Quilters Lead Pieceful Lives.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bennett Hears A Whooo!

Emily's friends Jessica and Mike had a boy, Bennett, on November 5th. Jessica likes owls (hence the name), so earlier in the summer Em and I looked for an owl pattern and/or some cute owl fabric . We found the fabric and decided to use it in this scrappy, colorful log cabin block.

Em and I had worked on this quilt while she was visiting in September, but we could not give it to them until today, as Em just returned from her two-year stint in South Africa. 

And here's Bennett making his best owl face!  Whooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dominique's Garden

Yet another quilt for my friend Mari's new niece!

Mari asked for something with flowers and butterflies.  I was able to find this colorful group of fabrics called "Snail Trail" made by Studio E fabrics.

The center is a panel with a garden full of flowers and cute creatures. I stiple and shadow quilted around them.

The border fabrics also feature butterflies and snails and flowers.  The quilting in the wide outer border is a meandering white line, to mimic and reinforce the dotted butterfly "contrails" on the fabric.
The center panel fabric also came with its own set of large-scale flowers and garden friends.  Since the front design was too wide for a single width of fabric on the back, I cut out these extra pieces and put them in a strip down the middle of the back.  
Altogether a bright, cheery, and fun quilt for baby Dominique!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stay Connected

So my mother-in-law found one more small space of wall in her apartment that did not already have a quilted piece on it, and asked my to make something "narrow and colorful".

This is the result.

I took the pattern for "Eternity Knot Block" by Piece By Number and stacked the blocks 1 x 3. Of course I used my favorite six rainbow colors (poor indigo loses out again!) on the black background. Quilted using stipling. 

Since the piece is rather small (10" x 30"), I was afraid it would not hang well, so for the second time (see Reflections [Visualize Whirled Peas]), I chose to mount this on wooden stretcher bars instead of using a regular sleeve. 

In order not to lose any of the pattern on the edges, I added 4" of "border" all around (before sandwiching and quilting of course!), but no binding.

So the finished piece is more like a painted canvas.

Now.....will she be able to find any more open space?

I hope so!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Karen's Kwilted Kubes

In May, many of my quilts were on display at the Deerfield Senior Center. My friend Karen saw my 3-D Color Study (from 2003) and asked me to make her a king-sized bedspread version. We worked together to come up with the design.

Of course, I was not able to use the same fabrics as I did 9 years ago, so I got some of them at  Quilter's Heaven in Northbrook and many others on-line from the Hingeley Road Quilt Shop in Minnesota.

First, since she wanted the cubes as the center medallion on a large expanse of black background, we increased the size of the original cubes by 1/3. As in the original 3-D quilt, each cube is made from triangles (and strips); 6 cubes, 6 rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet - sorry indigo), and 3 shades in each. So 18 total different fabrics. The center hexagon is made up of the 6 dark-shaded fabrics. Here is a snap of the finished section with those cubes.
I say "finished" because this quilt was actually created in 8 separate sections! There was no way that I was going to try to quilt a king-size project (the biggest in size that I have ever done) in one piece!  Nor was I going to send it out to get long-armed; the price would have been exorbitant. And, as my quilt friend Alice says: "Why would I pay someone to do my hobby!"  Indeed! So each section was pieced, sandwiched, and quilted individually. Then all were machine joined together.

I have made bed-sized (twin and queen) projects before, and have, at times, done them in 2 or 3 sections. But nothing ever like this! To help, I took an on-line class from craftsy.com. This class, "Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine", was taught very well by Ann Petersen. Based on what I learned, and the design of this particular quilt, it made sense to do it in 8 sections.

Back to the design: Karen had the brilliant idea to place the "border" so it would sit on the top edge of the spread! This really helped define and frame the top of the quilt.  The quasi-border is made from triangles of the same 18 fabrics, going through the ROY G B(I)V sequence all around. There is no top border, as that part is covered by the top sheet and pillows. The binding is made of 8" strips of the 6 dark fabrics, again repeating in the rainbow sequence.

The eight sections are: 1) center cube medallion, 2) top center (all black), 3) bottom center (black plus border), 4) left middle (black plus border), 5) left outer (all black), 6) right middle (black plus border),
7) right outer (all black), and 8) bottom (all black).  So there were still some big sections to quilt; but it was very manageable this way.  All of the quilting is free-motion stiple.

To see more pictures of the quilt process, click here and scroll down.

Above is the finished quilt flat on the floor (since the quilt is so large, it was difficult to get a good photo of it).
Below is the finished quilt on Karen's bed (the extraneous background objects were photoshopped out).

We were both really happy with the way it turned out.  Hope you like it too!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Eliza's ABCs

Baby Eliza Page was born June 13th to Melanie and Ken (and joins big sister Avery). So earlier this year my daughter, Emily, and I decided to make an ABC quilt for her.  But it had to be special! So we found a very cute pattern (SarahBellumQuilts) that had a square for each letter. Each was traced from a pattern, fused to the white background fabric, and then I zig-zagged around each one with matching thread.

Each block has an adjoining sashing piece that also reflects the associated letter.

Then, we set out finding a fabric for each letter that featured an object beginning with that letter. "Apple" for "A", "Buttons" for "B", etc.  Some were easier than others. But....since the family lives in NOLA, we also wanted to find some fabrics with a local interest. Thus, for example, "Fleur de lis" for "F" and "Mardi Gras masks" for "M". "Q" was a little problematic, but we eventually found a "Question mark" fabric, and I made a miniature "Quilt" for the sashing. The hardest was "X". The only true X fabric we could find was one with "X-ray cats"! Seriously! X-rays of cats!!! But that was too wild even for us. So we had to cheat and go with "eXclamation points" fabric.
The border is also made of one square for each of the 26 letters (plus the 4 corner ABC squares).

The back fabric is a riot of ABCs on black. Due to the width of the quilt, I decided to piece the back. What better way to do it than to have a strip of all 26 letters running down the middle (with some alternate appropriate fabrics)!
The final two squares were reserved for the baby's name and birthdate. I rejected having them embroidered on; didn't think it would work well in such a small space. Thought about tracing the info onto fabric and then fusing on, but finally decided to find a fun font (went with one called Curlz MT), reverse printed it onto "Print-n-Press" (what I use for my morsbags labels) and then ironed them on. Perfect! (if I do say so myself.)

Hope you love it Eliza Page! Learn those ABCs!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Play Time

My friend Mari's family keeps having babies! This means she is one of my best customers. This bright, fun quilt is for new grand-nephew Max.
This is the seventh baby quilt, and tenth overall for Mari and husband Dennis.

Have fun, Max!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


This pattern has been in my "want to do" queue for a while, and this seemed like a good time to do it.

The name "Antipodes" means "places diametrically opposite to each other on the globe." To me, this pattern has that same look. Indeed, by following the instructions in the pattern (from Toad-U-Sew Patterns), each pieced square is then re-cut and resewn so that it forms two oppositely-hued squares.

Does it look like a reflection? Or rain? Or a waterfall? What would you call it?

This beautiful quilt has found a home in Houston, Texas!

NOTE: This quilt, along with a number of my other quilts, will be on display during the month of May in the Patty Turner Senior Center in Deerfield. If you're in the neighborhood, stop in and see them in person!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Andrew and Julie's Chuppah!

February 18, 2012 - Andrew and Julie's Wedding Day!!!!!!!

The chuppah typically consists of a square cloth made of silk, wool, velvet or cotton. For this special event, they asked me to make them a quilted chuppah.

A chuppah is a Jewish wedding canopy with four open sides. The wedding ceremony occurs under the chuppah.

The chuppah is then supported by four poles. For ours, I designed the framed structure and Andrew constucted it with help from Julie's aunt and uncle.

The chuppah symbolizes the new home that the couple will create. The ancient rabbis compared the chuppah to the tent of Abraham, found in a biblical story. Abraham was famed for his hospitality; his tent had entrances on all four sides so that travelers coming from any direction would have a door to enter.

Andrew and Julie took their vows under this chuppah in a beautiful interfaith ceremony led by Father Ed and Rabbi Ben.

The cloth will now hang in their new home (the one with walls). The frame was donated to Rabbi Ben for use by other couples.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fine Finned Friends

As I mentioned in my January 19th post ("Sweet Dreams"), our friend Laura is about to become a grandmother....twice! So this is the second quilt I made for her.
The order for this one was "something colorful with fish". Voila! Here it is. And the back fabric is uber-cutesy too!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four Patch Runner

After using the Bento Box runner as the pattern in my Beginning Quilting for the last several years I have decided it is time for a change. Had to find another pattern that was easy, and teachable in the class time, but that also had all the elements of a larger quilt. So here it is, the Four Patch runner. My next class is in March. Check it out at District 113 online.

Sweet Dreams

Good friend Laura is about to become a grandmother....twice! Her son and stepdaughter are both due in February. So this is the first of two quilts for her / them.
The order for this one was "something sophisticated, with simple blocks". I think this fills the bill. Don't you just want to snuggle up with it and take a nap!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Anyone who knows me even casually knows that two of my great passions are quilting and baseball. So it is really amazing that, after 17 years and 100+ quilts, this is my first baseball quilt!

One of my quilt blog fans, Janice, wanted me to make a baseball themed lap quilt for her husband for a Christmas gift. She told me that he is a big San Francisco Giants fan.

I began looking for baseball fabric, including something with the Giants logo. Well....believe it or not, even after winning the World Series in 2010, the Giants are one of the few teams in any major sport and most large universities that does not have authorized cotton fabric! So I had to use other baseball-themed fabs including green grass!).

While looking for a pattern, I happened across a site called Quilt Patterns From Seattle. They had a pattern called Military Nine Patch. Oddly enough, the example quilt shown on the site also contained baseball-themed fabrics!! I contacted the owner (Cindy Carter) to buy the pattern and let her know of my planned quilt. She was excited and asked for pictures when I completed it. I sent them, and she posted them on her site! So if you click on the link above, you can scroll down and see my quilt there, too.

Now, you may be thinking: quilts (winter) and baseball (summer) don't really go together. But if you've ever been to a game at Candlestick or PacBall / AT&T you will know that one thin lap quilt is NOT nearly enough to keep you warm!!!

Play Ball!!!!!!!