First Quilt of Valor for 2015

Isn’t she a beauty?

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When I was at my long arm guild meeting last weekend, I picked up two Quilt of Valor quilt tops. I got the first one loaded today. This is the first real look I have had. Now it’s time for the imagination to run.

What to quilt? What to quilt?

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There’s lots of open space for playing. But I don’t have any firm ides at first glance.

No worries though. A bit of playing tonight with some dry erase markers and something is bound to speak up.

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Why did I wait so long?

So I have been quilting for over 20 years (good grief I can’t believe it!), and I have never tried an invisible quilt binding.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

This is awesome. Yes it’s awkward to stitch and cut. But WOW! It looks so much cleaner!

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Rainbow Polka Dots – Baby Quilt Part 2

Of the 3 baby quilts that I did this month, I think this one is my favorite. And since it was for a quilter, I really wanted to have some fun with the quilting.

Rainbow Dots

So I decided to do the quilt as a quilting sampler. Each color would get a different treatment.

Purple got some paisley.
Polka Dots - PurplePiano keys on the blue.

Polka Dots - BlueA little McTavishing in the green.

Polka Dots - GreenNo sampler quilt would be complete with out some feathers!!!! (I LOVE feathers! But, you already knew that!)

Polka Dots - YellowOrange pebbles. You know, just because.  And because it matched the fabric so well.

Polka Dots - OrangeDiamond cross hatching on the red. I used the dots to measure them out.

Polka Dots - RedI also quilted the dots the same way. You can see all the wonderful texture on the back of the quilt. Now that my quilting is getting better I just love solid backs!

Polka Dots - BackBut the front just steals the show. This may, just may, be my favorite quilt ever. The binding was even done rainbow. About 12″ pieces of each of the 6 colors.

Polka DotsUnfortunately, the recipient loves it. Which means she’ll be keeping it rather than sending it back to me. Maybe I’ll just have to do it again in king size!!!

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Baby quilt – Airplanes Part 2

Last week I also finished this quilt top.

Airplane Baby QuiltI knew how I wanted to quilt the sky, and borders, but I hadn’t figured out what to do on the clouds. So I didn’t worry about it. I wanted to go back and change the thread for the clouds anyway. So I’d do all the border and sky, and figure out the clouds later.

The sky got some windy swirls. The border got piano keys. I figured you wouldn’t be able to see anything on it anyway since the fabric was so loud colorful. I didn’t do anything on the plane except ditch the outlines.

One thing that didn’t go as planned was the airplane cockpit. Can you see it? Yea. That’s because I FORGOT THEM!!!! So I guess these are drones. Grin.

But I did figure out the clouds. Overlapping spirals. I thought it looked like some of the cloud was in front and some in the back. You know, kinda like a real cloud.

Airplanes - details
I love how much movement the swirls add. I think those plane are going to fly out of that quilt any minute!Airplanes - detailsI sure hope the baby (and dad) like it.

Airplanes
And here’s the back.Airplanes - backNot I just have to find some energy to get these two baby quilt bound and get them off in the mail before the baby gets here!

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Fast and Modern Baby Quilts – Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat. Part 2

Remember this quilt top that I finished last week? I really need to find a better place to take pictures. No matter how hard I try I can’t get the colors to come up true. Oh well.
Modern Fast baby quilt: Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat.

I was pretty sure that I was going to quilt LARGE size pebbles in the center. But I hadn’t decided what I was going to do in the border.

I settled on simple piano keys. The large pebbles echo the circles on fabric. I loved how it looked as I was quilting it.
pebbles and piano keysHere’s how it looks finished.

I love how the letter totally pop off the quilt.

Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat. Quilt -detail

Don’t you just want to lay on top of this and take a nap? I hope the new baby does!Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat. Quilt -detail

The whole quilt. It just looks so happy. Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat. Quilt

Here’s the back. Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat. Quilt -back
I love how this turned out. I can’t wait to see how it looks bound.

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Rainbow Polka Dots – Baby Quilt

Since I was on a baby quilt binge I made a third one for a good quilty friend of mine that is also expecting. There is a modern quilt pattern that I just love and ever since I made it into a floor pillow cover I have wanted to do a different version as a baby quilt.

I love this pattern. It looks so crisp and fun.

Modern Floor Pillow cover

I knew that I wanted to make it as a rainbow. I was pretty sure that I would have enough bright fabric in my stash that I could use. Alas, I didn’t have any scraps that were big enough. So off to the quilt shop I went.

My plan had been to buy tone on tone fabric that were all different subtle patterns.

At least that HAD been the plan.

Let me tell you what happened.

I often have quilts that talk to me and let me know what they want when they are waiting to be quilted. But I have never had a quilt talk to me while I was picking out fabric. This one screamed at me. I kid you not!

I am not sure how it started but I ended up with all polka dot fabrics. It took about three tries to get all 6 colors just right. And let me tell you, the fabrics let me know.

Eh, I don’t think this orange makes my green look good. Oh and that red, meh. But that blue has just GOT TO GO!

Finally I got all six colors laid on the table and they SANG! It was like a party on the table.

Right until I realized that I needed the sashing fabric. I tried several whites. Some greys. And nothing was working. Then one of the ladies at the shop brought over a tone on tone WHITE POLKA DOT!!!! Just look how great they look together!
fabrics (2)Here they are all laid out how they will be sewn. And yes, I actually fussy cut the white so that the polka dot would be centered.

Polka dot fabricI love how it turned out. But I wanted hubs to hold it out and see. I had planned on adding large dots in the white strip. But wasn’t sure if it would be too much. And, yea, you guessed it, the quilt yelled at me. NOT DONE YET. Yea, yea. I’ll add the dots already.

Rainbow DotsNow that’s what the quilt wanted.

Rainbow DotsNow how to quilt it!

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2015 Sort of New Year’s Resolution

Well it’s almost the end of February and I still didn’t have a New Year’s resolution. I was really struggling to come up with one that fit what I wanted to do this year. Last year’s resolution was so awesome and worked so well – CHALLENGE.

I wanted to challenge myself to try things that I promised to do someday. I wanted to challenge myself to finish projects that had been started years ago and were currently sitting in a box or bag in the craft cave. I wanted to challenge my self to try new skills. I wanted to challenge myself to start those projects that I had bought the supplies for and just never gotten around to.

And boy oh boy did I ever challenge myself! The results:

  • We made 72 new to our family recipes! That’s almost 1 1/2 recipes a week!
  • I finished 12 quilts! TWELVE! That’s one a month!!!
  • I started 3 new quilts (all of which were finished too!)
  • I painted a painting FREE HAND for the 1st time
  • New techniques included: whole cloth, painting fabric, quilting with contrasting thread, McTavishing, pebbling, feathers, thread painting, and that’s just the ones that I can remember!

PHEW! That makes me tired just looking at all of that!

How would I ever be able to come up with a resolution for this year that could come even close to that in motivating me?

Well, this morning I was reading Lori Kennedy’s The Inbox Jaunt’s post on sewing resolutions and all of a sudden, it hit me!

ENJOY!!!!!!

I really pushed myself last year. But I find myself not being as in the moment as I would like to be. I still want to try new things, I still want to finish long awaiting WIPs, I still want to start new projects, but while doing all of that I want to focus on ENJOYING the time I spend on a task.

I want to make sure that I take the time to ENJOY the time with my kids, ENJOY the time I spend camping, ENJOY the time I spend quilting.

Yep, I think that’s the ticket. Thanks Lori for the nudge!

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Baby quilt – Airplanes

So when my buddy from college called to tell me he and his wife were expecting I was so excited for them I couldn’t decide which quilt I wanted to make. So I decided to make two.

Since my buddy has always wanted to work for NASA, and now he designs airplane engines. I thought this quilt would be perfect.

Airplane Baby Quilt

I especially love the border fabric. And since it was a stripe I braved having a mitered corner. And yes, the stripes don’t line up, but I can live with that.Airplane Baby QuiltI am pretty sure I know what I am going to quilt on this. But it will have to wait it’s turn.  Eat, sleep, play, repeat gets to go on Millie first.

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Fast and Modern Baby Quilts – Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat.

Right before Christmas I got a surprise call from a very dear friend from college. He and his wife are expecting their first child. I am so excited for him and his wife I could hardly sit still.

So I didn’t!

I got quilting!

It has been a while since I made a baby quilt and I have a WHOLE Pinterest board of baby quilts that I have been wanting to make. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to make.

So I didn’t!

I made two!

The first one I made was a version of the eat, sleep, play, repeat quilt that is so popular right now. My inspiration was this fabric I have had in my stash but haven’t found just the right project. It’s soooo funky and bright (fabric on the left below).

Inspiration Fabric

The center needed to be plain enough to see the letters appliqued on them, but I didn’t want a pure solid. I wanted some thing that would hid spit up and other baby things that happen. I didn’t have anything that fit the bill. I found this fabric that was JUST perfect (fabric on the right above).

The rest of the border fabrics and the applique fabric came from my stash.

I always have a hard time remembering to trace applique letters backwards. But this time I got it on the 1st try! Yippee! There were lots of letters to cut, but it was a good activity to keep my hands busy during the new year college football bowl games.

Applique letters Applique letters Modern Fast baby quilt: Eat. Sleep. Play. Repeat.

I haven’t yet decided to quilt this. But it’s not going on Millie until next week so I still have time to decide.

 

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Shooting for Brownie Points Valentine Teacher Gift

The last thing we had to put together for Valentine’s was a teacher gift. I found a really cute Pin where they gave a Brownie mix box and a spatula with the saying “Shooting for some Brownie points.” I thought that was totally adorable, but teachers are just so super busy. Wouldn’t they like it even more if the brownies were already made? (I know I would!!)

So I made my FAMOUS (well, they are famous in this house!) skillet brownies. Don’t they look delish?!

Skillet BrowniesThen I cut them up and put them in a celo bag and tied them with some bakers twin and added the tag. I think they turned out pretty good.

Teacher Valentine - Shooting for some brownie points

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