Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Myra's PhD Challenge

My quilting buddy Elizabeth posted that she was going to start an online blog challenge to finish some 'PhDs' this coming year. For those of you not current on quilt speak that stands for 'Prjoects half Done', but it sounds very prestigious when you say "I am currently working on my PhD" and so you sound smart or at least educated. ;)  Anyway, I am not sure if she has been a good influence on me (as in motivation to finish things you have started) or a bad one (as in here is one more thing that I expect you to finish). I told her just that, than quickly when on over to Myra's blog and signed up. So, in theory, sometime in the next 6 months I should have (at least) 3 quilts to post here.  This is what I posted on the PhD site, and therefore what I have committed to, cross your fingers:

Meet Me in Paris

I bought this kit when I was still a new quilter. I thought it would be cute on my daughter's bed. The designer was demonstrating the quilt at a show years ago and I thought 'she makes that look so easy, I can do that!". Well it turns out, I could NOT do that...then. Now, I can do that. :D I found it in a box when I was organizing a while back. See, I am one of those people who thinks that if at first you don't succeed, erase all proof you ever tried. This mind set has been less than helpful with more than one quilting project. I will start something and get frustrated with it, throw it in a box and walk away to something else. As I get more skills, I have been going back and trying to finish some of those things I put up years ago. I pulled this out a while back and realized this real is not too hard and started finishing it, then the busy season started and I haven't finished much of anything that wasn't for someone else's in MONTHS. This WILL get done with this challenge.


Another thing I got YEARS ago was this pattern and panel. It is another project I got soon after starting to quilt. I think it was the first panel I purchased and then couldn't figure out what to do with it since I didn't get any of the coordinating fabrics, so it also went in to a box as 'I don't know'. I found a few fat quarters that worked and still didn't do anything with it. My daughter's teacher is having a baby in March so I thought this would be a great baby quilt for her so I sucked it up and headed off to a fabric sale to get the background fabrics. I still don't know how I feel about the green that I chose but I am pushing through it...

Silk Wall Hanging

My favorite restaurant in town happens to be owned by a guy I used to work with and his wife. It is a fabulous indian food place....soooooooo good! Anyway, when it first opened I told the owner I would make something quilted to put on the wall, went out and bought silk fabric in very 'sari' type colors. Great shades! I discovered that silk is a pain to work with!! So guess what, into the box it went! I didn't have a pattern, pretty much just make a bunch of half square triangles and then gave up. lol So this one will be fun, but I WILL finish it!

See how beautiful the colors are?

And what a hassle it is?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Aubrey's Quilt

This is my beautiful girl, Aubrey....my 'mini me', poor thing! She loves horses, so her quilt is horsey inspired. The fabrics in the pinwheels have daises and horseshoes on them so they are mildly girlie but not too girlie so that she would hate it. She picked the pattern and I picked the fabrics.

The border fabrics have not only beautiful quarter horses on them but also cowgirls. Again, slightly feminine but not tooooo much,
This quilt was the first one I did with custom quilting, don't look too close. ;) It is quilted with daises and corresponding abstract block filling designs. The back of the quilt is pink with more beautiful horses and cowgirls on it. It fits perfectly on her bed...now if it is ever neatly made, I will take a pic of it in use and post it...don't hold your breath.

A Quilt for the Mom-in-Law

Lorraine's Quilt

Patty's Petals Design
If you have never been on a shop hop, you are missing out and you should feel sad. Shop hops are LOADS of fun! Even when you drag 5 kids under the age of 10 with you for 2 days of nothing but driving and going to fabric stores. That is exactly what I did last year. I justified all of this driving and shopping with the idea that I could make 'sales calls' on all of the local stores in my area. So we packed up with car with snacks and cd's and went driving. About 400 miles and an unmentionable amount of fabric we were through. The kids liked the idea that the shop owners all had treats, that would have been enough to keep them under control (enough) but I also gave them an assignment...'pick out fabric to make a quilt for grandma'. That made them TOTALLY involved and actually wanting to keep going. I told them to pick out pink and purple fat quarters from each shop they went to, each of them go one piece from each store, there were 18 shops! Eighteen shops times 4 fat quarters at each...you get the idea...that is alot of fabric! we actually ended up with enough to make 2 quilt tops. Anyway, about half way through this process of picked fabric I realized that the pink and purples were getting a might boring so I told one of them to pick yellows and one to pick greens and that broke it up enough. Then when we got home, I pulled out about 6 different patterns that were fat quarter friendly and they had to vote on which one to use. This would be for the grandma that belongs to my husband. He said to make it 'kind of girly', since apparently my quilts tend not to be. ;) I then quilted it with a pattern called Patty's Petals with a pink thread. This was the end result.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Challenge Blocks

I am a member of the mountain piece makers quilt guild. A few months back we were asked to bring a baggie full of 5 inch squares of fall color fabrics. At the meeting, someone divided them up and we were given the challenge to make something with them. The rules were that we could add one fabric to the pattern as well as a background and a border fabric. These are the fabrics I started with.
I blankly stared at them for oh a month or so...Then about a week before it was due to show at the meeting, I started on it. The pieced blocks are paperpieced (not very well I might add) and the solid pieces are a cream on cream feather print fabric. The border fabric is a piece that I have been sitting on for a long time. Not until I took it out to work with it on this project did I realize that it is a very poor quality of fabric, I am pretty sure it is not even cotton. :/ Anyway, this is the end result:

Tianna's Quilt

 I had been quilting for about 4 years when I moved to North Carolina. I left MANY very special people whom I miss very much. Not the least of these is my 'sister' T. She came to visit me less than I year after I moved. She  pointed out that I had not yet made her a quilt. I was like 'D'uh'...I would have loved to whip her up something great right then and there. However, I was BROKE! So I made her a deal that if she bought the fabric, I would make her anything she wanted. So I handed her a stack of books and said 'pick something out and then we will go shopping'! She picked out this pattern that was a beautiful blend of blues and browns, very subdued. And we blew that up, with the brightest colors we could find. I loved that this pattern because it has the french braid pattern in the borders, that is one of my favorite details. I wish I had more close up pics of the details on this quilt, but alas I do not. I do however have a picture of Tianna with her quilt...isn't she beautiful? This is a pic of her kickin it on my couch with it.
And yes, I did make her come visit again so she could have it. ;)

Butterfly Quilt

Yes, I know, its BRIGHT. But hey, I don't like boring! One of my favorite things to do with quilting is to mix traditional techniques or patterns with very non-traditional fabrics. This is an example of a traditional Dresden quilt: 

These are 'butterflies' made with partial Dresden plates with alternating light and dark pieces. The quilting got a little out of control but I was having fun with it:

Lynn and Dave's Quilt

We rent our house. Well, actually we 'rent-to-own' our house. We have the most amazing Landlord EVER. We had about a week to find a house, get married, enroll the kids in school and move in. Luckily we found a bout we both loved in about 2 days. We moved in in August but didn't meet the people who actually owned the house until the following year. They had a rental company charged a ridiculous amount of money to do nothing, collected the rent and maintained the home. Since the people who own the home live out of the country, this seemed like a great arrangement for all. After renting the house for 2 full years, the owners have decided to lease-to-own the home to us. They are very generous and kind hearted people. They even send us a gift every year. We thought all of that deserved a thank you. So, the man picked out a pattern and the both of us rummaged through my stash to find fabric that would work. I couldn't get out of the house for a few days due to a blizzard so I made the whole quilt in about a week. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you are a prisoner to you home. ;)

Wish you could see the qulting...it was great!

Sample of one block.

NB Elementary School Donation Quilt

It is safe to say that I HATE SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS!!! Especially considering that I have 5 school aged kids that all bring home the same packets. One can only buy so much cookie dough, wrapping paper and coupon books. And considering that when I buy that $20 tub of cookie dough (that is not even close to as good as my own) the school actually sees about $2 of it. That being said, I do understand and appreciate that the schools do need parental help to keep our school supplied and staffed in a way that is best for the kids. So, last year I decided that I would make a quilt and donate it to the school and they could do what they like with it in whatever fashion they thought would do the most good. They chose to put it into a raffle basket (mind you wadded up and shoved in the back where all you could see is one square and people probably thought it was a pot holder). People could buy tickets for whatever basket they chose and then there was a drawing for each basket. I am not sure how much was raised and I hope that whomever got it enjoys it. Here it is:


 I have decided to go back and add in short clips of quilts, either old or new, that I have finished but not blogged about. So the next few posts will be short and sweet and hopefully have some decent pictures to them.

Where we started
This quilt is a sort of 'turning twenty-esq' sort of pattern. I got all the fabrics from the sale table from my favorite LQS, or out of my stash . This quilt is done with the orange color palate. I also picked up fabrics that are the same line but in a pink palate, but haven't decided what their final destination will be.

Quilted with orange thread in the 'spice market' pattern.

I LOVE this backing fabric

Finished Quilt

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Un-"Raider's" Quilt

OK, so I couldn't wait to show this. Been working on it for a couple of weeks. Have to tell the story first: The first quilt I made (one a blue ribbon btw ;) ) was a log cabin quilt that I made for my mom. She has it in her room in her cabin in Utah. Well, with the economy being what it is, my parents have had to go back to work {more than} full time in Vegas. So they have been spending pretty much all their time there in a pretty much empty house. I used to share the house with them before I moved, since at that time they were only there for about a week out of the month, they had a room and a bathroom and the rest of the house was full of my stuff-hence the reason the house is now pretty much empty. Anyway, I was talking to my dad a few months back and asked if mom had her quilt in Vegas or if it was still in Utah, he said she didn't want to carry it back and forth so it was in Utah.

I said:
'do you think she would want one for the house in Vegas?'
'I'm sure she would'.
'What color you think would be good?'
'Ummm......black and silver'
I just laughed and said 'oh yeah Mom would LOVE that!'

Lemme 'splain...My dad is a die hard Oakland Raiders fan. Like VIOLENT Raiders fan. So I was like :slap forehead: I have never made a quilt for my dad! Duh!

So, I was thinking of finding some licenced fabric and doing the whole couch throw thing. But then I found this great pattern. I couldn't decide if I wanted to make a wall hanging or a bed quilt. But I knew I wanted this pattern so to make a bed quilt I would have to make it like four times and put it together. So I decided to get his input (slyly of course)
'Do you think mom would rather have another bed quilt or one that goes on the wall?'
'The wall doesn't get cold'
(I should have known that I would have gotten a smart alec answer). So after a long deliberation, and by that I mean I made the man decide.

I went off to my favorite LQS and went on a mission for fabric, first, I found this AMAZING border fabric:

Then it was a mission for the other colors:

The borders gave me some trouble. Apparently when I printed the pattern, it wasn't quite to scale with the design, so the borders were too big to fit the corners. Had to do some creative tailoring, but I guess it came out in the end. With those, this is what I came up with:

I am hoping VERY MUCH to be making a trip home this winter so I plan to give it to him then. :D


The walhanging is quilted, and ready to go:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mended Hearts

As most of you already know we are a blended family. I had three children and my husband had two children when we got married two years ago. I started this quilt before we got married...two years later the top is done. Maybe for our 5th Anniversary, he will get the gift I intended to be a wedding present. (D'oh)

Anyway, I started with this Mended Hearts pattern that I got from the quilt show in Henderson Nevada, years before I even met him. I thought it was a great idea as a gift to make for someone else, I never thought it would be applying to me.

I thought it to be quite appropriate for out situation as we not only fill a hole left in each other's hearts but we feel a sense of completion with each other. But since there are 5 other little people in this relationship, I felt they needed to be represented also. So I added little hearts to show them as part of the completion. Since 'the man' is represented in dark green, I thought the boys should be depicted with varying shades of green. Likewise, since I was represented with dark pinks, the the girls are pictured with little pink hearts. I used a white on white rose printed background that I have had forever, I think it was one of the first fabrics I bought when I started quilting and then realized that using white is really not all that common. The pattern was also missing something for me in the design so I altered that just a little.


Instead of having the hearts alternate sides, I kept them all on the same side, then on the mended hearts at the bottom, I filled them in. I have been trying to decide on borders. I am not sure if I am going to do a pink border with a green border sort of hugging around it (showing his protective nature) or if I will do the border sort of log cabin style with pink on one side and green on the other.

Inner Borders

I also picked out a fabric to use as a border when I originally bought all of the fabrics two years ago. As things go, I am not really feeling it anymore. I had picked it because it had a fairly balanced blend of both the pink and green, but now it feels sort of old fashioned to me and I just don't know about it anymore. What you think?

Outer Border

Maybe if I do a slim border it won't be so 'tea party'...I don't know.


Opted to skip the outer border and just use the floral print for the binding. I didn't have enough to use as backing so I used the same white as the background. The original pattern has very minimal hand quilting on it. I also did very little quilting on this one. Here it is...the first {hopefully of many} quilted wall hangings in our house.
He liked it by the way. ;)