Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday - A "Real" Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt

It's finally summer!! It came a bit later this year because I taught a summer school session first, but it's finally here. I haven't done too much sewing or quilting (yet), but I did pull out this beauty to hand quilt the past few evenings.

This is a REAL Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt because my husband's grandmother hand pieced all the hexagons together. Each hexagon is about 1 inch long (I haven't actually measured) and there are 75 of the 'flowers' that make up the lap quilt.

His grandmother (who I met once or twice before she died) hand pieced the whole top, the flowers with the green hexagons, but then stopped there.  Her only daughter (my husband's aunt) had the top and showed it to me one visit a few years ago when she found out I liked quilting.  She does a lot of sewing, but not quilting.  I told her that I would love to finish it - it is just too beautiful and grandma put way too much work into it to just have it sit in a box somewhere! I don't know if you can tell, but she fussy-cut each and every flower print so that the exact flower she wanted would be in the center of the hexagon!

Of course with something like this, it just has to be hand quilted. So I made sure to tell Aunt H. that I wouldn't promise it would be done quickly! First I decided to applique the quilt top to borders (yellow on the right) because I didn't want to think about binding something around all the edges of the hexagons!

Now I'm doing the hand-quilting, which isn't what I usually choose for my quilts, but it's a nice thing to do in the evening or when chatting with visiting family. I had to take many months off though when I was pregnant (because I couldn't comfortably hold my hand frame!) and when my baby was younger (because I and my house seemed to be constantly covered in spit up and I really, really didn't want anything bad to get on this quilt!)

So now I'm back to it. Slowly... 19 of 75 flowers quilted. Not sure yet what I'm doing beyond that, but I imagine I have a while to figure it out.

Friday, February 1, 2013

String blocks update

I've got a few more of these done than last time, but only about half way! Next summer...?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sister #2 Quilt Finished

A few summers ago I made a quilt for Daughter #1's twin-sized bed.  It was made of a random pattern of charm squares and blocks the size of 2 or 4 charm squares, made mostly of Sweetwater's Sunkissed line, but with a bit of Kate Spain and Amy Butler as well.  That same summer, I made blocks using the same fabrics for a quilt for Daughter #2.

This time I randomly (meaning I didn't use a pattern or anything) made blocks that are square in square, except sometimes rectangle in square.  Obviously I didn't make up this idea, it's all over.  My mom asked me last week how I made them if I measured or just cut to size or what... and I had to say that I have no idea.  It was a while ago, I was pregnant... lots of excuses, but I don't really know how these blocks got made exactly.  But they did get made, I liked them, and this past summer I finished everything but the binding. And then it sat in my closet for 5 months.

But I love doing the hand sewing on bindings when we have house guests because 1) I can still do some sewing even though they're staying in the sewing room 2) it gives my hands something to do while we're chatting in the evening and 3) I have people around to entertain me while I am hand sewing!

So, after we were safely over the stomach flu this Christmas break, I did the hand sewing on the binding and finished it up! 

I probably wouldn't have finished it as quickly as I did, except Daughter #2 (who is three and a half) kept begging me every night to let her sleep under her quilt!  I couldn't let her because then it never would have been finished since I did most of the sewing once she's asleep, but I worked on it as much as I could find the time and finished before the end of winter break.

She absolutely loves the quilt! I tried to add another blanket on top of it tonight because it's going to be extra cold, but she wouldn't let me because she said she wanted to look at her quilt.

It is nice to make something for someone who really likes it!

Here are a few photos of two sister quilts.  Now, I just have to plan a quilt for Daughter #3... (I have a few years though before she needs one)

The quilt by itself.

It works as a playmat, too.

The happy quilt owner.

The big sister's quilt (with the baby sister, too)

Another view.

Both quilts together in a semi-clean room!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Little gift

My girls helped me pick out fabrics so I could make a little purse or bag for their cousin who's two and a half.  I used the April bag pattern found on Sew Mama Sew by Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson!  Except I changed the size because I wanted it to be small, for a little girl.  This is roughly 3/4 of the size of the smaller April bag.  I've made this pattern before three or four times and really like it - especially for quick gifts because there's no notions needed and only a bit of interfacing. 

Here's a few pictures of the finished product, including it being modeled by eager models.

The recipient liked it and her new plastic dinosaur fit in it perfectly, with the head and tail able to stick out the sides, so it was a big success!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas in July?

Colorado block

I finished my RTQA Colorado block!  I cut out all the pieces and sewing the half-square triangles in August... and trimmed the pieces Sunday and sewing everything together today.  Whew. 

I was hoping my blog wouldn't completely go dead outside of the summer months, but I guess I did name it correctly after all.

Though there are still more RTQA blocks left, I am finished with mine!  Not sure how I'll put them together or what I'll do.  I was going to try to mess around and think about layouts this afternoon when I finished... but this is how that turned out:

RTQA blocks... and baby

So, I'll put them away until I have some free minutes or a design wall so the baby can't crawl on the blocks.

Perhaps I'll have more to share in the next two weeks... I can hope!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

RTQA - blocks so far

I don't have the Colorado block finished, or even started, and it could be a while. However, I hadn't posted a picture of all my blocks together for a while, and since I remembered to do that the other night - here they are!  I did two of one of the blocks, can you find the two that are the same block?

I like the way they look - now, hopefully I'll finish the other blocks before next summer!

Monday, August 13, 2012

RTQA - Montana


The Montana block!  I also have good memories of Montana - I took a great trip to Bozeman for a college cross country bonding trip, and also had a good time at an undergrad research conference in Missoula the same year or the year after.  I like Missoula a lot more than Bozeman though, Em! :)

I liked this block a lot, too!  I was happy with how I was able to make the block what I envisioned, which I wanted to be slightly different than the given fabric numbers/designs. And without really any problems it really came together.  No complaints (except with the quality of the picture - I took this late at night)!

Three (or was it four?) blocks in three days! I am totally a streaky quilter/seamstress!  I'll get in the groove and sew a lot, and then I'll go a week without touching my machine.  (or, in the school year - I'll sew non-stop for a weekend, and then not go into my sewing room for 3 or 4 months!)  I'm trying to get better at this and this summer I've been trying to do just 10-15 min of sewing even when I'm not really 'in the mood' but still I'm pretty streaky, and it will probably get worse in the school year.

Anyone else a streaky quilter/seamstress or is it just me?  Can you identify what starts or ends your streaks?  I have my theories on this for myself, but mostly it's a complex issue, I think!