Friday, December 6, 2013

Sparklepunch for Auna

I know I've said this before but I love making baby quilts for friends - especially those who truly appreciate the time and effort that goes in to the process. My friend, Jessica, is pregnant with her second baby and when I asked what colors she wanted, she practically jumped for joy. Because it was her second, she didn't want to ask me for a quilt. (I had just made a quilt for her first, born in 2012.) Nonsense, I told her. ALL babies deserve their own quilt, regardless of birth order!

Baby #2 is a girl and Jessica requested purples and greens. I love this color combo! I sent her several photos and asked her to choose the pattern she wanted.

She picked Sparklepunch. This quilt pattern is courtesy of Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! I had seen the quilt on her blog and then it was featured in a quilting magazine I received. I could have made the quilt without the pattern but it was nice to have the measurements. It's the type of quilt tha tyou have to lay it out as you go. All the pieces are intermixed for the pattern.

I love the finished product and hopefully little baby Auna will love it, too!

I quilted this with an overall free motion pattern of stars and loops - one of my original go-to free motion patterns.

This is the 101st quilt I've ever made. Bazinga!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Chezney's Quilt

I was thrilled to learn my cousin's daughter was accepted and planned to attend IU. It's always great to have another Hoosier in the family! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend her high school graduation party earlier this summer but my mom and I planned to make her a quilt for her dorm room.

She requested hot pink, gold, and black. My mom wanted to do a log cabin and since she had a lot of pink scraps and I had a lot of gold scraps, I suggested we make them wonky. I was a little unsure of the color scheme but after putting together some blocks and laying it out, I fell in love.

These colors look awesome together!

We didn't finish the quilt in time for Chezney's move-in to the residence hall but luckily we were all together for the first IU tailgate to give it to her. 

Monday, September 30, 2013


The 2013 Covered in Threads Quilt Guild Challenge was to make a quilt project with polka dot fabric. When this was decided earlier this year, I was very excited because I already had some polka dot fabric that I was ready to cut in to. I decided on a literal translation of polka dot quilt but using my polka dot fabric to make a larger polka dot design. I played around with a few different layout options:

When I finally had the layout I wanted, I used appliqued the circles on to the quilt. I thought that would be the hard part (I don't particularly like applique!) To continue the polka dot theme, I decided to quilt it using a pebble style quilting. THAT was the hard part. I LOVE the look of pebble quilting but it. took. for. ever.

Here's a shot of the quilt in progress; you can see the quilting I've started in the middle.

It was hours and hours of sewing but I love, love, love how it turned out. 

I am DEFINITELY keeping this quilt for myself. It's currently hanging in my sewing room.

The title of the quilt is very appropriate and it's also an homage to my Polish family.

UPDATED: You guys, I just added this to my list of completed quilt projects and it's the 100th quilt I've finished. YAY ME!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I bought some adorable owl fabric at Yoder's in Shipshewana a few years ago and it's been sitting in my stash, waiting to be cut up. Who doesn't love owls?

When a friend told me she expecting a little boy this fall, I decided it was time to use my beautiful owl fabric. I did a simple four-patch and all fabric, including the backing, came from my stash.

 Have a "hooty-full" day!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Uniquely Yours Quilt Shop

The Polack and I recently took a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I've been quilting a lot lately so I was in the mood to do some fabric shopping. Do you know that Nashville doesn't have a single quilt shop? I was surprised by this. I did find two quilt shops listed in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb about 30 minutes south of Nashville but unfortunately, we didn't have time to make the trip to Franklin.

But the Polack, who is awesome and always so supportive of my craft, insisted we find someplace to stop on the drive home. Some searching through Yelp brought up Uniquely Yours Quilt Shop in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I also wanted to stop by Crimson Tate in Indianapolis so I wasn't sure which to pick (we only had time for one) but after reading some great Yelp reviews, I decided on Uniquely Yours. It was a great decision. (Crimson Tate is awesome too! More on that later.)

We had a bit of trouble finding the Uniquely Yours. For some reason, the map app I was using took us down a dead-end country road. Luckily, another map app steered us on the correct course. As we ventured to another part of the county (on the other side of Elizabethtown), we almost passed by a house with a small sign advertising Uniquely Yours. We drove down the driveway to the back of the house where we found the entrance to the quilt shop.

I have to admit, I was doubtful. A quilt shop in someone's basement; this place didn't look like much from the outside.

And then I walked in.

Uniquely Yours was stuffed with bolts and bolts of fabric.

Bolts on shelves, from floor to ceiling.

Bolts in front of bolts. Bolts in boxes on the floor.

Look at all those grays!

 Most of the fabric was in one room; a second room had fabric (including a clearance section where I scored some $3/yard fabric!) as well as a work area. Just off the work area was a four seasons room with a long arm.

As I chatted with the owner, I told her how impressed I was with her selection. She boasted that she has over 4,000 bolts of fabric. FOUR THOUSAND BOLTS! That is very impressive. And she picks them all out herself. She has a great eye for fabric; I wasn't overwhelmed by boring Moda organized by line; she had a great variety and there were several modern prints, including this awesome bundle. (Which I didn't purchase, much to the disappointment of my mom and mother-in-law.)

Doesn't the Polack look so cute sitting there, waiting for me while I shop?

Here is my favorite find of the day. I'm not sure what I'll do with this but it has to be something incredibly awesome.

In addition to the chevron print, I purchased some red and white fabric to go with my collection I've been accumulating. I also purchased some lilac and grass colored fabric for a baby quilt I'm working on.

Don't be fooled by the outside of Uniquely Yours; this is must visit quilt shop located about 15 minutes from I65 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Whip It

Another completed project - yay! I'm on a roll!

This quilt went together pretty fast. I started it July 7 and it was finished by July 15.  This is a baby quilt for my cousin who is expecting a boy in August. She requested blues and greys. What a fun color combo!

I used all scraps for the blue and luckily, I had a few yards of solid gray on hand for the background fabric. Over the fourth of July week, I went to Shipshewana to check out the outdoor flea market with the family. I found a booth with good quality fabric that was for sale for $5/yard. I snatched up a few yards of this gray that I used for the back. (I also bought some matching red. Good red is so hard to find!)

I mentioned how quickly I completed this project. The top only took a few hours - just two days at my machine! After another few days break, I layered and pinned it in one night and then spent a Saturday quilting it. I used an overall meander.

Here's a photo of it before I added the binding.

 Now it's ready to be shipped to Battle Creek, just in time for baby Owen's arrival!

You may have noticed all the quilting activity on here lately. Over the weekend, my mom came to visit. She requested a quilting weekend and I was happy to oblige. Combined, we finished two quilts, got another one ready for binding, and made three quilt tops. It was a productive weekend!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Unsolved Mystery Part 2

A few years ago, I completed a Mystery Quilt while attending Camp Tecumseh. After making all the blocks, I didn't really like the last border that was supposed to go around the quilt top. It made the top too big for a baby quilt but not big enough for a decent sized throw. So I decided to complete the quilt without the border. I blogged about it here.

Since I already had the border blocks made, I decided to put them together to make a smaller wall hanging/baby quilt. The top was easy to complete but I didn't have a reason to finish the quilt -- until I bought my new sewing machine in January. I was eager to quilt something and I wanted to start with a small project to practice on. The machine sewed beautifully and now I have another finished project to check off my to-do list.

Black and White Block Exchange

Back in 2009, our Covered in Threads quilt guild organized our very first block exchange. One of our members had participated in a block and white block exchange with another group of quilters so we thought this would be a great way to get started on what has become an annual challenge. Here are the blocks I completed for the exchange.

We all chose two blocks to make and then we got together and did the exchange. Ten people participated so we left the meeting with a total of 20 blocks, measuring 12.5 inches. I even blogged about some of the other blocks our members did. Check out one of those posts here. But despite my excitement about the exchange, it took me a while to do anything with the blocks. I finally added wonky sashing and put them together during the 2012 January Quilt Camp.

Eventually I added a red print border that I found on sale at Jo-Ann's. But I didn't like the geometric print against the sampler blocks so the quilt top sat in my unfinished project tub for quite a while. Finally this spring, I pulled it out and was talking with my mom about it. She suggested we finish the quilt for my cousin who had recently graduated from college. She agreed to change the borders and pin the quilt if I would do the quilting. She would then finish with the binding. It was a great deal for me, especially since it meant I would finally be able to cross this quilt off my to-do list.

We finished the quilt this weekend.

I'm glad we fixed the borders!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Baby Quilts Part 2

I get significant pleasure with making quilts and giving them away to joyful recipients. This is especially meaningful when A) the recipient squeals with joy or ooh's and aah's when seeing it the first time, B) the quilt shows up in a photo shoot, and C) when I find out the quilt is actually being used. So I thought I'd do a quick recap of some of my quilts in the every day world.

I was sent this photo of Hippo-tastic:

Elephunk showed up on Facebook recently.

And Ryleigh's Quilt often shows up on her parents blog.

My friends seriously have the cutest kids ever! They make me almost want to have another myself. (Not really but I'm happy to get to spend time with theirs.) At least one of the children in these photos will soon have a new sibling so it looks like I better get going on another baby quilt!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Floating Squares

My dad and his wife recently built a new house on their property at Crooked Lake. It's beautiful and along with the new house, they furnished it with a lot of new furniture. Including a new bed for their master bedroom which happened to be a California King. (In case you don't know, California Kings are HUGE!) So for Christmas, I gave them a personalize coupon for my quilting services.

(Yes, it's like being 6 again. One coupon = free hug.)

But I knew how much a quilt would mean to them and I wanted to make them something to match the decor of their new lake home. They were very excited about the present except that my dad stressed he wanted the quilt to be big. To fit his big bed. Like big enough to hang over the edges of the running boards and tuck his pillows in.

The largest quilt I've ever made was queen sized, about 115 X 110. But armed with my trusty new sewing machine (with 10 inch harp space!) I was confident that I would be able to quilt this monster of a quilt - all 130 X 120 inches of it. My dad's wife picked the colors and pattern - Floating Squares from the Piece of Pie Layer Cake Friendly Quilt Patterns book. Luckily I had access to the pattern and though I didn't have layer cakes, I had lots of brown and green scraps to make the quilt. I only had to purchase fabric for the borders and backing.

I always wash my quilts before giving them away. I love the crinkly look! With this quilt being so big, it took several cycles in the dryer so it's extra crinkly for now. Those wrinkles will smooth out soon. Usually I have someone hold up my quilts for photo opps but this quilt was so big and heavy - I can't believe how heavy it is! - that I ended up just taking photos of it on the bed.

Here's a close up of the decorative stitch I used in the borders.  I should have taken some photos of the quilting in the top; oops, I didn't think of that.

I like the decorative stitches - and my fancy machine has over 250 - but I probably won't use them very much. They are pretty small and don't show up well. But it's still fun to play with them every once in a while. The quilting I chose for the top was an overall continuous right angles. The chevron border has zig zag quilting. I was nervous about quilting such a big quilt but it went really well. I would estimate that the top (without the borders) only took about 6 - 7 hours. Not bad for such a big quilt!

I did have to piece the batting which wasn't fun - there was so much of it. Laying it out to baste proved to be a difficult. I felt like it was too big for my kitchen table. And the thought of pinning it all over was dreadful. (Because it's so big!) So I decided to use 505 basting spray that I learned about in Rachel's Stitched in Color Blog. Only I didn't have any place in my house to lay out the quit. (Because it's so big!) So I took it to work with me one day and commandeered a conference room. Some friends helped me lay it out and we were able to baste it in less than hour. I will definitely use the basting spray for other quilts but luckily, my next few projects are baby quilts and wall hangings.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Blue and Green for Mike

My husband loves the classic blue and green combo. No teal, no aqua, no turquoise. Just blue. And green. A few years ago, I had such fun making my Kaffe Fasset inspired Sunburst quilt that I decided to make another one for the Polack, using blue and green scraps. (I tried to talk him in to letting me include a teal but received a sharp no.) As I began putting it together, I liked it less and less. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'd already done the pattern or maybe because I didn't love the fabric I used. I finally finished the top - minus borders - and I promptly folded it up and put in my stack of unfinished projects. Fast forward to last fall. I hosted a quilt camp retreat for some friends and brought out my unfinished projects. Everyone commented on how much the loved the blue and green quilt. I had always looked at the top with disdain, not really seeing it for it's beauty.

So I decided I HAD to finish it.

And that's just what I did...