Saturday, December 5, 2015

Snowman Memory Quilt

A friend asked me to make her a memory quilt for her mother-in-law who lost HER mother to cancer. The family has been participating in cancer walks in honor of the deceased for the past 12 years and my friend has saved all of her shirts. She wanted them used in the quilt. I really do love making t-shirt quilts.

The cancer walk shirts were so created. I loved reading the slogans for each year. The family did a great job picking out colors - so much so that I was able to put everything in order by year from 2004 to 2015.

My friend picked the sashing of snowmen fabric in honor of the recipient.

Sticks and Twigs

I was very excited to learn that my friend Jessica was expecting her third child. I love making baby quilts for Jessica because her enthusiasm for my hobby is so motivating. She loves everything I do and she so, so appreciates receiving quilts as gifts.

Jessica sent me a photo of the bedding she was going to buy for her baby girl. It's very Earthy!

I decided I wanted to do something inspired the twigs that caught my eye. I originally though pink blocks with brown twigs. But I I didn't want to be too literal so I chose switched to brown blocks with pink twigs.

This quilt went together pretty fast. Which was a good thing because Jessica also commissioned me for a t-shirt quilt. So I had to projects and not much of time.  Luckily I was at a quilt retreat in November to give me time to finish both.

I'm not a fan of low volume quilts but I do love how this one turned out.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Country Tis of Thee Quilt

We have finished another baby quilt. This one is for my cousin, Miles, and his wife, Shannon. They were married a few years ago and so appreciated their wedding quilt that were exciting to make them another one.

 Miles is in the US Army and they are stationed at Fort Riley. The couple requested red, white and blue. My mom and I worked on this quilt together and we immediately knew we wanted to do something with stars. We settled on this patter that we saw on Pinterest:

We tend to gravitate toward wonky blocks. We identified the color swatch we wanted to use and went through our stashes.

We weren't sure if we want to keep each block the same color or alternate the color of the center square.

 I'm happy we chose to alternate.

 Here is a not so great of the finished quilt.

 Here's a better picture of the happy couple at their baby shower.

And here is baby the beautiful baby.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cooper's Troopers

I can't imagine the pain a parent experiences when losing a child at a young age. Friends of ours recently went through this horrendous experience when they lost their 6 year old son to Mitochrondira disease. Little Cooper will be remembered by many. When Kara approached me about making a quilt from his t-shirts, I immediately agreed. I was honored to help create a lasting legacy in honor of Cooper.

Kara provided my a tub of shirts and clothing. Here's the pile of t-shirts I started with.

I have a strange way of designing my t-shirt quilts. I measure them and then I randomly draw out a design. It's like a puzzle, trying to get everything to piece together - without doing a Y-seam. ONce it's designed, I cut the shirt to the correct size.

When I complete a t-shirt quilt, I always pick out my favorite shirt. Although it's always tough, this one immediately stood out. Cooper loved Star Wars.

This was another favorite. (Until I had to quilt through that iron on image. That was PAIN!)

It's important to pin often before quilting a t-shirt quilt.

Here's the finished project. It's not easy to see in this photo but Kara had provided some non t-shirt clothing like pajama bottoms, athletic shorts, and oxford shirts. I used those pieces in the border.

And I used his favorite bed sheet on the back.

Kara really want to pay me for this quilt but I had another idea. I asked if instead we could exchange services. She's a wonderful photographer and agreed to take our family photos. It was the perfect trade:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Charlie's Baby Quilt

I love baby quilts because they typically go together quickly. and most of the time the recipient of the quilt loves having a gift personalized to their child. So I jumped at the chance to make a quilt for our friends, Katie Jo and Eric. When my husband planned our anniversary trip this year, he built in time for us to do a quilt shop hop. (Because that's how awesome he is.) We visited 9 quilt shops between Bloomington, Indiana and Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Katie Jo and Eric requested a quilt that was white and gray with pink and yellow. Preferably with elephants. I knew the colors wouldn't be a problem but I was pretty excited to find the perfect fabric at the last quilt shop we visit - The Front Porch in Frankmuth. (Don't I look excited?!)

Here is the fabric...

I decided on the Pebble Path pattern that I saw on Pinterest:

I wanted to  show off the elephants. I'm not sure I completely achieved that goal but I was happy with the final result.

And so was baby Charlie!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I was updating my quilting log and realized I've made 119 over the past 16 years. I have 7 WIP's and three of those are tops that need to be quilted. Here are two:

Since I'm on a fabric diet, I've been working on random projects to use up scraps. I tried wavy piecing (which isn't as fun as I thought):

I also tried some paper piecing. It takes practice, especially since I taught myself. But I enjoyed the few blocks I made:

It's fun to have different projects to work on.

I just received some clothes from a friend who's 6 year old son passed away last year. I'm going to make a quilt from the clothes and I really want to get started on it. But I feel like I should quilt at least one of the tops from my WIP collection. Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

North of Disappearing

Another family wedding leads to another quilt project for me and my mom. This was for another cousin.

(I have a lot of cousins.)

Matt and Christina had a destination wedding in Curacao. But they also had a party back in the states. Which was nice because I was able to see them open their present.

The pattern is the Disappearing Nine Patch. My mom had done this pattern several times and it goes pretty quickly. Christina had requested black and gray with sage green. This quilt ended up being much bigger than we anticipated. Isn't it funny when that happens?

Bridesmaid to Baby

My friend, Jen, recently asked me to make a baby quilt for her to give to her friend who is expecting. Jen was a bridesmaid in her friends wedding so she wondered if I could make a quilt from the bridesmaid dress that she wore. I was a little unsure - the dress was made of chiffon and satin - but decided to give it a try.

(Talk about pressure!)

Jen picked out the following pattern, taken from Pinterest.

The Pinterest quilt is made with denim. I decided to use a mixture of fabrics. Since I didn't want to use all chiffon and satin, plus different textures are good for babies to explore, this seemed like the best option. Before starting the project, I went to Joann's and shopped the whole store, picking out different blues. Here's a tip.... When I went to the cutting counter at Joann's, I asked for 1/8th of a yard of several bolts. The employee at the cutting counter said she would give me a sample off the bolt of 4 inches of fabric. I chose to go that route so several of the fabrics I chose were free. I kept asking her if she was sure it was okay to just take 4 inches and she assured me it was. Bonus!

Here's the first block I made. The sashing is 1 inch. Notice the rectangular piece.... It's from the bodice of the dress.

(I didn't think about taking a photo of the actual dress before I cut it up. Doh.)

The biggest challenge of this quilt was working with the little 1 inch squares. It would have been easier if I had been using just calico fabric. But the jersey and minky and flannel and several other pieces tended to stretch. I did use stabilizer on the back of several, just help with the stretching. It did help but not completely.

I loved working on this project. It was a challenge but it was a different type of challenge. It came together better than I expected. Having the sashing in between the different textures really helped. I quilted it down the middle of the black sashing.

The textured fabric really added a lot to the look of this quilt. It's fun to run my hands over the different blocks. Jen loved the finished project and said her friend gave it rave reviews. I would definitely make this quilt again and I would use this pattern if I ever made a denim quilt.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rainbow Block of the Month

It seems like I have many quilting books but rarely do I ever make something from one of their patterns. I tend to lean toward more modern looking quilts as well as improvisational quilts and the quilts in the books that I have are really boring.

(Don't get me wrong... there are a lot of really cool books out there. I just don't own many.)

(Perhaps its time to update my library.)

But there is a quilt in one of my books that I've really wanted to try. It is meant to be a block of the month quilt which doesn't appeal to me. I've never really done a sampler quilt before. But I fell in love with the rainbow effect of this quilt.

I didn't love the "weird" dimensions. Who wants to cut something at 3/8th or 7/8th of an inch? That said, I realize I need to work on my precision - both in terms of cutting and piecing. So I decided to take this project. 

It wasn't easy. I had to remove seams and resew often. But I was determined to take my time and do things the right way.

AND I'M SO GLAD I DID! I love, love, love it! 

This is definitely a quilt I'm keeping for myself. Unfortunately, we no longer have a twin bed in our guest room so I thought I'd put this quilt away until it could be used. But my husband loves it so much, he insists it hang over the back of the recliner in our family room. 

What a great decision... I love seeing it on a daily basis.