Wrapped in Love (Part II)

When one goes through difficult and dark times, you find out who your friends really are. I’ve been reminded in countless ways that I am greatly blessed and surrounded by caring, loving friends.

My Des Moines MQG friends started making a quilt for Frank as soon as he was diagnosed. In addition, they dropped off a gift card for me each week to use at a healthy grocery store/restaurant near the hospital. When he passed away two weeks later, they decided to finish the quilt anyway, and give it to me. I finally attended a meeting again a few months later, when they presented it to me:photoFrank played the banjo, guitar, and mandolin and was as interested in music as I am fabric. He knew very little about quilts when we started dating, and I remember us visiting a small neighboring town, and they happened to have a mini quilt show on display in the Public Library. He asked a lot of questions, about what makes a quilt a quilt, the layers, the process, block names. He even read some of my quilting books over the years, learned to identify certain traditional blocks (so he could impress my friends by knowing the lingo), and enjoyed visiting quilt shops with me just to see “how one differed from the next”. The fact that this quilt combines his hobby and my hobby–he would have been over the moon for it!

QuiltFull

Twelve different members contributed banjo and guitar blocks on light backgrounds, one member pieced the blocks together, another member pieced the back (using some musical quotes and sheet music fabric:

QuiltBack

QuiltBackLabelthen they passed it along to another member who quilted it (using echoing lines to give it the feel of the music reverberating). There is a label on the back with all of their names.

I love the details in some of these instruments:BanjoCollage1The inside of that red banjo (above) says “hope” the brown and blue banjo (top right) says “pure grace” on the bridge (at the bottom of the strings). The guitar below has tiny musical notes inside the sound hole:GuitarBanjoCollage3

GuitarCollage1It’s a shame he never got to see this quilt, he would have been so impressed and so touched. I am. It reminds me of him, and as I said, the fact that it combines our favorite hobbies makes it all the more special.   QuiltFrontBottomCenterThank you, again, for everything.

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Pillow Talk

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had several catch-up posts to write… this post contains two fairly recent projects, one made in November and the other in early December.

The Des Moines MQG meets once a month, January-November, and our November meeting is always a party with a holiday themed swap. I typically come up with a plan and execute it in the eleventh hour–why mess with tradition? I was inspired by this cute Winter city scape fabric in my stash, so two nights before the party, I started making a reverse applique snowflake, and added some big-stitch quilting around the edges of the snowflake:

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Detail

Marny took my pillow home and added it to her collection… I won this cute Heather Ross postage stamp embroidery hoop by Crystal:

HRHoopFromCrystal

Here is our post-swap group photo with everyone holding what they won (our  junior members, in front, organized a private swap between the two of them):

DSMMQGHolidaySwap2014

A few weeks later, I made a Glimmer pillow using the sidekick ruler as a shop sample for Woodside Quilting (They have kits for this pillow available if you are interested). The medallion is six different batiks, the background is Carolyn Friedlander’s Cross Hatch from her Botanics line:

Glimmer Pillow 1

I basically made this in a day; I was impressed at how quickly it went together–a well written pattern with excellent illustrations. It is put together with six triangular segments:

Glimmer Segments

Couldn’t resist taking a few photos of it in the fresh snow since it looks like a snowflake or snow crystals to me:

Glimmer Pillow 2

This one shows the straight line quilting a little better:

Glimmer Detail 2

This past weekend I attended our DSMMQG Sewing Day and started recovering some cushions for a vintage camper my stepdaughter and her boyfriend recently purchased. It’s not the most exciting sewing project, so I was glad I had friends around to chat with while I started to tackle it.

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

How procrastination led to a happy accident

I love a good challenge; and I jumped at the chance to join in the Riley Blake Challenge. These fat eighths (approx. 9″ x 22″) were given to us in October (photo courtesy of the Boston MQG website):

Riley Blake Challenge Fabrics

So I had three months to make something quilted using these prints, solid fabrics and additional Riley Blake prints. The deadline even was extended at one point.  But naturally, I started cutting into them about five weeks ago, a full 3 months after these prints were given to me. I had grand ideas to do something to play up the radial design in the orange print, akin to what Linda did. But I changed my mind many, MANY times. An elaborate design, including many small circles, was NOT going to happen in five short weeks.

When I did finally cut into the fabric I was still undecided, so I just cut a bunch of squares and started piecing half-square triangles using Riley Blake stripes, chevrons, ombre dots, a few prints from an Ashbury Heights charm pack I had, a fun red jigsaw puzzle print, and a few different grey/taupe solids from my stash. I focused on using the orange, navy and the greys from the original fabric pack.

Rile Blake Challenge HSTs

As I sewed my squares up into HSTs, an idea popped into my head, so I sat down and drew it out on graph paper. Then I scooped everything up and took it with me to retreat that weekend; where I sewed, pressed, and trimmed for two days straight.  The final design is a throw 64″ x 75″:

RBC_Full

UPDATE 2/19/14: My quilt was selected as one of the Top 10 in the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Design Challenge, here! Lots of beautiful entries–I’m honored & humbled to have my quilt chosen.

Once I had the top made and a back pieced together, I passed it off to my business partner, Trina, to quilt on her long-arm. Trina had just gotten a copy of Judi Madsen’s new book that week, and she wanted the opportunity to play with the large areas of negative space I created. She outdid herself…

RBC_Quilting

RBC_QuiltingDetail1

RBC_Detail4

RBC_Detail1

RBC_BlockQuiltingDetail1

RBC_QuiltingDetail3

See how she created shadow HSTs, including quilting the chevron design, the polka dots, and the jigsaw puzzle fabric design? Seriously amazing.

RBC_BlockDetail

I used many of the prints from the front to piece the back, along with two cream solids from my stash:

RBC_Back

RBC_Backdetail

RBC_BackDetail2

The binding is navy solid. These pics were taken before the quilt was washed an blocked. Now it’s washed, soft, crinkly and oh so beautiful! Had I not procrastinated, and started this challenge before the holidays, I would have ended up with a very different design. And Trina probably wouldn’t have asked to quilt my challenge quilt. And I wouldn’t have ended up with this amazing quilt. Serendipitous.

RBC_StyleShot

Happy Sewing,

Doris

In from the Cold

It was ONE degree Fahrenheit when I left the house for work this morning. That is COLD. Des Moines, Iowa got 8.5 inches of snow yesterday–welcome to living in a house with a sloped driveway and a single car garage (that currently doesn’t fit a vehicle!). Not that I am complaining–we love our home and we are extremely grateful to be out of the condo! But the snow does present and extra challenge or two! 😉

I’ve been so busy this Autumn; apparently too busy to blog — though I had plenty of material I could’ve blogged about! I took a class at the University where I work, in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications; called Social Media Strategies.  I learned so much, but I am so glad to have given my final presentation last week and to be done with the class.

The Thursday before Thanksgiving the Des Moines MQG met for our holiday social. We had freezing rain (icy conditions) that evening, so many didn’t make it.  However, we had a decent sized crowd, good food and great company.  We do a holiday swap (everyone is asked to bring a grab bag item for any holiday our season of our choosing).  I made this mug rug/mini quilt from Kate Spain’s In From the Cold pattern (I downsized it to make the block smaller):

Kate Spain In from  the cold Teacup Mini by Doris

Those little sawtooth squares (half-square triangles) are like 1/2″ finished on my version!

Teacup Mini by Doris 2

On the back, I used up some orphan Flying Geese that I made while testing methods and sizes for our Fox in a Box pattern.

Teacup Mini Back

Teacup Mini back 2

The item I brought home from the swap was this wonderful organizer that Jill made using one of my favorite Christmas fabric collections from recent years:

Organizer by Jill

Organizer by Jill Inside

There were some other great handmade items, check out our post to see more of them!

Row House Creations is keeping me busy as well; working on Building Foundations Sampler blocks each week, our weekly business workday, quilts for magazine submissions, and a new pattern that we hope to introduce before too long.

I’ll be back soon with a catch-up post or two!

a Blessed Advent Season,

Doris

Home Sewing

I learned to sew around age ten, and I started with clothing. My mom sewed all of my Dad’s shirts, most of my sister and my clothes, and many of my three brother’s shirts. She also re-upholstered furniture, made curtains, made doll clothing, did mending and alterations for friends and neighbors, made I-don’t-know-how-many plaid uniform skirts for girls from our grade school and our high school… and I picked up her love of all things textile early on.  I begged to go along to the fabric shop with her, and picked out patterns and fabric before I ever learned to make things myself.

Funny, though, my sister never had any interest; still doesn’t. As my sister says, “why do I need to know how to sew, if I need something done, I can just ask you or Mom.” She has a good point. It’s not like we’ve ever said no to her.

This week I made a valance for her youngest, my sweetie pie niece, Zoe Grace. She’s the doll I made the owl pillow for, and there is a quilt in the works to match the valance and pillow.

Valance Detail on Instagram

Click on the photo above to see a clearer larger version on Instagram, I added the hugs and kisses fussy cut detail to set it off!  The walls are a very pretty turquoise color, and I had a tough time getting a good pic with my iPhone, but you sort of get the idea…

Valance on Wall ruffled girly valance

She has a butterfly garland on order for the walls, and other butterfly decor plans.  And these curtain rod finials are just too cute!

Valance Detail Hugs and Kisses

 I can’t talk her momma into it, but maybe I’ll get lucky and Zoe Grace will want to learn how to sew one day!

June has been a bust month for our chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild… my house was one of the drop off points for entries to go into our first local Modern Quilt show!  On the 15th, my husband and I drove to Ames with the entries and met up with Jill of Modern Quilt Relish, and Greta, the curator at the gallery.  Two hours later, we had the show hung!

Quilt Show installation

Quilt Show Installation 2

This last Sunday evening we had an artist’s reception, and several of us collaborated to give an impromptu Gallery Talk with Q&A.  We were incredibly pleased to have such a good turn out to our gallery opening!

MQG Quilt Show Reception

One of my two entries is the blue and yellow Row House Creations Fox in a Box quilt shown here, next to a “clothesline” display of mug rugs and my friend Emma’s fun “piece, love, quilt” quilt:

MQG Show and mug rug display

The show is on display through July 25th.  For more pics, check out our guild’s Flickr pool.   Our guild has also been busy making a charity quilt to benefit a local hospice center; the fundraiser is sponsored by our local Harley Davidson dealer, and so our colors for the quilt are “Harley” colors (orange, grey, black)…  here’s my block:

HarleyBlock

It’s looking really good so far, a friend of mine is quilting it for us on her long arm.  I’ll be sure to show you the finished quilt!

Happy Sewing!

Doris