Friday, December 31, 2010

Pick-Up Sticks Quilt



Here is another one of the quilts I made for Christmas this year. This one was for my husband and me (finally a quilt I get to keep!).

The inspiration for this quilt was an art print I saw online. My husband and I both really like abstract art, so I looked at a bunch of art for inspiration. I thought this particular print was so cool, I decided to just make it into a quilt!


Pick-up Sticks by Isabel Lawrence

By far the hardest part of this quilt was finding all the fabric! I decided to redo our bedroom in light blue, various shades of gray, and black. I found the blue pretty easily, and I dug through my stash for gray, but the only gray fabric I had was a fat quarter. Luckily it was perfect. So then I had to buy tons of gray fabrics, mostly online, and could only use about half of them because the rest were the wrong shade -- I didn't realize how many different grays there are! And how many of them are really PURPLE. Anyway, once I had all the fabrics, I printed out a black and white copy of the art print, enlarged it a little bit on the copy machine, figured out the scale (i.e. 1/4 inch on the picture equaled 1.25 inches on the quilt) and then had to figure out all the measurements for each little section, cut and sew it all together. Easy. Except for when it was done, the center measured 4 inches smaller than the top and bottom. So there was a bit of fudging at the end, but who can tell?


I put gray minkee on the back and quilted it with straight lines 1/4 to 3/4 inches wide.



Here it is on the bed...it turned out even better than I had hoped!


I made these little matching quilted pillows with the leftover scraps.


I had too much fun quilting dandelions onto this one...



:)


Monday, December 27, 2010

Lakeside Resort Charm Quilt



Here is one of my latest quilts. I made it for my little brother and his wife for Christmas. This is the first year that we have done a gift exchange among my siblings, and the limit was set at $25. I wanted to make a quilt for their gift, but with such a small amount to work with, I didn't think I'd be able to do it. So I was all ready to get them a camera bag for their new camera. Well I was browsing in a local quilt shop the day after Thanksgiving and happened to see two Lakeside Resort charm packs on clearance. I had seen the line before and just loved the blues and greens, so I picked them up, thinking I'd make myself a lap quilt to take in the car or something. There was also a cute stripe print that was not part of the line, but matched really closely, so I got a little of that too. Once I got the stuff home, I started looking for a cute pattern to make, and ended up throwing one together in EQ6. By this point, I had done the math in my head and discovered that if I used fabric I already had for the sashing, borders and backing, I could easily make this quilt for my brother while spending less than $25 in new materials. So that's what I did.


I must admit that this is the first quilt I have ever made using charm packs. In fact, these are the first charm packs I have ever bought. Call me crazy, I like to have yardage! Anyway, it was pretty easy and fast with all the squares already cut, so I think I'm a fan. The only frustrating thing was trying to lay it all out and wishing I had more of one color or print and not having it. Anyway, I got it all put together and quilted it quickly (all hail the pantograph!), then I just went ahead and bound it with the matching stripe. Once I had the binding on, I totally hated it. I threw it on the couch where it sat for three or four days and every time I looked at it, I thought, there is no way I can give this away as a gift! I hate it! I told my husband how much I didn't like it now that I had ruined it with the now glaringly NON-matching striped binding and he said, "It's because it has too much brown in it!" (He hates brown).



In the end, I decided it was too late to find another gift, so I would just have to give it to them and hope they didn't hate it too! And then I took pictures of it. And I thought the pictures made it look so pretty. So I changed my mind...I do like it after all. And more importantly, little brother and his wife like it too! :)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas...to me!

This year I definitely made a couple quilts as Christmas gifts...so I can't post on them quite yet. In the meantime, here is the present I made for myself. I also made copies for my parents...grandma...and a couple other people. (Act surprised if you happen to get one!)



Yes --a calendar of all the quilts I finished this year!



And here's the back cover...with thumbnails of all the pictures that are inside.

I am getting the calendar printed on Zazzle.com. This is the first time I've ever made anything on their site and I haven't received the actual printed calendars yet, so I don't know how the quality is...but they had the best deal for the size - 14x22" (open) on sale for $15 plus shipping. I'm excited to get them and see how they turn out. I did all the words, cropping and back cover in Photoshop - I am definitely not a Photoshop expert, so it took me a little while to figure out how to do what I wanted. And in my classic style, I was frantically binding quilts, taking pictures (in the snow and freezing cold) and messing around with the editing on the last day of the calendar sale. But it wouldn't be Christmas for me without a crazy stressful finish, would it?!

(edited 12/28/10 to add: I got these tonight! Yay! They turned out great! The quality of these is excellent! I love the huge size--it looks so professional! Next time I will change the resolution on the page I made in photo shop-- it was a little fuzzy--my mistake! Oh well, all the pictures look great! I'm going right downstairs to hang it in my studio!!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lori's Quilt



I finished this quilt last week but I have been waiting to post on it because it is a surprise for my little sister Lori (other sisters, don't be jealous!). I sent it off today, and then I decided that the odds of her actually reading this before she gets it are pretty slim, so here we are. All I can say is hip-hip HOORAY that it is finally done! It only took me 3 months, but I was planning on just busting this one out! My cute little sister Lori moved out of the house and far away to college a few months ago. She is at the same college I went to my 3rd year, so I've been reminiscing a little bit about the good ole days. Anyway, I was talking to her when she first moved into her new apartment (back in August) and she was telling me how her room totally didn't match because she had a red comforter, brown accent pillows and blue carpet. So I decided to make her a little "apartment warming" quilt that would hopefully tie it all together.

This quilt was experimental in pretty much every way! I used fabric colors and combos I have never even thought of using, techniques I have never tried, and fun things with the quilting that I've never done before. The end result was pretty good I'd say...for an experiment :)

Lori's quilt was inspired by this quilt:


by Ashley at Film in the Fridge (free pattern here)

and this fabric:


"Groove" by Caleb Gray for Robert Kaufman

I bought the main fabric (Wild Thyme by Carolyn Gavin for P&B) before I really knew what I wanted to do with it because it was really the only thing I could find that had red, brown and blue in it (that wasn't hideous). I had seen Ashley's cute quilt on the Robert Kaufman website and thought about using that pattern someday--but I didn't think it would work for this quilt, since the main fabric I wanted to use was lighter colored...and I thought it would look goofy with white sashing...and I wasn't too sure about using red or blue or brown as the sashing either. Well then I saw the groove fabric and it gave me the idea to use the print fabric as the outer border, the solid colors as the inner border and brown for the sashing. So once I had the idea, it was relatively quick to put it all together. I read through the pattern for Ashley's quilt a few times, but I must admit I was totally confused by the instructions...so I just kinda did what I thought would work, and luckily, it did. I've never been good at random...and my brain generally requires some semblance of order in my quilts, so at first it was a little rough to make up each little block as I went along--but once I got the hang of it, I decided it was actually pretty easy.



I wanted to use Minkee for the backing, so I ordered what I thought was the right stuff...but oops! It was really furry. Luckily the place I ordered it from (fabric.com) has free returns, so I sent it back and got the right stuff the second time. Anyway...after the quilt was all pieced, I was so sad that the cute fabric I had used had been cut into pieces so small you couldn't really see how cute it was...there were all these little flowers and birds and stuff...so then (being the genius that I am) I decided I would just quilt some of those flowers and birds onto the quilt! So I traced some of the designs from the fabric onto a piece of paper, scanned it into QuiltCAD (the love of my quilting life) and made my own pantograph!





Quilting it took me a while since I had made this brilliant, however very detailed, pantograph. Plus, to top it off, I made it just barely too big for the space I had to quilt in so the quilting is a little shaky in some spots where I would hit the frame with my machine (oops! lesson learned!) But it is finally done!



After it was all done, I decided I actually like it...I still don't know if the red and blue really go together...but it had to be done. I think if the red were green instead, I might have been tempted to keep it :)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pink, Orange & Brown Stripey Quilt #2



So here is a picture of my most recently finished quilt...which is funny, because I pieced and quilted it back in May. I posted a few pictures of its twin in my very first post...when I was still in the process of quilting this one. I made these for my 2 little girls when I redecorated their bedroom. But back then I wasn't really in a hurry to finish this one, since my baby hadn't even been born yet. Well...baby girl is five months old now, and this quilt has been sitting in my quilting room, unbound, for that long. I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to use for the binding-- but this morning I just decided to pick something and get it done!


It's quilted exactly the same as the other one, in an all-over swirly flower meander - which was so fun to do!



I ended up binding it in the brown large floral -- and I am really happy with how it turned out (now why didn't I think of this 6 months ago?)! The best part is that the binding is really scrappy! When I finished piecing the quilts, I took the small bit of fabric I had leftover and fussy cut a bunch of the flowers to make matching shadow boxes to hang on the wall in the girls' bedroom. So I had to hunt down every single little scrap I had left and piece those together for the binding-- and I just barely had enough! Yes!



And speaking of those shadow boxes...here is a picture of them. Yes, sometimes I do random arts and crafts besides quilting. These shadow boxes were pretty fun to make. This is the second time I have put stuff in these particular boxes, and this time was infinitely faster and better because I learned about liquid starch--and how fabulously it sticks fabric to --well to whatever you want to stick it to! The backgrounds are fabric, and the flowers are a mixture of fabric and acrylic paint. I thought they turned out well for the minimal effort I put into them. I also made a matching valance, bed-skirt and crib sheet. And now I have the second quilt to complete the room! Too bad I am already thinking of changing up the color scheme again...hmmm... guess that means I'll have to make more quilts!



:)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby Boy Circle Quilt



Here's my latest quilt. I made it for my friend Teri's baby boy- Brendan. I've been on a little bit of a circle kick lately, because I think they're cute and fun to make! I used the same method to make the circles as I did for my other circle quilt. Then I used a water-soluble pen to draw grid lines onto the big white piece of fabric, and placed the circles evenly inside the squares. I ironed them on 3 rows at a time and pinned the centers with a safety pin (just in case) and then sewed them on using a blanket stitch.



The animal print is Alexander Henry's 2D Zoo in Pool...I just love this print--and I only have it in one more colorway (it's the brown one) and as soon as i make a quilt out of that one, then I think I can give it a rest! All the circle prints are from various Riley Blake lines, and I don't know why, but I just love them too.



I wasn't planning on putting the 2D zoo on the back because when I first bought it, I only got a little bit and didn't want to buy more because it was a little pricey. But one day I was at Joanns and they were having a big sale so the cut line was really long. As I was waiting in the line, I happened to notice a bolt of this fabric in another girls cart! I thought she must have brought it in with her to match fabrics or something, but I watched, and sure enough, she got some of it cut! It was in the nursery prints section for $10/yard - they had called it something else on the label, but it was the real deal Alex Henry stuff-so I snatched it from the pile of fabrics that were waiting to be put away --and bought a few yards at 50% off! Score!



I debated (for at least 2 days) how to quilt this. I drew tons of little sketches and looked at lots of pictures of circle quilts online, but I couldn't come up with a good plan that wasn't going to take me forever! So in the end I just outlined each circle, and then did a smaller circle in the middle - so it sort of echos the rings that are on most of the fabrics. Then I did something I truly regret! I used stippling around all the circles. WHAT? I know, I know! I strongly dislike stippling. I always have! But I have never tried it on a quilt before, and I was reading this book on quilting backgrounds, and it says that every quilter should have stippling in their bag of tricks (or "in their repertoire" was the wording I think she used). So I decided to try it...and I learned two things: One, I am not very good at stippling, and Two--if I don't like it on other people's quilts, I probably won't like it on one of mine. Momentary lapse in judgment. Well at least now I can say I have tried it!



I bound it in the darkest blue from the animal print, and I can't decide if I like it or not, but it's too late now! Overall I think it turned out pretty well!


Ahhh...baby quilts are fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beth's Quilt -- Blogger's Quilt Festival Quilt



This is a quilt I made as a housewarming gift a while ago for my cute friend Beth. We met when I was a missionary in Texas and quickly became good friends. She and I can talk for hours and hours about anything and everything, even if we haven't talked in a really long time! Beth is 20 years older than me --almost to the day (our birthdays are 1 day apart) but you would think our ages were reversed...she runs and hikes and bikes and skydives --and does a lot of other really cool stuff I wish I had the energy (and/or guts) to do! She's a mom to 4 boys and is one of the nicest, most generous people I know! She is an amazing woman!

Shortly after I left Texas, she and her family decided to move to Idaho (where she is originally from) and build a house. And when I say build a house, I mean, they built it themselves--and Beth did most of it because a lot of the time her husband was still working in Texas! (Like I said, she's amazing!) When I found out she was moving, I decided to make her a quilt. (She probably would have been just as happy with a wind chime or something...but any reason to make a quilt is a good reason in my opinion!)



I used the pattern "Bear Country" by Debbie Field, (with a few modifications of course...I can't seem to follow a quilt pattern without changing it a little). I had a chance to visit the area where Beth was moving, and it is so pretty and peaceful-- so when I saw this quilt pattern, I loved that it had all the pictures of log cabins and bears and fish and elk and all the stuff that reminded me of Idaho. I added the night scene with the mountains--Beth's house is really close to the Tetons, so the mountains are supposed to look like the Tetons, although I must admit, they were harder to make in fabric than I thought they'd be!



Luckily it took them a little while to build the house, because it took me a long time to get the quilt finished! I found most of the fabrics for the quilt at a local quilt shop, and I made most of the quilt pretty quickly but then got stuck when I couldn't find the fabric with the little bear paws on it--or anything to replace it. So a few months later I happened to be at Quilt Market, and I ran into Debbie Field (the pattern designer), and told her of my dilemma and she gave me the phone number to a fabric shop that carried the fabric (score!). So I was finally able to finish the top. Well then I had a baby and moved across the country and it took me another year to get it out of a box and get it quilted!

This was a really fun quilt to quilt! I free-handed everything, going around all the applique shapes, and then making clouds, trees, grass, bear paws, etc. for the backgrounds and borders.



cute Beth with her quilt

So when I finished the quilt, of course I had to sit and admire it for a few days before I sent it to her. I love to do that when I finish a quilt...after all that work there's nothing like FINALLY finishing a quilt! Makes me wonder what Beth thinks every time she looks at the last project she finished...


Beth's beautiful house!


Here's the quilt on her guest bed...makes me wish I had thought to make it bigger!

Enjoy the rest of the Festival!!

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival


Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Quilt



This is a quilt that my friend Teri and I made...this quilt is actually what really started our friendship. She bought a couple of these Halloween panels last year and was trying to figure out what to do with them. I had seen the coordinating blue candy corn fabric previously and we both loved it...so I bought some of that, she gave me one of the panels and I started making up designs in EQ6. We started emailing back and forth and talking on the phone a lot plotting the quilt. Anyway, we decided on one of the designs and I started making one for her and an identical one for myself but I didn't get either of them done in time for Halloween, so onto a shelf they went. Last month I pulled Teri's back out and finished piecing it, and she quilted it. (Of course mine is still not done, going to have to wait until next year to be finished!) But Yay for another unfinished quilt--finished!


Love these cute little ghosts and bats!
(From the book Simply Continuous Holiday Fun by Anne Bright)



Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

J-A-C-K-P-O-T

A couple weeks ago I went to Las Vegas to see my in-laws. The second night we were in town I checked online to see if there were any quilt shops close by that I could drag my mother-in-law (Kristy) to when we went shopping the next day. I started google mapping and checking out the websites of the closest stores to see which ones I wanted to check out. Well it turned out that one of the shops was going out of business and was having sale that was supposed to have started that day. Everything was 2$ per yard. TWO DOLLARS PER YARD!! So I ran in and told Kristy that there was a change of plans (we were supposed to go get pedicures in the morning, and then go shopping) and we HAD to go check out this fabric sale. I was a little worried that it would be totally picked over --since the sale had started that day...but I was still excited to check it out--I had a hard time going to sleep that night! So the next morning we got up and got to the shop right when they opened. Us and EVERYONE else in town. When we walked in, there were two ladies walking out saying "Not even going to mess with that!" Pretty much every bolt of fabric in the entire store had been grabbed and there were 2 really long cutting lines snaking around each end of the room. Everyone had bolts and bolts of fabric in their piles...it was nuts. So I grabbed a few fat quarters (50 cents each) and a couple random bolts that were ok and got in the cut line. Kristy (who doesn't even like fabric) did the same. There was a minimum 2 yard cut per bolt, but not everyone took the whole bolt, so we stood in line for the next 4 hours and I kept leaving my stack and going back around the store, picking up more and more stuff. By the time we got out of there, we had about 250 yards of fabric between the two of us. It was AWESOME! I also learned while standing in line, that the shop had been closed the day before because of some plumbing issue, otherwise the sale would have started and it would have all been gone, so I really lucked out! Some of the fabric wasn't what I would normally buy...but I kept saying to myself "quilt back!" And seriously, for that price I couldn't pass it up! I had to ship it home because I couldn't fit it in my suitcase! Well it arrived a couple hours ago, so I have been going through it all and making plans for it! I'm so grateful to sweet Kristy who was willing to forgo a pedicure to stand in line for 4 hours for stuff she doesn't even like! It was seriously a JACKPOT! Best fabric shopping trip EVER!


Such a fun little pile of random fabric!


Lots of scraps and fat quarters


My sweet Madi-- she loved the pink Vespas so much, she made herself a little blanket out of it and decided to just lay down on the pile. She is definitely my child!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alex's Wedding Quilt



So we came back from a little trip to Kansas City last week and in the mail was a wedding invitation for Alex, one of the kids I used to babysit. (Yay for weddings!) The kids I babysat were like my second family while I was a teenager--I was with them most days after school and every weekend for years. I would even drive home on the weekends from college to sit for them. The kids and I had so much fun, and their mom even set me up with my husband. Anyway, I told their mom to let me know a little in advance when the kids were getting married so I could make them all quilts, but I'm guessing she forgot! The wedding is this weekend in Utah, so I won't be able to go, but I am patting myself on the back right now because I just put the quilt in the mail. There is nothing I love more than a deadline to help me finish a quilt fast!



Luckily I picked up a little fabric when I was down in Kansas City, and when I bought it, I didn't really know what I was going to do with it-well wouldn't ya know, it was the same colors as the wedding invitation. I know it's a little silly, but whenever I don't know what colors the bride and groom will like, I just copy the colors from their invite--I figure they must like them if they are on the invitation! So I did have to pick up a few more fabrics in town, and then order a little more online--otherwise this quilt really could have been done in one or two days. Most of the fabric is Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson and The pattern is from the lap size layout library in EQ6 and I just rearranged the fabrics in the program until I liked them. And I did a swirly pantograph for the quilting...SO fast and easy!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Baby Quilts!

Here are a bunch of pictures of most of the baby quilts I have made. In the beginning I didn't take pictures of some of them (what was I thinking?) --so here are the ones I took pictures of. I have been keeping a webshots album with my quilt pictures, but since I started this blog I have quit updating it--so I figured I would try to get pictures of all my quilts in one place--here are the baby quilts. Wedding quilts, and other random quilts to follow in a future post.


The Cowboy Quilt
I made this quilt for Stacy--a lady I used to clean for. She was having her 3rd baby and told me that she had wanted her mom to make a baby quilt but her mom said no. So I volunteered to make her one. The theme for her nursery was cowboy...so this is what I came up with. I made up the pattern for the border, and used the cutest little scrapbook picture from My Minds Eye that I enlarged for the center. I learned a lot of things about making up my own patterns, and I became a big fan of applique!


I found the fringe at Joann's and all the outlining and details are done with a super tight zig-zag. (The rope took forever!) A lady at my work did most of the quilting (it was my first time using a long arm machine and I was a little scared of it--I thought I was really going to mess it up--so she did most of it for me).


The Giraffe Quilt
This quilt actually started out as "the bug quilt". I found these 3 cute little bug pictures that I wanted to put on a quilt, but they were kinda small, and I couldn't figure out how to make them look cute as appliques - so I used fabric paint and painted them on white fabric and made this quilt up around them...but I didn't love it. So I threw it in the closet and let it sit for a while. Then one day I decided that a giraffe would be the perfect thing to put in the middle of this quilt! So I yanked out the bugs and replaced them with a giraffe. I still have this quilt, since I made it for no one in particular. Below is a girly version of it that I helped one of my friends make.





Butterfly Flower Quilt
This is my first commissioned quilt ;) I made it for my grandma who wanted it as a Christmas present for my little brother and his wife who were having a little girl. (I think my cute grandma just wanted an excuse to give me money--I would have done it for free!)
It is very similar to this quilt I made for my daughter, I just used bolder colors and added butterflies to the border.




The Clock Quilt
This is an Amy Bradley design. I made this for my daughter.


I had WAY too much fun quilting this one. For the border squares, I printed numbers out in Word, cut them out, taped them to the fabric and used a ruler to go around them. Fun, fun!



Baby Alien Quilt
This is another Amy Bradley design...sort of...the original pattern makes a twin sized quilt (I have the twin sized top finished...waiting to be quilted...) but I decided to make it into a baby quilt...so I reduced the aliens on the copy machine, changed the layout, added the checkered border, and the rocket ship. It was for my nephew, Jason.





The Sheep Quilt
This is another quilt I made for my first baby...the pattern is Slide show by Atkinson designs. I wish you could see the sheep better...they are quilted into the big squares.