Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Final Quilt of the Year!

What a year!  I'm pretty sure were all ready to be done with 2020 and are hoping that 2021 is a better year in so many ways.

I finished quilting my last quilt of the year and it feels like the right one to end with.  The top was assembled at the end of November (Frivolous Fun), but with many of my quilts it takes a while to come up with a quilting plan and call it done!

51 1/2" x 64"

I'm happy to have this as my last 2020 quilt!  It's a magically fun quilt that let's me believe all is well if only in my mind!

As far as the quilting goes I kept it pretty simple.  The largest circles were quilted with 1/2" lines using grey thread.  A simple but effective detail that pretty much is my go to design. 

The remaining quilting was a combination of vertical and horizontal lines in varying widths.  I used the black and white stripes as a guide for many of the lines.

And for a unexpected added detail, I quilted circles in three sizes randomly throughout the quilt.  That detail fit nicely with the overall design of the quilt.  Nothing fancy here!  

One of my goals for 2020 was to use as much of my stash as humanly possible!  It not only feels good, but my load has been lightened considerably!  I've had this Ikea number fabric for several years and decided it was time to let it go.  It makes such a great backing, don't you think?  The good news is I used it and have enough left for one more backing.  

The good old pile of quilt goodness!  

I wish you all a very Happy Healthy New Year!  Good-Bye will not be missed, Hello 2021!


Friday, December 25, 2020

Holiday Sewing :: A little Bit!

I'm not one to sew holiday themed things, or even things for holiday gifts.  On occasion the mood strikes and I can't help myself!   

Much to our surprise and delight, this year we will have my daughters God-Children and family at our home for 4-5 days starting today!  That means 3 kids...on Christmas Day!!  We usually see them after the holidays and celebrate then, but never with a sleepover and waking up to the screeching joy of children on Christmas Day.  SO yep!  I'm beyond excited.  It's been 20+ years since we've had little ones underfoot.

What did I do?  When I found out they would be here I decided they each needed their own stocking!

Luckily I had this striped fabric in three colors so each one had their own unique stocking.  I had just enough fusible fleece and fabric to finish each one.  The cuffs are sewn to the stripe and the letters are raw edge and fused on.

Vincent, Josephine and Esme will hopefully love their stockings filled with treats, gifts and love! 

The other gift I made was for baby Esme!  When she comes to our house she loves playing with my Cabbage Patch doll.  This year she will receive her very own!

Complete with a Hippo sleeper on, I think Esme will adore this little thumb sucker!  She also loves to cover her babies with a blanket.  When she is here it's an old dish towel...not any more!

'Snug as a bug', wrapped and warm!  Seems simple enough and honestly it was!

You are not seeing things!  There are two!  My idea was to make a big block and call it done.  I choose the block, picked the size and in no time I had a 24" baby blanket.  

The thing was way, way too big for the little doll!  I had no choice but to make another one.  

24" block

It took very little time to piece the block and we decided that Esme could use the larger one for her own lap.  She loves to cover herself up but has a heck of a time maneuvering large blankets.

16" block

Now her and her baby have matching quilts and can snuggle until the cows come home!

I love these kids to death!  I feel like a child on Christmas Day knowing that we get to spend the Holidays with them!  

I hope each and every one of you have a very Merry Christmas and that you stay safe!  It's a tough year for everyone.  While many people won't have their family or friends celebrating with them this year, it is for the greater good and I appreciate the sacrifice that is being made.

With every visit from the God-Children, both families have quarantined for a full 14 days.  I will never take any unnecessary chances with my family or theirs.


Friday, December 18, 2020

Circle of Love :: Heart of the Home

You all know just how obsessed I am with my mini Heart of the Home pattern.  I can't seem to stop making them!  The last 'home' post I shared the end of November had me thinking about a new way to scratch my itch and make something a little different.  And I did just that!

20" x 20 3/4"

Yes I went there!  First off, I can never resist a little rainbow magic.  The idea of having houses with rainbow hearts was how this all started and I'm pretty happy that it did.  

I started by picking eight (8) colors for the hearts, prints for the main house, roof, chimney and window treatments.  I really wanted each house to be unique, much like real houses are.  The only thing that is the same in all eight is the sky.  I'm going off the assumption that all of these houses are in the same neighborhood!

The house blocks measure 3 1/2 x 3 1/2" which makes the windows a challenge to work with.  Usually I try and put cute little critters or something in each window, but because of the size I decided to use tiny prints instead.  Matching of course to each house!

The background fabric I used is a white on white print.  As much as I like it the front was too bright, instead I used the back.  You can still see the variation of white, but it isn't as harsh as the front.  

I went a little crazy with the quilting!  The size of the quilt was too enticing not too, plus I could go Free Motion wild!

The center is a little medallion action that actually has four hearts front and center.  Hard to tell with the way I quilted them, but they are there!  

After the center I worked my way out and ended with a huge sigh of relief!  Each house is outlined in the basic of basic quilting.  

A little better detail of the overall quilting can be seen on the back.  I added hanging corners and used a dark blue fabric for the binding.

I really love how the quilting and each and every house turned out.  Having an idea and actually pulling it off is a feat in and of itself!  Idea buckets are always overflowing in my mind and now there is one less and that's a good thing!

I have to say I'm happy with the circle idea and how it came together.  It's a neighborhood full of diversity and tolerance that comes together for each other.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Vitality :: Improv Madness

I finished this quilt a while back but didn't get photos until recently.  It's a pretty large quilt and I was not looking forward to taking pictures of it!  Eventually the stars aligned and I found my wall along with the exact right time of the day for the light to work for me instead of against me!

I always have trouble taking photos.  But I can't let that stop me from sharing just the same. 

57" x 87"

What a year! 

Emotionally drained, social distance fatigue and election overload have taken a toll on everyone.  I needed a fresh burst of energy to continue the fight and do my part.  

Choosing strong energetic colors convey renewed vitality and give me the strength to take a deep breath and continue on.  This improv quilt starts and ends with the fading of color that represents exhaustion.  The center is vibrant and energetic which gives me renewed strength and hope to continue fight.

The top part is full of yellow that fades into light oranges.  Improv allows me to blend the colors creating an ombré effect graduating from dark to light.  Each block is first framed with Kona Natural and then a solid that completes each row.

The center is the most vibrant!  I love the combination of pink and orange so you know this made me happy!

I was hard pressed to find enough pastel fabric for the final fade.  Somehow I did and I couldn't be happier with the final results!

Well...maybe I could be happier!  I debated on whether I should add the top and bottom row of the lightest colors.  After several days I decided it was exactly what was needed.  Had I not, the colors in the quilt looked like a barrel!  Not what I was after!  The downside to adding the final rows was that it make the quilt much longer than I wanted.  

The positives out weighed the negatives.  I had to go with it.  

Let the quilting begin!  I machine quilted organic straight lines using mostly an off white thread.  The width between the lines varied as did the straightness.  In order to make sure there was some sort of consistency and I didn't go completely off the rails, I marked horizontal lines approximately 4-6" apart with my hera marker.  

From there I filled in with mostly the off white thread but included random lines of coordinating thread colors.  

I pieced together the back because I didn't have a single piece of yardage that would be large enough.  I'm a fan of pieced backings, so it was fine with me!

It coordinates with the front and that's really all that matters, right?!

You can barely see it but there is a section of binding on the top and bottom that brings the lightest sections to the edge of the design.  Always a nice touch to have pieced bindings.  At least this one didn't need to be perfectly matched as some bindings do!

Some quilts are a labor of love, and I can say this one certainly was.  I was wanting to do a large improv quilt for a long time and finally found the perfect time to scratch my itch!  While I think the size of this quilt got away from me, I couldn't stop myself and had to go with it regardless of the outcome.  Quilts are crazy like that.  They sometimes dictate exactly what is to be done and who am I to argue?!