Noah’s Guitar

I promised you a quilt post today — but even better — it’s a FINISH post!  I started this baby quilt in September 2010 (intended for baby Noah, who was then 2 months old) at a retreat.  When I unpacked after retreat, I put it neatly in a crate in my quilt studio until I could work on it again.  I went to work on it about three weeks later… and could not find the fabric or blocks I had started–anywhere!!  It remained lost for several months until one day I was looking for a particular stabilizer for a bag project, I pulled some out of a crate in my quilt studio, and lo! and behold!  The entire project was right where I left it. 

I finished the top at my retreat a few weeks ago, and I made the back there, but when I started basting the quilt layers at home, I realized the back was about a half an inch too narrow.  urgh!  Well, this was one cool quilt back, so I wasn’t about to replace it with something else…so I sliced it lengthwise, and inserted a 3″ strip of leftover fabric into the back:

I chose the Groovy Guitar fabric, because Noah is part of a family of musicians.  His grandmother provided the music for our wedding ceremony, his Daddy was in a local rock band, and also provides music at Church… Noah will probably know how to play a guitar by the time he turns 3 — a musically themed quilt was inevitable.  To quilt it, I started by quilting the large guitar applique from the back, in raw-edge applique and echo quilting…

As I continued quilting, I had lots of help.  This is Kato, who will put up with anything to be close to his people…

He eventually got pushed away tired and left, and then Maggy came by (to take advantage of the fresh quilt, not to be close to her person)

A little while later, I laid it on the floor to remove some of the basting pins, and I turned my back for three seconds… (he’s pretending to be asleep so I won’t disturb him)

Eventually I was able to finish the quilting, which turned out great, the guitar that is quilted from the back shows up from the front as contrast quilting, surrounded by medium sized stipple quilting:

And the square-in-a-square border and inner borders are quilted with straight line quilting:

No need to make a label, I just used the guitar opening to write my label on:

I always give myself a deadline on finishing baby quilts–the child’s first birthday.  Noah will turn 1 on Thursday.  I gifted it to him yesterday (but I was only three days early because I had it in my head that he was born on the 25th), happy mistake on my part…

This has to be one of my favorite quilts.  Ever. 

For more Summer Fair Quilts (and recipes!) go here:


Sugar and Spice

Last weekend, we drove to the Twin Cities to see family, and meet this three-week old sweetheart:

Here she is with her proud Papa, my sweetie’s nephew, Jeff:

I gifted her a quilt, with pieced front and monogrammed reverse side:

On the road trip, I managed to finish five more hexagon blocks:

and we hit a Paper Source (yeah!) and a great bookstore in Minneapolis, just a few doors down. I also found some fun Measuring Spoons to match the Measuring Cups I got in my Christmas stocking:

Fun, huh?  Coming home and heading into work on a Monday following a weekend like that is bound to be a let down.  Thank goodness Monday was Valentine’s Day, and my sweetie didn’t let me down…. (please ignore the kitty on the tablecloth–we don’t let him get up there when guests are coming!)

Back to the sewing table…

Finally!  I truly dislike those “forced” sewing breaks, you know, when life gets too crazy, you can’t even find five minutes to get to your sewing machine?  Much less find time to write a blog post.  Sunday, I rectified the situation by spending a day sewing.  Quilting, actually.

I made this top on a retreat to MN in JUNE… finally quilted it, since I will see the little babe in person next week.  She lives a few states away from me, and I met her in August for the first time, and I thought it was high time she got her quilt.  She is seven months old, and I always allow myself until the first birthday to get a baby quilt finished and gifted. 

I fell in love with this puppy fabric (Riley Blake, I think), and it was kind of boyish, but I decided I could make a girly quilt out of it.  What do you think?  Did I accomplish it?

(FYI, the quilt isn’t that crooked, it’s a weird camera angle, I guess…)  Used a bunch of aquas, pink and white florals, and dotty fabrics to pull out the girly colors in the puppy fabric.  Added the applique flower to make it just a tad more feminine…

Pink variegated thread (Superior Threads) used to quilt it…and this adorable Cosmo Cricket Alphabet fabric used for the back:

I love this quilt.  Hopefully my grand-niece and her Mommy do, too!

Bargain Hunter, extraordinaire

Anyone with a local Hancock Fabrics store knows that they have been celebrating their 53rd year in business all month with 53% Off sales.  I didn’t get excited about too many items in the sale circular, except… when I saw Kona Cotton on sale for 53%, I had to go stock up!  Folks, that is $2.81 a yard!!!  I started by pulling out my current Kona stash to see what I had on hand…

I added some Amethyst, Tangerine, and Stone to my stash after my visit to the store, but sadly, many colors were sold out.  I did get a raincheck for about six colors they normally carry, so hopefully I can grow the satsh some more, very soon.  Every quilter knows how handy those solids can be.  I’ve been using a few of my Kona solids on a few special projects, including this…

The other major bargain I found recently came in the form of a rummage sale.  A crafter who decided that needlework, quilting and beading are no longer her thing, she is focusing on her knitting, and DOWNSIZING dramatically.  I was the third person at the sale.  Much of the good stuff, I missed out on, I was too late!!!  But, this is what I did bring home:

Most of these items are unopened and unused:

  • Queen size Hobbs Organic Batting
  • 17″ square Q-Snap Quilting frame
  • Darlene Zimmerman’s Companion Angle ruler
  • Sharon Hultgren Easy Angle ruler
  • 3 pkg of Schmetz quilting needles
  • Singer scissors
  • Roll of Thangles
  • Pkg of yarn darners
  • Pkg of bodkins
  • pkg of Homecraft Needles for embroidery
  • 12 yds of silk ribbon
  • Kwik Clip
  • Wooden stylus
  • 3 yds white ribbon
  • Microtach gun
  • 2 boxes of Pearl head pins
  • pkg of Fabric Marking Pens (red, yellow, blue)
  • 8 Pigma Pens (BRAND NEW!)
  • 2 pkgs acid-free tags
  • Quick Quarter and Quick Quarter II
  • X-Acto set with mini cutting mat
  • 2 pkgs hand-dyed fabrics in skin tones
  • 2 patterns
  • 3 books (like new!)
  • Thread holder
  • Yoga Block (my one and only non-crafty purchase!)

Many of these items still had price tags, and I estimate that I got about $212 worth of merchandise (stuff I would have bought and used eventually, anyway) for $35.  Not bad for a quick stop at a sale on my way to work in the morning.

Don’t you just love a bargain?  Happy sewing (and shopping!) to you…



Weekend in Review

As much fun as we had this past weekend in Minnesota, it hard to believe any work got done…  But we do have something to show for our time there!

I think the most impressive finish was Shelly P’s star ground for her patriotic challenge quilt…

Bless her heart, she stuck with this pile of template cut pieces until she had this gorgeous piece sewn together:

Now that is perseverence at it’s best…  Same for Mary who faced the daunting task of sewing down this binding at the beginning of the weekend:

And here she is on Sunday morning, giddy with excitement and wrapped in her FINISHED hexagon quilt:

Rene moved to a new home within the last month, and then packed up to fly from Florida to Minnesota to join us.  A little quilt angel dropped off a precut quilt on her doorstep just days before she left, knowing she probably didn’t have time to get a project ready for retreat (how sweet is that!?!)  Here is her gifted kit nearing completion…

Scraps flew,

Blocks were pieced,

Messes were made,

Sewing machines hummed,

Tops came together,

Quilts grew in size, 

UFOs came out of hiding,

and to-do-lists got shorter,

No wonder we all came home tired and worn out!

I even finished my Chrysanthemum Quilt this weekend, pics to follow very soon….

Dance of the dragonfly

Please pat me on the back. Go on, I can’t reach it that well myself.

UFQ #2, the Circle Quilt has been COMPLETED. That’s the third completed UFO for those of you keeping score at home. Here’s a shot of it with scrappy binding sewn on, but not hand sewn to back yet at the time of photography.
This was one of my first quilts (that I started, that is) and I suspect it may have been intended as a baby quilt for the nephew who turned ten this month. I’m so not joking. I wish I were! As a result of it being an early attempt, I had some seams that I didn’t take deep enough. I decided to cover up these “weak” spots with dragonflies, and added a few more dragonflies, just for fun!
Why dragonflies? Well, if you look closely at the fabric in the border strip, it is a tone-on-tone with a dragonfly and polka-dot design:
The cirles are all hand appliqued. I quilted it with “straight” squares overlapping the wonky squares of the blocks, and some outline quilting in the borders.
It has been renamed “Dragonfly Dreams” and I think it will be a donation quilt for my church’s auction this autumn. Ah, it’s good to be done with something.