Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don's 50th bday quilt

My friend MaryCarol asked me to make a photo quilt for her husband's 50th birthday. I love photo quilts. I love that when you're piecing a block, there's usually someone smiling back at you in the form of a picture. She brought me a bag full of pictures and we were able to narrow it down to 16. Her husband, Don, is half Japanese so she wanted to use Asian fabrics in it but didn't want it to be too feminine. She also had a hankerchief that was given to her by Don's family in Japan that she wanted me to incorporate it in. We found a really great Koi fish print that matched the rust color in the hankerchief. We also found a really cool black fabric that had gold medallions on it. I was only able to frame 8 of her pictures with the hankerchief and for the rest, I used a Kona beige-ish color (I forgot what it was called). 4 of the pictures were black and white so I group them in the middle

Here's a close up of a block with the hankerchief and black medallion border.
The finished quilt measured 69" square. I wasn't able to go to Don's bday party but MaryCarol said that Don loved the quilt. Yay!

* Don has "Made in Japan" tatooed on his butt. I've always wanted "Made in Taiwan" tatooed on my butt with bar codes but I hate needles so I don't see it happening :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

So Giddy...

The fabric for my month for AQB2 was sent out on Tuesday and 1 block has already been made. Rachael Adele made the prettiest block. I keep going back to her blog to stare at it. Go here and take a look. What are you waiting for? GO!

Oooooh, Michelle has finish her block too. SOOOOOOOO PRETTY! I can't tell you how excited I am! I hope she doesn't mind but I'm going to call it the "Ch'Irish Chain Block" :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

#6 Ah-Yi's quilt

My parents both came from large families. My dad has 6 siblings and my mom has 11. I have 2 aunts that I call by name because they also have immigrated to the United States or Canada. I see them on a fairly regular basis and we have a close relationship. My other relatives, I may see once in a blue moon. I usually refer to each aunt or uncle by their title and their birth order. For example, I call the oldest male sibling, #1 Uncle. This drives my cousin Tommy crazy! He grew up with all of them and have closer relationships with them and calls them by their given name. When he speaks of an uncle or aunt by name, I always say, what number is he/her?

My parents just left to visit relatives in Taiwan and China. My mom wanted me to make a quilt for my #6 Aunt who is battling bone cancer. She didn't want a lot of black or white in the quilt. Red and gold is often used in a lot of Asian decor because it represents wealth ,long life and happiness. I found a panda print that wasn't childish and was really pretty and framed each square.
The red border fabric I used had flecks of gold also.

Here's a close up of the panda. The seal behind the panda means long life.
I hope my Ah-yi enjoys this quilt more than my dad did. When he saw it, he said "You made that? I think I saw a blanket like that at WalMart". Umm, he really has no clue.
*Ah-yi is chinese for aunt.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quilting Bee Blocks

This one's for Stephanie in the AQB2 for the month of March. She wanted a Spiderweb block. I made her 2 extra triangles also but I was too lazy to take pictures. Her Kona white didn't match my Kona white so I couldn't make her a second block. These are for Sarah in AQB1 for the month of April. Sarah wanted wonky houses in different sizes. I had some issues with them so I just kept making them until I ran out of fabric. The last one on the bottom is my favorite one.

Here's the neighborhood.

*Tutorial for the wonky houses is from here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy, scrappy houses

I made a bunch of scrappy house blocks last year when I first learned how to quilt. They were easy to make and gave me the needed practice in assembling blocks. I've been trying to finish up a bunch of abandoned projects and decided to turn my houses into a neighborhood. I framed each house block with Kona ivory and then sashed and bordered in a very bright yellow. At first, I thought it was too loud but now I'm loving the brightness of the quilt . I had 8 houses left after I made the front of the quilt so I continued my neighborhood to the back of the quilt. I love the crinkleness of a stippled quilt. The final measurements for this quilt is 54"x65". I haven't decided who this is going to yet. I kinda want to keep it but I have way too many quilts!

*The tutorial for the blocks came from here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

hedgehogs and ladybugs and clovers, oh my...

My friend Maribeth is the one that taught me how to sew and quilt. She has always been my biggest cheerleader, always full of encouraging advice and always very complimentary of anything I do. Maribeth teaches sewing classes at a local shop and if I happen to drop in during one of her classes, she will always sing praises about me to her students. This woman just knows how to make me feel like a rock star!

She has a birthday at the end of the month and I had intended to make her a coin quilt with different shades of blue fabric since blue is her favorite color. I was browsing around Etsy one day and found THIS Japanese fabric. Maribeth LOVES hedgehogs! She also loves ladybugs and 4 leaf clovers and HELLO, this was all set on BLUE, her favorite color! I had to buy it. It was kismet!

The seller only had half a yard and the material was 100% cotton canvas so it wasn't very soft. I wanted the focus to be on the hedgehog fabric so I framed each 5" square with 1.5 " of white and then 3.5" of a colorful print. I really like the end result!

Here's a close-up of a block.

For the back, I thought I'd make the coin quilt that I'd originally planned on making. A lot of my sewing happens late night when I can't sleep and let's just say my math skills aren't that sharp at night so I made the back too small. Besides, it was too pretty to be a back so I'm going to save it for another occasion. I decided to make 3 more blocks from the scraps of the hedgehog fabric and this is the result. In hindsight, I wish I had made some of these blocks for the front to give it more of a variety but oh, well. I really, really love this backing! The finished quilt measures 50"x64". I just need to make the quilt label and then it'll be on it's way to Maribeth.

I'm going to give her the quilt early as she recently had surgery on her knee and has been feeling a little blue. I'm hoping this will cheer her up!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Quilting Bee 1 March blocks

The first person in Another Quilting Bee 1 is Sarah who is also the one who organized the AQB 1 &2. Sarah wanted wonky log cabins at an angle and she sent great fabrics from a discontinued Heather Ross line. I don't know how she got a hold of this great line (lucky girl :)!). I loved everything she sent. This is the first block I made. I had to fiddle around a little to make it 10.5" block but I love the result. It's funny, these aren't my favorite colors but it turned out to be my favorite block. Here's her second block. I loved doing this block because it had all my favorite colors in it. I really love that bike fabric. Sooo Cute!

I'm waiting for Stephanie's fabric to arrive for AQB2 and my quilting bee commitments for March will be done.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March Blocks for PTQB

This is Stephanie's block for March. She sent each of us a letter block and said we could embroider if we wanted. Since I don't embroider, I was going to leave it alone. After I completed the block, that middle block just screamed for more. I researched embroidery techniques, watch a couple of you tube videos on it and gave it a go. I did a simple back stitch. I used 6 strands of floss because I wanted to cover the pink ink but if I were to do it again, I would only use three. It kind of gave it a bulky look. I only used three strands for the detail on the inside of the lime and it turned out much better. I realized that I kinda like embroidering.

This is Sara's block. She wanted a spiderweb block made with repro fabric. I really liked her choice of fabrics.
Since I'm addicted to making these blocks, I made her a second one with her leftover fabric and some of mine.

I just got Sarah's fabric for Another Quilting Bee 1. I hope she doesn't mind a little drool on her fabric.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mid Atlantic Quilt Show

This past Sunday I went to the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival and I thought I'd share some of my pictures. While there were about a bizillion of quilts that I liked, these were my favorites:

This one was amazing in person. The picture doesn't do it justice.
A close up of my favorite block.
I totally meant to go buy this pattern. It still makes me laugh seeing it.

I really like this string quilt and how she appliqued pigs on it. I'm thinking of making something similar to this for my niece Jade as she was born on the Year of the Pig.

I heart this one.

This one reminds me of my friend Rich.

This one was soooo pretty!

As was this one...

This was probably my favorite. Can you figure out the cryptic message?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lola's Quilt

My friend Ruth's little boy calls his grandma "Lola". Nathan adores his Lola and she worships the ground he walks on! For Nathan's birthday, I made him a quilt.
She loved this quilt and I made a mental note to make her one for her birthday in September as we share the same birthday. I recently went to lunch with Ruth and she mentioned that she had something for me from her mom. At Nathan's birthday party, Lola had a small rice maker and I mentioned that I would like one as the one I have makes enough rice to feed a small army. Apparently Lola took my words to heart and bought me one! I had to reciprocate her kindness and make her quilt ASAP!

I kept the design of the quilt pretty basic. I made 4x4 pictures and put it on fabric paper. I framed each picture with a pretty Asian-like fabric. I used the same fabric for all the blocks so that it wouldn't look too busy. For the sashes and border, I used an ivory fabric that had flecks of gold in it as the main print has bits of gold. The backing is just a piece of blue quilter's cotton and the binding is the fabric from the frames.
I also kept the quilting pretty basic by doing "stitch in the ditch" around each picture and straight line quilting around the frame.
This was an easy project. I started at 4:00 p.m. and was finished by 2:00 a.m. This includes picking out the pictures and printing them, cutting the fabric, dinner breaks for me and the dogs and many snack breaks of Cheez its, peanut M&Ms and diet cokes (the best combo EVER!). I still have to hand sew the binding which I intend to do in front of the tv tomorrow.
I'm never certain of how well received my quilts will be as some people just aren't into handmade things. I have a feeling THIS recipient is going to LOVE her quilt!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I should be.....

finishing hand sewing the binding for this quilt.... or quilting and binding these quilts...

or perhaps making the backings for these quilt tops.

Instead, I'm making these blocks...

and these scrappy blocks...

and I started these blocks today.

Hmmm, I wonder if there's such a thing called craft ADD?