Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Charming Mini Quilt Sent

Whew, a few moments to give a quick update in between everything else.  The miniature quilt I sent for the Charming Mini Quilt swap arrived at its new home, so I can show it now.

This quilt went to momcindy (Cindy R.) in Colorado.  Cindy sent a fat quarter of a white tone-on-tone with her 30 charm squares.  The fabric was a lovely Christmas fabric in deep reds, greens, creams and black.  It really wasn't overly Christmas-y so that made it quite easy to work with.

Cindy is this really amazing woman that I wish you could all get to know.  In October, Cindy will have reached her first year of being cancer free after undergoing some major treatment for bladder and uterine cancer--yay, Cindy!  She was a nurse and then became a lawyer who represents abused children in court.  Cindy also has a lovely 7-year old adopted daughter--and, as if she doesn't already sound like a saint--she's been married for 20 years to the same sweetie!  (I just hope I'm not standing behind her on judgement day.  Really, how would anyone look good following that kind of woman!)

For Cindy I chose to make a quilt with the block known as "Morning Star".  Why?  The Morning Star is also known as the Evening Star.  In reality, its a planet--Venus, which was named for a personage that represented love and beauty.  This "star" shows brightest as the long darkness of night begins, shines through the night and then brightens again as the new day dawns.  Can you think of a better symbol for someone like Cindy? 

I paper pieced the center to get all those points just right.  The border was rotary cut.  I added from my stash a tiny bit of white tone-on-tone to the outer row of points as it ended up taking a bit more than a fat quater for all the white areas, something to note if you decide to make one of these yourself.  The dark green border was from my stash--it worked so perfectly with Cindy's charm squares.

Because so much of the quilt was made up of these lovely points into a star, I decided to use the stitch-in-the-ditch method for quilting.  I sewed in the seam along all the points, corners and border.  Yes, it was a bit tedious to do that, but the effect was great and the star pattern then showed on the back.  Here's some closer looks at the quilting which was done in white.

The backing fabric I found at Craft Warehouse here in Oregon and it was just perfect.  Not only were the colors spot on, but all the words were so fitting for Cindy and her life.

In lieu of the typical box of goodies sent along with a mini quilt, I made Cindy's daughter a doll quilt of her own.  Her favorite colors are purple, blue and green.  I kept the quilting light so that the little quilt wouldn't be too stiff  if she wanted to play with it.  All the fabric was in my stash, including the vintage fabric I used for the backing and a few of the squares on the front.  I'll be doing a tutorial on this quick mini quilt a bit later, so for now I'll just show you a pic of the front.  This 22" quiltie is now hanging on a lavendar wall in Colorado. 

And finally, one last look at the mini charm quilt which measured around 19" square and has 140 pieces in the top, 132 of which were in the center block!

Enjoy your quilts Cindy and Aurora!
Charming Mini Quilt SentSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming Up Roses

This month's scrap blocks for both Bee Scrappy and Scrappy Happy Bee were for the same person, Alysowl9 (Alice), who is is both quilting bees like me.  Alice chose hexagon shaped rose blocks created in a wonky log cabin style with the outer row being some type of green.  Two bees, two blocks each--so I made four "roses" this month.

I think the key to making these blocks look more rose like is lots of narrow strips with a variety of light, medium and dark tones.  When you look at a real rose bud, all the petals together create interspersed lights, darks and midtones and are thin and delicate.  I also picked a real rose variety for each to match the overall colors so that I had an inspiration image to work from. 

Start with a paper hexagon (ours were 8 1/8" from side to side and 9 7/16" from point to point, side measurement was 4 11/16").  Put a scrap in the center and then start sewing on strips like you would for a log cabin block.  I found that wonky squares and rectangles gave good starter shapes.  Vary the sizes, tones and angles of your strips and your petals will have a more rose-like look.

My first one was made entirely from fabric in my scrap bag!  This purple rose is based on the rose variety Florence DeLattre, although mine is a darker more intense purple than the light lavendar of the real one.

The second one was made from about half out of my scrap bag and half from strips cut off of stash fat quarters.  The fabrics were peachy pink tones (the photo looks more reddish orange) and were used to imitate the Tropicana rose variety.

The third rose I made was yellow after the Marco Polo rose variety.  Again about half scrapbag and half fat quarter stash.  I also did a bit of variation of the green border for this one.  I kind of like the effect, like leaves that have different amount of sunlight on them.

My final rose was a white rose after the variety called Queen Mary 2.  Some white roses have a slight pink blush to them and some a bit of ivory.  This one was the later kind and I used all scraps of creams, whites and darker cream/tan fabrics.

I had a lot of fun making these (maybe that's just the horticulturalist in me coming out) and probably could have kept going with a few more.  My one suggestion would be that if you plan on making a whole quilt worth by yourself, consider using a fabric foundation instead of paper--it's a time consumer to pull out all the paper (although not horrible and would give you something "useful" to do in front of the tv).

So if you want a garden indoors or just seem to be missing a green thumb, this block is a fun way to use up scraps and have a lovely bouquet of roses!
Coming Up RosesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wonky House Block

Okay, time to start showing some of the July blocks from my quilting bees.  Here's a wonky house for Muriel in the Sew Buzzy bee group.  She sent out her fabric so that everyone has the same sky, a mix of house fabrics and a variety of grass fabrics.  She'll be making a little village with all her blocks!  We have a tall pine tree next to our house, so I put one in the block for fun--I designed my own wonky house pattern.  I made a two-level house which was originally going to be all plaid, but there wasn't enough of the fabric so I went with the lovely pink polka dot fabric for the upper level.  (I actually think it turned out better this way.)

I know, I know...nothing in the windows!  Hey, the lights are on, but nobody's home!
Wonky House BlockSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Charmingly Mini Quilt Received

Okay, I'll catch you up on my insane last couple of weeks later, but I wanted to share the miniature quilt I received from Cindy Rangel (momcindy) for the June/July swap in the Charmingly Mini Quilt group.  For the swap we each had to send 30 charm squares and one fat quarter to our swap partner and they would make us a quilt.  I sent 32 bright, crazy Kaffe Fassett squares and two fat quarters (one dark blackish and one white-ish tone on tone, I wasn't sure which would work better, so sent both).  Cindy, being the artist that she is, took it and ran with it.  She stalked and snooped and discovered what she could about me, including that I absolutely adore my border collie Stars.  Cindy then used one of the photos of Stars to recreate him in an applique design!  She also read about how he loves to run through my flowers (blows the petals right off!) and sample berries and veggies from the garden.  So, she brilliantly created a dream garden for Stars--with him in it!  Check it out:

Doesn't that just blow you away?!  I love that she has his smile in there, it is so Stars.  I love how she used the Kaffe to make the flowers.  (There is quite a few fabrics that are from her stash, so generous to add what was needed to make it so perfect.)  Also, she didn't fight the Kaffe, which can be a little much sometimes, but went with it and gave the quilt a kind of modern art/Picasso feel--love it.

You can see the beading on the tips of the flower petals here and the lovely applique work that Cindy did.  Also, the "Paradise Found" tag in the corner with the dog bone--too cute!  I love the pieced binding.

There's a row of briolite beads along the bottom pieced section which really adds movement to the piece--something that is quite fitting for an image with a border collie in it.

Cindy even took the time to add piecing to the back so that it would be pretty too!  Here you can see the pieced binding better too--it really adds to the overall look of this quilt.

One last look at this beautiful quilt.  I really, really LOVE it!  Cindy made a work of art that I will be keeping forever.  Thanks, Cindy!  (Oh, and in case you were wondering, Stars loves it too!)
Charmingly Mini Quilt ReceivedSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wizard of Oz Quilt

For the movie themed S.T.U.D. quilt swap, I was partnered with Quiltinkimmie (Kimmie).  We each picked a favorite movie and then the other created a mini quilt inspired somehow by their choice.  Well, you already saw the adorable mini based on Alice in Wonderland that Kimmie made me, so here is the one I made her.  Kimmie's all time favorite movie is Wizard of Oz--lots of inspiration off of that one! 

I created my own design and threw in lots of hints at the story of the Wizard of Oz. 

The center is hand embroidered with the basket base appliqued.  I used two vintage patterns combined plus some drawing of my own to get the design.  Of course, being the person of a four-legged myself, I had to feature the lovable hero of the movie--Toto! 

The borders were a brick layout using three different yellow tone-on-tone fabrics (Yellow Brick Road, duh)and the corners were created using one portion of the heirloom block named Kansas Star.  For a little Oz fun, I used two different poppy fabrics to create each corner.  The binding is in a dark green, hinting at the Emerald City.

For the back of the quilt, I found some of the official Wizard of Oz fabric with the blue gingham of Dorothy's dress.  I also opted to make a label that looked like a postcard.

Of course, when you're in the world of Oz, you have to do a little shopping for treats.  Here's what I sent along with the quilt for fun. 

That's a lollipop from the Lollipop Kids, a package of poppy seeds so Kimmie can start her own poppy field, a copy of a vintage Wizard of Oz quilt with embroidery patterns, a tin of Good 'N Bad witch treats (pink and green jelly bellies for choosing which witch you'll be), pink strawberry marshmallows with a copy of Glinda's Magical Puffed Rice Treats recipe (rice krispie treats) and some official Emerald City Dust.  I made up the last three myself which was a lot of fun.  (Yes, I regularly make souveniers to places that only exist in the imagination--you should have seen the Vulcan gift shop tag and toy I made for my sister to give to a friend that's a Star Trek fan!)

The only problem of the whole thing--I had way more ideas than I could make or send for this one swap!  Guess I'll have to hope for another Oz fan in a swap where the theme is open.

Enjoy your package QuiltinKimmie!
Wizard of Oz QuiltSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fabric Folded Pinwheel Quilt

Finally, the postal service has delivered my swap quilts to their new homes, so I can show them to you.  The first one was for the Swap Til You Drop group (also know as S.T.U.D.) in the Anything Goes category--we got to pick what we wanted to send. 

My partner was Caryquilter (Suzanne).  She lives in North Carolina where she helps care for her ill mother, sews quilts for wounded soldiers, participates in making quilts for Project Linus (quilts for kids in hospitals), has a family including a puppy and still somehow has time to make swap quilts and blocks.  She is amazing--I feel like a total slacker.  :) 

For someone so fabulous, I wanted something to cheer and brighten her days (because when you work that hard, you'rsome down dayse going to have ) the way she cheers and brightens so many other lives.  I designed the mini quilt in bold vivid summer colors with a pinwheel pattern (there's just something happy about pinwheels).  For added interest, I created some 3-D pinwheels with fabric folding.  I used this tutorial, but cut the measurements in half.  And, for that little extra color pop, I added round yellow vintage buttons to the centers of the 3-D pinwheels and a matching yellow binding.  I quilted around each 3-D pinwheel (somewhat tricky) and wave lines through the rest (trying to give the feel of wind). Here it is, in all its 12 inch glory:

For the back I used a white with orange flower fabric.  The flowers kind of reflected the pinwheel shape and looked like they were blowing through the air.

Here's a closer look at the 1/4" binding--very tiny to work with, but the scale fits the miniature quilt size better than half inch.  (Still working on getting those corners perfect.)

A better view of the 3-D pinwheels.  They really are quite easy to make, just watch your fingers when ironing something this small!

Of course, you don't just send a miniature quilt by itself in a swap (well, you could, but where's the fun in that?) and so here's a look at the goodies I sent along to Suzanne.

Two fat quarters of quilt shop fabric from my stash.  Stars's favorite treats for her new puppy to enjoy.  A postcard from Oregon so she can see the mountain I see everyday from my town.  A cooling neckwrap that I made for her--North Carolina gets hot and humid!

The hankerchief doll is one I made as a reproduction of a vintage one I saw in a book.  A little notepad for jotting all those great quilting inspirations in.  Little citrus candies because, sadly, it's already too hot in North Carolina for mailing chocolates.  (Truly tragic in my mind.)  Pretty floral binding clips, quilters use them to hold bindings in place while handstitching them to the back of a quilt and on minis they also can help hold the layers in place while basting the quilt sandwich together.  And, finally, a little magnetic needle book with 3 John James #10 Betweens needles (love these, they are so nice to sew with).

It was a lot of fun to try fabric folding and paper piecing the regular pinwheels helped to ensure accurate points on these small blocks.  I hope this mini quilt brings her happiness everytime she looks at it!
Fabric Folded Pinwheel QuiltSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blog Giveaway--Bearpaw

A Flickr friend is having a giveaway!  Don't you just love the generous nature of quilters?  Really, if you haven't become a part of the online quilting community on Flickr, you're missing out.

Go visit the Bearpaw blog and leave a comment to enter.  Yep, it's that simple.  You can become a follower for another entry.  Here's what you'll win:

(I stole borrowed the photo from Bearpaw so you'd know how great this is.)  You know you want those yummy fat quarters or the cute pincushion--not to mention the book!  Three prizes means three chances.  Now, click the link and enter yourself to win--hurry, you only have until July 9, 2010.
Blog Giveaway--BearpawSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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