Saturday, August 6, 2016

a tribute

I just lost a dear aunt.  A kindred soul, really.  We were not related by blood - she married my mother’s brother.  She was one of very few people I’ve known that I always try to emulate.  
She was a crafter so I thought to honor her I would share a few of the things she made that decorate our home.

A rather modern pineapple by 1985 standards!  She must have known it would work as my decor changed over the years.  I still love it!

This was made to welcome my daughter.  Her room, like everyone’s, evolved as she did.  As the paint colors and themes changed over time this one item has always remained - at Halle’s request!  Fun fact:  At Halle's wedding my aunt and uncle won the "longest married couple" dance.


And this beauty was our wedding gift.  Can you see that the borders are stitched in the ditch and then she tied each block?  I remember her talking about having it spread on the floor of the living room while she got opinions from my uncle on how to arrange those log cabin blocks.  

her Sally
More than anything she would want to be remembered as a friend to all animals.  Cats were her favorite.  She spent lots of hours over many years volunteering at her local animal shelter.  How fitting that the morning of her last day I was visited by a stray cat.  He meowed at my screen door in the morning till I got him a piece of cheese.  He hung around most of the day.  I haven’t seen him since.  I think she was stopping by to say good-bye.

Rest in Peace Dearest Aunt Georgeann.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

a quilt for pulse

It’s been a very hot summer.  I haven’t been sewing lots but I have been sewing and today I want to quickly share about a world-wide charity quilt project I’ve been participating in.

 
After the shooting at the Pulse night club the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for heart blocks to use to make quilts for the families of the victims.  You can read about the project here.
Both guilds I belong to joined in the effort by volunteering to make complete quilts to send to Orlando.

I made a few blocks to donate to the Detroit Area MQG’s quilt.

And I volunteered to sew together blocks that others made for the Ann Arbor MQG.  

I quilted and bound this one as well.  I spent awhile trying to decide how to quilt these colorful hearts.  Ultimately I chose a simple, free motion stipple.  I love the the cozy texture of a stipple and hope the family who receives this quilt will, too.

the back
You can see more of the beautiful quilts being made for this project here on Instagram.

Praying for peace to fill all our hearts and overflow into our world.

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

lake house quilt

I live in a state that is actually two peninsulas.  Most of Michigan’s borders are defined by 4 of the 5 Great Lakes.  Within the state are literally thousands of inland lakes.  (I’m not going to trust Google for a number!)  Needless to say, we are all about fresh water here.  Like many children in Michigan, my husband and I grew up in families that spent most weekends at cabins or camping on the lake.  We are blessed to have raised our girls doing the same.  So, when scrolling through my Instagram feed I saw that Michelle Curtis was looking for pattern testers for her new Lake House Quilt, I raised my hand!

I absolutely love this pattern!  It’s fresh and modern and will work in any & every lake house from tent to mansion.

I would classify this pattern as a perfect skill builder.  It has a little of everything:

Simple patchwork and tiny detail piecing.

Foundation paper piecing and long straight fast seams. (Use your pins!)

And lots of color play!  For my quilt I used fabrics from Carolyn Friedlander's Doe, Carkai, and Botanics collections.  (Our neighbor's son came home with this sweet boat just in time for a photograph with my quilt top!)

The pattern is written oar by oar so you could easily add to or delete from it.  Someone commented that just one oar would make a darling table runner.  The only problem there would be choosing an oar!


My goal in quilting this was to make it look like ripples in water.  I'm not really sure I achieved that but as Angela Walters says, “Finished is better than perfect.”  For the backing I used this popular Ikea print from my stash which was the perfect width for this quilt.  I used Quilter’s Dream Dream Pink batting from my Valentine’s Day prize because, again, it was the perfect (throw) size!  I was a little afraid of the pink showing through that thin white backing but it doesn't at all.  It's a very nice product and thank you again to Quilter's Dream!  (Dream Pink is currently available on Massdrop.)
  
It was an honor to be chosen to test this fun pattern.  Again, you can find it here, just in time for summer in Michigan.  

Life is better at the lake!
 
I'll be linking up with Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

bright yet neutral

Another baby to welcome!  The new mama is the daughter of a friend…and my daughter’s friend.   I love when it works out that way! 
I used my Tri Recs ruler and bright solids to make 3” blocks then grouped them together pointing different ways.  I didn’t want to create any patterns here and I love how some of them turned into arrows or diamonds - and some didn't.  The gray background is the popular Essex yarn dyed linen-cotton blend.  I love that it gets softer and softer with each wash.  
I quilted it with these varied “organic” straight line blocks.  I tried hard to not let the quilted blocks line up with the colorful pieced blocks.  Then I switched to monofilament thread and stitched in the ditch outlining each of the colored triangles. 

I had not originally intended to use the ultra thin Quilter’s Dream Cotton request loft batting but ultimately glad I did.  This quilt finished up being very lightweight - easy for Baby to drag around as it gets older.  The back is an Ed Emberley organic cotton print by Cloud 9 that I had in my stash.  (Still available here.)

No wrapping was requested so this one is just rolled & ribboned and ready for gifting.  
(And yes, I washed it after photographing!)
 
I’ll be linking up with Let’s Bee Social.
Have a great week!

Friday, May 6, 2016

frances firefly

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I went to Sewtopia in Atlanta.  Time flies!  As do these beauties…

This is a yet to be released pattern by Elizabeth Hartman called Frances Firefly.  She was, obviously, one of the teachers.
I used mostly fabrics from a jelly roll of Elizabeth’s Rhoda Ruth collection.  My background is a new Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic fabric.  It’s amazingly soft.  I don’t usually pre-wash my fabric but I did with this.  It washed beautifully and was very nice to work with.


I quilted this with jagged lines.  I was trying to copy how fireflies move.
Interesting fact:  Originally I thought Elizabeth was off using white for the “lights” on her quilt.  I was planning to used the new super bright Kona highlight for mine.  A quick Google search taught me that fireflies light up in different colors in different regions.  The highlight color was really fighting with all the bodies so I decided to copy Elizabeth and just go with white.


The back is all this brooch print which is also from the Rhoda Ruth line.  
Can you see how the background glistens here?  It was hard for me to capture in a photo - even on a bright sunny day. 

I’ve been to a few retreats now and it always amazes me how different everyone’s projects turn out based on fabric choices.  This was one time where EVERY SINGLE firefly was beautiful!  Modern fabrics, batiks, solids, neutrals, people who used all values of one color, or a few different colors.  Beautiful fireflies were fluttering around the room.  If you have a chance to make this - even one firefly - I encourage you to go for it.  You will not be disappointed.  You can see some others here on Instagram.  Really, check out #francesfireflyquilt.  They're all amazing!



Also teaching at Sewtopia was Denyse Schmidt!!!  I only got one block of her new Freewheeling Single Girl pattern done and (realistically) expect to finish this by fall.  I’ll share all about the awesomeness of meeting her then.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms and happy weekend to EVERYONE!

I’ll be linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Let’s Bee Social.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

a book!

I participated in the Michael Miller Challenge for Sewtopia again this year .  We each received 6 fat quarters and were able to make ANYTHING we wanted.  Last year I made a quilt, this time I made a book!  I would do a few things differently next time (like maybe look for a tutorial on how to bind the pages) but I'm pretty happy with this first attempt.  The block patterns are all by Lorna McMahon at Sew Fresh Quilts.  The verse is by me.  Enjoy!





 





A few of the particulars:
  • I used the embroidery function on my sewing machine for the title.
  • Ella's tail is a simple crocheted chain stitch and her ear flaps!
  • All the eyes are buttons from my collection except Ben's which are pieced from MM fabric in my stash.
  • The background for all the animals is Cotton Couture in Candlelight.  
 
Linking this fun project up with Let's Bee Social of course!  Thank you Lorna for such fantastic and fun patterns.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

DAMQG charity quilt

I’ve joined another quilt guild.  The Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild.  They call themselves the DAM girls - so that gives you an idea of the fun they have!

They work together on charity quilts.  Each month the group is given directions to make one block. (Or two if you’re on a roll!)  At the meeting one person volunteers to take all the blocks home and sew them together into a top.  At the last meeting the volunteer was me!

March’s blocks were all black and white.  Yes, this is a color photo!

There was no rhyme or reason to creating a pattern with these 25 blocks so I just randomly sewed them together.  The prints read in all different directions no matter which way you look at it.  I like it!

And speaking of prints, look how cute some of these are:

 Sheep and bridges...
That's a map of London!
Oh those kittys!
 Look, someone threw in a curve!
Bikes and running shoes!

I made a backing with some bright colors to contrast that front.  Still gender neutral for any recipient and I think age neutral as well.  This quilt will go to a local children's hospital where they care for all ages.

I free motion quilted this with meandering rectangles - an obvious (and easy) choice for these blocks.  I added a black and white binding.

I won 3 packages of batting from Quilter’s Dream on Valentine’s Day!  (Yay!)  I used one of them in this to #payitforward!

 Have a wonderful week!

Linking up this group effort with Let's Bee Social on Wednesday and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.