Thursday, June 20, 2019

Quilt Repair and Throwback Thursday

My dad alternates two different quilts on his bed.  One is the Carolina Dancing quilt I made a few years ago from Carole's Scrap Dance Tango quilt along.  The other was made at an unknown date by his mother, my grandmother Mildred, now deceased.

When I stayed with Dad for 2 weeks in February, my quilt was on the bed but he got down Grandmother's quilt at one point to show me a few areas that needed mending.  I was able to fix the areas without problem, but I noticed that the binding was in really bad shape and told him I thought it needed to be replaced.

fraying binding
Then came the fun part (sarcasm)--ripping out the original binding.  I was originally considering just cutting off the original binding and adding the new one, but Carole of From My Carolina Home, who does some amazing painstaking quilt repairs, convinced me that I was better off ripping it out.

pile of binding once it was all removed

It took multiple movies and questionable TV on Netflix to get remove the binding.  You can see how torn it was in parts.

In some areas, you could see how faded the fabrics had gotten by contrast with the fabric hidden away in the binding.

Can you see the difference in the faded and none-faded fabrics?

We agreed that my sister-in-law Heather, who is an interior designer and has the best color sense of all of us, pick out a solid binding.  I told her my preferred brand of solids and let her loose.  I had been thinking a dark yellow, something dark enough that it was clear we didn't try to match the original, but still with the same feel.  Heather came back with two choices--Kona Regatta (a medium-to-dark blue) or Kona Curry, a dark yellow.  I ordered both before my dad arrived in North Carolina for his annual visit.  He drives across country every year, so he was able to bring the full-sized quilt with him.  Heather's first choice was the blue but dad and I both liked the yellow better, so we used Kona Curry.

I just barely finished it before Dad left to drive back to Oregon.  He wasn't in a hurry to take it with him, but I didn't want to store it for a year! We took photos in the front yard in a hurry before heading to breakfast at Happy's Grill, where we took pictures of the finished tea cozy

So what's with the Throwback Thursday reference in the title?  I found a picture of me as a baby with this same quilt as the backdrop!!!  This is circa 1978:

I was thrilled to be able to repair a quilt of my grandmother's, especially knowing it was made before I was born.  With a new binding, it should have a good bit of use out of it.  I can only guess that Grandma had the same philosophy of quilts that I do--they are meant to be used!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Selfish Sewing

I had a free day to sew recently and though I had several projects to work on, I really wanted to make myself some pillowcases. My husband sleeps with two pillows so I always give him the ones that match the sheets and then I use an odd one.  I've made fun pillowcases for my son and my niece but do not have any for me.

My mom gave me a gift certificate to Bobbi Lou's Fabric Factory for Christmas and I used part of it to pick out fabrics especially for a pillowcase.  I picked out this fabulous celestial polar bear print, it's Polar by Michael Miller Fabrics.  The accent fabric is also from Bobbi Lou's, also chosen especially to become part of a pillowcase.  It's Happy Moons from Stargazer by Art Gallery Fabrics.

I had enough Happy Moons to make a second accent band.  I had another moon fabric in my stash, a Maureen Cracknell fabric from her Nightfall line that I've saving for just the right project.  This felt like it.

And then I had enough of Maureen's moons to use as an accent band and I paired it with another Maureen Cracknell fabric, this one a fairy print from the Flower Child line.

I like the Roll It Up instructions from the Million Pillowcase Challenge.  Dreaming will be sweet now!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Tea Cozy

My dad is a big tea drinker.  He makes himself a pot of tea every morning.  And for as long as I can remember, he's had the same tea cozy.  It's really not in great shape and last year when he visited, he brought it with him and asked me to make him a new one.  I was able to trace the size and shape of the one he has and used that to make a template.

The embroidery pattern is Moonlight Pine by Cozyblue Handmade.  It's on both the front and the back.  I really, really love this pattern and the second I saw it, I knew it was perfect for my dad.  Who of course immediately set to identifying what type of pine it is. 

I used a Bosal double-sided fusible and really like the heft it gives as well as how well it holds its shape.  Dad is thrilled!  Here we are at our local diner, Happy's Grill, for breakfast the morning he left to drive back to Oregon.  Happy's is my Cheers--everyone knows us and there are a lot of regulars! (Not sure why it looks empty in this picture!)

Ironically, he's drinking coffee
The tea cozy is on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #1 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Island Batik Try a Technique

The June challenge for the Island Batik ambassadors is "Try a Technique."  I like to try different quilting techniques and despite making an effort to try different things, I still have a loooong list of things I'd like to try! Reverse Applique made it to the top of the list and I decided to make it a two-fer and try a flange binding.

Materials used in this project were generously provided to me by Island Batik, Aurifil, and Hobbs.

Once I decided on reverse applique, I needed a subject.  I've been making a series of small quilts to hang on the front door.  I've done most of the major holidays but I wanted something seasonal that isn't holiday specific.  With spring comes Mother's Day and that gave me my inspiration: Gerbera Daisies, also called Gerber Daisies.

Gerbera Daisies on our front door

Our Mother's Day tradition is that instead of buying me cut flowers, Husband takes Fire Monkey to Lowe's and they pick out a Gerbera Daisy and we plant it in front of the house. I love all the bright colors of Gerberas, which makes it the perfect flower for Island Batik fabrics!

After I chose daisies as my subject, I needed a drawing.  I attempted to draw a daisy myself.  It was *terrible.*  Have I mentioned that I am terrible at drawing?  Really.  My high school friends wouldn't play Pictionary with me.  So then I went through my books of iron-on transfer designs.  These are great for tracing!  I found a great picture in a book with a really dated cover:

I found a great picture of three daisies.  I photocopied it and played with the size and I added an extra petal to take the place of the stem.  It may look like my daisies are all alike, but there are actually three different daisies that I used as templates.

I used a video tutorial by Margaret Willingham of Eye of the Beholder Designs as my basic instructions.  Essentially, in reverse applique you are cutting the shapes out of what you would normally consider the background fabric.  So you cut the top layer and the bottom layer shows through. I used Heat 'n Bond Lite as my fusible.

The background fabric is Bluebird, the sashing is Navy and the setting squares and flange in the binding is Iris, all from the Island Batik basics collection.  For the flowers, I used a combination of scraps from other projects and the stash builder strips; I picked an assortment of bright colors that could be Gerbera Daisies. 

First I quilted straight lines in the sashing to stabilize the quilt using Auriful 50 weight in color 2780, Dark Delft Blue.  Then I outlined the petals in color 1128 (can't find a name), also 50 weight.  The thread blends beautifully with the Island Batik bluebird, which is good because that means the Quilt Police can't see my stitches☺

Back in January, I visited Quilt Patch Fabrics for local quilt shop day and bought three pink Island Batik fabrics for my March challenge, Oklahoma Dogwood.  Well, I didn't use one of the fabrics in that project because next to all the pinks, it looked too lavender.  So I used it for the back of this project.  I only bought 1/2 a yard so I used a fantastic bird print that was in one of my Stash Builder rolls to make the back big enough.  For the flange binding, I followed a tutorial by fellow Ambassador Sandra of mmmquilts.  Her tutorial is particularly great because it is for a binding of 2 1/4" wide, my preferred width. 

I used Hobbs Thermore for the batting.  It's great for small projects!  This measures 21" square.

Since it's Friday and I finished today,  I am going to link up (for the first time!) with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday, hosted today by Kathleen of Kathleen McMusing.  My June project was #6 on  on my list of Q2 finish along goals.

I really love all the colorful daisies!  And the flange binding is great for a pop of color; I will definitely do that again.  Thanks, Island Batik, for letting me try something new!

Monday, June 3, 2019

I Spy for a little brother

I have a very close-knit group of friends my college days, though we don't get to see each other very often.  One of those friends, Devin, now lives in Australia and had his second child last year.  I love I Spy quilts and I had just done an I Spy swap with Val of Val's Quilting Studio at the time I learned of the expected baby.  So I picked out my favorites from the swap and went to town!

Shepherd "Sheppie" joins older sister Miren.  I made Miren a quilt when she was born and intentionally matched Sheppie's quilt to big sister's.  Miren's quilt pre-dates the blog but I did find a photo:

Miren's quilt used 5" I Spy squares and Kona Peach.  Sheppie's quilt has 4" I Spy squares and Kona Parakeet. This is the first time I've done intentionally matching sibling quilts and I like how they look and feel like they are in the same family. Like they belong together!

close-up of some I Spy fun
The back is meant to have meaning and connections for Daddy Devin.  The main fabric is a smiley face print.  A smiley face is the unofficial trademark of Devin's college roommate and best friend Josh, also one of the close-knit group I mentioned.  (And I noticed there is a smiley face in Miren's quilt, so they will kinda match!)  I didn't have quite enough, so I pieced in a leftover piece of the backing from the baby quilt of Josh's second child--Rainbow Elephants that you can see here.  Devin might not get the connection of the backing scrap but I know he'll get that the smiley faces are for Josh.  With Devin being about as far as one can be, it's good to have small things to make us feel connected.

I've actually had this done except for the label and about 20" of binding since October!  But Devin isn't great with checking his email and he did have a newborn at home.  I'm glad to finally be able to check it off the list and send it on its way!  "Devin's Baby Quilt" was on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #2 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

OMG Deja Vu

I had high hopes for a productive May.  But then I got strep and spent four days in bed.  So while I did end up getting quite a few projects done thanks mostly to sewing binding in the car on a family long weekend to the mountains mid-month, my May One Monthly Goal for Patty at Elm Street Quilts did not get finished.  So, same goal for June!  Complete this Postage Plus I Spy quilt.

Despite not finishing in May, I did make progress.  It is now quilted and the binding has been made and attached, it's just waiting for the binding to be hand sewn.  I love hand sewing binding and like to do it in the car when I'm a passenger.  I think I'll be successful this month!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hidden Stars

I've been following Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting since discovering her through the new quilt blogger's blog hop a few years back.  Maybe a year ago, Sherry put out a request to her readers for pattern testers.  That's something I was interested in, so I volunteered.  The first pattern I tested was Hidden Stars and I just needed to make one block.  Which, of course, left me with an orphan block.  Then Sherry announced she was doing a Sew Along with her Hidden Stars pattern in early 2019.  Perfect!  I ended up falling behind the SAL but I did finally finish.

I used scrappy blues and Kona Stone for the background.  There are A and B blocks so I did lighter blues in block A and darker blues in block B.   Some of the blues came from the big stash of fabric I was given by the mom of one of my college friends as she de-stashed her craft supplies, and the binding fabric also came from that de-stash.  I really like the scrappy look of this version.

This is the crib size, the smallest included in the pattern.  This will go to my local Project Linus chapter.  Hidden Stars was on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #20 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Guitars for a baby boy

I have two coworkers (married to each other) who told us last fall that they were expecting their first child in May.  Well, like many quilters,  as soon as I hear, "I'm pregnant!" I think, "I get to make a quilt!" I knew immediately what pattern I wanted to use.  Dad is a classical guitarist and there is a fabulous guitar pattern in the book Fat Quarter Baby by It's Sew Emma.  All the patterns in the book are baby names; this one is Kevin.

Baby Dante was born two weeks ago and I was able to visit yesterday to take him his quilt--and some dinner for mom & dad.  Dad the guitarist wasn't there but Mom's face lit up when she realized it was guitars, though she did warn me that Dad may use it more than Dante!

I put the fabrics together; this was not a bundle.  I used circles/dots as the unifying element.  This blue print was a fat quarter and I didn't get the selvage edge, so I have no idea what it was. 

The white with multi colored dots is from the line Confetti by Me & My Sister designs.  I originally bought a lime green dot print from the same line, but I had a lot of trouble when it came time to pick a background fabric.  So I switched the lime for a Kaffe Fassett spot print I had in my stash. The dots in the Kaffe print are a really good mach for Kona Honey Dew, which I used for the background.  The fret boards are a gray polka dot I already had-not sure what it was but I'm pretty sure it's by Moda.

The original pattern has a border of a different fabric.  I bought a yellow music print to use but once I had the guitars pieced, I didn't like the music with it.  So I added more Honey Dew instead and put the music notes on the back.

It wasn't quite big enough so I added a scrap of dog fabric as Dante joins two fur-babies in the household, and a scrap of train fabric because, frankly, it was the right size and what kid doesn't like trains?

Dante's gender reveal: at our annual work holiday party in December, we were all lined up to take a mandatory group photo.  A staff member took the picture so he put the camera on a timer so he could run into the photo.  As he was getting in place, mom-to-be called out, "Everyone say 'it's a boy!'"  The picture captured everyone's reactions.  It is the most genuinely gleeful staff photo I've ever seen.

I'm hoping this will be well loved for years to come!  Maybe Dante will be able to wrestle it away from his Dad!  This quilt was on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail and was #4 on my list of Q2 finish along goals.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

May Bee Blocks

Diana of Red Delicious Life is the May queen in Stash Bee.  Diana asked for Stacked Squares blocks in shades of green and gray.  This was a super simple block that was quick to make.

The original block came from Moda Bake Shop but Diana is inspired by this version made by Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation.  Isn't this gorgeous?!  I can't wait to see Diana's version!

I think the math to put this together would drive me insane!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Make it Modern with Island Batik

I have a confession.  I don't consider myself a modern quilter.

Well, I guess that depends on your definition.  I live in the modern world, I use modern techniques, I like some aspects of a modern aesthetic. But the "Make it Modern" theme for May's Island Batik challenge had me worried if I could do something modern enough.  I had a plan for a courthouse steps variation that would work.  But I wasn't excited about it.  It would check the box but didn't feel like me, and that's not the point.  So I kept thinking about something modern that felt like me.  I was taking a walk by a river on a gorgeous day and there were all these turtles sunning themselves.  And it clicked.  Improv Turtles!!!!!!

I used the Turtle Block pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. The pattern is for two sizes, 4" x 10" and 8" x 20".  I made the smaller size.  I absolutely adore Lorna's patterns!

I decided to improv piece the shell part of the turtle and trim to size, then make the turtle block as directed.  I used the green/turquoise scraps from the Flea Market collection by Island Batik as well as any greens from my Island Batik stash builder rows.

For the turtle bodies, I used the lighter colors from Flea Market as well as some yellow from the stash builder rolls.  The background is a black batik solid.  The bright batiks pop so well against the black! These are essentially the same fabrics I used in the April challenge with a totally different look!
All Aboard the Accuquilt Express!

I really wanted to take the turtles out for a fun photo op.  Our Easter tradition is to go to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC (about 90 miles away).  So I finished up the binding in the car on the way to the zoo and set out to find the turtles.  This turtle statue meant I could put the quilt on a turtle without getting kicked out of the zoo!

One of my favorite non-animal parts of a zoo is a little garden with rocks painted to look like different animals.  There was a turtle-rock hanging out by the pond!

There are two huge Galapagos Tortoises at our zoo.  I was able to get one of them along a stretch of fence with no other visitors around.

There are also several much smaller radial tortoises.  These were harder to capture with pictures, but I did get two of them.

notice the feet of my short helper
The fabrics were provided to me by Island Batik and the batting was provided by Hobbs.  May's challenge is co-sponsored by Hobbs.  Since I had such a dark background, I used Hobbs black batting.  This was my first time using dark batting and I loved it!  No white puffs on my dark fabric!! And it quilted beautifully.
Hobbs black batting
The official challenge was, "Must incorporate one of the characteristics of modern quits as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, alternative grid work."

 So let's break it down:
  • improvisational piecing
  • negative space 
  • solid color
  • bold colors/high contrast
  • asymmetrical (not on the list, but I feel like that's also a calling card of modern quilts)
So I guess I am a modern quilter!  Or I can at least veer into that territory occasionally.  I loved working making the turtles and even enjoyed the improv piecing for the shells.  I'm so glad I waited until I had a project that feels both modern and me!

This quilt was #5 on my list of Q2 finish along goals. It measures 40" x 44" and I'm calling it Modern Turtle Race. 

Edited to add: I'm choosing this as my Favorite Finish for the month of May and will be linking up with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs for her linky party.