Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cats in My Garden

Being a cat lover, I just had to do this quilt when I saw the pattern. Jeanne at Quilts & Fixins designed this pattern. You can order the pattern from their website. The hardest part was the darn cat faces. I'm not good at free hand embroidery and thought I would never finish those blasted whiskers. Some are very wonky and some are very short. I considered leaving them off but that would not have looked good. Jeanne agreed that drawing them on would be a good idea. Apparently I'm not the only one who whined about the embroidery.

Here is the back of the quilt. Quilts and Fixins always has lots of fabrics with cats on it, so I had a hard time choosing which on to use.

For quilting, I only stippled quilted in the green. The shop sample had large meandering quilting over the whole quilt.
It was a lot of fun to pick out the scraps from my stash to make the cats. I did buy a few new fat quarters for some of the cats. At least I don't have to feed all these cats!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I've been busy

I've been really busy the last few weeks with end of school semester, work and life. I also was finishing up some projects for gifts. Sunday my family got together for lunch and I gave quilts. Everyone seemed truly happy.

This one was for my parents. Later I called my mother and she said it was just the right size for wrapping on on the couch. She had been using two small afghans because neither were long enough.

This one was for my brother. The front is flannel.

This one was for my sister and her husband. I must admit I start on hers a long time ago. I refuse to discuss how long ago LOL. This one is bedsize and she immediately said it would look great in her guest room.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fabric Bookmarks

A bunch of 'em! Tomorrow is a Christmas party and gift exchange with other crafty people. I made fabric bookmarks. I tried to make a variety of colors so everyone can choose what they like. I made 34 of these bookmarks.

I also finished up a bag for my mother to give to a friend of hers. My mother liked the bag I made for her that she wanted one for her friend. Her friend is a big fan of University of Georgia. I think it looks cute.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Antique Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Today I got an old quilt that I bought off ebay. The description said "some of the fabrics have deteriorated and the backing shows through." Let first say, I am very happy with my purchase but it is not what I expected.

Here is a picture of part of the quilt.

Most of the print fabrics look like this....
In other words, every piece of the "rings" are worn through. Yet as I was looking at it, I kept thinking something looked odd. Why way I not seeing batting or a thin piece of backing? Wait! I was looking at a quilted piece of material. Finally, I figured it out -- the rings were appliqued onto the large white quilt top! There is still a lot of quilt left, just very little of the applique pieces. It still looks beautiful.

This is a picture of one corner from the back. Can you see the lines of hand quilting?

Teeny, tiny hand stitches about every 1/2 inch. As you can see, many of those rows of stitching overlap. The quilt is about 68 inches by 80 inches. Thousands of tiny hand stitches! Each wedding ring has two rows of stitching inside the prints fabric and then rows of stitching outlining the rings. Here is another shot of the back. I think you can see the circles of stitching.

I should also mention it is very, very soft. Is filled with cotton batting. There is one edge that the binding is hanging off of and in bad shape.
As I was trying to examine the quilt and take pictures, THIS happened......

Queen Bailey decided since it was on "her" bed, that she could inspect it also. Silly cat!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vintage quilt blocks

While browsing on eBay recently I found this set of quilt blocks for sale. Four patches sewn into strips. The price was great (less than $10.00) so I bid on it. The fabrics seem to be from the late 60's, maybe early 70's. I sewed the strips together to get this....

Here is a closer view of some of the fabrics. There are polyester blends in there and some fabrics I can't identify except to say "coarse and scratchy". The solid blues are a thin chambray shirting fabric.

Look, it's Dumbo! Or at least part of Dumbo. The squares that look like pieced triangles are really "cheater" cloth fabrics.

I think I'm going to quilt it on the machine with white thread using diagonal lines.
I'm now having to make myself stay away from ebay because I keep wanting to "rescue" more quilts, quilt tops and quilt blocks. This is a whole new avenue for my quilting addiction!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blue Hydrangea Quilt

A few months ago I picked up a bundle of 5 - 1 yard cuts of this fabric from LakeHouse called Hydrangea Garden: Heron. I wasn't sure what to do with it until I remembered seeing a quilt pattern by Amy Butler called Brick Path. You can find free patterns from Amy at her website . The pattern for Brick Path called for 11 1/2-yard cuts. I thought it would look fine with my 5 yards just a slightly smaller quilt.

I used 2 pieces from each fabric in each column. The backing is also in LakeHouse Hydrangea fabric. The quilt measures about 60 x 72. I machine quilted in the ditch of the vertical rows.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pink and Floral

I'm on a mission to finish many of my works-in-progress. I pieced this top a few years ago. Last year I machine quilted it along the sashing strips with stitch-in-the-ditch technique. This week I finished it up by machine quilting around the inner blocks. The back is muslin. The quilt measures about 88 x 100 inches.

The floral print has shiny gold colored thread in it. I wish I could get a better picture of it.

The pattern is called Blue Plate Special and was in the February 1998 issue of McCall's Quilting. If I remember correctly, the quilt in the magazine was done in blues and whites.

Here my cat Hunter decided to test it for napping comfort.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shades of Blue

I finished a quilt! The top is done in 3 shades of blue flannel. I started this top in a mystery class held at a LQS a couple of months ago. I'm afraid I don't know the name of the pattern. It is like a square in a square. Each square has dark triangles in the corners, where they come together creates the dark square on point. Isn't it interesting?

Here is the backing I choose. It is not flannel.

For quilting, I stiched in the ditch around the medium blue squares.

Here the quilt is being tested by Cosmo The Cat

Then Bailey The Cat had to double check Cosmo's work. She is THE Queen and doesn't want the quilt to smell like Cosmo.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crazy Cats Quilt

A few years ago when I was doing a lot of quilting, I made this quilt. I feel in love with the fabric when I saw it. Since I love cats and have at times had more than is socially acceptable, I liked the crazy ladies and cats fabric. I cut the main fabric into large squares, then used a sashing between them.

I did free motion around the cats, ladies and chairs. The border has straight line channel quilting.

It's such a bright and cheerful quilt I love to have it out during the dreary winter.

This is a great way to use a fun fabric that you just don't want to cut into little pieces.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quilts from Fleece and Fabric Bookmarks

Someone had given my mother this huge piece of fleece with little bears and bunnies on it. My mother passed it on to me. The fabric was 60 inches wide. I made 3 quilts/blankets out of it for my great-neices and great-nephew. The little girls are my nephew's children and the boy is my neice's child. They are all my brother's grandchildren. I found this cute fabric with bubbles somewhere online. I got blue for the boy, baby pink for the girly-girl and dark pink for the tomboy-girl. I didn't really quilt them but just sewed around the edges and bound them. That fleece stretches and slides way too much for quilting much. Each blanket is about 60 inches by 36 inches.

I have also been working on making fabric bookmarks. I combined a few different ideas I have seen online. I think I like the ones with the pinked edge best. The larger ones have a piece of cardstock that is 1 1/2" x 7" with the fabric cut 2" x 8". Then I sewed about a 1/4 inche from the edge. To make the fabric stay together while I sewed it, I backed the fabric with heavy duty Heat & Bond. I think the next ones I will just use some temporary adhesive spray like is used for machine embroidery sometimes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Hour Quilt

I am blessed to live very close to two quilt shops. One of them had a pre-Thanksgiving sale this weekend. With everything 30% off, I knew I had to go over there on Friday. I found this wonderful pack of fat quarters - Redbird by Moda

I also had just read about the book "Happy Hour" from Atkinson Designs . So I grabbed the book and the fat quarters. I love the pattern book. I don't buy a lot of quilt books because I would rather spend my money on fabric. This book is great! Great looking designs, easy to follow instructions and fun patterns! The fabric requirements and instructions are included for various size quilts. There are even patterns for what to do with the leftover fabrics from these quilts. These are great for fat quarter collections.
Here is the quilt in progress
Here is the finished top from the pattern called "Snapshot". You can do borders if you want. I choose to not to borders. This is 5 x 7 blocks which is 45 x 63 inches finished size. This size used 12 fat quarters with some pieces left over to make a coordinating pillow or something interesting with.

A close up of the top.

Today I went back to the quilt shop to get backing and binding. Good thing I went today because they are almost sold out of this line! Being so close to the end of the year, the shop owner is trying to avoid buying fabric so she doesn't have to pay taxes on it as inventory.
I should also put in a plug for the LQS -- Quilts and Fixins of Jonesboro, Georgia. The ladies there are great. They first opened in 1998 and are still going strong. I love their selection of fabrics.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Antique pillow cover

This pillow cover was found in things that belonged to my Grandmother. She was born in the 1890's. We don't know where it came from nor who made it. Much of the velvet is worn down. The stitches are still in beautiful condition.

The back:

A close up:

Monday, November 17, 2008

My sister's red quilt

For many years I had good intentions of making my sister a beautiful quilt. Somehow those good intentions never formed themselves into an actual full size quilt. In the fall of 2005 I went through my fabrics and decided to do a simple top of 10 inch squares. This one is all red. When I finished it, I decided my sister would enjoy it so she received it for Christmas. It is simply hand tied with yarn.

Not only did my sister and her husband enjoy it, so did their little dog Sadie! They said Sadie had never cared for any particular blanket before but she took this one as hers. If someone went to move the quilt while Sadie was on it, she would gently growl at them. I think you can see the look on her face in this picture of "I am NOT moving!"

Quick Quilts for Kids

Here is a quick quilt I love to make for kids. It's simply 2 pieces of fabric, 1 yard each. Place batting between the two pieces and free motion quilt all over the quilt. You can also do straight-line grid quilting if you prefer. It's a good way to practice your free motion quilting. You can practice outlining the design on the fabric. Then of course bind the quilt in a coordinating fabric. Wash and hand to a little one. You end up with a quilt about 35 x 40 inches.

I made this one last year for a toddler who loves Dora The Explorer.

This is a time to have fun with fabrics. I had bought the cow print a few years earlier with no idea of how I would use it. My little grand-nephew loves animals and to make animal noises so this was the perfect quilt for him.

The following two were for my little grand-nieces

This one was made with baby flannel. Both sides are from the same fabric.

Have fun quilting!