  A lady in our group made the pieced back using several of the smallest blocks and I appliqued some flowers and leaves on it after I completed the quilting.

I decided on Dream Wool batting because the feather meander has some rather long feathers in some places and Dream batting can be quilted farther apart than what I had originally planned to use (Hobbs 80/20).  This quilt feels cuddly already with the wool batting in it.

After I completed the quilting, I realized it would need a hanging sleeve so we could display it on our quilt rack for the raffle.  So made that and a label that included laundering instructions. 

I was so pleased to hand it off just before noon on Thanksgiving.  Yea!

Here are some close-ups of the quilting and the back of the quilt:

Friday, November 18, 2016

"What I Love about Quilting" - red work quilting girls quilt

Here is the quilt I made last month for our Foothills Annual Quilt Challenge - the theme was "What I am grateful for about Foothills or Quilting".

I decided to use my little red work quilting girl blocks that had been languishing for about 9 years so it's a long-overdue UFO for me too.  I'm happy that they were right for the theme and are now made into a quilt.  The swag borders are pre-printed yardage.  I added hand applique bows at the corners.  It took a lot of calculating to make the pre-printed borders fit along the block edges evenly.  Thankfully trimming the blocks to a smaller size and choosing a good sashing width made it all fit together.

I did custom quilting on this quilt and it seemed to take half-of-forever (a total of about 62 hours).   I love quilting feathers and meandering, but struggle with ruler work, so was glad when that part was finished.  I put in some really long days getting this done on time - not what I want to repeat anytime soon.  We had been having our great grandson here so much, that I didn't think I'd ever be able to get enough time to finish it by the deadline, but it finally got finished.

Getting the marking out turned out to be a challenge.  I used Sewline pencil with pink lead and Bohin colored chalk, the purple.  I thought I had pre-tested them but not good enough I guess.  I'm going to have to be more careful in the future.

I plan to give the back a little bit more attention before I call this quilt completely finished.  It seems that when I was changing thread colors my longarm came unthreaded and I struggled getting it to sew evenly after I re-threaded.  The stitching looks okay on the front but there are some loops around some of the curved feather tips on the back.  I think I'll come up with an applique idea and do some back art to cover those "loopies".  I'll post some pictures when I get the back art finished. 

All in all, I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but I prefer a more leisurely experience when I'm quilting.  It's done though so now I can switch to doing a little bit of handwork - something I really enjoy.  A much slower pace too. 

Here are a few close-ups so you can see the quilting. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sleepy Bear Quilt

I just completed this quilt yesterday.  I call it Sleepy Bear.  I plan to hang it over my gr. grandson, Zahn's, crib.  I had originally thought I'd give it to charity but he was so interested in the stars, the moon, & especially the ties, that I decided I would give it to him instead.

Here's the back....... .  I used muslin, which I often do to save $$$, and then use some of the left over quilt fabric from the front to machine applique something onto the back.

The top was made in 2012 - the backing was even finished and ready to go back then.  Then it sat around waiting until I got re-interested in it again.  I'm glad to finally get this UFO (unfinished object) finished.  If I recall correctly, I found the pattern for this little bear in one of my quilt magazines.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Friendship Star Prayer Quilt

Here's the next quilt I've completed - another prayer quilt for the church. 

It's a friendship star variation.  I added machine appliqued butterflies in the center of each star.  This is the block I made for the first AZ Retreat I attended - for the block exchange.  I had a few extra blocks, so sewed a few more to add to them, and made them into a quilt.  The top has been languishing all these years. The church will say prayers over it as they tie the final tie on each knot.   I'm glad to finally have it finished and going to someone who it may comfort. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Little Fishy Prayer Quilt

I'm working on finishing some quilt tops.  I made this blue and yellow-orange quilt top in 2004, and it's sat unquilted, and languishing in my cupboard. 

It has flying geese interspersed with fussy cut fish.   I've decided to call it Little Fishy.  It will be donated to the church where our quilting group meets to be used as a prayer quilt.  It's tied and the strings are left long enough that they can say prayers while tying the final knot.  I'm so happy to have it finished!
The other day my husband asked me what I was going to do with all of my quilts.  He suggested I try to find homes for some of them now, rather than wait for someone else to decide what to do with them when I pass on.  That was an idea I could get behind, and it's motivating me to finish some of them, and find good homes for them.  Our quilting group donates to both the church and a battered women's shelter.  I've gone through my tops to see what needs to be done to finish a bunch of them and donate them to one of these worthy causes. 
The backing is manatees. 
This is a quilt label I found on the internet.  I really like it and may use something similar.
This is the label I made to use for the prayer quilts - it's adapted from the above.
We hope this quilt comforts you, both spiritually and physically. The knots were tied while saying prayers to God.  Any loose knots can be tightened before washing to prevent them from coming out. Even if a knot comes out the prayer will last forever. Lovingly, Spirit of Hope UMC