Happy New Year!
Oh! Happy Christmas to me!
This week I eagerly chose a simple project to sew and learn.
What could be more simple than a black and white Christmas pillow?
I am ready for 2017!
Happy New Year!
Someone Shook the Snow Globe, the title that entered my head as I pieced this quilt top, shortened to Snow Globe.
(Thanks to my sisters' advice.)
Oxbow Park is my favorite place to photograph my quilts.
Snow Globe radiates warmth on this bleak day.
68" x 68"
Thank you for visiting on this Christmas Eve.
May your home be blessed with warmth, peace, and joy.
Early this month I began a quilt using red and white printed fabric.
The blocks have a wonderful Christmas-y feel.
With six of sixteen blocks finished I may not be done by Christmas,
but I will enjoy the colors and the spirit as I continue sewing.
The quilt combines Miss Scarlet fabric designed by Minnick and Simpson with a pattern called Fireworks by Thimble Blossoms.
My version does not look like fireworks to me.
As I continue sewing I hope to come up with a new title.
This block suggests the title Someone Shook the Snow Globe, but that is maybe too long to be considered?
I am open to suggestions.
If a quilt could talk, this quilt would relay to you the frustrations it had with stretching and fraying like crazy.
Notice how lumpy and bumpy it hangs.
Inspired by Photo Finish, a quilt designed by Joanna Figueroa and featured in the August 2016 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting, I chose little-did-I-know-how-difficult cross weave fabrics for my background.
I LOVE the texture they add to the quilt.
But these fabrics are not your regular quilting cotton, let me tell ya. While I read that they could be challenging, I needed to experience it to really understand. Yes, they fray! Yes, they stretch!
Even though I prewashed the fabric to see how it would behave, I am concerned about how it will quilt;
and even more concerned how it will eventually come out in the wash.
The top row shows the five fraying cross weave fabrics.
The second row shows closeups of the five tans I chose.
From the left, the first two are from Jen Kingwell's Behind the Scenes collection. The next two fabrics are left over from my Steampunk and Fox quilts respectively. The last one on the right? I found in my fabric box and have no idea where it came from.
I am hoping this top survives machine quilting and the laundry.
Then it will have a nicer story to share.
58" x 58"
Approximately 585 pieces
My daughter and I brainstormed and shopped for solid fabrics last August during her Indiana visit.
After she returned to Seattle, I received her emailed vision for the completed quilt...designed as only an architect could...
with geometry, parallelograms, and simplicity.
Andrea approved quickly.
Can I really do this?
I dove into production.
What else could I do ?
She texted encouragement in response to every picture of progress.
She approved the name Halcyon.
A discussion with Tammy at Three Sisters Quilting resulted in several machine quilting possibilities.
During our conversation, I sketched this option, and decided it was the one to go with.
Notice Tammy's excellent machine quilting!
Only she could interpret my sketchy ideas.
What quilt wouldn't look terrific at DeFries Calendar Garden?
Finally, the finished quilt traveled to Seattle...
where it looked even better.
I am pleased to present Halcyon, the first quilt designed and constructed by this mother/daughter team,
pictured here in her sweet Seattle studio apartment.
Flipping the quilt gives her an entirely different option.
96" x 109"
If your husband departs for a four day football weekend, you may choose to sew pumpkin quilt blocks to celebrate/console yourself...
like I did.
These pumpkins almost put themselves together.
Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew designed the pattern and if you try it, you will love it...
Perfect for fall!
Unfortunately I made a huge and frustrating mistake in sewing the rows together.
Do you see what's missing?
I determinedly ripped apart each row and added the forgotten sashing. Now I love it all over again.
When this one is quilted, the pumpkins made with one piece of fabric will have the needed texture to look terrific.
I'm not sure when that will be.
Maybe during another one of my husband's escape weekends?
58" x 72"
A, B, C, D, E, F, G
H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P
Q, R, S, T, U, V
W, X, Y, and Z
Now I've sewn my ABC'c...
Next time won't you sew with me?
The Alphabet Song includes inspiration from Summerfest by April Rosenthal and Spell It With Moda.
It measures 60" x 64."
What kindness! Thank you Dawn from First Light Designs for nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award. Having never heard of the award before, it was quite a lovely surprise! This award is given by someone who has been previously awarded, a means for bloggers to show appreciation for others. Here is a link to Dawn's blog.
Now I will nominate others for the One Lovely Blog Award.
My first nomination goes to Thelma at Cupcakes 'n Daisies. I have never met Thelma, but I know that we have at least one thing in common. We both like to re-imagine a quilt pattern in a new direction, making it unique. So satisfying.
My second nomination goes to Sinta at Pink Pincushion, another blogger I haven't met. Amazing quilts pop up on her blog, let me tell ya.
My third nomination goes to Allison at Cluck Cluck Sew, and you guessed it, I have never met her as well. Allison designs fabric and patterns in a simple modern style that I love. Any one who can come up with such an inspired blog/business title has to be a winner, don't you think? Her writing style can simply be described as fun.
Many thanks to these quilters!
Voices is finished!
It is the biggest and most traditional quilt I have made,
and I love it for many reasons.
Historically, a quilt like Voices was created to commemorate a special occasion like a wedding, remember loved ones who were deceased or geographically moving away, support a political cause, or express a desire to continue an artistic cultural tradition.
Or in other words, they had a voice.
Making Voices fulfilled my desire to recreate many various quilt blocks of the past and to hone my piecing skills.
This quilt includes the nontraditional...
Tammy and Allison of Three Sisters Fabric are technical experts in combining my/our ideas with their computer software.
Tammy even caught and fixed two of my mistakes.
How did this happen?!?!?
Even the back!
I couldn't ask for better machine quilters!
The story of making this quilt ends when I gift it this Christmas.
I hope it collects more stories as it is used.
90" x 101"
Approximately 2660 pieces
A tune from my childhood kept going around in my head as I stitched house blocks. The only words I could remember were "little houses on the hillside...little houses made of ticky tacky."
What was this song?
I googled and found the lyrics.
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.
Ah. Boxes. Not houses.
But such a catchy tune, no wonder I remembered it.
You can learn lots when you google a snippet of a memory.
Not just the lyrics, but I learned that ticky tacky is shoddy construction material, the song was written by Malvina Reynolds, and became a hit for Pete Seeger in the 1960's. You can hear them sing it on You Tube.
It seems to fit this little quilt made of scraps.
After all this house/box construction, an issue of design indecision arose...
Do I need to add empty lots to the subdivision? Does the quilt need space to breathe?
What seemed right to me, but I couldn't explain why, was that there were no empty lots needed. But I wasn't sure.
Without saying which way I was leaning on the empty lots vs. no empty lots issue, I asked three people what they thought.
My husband said, "No empty lots."
My sister said, "No empty lots."
My daughter said, "No empty lots."
(Surprise! A rare occurrence of complete agreement.)
Since I have been posting and playing on Instagram lately, I decided to take a chance (for fun) and ask for more opinions.
Not such agreement here!
Most of the responses favored empty lots. Here are some of the responses.
"Yes, definitely empty lots!"
"Oh yes! Kids need a place to play!"
"Open space is limited and necessary!"
"I'm an empty lot girl!"
"I'll take one so the boys can play baseball in my side yard!"
"Do some fun shadow houses in those lots!"
"Might be fun to add a few trees to the empty lots!"
"Maybe embroider something in the empty lots."
"Empty lots make your eyes roam around and quilt more interesting."
"Empty lots. Gives me hope to move into this neighborhood."
"Empty lots kind of break it up plus bigger quilt with less work always wins."
Of the fewer responses supporting no empty lots, this one was the most fun...
"No empty lots, makes house value go down!!!"
Now. What. Do. I. Do.
Many of these responses came from quilt artists whose work I admire and greatly respect! Since most people favored empty lots, do I dare not add them to my quilt?
Yes. I dare.
In the end I decided not to add them.
I looked and looked at my quilt both ways.
No empty lots looked better to me.
I still could not explain why...
until I re-read my designing daughter's text response,
"I think there is enough variation without them."
Agreed! Final decision! No empty lots!
Many many thanks to all the instagrammers who responded.
Even though I may not have chosen your favorite, I do value your help! Really! I am so grateful that you took the time to respond. I loved reading every one!
Here is Little Boxes...
of course I had to rename it!
55" x 70"
Looking for a quilt to adopt?
I designed and pieced Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars several years ago and stored it in my Closet of the Unused Quilts, the nest where I keep my loved quilts waiting for their special permanent home.
Now is the time for this fledgling to fly.
I am donating this quilt to the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale Quilt Auction, an event happening on September 24.
Machine quilted by Tammy and Allison of Three Sisters Fabric,
it's 45" x 55" size is perfect for a baby or small child.
Perhaps its new loving home will be yours.
The Floret pattern by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts uses a layer cake and charm packs to make a wonderfully scrappy quilt.
I opted to organize my florets by color, using fabric from the collection Little Miss Sunshine by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique.
I went with no sashing to enjoy how the fabrics blend together.
I increased the number of florets from twelve to sixteen,
and sewed them together with a white border.
I couldn't be happier with this result!
82" x 82"
When I imagine a labyrinth, this classical walking path for prayer and meditation at the Chartres Cathedral in France comes to my mind.
Not exactly the motif of this quilt pattern by Brigitte Heitland, but I understand her connection of a labyrinth to a traditional log cabin quilt block, and sincerely appreciate her modern variation.
The "grey" part of the title is more transparent...mostly grays with a few green and blue replacement strips sewn together.
Loving these blue and green fabrics...yeah, no surprise there...made it difficult for me to only use a few small pieces of each!
My fabric combination from Reel Time, For You, Modern Background Paper, and Ink, all designed by Brigitte Heitland, created such inspiration for me. I added even more grays from my stash.
Some completely fun stuff appears.
A look inspiring meditation?
I'll let you decide.
60" x 60"
If you look at my quilts to find perfection, you won't.
Some of these points/seams were the third try.
I am content that as long as I do the best I can, it's okay to screw up.
Instead of thinking about the imperfections, I concentrate on how much I love the teal aqua turquoise lime apple pistachio combination.
Kate Spain designed Desert Rose.
I chose Fig Tree and Company fabrics from the Farmhouse and Strawberry Fields Revisited collections, a little Reel Time fabric from Zen Chic, and another piece or two from my stash.
I added more borders because I wanted a larger quilt...
or maybe because I liked the colors so much.
I'll love it even more when it's quilted.
I traveled through miles and miles of cornfields to reach The Missouri Star Quilt Company, and came home with yards and yards of fabric.
My daughter-in-law heard that Hamilton, Missouri, was known as the Disneyland of quilting.
Oh, yes. It is that kind of hyperbolic experience. Most quilters would enjoy it as much as I did.
So much inspiration!
New ideas germinated in my head, grafting into the ideas already growing there.
So what's in my head?
Ever since seeing a vintage Ocean Waves quilt at a friend's home, I have that traditional design in my head, and have seen so many beautiful versions.
This quilt in the latest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine also is on my list.
A version of this Fireworks quilt must be made.
Definitely an alphabet quilt is on the horizon as well.
However, first to finish some quilts that are ongoing.
Grey Labyrinth now has four completed blocks.
My suburb grows.
Desert Rose blocks are ready to be sewn together and a border added.
Hopefully a finished Desert Rose quilt will grace my next post.
An adorable pincushion gift from my sweet cousin and her sweet daughter will help get the job done.
I found I could say things with colors and shapes