Thursday, May 22, 2014

Anwer: Simple Tote, Sports Quilt, and Placemats

 Question:  What's been happening in the Studio this week?  First, this sweet little tote made from a bright batik is a little retirement present for my SIL who is finally graduating from Hinsdale Central after 37 years in the classroom.  Hooray!  Chris loves bright colors and corals and pinks, so I think she will LOVE this handy summer tote.  This is the Arabesque pattern from Sew Sweetness and is a free download. 
Just two little pockets on the inside and a zip top

The graduation quilt for Shari B is completed and spectacular, thanks to Frank at T and F Quilting. Shari's son is going to a college whose colors are grey, black, and royal blue. Dom's quilt is 60" by 80" and has a pillow made from a leftover baseball jersey.  From thin baseball jerseys to thick hockey jerseys,  Frank Karls and his longarming skills handles them all.  This quilt is absolutely useable and washable and will showcase some high school memories for years to come.
So far 4 of my 16 placemats are almost done.  These plain outer borders are crying for some quilting.  This is a great opportunity for some threadplay!

It's Thursday.  Off to my parents with some shrimp and grits and my handsewing, all nestled into this nifty little tri-zippered pouch from my guild buddy Sarah E. Having made a couple of these, I know how special these are and love that Sarah made this for me.  What a spirit-lifting gesture! 

In my favorite colors

Loaded and ready to go! (and check out the little pin cushion in the top of the bag!!!)

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Cristina has been sewing with me for over 10 years - she made her first quilt when she was in 7th grade.  She's been in the studio all week, working on a h.s. graduation quilt for her boyfriend's sister.  This quilt imitates the feel of one spotted in a catalog, sort of a Moroccan Tile-inspired quilt.  Cris has a degree in fine arts from the U of Iowa.  So to watch her process has been very interesting - and so different from the way I work.  I was gone all day last Thursday.  When I came home, this finished top was on the design floor. 
While Cristina's been working on her project, I have quietly been  working my way through placemats for my house.  I'm thrilled to have these underway - they have been in the planning stage for far too long.

This simple purse is a free pattern from Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness - it's her Arabesque bag.  It's simple in that there is a zipper at the top and two interior pockets.  A perfect little tote.  I put my phone on it just to give an indication of the size. 
And I picked up this sports jersey quilt from T and F Quilting - all it needs is binding and it will be ready for its June deadline.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finding a Home

Several years ago I did a series of basic quilting classes at the Lawndale Christian Church, and we were doing blocks from Eleanor Burns's Underground Railway Sampler.  Four of these sample blocks are in a 36" x 36" wall hanging.  Grad school/teaching buddy Carol Conway is doing a fundraiser for the Morgan Park Youth Ministry and asked if I had a donation.  I think this is perfect.  These blocks, started with upper left, are Bear's Paw (look out, animals ahead), Monkey Wrench (tools are needed), Jacob's Ladder (indicating direction), and Log Cabin (safe house ahead). 

Here's the charity quilt that Eileen, Jennifer, Sarah S and I worked on at the Spring retreat.  Sarah S did the quilting and passed it over to me for the binding.  Credit goes to our Emilies for putting these kits together.  

Below is my hand project, which is turning into a hand-machine project.  I am indeed putting the 9-patches together by hand.  But I am firming up these  11" blocks with machine sashing and corner stones.  And although this is premature, I think the quilting will be a combination of machine and hand work.  So far, I have 9 blocks completed, and I like where this is going. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ready for Frank!

Ready for the long arm quilter - front artfully folded and on a pieced backing.  This size quilt - 70" x 85" - is one I could handle with my walking foot and straight-line quilting.  But this pieced top is so angular that it needs something swirly for quilting.  Also, I have a feeling the bride might prefer swirly over straight.  So we are off to T and F Quilting in Lemont. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

All Things Aeroplane

Pattern/fabric designer Sara Lawson goes to Quilt Market in two weeks and will take these two Aeroplane Bags that I made using her new fabric line, Jungle Avenue for Art Gallery Fabrics.   Sara's a young Chicago mom, and this line reflects her love for the urban.  This top picture is the smaller of the Aeroplane bags.  Lovely fabrics.  Lovely bag pattern.  Lovely bags.  Notice they are partying with the other two Aeroplanes in my studio - the striped batik is one that I use.  The grey/purple with the fabulous zipper is still waiting a home assignment. 

This week neighbor Cristina returned to the area - yes, Cristina of the leather Aeroplane bag.  She was extolling the virtues of her Aeroplane and how handy it's been for the past several months.

Ok, time to go back to flat things...