Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Twin Fiber's Virtual Quilting Bee Quilt

Twin Fibers is a place Heather and I visit often for inspiration!  Those girls are always working on something darling!!!  Some of my favorite projects are Jennifer's Parasols Quilt (!!!!),  Jessica's Selvage Star Quilt, and Jessica's Mod Times Quilt Along...I can't wait for a break to start this quilt :)  Oh and THIS recent project has me drooling.  Twin Fibers is an absolute MUST if you're a quilt blog hopper :)  
Enjoy Jessica's Quilting Diva's Virtual Quilting Bee quilt:

Thanks again to Heather and Megan for allowing me to share another one of my quilts with you!
Quilting Diva's VQBee Quilt - finished
Many of the blocks from this quilt were from the Quilting Diva's Bee that I was in. I received so many gorgeous blocks! The women in that group really spent some time choosing fabrics that were perfect for my color scheme and spent even more time stitching a block together.
detail 1
I love the eclectic nature of the quilt and I think the sashing and binding really helps to pull it all together. Usually I stick with a solid sashing but I really love how the stripe and patterned cornerstone fabrics work within this quilt.
Quilting Diva's Bee Quilt - rolled
I've been working hard at finishing up some of my unfinished quilt projects since the beginning of the year and am so glad that I pulled this one out to work on. It would be a shame to have those gorgeous blocks hidden away! Now I see and can enjoy them every day in this quilt. If you'd like to see more of what I'm up to, I keep a blog at Twin Fibers where my sister and I share our sewing projects. Happy Sewing! ~Jessica

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fabric Tuesday and backpacks!

Remember this stack of fabric that I needed help with??  Well I took your suggestion and found a great free pattern online from indietutes, and ta-da!  Darling kid's backpacks!!

Aren't they sweet??  They are made using Children at Play for Michael Miller and Anika by Monaluna.

This was Sawyer's first day of preschool, precious!  And little brother Ollie certainly couldn't be without a backpack of his own :)

Welcome to Fabric Tuesday 50!
Ready to share??  Here's a refresher for Fabric Tuesday if you need it....can't wait to see what you've created this week!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Projects to share...

I realize I am not very good at sharing my projects along the fact I almost always wait until I have a completed quilt (or project) to post it on the blog.  I want to change today I'm sharing some of my WIPs!  Now that I look at them, only half are actually in progress, a couple are just waiting to be started!! Ha!  Oh, and if you're wondering we'll have a great feature on Wednesday :)

1. Modern Strip Quilt

This bad boy is all pieced, just needs to be bound and quilted.  I am hoping to finish it in a few weeks!!  It is cute, modern and will become a pattern.

2. Robot Factory Quilt
Robot Factory by Caleb Gray for Robert Kaufman-look for this collection late September

This quilt is further along than pictured, some of the blocks are done already.  This is my top priority and I am really excited about this one.  Such adorable boy fabric!!  My boys and I spent 10 minutes looking at the fabric together the other day :)

3. Yet to be named...

I am in LOVE with the colors in this line, that is my new favorite blue/green (what would you call it? They call it "mineral")  Paired with the oranges and yellows, yummy.  This is another upcoming pattern, all the blocks are done I just need to put the top together, bind and quilt :)  Not too hard, right?

4.ADORABLE Rain Jacket! 

I am madly in love with this collection, madly.  I am really excited to make this up!! I volunteered a local friend who is much better at sewing clothing than I to help me for a few hours to do this, I'm a tiny scared :)  The blue whales will be on the outside and the yellow school fish for the lining.  I also got the iron on vinyl stuff for the outside (I don't want this getting dirty!!)  Have you ever used it before?  Does it work well?

Heather is using the girls version of Storyboek for a couple of darling projects...oh my goodness they are cute.  And she made her Weston darling pants and hats with the same boy line too.

That's what I've been working on, can't wait to show you the finishes now :)  At least now I can say in the post "remember this pile of fabric..." :)

PS OH AND A PERSONAL husband has been gone for 8 weeks and comes home this afternoon!!!!! I am so unbelievably excited!!!!!!!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Horrible sewn on binding, favorite seam ripper!

I am a super bad stitched on binding-er! I am determined to get it right one day. I stitched the front "stitch in the ditch, but didn't line up the binding good enough on the back....

Half of the quilt looks like this, all sloppy all over the place. I have to undo half of a quilt!

I am not being paid a penny to say that this seam ripper is the bomb! Meg and I were lucky enough to score this seam ripper at market. Havel's sewing makes it.

See this hook? It is razor sharp! You just slip it into your seam, and glide it through, and it smoothly slices your mistakes away! 

I think I probably did it 5 times faster than the regular seam rippers where you pluck one stitch at a time. 

LOVE it. Now on to attempt again. Any advice? Do I just need to pin the heck out of the binding? Someone said glue once, that sounds like it is worth a try. I also heard about fusible thread, I bought some gutermann fusible thread, and could not get it to fuse?  It wouldn't melt!

Anyhow, if you get this seam ripper, I promise you will not be disappointed! LOVE

Have a fun crafty weekend!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life of Riley crayon box challenge...

Rachel from The Life of Riley had a fun crayon challenge with her quilt guild. I think she picked out a really pretty color!  Her blog has tons of tutorials from jewelry making to stuffed animals. And tons of recipes too! I like the idea of a quilt challenge, making you think outside of the crayon box (get it! man, I am a funny one today!)

My 'Crayon Challenge Quilt' is finished.  About 6 months ago 46 members of our Quilt Guild chose a random crayon out of a bag and had to complete a 12" x 12" or 8" x 10" quilt with at least 50% of the fabric being the color of the crayon. The quilts will be silent auctioned for a fund raiser for one of the local hospitals. My crayon was 'jungle green'.  Interestingly it is not a yellow-green color, but has much more blue in it than I was expecting.  I went in search of a matching fabric in the stash and found some that was quite close to perfect.  Then I pulled out the lighter color for the contrast. I started by cutting out blocks and laying them out in various patterns.  I originally was going to do the quilt blocks on point, but I didn't have enough.  Once I decided on the simple one patch grid and cut some other shapes and played around with those.  This is what I ended up with.
 I used some decorative stitches to secure the appliques and emphasize the blocks.  I did the binding in the lighter color because I didn't have nearly enough of the dark (which I would have preferred), but it rather looked like it was 'floating'.  So I decided to add the beads on the edge.  Then to tie it all together I added some to the rectangles. 
Overall I am pretty happy with the little quilt.  If I could go back, I probably would have put less beads on the edge - it is pretty heavy for a small quilt.

Sneak peek Michael Miller solids....


Check out this gorgeousness! Michael Miller has their own line of gorgeous solids! They are not out yet, but will be coming soon.  So many colors!  Don't they just make me happy? Maybe I will attempt a solids quilt? 

Let me tell you my favorite part of these....SO SOFT!!! Seriously I just pet and pet them. Definitely very high quality! 100% high density cotton.  I promise when you get your hands on these, they will make your heart very happy!

Don't you love my rainbowy text?

Just wanted to share some of this yumminess!

EDITED TO ADD:  These fabrics won't be available until October/November

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sewn with Grace, special memory quilt

This will make you cry! What a sweet story of friendship loss and love. This quilt is so special. Renee made it for her best friends daughter after she lost her battle with cancer. I love how a quilt can be so special. I love how making a quilt can be so healing.  Make sure to go to Sewn With Grace to see all she is sewing up! Check out her flickr photostream too! Gorgeous stuff!

A year ago, May, my dear friend, Cheryl, went home to be with the Lord after battling cancer.  You can read our story here.   Recently I had the privilege of creating a memory quilt for her oldest daughter, Leah.

I cannot say that this was an easy quilt for me to make.  While I enjoyed the hand applique and piecing, I often found myself in tears.  There were times when the pictures became overwhelming.  Last week I picked up the quilt from my quilter/friend, Mary.  Looking at the beautiful quilting she did brought me to tears again.  With the exception of the yellow dot and some green, the beautiful fabric is "Celebration" by Brenda Riddle of Acorn Quilts.  Her blog is here.

I was not able to see Cheryl at the end of her time on earth.  We had talked about me flying out from Michigan to see her in Texas.  I kept thinking I had time and allowed my schedule to get in the way.   Whenever I thought I could go, something would come up and again I would tell myself that there was plenty of time.

Then one day the news came that she was gone.  I could not believe it.  I could not fathom that I allowed that time to pass and now it was too late.  The guilt of this would eat me up for months.  I had missed saying goodbye to one of the most cherished friends that the Lord has ever provided me.

It was during this time that Leah and I began corresponding.  Leah was a balm for my soul and I offered to make a memory quilt for her.  This has been such a healing process for me, one last thing that I could do for Cheryl.  The most meaningful quilt I have ever made.

I urge you to not hesitate in telling the people you love how much they mean to you and to do so face to face if that is at all possible.  I know that I will see Cheryl again and we will worship our Lord Jesus together as we did so many times before and this time we will see him face-to-face, but if I could go back to that time I would take the first plane out and run to her.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me this opportunity to make a quilt for Leah and thank you for Cheryl, and for her life that brought me to you.


Fabric Tuesday, JAQS and winners!

Welcome to our new sponsor JAQs fabrics

This is an online or etsy fabric shop

want to know my favorite thing?
I love when a shop creates custom bundles LIKE THIS for you, I love mixing up fabric lines but when purchasing online it is hard to do yourself...and they do it great!

more about JAQs:
-easily order any fabric by FAT quarters and yardage
-see how much inventory for each item
-carry a huge selection of high quality cotton prints and solids
-shop by color, style, designer, brand, fabric type
-we have our Got FAT $1.50 each Fat Quarter
I loooove this, great way to build your stash!!!
-we ship anywhere for great prices.  For USA shipping we have shipping for $5 or less.
-fast shipping, great service and custom orders are welcomed

Check out the fun JAQs Blog!
and you're just in time for a giveaway too, so hurry over!!


Well the time has come for the winners who joined in on our Rockin' Robin Quilt Along!  The prizes, again, Two $25 gift certificates from Fat Quarter Shop
or a Metro Market Fat Quarter Bundle from The Fabric Shoppe

And the winners chosen from the flickr group at random are (check out their quilts!!):
Caribousmom-Fat Quarter Shop
ylmommyx4- Fat Quarter Shop
 Bevandkev- Fabric Shoppe
I will be in touch to get you your prizes!

Now for fabric Tuesday... make sure to check out the guidelines if you are not familiar. Most important, link back to us!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Diamond memory quilt for a sweet baby girl...

Heidi from Boys, Buttons and butterflies lost her daughter to a fatal condition called Thanatophoric Dysplasia, Oct 14th, 2009. She decided to craft and create her way through her grief and pain. We are so sad for her loss, but love that she still creates!  Here is a sweet quilt she made in memory of Jamie Lynn. Read more of her story here.

On June 24th
, our lives were forever changed.  We received the worst news a parent could ever imagine to hear.  At our routine ultrasound, they discovered there might be something seriously wrong with the baby.  After an amniocentesis, a fetal MRI, numerous high level ultrasounds, countless appointments with doctors and specialists, the verdict was given.  Our baby had a lethal skeletal dysplasia, or in layman’s terms, a fatal dwarfism.

On October 14th at 7:39am, Jamie Lynn entered this world with the tiniest cry. Like her brothers, she was nice and hefty at 5lbs, 4oz despite being four weeks early.  She was a mere 14.5 inches long from her perfect head to her perfect little toes.  With her too small limbs, and chest too tiny to survive this world long, Daddy quickly baptized her with the healing waters from Lourdes, France gifted to us by Father D___.  After a short snuggle with me, he swept her away to be introduced to her big brothers.  A short time later, which felt like an eternity, we were all reunited as a family.  We were able to dress her in clothes washed and smelling like home.  We exclaimed over her shocking full head of the whitest blonde hair.  The boys declared her “cute”.  We adored her tiny hands and her, oh so perfect, feet. Daddy was enthralled with his sweet baby girl. 
We were together as a family, as she drifted away, her perfect little footprints etched on our hearts forever at 8:54am.

Hellooooo Diamonds.......

I am so happy with this new quilt!  

Last year, we put a pool in our backyard.  After living in the Houston area for 8 years, we realized we could no longer survive one more year in the abominable heat without one!  When we designed it, we included a special tile in memory of our daughter, Jamie Lynn

This spring, I was sitting on the "beach" with our newest addition thinking of her as I looked at her "feet" on Mother's Day and discovered that I really loved the color that the blue portion of our pool is.  

I have been rattling color ideas for our backyard furniture and it all of a sudden hit me!  I would emphasize the already orange accents (see the orange/rust colored cushion?) with the blue color of our pool!! 

  Of course, my inspiration portion of my brain kicked in and immediately thought of a making quilt.  I wandered into my studio and discovered that I had Jelly Rolls in the colors I wanted to do.  How convenient that I would think of this in time for the Festival!  Don't you love when things just fall into place!

So I went to work this past weekend and finished the top.    In true Heidi-fashion, I finished this late last night burning the midnight oil. Not my best quilting job, but it will do.

And I swear, the quilt just looks wonky from this angle.  It really isn't THAT bad.  Perfect, NO!  The fence is actually lower than where I was standing.  I hate when a photo makes something worse!

Why do I love this quilt?  I love it because I was able to actually do it on my boys' sewing machine (only has straight and zigzag stitch) while my sewing machine is in the shop again.  I love that I was challenged that way!  I love that it was made from fabric I already had on hand.  I love that it will be the springboard for the rest of my outdoor furniture fabrics.  

And I love that every time I see it or use it, it will remind me of my darling daughter!  I have been having trouble sewing off and on anything since the fatal diagnosis of our daughter.  But I had  a realization that I could either sit around and waste the rest of my life in a pile of grief, or I could do what she can't...LIVE!  And sewing and crafting give my life zest!  I couldn't think of a better reason to love this quilt!!!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Cluck Cluck Sew's newest finish!

You most certainly have been to see Alison of Cluck Cluck Sew...and if not you are missing out!  Her blog is truly inspirational, has taught me a lot and gets me excited!  We got to meet Alison at market and she is ridiculously nice and sweet.  She has fabulous tutorials, my favorite is her Raw Edge Circle Quilt.  Her amazing patterns can be found here as well.  Here is her newest pattern:

This quilt has been a favorite on our couch for a month now (unbound!) and I just keep forgetting to take a picture of it….so this will have to do.  I made this quilt for my boys because my chain reaction quilt was looking pretty worn….and Ben requested a "soft" quilt.  So soft it is, with a bright blue minkee on the back (bought locally).
I sent this quilt to Christina for quilting.   I’m sure she was cursing my name during the process as it took some trial and error to get the set up right….but I sure love the quilting.
I used some random fabrics and bright solids for this one.  I wanted it to have a playful, summery, boy look without being baby-ish.   
For those of you that asked and are waiting… I finished up the Bizzy Kid pattern. It’s only available in a PDF right now…and fyi…it’s a big file, 12 pages, and includes instructions for the kid size (48" x 60") or a twin size (60" x 80").

You can find the pattern here.

Also for those of you that asked, the solids in this are Kona Cottons in Chartreuse, Coral, School bus, and of course White. I have fabric ordered for a twin size version of this quilt for my son’s bed…a not so brightversion. :)

If you're doing some online fabric shopping this weekend, stop by Sew Obsessed, they've got some great free shipping deals for you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Miss Shabby and another darling quilt!

Corey from Little miss shabby is always making the most darling quilts! I am always blog stalking her! She offers the cutest Birdie stitches embroidery patterns for free on her blog, then a pattern to put the quilt together. And she has several darling quilt patterns she has made for Moda bake shop! Check out her fun tutorials, this is one of my favorites!

Flea Market Fancy & Katie Jump Rope Quilt
I’ve shared peeks of this quilt previously but this is the first time you are seeing it in its entirety.  Of course you all recognize this quilt as the quilt I had intended to donate to Japan Project modern–however, with that project no longer taking place this quilt is currently residing in my family room until I decide where it will end up. =)

Hand Quilting Detail
This quilt is made up of a combo of Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope fabrics which I think work so well together.  My mom and I did the hand quilting on this quilt using Finca Perle Cotton size 8 in Dark Brown.  The quilt pattern is a slightly revised version of this free pattern.  I preferred the framed squares as opposed to the solid squares and I also made the quilt a bit smaller than the pattern called for.

Back Detail
For the back of the quilt, I opted to use a solid white.  This isn’t something I normally do but I wanted to show off the hand quilting pattern–I think it looks pretty neat (you’ll have to ignore the wrinkles). 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reveal and Fabric Tuesday!

Welcome to Fabric Tuesday #48!

Today I am sharing a recent finish, my quilt top for the Rockin' Robin Quilt Along!!
Here are the previous weeks if you are interested in joining:

Photoshop is out of commission, which means I can't lighten the photo.  Boo!
This is so different from any quilt I've done, I love it!  My favorite parts is that it's funky, I used all scraps and that it is bright!

My favorite rows ended up being the stars and log cabin:

Remember, those of you who finish your Rockin' Robin QUILT TOP (not quilted, just the top) and have a picture posted in the flickr group are entered in to receive one of two gift certificates to Fat Quarter Shop and a Metro Market Fat Quarter Bundle from The Fabric Shoppe

And now FABRIC TUESDAY #48!!
Click HERE if you are new or need a refresher on how to play

Can't wait to see what you've been up to!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Blue Bird Sews a quilt for Grandma!

The best quilts are often the ones we make for people we love.  When I make a project for myself I allow myself to cut corners, but for someone else I'll pull out the ole seam ripper!!  Can you relate??  Today's quilt from Kelly of Blue Bird Sews she made for her Grandmother (in-law).  Such a nice gift!  Make sure to see Kelly's great quilt finishes, as well as this Concrete Cabin Block Quilt Tutorial.  Fun stuff!!

I am happy to bring you my latest finish from a pile of fabric to the finished quilt in it's new home. So sit back and let me tell you the whole quilt story (foul ups and all!)

My Grandma-in-Law (GIL for short) requested I make her a quilt about two months ago. She had only a few requriments: A queen sized blue and white quilt to match her bedroom -- by winter time. Little did she know I had a surprise in mind for finishing this quilt in time to give it to her during our vacation to visit the family in July! (more on that later) She left the over all design and fabric patterns up to me. It was a blast picking some favorites from my stash and rounding them out with just a couple of purchases - mainly a lot of Kona White! 
Fabric chosen, a perfect match to GIL tastes
The design came quickly, saw tooth stars set in an Irish Chain with a medallion in the center. I set about sewing my stars first, and then realized I'd made a big wonky mistake on each block!

First blocks

I thought I knew how to make flying geese blocks, turns out I was wrong! I centered the triangles when sewing them together instead of lining up the edges! How dumb right! I learned a big lesson that day, take a minute and read some directions before starting. But it wasn't the end of world, I just cut a new set of blocks and made 24 perfect Saw Tooth Stars.
A plan, new blocks and ready squares
The rest of the quilt top came together perfectly! And so far in my quilting career, it's the most accurate quilt I've ever made. I did a little happy dance about that! (sorry no picture of that!)
A perfect top ready to quilt
Long arm quilting is my new favorite part of quilting. Taking a top in for a few hours and walking out with a quilt sandwich is so gratifying. I found a great quilt shop close by to rent time on their long arm machine. After an intro class and a practice top session I was ready to try an easy stipple, loopy'd loops and a single flower in the center.But not before I made one whole pass with the tension totally our of whack!  t before I made one whole pass with the tension totally out of whack! Thanks goodness the ladies that run the shop are super helpful, because it took two of us 20 minutes to pick out all the bad stitches. But that's okay because in the end I was in love, look at that smile -- I'm a happy quilter!

I finished the quilting a week before we left for our NY vacation to visit the in-laws and introduce everyone to the latest addition, Baby J.  The quilt came with us so that I could give it to GIL in person! Hooray!

Grandma with her new quilt! She's happy too!
My in-laws live in just about the most beautiful little farming town in up-up State NY. The kind of place where there are old farm house and lots of corn fields. I am in heaven here, I'm a city girl trapped in a country girl's body. And with the most beautiful farm house just up the road we took the quilt over for a photo shoot with the barns, tractors and porches. 

Remember those messed up saw tooth stars? I put them to good use on the back of the quilt. They don't look wonky from here :)
This might be my favorite picture of the quilt!
Does it get anymore iconic? Nope!

A shot of the full front
The whole back
And now it lives with Grandma and she couldn't be more pleased! It ties her whole bedroom together, don't you think.
The quilt in it's native habitat, Grandma's Room!
Thanks for coming along on my quilt journey. This quilt was such a joy to make and to give! But having all the pictures to share along the way is just awesome!