Sunday, May 31, 2015

John Deere Diamond Quilt

     I realized last weekend that I haven't started in a quilt for Taylor's baby shower.      So it was time to come up with an idea,  thank goodness I keep a bunch of fabric on hand! 

     I started going thru my fabric and couldn't decide on which main fabric to choose.  Oddly, my husband decided which one.  He knew that Taylor's husband and son would like a John Deere quilt. So with the main fabric chosen it wasn't hard to pick the rest!! 
I do feel I made it blend a little too much, but it will work. 

    I found an offset diamond design on Pinterest that I liked and decided to replicate it but needed to make 80 HST.   I found this tutorial on Half Square Triangles(HST):

     I decided it work out to be the perfect size.  I cut 80 squares.  And then resumed to sewing the HST together and cutting them apart. 

     I decided to make the center rows the pink on pink and the outer a mixture between the fabric.  I decided after I sewed some of it up, the John Deere and the Pink fabric might have blended too much.  But it was too late and in the end it turned out just right.  

     For the backing I used a brown With pink polka dots.  

     To bind it I used the bright pink with white polka dots off the quilt top.  I then used a ribbon like pattern to stitch the binding down.  

     I am still walking threw the Leah Day Craftsy  Freemotion Quilting video. In the section I just watched she did a circle and then a swirl to the center and then back out to the outside using that same line.  I took that idea and made a leaf type design.  The circle swirls came off stems on either side of each triangle seam.  I love how it turned out and think I will repeat it on a quilt in the future. 

     I really like how this quilt turned out!  I love FMQ and this method of HST.  So my guess is you will see both in another design again soon!! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Crown Royal Clemson Quilt

     Over a year and a half ago my Friend Cindy Powell passed away.  She died during her second battle with Cancer.  She was a remarkable person that everyone loved.  She overcame all of the challenges placed in front of her with a smile on her face.  I miss my dear friend. 

     Before she died we had talked and planned about a pile of Crown Royal bags that her brother spent years collecting.  She was going to make the bags into a quilt for her brother.   She had started to cut them and we had planned on going away for a weekend to sew. Not long later she was my patient at work and passed away soon after. 

     And if you know me,  you know I am going to finish someone's wishes.  For the last year and a half I cut bags, ironed, cut squares and finally sewed up a quilt..

    This would have been Cindy's first quilt she wanted something basic.  Something that she could accomplish. She wanted it to be patchwork looking and to be a total Clemson quilt.  The reason behind the Orange and purple!

     This was one of the hardest quilts I have ever made.  It was an emotional roller coaster from the beginning.   There was the thought of Cindy, and then the constant smell of cigarette smoke from the bags.  Her brother collected them from bars for years.  Cindy smoked and once told me that she thought it was the cause of her Cancer.  I wonder if this was her way of telling me to never smoke.  

     The bags were all different sizes.  We cut the Crown Royal embroidered section into 4, 4.5 and 5 inch squares depending on the size of the bag.  We then cut the side sections into 2, 2.5 and 3 inch strips.  We later cut some of theses strips down to 10 inch lengths. 

     I started with the larger 5 inch squares  down the center rotated with plain orange squares.  On either side I placed a 2.5 inch strip of Clemson fabric.   I then took the longer 10 inch strips of the plain purple Crown Royal bags and rotated them with plain orange strips. B I rotated the 5 inch squares for 2 more rows with the Clemson strips and the plain strips.  I then continued the pattern with the 4.5 inch strips. 

     I learned a big lesson sewing the quilt sections of this quilt together.   To keep the quilt straight and not crooked, you must sew from a different direction each time when you are sewing, then cutting the strip to be the same length.  Meaning to rotate from the top to the bottom each time you sew a strip. 

     To border out the quilt I ran the remaining Crown Royal Squares across the top and the bottom.  I then placed the long strips running down each side to make a purple border. 

     I used the Clemson fabric to bind it and machine stitched it down. 

     To quilt it,  I did stitched about a 1/2 out from all the long seams. I then stitched in the ditch across the quilt in the other direction to give the quilt more stability.  

     For the backing I used a tiger print pattern to go with the Clemson Tiger Theme. 

     The quilt is approx 65x75 inches

     I look back and wish I might have done a more detailed quilt but I can't have regrets only dreams of the future!!  I have try to pass on a smile and make another Joy for someone else! That's what Cindy would want. 

     Her brother Gene loved Clemson and Cindy was a Gamecock fan!  Total opposites!  But she had great love for her family and always wanted more for them then herself!   And to see the smile on his face when I delivered it was beyond worth it! She does have such a wonderful family! 

June Goals

     I did not finish my May Giaks like I thought I would, but I came pretty close.

     I know this will be a very busy month,  but I am going to set a few high goals! 

    My first goal will be to finish my Tuffet.

    I would also like to try and make a quilt for one of my coworkers sons.   

     Then I would like to have Cierra's baby Quilt done.  

     By the end of the month I need to have the next Prism Callenge done.

     My last goal of the month is to start back on the floral diamond quilt.   Maybe by the end of summer I will be done with it!! 

It's the end of May and it's not all done...

     I had high hopes this month to get a lot done.  It's of course the month I go to my yearly retreat and usually finish a bunch of work.  

     This year I brought a lot of unfinished projects to the retreat. But I only finished 3 old projects and was almost done with 2 new.   But I guess there is always next year to knock a few more off my list. 

     I finished Anna's Quilt,

     Cindy's brothers Quilt, 

     Aprils Improvisation Challenge Pillow Cases. 

     May's Prism Monkey Wrench Challenge 

     And a Girls John Deere Quilt

     Almost done sewing the bottom on my tuffet.  

     Finished a lot of my projects.  So now to think about June Goals!! 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monkey Wrench, Focus Through the Prism Challenge

     For the remainder of the year the monthly challenge will not be a regular quilt,  but a mini.  Each month we will be given a different block.  From that block we will create a quilt of our own, using the mini as an idea.  Each mini will contain a color from ROYGBIV that will be the primary color of the quilt. 

    To compete in the challenge you have to purchase a fabric pack from Cherrywood fabrics.  The fabrics are hand dyed and go along with the challenge by matching the true hues of ROYGBIV.  I hate challenges where I have to purchase fabric,  but I truly love Project Quilt, so it's a must for me.  And while I was ordering I bought extra fabric and have more hand dyed fabric to match most of the quilts for the remainder of the year.

     The Mini Quilts come January 2016 will be mailed to Kim of Persimon Dreams and will be part of a traveling quilt show.  The goal though of finishing by months end will not change! 

     I started out with a clear idea of what I wanted to do as my challenge.  That idea quickly changed when I realized someone already completed my idea. So to the drawing board I went.  I thought of several ideas but settled on one.  Because it was totally different then my usual quilt.  A block in the corner with an echo of HST. 

     I also decided when I first ordered the fabric that I would try to use only 2 colors in each quilt and to make it out of as much of the primary color as possible.  I decided for this quilt I would start with the first letter of ROYGBIV and then move on.  

     I went to my stash and found 2 more patterned fabrics that blended well with the primary Red.  Both had a bit of off white in them. 

    I sewed up the big block as 12 inches and used only the primary color and the 2 printed fabrics. 

    I then googled a HST triangle size and came up with a neat tutorial on seeing a tube with 2 inch fabric.  Too bad I cut along the wrong line and ended up with 2 1/2 inch squares.  So I just kept on cutting.  

     My thought was to put the HST around 2 sides of the Monkey Wrench block in no set layout or design.  The size did not match exactly,  but I was just going to wing it and it worked!

     To quilt it, I am still following along with the Leah Day Craftsy video.  I am on pebbling.  I decided to do Prbbling in all the red areas of the quilt.  The next step in the video was an in and out swirl that followed the same line.  I love how this turned out.  Still need a little practice,  but I love it!! 

    I backed it in a piece of scrap fabric that had some red in it and bound it in the basic hand dyed red. 

     I am so excited to see the theme of next month and ready to figure out what to do with the Orange!! 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Anna's T-shirt Quilt

    Anna and Wade have been together since 4 year old kindergarten.  They changed school in High School and still managed to stay together.    They have even gone to church camp together all these years.  Now they are graduating in less then 2 weeks.  Not only is Anna special, but Lisa, her mom taught my boys.

     A few months ago I was asked by Lisa, Anna's mom to make her a quilt.  Lots of people ask me to make these it I don't always agree.  Tshirt quilts take hours of work and planning and don't alwYs turn out right.  It is very stressful dealing with others memories.  But I always say yes to special people!! I enjoy making things for those that mean something to me. 

     This quilt is made using every piece of printed shirt from 20 different tshirts.   I mark the shirts about an inch to 1 1/2 inches bigger then the print on all sides.  After marking the blocks I cut the area of the tshirt out to be about an inch bigger then the original block.  I then iron on fresh fuse or knit interfacing on the back. I then recut the blocks to the final size. 

   For me I have decided over time that I like the look of an uneven sized block for the Tshirt quilts.  The random size and randomness of them being either square or rectangle assists in the flow.  Most tshirt quilts are made with a varying color of fabric and prints on the shirts.  

     I have also decided over time that I like using multiple colors to sash the blocks and to help them blend. 

     I write down each of the block sizes and divide them into rows using the block height.  I add small amounts of fabric to the top and bottom of each block to even out the row.  Between the blocks I lay another piece of material.  And sometimes small blocks I piece together. 

     I even out the rows by adding additional fabric pieces to the outside.

     Then before sewing the rows together I add a strip between the rows. Then In like to sash the quilt out using the same or cordinating fabric.  This quilt is approx 58 by 66.

     I also like the binding to match.   For this quilt 2 special ladies helped me pick out this wonderful herringbone like fabric from Mary Jo's!!  

     The quilt is quilted in silver thread.  To quilt it I did in and out swirls in all of the sashing.  On the Tshirts I quilted a basic loop all over.  In the borders I quilted a wave all the way around the quilt. 

      I forgot to photograph the backing fabrics.  It is actually one of my favorite backing sever.  It is a huge gray medallion flower on white extra wide fabric. 

     It was emotional to work on this quilt but I decided that the best place to complete it was at my quilt retreat.  I am so glad I did!! I took this photo at an old building around the corner from the retreat center. 

     I am so proud of Anna and excited for her future!!  I hope to see her in the many years to come!