Thursday, April 21, 2016

Me & appliqué

I've loved appliqué quilts for a long time. I've always wanted to make one but I was influenced/intimated into not making an appliqué quilt because I was told that it was too hard, it will take a long time & that I wouldn't like doing it. 
Well I decided that it was time to sink or swim & I joined an online BOM ( Block of the Month) that was going to have a lot of  needle turn appliqué in it. I don't think that I realized how much appliqué there was going to be. I'm the type of quilter that has to complete each step before I can move to the next step. Well month ones blocks are all done! Yeah! I'm now into month 2 blocks. There's one pieced block & 8 half blocks that have wreaths with leaves, ALL APPLIQUÉ! Oh my goodness. My original plan was to give the needle turn a shot but have some wool standing by to use just in case I didn't like the needle turn. Well I've done 3 blocks of just the vines & I think I'm doing ok. Here's my first ever needle turn appliqué! It takes me about an hour to do this stem. I'll get all of the stems appliquéd on & then I'll do my leaves. 

I'm also making good progress on my wool appliqué project. I'm at the half way point on the 11th block. Here's 9 of the finished blocks 

& the 10th block I finished this week, sunflowers😊

I started the wool project last August & I'd love to have the quilt top done by this August. There's still a lot of stitching to do but I'll give it my best shot. It's good to have goals. They keep you focused. 

I'm trying to do as much piecing as I can while working on the 2 appliqué projects. I've got some deadlines coming up that I will not miss! 

I hope y'all are doing well. I'm loving the weather here in Kansas. Cool & sunny☀️
More later on,


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Day 5 of the 5 day quilt challenge: Memories of family & the sea

The summer of 2005 my family went to the Oregon coast to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Everyone was there in one house. Lots of fun memories of that trip. One evening my dad came back from a walk on the beach & he handed me this starfish

Yes I still have the original star fish. I keep it in 2 plastic bags (one of which is a zip lock bag) becasue after 11 years it still stinks. No it does not smell like the sea, unfortunately. My Aunt Ruby (who is a master quilter/seamstress) said that the starfish would make a great appliqué. So the next day  a few of my aunts, my mom & I went fabric shopping. I got all of the fabrics that I would need for different star fish, sand & the ocean. My friend Liz told me after the quilt was done "Vicky you are the only one I know that makes their own souvenir". That night I had a machine appliqué lesson from Aunt Runy (She would keep a sewing machine in her car. Gotta always be prepared.) I was able to get a few of the star fish appliquéd before we came home.

Here's the quilt

I made this pretty early on in my quilting life. It very much stretched my skills at the time. I machine quilted it. (Which took forever) I think that I originally wanted to quilt in the blue ocean fabric but by the time the sand/starfish were quilted I was done!

I love it when scraps from this project pop up in my scrap bins. It brings back great memories. I hope that y'all have enjoyed seeing the different quilts. I nominate my friend Joeylyn Feverly for the 5 day quilt challenge.

Have a great day! More later on,


Friday, April 15, 2016

Day 4 of the 5 day quilt challenge. One of my favorites

I LOVE this quilt! It is one of my most favorite quilts & it's on my bed more than any other quilt. Here's the quilt stats:

Original dimensions (110x110) I've washed it so it has shrunk some.

There are 10,000 one inch pieces in the quilt using just shy of 19 yards of scraps. ( border yardage not included)

I started the quilt on November 11, 2012 & it was on my bed January 9, 2013, (69 days)

It's "Perkiomen Daydreams" by Bonnie Hunter (the pattern is in her very first book).

I had been wanting to make this quilt for a long time but I allowed the 10,000 one inch pieces to intimidate me. The holiday season of 2012-2013 I wanted monotonous sewing, just putting fabric under the needle. I decided that this quilt fit the bill. It looks very intimidating but it's not. You're making the same block 400 times. Lots of chain piecing ( I did not piece all of those tiny squares one at a time). The hardest part is putting all of the blocks together. You've got to follow the diagram. I would highlight each block as I sewed it to the next one on the row. At about the 2/3 mark I took a pic of my progress & showed it to Theresa & she found that I had turned 1 block 90 degrees the wrong way, DOH! Well it had to been taken out & fixed. 

This is the quilt that I hang at all of my presentations. It's a real attention getter & conversation starter. 

If you find a pattern that has you intimated by the piece count start it! Making a quilt like this is like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. You can do it!!!

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It's gorgeous here. I'm sitting on my front porch drinking my tea while typing this up & soaking up some fresh air & sunshine☀️

More later on,


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Day 3 o the 5 day challenge: Kiddo quilts

My kiddo has grown up in quilt stores. He used to be able to tell you which ones were the nicest to him & the ones that had the best toys. I started quilting when he was a year old. He doesn't remember life without quilts. I started raiding his closet today looking for the quilts that I've made for him over the years & WOW, the memories. I remember making these for him thinking that #1 He's so huge so I'd better make them big so that he'll be able to use them for a long time (He has outgrown many of them now).
#2 Maybe his kiddos will be able to use them & love them, knowing that their daddy slept under them.
Ok gotta stop, the tears are starting to build. I'm going to break the rules (though I'm not sure there are any & give you a few quilts instead of just one)

He loved (still does but not quite the same intensity) all things John Deere. My dads mom embroidered the tractor blocks & I put the top together. Theresa quilted it for me & did a fabulous job.

Here is a close up of the embroidered block

 I love the fact that my grandma & I both worked on this quilt for him. 

We did have to put it up because some of the embroidery was starting to come out. My kiddo loves & uses his quilts well!

I'd have to consult the quilt book full of my quilt pictures to remember for sure when I made this one. I think that it was one of the first that I made. We/Me had John Deere fabric coming out my ears for years. It brings back great memories when they pop up in my scrap bins.

I think that I started off making this quilt for his daddy. Turns out that it wasn't quite long enough & kiddo jumped on it & claimed it as his. I was starting to run out of big piecies of JD fabric & was using up what I had. It's got a green fleece on the back.

As kiddo grew up he requested that I make him a quilt. He requested that I make it solely from fabrics/scraps that I already had. (He's definitely his daddy's boy). I was starting to really get into all things Bonnie Hunter so I made him this quilt

This is her pattern. I can't remember the name for sure but I think it's "Hopscotch Butterscotch" from her second book "Adventures with Leaders & Enders". Learned some great lessons on this quilt. The main one is that when making half square triangles & you've drawn a line on the back that line is your fold line not your sew line. Once I grasped that concept it made a huge difference. I put a blue shaggy minky fabric for the backing & Theresa quilted bulldozers on it.

For his latest quilt I made him this 

He is all about the military. He especially loves all things WWII. I found this fabric for him while at Missouri Star one day. There is a previous blog post all about this quilt.

My kiddo will always be one of my favorite people to make quilts for. He's like me, in the fact that he attaches memories/feelings with objects. He knows that I poured my love for him into each quilt. He also uses them!!! That is one of the biggest compliments that I can ever have as a quilter. When I see you using the quilts it makes me happy. Baby quilts are meant for tummy time, to be spit up on, slept under & forts built from them.

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It's pretty spectacular here & I'm loving this weather. The sun is out, a nice light breeze & I'm not sneezing. More later on,


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day 2 of the 5 day challenge

Day 2

5 years ago my husband asked me to make him a quilt. He had some "rules" or requests in its making.

 #1 It had to take me a long time. I'm guessing that he thought that if I made a more intensely pieced quilt that it would take me a much longer time to make. It took me a while but I decided on "Ocean Waves". I love antique quilt patterns. The problem or issue that I find with them is that they generally have very difficult instructions on the construction. I found Bonnie Hunters "Ocean Waves" pattern on her website & knew that I could make this! It is the easiest pattern I have found to make this quilt. There are no Y seams!

#2 It had to take me a long time. Again I'm thinking that my dear husbands thought process was that if it took me a long time to make then I wouldn't be making as many quilts. I started this quilt in April of 2011 & gave it to him for our Anniversary in September 2011. There are a couple thousand half square triangles in the quilt but if you take them one at a time, they're not bad to complete :)

#3 I had to use his "Dirt Colors". I had not been a big fan of Civil War Repro fabrics. I like bold & bright colors so making this quilt with CW fabrics was definetly getting me out of my comfort zone. Thankfully the quilt store here locally had A LOT of CW scraps & I was in luck!

Here's Husband John's "Ocean Waves" quilt

He loves this quilt & is not a big fan of me taking it with me to my presentations. It always stays on his chair & he uses almost daily. 

I hope that y'all are having a great day. It's beautiful here. The windows are open, the flag is gently waving in the breeze & I'm getting ready to do some sewing. More later on,


Monday, April 11, 2016

5 day quilt challenge. The quilt that started it all

My friend Theresa Ward from Always Quilts nominated me for the 5 day quilt challenge. I decided to start the first day of the challenge with the very first quilt that I ever made.

It all started in January 2003. My mom thought that it would be a good idea if I started quilting. She & I would do the Saturday Sampler at Quilters Quarters here in Leavenworth. The plan was that mom would come up to my house after the meeting & she would teach me how to put the blocks together.

I sold the idea to my husband that the quilt was only going to cost me/us $5. The first month you had to pay $5. If you brought your completed block to the next month's meeting you could get that months block for free. I knew nothing of sashing, backing, batting & the quilting. Needless to say it was not a $5 quilt. I loved quilting! I thoroughly enjoyed the first Saturday's with my mom. It was shortly thereafter that I discovered scraps & the rest is history. I remember thinking that it was huge. Comparing it to the quilts that I make now it's kinda small, a good lap size quilt.

This 5 day quilt challenge is going to be fun. I hope that you enjoy it!

I hope that y'all are having a great day. More later on,