Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jude's quilt

My finish for the week. This baby quilt is for a sweet family at my church who had a baby back in August.  I know, I know...another one that's 3 months late!  I have joked with his mom that my goal was to get it done before he went off to college...mission accomplished!  The family is moving to Asia, so my real deadline was before they leave.  This is also the quilt that I was thinking about posting a tutorial for.  It's really just a combination of a bunch of tutorials that I have found helpful throughout the www.  So I haven't decided if the www NEEDS another tute out there.  To be continued...

Hopefully not the ONLY thing I finish, but most likely.  We have a very busy week ahead...annual Christmas party tonight for the guild, work wednesday-saturday (I constantly have to remind myself that I DO have a regular job), Ladies Christmas Tea at my church AND my 5th anniversary with my hubby on friday and celebrating that anniversary on saturday.  So for those of you who just KNOW you should be getting a quilt from me any day now...just KNOW that I AM working on it!  Not sure if I'm gonna make all those Christmas deadlines, but I haven't given up yet!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sewing Challenge

Check out this new website!  I entered my Christmas quilts.  Be sure to check out ALL the projects.  There's some pretty good ideas for Christmas gifts.
Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Quilts

Remember this quilt top?  I didn't give an explanation of it in my last post, so here it is...
We had an auction planned for Sunday Nov. 21st at church to benefit our Awana program. I usually just donate a haircut to this auction each year, but this is the first year that my husband and I are "Commanders" of this ministry.  When someone mentioned how cool it would be if I could donate a quilt for the auction, I thought, "that's a GREAT idea!"  Why not?  I have made a couple of quilts using this pattern and knew how easy and fast it comes together.  And how popular those quilts turned out to be, so why not?  I knew I wanted to just make a lap sized quilt and planned to make the top on tuesday and quilt and bind it on wednesday (my weekend)...plenty of time before the auction on sunday, right?  With this pattern, I like to wash it before giving it, so...
I love the crinkly, quilty softness of the raw edges on all those circles.  And then I looked closer...

Most of the blocks looked just like this.  But there were 2 blocks (same fabric) that looked like this...

In hind-sight, had I used a tighter stitch, I probably could have avoided this particular "disaster".  But it is easier to navigate those curves with a slightly longer stitch AND as I said before, I have made this pattern before...twice.  I felt safe washing it.  After the initial shock and devastation subsided a little, knowing the auction was only 3 days away, and I would be working all 3 of those days, I needed to figure out what to do.  Try to repair this one?  Give up the idea of an auction quilt all together?  Or start over?  I went through some of my favorite quilting blogs looking for inspiration (and comfort).  I found this tutorial at Cluck Cluck Sew.  It was one of those "someday" quilts.  I decided "someday" was today...well, tomorrow.  It was 1:00 am and I had to work the next day, so I decided to get some sleep and start fresh on thursday...ok, it was already thursday, but I needed sleep.
Morning came WAY too early.  I woke up at 4:50 am.  Unable to will myself back to sleep, I got up and started making new blocks.  By 8am, I had 22 out of 30 blocks completed. 
I had run out of the Kona white and knew a trip to the fabric store would be my lunch break.  I got home about 4:30 and went back to work.  By bedtime, I had it loaded on the frame and knew sleep would not be a problem this time.
I know I have mentioned before just how much I LOVE this frame, but when I got the quilting done on this quilt in just over an hour (my lunch break on friday), I fell in love all over again. 

No straight lines, just meandering all over.  The 1st quilt took about 2 1/2 hours to quilt without the frame...just rolling, re-rolling, and maneuvering it through the machine...what a pain! 
Sorry for the blurry pic. I forgot to bring my camera to the auction so I snapped this with my phone.

All in all, I'm glad I decided to make a new quilt.  It was a long week, but it was for a good cause.  And I will definitely be making more of these blocks.  I am so grateful for all you crafty quilty people out there who share your creativity and talent online.  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Out of the strain of the doing, into the peace of the done...

~Julia Woodruff, Gone

I borrowed this one from Stray Stitches blog.  I don't know where she finds quotes for her posts, but she's had some GREAT ones.  This quote spoke to me because I have worked on this baby quilt for 3 months now.  (Found the pattern here).  It shouldn't have taken me this long, but I had the hardest time with the quilting. I thought I wanted to use my Flynn frame and just stipple it, but the length of the quilt was too much for the 48" rods that come with the frame.  I have been to every place in my little town that might possibly have pvc pipe and/or emt rods that I could use to do larger quilts with my frame, but was unsuccessful.  The more time that went by, the more trouble I had finding the motivation I needed to finish. I finally finished it last week.  I decided done is best.  So when I read this quote, I could truly relate.  I am feeling that peace, and it feels good.  But I will not be posting any close-ups of the quilting on this one.
Since it took me so long, I figured I would throw in a little sorry-it-took-so-long gift, so baby Britton also got a teddy to go with his quilt.  And here's something that I thought was pretty cool with this quilt...
His mama thought it would be cool if I could somehow incorporate a piece of her wedding gown.  So I pieced this block right in the center of the back of his quilt.  VERY cool.  As much as I want to see the quilts I make being used and loved, I do take it as a compliment when mama says it's too pretty to use and she plans to hang it on the wall in his room.

It amazes me how a finish can motivate me to mark more things off my list...

It's time to tackle the Christmas list.  I'm praying the motivation I feel right now will last.  I NEED it to last!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is my 1st time to participate in something like this as I haven't been blogging OR quilting for very long.  But it sounded like fun.  Amy over at Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival.  When you get a chance, you should definitely go check out the other entries...SO much inspiration!
The quilt I've decided to share is my very 1st quilt.  I made this for a very special friend who had actually inspired me to start quilting.  Marian and I had talked many times about quilting and when her eyes got too bad for sewing, she very sweetly passed on all the books she had on crafting and quilting.  When she was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2008, I decided it was time to try.  I read everything I could...books, blogs, anything I could find on Google...finally, I heard about a quilting class being held at my local Hobby Lobby store.  I went to my 1st class in March of 2009.  We met once a week for that whole month, but by the 2nd week I already had my quilt top finished.

Oh, looking back now, I see just how ambitious I was.  I was determined to quilt it myself.  Thought I was so clever finding "fusible" batting.  After ripping out a few lines of stitches, I decided maybe for this 1st one, I should let a "professional" help me finish.  It was worth the wait.  I got it back about a month later and in May, I was able to give it to Marian.  I thought it would be hard to say goodbye to that quilt, but she loved it so much, it was worth seeing the joy on her face.

Miss Marian passed away on April 28th of this year.  I miss my friend.  My hope now is that maybe I can inspire someone who has just "thought" about quilting to actually give it a try...the way Marian inspired me :)
May 2009
Thanks for reading my story and thanks to Amy for organizing this Festival.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Well, it's not much, but I think it counts.  I SO want to get this one finished!  But I keep getting discouraged with the quilting.  It was too long to mount on my Flynn frame so I decided to "keep it simple" and just follow the blue lines with some straight lines.  Problem is, I'm using white thread.  Basically, everytime I get to a brown block, it looks as though someone keeps bumping me while I'm sewing...ugh.  Everytime the thought crosses my mind to just rip it all out and start over, I just can't DO it!  I hate ripping and I have to keep telling myself, done is best.  So I will push through.
Also, I started a tutorial a few weeks ago and then realized I had way too many things to finish before Christmas.  2 twin-sized, 1 queen sized, and 1 lap-sized quilt.  The tute quilt is going to be a baby gift for someone special, but I've had to put it aside for now.  Here's a sneaky peeky anyway...
I think my hope now is that if I actually SHOW you what I'm working on, then maybe just MAYBE, I can find some motivation to get these things DONE!
Darlene :)