Quilting, stitching, crocheting


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quilter's Puzzle

My DD2, her new DH and 2 girls moved to D.C. this summer.  Before they left I told the girls I would make them quilts for their new beds in their new house and I took them shopping.  DGD1 already had most of her favorite fabrics collected, but DGD2 was a challenge.  She has very unique tastes.  After selecting the puzzle pattern, she selected the following for her "base" fabric .... Kaffe Fasset Targets

I instructed her to pull colors out of the fabric to add to the overall quilt design.  I was concerned she might be overwhelmed at 10 in such a large quilt store.  But silly me ... she took off running, picking out bolts of fabric and carrying them to the cutting table.  She knew exactly what she wanted .... bright, bold and crazy !!!

There is even a fabric of just oranges, whole and sliced!!  DD2 has very, very different tastes and was stunned to see what her DD picked out.  DD2 expressed great doubt that I could even put in all together in an attractive way.  But DGD2 was able to show us how each one of her selections matched a color in her original fabric ..... way to go girl !!!!

 I got started sewing about 6 weeks later .... that is when I realized that each square was only 6.5 inches (for some reason I thought they were 10 inch squares) ... I was going to need more fabrics to avoid a LOT of close repetition.  Last week I had 16 little blocks done:

Then while exploring in a new-to -me quilt shop I found this: Kaffe Fasset Targets in RED !!!!  Perfect !!!

So I have been picking up fat quarters here and there, pulling wild and crazy fabrics out of my stash and slowly building her jigsaw puzzle quilt.  The sewing and pattern are a piece of cake ... it is deciding what fabric goes next that takes the most time.

I tape the quilt to the mirrored closet door on my side of the bed so I can look at it as I do stuff or rest.  I "audition" fabrics by pinning them to the blocks all around.  After a couple of days of looking and making numerous changes, I am ready to sew.  It is slowly coming along ... I now have 56 blocks done:

If you look close you can see the little swatches of fabric that are currently being auditioned.  My husband absolutely loves this quilt and that is saying a lot from him.

Onward and upward ... 56 sounds like a lot but I have a long ways to go yet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I love Disappearing 9-Patch !!

When I first returned to quilting I had no clue as to what the Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls and Honey Buns were.   Once I figured them out I still did not have a clue as to why they were so popular .... and what on earth you would do with the pieces.  This was not the scrap quilting I was familiar with.

Then one day I discovered Disappearing 9 Patch with Layer Cakes.  It was a blast to make !!  I loved watching the way all the pieces came together and how the different colors would combine in ways I would never think of.  It was challenging my sense of color.  It was exciting not knowing what I would end with for a quilt top.  It gives the illusion of a very complicated quilt ... but it is not !!  I felt like a little kid with a new toy!!  It was addicting!!

Another thing  love about this process is that when I am having a bad day and need to spend most of my day in bed resting, I can still work on this.  I use a bed-tray as a work surface.  I cut up the layer-cake and then proceed to sort and select the colors/prints to put in each 9-patch block.  Then the long process of pinning all the squares together with little itty-bitty pins.  When I am well enough to be back on my feet, I can sew everything up ... assembly line style.  On my next bad day, I again cut, sort and pin all the 9-patch blocks.

Part of what makes this possible is that there is NO pattern.  It is great !!   There is no real mental strain to do it ... not much concentration required.  That too is great !!  This process gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment instead of feeling I wasted my day being flat in bed.  What a blessing !!

My latest Disappearing 9-Patch was made with 2 Layer Cakes .... Oh Cherry Oh and Berrylicious by Moda.  Two Layer Cakes was huge .... but it was fun !!

I think using one Layer Cake with a few coordinating solids was easier ... but I really like this result.  I found some black fabric with red cherries all over for the backing, border and binding.  It is going to look great !!

Waiting on the shelf is a Bliss Layer Cake (yummy) and on the wish list are Lily&Will (blue) by Moda and Origins by Basic Grey.

I know there are other patterns I can adapt to my "bad-day" needs but for now this is wonderful !!

Would love to hear from you guys ... love, Joanne

Monday, August 16, 2010

Time off !!

I have this entire week off ..... yippee !!!  There is so much I want to do and so much I need to do.  The most important thing is for me to rest and relax.

So today I got my quilts ready to take to the quilter.  I finally had to be honest with myself that as long as I am working and dealing with chronic illness, I am not able to quilt my own quilts .... that is, if I ever want them to actually be finished.  So I found someone in another area of San Diego county to do them for me.  Yeah !!!

These are the Minkee quilts I started a couple of months ago.  The fabric is luscious but very hard to work with ... even with a walking foot.  I kept thinking "man, I do not want to do this again !"  "Absolutely do not ..... "

My DD1 wanted something simple with lots of texture .... and here it is.  Some of the fabrics have a deep pile, some are nubby, some are a lower pile and they are all luxuriously soft.   I was fortunate to find a variety of Minkee prints and colors online at reasonable rate.  My DD1 had no idea what Minkee fabric was so when the shipment arrived, I took the box to her house and let her dive in !!!  She was soooo excited and she  rarely gets excited about fabric!

When the quilt was finished, I had a lot of left over strips.  So I thought 'what the heck, I will make another one.' After all I am a quilter, I have to use up the scraps ..... right!?

Number 2:

So my DD1  gets 2 quilts to match the new colors in her family room!!  And despite the hard work .... it was fun because it was a labor of love!!

But now EVERYONE wants a Minkee quilt.  No, no, no ..... please "no".  After some negotiation I reached a compromise with my DGDs ..... Minkee fabric will go on the back of their quilts.

The Pinwheel Party quilt for my DGD3 is finished.  To make it the right size for her to have a cuddle- quilt I had to add an additional row of blocks across and down.  I even made a few original pinwheel blocks so there would not be so much repetition.  I found a yellow Minkee on sale for the backing  and it is perfect ...

I have taken a lot of pictures of this quilt and cannot seen to get a decent shot.  I think it is the colors.  I am hoping when I get it back from the quilter, I will be able to get a good picture.

Actually, none of the pictures here came out very good.  I am not a good photographer and I was tired today.  Besides if I wait til I take the perfect picture, it will be another month before I post again.  So this is what I got, folks !

What is next .... well my other 3 DGD  already have their orders in.  One challenge is DGD1 here in San Diego ... she loves the Cherish Nature line by Moda, but has a more modern style.   Hmmmmm .... still looking for the right design.  I found perfect pattern for DGD4 ... Jigsaw Puzzle ..... BUT her color selections and ideas are way out there !!!  I will save that story for another blog.

Will post again soon ..... Cheers and God Bless.  Would love to hear from you !