Friday, June 24, 2016

Today's Adventures

Mors Bags from Brookfield Jazz Society's t-shirts - by John's request

Quilted pillow tops for Sara's Inn, an organization which focuses on domestic violence.  It is my Chicago MQG's current charity focus. 

Some mostly open-wide medium sized zippered bags from Noodlehead's tutorial.  See the link above for more tutorials.

But this is what I really want to be working on and will start shortly - some paper piecing from Carolyn Friedlander, part of the Glamp Stitchalot weekend. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Father's Day

Maybe I should have just titled this "T-Shirt Quilts Make Me Cry."  This quilt is Jeff's Father's Day present - he's a Chicago policeman married to Sheila, a teaching colleague of mine.  Sheila's mom, who was my age, died 12 years ago, and Sheila gave me her mom's shirts.  Here's a picture of this first "life celebration" t-shirt quilt I did.  We made baby quilts from the leftover and from pj botttoms - all three of Sheila's kids and her nieces have used this quilt (see below).  To watch someone go through such grief with death and such happiness with marriage and children is a privilege.  Some of Jeff's t-shirts are from the "Brotherhood of the Fallen" and remembering and honoring his colleagues.  I'm happy that Sheila has entrusted me with such valuable work.

I may have to make my dad a chocolate cake for Father's Day - he loved them so. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fabric and Pattern Crushes

I love this Art Gallery Fabric by Bonnie Christine from her Hello, Bear line and keep reordering it because I keep using it.  I have made Sloan Bags from this.  I just took my Sloan Bag to Eastern Europe and kept waiting for women to tap me on the shoulder and say, "What a beautiful bag - where did you get it?"  And while that didn't happen, I know that's what many were thinking!  I also love this Arabesque pattern from Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness (it's a free download - have you been wanting to try one of her patterns?  This is a perfect starter pattern). I made one of these Arabesque bags for my sister-in-law's birthday two years ago. and she has requested a new bag and chose this fabric.  (Yippee!)  As long as I was making one, I decided to make a second one.  Just because.  And a couple of little key fobs.  Because...  Why not?  At Terry's request I added an exterior pocket, a necessity.  See the side index for other Arabesque bags.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday, June 12 - the Trifecta of Quilting

                              Perfect weather, all kinds of projects, excellent tunes

Progress on Glamp projects
Purse parts prepped for two new purses
Some Brookfield Jazz Society t-shirts which John wants made into Mors bags.
Tunes to block out the media coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando

Monday, June 6, 2016

Jet Lag and Glamping

 With the Eastern Danube cruise over, my focus was getting to Ann Arbor for Glamp Stitchalot.  Luckily, before we left for Europe I made my swap pouch (above) and an extra that went to the Swap Mamma, one of three woman who volunteered to organize the swap.  My swap partner Kim @seewcraazy lives in Lakewood, IL, the same community my stepson and his family are in.  Small world.  Erica Brehmer @hot_bobbins made these two pouches for me, and I'm thrilled how she honored my colorway.  I also loved that she used quality zippers!  Then, six classes in 12 hours over two days.  Phew.  Here's what I learned:

"Studios and One-Bedrooms" by Elizabeth Hartman

"Airplane" by Rashida Coleman-Hale

"Glamp" by Carolyn Friedlander (I did no sewing - it took me the entire class period to create a colorway)

"Flying Geese - Big and Small" by Monica Solorio-Snow

"My Favorite Things" by Violet Craft

"Mountain, Trees, and Sunshine" by Penny Layman

I'm eager to get back to each one of these projects, but first I have to tend to the t-shirt commission that is due on Father's Day.  These six projects were designed to go into one nice "Row Quilt".   The design wall will be instrumental in the development on this project!  I'm looking forward to some nice progress this summer, especially now that my sleeping has finally straightened out!

My quilty peeps - Sarah E, Holly, Sarah S, Melissa, (top row) me and Amy.  An awesome group of women!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Two very smart guild buddies...

 This Medallion Quilt-A-Long #chicagomqgmedallion project is coming along, slowly.  But the last border is borthering me.  Sue R  #fishy_quilt  and Iris J  #rojoquilts made suggestions on Instagram about doing something relating back to the center block, especially in these corners.  I found just enough of the center fabric - almost - and will now think about doing something similar .  So glad they chimed in!  At QuiltCon 2013 Heather Grant gave a wonderful talk about the development of the modern quilting movement.  One bit of technology - the affordable digital camera - has allowed quilters all over the world to connect.  And locally?  I can put a picture up on Instagram and get almost immediate feedback from various sources.  Quite remarkable.  And most useful.  Love that instant gratification!
And while I ponder what I want to do, I will continue to slowly pack, get the studio ready for carpet cleaning,  and get ready to leave tomorrow.  Back on the 28th, our 34th wedding anniversary! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My bags are not packed - I'm not ready to go

But I'm ever so slowly getting there.  This t-shirt quilt due in early June is almost ready to be put together and be delivered to Frank and Terri for long-arming - still waiting for the mom to drop off one more shirt.  Coincidentally, the young lady for whom this quilt is being made requested that Columbia Blue be used as the sashing.  Columbia Blue?  She went to my thread cabinet and found the shade, and I ordered the matching Kona Evening.  But really the color is Painter's Tape Blue.

I'm  bit stuck on my Medallion Quilt-a-Long.  The suggested Raspberry Kiss block wasn't for this quilt.  So I did some wonky crosses, and I'm not sure what I'm not liking - the wonkiness or the alternating color or whether I just need a stronger division between the previous white border and the crosses.  At least this is up on the design wall and out of the way not that the soccer jersey quilt is actually in process.

As soon as we return from our Eastern Danube River cruise, I am heading to Ann Arbor for Stitch Glampalot with five of my Chicago MQG buddies.  We'll be working on individual projects, one which will work best with solids.  I am unsure of what I want to do, so I am just taking all of my Konas and hope that this palette will be the right thing.  It will have to be.  I also have a triangle ruler and a paper-piecing ruler set out.  We will also be making 4" Drunkard's Path blocks - and of course I have templates for 3", 6" and 9".   So it goes...
Part of Glampalot involves an optional zip pouch exchange as an ice breaker.  I received a bit of info about my partner, one of which is that she likes metallics.  Guild buddy Amy posted a tutorial to a curvy zip pouch, and it's a terrific one.  I liked it so much that I had to make another right away.  So this little pouch will go into my Stitch Glampalot suitcase along with the Kona cottons, and I am putting it away until we get home.  The day before we leave I am having the studio carpet cleaned and am very excited about coming back to a pristine studio.  You bet pictures will be coming!

 At the last guild meeting I took the blocks from the Sarah Nishuara workshop home and put them into a quilt.  This top will go back with me to the meeting Sunday, and I am hoping someone will take this quilt to the next stage - it is ideal for a charity quilt.  Working on it was very useful in getting my head out of my self-absorbed ass.  Let's hear it for charity work.  One of the things on my list when we return is to get back to making purses for young women in Zambia.  The Sew Powerful organization is one that is truly making a difference!  

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Wet Blanket

This little baby quilt is 40" x 48" - just big enough for Junior who was born April 1.  Yesterday was his one-month birthday party, and I was invited.  His twin older siblings died the same day my mom died, back in in December 2014.  So Junior's arrival brought great joy!  This little guy has everything he needs - except a floor quilt for him to spit up on and poop on and do anything else he chooses.  I decided to wash this before the party.  And for whatever reason, I couldn't get it dry in time.  So I took this lovely little wet blanket to Junior's party.  As if this is how I give all baby quilts...  Luckily, this family loves me and understood.  Happy One Month Birthday, Junior!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Just another manic Monday...

It happens whenever we get ready to leave town: I get the heebie jeebies. That's when every project I am working on demands to be at the top of the list - or least on the list. And I have always found it very calming just to get things down in writing. That's what this post today is all about.  On the design wall is a baby quilt for next Sunday.  When I blog about the finished quilt, I'll tell its sad and fascinating involving the day my mom died.  I am using all the blues in my stash and love this scrappy look!

Mid-May we are going to Budapest and doing an Eastern Danube River Cruise that ends in Bucharest.  Right after we return, I must be ready for Glamp Stitchalot.  Preparation is coming up with a palette of solid fabrics.  So I studied my trusty Kona card and then realized I have all the solid fabrics in the colors I want to work with ALREADY IN MY STASH!  Go figure...  Except for a wonderful deep red.  And doesn't this fit in well with my continuing resolve to not buy any more fabric. I did think perhaps this might be an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and work with some different colors.  But I don't want to.

This is a high school graduation t-shirt quilt for Nazarath senior Emily.  She knows about this quilt and wants to arrange her t-shirts, so I am waiting for her to come over.  The back of the quilt will incorporate a baby quilt that an aunt of her mom's made for her.  I need to get this to Frank and Terri's for longarming and then bind it.

All the parts for this Jinny Beyer Sprectrum quilt are ready to go.  The strips are finished and finally off the design wall.  I've done my math and know the dimension of the sashing and borders, all of which will be Kona snow.  This quilt isn't going to be gifted until December, so I have plenty of time.

 This pile of greys and backs and whites is just sitting here.  At the top of the stairs to the studio.  So I walk past it perhaps a dozen time a day.  And I look.  And I think.  I don't know what these fabrics will be or how many things they will be.  But they will be something.  At some point.  And it's great fun to think of all the possibilities.  Without embarrassment I will admit that I will regroup/resort at least once a day.  It's a great excuse to touch all these fabrics.  Fabric-enabler friends Holly and Sarah S were instrumental in the development of this grouping. 
 And this is one of those "don't ask" projects.  Last month Chicago quilter Sarah Nishuara did a workshop on Alternative Grids in  Quilting.  I was not a part of this workshop.  But somehow I wound up with the blocks created during this workshop.  So my next trip to Joann's will involve finding the same white Sarah used for the background of these blocks.  I'll do a sort of floating squares layout.  It'll be a great charity quilt.  Someday.

 These final two pictures fall under the "monkey see, monkey do" category.  Have you see this tutorial for a Scandinavian table runner from Sew, Mama, Sew?  It's a quick applique project.  Since I had some Insul-brite batting, I used it so that I won't have to use pads under hot dishes.  I love how this turned out, and it's on the table.  John doesn't like it - he thinks it's too light for our house.  Meanwhile, it's still on the table, and I think he's getting used to it.  Maybe.   Ok, back to the baby quilt...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Meanwhile, back in the Studio...

 It's T-Shirt Season, and this is the second one.  Rory is an 11-year old whose father died five years ago.  His mom gathered these t-shirts - the black one in the middle with the sign language symbol is a special sign that Rory and his dad had.  It was bound in cornflower yellow, and his mom is excited to give this to him this weekend.
I have made slow but steady progress on these two new Sloan bags.  Somehow this fabric and this pattern belong together.  One bag is for guild buddy Jen, and the other is for me.  But I have a feeling my sister might need one of these bags.  So I did buy more of this yardage - I can't bear the thought of being without it.  NonQuilters, I know how odd this sounds.  Quilters, thanks for your understanding!