Monday, March 2, 2015

Back from QuiltCon, but First...

Last February I made a bed topper from a wedding dress - my dental hygienist commissioned this piece for her daughter Kristin.  Kristin loved this piece, and she asked for a similar project out of her bridesmaid dress for the bride.  The bride had a baby shower yesterday, and Kristin was able to give her this 60" x 60" bed topper.  The quilt blocks are the Friendship Star design - perfect for this project.  So are all the sparkly fabrics.  The back of the quilt actually shimmers.  What a thoughtful and lovely gift.

Interested in how this all came together?  Here are a series of process pictures:
There's actually 3 layers with these blocks because the dress was made from a sheer overlay on a shiny polyester.

These two test blocks turned out fine.  Luckily I ran into someone who suggested cutting bigger pieces and then trimming down.  Good idea.  See picture below.
Look at the double layer of the royal blue

The trimming process

Trimmed blocks ready for putting together.

And lots and lots of quilting.  

One of my QuiltCon purchases is this wrist pincushion.  So handy.  I have a zillion pincushions but they are never where I need them.  Now?  I have one wherever I am!
The other project I wanted to do right away was this Hazel Hipster.   Patty chose these fabrics - what a happy spring bag.  It is 10" x 12".  I made this bag a few weeks ago and made a small modification by boxing the bag and the lining just a little.  I think it's a great improvement.  Stay tuned tomorrow for all the QuiltCon talk and more than you will ever want to know about Yoshiko Jinzenji!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Just one more purse...

Friend Nancy turned me on to this fabric - I made an Arabesque purse for her last week from this fabric. Another friend, someone who has suffered greatly this winter, is a perfect candidate for this happy purse. I'll give it to her tomorrow. Quilting on Soft and Stable is easy, and the quilting makes the purse that much sturdier.

Wintersection has come home.  I hung it in the living room and then promptly took it down.  I had fun making this piece, I'll find a wall in the studio or closet for it, but I don't love it anymore.  Which is ok. At yesterday's guild meeting I was talking with a couple of guildsters about education and made the point that kids must learn rules before they can break them.  A basic rule in quilting is that corners should be 90 degree angles.  I chose to break that rule.  And I don't think I will ever make that choice again...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Getting Ready for QuiltCon 2015

The Modern Quilt Guild is holding its second convention in Austin, Texas this week.  QuiltCon 2013 was the best quilting experience ever, and I am thrilled to be returning to Austin for QuiltCon 2015. Leaving town for a few days is always an opportunity to finish up projects and line up what I want to work on next.

The final eight placemats for my house are finished.  And so is one more Molly Market tote bag - I just can't keep my hands off of this comma fabric.

When I get home, the two projects at the top of the list are the two tasteful Backhawks quilts for the fathers of my Illinois great nieces. These will be red feathers against a black and grey checked background.  The other project involves royal blue bridesmaid dresses.  The bridesmaids want their dresses worked into a bed topper for their bride.

 At Quiltcon 2015 I'm taking a full-day class in Sashiko Quilting with Maura Ambrose, and I am most looking forward to the two half-day classes with Yoshiko Jinzenji.  Roommate Melissa went to grad school in Austin, and one day we are going to visit the LBJ library.  One morning I have a pancake date with guildster Mimi who is no longer in Chicago and blogger buddy/hero Chawne.  Several of my quilt besties are making the trek to Austin - so wonderful to share this whole experience with them. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's All About The ... COMMA!

I made a similar Molly Market Tote Bag last year - see it here - but I wound up giving it as a Christmas present to Meg, our nephew's wife who lives in London.   I didn't give it to her until I was sure I had enough of Comma by ZenChic to make another.  This bag really is perfect for daily shopping - lightweight, sturdy, stylish.

This second bag is the Hazel Hipster, designed to be a cross-body bag.   I can't tell you how much I struggle with the length of bag straps.  And what did I do?  Create a lovely bag with a strap that is too short to wear cross body.  (Yes, I measured - who knows what the issue is...).   So either I need to find a short person who loves this bag - anyone? - or rework the straps with d-rings and make it adjustable.  Good thing I have more comma fabric.  In fact - full disclosure:  I have bought this fabric three times now.

Interior has two pockets

Back is plain and quilted

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Bag, a Pillow, and a Major Clean-up

My six Arabesque bags were fun to do. I still have piles of fabrics on the floor which would be perfect for this pattern. Buddy Melissa gave me a charm pack of Doe, a new fabric line by Carolyn Friedlander. Apparently I wasn't "done" with bags and had to turn this charm pack of 5" squares into an Aeroplane Bag, a great pattern by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. I love this pattern and love how this bag turned out! Look at the reverse of this bag equally cute!

The interior of this bag also uses a Carolyn Friedlander fabric and has two zippered pockets.  Truly, perfect for aeroplane trips!  Should I take this bag to QuiltCon?  or perhaps this one?  Or maybe even this one?  First World problems, eh?

The pillow made from a leftover block of this quilt has finally been completed.  The back was another great reason to work on my Sashiko quilting.  And what I am learning is that I must use wool batting - it so nicely highlights the stitching and is so easy to needle.  And now?  I have no excuses:  I must organize my studio and put away and be thoughtful about what I want to do next! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Quilting Alchemy on a Snowy Day

The purse for loving friend Nancy is complete.  And while there are things I should do, what's calling me very very loudly is the charm pack of the complete collection of Carolyn Friedlander's Doe fabrics.  Melissa gave me this charm pack.  I saw on Pinterest an Aeroplane Bag that had a pieced body.  And 2 + 2 has come together into a very tidy 4!  Something like this.  We are getting our first really big snowfall today.  If I were still teaching, I'd be hoping for a snow day.  And you know what?  I am making today - and perhaps tomorrow too - honorary snow days.  There are ingredients for several Indian dishes - Keema Matar, Sag Paneer, Raita - just waiting.  Nice.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Five Pretty Purses, all in a row...

 Five bags are completed.  And one more is in process.  I never played with dolls when I was little.  Guess I'm making up for it now by playing with purses...
My favorite - and one I am hoping to keep.  However, everything has a price!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

An Arabesque Sort of Week

I have been in the mood to work on a purse, an Arabesque by Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness.  The one Arabesque that I have loved and (gently) used I would up selling to someone for a Christmas gift.  It was a twin of the grey tiled bag above.  My neighbor Miguel is visiting family in Uruguay next month and asked for a bag for his mother.  Then, he realized his sister would probably take that bag from his mom so he decided to get one for his sister.  But he has another sister, too.  So he wants three of these bags.  This week was the prepping - cutting the linings, assembling the interior pockets, adding an exterior pocket to this wonderful pattern (which is a free download), quilting the body onto Soft and Stable, a foam interfacing, making the straps.  Two are complete, and the other three are almost there.  A most satisfying week of sewing.  Now Miguel can choose which three bags he wants.  Although if he does choose the black/grey tile, I am charging more for that one!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eloise Emma has arrived!

My niece had her second child, little Eloise Emma, Friday.  Eloise was born in Brooklyn and will join her brother Henry, mother Jen and father Tim.   ***cue The Circle of Life  from Lion King***  Eloise was the name of my Grandmother White, nee Eloise Sheehan.  People die, babies are born, and we remember those who came before us.  

My niece requested a low-volume pink and grey baby quilt.  The magazine Quilty published a baby quilt, full of lines of pennants.  I adapted this idea for Eloise's quilt.  I know my niece loves balloons, and I think this quilt looks complete with the addition of the balloons.  See the picture at the end of this post for the quilt top without balloons.  The quilt's back is a bit higher-volume than the front and a great contrast. 

 Eloise's quilt is in the washer right now and will go in the mail Monday!  What a satisfying project.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Victorian Shadowbox: Ready for the next 25 years!

When students are learning English as a Second Language, they are classified as ELL's - emerging language learners. This quilt I made when I was an EQM - an emerging quilt maker.  My primitve basting method means there are nice big folds in the backing.  My straight-line quilting isn't so straight.  The binding was pretty horrible - I didn't even know how to miter corners! And let's not even talk about the quilting in the quilt.  I did this on a domestic machine with a small harp, and this quilt is 84" x 104".

With the old binding cut off and the new binding security attached, this quilt has a primitive beautify and softness and is good to go for another 25 years.  Quilters give quilts away.  So it's great to be able to have my hands on something I made and see how it's lasted.  This quilt will be very happy in its St. Joe, Michigan, home with my sister.