Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christopher's Quilt

This is a quilt I made last year in celebration of our little friend, Christopher, for his second birthday.  I happened to be working on another quilt in these Wild Thyme fabrics, and I loved them so much I bought some more to make this quilt for Christopher.  I thought the colors were perfect for a young boy.

I made the pattern up as I went along, but I was heavily influenced by a quilt I saw on Elizabeth Harman's blog, Oh Fransson!  Elizabeth is a very modern quilt maker, and she helps lure me out of my very traditional box. 

The simple patchwork construction was machine quilted in a stippling pattern.

I did a simple applique and hand embroidery design on the back for the label, incorporating the birthday boy's initials.  I hand wrote the verse for this quilt, which was "Sing for joy and be glad all your days!"  A good premise for being two, don't you think??  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nichole's Birthday Quilt

This week I gave a birthday quilt to my good friend, Nichole.  The pattern is a Moda Bake Shop beauty called Picnic, and I used the Charlevoix fabric line by Moda.  I love the bright and cheerful prints on these fabrics.  Something about them reminds me of a county fair.

I was thinking along the county fair lines when I chose this banner design to embroider on the back. It just seemed to fit for a birthday quilt.

The verse for this quilt is Psalm 5:11

I did some straight line quilting to try to accentuate the graphic design of the pattern.  It didn't go entirely well for me, and my straight line quilting may more aptly be described as "wavy line quilting".  It was a learning experience, for sure.  However, one of my main motives for wanting to try it was getting to play with the accu-feed feature on my new sewing machine for the first time.  It was a dream!  The walking foot on my old machine was good, but very loud and "clunky".  The accu-feed system is smooth as silk, and I'm anxious to play with it some more.  I still need to figure out how to properly distribute the weight of a large quilt while I work so that I don't tug on the fabric, especially when I'm turning corners while quilting rectangular shapes.  That is where I struggled with the most distortion.

I mainly use free motion quilting, so the straight line endeavor is a new challenge for me, but I'm now determined to do some more of it soon to get some more practice.  (Any good tips out there?)

I used a scrappy binding, another first for me, utilizing left over jelly roll strips.  I thought it was a fun finish on this project!

I think Nichole really liked her present, and I hope she has as much fun using it as I did making it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nana's Birthday Quilt

One of my goals for this blog was to create a record of all the quilts I have made.  I learned to quilt in the early 90's, but put my hobby on hold when my kids were little and my days were full.  Last year my passion was once again sparked, and although my days were still full, I began to carve out time to reclaim my love of fabric.  :-)

I completed 12 quilts in 2010, and I'm going to share them here from time to time, so that I have my own complete record on this blog of what I've done and where it's gone.  As every quilter knows, each quilt becomes a friend, and they each take on a personality of their own.  I want to be able to remember the fun I've had planning and creating in days gone by.

This quilt was made last March for my mother-in-law's birthday.  Her favorite color is blue, and she has many jewel tones in her home.

I used the disappearing nine patch pattern and added sashing and cornerstones.

The back was pieced using extra charm squares.

 This one was field tested, as usual.  This is LEO.  He has a finely honed quilting radar and instinctively knows when there is something available to come shed on!

The fabric is Blessings by Moda.  I machine quilted this one using a stippling pattern in a tan thread that matched the backing.  It was my first (and only!) time to machine quilt using Coats and Clark thread.   Never again!  It was just too thick for my machine to handle well.

This quilt's verse is Psalm 28:7.  My daughter chooses all the verses for me, carefully matching each verse to the recipient.

I loved making this quilt, knowing that it was for a very dear woman!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Day = Sew Day

Last week winter came to town.  We had unusually cold temperatures, and a solid sheet of ice that relentlessly covered the city.  Local schools were closed for four consecutive days; a first in these parts!  Today we are enjoying snow day number five.  Amazing for the south!

My kids will be quick to tell you the injustice of being homeschooled is that you don't get snow days.  :-)  Of course, our neighborhood friends are all off school and eager to play, so the kids and I have struck some pretty savvy compromises.  They get extra breaks to play with friends, and that means a little extra sewing time for me too!

I gathered various Valentine-ish pinks and reds on my last visit to the quilt shop.  I started chopping them up rather arbitrarily with no real plan.  What emerged were two table runners; one for the kitchen table which is quite long, and another for the dining room table which is fairly wide.

Pieced runners don't count as finished projects.  The way I'm calculating it, I have a matter of days to get these babies layered, quilted, bound, washed, and on display.  I'm determined not to stash them away for an entire year.  I need this snow to stay on the ground just a tad longer.  I just love a good, tight deadline.

Almost as much as my kids love homeschooling on a snow day.  :-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For A Birthday Girl

Today I got to celebrate my friend Wendy's birthday with her.

Wendy is my local quilting buddy who keeps me motivated and inspired.

Her kitchen is a very cheerful blue and yellow.  (And she cooks like a rock star in it.  The woman can throw down some seriously good vittles.)  

My husband and I went on a date to the candle store and I made him smell every single blue, white, and yellow candle available.  He chose Sparkling Lemon, because it matched the runner best.  Oh, it smells okay too, which is rather handy for a candle that is the perfect color.  :-)

Happy Birthday, Friend!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pink and Green Stars

My favorite thing about making this quilt would definitely be playing with these fun colors!  This was made for a young lady with a hot pink and lime green bedroom.  Fat quarters were handpicked at the LQS based on color.  I chose the pattern based on two criteria; a relatively short deadline, and a desire to show off some of the larger scale prints, including some of those wild Amy Butler Soul Blossom prints.

When I saw this pattern by Stephanie of Little Lady Patchwork, I knew it would be perfect.

The back is pieced with a few scraps, and also a Kona cotton in a sweet shade of pink.

I always try to include a little hand embroidery on my quilt backs.  A simple script monogram worked for this one.  This quilt's verse is from Psalm 139:14.

I machine quilted it with a rather tight stipple, using a soft pink Aurifil thread.  I wanted lots of quilting so it would really pucker up; this one needed to be an extra cuddly quilt.

And I'm a sucker for a good pucker.  :)

I settled on a hot pink for the binding.

Love this quilt.  Love the recipient, too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Welcome to my new little space.  I have enjoyed keeping a family blog for the past three years, and am excited to carve out this new little spot specifically for sharing my creative endeavors.

My name is Brooke and I live in the south.  I have four children and I homeschool.  My oldest is preparing for college, my youngest is headed to preschool, and the two in the middle are busy brothers who are only one year apart.  My house is loud, busy, and usually messy.  I am perpetually behind in laundry.  I have a poorly trained dog, an over confident cat, a sweet and sociable bird, and a newly acquired bearded dragon.  They all live here to make sure my life never gets dull.

My husband is analytical, even keeled, and decisive.  I share none of his traits.  I live here to make sure his life never gets dull.

I use creativity as a way to embrace and celebrate chaos....and also to hide from it.  I love sharing ideas and being inspired.  Thanks for stopping by.  If you find joy and beauty in creative expression, please stop by again.  And again.  Let's be friends, and tackle life one quilt at a time.