A ghastlie reunion

**If you’re visiting from the Bloggers Quilt Festival, be sure to scroll down, my quilt entry is two-sided, and you don’t want to miss the back!

When we (Row House Creations) designed our Mums for Melissa pattern, I knew I had finally found the perfect design to use my (ahem. cough) collection of Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabrics! I think the first collection was released in 2009; sort of a unique, “Addams family” style novelty print. This pattern is designed to use a 2-yard cut of a print fabric that you can’t bear to cut up too small:

mums_frontcopyThe characters in the Ghastlies fabrics are so detailed and have such great expressions, backgrounds and “props” that they need to be used in larger pieces. I did make placemats with them a few years ago, and I made the quilt top I shared on our Row House Creations site in 2013. Trina quilted it for me in 2014, but I realized I never blogged about the finished quilt. Because, you know, 2014 was my worst year. Ever.

But it did get quilted, and it’s pretty awesome (if I do say so myself), because it’s two-sided, and the back is fabulous, too. This is a full shot of the front:

MFMGhastlies1

The “mums” in the center panel include some Ghastlies coordinates, but also just grey, black, pink, and lavender prints from my stash that coordinate well; the center is a dark green tangled lace Ghastlies print. It’s easy to see my fabrics in this photo from before it was quilted:

GhastliesMFMDetail3And the inner border is from a line by Sanae for Mode called Haunted Mansion (I love this print) and looks like a damask wallpaper print complete with spider medallions:

GhastliesMFMdetail5

The quilting is done on an Innova long-arm, using their computerized designs, but in a custom manner (a different design for the center flowers, the inner borders and the large side panels of the quilt):

MFMGhastlies5

MFMGhastlies4I had a TON of fun making this quilt, I’m a bit crazy for Halloween, I love these fabrics, and I was using a pattern my business parter and I had designed. My fun didn’t stop with the quilt top. The back I had just as much fun making, creating a family “photo gallery” and a wainscoting wall look using some Tula Pink Nightshade fabric that coordinates with this collection very well, and the original Ghastlies, the Ghastlie Family Reunion and Ghastlie Gallery collections:

MFMGhastliesBack1

I started by fussy-cutting scenes from the large prints of each collection and “framing” them in coordinating fabric:MFMGhastliesBack4

I arranged them in rows on my design wall, added the white “wall” around them, then added the “wainscoting” panel below and above the photo gallery:

MFMGhastliesBack3

MFMGhastliesBack2The photo gallery inspiration came from this print from a Ghastlie GalleryMFMGhastliesBack5One of my very favorite quilts–this one stays with me! BTW, the back is a one-of-a-kind design and is NOT a pattern and NOT included in our Mums for Melissa pattern.

This is my entry in the Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival — entered into “original design” category — would love to have you vote for me for viewer’s choice!

Happy Quilting, and come back again,

Doris

Advertisements

The garden that took a long time to grow.

This quilt is another 2014 finish I have yet to blog about, but it was started waayyyyyy before 2014. I bought the fabric to make my niece a quilt when she was 8-9 months old (May 2012). Here she is at my mom’s house, lovin’ on the fabric:

ZoeFabric

There is another shot taken just before this one where she is sitting up looking at the camera with a big cheesy grin. Then she just kept snuggling the fabric on the floor. Yep, I completely understand, Z–I feel the same way about new fabric.

I started cutting hexagons for her quilt in July 2012 at my Gruber’s retreat in Minnesota using a friend’s Go! Cutter and this die I bought:GoCutterHexagon

I only cut the large hexagon, not the two smaller sizes.

In the meantime, I had used some of the fabric I bought to make Z this sweet pillow for her 1st birthday using our One Big Cabin owl applique, and I made a matching valance for her new bedroom… y’know, to match the quilt she didn’t yet have. 😉

I didn’t really have a pattern in mind when I started cutting hexagons, but shortly after that retreat, I came across Terry Atkinson’s Hexie Garden pattern, and I knew that was meant to be Z’s quilt.

I worked on it at a few more retreats, and naturally, adapted the pattern a bit (because I have a hard time sticking to a pattern), added a double border, and eventually had it ready to gift to her for her 3rd birthday last August. It’s twin size, perfect since she was moved to a big girl bed that very same week:

ZoeQuilt1

The center of the hexagon flowers are a light grey print from Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda, the purple triangles are Tiny Diamonds by Dear Stella, and the flower “petals” all came from my scrap bin, mostly scraps from my Candied Hexagon quilt.

ZoeQuilt2

ZoeQuilt3

ZoeQuilt4

The quilting is a computerized Innova design, and includes butterflies, flowers, dragonflies, bumblebees… truly perfect for this quilt, and this sweet girly-girl.

ZoeQuilt5

I used leftovers on the back, leftovers from the valance and pillow, and the front of the quilt, and a few coordinating pieces from my stash.

ZoeQuiltBack

One of my favorites is this Valentine print, tiny X’s and O’s with little hearts hanging inside each O:

ZoeQuiltBackDetail

Z is the child I believe should have been named Joy, because she is THE poster child for living a joy-filled life. She’s kind of a party waiting to happen, very sweet and kind, almost always smiling and enjoying herself. I hope she stays that way, always.

Zoe&HerQuiltThat’s her on birthday #3, when I gifted her the quilt. She gets lots of goodies from Aunt Doris, handmade and purchased–it doesn’t hurt that she knows how to melt her auntie’s heart.

Happy Quilting,

Doris

Sometimes late is better than never…

In early 2014, Lynne put out a call for a challenge to be published in Fat Quarterly magazine (Issue #17, late Spring 2014) using mini-charms from Moda. I emailed her my idea, and she sent me two mini-charm packs of Zen Chic’s Sphere collection. She mailed them from England, they were returned to her once, and re-sent, and finally, weeks later they arrived in Iowa! But then, my life fell apart, cancer took my husband’s life — and for a very long time I didn’t even know which way was up.

Lynne was of course very understanding that my project wasn’t completed in time for the publication. But I was determined to finish it. In the meantime, my Mom and I had made an impromptu stop at Ikea and I found a table runner that SCREAMED Spring, and just happened to be the exact same colors as Brigitte’s Sphere fabric collection. So I scrapped the original idea I had proposed to Lynne, and started making small half-square triangles and randomly piecing mini charms and HSTs together in two long strips.

I appliqued the strips onto the long edges of the Ikea table runner, leaving about an inch of the white background visible along each edge:

TableRunner2

I didn’t want a dark binding to take away from the bright colors, or draw the eye away from the floral center, so I made a faux-flange binding using a Moda blue floral print from my stash with a white binding.TableRunner3

Here it is displayed (LAST MAY!) on the built in buffet in my old house:

TableRunnerI don’t live in the home with the pretty built-in anymore, but I still have my beautiful quarter-sawn oak antique table, and this runner and it’s bright Spring colors still look great and make me feel happy. Not sure why it took me 11 months to get this project on the blog; I finished it at the end of May… I think it just fell through the cracks.

Late is, indeed, better than never.

Happy sewing,

Doris

Seems so long ago…

In October 2013, our Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild chapter exchanged tote bags we made for another member of the guild. Mine was made by Leila, and she blogged about it here. I took pictures in October (2013) of the bag I made, and in January (2014) of the bag I received…BagFromLeila3The bag I’m carrying is the one Leila made me. It’s reversible, made with Echino linens… (grabbed this photo from Leila because my photo of this side didn’t turn out)

BagFromLeila5incorporates my love of Britain…BagFromLeila1

BagFromLeila2Love the triple zipper pocket…

BagFromLeila4And the bag I made was for Melissa; she likes Heather Ross and Lizzy House prints, orange and yellow and grey color combinations. I started with some fussy-cutting of Heather Ross fabrics…

ToteBagSwapA1which morphed into a front and back panel bordered with linen on each side…some big stitch quilting…

ToteSwap1

ToteSwap3The lining is from Lizzy House’s Red Letter Day collection…

ToteSwap2And the finished front and back:

ToteFinal1

ToteFinal2Blogged over a year late, but better late than never…

Happy Sewing,

Doris

It’s late September and I really should be…

Name that tune! (Sorry, for some reason I have all kinds of song lyrics going through my head this week) It all started with seeing an Earth, Wind & Fire feature on CBS Sunday Morning (my favorite show!) and seeing footage of this tune. Watching that video just totally cheered me up. Anyway, back on track:

September is National sewing Month (yep–has been since 1982!). A proclamation in 1982 from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month read “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.” Hooray for the home-sewist! In 1982, my Mom was raising five kids, her oldest was headed off to his first year of college that Autumn, the second was a Junior in high school, the middle (ME!) was an 8th grader, my little brother in 7th grade, and my baby sis was a 1st grader. My mom sewed ALL of my Dad’s shirts (button down with collar and set-in sleeves, thank you very much), many clothes for my brothers, and nearly all of my and my sister’s clothing, including our lovely box-pleated plaid school uniform skirts (ick). She also did in-home daycare. How she found time to sew, I have no idea. But, I know some of she did to save pennies. I’m not sure that one could sew clothing cheaper than buying it anymore, but in the 70s and 80s, she could.  I really need to dig us some photos from my childhood to show you some of my mom’s mad sewing skills.

So, what have I been sewing this September?  I’m working on a quilt for the grandbaby:

Gemma PiecingI have 18 blocks made (thanks to our MQG sew-in time this past Saturday!) but I’m torn on the layout. Updates to follow.

I’m working on some wonky log-cabins using hoarded Heather Ross, Amy Butler and Sandi Henderson prints (a gift for someone):

ToteSwap1

I have grand plans to do some garment sewing for myself (I have since January 2012, but not much is happening on that front). Maybe next month. sigh.  You’ll notice these two are both sleeveless dresses, I could have them ready to wear by the time Summer comes around again…

Clothing Sewing Vintage Pattern1

ClothingSewing2

Trina and I have been sewing blocks for the recent launch of our Building Foundations Sampler QAL, here are my blocks (Moda Bella white with all Kaffe Fassett prints):

Building Foundations QAL Collage

Building Foundations Sampler QAL

Join us over on the Row House Creations blog, and follow along or join us and share your pics with us via the Facebook page or the Flickr group!

We’ve also been busy marketing our patterns to wholesale distributors. Last week we were picked up by United Notions/Moda and Quilt Craft Distributors (in Canada)! A major accomplishment for our business.

What have you been sewing lately?

Do you join in Quilt Alongs? Will you join in on our’s?

a little more LOVE

Following up on yesterday’s post regarding my Love in a Mist Bee quilt, I thought I’d share Trina’s three block runner/wallhanging she made after being inspired by my blocks last year…

Trina Love In a Mist

She did an all-over echoed swirl quilting… the blocks just pop!

Trina Quilting Closeup

Trina Quilting Detail

And the back is fabulous, too, just uses little leftover triangles for added interest…

Trina Love in a Mist Back

This one hangs (vertically) in her quilt studio.  She made two of these at a retreat one weekend.

Trina’s wallhanging is a great reminder that even if you don’t have time to finish an entire quilt, you can still make something fun and creative!