Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday #7 Amy Butler quilt all finished and some pillow talk

Well it's Wednesday again and this past few days have provided some very generous sewing time.  I have been a busy girl.  I got my Amy Butler quilt all bound and finished.  I also made it a friend- a matching pillow with 4 extra blocks I had left over.  I love making pillows and really love to have matching pillows with the quilts I make- so nice to have a set.  I also spent HOURS quilting teeny tiny pebbles and some pretty feathers on a pillow for my mom's birthday which was on the 25th.  It is a few days late, but hopefully worth the wait.  To make this pillow I dug into my stash of designer samples from a friend who is an interior designer.  There were some lovely silk fabrics in my box and I decided to make it a luxury pillow all done in silk.  I did a simple patchwork design as to not take away from the complex quilting.  My mom is always complaining that the first pillow I made her gets stolen by my dad- so I decided on this one to put her name right on it- MOM in the middle of my feather heart, so there would be no confusion as to whom it belonged.  I really hope she loves it.  I have some glamor shots of my AB quilt and pillow at the park and some MOM pillow shots as well, including one with a quarter to give you all a feel for the scale of the tiny pebbles- they were really fun to quilt but sooo time consuming.  I spent around 7 hours quilting those pebbles- a labor of love for a woman who truly deserves something super special.   I currently have no works in progress and three finishes... Let's see what next week brings!

of course I am linking to Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 27, 2012

Amy Butler quilt all finished and a small addition

Over the weekend I got to finish up my Amy Butler Love tube quilt - sewing the binding on and clipping the last of the stray threads.  I also made a matching pillow with 4 extra blocks I had lying around.  Sunday we took the dogs for a walk in the park and I got took my quilt and pillow along to do some glamor shots- hope you enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to my lovely Mom

She was 22 years old when I (the first born) made her a mom in 1978.  She kissed all my boo boos, made me healthy homemade food, sewed pretty dresses for me and introduced me to Musicals.  She supported my hopes and dreams and has always been a shoulder to cry on when I needed her.  I remember her sewing when I was young and always having sweet homemade gifts to give- it has inspired me to be the sewer I am today.  Though she is not a quilter and I can't follow a pattern to save my life we have found common ground and appreciation in each others talents over the years.  There is nothing more special to me then a cup of tea (cuppa) and a long chat with mom.  Today is her birthday- 56 years young and I wish I could be there to hug her.  I miss you mom- and look forward to spending more time together soon.  I have a present in the works for you but it isn't ready for pictures yet, so instead I show a picture of us with my Dad and my two dogs Moose and Juki.  This was a happy memory, their first time meeting my two precious baby puppies.  And I also share our favorite tea- Swee-touch-nee, a kosher tea that you may find in the Grocery store, but you can definitely get on Amazon if not.  It is THE BEST black tea- and if you enjoy a cuppa with your mom or daughter then this tea is just perfect.  Hope you have a great birthday Mom, I love you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday #6 Amy Butler Love Quilt all Quilted

This week I am proud to report that I got my Amy Butler Love quilt all quilted.  Feathers and Swirls and Swirls and Feathers all done.  I used aqua blue thread for my feathers and lime green for the swirls, I did this because the quilt is for me and I wanted to see all the pretty stitches.  I love this quilt from the back as much as from the front- the square in square pattern created by the quilting on the back is really fun.  Now all I have to do is bind it and I can start enjoying it in my living room.  I don't typically keep the quilts I make so this one felt like a luxury from the start.  It took up all my free time this week so that is all the progress I have to report.  As for next week I have already pulled fabric for a quilty gift for my mom's birthday on the 25th. She has been requesting some new pillows for her new house, but I am committed to doing what inspires me- so we will just have to see what I come up with. 
I am linking to Lee's Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 20, 2012

Amy Butler Love all quilted!

Time has not been on my side lately- it has been hard to find the time to complete the quilting on this Amy Butler love quilt- but today my BF had a guest who stayed much longer then expected and I was able to actually finish quilting this quilt.  I am very happy to report that every feather and swirl is all done.  I am very happy with the result.  It is funny how doing a repeated design over and over on a quilt improves ones skills- I can actually see the improvement in both designs from the areas I began to where I ended.  It was great practice for me, and the joy of making quilts for yourself is you have the freedom to not focus on every stitch being perfect but instead really try to grow and improve both speed and precision as you go.  I have loved the quilting process and though usually you would hear me say it was over too soon in this case it went longer then I wanted and I am ready to move onto the next project.  I will say I have had some sew right and so wrong moments with this quilt.  I think the sew right moments were the visible improvement in my designs and the gained speed in which I could accomplish them.  The sew wrong moments were varied- like accidentally having the edge fold over while quilting and having to rip out hundreds of little stitches- not fun.  Or the quilt top itself not being as flat as I normally can achieve based on the fact that every seam is a bias- and even though the back is nice and flat and tight the top is a little bunched in a few areas.  It is fairly minor but made the quilting a bit of a challenge- and basting this quilt was no fun at all due to these small waves.  I always knew I wanted to quilt feathers in the gray areas of the quilt- as I LOVE quilting feathers.  To me a quilt is not as good as it could be without some lovely feathers- this is a personal preference, but this quilt is for me- so feather away!  I wasn't sure what design to use in the print areas- but got some very good advice from the lovely Angela a very very accomplished quilter and personal hero of mine.  I was originally thinking of quilting a meandering stipple in the solid areas, but after looking at my quilt she thought a swirl might look better- and I have to agree that she was right.  When you get advice from a pro like her you have to be glad she is giving you her attention and take it to heart.  I am very glad I did.  I just have to bind this and it will be all ready to live on my couch.  I am so glad to be this far- it was unexpected to get this extra time today but a gift I took full advantage of and phew! done!
back shot

one of my reasons for using contrasting thread is I wanted it to be as pretty from the back as from the front

feathers and swirls in aqua and lime green

the edge on the back
full front shot

thought the feathers pop from the front the swirls are more subtle

block from the front

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday #5 Dresden plate for my Grandma

Well it's Wednesday again and I have a super special project that I am very excited to share with you all.   I interrupted my progress on my AB tube quilt to make my lovely Grandma a birthday present this week.  Monday was her 78th birthday, and I spent all day Sunday working feverishly to get her special gift done in time.  I made her a 35"x35" jumbo Dresden plate wall hanging quilt.  I chose fabrics I thought would look in place in her home and the Dresden plate because she loves applique.  This quilt was fun and easy to make, but I spent most of my time quilting it.  My Grandma has recently taken up free motion quilting, around the same time I did, 9 months ago, and she has been my biggest supporter and fan in this learning journey.  I took this opportunity to do my very best work for her- to show her what I could do and to inspire her to keep working at it.  She has already seen the pictures of this and it is in route to her now via the USPS- I simply can't wait until she gets it in person and it takes it's rightful place on one of her walls amongst all her own lovely quilts.  In a true expression of love I even hand sewed the binding - which is something I truly do not enjoy- but for her it had to be perfect.  It was a good week for accomplish goals- and the quilt is something I know will be cherished- which really makes me smile. 
Finished Projects: Dresden Plate mini quilt
In Progress: Amy Butler Tube quilt

I am linking to Lee at freshly pieced

Monday, February 13, 2012

Celebrating my Grandma

my Uncle Rick, myself and my Grandma this past Christmas
My fabulous Grandmother turns 78 today.  She is one of the most important people in my life and one of my main inspirations for starting to quilt.  She is a fabulous quilter herself and her passion for her craft has been instrumental in my own love of quilting.  I only wish I lived close enough to her to give her the gigantic birthday hug she deserves today.  I made her a special gift for her birthday that I am so excited to share.  She loves applique and I love Dresden Plates- so I combined both of our loves in a mini quilt especially for her.  This quilt measures 35x35 inches and is designed to be a wall hanger.  She has her beautiful quilts hanging all over her house and I am excited to have my quilt hanging amongst her fabulous works.  I quilted feathers in the dresden petals, pebbles in the center and and a meandering stipple in the edges.  I also hand sewed on the binding - which is something I would only ever do for my beloved Grandma.  I don't enjoy hand sewing at all, but she always hand sews her bindings on, so I went the extra mile just for her.  I wanted her gift to be perfect.  I hope you all enjoy seeing her gift and Grandma if you are reading this, it is on it's way to you and Happy Birthday.  I love you always. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP Wednesday #4 Quilting Quilting Quilting...

This week has been a busy one for me, unfortunately not with sewing but with other obligations- so I don't have too much to show.  I spent the better part of the week dreaming about quilting the Amy Butler quilt I am working on but finding the time to actually baste and quilt it seemed almost impossible.  I did finally get some time to do so yesterday and made a little progress.  I will say that basting this quilt was no fun at all- all the edges are on a bias and it didn't want to lay flat.  I would recommend to anyone else trying this quilt or one with the same tube technique to make sure they are using a 1/4 inch quilting foot and are very very careful with their seams, and also you probably want to spray starch like crazy before cutting the fabric.  This will help you immensely in the basting and quilting process... I wish I had that advice before doing this myself, but lesson learned.  Despite my challenges the quilting is coming along and I have some progress shots to show.  I have no other WIP's and no finishes, for now I am just quilting quilting quilting.

I am linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced