Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Phew, this one took forever!

The T-Shirt Quilt is finally done!  
I didn't love making this, my first, t-shirt quilt.  In fact, I made it somewhat begrudgingly in an effort to rid these mostly-holey tees from my husband's closet.

Some of these shirts were so thin you could see through and others so thick with heavy painted-on designs. 

It is soft and snuggly though.

For the backing, I used manly buck heads.  One of the t-shirts had a line of aliens on the front and the back had the same aliens but pictured from the back.  So I transferred that idea onto the quilt.  One line of aliens on the quilt front, the other on the quilt back.

Have a great day!


ps-linking up to crazy mom quilts finish it up friday

Thursday, May 28, 2015

just Molly from the block



We are celebrating our 50th block party this summer!  I thought it would be fun to incorporate all the last names of the neighbors into a commemorative quilt.

I know it won't get much use, but I was motivated to do it anyway.

I made it 8 feet by 30 inches.
It could be a table runner, picnic blanket, or just a banner for decoration.
 I paper pieced the little houses and driveways using a simple design I made myself.  Since I didn't trust my own handwriting:  I picked a font, printed all the last names onto paper, and traced the names (looking through the fabric) in pencil onto the 'driveways.'  Then I embroidered the names.

The years and street name are pieced.  I wanted to just go for it and see what happened if I improvised.  I used mostly scraps from the blocks to piece them together.

Here's a look at my BASTING process:
First I spread out the backing fabric right side down.  I spread it out smooth and tape all around the perimeter.  Because this one is so long it's hanging off the back end.  I like to use the table if at all possible, but the bigger ones have to be basted on the floor.

Then I spread out the batting nice and flat.  
Next I place the quilt top on and spread it all nice and smooth. Watch the sides to be sure you're all lined up.  Then I pin away!  I use the specially-crooked safety pins and go to town, pinning all over.  Then I trim the sides an inch or two away from the quilt top and take it back to the machine for quilting.

With this one I originally wanted to heavily quilt the whole thing, but the embroidered names got in the way.  I decided to heavily quilt the middle in a free-motion/straight line/almost mazelike design.  The rest of the quilt is ditch stitched.

The backing is a black and white cross-hatch.

Thanks for stopping in and checking out my weird quilt!  Have a great day...


ps-I'll be linking up with Finish it up Friday at crazymomquilts tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I had such an amazing time creating this twin sized quilt for my grandmother that I just want to share it with a wider audience.  The quilt itself is nothing revolutionary in terms of design and the construction isn't as perfect as it could have been.

But for me the process of making this quilt was so very special and heartwarming.

I loved soliciting signatures by mail, learning to embroider just to do the signatures, thinking about each family member as I worked on each block, and I loved giving it to my grandmother. 

I put a lot into it and I hope you enjoy its story.  Check out the lengthy original blog post with many more pictures here.

Thanks for stopping in!


Monday, April 20, 2015

toothbrush mat

Recently we've been feeling a little crunched for counter space in the kid's bathroom.  

So we headed out & bought an Ikea shelf.  

Wouldn't you know it, that shelf top/counter space immediately looked too bare for my liking!  
Plus with the inevitable wetness from the toothbrushes, etc... I decided it needed a colorful mat!  

So I whipped this one out without deliberating over fabric choices.  I just grabbed, cut, slid that Juki lever up to the bunny setting, and let it rip!  

   The back fabric from Ikea and the top are kona solids.  It finishes somewhere around 17" x 15" and fits nicely on the top of the shelf.  It's the perfect spot for the toothbrush cup, toothpaste, mouthwash, cup, etc... 

It was nice to have a happy little finish.  Especially since I've been working and haven't been able to do much quilting lately. 

Thanks for stopping in!  Have a great day...  

linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tooth Fairy Pillow

The time has come for my daughters to get their very own tooth fairy pillows.  I made this one for my son a long time ago and was happy to find the same pattern hanging around in the bottom of a drawer in my sewing closet.  (Not that it is an overly complicated pattern, but I've always really liked the shape of this tooth.) 

Each girl got to pick out a fabric for her pocket.  I also changed the pattern just a bit to include a ribbon, which acts as a door knob handle.  ...You know, because sometimes the tooth fairy has a hard time digging under the pillows of sleeping children and she'd like to have the option of just going to the door to deliver the goods instead.  ;)

So here's a quick little explanation of how I put these together:

1.  Cut out two teeth (a front and a back)

2. Make the pocket--two wrong sides together, stitch around three sides, turn right side out

3. Stitch the raw side of the pocket down on the tooth, iron up flat

4. Stitch pocket to tooth.  Down, across, up.  Backstitch on both sides near opening.  (Leave top open.)

5. Place wrong sides together (if adding ribbon, tuck it safely between the two right sides, leave a little bit hanging up past where you'll stitch.  that part will be flipped into the inside later.)  Stitch around, but leave a section approx 2 inches unstitched (for turning right side out).

6.  Turn right side out.

7. Stuff the pillow (I realized I was out of regular fill so I used my rotary cutter to shred some scrap quilt batting and that worked like a charm.)

8.  Pinch together the stuffing hole and sew over the top, backstitching on each end.  Or hand stitch it closed.

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy Easter, Happy Spring!


linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

block party

You probably don't know this about me, but I live on a pretty awesome block.  Our neighbors are great.

It just so happens that apparently we have the oldest running block party in our town.  This summer will mark our 50th annual block party!

While reminiscing of past block parties, one of the neighbors mentioned a quilt that had been made for the block a long time ago.  I had just finished the signature quilt for my grandma and this especially peaked my interest.  My mentioning the signature quilt peaked the interest of the block party organizer who promptly, if haphazardly and hopefully, nominated me to do something with the quilt.  I thought perhaps I could add on to this old quilt or use parts of it to make something new.  It was dug out of an attic and brought over to me.  After seeing, though, I decided to start fresh.

If I make something, it will be mostly commemorative (celebrating 50 years) and sentimental (with names of the neighbors on it).

But what would we DO with a quilt for our block?  Who would use it?  When?  My thoughts turned to functionality.

My current plan to combat this functionality problem is to make an tabletop-sized table runner.  This way my finished product is functional and we can trot it out and use it as a super awesome tablecloth each summer.  I may have to figure out a way to add a sheet of clear vinyl over the top or do something else to protect it from the delicious food placed upon it.

Here's the plan.
  •  There will be a "road" down the middle of the table runner and it'll have our street name on it and maybe the years 1965-2015.
  • Each house on our block will be represented by their own quilt block.  
  • There will be a driveway from the "road" center to the mini house on each block.  
  • On this driveway I'm going to embroider the last name of the family living in that house.  
  • I'm going to use a rainbow of solid colors, coal for the house, and shadow for the driveway.

What do you think... am I crazy to put work into such a thing? 
Any suggestions?

linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rewind Quilt


This was my first time piecing curves and my first go around with spiral quilting.


It all started with the 80s-erific cassette tape fabric.  

I had my own nostalgic mix tape of 80s thoughts running through my head while making this one.


I made my own templates from paper.  

As best as I can tell, the important thing to remember when planning for curved piecing is remembering to factor in the seam allowance on the curved sides.

I'm used to cutting out squares and triangles.  So cutting these odd shapes made me feel wasteful with my fabric.

Sewing them together is a bit goofy.  I pinned down the middle and the ends and a few in between for good measure. 

Ironing them flat is SO much fun though--like a little magic trick.


I thought quilting a double spiral would be a great idea--inspired by the winding/unwinding sides of the tape in a cassette.  I probably should have realized that the shifting fabric was going to be a problem.  I wish I had done a single spiral.  It got a little hairy in the middle there!  Oh well, trying new things is fun.  You live, you learn.  I'm happy with how it turned out.

I used my walking foot and just went very slow at the beginning, taking a stitch or two at a time. 




The Kona solid colors that I used in this are:  heliotrope, pansy (purples), chartreuse, sour apple, fern (greens), robin egg, lagoon (blues), punch, melon (pinks), shadow (light gray), and coal (dark gray binding).

You can't really tell in the pictures, but I used a variegated thread (pastel blue, pink, yellow, green).

It's meant to be a curl-up-on-the-couch kind of quilt in the winter and a laying-in-the-grass-for-a-picnic-or-whatever kind of quilt for the summer.  Which means it's slightly bigger than usual for me, finishing at just under 60" square.

Thanks for stopping in!  Have a great day...


linking up with TGIFF at persimon dreams today 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

rounded retro quilt beginnings and swatch sticks


So I've been working on a couple things--quilt and swatch sticks.  

first:  the quilt

I love this cassette tape print and the colors in it.  
I've also decided that it's about time I tackle curves with my piecing.  
So I'm going for it!


 I was inspired by this flickr photo for the design on my quilt.


second:  the swatch stick


More and more I find myself drawn to solids so I thought it time to take my relationship with them to the next level. 

I'm going to try to learn some of their names.

(These are Kona Solids.)

 I cut a piece from all of the Kona solids I have,
wrote the names on the swatch,
wrapped it around a piece of wood,
and stapled the back.
My trusty assistant helped hammer staples in (should have bought pine instead of oak).

The next step is to put a hook in the top so I can display them above my cutting table.

 That's what I'm up to these days.  Thanks for stopping in.  Have a great day...