Saturday, January 16, 2016

A quilt for Kara

My granddaughter, Kara's quilt was finished just after Christmas and delivered before the end of the year :-).  I had tried out a bargello pattern using a layer cake.  The name of the pattern is "I Used to be a Layer Cake!" by Nancy Altsman or Black Cat Creations.  It looked complicated, so when a friend bought the same pattern, we decided to work together and figure it out. Two heads are better than one.  There's a lot of sewing in it, but it turned out really well.  The colours reminded me of my granddaughter Kara, so we designated the quilt for her.  It took quite awhile to find the right colours for the border. Here are some pictures of the quilt. 

 (Click on the photo to enlarge it for a better view.)

side view

amazing how this view changes the whole look

flower quilting in the border

perfect backing

quilting from the back

Kara got this stuffed doggy to go with her quilt

the finished quilt
the quilt matches her Christmas pillow

back of pillow

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Pillow mania!

This year I got the idea to make pillows for my nine grandchildren and two foster grandchildren for Christmas.  I had several patterns from Elizabeth Hartman and set those aside to make a fox for Josh and kitties for Kara and Lauren (I would have liked to do the hedgehog and bunny, but I just purchased the Fancy Forest pattern before Christmas to make Emma's quilt eventually - I see more pillows in my future :-).  I also follow Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts blog and purchased several of her downloadable patterns for various animals for the rest of the grandkids.  I used the large elephant for Leah, the small elephant for Emma, bird for Charity, turtle for Alex, frog for Aiden and two doggie variations for Katie and Ben.  Then I did the Canadian beaver for Joey.  That one was a lot of work, but it will match the quilt that I'm making for him so I persevered :-)  

My stash of pillow forms purchased at thrift shops and yard sales came in handy.  Josh is the oldest so he got the 18" pillow form and the next four had 16" and the rest 14" pillows.   Fortunately there was a pillow form sale on for ones I had to purchase LOL.

The pillows even have zipper closures in the them!  Lorna had a link for a blog that had very good instructions for doing these zippers.  I was very impressed with the backs.  Here is a photo of the back of one of the pillows:

Sew Fresh Quilts' blog has a good photo in this post that shows the zipper in the back.
 (Click on the individual pillow pictures for a larger view.)

Grandkids and foster grandkids with their pillows

Aiden's frog
Alex's turtle
Ben's doggie

Charity's bird

Emma's elephant

Joey's Canadian beaver

Josh's Fox with glasses

Kara's Kitty

Katie's doggie

Lauren's Kitty with glasses
Leah's elephant

It was quite a process making eleven pillows over a few months.  I made a list of the grandkids names and then kept notes of possible animals and fabrics.  Then I purchased and downloaded the Sew Fresh patterns and had them printed out on a colour printer.  Collecting fabrics was next.  I searched for fabrics I had used for the kids' own bed quilts (those that already have them that is) or of their I spy JK quilt or of pillow cases or doll quilts I have made in the past. A few quilts are in the planning stages so I stole a few pieces from the stash for their pillows. Of course by that time, the fabric stash was a disaster, the cutting table and floor were covered and the spare bedroom was piled high with pillow forms :-).
total disaster on my cutting table getting patterns organized and fabrics chosen and cut

pinning on the design wall helped keep track of things

all blocks completed (the glasses were too small so I had to cut the larger version - they are from Elzabeth Hartman's web page)
pillow forms piled up :-)
I used three sewing machines for making the pillows:  black 301 for putting in the zippers and topstitching, Bernina 830 (vintage model) for doing the quilting and the binding, and Singer 15-88 treadle for piecing the animals.  A girl just needs more than one sewing machine for convenience LOL.  Sewing machine collecting really comes in handy for these projects!
all pillows finished!

Friday, December 18, 2015

A table topper for my sister!

I just realized that I never blogged about the table topper I made for my sister for her 50th birthday.  She has her kitchen all remodeled so we waited for that to be finished before we chose colours.  Eva has a lovely old round solid table in her dining room so a round topper was in order :-).

This pattern is from one of Cheryl Phillips' books using one of her rulers.  Eva picked the focus fabric on the outside which matches her colours very nicely.  I once found that fabric at Value Village and picked it up for the rich look of the colours.  I found the coordinating colours at Cherished Pieces in Tillsonburg ON.  Here are some pictures of the finished topper and closeups of the quilting and the backing. 

(click on the photos to enlarge them)

The finished table topper

loops in the focus fabric

close quilting in the center section

wavy close lines in the center to flatten it out :-)

the backing

label (in time for her 52nd birthday :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A quilt for Leah

You can read about the beginning of Lauren and Leah's quilts here.  I have to do a blog post next about Lauren's quilt!   We had cut the triangles for Leah's quilt 2 3/4" instead of the usual 3 3/4" because the print was a lot smaller.  We did three sets of repeats to get enough hexagons for a small twin quilt for her bed.  By the time I had stitched all 29 rows of half hexagons, I was ready to be finished with this quilt LOL. 

the original fabric

Leah trying out some cubes for her quilt on the design wall

the solid cubes in the quilt were designed by Leah and carefully transported to Grandma's sewing machine on a mini cutting mat

some hollow cubes in the quilt

another cluster of hollow cubes with leftovers from cutting the hexagons

Leah's designs :-)

the quilting was done by Cathy Shepherd

the finished quilt

Thursday, December 3, 2015

More progress on the Indian Orange Peel

Another step closer in getting the Indian Orange Peel finished...visited Hyggeligt in St. Mary's ON this week and found a lovely, lovely Phillip Jacob's chrysanthemum print for the back of the Indian Orange Peel and an aboriginal dot for the binding.  Now to finish agonizing over how to quilt it!!  I don't want to do too much quilting on it, but what to do?  I have some Christmas gifts to finish and can procrastinate a bit more :-). 

Backing and binding fabric

Friday, November 27, 2015

Emily's baby quilt

My niece, Emily, will be having a baby in January and we recently had a lovely shower for her.  What with modern technology, we texted pictures back and forth of fabric ideas and wallpaper and paint in the baby's room and we got a perfect match LOL.  Here is the focus fabric we picked out and some solids to frame the blocks.  The fabric was "reduce, reuse, recycle", but I fussy cut the squares so that this theme wasn't put into the baby quilt :-). 

Focus fabric with kona solids to frame

This was like making a puzzle...very fun.  The large blocks are 12" finished and the rest are multiples of that.

The quilting was organic line quilting with a variegated King Tut thread

close up of my favourite block
The finished quilt

Friday, October 30, 2015

Never thought this day would arrive.......

The Indian Orange Peel top is together!  Wow, I never thought this day would arrive.  It's been on my spare bed off and on for four years, patiently waiting for the final putting together.  I worked on it every once in awhile over the years, but went to a friend's place for a sleepover recently and decided this thing needed to get finished.  I worked on it non stop for two days and that gave me the focus needed to get it done :-).

The reason I procrastinated on it is because I didn't look forward to all those curved seams and then finally setting the center 25 block square into a border frame made up of all these odd shaped pieces.  And the pattern comes with very few instructions!  But, I must say, it came together very nicely.  The worst of it was putting the last two arcs into the corners of the border section, but even that went better than expected.  The original pattern came printed out on fairly heavy paper, but I think this is what made it come together so nicely.  It did not get a chance to get stretched.  Now to pick the rest of the paper off the border :-(.  That is the part I don't like about paper piecing.  I'll have to invite some friends over for coffee and work on while chatting...or procrastinate for another four years before it gets quilted LOL.  Hopefully not.  But, that is an interesting do you quilt something like this???

(Click on the photos to enlarge them)
Getting the last two seams pinned
the finished top!!!!

Amazing how the inset corners came together so nicely

To read about my IOP journey, click here