Sunday, November 29, 2015

Baby Girl Quilt

A few weeks ago my daughter and son-in-law drove from the Dallas area for a weekend, and presented my husband and me with a gift bag containing this little item. After about five seconds of "oh that's cute" then "wait, does this mean...?", we both started crying tears of joy! It was totally unexpected and very welcome news. "Baby Divided" on the onesie represents their universities - University of Oklahoma (hers) and Texas Tech (his). As of today she is 21 weeks pregnant and due in April, and they recently shared the news that it is a baby girl!

Our daughter and son-in-law with T-shirts that tell the story.

I had dreamed about what kind of quilt she would like and was prepared to show her many ideas, but she chose simple blocks with fabrics she loved. Most of the fabrics are organic, and all of them are gorgeous.

I am in love with the backing she chose - Pat Bravo's Ditsy Radiance from the Nouvelle collection. I included a few blocks of it on the front of the quilt to add much-needed low volume.

She loves birdies and was delighted to see them on these Birch organics.

The squares are 4-1/2 inches, and the finished size is 36 x 45.

She wanted a quilt like one she found and loved on Etsy, so I researched the fabrics and identified all of them. Only one was discontinued, and I couldn't find it anywhere. She chose Art Gallery's Bunny Binkies Funk Metallic as a substitute, and she loves the bunnies.

I marked the center of each block, made a little "orange peel" template, and painstakingly quilted orange peels with my walking foot. I love how they look on the back. The binding is Pat Bravo's Hypnotic Paramour in Rose.

They were here again the day after Thanksgiving and I finished the quilt the day before they arrived. She left it with me because she wants my label on it. I will update with a picture of her with her quilt when she returns at Christmas.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Harvest Button Napkin Rings

Sometimes when I'm in my closet gazing at fabric, I glance over at my yarn stash and feel sorry for the yarns waiting for the projects for which they were intended. This week I decided to get moving with these harvest button napkin rings (free pattern by Jennifer Dickerson). Measuring about 2" x 6" and stitched with a "K" (6.5 mm) hook, they come together quickly and utilize half double crochet stitches. Just add a button to finish.

From my stash I chose Vanna's Choice (Lion Brand) yarn in the harvest colors of rust, beige, mustard, honey, chocolate, and purple.

My crochet muscles are a bit unpracticed, but I really enjoyed the familiar rhythm of crocheting while I watched TV.

For the buttons I Modge-Podged bits of fabric onto plain buttons, then secured them to the ring with matching yarn.

These are a gift for a friend -I hope they arrive in time for Thanksgiving!

Here is an excellent video on how to make these napkin rings!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin Pillow

Back in August, Cynthia gave me good advice for paper piecing after I admired her paper pieced scrappy Basketweave Star and confessed to FPP (Fear of Paper Piecing). She said "Paper piecing is easy. You just need a technique that works for you. I have tried many over the years but I always go back to how I learned long ago and that is the Carol Doak's method. She really is the master of PP and has a ton of tricks to share. For me, it is the easiest to understand and is very methodical. It is also the method I teach when I teach paper piecing...Give paper piecing a try!"

Fast forward to September 17 when my daughter messaged "There is such a cute pumpkin pillow on the Stitched with Love webpage!" Of course I had to make it for her. Stitched With Love is located in McKinney, TX, near my daughter but 3-1/2 hours from me. I called the shop to place my order since the pattern isn't listed in their online store.

I was alarmed to find out it is a paper pieced pattern, so Lysssa at Stitched with Love suggested adding an Add-A-Quarter-Plus ruler to my order. Although she might as well have been speaking a foreign language, she explained why it would help me.

While waiting for the pattern to arrive, I took Cynthia's advice and purchased Carol Doak's Craftsy class. I love Carol's personality - she has a dry wit that amuses me and an uncomplicated style of teaching. I haven't finished the class, but I've watched enough to become familiar with the process. I have to admit the concept was so different for me, it took several viewings before the light bulb went on. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the class to learn more tricks and tips.

In the meantime, life intervened and I was distressed and distracted with a sad situation in our life, and I had no interest in sewing. Last week I finally started the pattern and slowly but steadily worked on it. I really enjoyed it!

Now the pillow is on its way to my daughter's beautifully fall-decorated house!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Gray Square Scramble Baby Quilt

My daughter co-hosted a baby shower over the weekend for her best friend Karlie. I decided to make and send a baby quilt, so the last couple weeks I spent planning and sewing. Karlie's colors are rainbow, and she prefers simple to fussy; I found this Gray Square Scramble digital pattern by Corey Yoder that fit the bill. I scaled it down from twin size to about 48" x 54".

Here is what my daughter texted during the shower. Check out the darling cowboy hat and boots Karlie's mother crocheted! (Can you tell we both like exclamation points? )

Moda Marbles and a soft gray dot for the small squares; light gray for the large squares

Patio Lights from Flight Patterns collection by Tamara Kate, one of my favorites, edged with leftover blocks from the front

My husband chose Kona Coal for the binding, and I think he made a great choice!

Quilting was diagonal wavy lines to contrast the straight lines on the large squares

My next project is this cute pumpkin pillow from Stitched With Love in McKinney, TX. My daughter saw it on their website and fell in love with it, so I talked to the store owner and ordered it. My daughter is visiting later this week, so I hope to finish it. This will be my first time paper piecing, so wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Adoption/Giveaway Winner!

Thank to all of you who participated in the Fall 2015 Quilty Orphan Adoption.

The winner of my adoption/giveaway is

Kaitlyn (Kat) Drinkwater

Kat blogs at Kat and Cat Quilts. She is an RN at a medical center in Texas and started a quilt charity for families of dying patients called Covered in Love. You can read about it here, and it will touch your heart.

Here is what she wrote on her blog about Covered in Love:

I want to build a stash of quilts for our hospital so that when a person is dying as an inpatient their nurse (perhaps accompanied by a family member) could come choose a quilt. Placing a quilt on the hospital bed would warm up the room and it would later be taken home by the family as a memento and transitional object.

Kat has a monthly block drive for these quilts, and the some of the blocks and stash I offered in my adoption actually match the palette of this month's block! Kat also likes cats, so that makes me like her even more.

Thanks to Cynthia Brunz at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework who sponsored the linky party for this event, and if you haven't yet had a chance, go to her blog and see what the other participants have to offer.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fall 2015 Quilty Orphan Adoption

In 2010 when I started quilting, my daughter and I made a trek to Hobby Lobby where she chose fabrics for a quilt. She gave me free reign with a pattern, but I couldn't find one that looked simple enough for me, and I was clueless as to how to design one. When I finally made some blocks and arranged them on a design board, I was not satisfied with what I had done and could not find a good block arrangement. The blocks are not square, and I don't remember how or why I cut them that way (what was I thinking?) In the meantime my daughter's life changed and along with it her color choices, so I finally tucked it away for a future project. A chance at resurrection came in the form of Cynthia Brunz's Fall 2015 Quilty Orphan Adoption Event Link Up - yay! I think this is such a great idea and am very happy to adopt out some of my neglected fabrics in the hopes they will find their forever homes.

I realize that Hobby Lobby doesn't sell the finest quilting fabric, but perhaps someone has a use for my fledgling-quilter odd-sized blocks. If you can't use the blocks perhaps you have a charity group that could use them. I also have some Moda fat quarters to add to my giveaway. Leave me a comment letting me know how you might use the fabrics/blocks, and I will pick a "parent" (winner) next week. I would prefer to ship only to the US but will consider an international home.

Here is what I am listing in my adoption (giveaway) - all are 100% quilting cotton. Click on the photo for a larger image:

65 four-patch blocks ranging from 7-1/4 to 7-5/8, and not all are square

15 fussy cut blocks approximately 7-3/8 x 7-1/2

78 - rectangle pieced blocks about 3-5/8" x 7-3/8" - sew end to end and use for a border?

42 inches striped eggplant, cream, mauve, blue, green (has been laundered)

1 yard plus 6 inches olive green with 1/2 inch brown dots (has been laundered)

1 fat quarter in rainbow stripes, pattern unknown - came as a gift with a fabric order

6 fat quarters - Contempo by Moda

2 fat quarters, pattern unknown

1/2 yard Simply Color eggplant and white


Be sure and check out the beautiful projects and fabrics offered by other "adoption agencies" on Cynthia's linky party!

Quilting is more fun than Housework