Sunday, September 29, 2019

Panda for a pal

My closest work friend, Tracy, loves pandas.  She asked me about a year ago if I would make her a small panda quilt to hang on the wall.  I had already made this panda pillow so I knew that the Fat Quarter Shop's Panda-monium was the perfect pattern.  I brought her some blues from my Kona color card so she could pick the background color.  I ordered the background fabric, knowing I had everything else I needed in my stash.  And then the fabric sat.

I hoped to get it done in time for her birthday in October but had to move up my timeline when I learned that she was moving.  I was determined she would take the panda with her.  I got it done with less than a week to spare!

She loved it and promised to hang it in her new office.  The fabrics are Kona solids in Cadet, Black, White, Asparagus, and Zucchini.  The pattern is a free one from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Pattern PDF is here, and there is also a YouTube video tutorial.

We're both librarians so I used some great book fabric on the back.  I did cross-hatch quilting at a 2" interval.

This was #6 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along.  I'm also linking up with UFO challenges hosted by Julie of the Crafty Quilter and Tish of Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.  I'll miss Tracy a ton but I'm glad she'll have this panda to remember her crazy coworker by!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Scraptastic Spider Quilt: Child's Play

In our July Ambassador boxes, each Island Batik Ambassador was sent a BOB die from Accuquilt.  BOB stands for Block on Board, meaning all the pieces for one block are on the die and can be cut at once.  I was a little nervous when other ambassadors started getting their boxes because many got dies with curved pieces and I *hate* piecing curves.  I was excited when I got the Spider Web die!  No curves, and perfect for the September theme "Child's Play."

The materials used in this quilt were provided to me by Island Batik., Accuquilt, Aurifil, and Hobbs.

When I started thinking about the Spider Web die and Spider Web quilt, I knew two things right away.  First, it was important to have a spider.  Second, I did not want it to be scary.

I decided that going scrappy would look great in with this block. There are scraps from every Island Batik project I've done so far this year (except the rayon from my dress).  The solid gray was perfect for the background. I think all the colors go great with the idea of Child's Play.

I layered scraps onto the die and rolled it through the cutter.  I sorted the three different sizes of web pieces into little baskets, making it easy to mix up all the pieces for a thoroughly scrappy look.  I kept identical fabrics from touching but didn't worry too much about similar color families, knowing there were so many different fabrics that random placement would look great.

One of the campuses of the community college where I work has a great spider web sculpture made by a past group of welding students.  I really wanted to get pictures with the sculpture. 

You can see the large spiral quilting I did with Auriful thread color 2615 (50 weight thread).  I also used Aurifil for the satin stitching around each of the spiders.  The spider template came from The Seasoned Homemaker, though I altered the size a bit and took out the fangs.  Like I said, it was important to me that this not be a scary quilt.   

The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton batting.  This is probably my all-time favorite batting; it's the perfect weight.  True to the "Child's Play" theme, this will be a child's quilt.  The baby quit I made for a good friend's daughter was damaged by the family dog, and though I was able to salvage some of it, I promised I'd make another quilt.  That baby girl is now almost three.  I asked her mom how Lady Bug felt about spiders and was told, "good."  When I showed the mom photos of the center spider, she loved it and asked if one of the other spiders could be pink.  No problem!

 It's 48" square, a good size for cuddling.  I really love how fun and colorful this turned out! This was #5 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along.

Quitly Adoption: Flashy Penguins

Cynthia from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework hosts a brilliant event twice each year: a quilty adoption event.  The idea is to pass on projects that you haven't finished that no longer excite you to someone else. 

I have three flashy penguins that are up for adoption.  I made them as samples for my Stash Bee block this year, hen decided that these unconventional penguins were too unconventional for what I wanted.  These guys are each 16" blocks (finished) and are from a free tutorial by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, so making more is a possibility. I added a border around her 12" penguin to make the larger block.

These fun and flashy friends are free to a good home.  Leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to adopt them.  Comments accepted through the end of the day Friday, September 20th.  I'll pick randomly and mail them out by the end of September.  Penguins aren't native to the US so I'm willing to ship internationally.

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Damaged Butterflies: A Quilt Repair

In 2016, I used some of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge butterfly blocks to make a baby quilt for a close friend's second child.    I called it Bright Butterflies, and it's young owner is known as Lady Bug.

Bright Butterflies

Early in the summer, I got a call from Lady Bug's mom, Kate. They had just returned from a week-long vacation and it seemed their dog missed his family and did some damage to a few textiles in the house, including Bright Butterflies.

When I finally got to see it in person, it actually wasn't as bad as I expected. The chewed areas were all toward the edges.

Kate was hoping I could just trim away the chewed parts and re-bind it.  And I could have, but it would have looked weird.  I told her a lot depended on how much she cared about *this* quilt, and if it needed to stay intact. We discussed various salvaging options, and ultimately I convinced her that I could turn the six unharmed butterflies into smaller objects and I would happily make a new quilt for Lady Bug. 

I wanted to do a series of doll quilts but Kate didn't think Lady Bug needed more than one doll quilt.  So two butterflies became a doll quilt.

I mentioned in the original Bright Butterflies post that Kate loves scrap quilts and she & I have traded scraps many times over the years.  I used several fabrics that came form her in the scrappy butterflies, including scraps from a quilt her grandmother made without realizing that's where the scraps came from!  It was especially important that the aqua butterfly be saved, since that's where the grandmother's scraps were.  Fortunately, that was not an area that got chewed.  I turned the aqua and dark purple butterflies into a wall hanging with a hanging sleeve, per request.  And the original label was not damaged!  I was able to unpick the stitches and move it to the back of the wall hanging (no photo of that part).

That left two more butterflies, and Kate suggested a small pillow.  She said Lady Bug liked things like that.  Perfect!  Pink butterfly on one side, yellow on the other.

My son loved the pillow and now wants me to make him one.  I don't have any more salvaged butterflies, but I do have a butterfly die for my accuquilt!  It will make a great rainy day project with him some time this fall.

I finished these projects over the 4th of July weekend but only recently got them photographed and returned to Lady Bug.  I completed her replacement quilt yesterday and will work on getting that photographed, written up, and gifted soon.  I'm glad that the damage wasn't extensive and that Lady Bug will still get to use her baby quilt, even if it's now in different forms. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quilters Meet & Greet Blog Hop

I'm excited to be a part of the Quilters Meet & Greet Blog Hop, spearheaded by Benita from Benita Skinner's Creative Space/Victoriana Quilt Designs. Benita has arranged for some amazing prizes and the fun lasts all month long! Be sure to visit her page to get the full list of participating bloggers.  On each blog, you get a chance to enter the grand prize drawing! (Scroll down for your chance here.)

For those of you who are new here, Welcome!  I'm Emily.  I've been quilting since fall 1997 and started blogging in 2014 as a way of recording what I made-the photo album I kept previous became hard to keep up with after my son was born.  Outside quilting, I'm a librarian living in Charlotte, North Carolina with my Husband, Son (referred to as Fire Monkey) and our dog Ivy.

When Benita asked us each to choose one quilt, I chose Bumper2Bumper, my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt for 2018.  I love scrappy quilts, I love kids quilts, and I love blocks that are a recognizable animal or object, so this seemed like a good quilt to highlight some of those things. This is a pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts; I also used one of her patterns for my 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt: Rainbow Elephant Parade.

I also love I Spy quilts.  I've made many, but my very first I Spy quilt is one I started for my son before he was born. It's twin-sized and is on his bed.  I then made one for my niece, and my mom loved it so much she asked for one!  I was able to take it to her in January.  Next up is one for our bed--I anticipate 306 I Spy squares!

I Spy fabrics are a recent love of mine, but my first love with fabrics are batiks.  I've always been taken by the nuance of colors and subtle changes of batiks.  This year, I am honored to be an Island Batik ambassador.  You can see all of my Island Batik projects under the tab at the top, but I'd like to highlight the project closest to my heart.  This is Oklahoma Dogwood, adapted from a pattern that my paternal grandmother saved.  With a blog named "The Darling Dogwood," you know I had to make a Dogwood quilt!

In addition to batiks and I Spy fabrics, I love Kona solids and I keep track of which colors I've used in projects (also a tab at the top). 

That's enough about me for now!  Check out all the other blogs featured on the Quilters Meet & Greet blog hop and I do hope you like what see here and come back.  Thanks for visiting!