Friday, November 4, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Meet the Laila Quilt

In 2010 my daughter Drew traveled to Norway as a delegate in a CISV Interchange program.  It was such a wonderful experience for her.  In early July, Anie who was chosen as my daughter's match, came to stay with us for two week.  Anie traveled from Norway to the US with a leader and six other 12 year olds whom all stayed with their own match and host family.   During their visit the kids had both group time and family time in order to learn more about one another.  CISV is all about peace education.  When a child makes a friend in another part of the world it makes their world just a little bit smaller.  Now that country is no longer a far off place but instead where their friend lives.

 A week after Anie and delegation returned to their homes our children along with their leader heading to Moss, Norway for the second leg of the exchange.  Drew stayed with Anie and her family for a little over two weeks.  While there Anie and her parents, Laila and Inge, did their best to make Drew feel at home and introduce her to the Norwegian culture.

  The Laila quilt was made for Anie and her family as a thank you gift for taking Drew into their home.  The design, a simple disappearing 9-patch highlighted the beautiful fabric- Kate Spade's Verna.  The quilting is an organic free motion leaf pattern that I have used on quite a few of my pieces and always love.

  It felt really good to be sending a gift that I had made myself.  I was hoping that it would be a special reminder to them for years to come of my daughter's visit that summer.  Quilts come from the heart and so I wanted to leave a little piece of mine.

To see more of this year's entries head over to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.  Get ready to be inspired!

Until next time....


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Have you noticed just how fast this summer is flying by?  What happened to the so-called "lazy days" of summer?  Urban legend is my guess...

I haven't had as much time as I would like to sew with the kids on summer break- but that's okay because they'll be back in school before I know it!  Two of the projects that I have finished recently (and had yet to blog about) were a set of pillows that I made to give as a shower gift to the Vintage Spool Quilt recipients, Zach and Renee and a red strip for the Hope circle that I belong to through do.Good stitches. 

For the pillows I used some of the same prints as the back of the Vintage Spool but instead of a spool block I tried out a new HST star that I have been thinking about.  My thought was that pillows would be a great way to audition the block and see what I think.  In the end I liked the way the stars turned out, was okay with the fabric choices (perhaps with other fabrics they would have been prettier?) and learned that I think making half square triangles is a bit of a drag. 


My red strip (not to be confused with a Jamaican "red stripe") was, on the other hand, a lot of fun to make. Hollie gave us just a few guidelines as to what she wanted.  The strip needed an overall "red" feel to it but we were allowed to combine whatever other colors we wanted with it.  In my case it was my stash that set the tone of red, black, white, off-white and turquoise blue.  I really love how it came together.  This is my first round as a member of do.Good stitches and I love how this piece is a wonderful example of who I am as a quilter.  

....One last note, see the awesome cool mitre block square at the top of this photo?  One of my WIP's is an entire quilt of mitre blocks for my son.  Unfortunately, I run hot and cold on this project.  I know that it is going to look incredible once it is done but fussy cutting triangles tends to get tedious.  I know I just need to focus and get it bout you- any projects that you just can't seem to stay on track with?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vintage Spool Quilt and a Beautiful New Neighbor!

  Sunday the sun decided to shine in our neck of the woods once again and  I was able to seize the moment to get out and photograph my latest finish- The Vintage Spool Quilt.  It is going to be a wedding gift that Jill, a friend of mine from work, is giving to her son and his bride-to-be at their wedding shower.  It was an honor to be asked to finish this top and to take part in creating such an important gift. 

The top really was in wonderful condition and needed very little mending.  I chose to create a back that was a bit more contemporary but still paid homage to the spools on the front. 


Gray is my favorite neutral these days and I love how calm the back is in contrast to the busy front.  It is really two quilts in one- which is the way I tend to make most of my quilts.  I love choices. 

After finishing up Vintage Spool's photo shoot I took my husband to see a nest that I had found the week before when trimming our bushes.  It was really interesting in that it had a layer of plastic wrappers woven within it.  On this visit, I found something even more interesting though- three eggs!  Not wanting to spook the parents we only peeked a moment.  Once inside the house I came to realize that I had a wonderful "bird's eye" view from my daughter's bedroom.  Check it out:

Isn't she beautiful?  I had seen a Cardinal pair hanging out in our neighborhood but never dreamed they were living so near.  I'll keep you posted as to any new developments.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is it SO Wrong to Strip?

Sometimes I just can't help it...I love to strip. 

Nearly instant gratification guaranteed.

I 'll say no more.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcome To the Neighborhood!

About a month ago someone told me that there was going to be a new quilt shop opening in Franklin Square and guess what?  They were right and it is now open!  Threadbenders Quilt Shop is at 613 Franklin St. and owned by Peg West.


I was off on Tuesday and had the chance to stop in and check out the shop.  Being in the heart of the old Michigan City shopping district, Threadbenders is located in a beautiful space with high ceilings and a great glass storefront.  When I first arrived I had Peg to myself and was able to get to know her just a bit.  She has some great ideas for the shop (block of the month, mystery quilt....), is super helpful and seemed to love "talking quilt" as much as I do!

When you walk into the shop, long wooden sewing tables line the front and give a hint of classes to come.  Some of Peg's handiwork is displayed in the store including the absolutely gorgeous quilt behind the counter (sorry my picture doesn't do it justice!).  The space is bright, clean and uncluttered.  Peg's fabric choices were beautiful and I had fun picking out some pieces for an upcoming project. 

It is really wonderful to see some new life coming to the old Franklin Square. Years ago it was a hoppin' happenin' place to be and there is no reason why it can't be once again.  Good luck with your new venture Peg!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Flashback!

My First Quilt!

Two years ago, when my husband bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas, I had no idea that I would take up quilting.  I already had two old machines; both with issues.  First, there was a Singer that my Mom had bought in the early sixties.  It wouldn't come out of reverse.  I learned to sew backwards.  Second, was another hand-me-down from Mom, a circa 1970's  Husqvarna with major tension problems.  Yep, at that point I just wanted one machine that worked. 

 R bought me a machine, a not very expensive Brother (that did come with a bunch of cool feet-including a walking foot) and I did some mending. Then in March came a weekly email from the Purl Bee that totally caught my eye.  They called it the "Sunny Tied Quilt" and that's just what it was; bright strips of fabric, sandwiched and tied.  I loved it.  I knew that it would look good in D's room AND it was easy!  I didn't venture much from their pattern or palette so mine looks much like the version you can still find on their site.

After completing Sunny I began searching for quilting blogs.  As a knitter who had read a zillion knitting blogs I knew that the quilting community had to be blogging as well.  It didn't take me long to start stacking up some favorites.  The more blogs I read, the more quilts I wanted to make.  Before I knew it I had accumulated a stash and had a dozen quilts under my belt.

I will always have a soft spot for the Sunny Tied Quilt because of where it lead me.  Thanks to Purl Soho and all of the quilters whose blogs have inspired and taught me so much.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's Sandwich

 A vintage spool block quilt top was on the menu today!  A friend from work bought this top at an antique sale out east last year and now I am finishing it for her. It is pretty big- about 60" by 70" and contains some really fun prints.  Here are a few:

I finished the back a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to start quilting it!  It is pieced but not nearly as busy as the top.  Pictures later....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cleaned up and Ready to Go!

   Yipee!!! There is organization around me.  The pile of fabric that had been hanging out to the side of my machine has been folded, organized by size and color, and put away.  I rearranged my half of the room and am happy with the results.  Now the things I used most are close at hand.  Equally as important, the things that I love or find inspiring are in plain sight. 

   As much as it was work, getting my room in order, it was also fun (at least I tried to tell myself that).  I found fabric that I had forgotten about and now can't wait to use.  There were at least four quilts conceived during the clean up process- which reminds me- I had better write them down before I forget!

   I currently have three projects in the works:
  • a quilt for E's bed
  • a vintage quilt top to repair and quilt ( I have pieced a back for it already )
  • a quilt for a little boy I've yet to meet
Here's a preview of the fabrics for the last project...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning!

   With so many projects going on at one time my sewing room had become quite a mess.  Scraps were piling up.  Fabric that Mom had found and given me over the past 3 months had yet to be organized into my stash.  Clutter was everywhere...and I really can't stand clutter SO tonight I began the process of reorganizing my space.  I didn't have a lot of time but I was able to go through all the fabric I had out and fold and organize them by color.  This is good, no?  Why yes, it is good but there is one little problem- now I have about 5 ideas for quilts spinning around my head. It's enough to make a girl dizzy!