Monday, April 26, 2010

Good Morning Sunshine

This is a bright & colorful quilt I made from a kit called Good Morning Sunshine. I made it for a friend's first grandchild born in February. I know I purchased the kit when I worked for Fons & Porter in Winterset probably sometime between 2004 & 2006. I loved the colors then & still do. I sure hope baby Ben is enjoying it, too.

Here's the label I created on my embroidery machine. I had to add the label several weeks after the quilt was given at the baby shower, so I opted for a narrow strip placed on a forty-five degree angle since it worked well with the quilting that was already in place. I only needed to "unsew" two small areas on the binding in order to permanently attach the label. I like the look better than the traditional square labels I have used in the past.
Okay, don't be too shocked, but I have another post coming in just a few days. It's been busy winter with record snowfalls, so I had lots of time to sew. Now I'll be playing catch-up with my blogging.
What have you been doing all winter?
Keep on stitchin'

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quilt Labels

How do you label your quilts, or maybe the better question is 'do you label them'? In my40 years of sewing & quilting I just started using labels in last 5 years. When I worked for Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting I discovered it to be a common practice among quilters. I think I had hesitated before then because I didn't want it to appear as though I was bragging about my work. I now realize that it is important to document your work for posterity's sake. Someday somebody will want to know who made the quilt, when, & for what occasion. I own a few antique quilts that I wish included this important information. One was made by my great-grandmother & although it isn't a fancy piece, it would still be special to me to have that documentation.

This is a photo of the label I attached to the quilt I made for our church. It is machine embroidered & sewn into the binding. I almost always machine embroider my labels, but sometimes put the information on the binding, folded around to the back side of the quilt. All the important data is included, but it's less obtrusive than some big square in the corner. Another thing I try to do is to use either the same fabric for my label as the back of the quilt or something I used on the front. Sometimes I use a motif from the front especially if it is a whimsical theme, such as for a baby's or child's quilt.

Tell me your favorite way to label your work....

Keep on stitchin'


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Faith Quilt

Our church recently converted an under-utilized room behind the sanctuary into a cozy, inviting coffee nook. In the 70's someone had decorated the room with dark paneling & orange shag carpet ~ sound familiar? In the late 80's or early 90's it had another makeover. The paneling was replaced with walls in stark white and the orange shag got tossed in favor of the burgundy carpet being installed in the sanctuary. The room was much improved & used as a chapel for quite some time. In the last few years it had become more of a catch-all storage area until this fall when it became the new Coffee Chapel. It recently got a new coat of warm beige paint, but the walls were begging for decoration. I found this panel at Hobby Lobby & knew it would be the new Coffee Chapel quilt.
I had to buy two panels in order to get enough fabric to have matching borders on all four sides. (I still have the second center panel, minus the borders...any suggestions?) They had a coordinating print that I used for the corner squares, back & binding. I was please with the over-all result & the background matches the wall color perfectly. Sometimes things just work out!
Let me know your ideas about what to do with the leftover panel.
Keep on stitchin'

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up

In September a friend of ours celebrated his 50th birthday. His wife planned a surprise party for him & this is the gift I made him. He is on my husband's high school football refereeing crew & he also loves to barbecue. In my mind the natural gift was a personalized apron. (I have fallen in love with aprons, so watch for a post soon about them.) This is a design I created several months ago to make some towels for the guys on the crew. Seems many schools forget to provide towels (along with soap & hot water sometimes) for the refs. Go figure! By the way, this is my husband modelling the apron. Isn't he a doll?!

I can't believe how quickly the weeks have passed since my last post. I have been busy at the sewing machine as well as several other activities. The highlight of my creative life lately was the AQS show in Des Moines in late October. I attended all four days of the show, three with my sister & one with the rest of the gals in my sewing group, Sew Much Fun. Besides the beautiful quilts and fantastic shopping, I attended a couple of interesting lectures, too. Ami Simms was the speaker one evening & she had everyone rolling in the aisles with her anecdotes. Nadine Ruggles, author of Inchie Quilts, gave a three-hour seminar about blogging. Now, don't you think that should have inspired me? She had excellent information for us, some of which I hope to incorporate into this blog (eventually). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay for the entire three hours as it was also my youngest grandson's first birthday party. Couldn't miss that now, could I?

Leave me a comment to let me know what you've been working on. The holidays are fast approaching & if you don't finish that project soon, you'll be caught up in making gifts for everyone else & it will have to wait until January.

Keep on stitchin'


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pretty in Pink (& White)

Just had to post pictures of my "project-of-the-week". No, not the little girl...she's my granddaughter. I'm talking about her outfit. This is a pattern I purchased at the AQS show in Des Moines last October & I decided I better try to get some of the patterns I purchased there made up before I attend the show this year. The design is by Suzanne Sievers. I think all of her patterns are just adorable.
It's been a long time since I have done much garment construction, adult or child, & I think my skills are a little rusty. Having raised two daughters (& a son), I made lots of clothing for them as they grew up. Seems like every time I turned around, somebody needed a new outfit. Of course, Halloween was the best, but that's post for another day.
This pattern uses a purchased sweatshirt. You cut the bottom off, add a ruffle & trim to the remaining top to make the jacket, then turn the bottom of the sweatshirt upside down, insert elastic into the ribbing to use as a waistband & add another ruffle & more trim to finish it. I think it turned out pretty well, but I did find it's not as easy to sew for a child when you don't have any of their clothing for comparison on size. I intend to make another similar one for her in black & pink. Hopefully, the fit will be a little closer.
Okay, here's your mission, should you decide to accept it...pull out at least one project that you've been procrastinating about &, if you can't finish it, at least do a little work on it. You will have a wonderful sense of accomplishment for at least having tried & you will be that much closer to completion.
Keep on stitchin'

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

I made this quilt a little over two years ago for a good friend's newest grandchild. I searched coloring books for simple drawings & then used them to create applique' shapes for the blocks. It's made from flannel & designed specifically to match the nursery theme. I actually fused all the pieces on & then satin stitched around each piece before completing the top, layering & then quilting it. Had I been more proficient with my new (at that time) HV Designer SE, I could have done much, if not all, of the applique' work in the hoop. Back then I just wasn't familiar enough with the 4D software to be able to digitize the designs. I might just have to try making it again just to prove to myself how much I have learned about my software.
By the way, if you'll notice, in the center block I embroidered the baby's name & birthdate. His first name is Uzziah. I had never heard of it before, but have been told it is the name of a king in the Old Testament.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mystery Project

Were you aware that President Reagan declared September as National Sewing Month? Well, now you are, so get busy sewing (not that I need a reason)!
What do you think of the these fabrics? They are from a line called Housework Whenever! by Sharon Yenter for In the Beginning fabrics. Take a really close look at the drawings. Most of them have to do with sewing instead of cooking, cleaning, etc...very tongue-in-cheek, but they certainly tickled my funny bone. I saw them yesterday & knew I just had to have some. Not only that, I knew everyone in my sewing group (Sew Much Fun) would want some as well! Okay, that was probably a little presumptuous, but when I showed it to them today, of course, they all loved it. My sister & I cooked up (no pun intended) a project for them, but we've decided it will remain a secret. As a matter of fact, we told them they wouldn't even know what the project was until they were well into making it. We've called it the Mystery Project & it is scheduled as part of the Christmas festivities during our December meeting. In the meantime, I intend to make mine. Sorry, I won't be able to post any pictures of it here until after December 1. (If you're not part of my small group & absolutely can't wait to find out what the Mystery Project is, send me an email & I'll fill you in. If it's next week or later I should have it done & will even send you a picture.)