• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

For the Soldiers

It is *always* better for someone to be enjoying a quilt rather than a UFO (unfinished object) sitting in your sewing room gathering dust. I finally took this to heart and finished up 2 UFOs and donated them!

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These quilts first appeared on my blog here, where I was sewing them in the kitchen to escape the mess of my sewing room, and here, where I finished the tops and was about to send them to my Mom to be quilted.  The blocks are originally from a swap bee I participated in *years* ago.  In this swap,  you’d turn in just as many blocks as you wanted in return, and the bee keepers were excellent at measuring and turning down blocks that didn’t meet size specifications.  This rule might seem mean, but after participating in a random Internet swap where the blocks came back up to 1/2″ bigger or smaller than the required measurement, I am *so* happy the bee keepers were strict.  These quilts were easy to put together.  (Another quilt a result of this bee is here — one I kept for myself!)
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Each quilt measures about 66″x85″ — I think a great size for a man.
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Somebody in the group called these blocks a single-wedding-ring, but I can’t name it that with confidence.  When I just googled that name, the block that popped up looked incredibly different.  So I can’t help with those details.  The blocks of this quilt were made so very many years ago!
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My fave red fabric, also highlighting my Mom’s square-spiral quilting.

My mom finished the quilting for me LONG ago — a different design on each quilt if you notice – and then I put them in my closet.  Perhaps my closet binding-fairies would finish them up completely, right?  Um, no.  When that didn’t work and I finally got tired of all the space they were taking up in my closet, I did the binding.  At the last guild meeting I donated them to my guild’s Red, White & Blue project. They assured me they were perfectly acceptable even if they weren’t technically red, white and blue. Our guild regularly delivers these quilts to wounded soldiers at Brooke Army Medical Center.
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This quilt has more of a swirl design quilted on it.

I did nearly have a heart attack after I finished these quilts.  I don’t normally wash my quilts right away, preferring the pristine condition, but I threw these in the washer because they had cat hair on them.  The last thing I would want to do is give someone an allergy attack when they snuggle with my quilt!  Despite all the color catchers I threw in the wash too, one of the white/tan fabrics was a magnet for the red dye floating in the water.  One block on each quilt, both made out of the same fabric, turned pink on me!  Yikes!

I sprayed the block and washed again with even more color catchers.  The blocks are still tinted pink, but not glaringly so anymore.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to donate the quilts, but I think they are good enough now.  Had you noticed a pink block in the quilts before I mentioned it?  No?  Then I’m good!  🙂

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Oh, and almost forgot!  I also made a pillowcase for each quilt!  The pillowcases were made with the “hot-dog” method.  Here are the pillowcases with their quilts inside:
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View from the Sewing Room

I’ve been *very* busy in the sewing room lately as I try to finish up using all of my vintage sheets.  I just want them OUT of my sewing room — I’m tired of their half-polyester ways!  I’m going to offer my scraps when I’m done to some local friends, and if that doesn’t work they’ll go on the guild’s free table- that’s how much I want them gone!

And so, lined up in my closet I have 4 vintage sheet quilts all ready for pin-basting and then quilting, as well as 2 alien-fabric baby quilt tops I also put together this past month:

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2 of these tops were just pieced this past weekend – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  I felt so accomplished!
And, on my sewing room floor I have a gazillion (yup, I counted) scraps of batting that I’ve been piecing together to form the properly-sized battings for each of those 6 tops.

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Many many many pieces of batting, thankfully labeled with their sizes to help figure out the piecing.

Yikes!  I only have one more batting that I have to piece and then these can go back to hiding in boxes.  It’s been a bit of a chore admittedly trying to puzzle together similar pieces of batting – there are so many different kinds and sizes here!

I can thank my Mom for all those lovely scraps of batting.  She often has pieces at the end of the bolt that she can’t use because they’re just too small, and she of course does not piece customers’ battings.  However, piecing a batting is perfectly acceptable and will last as long as you piece/fuse it well and then quilt well.  Nobody will know once these quilts are done that the middles were pieced.

And then I get to baste all of these tops. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that, but I hope to do some tonight — the kitchen floor is mopped and ready!  I definitely don’t have enough pins for all of them, though, so I’ll have to prioritize. I have one baby waiting for an alien quilt, so that’ll definitely be basted first.

Warm and Cozy

More than anything, I love snuggling under flannel quilts.  Flannel just adds so much extra warm and cozy.  This flannel quilt in particular has been well used this fall and winter.  Yup, well-used despite the 80-degree temperatures this February day.

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It’s so tiny!  Well, not really, but on this big red barn it sure looks tiny!  The quilt measures 48″ x 60″.

Some of you may remember this quilt, and especially remember helping me choose the layout for the blocks!  I made this quilt top, yikes!, 2 years ago this week!  You can find all my previous posts while making the top here, here, here and here.

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I made it as part of a sewing challenge to make a project during the span of the Winter Olympics.  I in particular wanted to make my first string quilt with scraps as practice for making a string quilt with my fave Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  The method really is simple and I am unfortunately still just planning on making the one with my beloved Fassett fabrics.  Methinks I need to make a list! Or just look at the twenty lists that I already have around here…

The top was finished during the challenge in 2010, but the quilt wasn’t bound and finished until 2011, and now I’m finally blogging it in 2012!  My mom did the fabulous quilting in a timely manner and returned the quilt to me promptly, as always.
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Fabulous quilting, as promised!

However, I decided it needed a flannel binding to complement its flannel front and back.  And of course I took my sweet time getting to the store to buy up some red flannel to make the binding!  And so this quilt sat and waited for my attention, as all my quilts seem to do.

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I am definitely very happy to be snuggling under this quilt.

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And I’m also definitely happy to see this bright green lush grass above!  I feared we’d never see green again around here after last summer’s drought!  Of course, let’s not talk about how most of the green we see is all weeds now since most grass died out everywhere, and that we’re really still in a drought despite the rains we’ve luckily received of late….

Elation

I jumped right back onto the quilting train, and this time met success!  SO HAPPY!

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Our new craft, shown in its natural habitat:  surrounded by other crafts!  We just received the bookshelf on the right and it has become our kids’ craft shelf and resides in the kitchen, as you can see.  It was filled within 2.67 seconds of being named Craft Shelf.

This is a little project that my girls and I made for my husband’s birthday.  I totally stole the idea from here.  (I originally found it on Pinterest through a friend but thought I’d source the original location.)  The girls chose the fabric for their handprints — they  both chose blues since that is Daddy’s favorite color.

We gave it a little late to my husband because I was, once again, avoiding the quilting part of the project.  (Do we see a theme here???)

But I needed to do it, and this time I went with a bit of a plan.  I decided to…PRACTICE.  Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
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I started with deciding how to quilt it.  I wanted the same echoing around the hands as the original, but I wanted to do something else in the remaining space.  I did practice free-motion quilting around the hands on some scraps, but that ended up too inconsistent for my liking still.  Echoing takes a lot of precision! and skill! and even more practice than I was willing to do!  So I simply sewed it normally, which was really easy, even with lots of curves, on this little piece.

As for the remaining space, I poked around a website that has some good tips and designs for free motion quilting, A Few Scraps, and found a cute little heart idea.  Perfect.  I practiced drawing it on paper first, and then practiced sewing it on scraps.  And then it really was just perfect when I quilted it on my little piece.
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I’m swooning over my hearts!  Even up close they look Fab!

Thank goodness this isn’t a real quilt though and instead framed up — the back of the piece is a bit, um, knotty.

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The girls were thrilled with the final product, and their Daddy liked it too.  As he told Julia, “now you really will be 3 forever!”  (He often asks the girls to not grow up and stay 3 or 5 or whatever age they are forever.  Julia insists that she *has* to grow up!)

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Yup, she’s 3 forever…

Frustration

I’ve been worried about my free-motion quilting skills and have been avoiding quilting this quilt for way too long.  The baby is 7 months old and heck, I thought I’d get it to him before he was 6 months and now I have to worry about his 1st birthday!

I definitely didn’t want to start with the space quilt — I like it too much to ruin it.  So, it was time to pull out a charity quilt and start quilting.

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This quilt has problems, but it really isn’t wavy despite its appearances.  It’s just the grass making it appear that way.

And my goodness, although I seem to have finally conquered my tension and thread-breaking issues, I definitely have a long way to go with my quilting.  My stitch length is extremely erratic and I couldn’t seem to decide where I wanted to go and when.  And then the thread I chose ended up being a bit too dark and shows up SO much instead of disappearing into the quilt as I wanted.  SO. VERY. FRUSTRATING.
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These blocks are vintage sheets I received from an exchange.  As you can see here, some are pretty thread-bare.

The ladies at my craft get together rolled their eyes at me and my dramatics, but I know I’m not satisfied.  I’ll definitely be doing another practice quilt or two before I start the space quilt.
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I also need some work on my 100% machine binding.  This one was tons better than my previous attempts.  I’ll definitely be hand-stitching the binding on quilts I really care about, but I know some charities have asked for machine bindings and I thus wanted to practice.

And really, this quilt isn’t crap.  It will be given to charity and I think it will be well-loved and won’t fall apart.  I just need to get better.

What is Black and Tan and Red in Spots?

Why, 2 finished quilt tops!  What else?

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This certainly took a lot more time than I expected, especially since the blocks were made years ago, but the tops are done!  These tops measure approximately 66” x 85” and will certainly fit a wounded soldier well.  I’ll show them in full when they are complete.  Don’t expect them *too* soon simply because I will hand them off to my Mom to quilt next time I go to Houston, and I’m not sure when that will be.  In the meantime, I’ll go ahead and cut the binding for them and maybe stop procrastinating on some of my other projects…

A View of the Kitchen Table

I still haven’t done the quilting yet of a certain quilt (um, yikes!), but I have been getting some sewing done.

I recently moved one project over to the kitchen table.  I worked on it diligently at night, claiming to my husband that I moved out there so I could watch the same TV shows as him and “be” with him.  That was, in part, true.  But in fact the other reason I moved it over was because my GOODNESS, my sewing room/guest bedroom is a MESS and just look at all the space behind the sewing machine here.  Such easy sewing!
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My husband called me out and wanted his kitchen table back so my project is back in my sewing room.  At this time, all the individual rows are together except for the setting triangles.  Let me tell you, figuring out the necessary size for those setting triangles made my head hurt!  The sashing seemed to make it so much more confusing.

Hopefully I’ll be done piecing these quilts soon and I’ll ship them off to my Mom.  We will be donating these quilts to Quilts of Valor, certainly a worthy organization.