Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Birthday Bag of Bags

Some time ago I made my daughter a set of rainbow bean bags.  I actually made two sets, and tucked one away for a future occasion.  A recent invitation to a neighbor's birthday party provided the opportunity to get out the bags, fill them up, and get them ready for a very special little girl.

These were so much fun to make.  They are a great scrap buster too!  My older boys enjoy them as much as my four year old.  There's something satisfying about tossing bean bags.  :-)

I used some scraps from my Valentine's quilt to make a drawstring holding bag.  This was my very first drawstring bag, but it certainly won't be my last!

What a quick and easy (and incredibly useful!) project.  I loved making this.  It is fully lined, with a squared off bottom.  I googled for tutorials on drawstring bags and combined several techniques to come up with my own pattern.  It is incredibly easy to do.

A perfect gift bag for a special homemade gift!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Birthday Bag

I bought two charm packs of Lily Ashbury's new line called Tradewinds for a quilt.  The minute my daughter saw them she begged for me to repurpose them into tote bags.  The bright colors and bold patterns in this line are just like at first sight that demands instant use!

The color scheme is a departure from my norm, but these brights are so much fun to work with.  I used a simple market tote pattern; very basic with straight line quilting, a boxed bottom, quilted handles, and a small pocket in the lining.

We found the bling at Joann's - two for one, no less - so I'm obligated to make the second tote.  :-)

This one was for my daughter to give to a friend on her 19th birthday.  The report was that she liked it a lot.  It makes me so happy when my kids and their friends appreciate the homemade stuff.  Now I have to make the second tote for my daughter.  Hers will have a paler color for the lining. I  have it all layed out on my sewing table....just need to get to work.

Then I also need to go buy two more charm packs so I can have them on hand for their originally intended purpose!  :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day broght a little crafting this year.  I made an ipad case for my Mom.

I put a quilted pocket on the front to hold her charger.

My favorite part.  :-)
I think I need to start adding tags to everything.

I didn't have a pattern for this...I just made it up based on a basic zipper pouch concept.

I also made a set of tissue covers.  One for each lady at our mother's day luncheon.
I followed the quick and easy tutorial from The Cottage Mama.

They were fun to make, and practical too!

Paired with a pack of pocket tissues, they made a fun and quirky gift, considering there are lots of spring sneezes this year in the south!  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Star Spangled Table Runner

There is a church around the corner from where we live that offers an amazing music program for children.  My son has participated in choir there for the past two years with several of his friends.  This week was their huge spring performance....a circus theme, and my son played a clown.

The woman who directs the youth choir is a talented, generous, patient soul who my son adores!  This week marked her 20th anniversary of working with the children at this church.

My son wanted to do something special for her to mark the occasion.  I've never even met the woman face to face, let alone knowing anything about her color schemes or decorating preferences.  In situations like that, I find that going seasonal is pretty safe.  I figure even if people aren't into "crafty" or "homemade", maybe they would display a seasonal item briefly each year?

So I decided to go summer-y with red, white, and blue.

I found this pattern for free online by doing a google search for quilted table runners.  (Sorry!  I can't seem to find the link again.)  The pattern called for only ten blocks, which was super small, so I added five more.  Honestly, I would have liked it to be even bigger, but I had a major time constraint.  So, this is more of a topper than a runner.  Maybe that will give her more options for places to put it?

I really like the play of color and design, both of which are on a very petite scale.

This is where I got a little greedy.  I purchased fat quarters for this project, and when it started coming together I really liked it.  

A lot.

So much so, that I abandoned my original plan of using my left overs for backing because I wanted to hoard the fabric and make a second topper for myself.  (blush)

Instead, I pulled this small print from my stash and simplified my design for the backing.

The verse Hannah chose for this project is Exodus 15:1
"I will sing to the Lord,
for He is highly exalted."

Perfect for a choir teacher, right?  ("C9" is her signature.)

We purchased a mason jar, some red marbles, a patriotic bow, and a bunch of carnations to include with the gift.  My son went out and gathered some greenery to add to the fullness of the bouquet.

It makes me really happy that my pre-teen considers something homemade to be a special way to honor someone he loves.  He thanked me many times for taking the time to do this for his teacher.  I hope he doesn't outgrow his appreciation for simple, homemade art!  :-)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oma's Quilt

Of all the quilts I've made, I really do think this one gets top billing as a favorite.  I made this for my Mom for Christmas in 2010.  My kids call her "Oma", which is German for Grandmother.

The pattern was adapted from a Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  The "recipe" called for a layer cake, and I substituted charm squares and added borders.

I'm consistently drawn to Fig Tree fabrics.  The color palettes that she uses are always directly in line with my liking.  But this Fresh Cotton line was particularly captivating to me.  So soft and fresh.

I love the tiny, dainty prints and the general "old time" look of these fabrics.  The colors are intense, yet calming.  It's just a great look.  I think this pattern really showcased the fabrics well too.

I stippled this quilt with a creamy yellow thread.  I did this on my old machine (my new one was a gift that year!) and the thread gave me absolute fits.  I bought it for its color, but the entire experience caused me to forever pledge my loyalty to Aurafil, which is my FAVORITE brand.

I went whole hog on the back.  I usually piece quilt backs because in addition to giving it a fun look, it is far more economical.  However, I bought yardage of my favorite print for this back.  It was a worthwhile splurge.  This print completely reminded me of the wallpaper in my grandmother's spare bedroom that I used to sleep in as a little girl.

I love this fabric.  Bunches.

The flower basket embroidery design was a freebie from my LQS, and the verse Hannah chose was Psalm 33:4.

The Lord has indeed been faithful to my sweet Mom in so many ways throughout the years.  I knew she would be grateful for the reminders of that truth.

I couldn't believe my Mom actually let me put the new puppy on her quilt for photos.  :-)

(I won't show you the ones where the dog has big mouthfuls of this quilt hanging from her jowls.  That would only prove upsetting to my mother.  Hee hee...)

Thanks for letting me share Oma's Quilt.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gran Gran's Quilt

I mailed a quilt yesterday to a very special lady.

I made this for my husband's grandmother.  Can you believe she is almost 95 years old and just lately moved into assisted living??  She has been active in her apartment at that location for many years, hosting bridge club and working on her artwork.  She recently transferred into the assisted living portion to get a little more help with her daily doings and meals.

My MIL suggested that GG might use a light weight lap quilt in the air conditioning.
A reason for a new quilt??  I'm on it!  :-)

This is the embroidery design that I did for the back label. It was a free pattern from birdbrain designs.

The front of this project is pieced using fabrics from  a fairly recent Carrie Nelson line.  I thought the bright and happy colors were good for springtime, but they were too light, in my opinion, to back a quilt that was made for function.  I was so happy when I found this April Cornell print at Joann's.  Although I wasn't specifically looking for green, the overall print coordinated with the rest of the fabrics, and it was dark and busy enough that GG can put this to regular, vigorous use without having to worry about spots, stains, or spills.   

I designed the pattern myself, and made it small enough to be used as a lap drape while sitting in a chair.

It is my daughter's job to choose a verse for every quilt I make.  She chose a Psalm for GG.

"I trust in your unfailing love;
My heart rejoices in your salvation."
Psalm 13:5

Here is the quilt in my favorite corner.  (Never model a quilt that you are about to mail away in your favorite corner.  It makes it hard to part with!  Ha!)

GG is an artist and writer, and has completed hundreds of paintings, sculptures, rugs, and books in her lifetime.  The painting on the wall is one she did of her husband, who was an avid fisherman.  It is one of my husband's very favorite paintings.  We "share" it with one of his cousins....we agreed to trade it back and forth every few years so both of our families could enjoy it.  The green pot on the little wooden chest was also made by GG.

I admire GG for her creative spark.  Papa (in the painting) was an amazing artist in his own right as well.  They shared a love of creative endeavors, and his many of his sculptures are on display in the community where they lived.

It's always fun to start a project when you know from the start who the recipient will be.  It gives you time while you're working to really think of that person, recount memories, and give thanks.

GG has two children, five grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren......and one new quilt.
This has now been sent to Kansas to live with GG.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Golden Oldie

Today I'm sharing one of the first quilts I ever finished.  I made this in 1994.
It was a Christmas gift for my parents.

Clearly, powder blue and mauve were all the rage in '94.  :-)
Why I decided to pair it with that purple floral background?  Anyone's guess.


It's funny to see how fabrics change, but I do still love a good old fashioned sampler.

This pattern was a sampler class that I took at a LQS.  I originally made this in Christmas fabrics, then reused the pattern to make this quilt.  That original Christmas quilt is still just a topper, packed away in a cedar chest waiting to be quilted.........someday!  (Maybe.)  Hard to get motivated on some of those golden oldies!

Mom still keeps this on her guest room bed in springtime.

I'll always be sentimental about this one.  I was so proud to have finished a quilt!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Well, Shucks

I have a feeling this recent development may cut into my quilting time.  :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Kate's Quilt

I'm rather tickled with the latest project to roll off the machine.  It's always fun to get to work on a small project in bright spring colors!  My neighbor just had her third baby girl in less than four years.  She has her hands full!  In an effort to get to know her a little better, I thought it would be fun to put together an over the top GIRL quilt.  So, I pulled out the sweetest, brightest, most feminine colors I could find.  This is an older Moda line....Spring Magic, I believe??

I designed the quilt myself based on the types and amounts of fabrics that I had available.  Of course, this design begged for straight line quilting, which always gives such a clean and classy look, but I did add some stippling in the vertical striped border, just to add some interest.

I backed this one with a solid piece of yellow micro-dot.  I normally piece my quilt backs and add a hand embroidered label.  Since I had not done that here, I felt the back was just too plain.  I went to bed last night wondering what I could add to give it a personal touch.

Then it hit me.  So I got up, turned on the lights, grabbed a needle and two lengths of embroidery thread, then crawled back under the covers to stitch this little lamb. I knew if I didn't just get up and do it I would lay awake thinking about it, which probably would have taken twice as long.  :-)

(I know.  I have quilting sickness.)

I pieced together odds and ends to make a scrappy binding, which also gives some extra color to the back.  I just love polka dots, and the micro dot seemed like a great fit for a little baby.

I did a running stitch to make a circle around the little lamb, which served as the perfect guide for this quilt's verse, which is from the book of Matthew.

But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me...For to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

The little label made me very happy, and compensated for the simple backing.

My favorite part of the quilt is this little monogrammed panel on the front.  Emma loves fairies right now, so that was my inspiration in choosing this little design to embroider.

It washed up beautifully, and is completely soft, crinkled, and cuddly.  It is all bundled up and ready to swaddle a mighty adorable little baby girl.

Thanks taking a look at my latest!