Saturday, November 27, 2010

Finished Weihnachtsstollen Quilt

I started this quilt back in the summer, but then put it away to work on other projects. I wish I hadn't because then I had to scramble last week to finish it. It was a Christmas present for my mom and I wanted it ready for her to have out the entire month of December. We set up her Christmas decorations yesterday.

This was my first try at a disappearing nine-patch pattern. I like how the design worked out and the colors are great for my mom.

Weihnachtsstollen Quilt Front

For the quilting, I straight-line quilted 1/4" on each side of the sashing strips, then I quilted concentric squares within each set of blocks. I love the design it created on the back.

Weihnachtsstollen Quilt Back

It was a nice surprise for my mom Thanksgiving morning. My dad told me yesterday that my mom stops to look at it on her way to the bathroom, which is saying something since she usually doesn't stop for anything when she's gotta go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finished Pillow Talk Swap Pillow Revealed

So I was planning on waiting until my partner received this pillow before posting the full image shots, but since a blizzard is on its way (who knows if I'll lose power) and the pillow is due to arrive on my partner's doorstep tomorrow, I figured I'd go ahead. Besides, I've never been that good at waiting patiently anyway.

Final PTS4 Pillow

The pillow came out pretty much exactly as I had sketched it. Although, I made a mistake that I didn't catch until the pillow was completely finished. Can you see it? (The butterfly block on the right side of the second row was supposed to be in the middle position on the bottom row where the elephant block is and vice versa. But since the people I asked couldn't pin point the mistake, I decided to just leave it as is.)

For the back, I stitched a baby elephant holding its mama's tail onto some linen/cotton blend fabric, which I also used as the sashing on the front. I initially planned on using a yellow kei honeycomb dot for the other half of the back, but then decided those yellow elephants needed to be there instead.

Final PTS4 Pillow

My sister drew this cute little elephant for me and then I printed it out, traced it onto my fabric and tried stichery/embroidery for the first time. A girl in my quilt guild pointed me to the Stitch School blog, which has really great instructions for different types of stitches. I'm not into some of the traditional embroidery styles, but it will be fun to try other stitches on other projects.

Final PTS4 Pillow

So there you have it. It was so much fun participating in this swap. I hope my partner loves the pillow as much as I do...I almost didn't want to part with it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

PTS4 Sneak Peeks

I stayed up late Friday night to finish my pillow for the Pillow Talk Swap (1 in the morning to be exact). I'm getting ready to ship it to my partner tomorrow. Here are a few sneak peeks for your viewing pleasure. I'll post full pillow shots once the pillow arrives on my partner's doorstep.

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Sneak Peeks

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Sneak Peeks

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Sneak Peeks

This last photo makes me smile. One day, the mister was shaving and decided to leave a mustache and crazy sideburns. I snapped a picture of him. For an early Christmas gift, he bought me a mug with this photo on it so I can enjoy it during this season of hot chocolate drinking. The other side of the mug says, "I'll be your hot cocoa lover." Hilarious. (And yes, I'm glad he only kept that look for one day.)

The pillow is making an appearance in the background.

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Sneak Peeks

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Favorite Little Quilt Swap

There's this swap on Flickr that I signed up for that's a bit different from traditional swaps. It's called My Favorite Little Quilt Swap. How it works is everyone who wants to participate makes a mini quilt and then emails photos of the quilt to the administrator. After all the quilts have been posted (deadline is December 3), we vote for our top 10 favorite quilts. The more votes your quilt gets, the more likely you are to get a quilt higher on your list of top ten. Make sense? Anyway, I wanted to participate in another swap and thought this would be a fun one to use some scraps. Not only did I want to use scraps, but I wanted to do minimal cutting. Here's what I came up with:

When I made my Life Is What You Make It quilt back in the spring, I had lots of little squares and strips left over. I used them to make 16 mini log cabins for the center. I added a border in Moda Bella Snow and then another larger patchwork border in some charms cut in half lengthwise. Easy peasy.

With my huge to-do list, I opted not to add a binding. I was tempted to stitch something on the back, but had to nix that idea since I didn't have much time to devote to this mini quilt. I did, however, add a couple tabs for hanging the quilt if the recipient is into that sort of thing.

For the quilting, I stitched diagonal lines through the corners of the log cabins. Then I did a decorative stitch in the white border and a different decorative topstitch around the edges.

Quilt stats:
Fabric: Make Life by Sweetwater; Moda Bella Solids in Snow; goldenrod fabric from Joann's
Size: approximately 16.5 inches square
Quilting: straight-line grid; decorative stitches
Top pieced: November 6, 2010
Backed, basted, and quilted: November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Log Cabins for Pillow Talk Swap

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions on the fabric choices I had selected for the Pillow Talk Swap. The previous photo didn't show the fabrics accurately, so they appeared more neutral than anything else. I did add a couple blue fabrics for that pop of color, though.

Log Cabins for Pillow Talk Swap

I'm pretty sure I've decided on a design so I made three log cabin blocks today. They measure about four and a half inches. I love these bikes.

Log Cabins for Pillow Talk Swap

I hope it all comes together the way I imagine it. I have something fun planned for the back, but I've never done anything like it before, so I hope it turns out. Most importantly, I hope my partner likes it. I've decided that it's hard to get a feel for someone's tastes just by looking at pictures they favorite on Flickr. Ah well, I'm sure everything will turn out fine. I'm sure I'm just stressing about it for no reason.

Friday, November 12, 2010

PTS4 Fabric Audition

I'm auditioning a few fabric combos for my partner in round 4 of the Pillow Talk Swap. Here's one with oranges, yellows, greens, and a bit of linen. What do you think? Too drab?

Pillow Talk Swap 4 Fabric Ideas

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Baby Quilt

Megan, if you're reading this and don't want to see your baby shower present, please stop reading this.

Back when I made my first baby quilt, the mister's cousin wanted it. I told her I would make one for her when she had a baby. Well, she's pregnant with her first and we're having a shower for her on Thanksgiving. I pulled out the Make Life charm packs I had bought to make her quilt and decided that I wanted a different design that would allow for a bigger quilt. I asked if we could do a different design and she said sure. So, I went for a simple patchwork quilt with about one inch strips for the sashing. I'm hoping to get it basted tonight so I can start the quilting. Afterall, Thanksgiving is only two weeks away. Ack!

Thanks also to all of you who commented on my cathedral windows pillow. I wanted to reply to each of you, but time got away from me I hope you'll all know how much I really appreciate all the pillow-love sent my way.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Finished Cathedral Windows Pillow

Although my to-do-before-Christmas list is way too long, I took some time last night to finish my cathedral windows pillow. I added an ivory and green grass border to the front so it would be big enough for my 20" pillow form. I initially thought about having a navy border too, but felt like the colors needed a little more balance. Now I'm wishing though that the ivory border were smaller.

As I was browsing Flickr for ideas for the back, I saw this and decided to use the same design. I had the perfect amount of fabric left over for the little strips and thought the design lent itself well for what I was going for, which was a simple yet formal appearance to mimic the formal, sophisticated look of the front.

Looking at the back this closely tells me I need a 1/4" guide to help me get straight seams when they're this narrow.

This was a fun project to work on. I'm planning on making a companion pillow with the same color scheme, but it will have to wait until after the holidays.

Linking up:


Kelly's Korner


Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ho-Ho Holiday Swap Fabric

Gen X Quilters Holiday Swap

I joined the Ho-Ho Holiday Swap a little while ago and received two of three fat quarters from the gals in my group. (The third one should be coming soon.) We were put in groups of four and were instructed to mail three red, green, or white fat quarters to each member of our group. We were then paired up with a partner out of that group and are supposed to make an ornament using at least one of the fat quarters we received. Here's what I've been sent so far.

Don't you just love how it's folded? I haven't wanted to unfold it since it's so cute.

The fabrics don't go well together AT ALL, so I hope the third fat quarter I get blends well with one or the other. Otherwise, I'll grab something from my stash. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but the reds are totally different.

I've been trying to come up with a small project idea for my brother-in-law because he loves coke. Maybe I can make him a warm drink cosy or something.

For kicks, I looked through this book my mom has had since the 70s for ornament inspiration. I didn't find much, but it was fun to look through.

Some cute appliqué. Love that train at the top.

The paper mobile on the left reminded me of this from Erin at Two More Seconds.

Although the photo picture quality is pretty terrible, I love the lime green and red combo in these decorations.

I decided on the ornament design for my partner, but I want to keep it a secret until I send it to her. It's not a traditional Christmas design, but I think I can make it work. I'm excited.

Have you participated in any swaps that you've totally loved? I want to get involved in more, so I'd love to hear about any you've participated in.

On an unrelated note, I may be MIA until after the weekend. The women in my church group are getting together for a craft day on Saturday (Super Saturday) and I was silly enough to put myself in charge of four of the six projects we're doing. The mister (bless his soul) has to make 175 cuts of wood for me tomorrow. If I survive the weekend, I'll show you the Christmas sewing I've been doing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

I was looking back over the quilts I've made this year and realized that there's only one that I really really love, but I entered it in the quilt festival last time. So, inside of looking for a quilt I really loved, I instead tried to find a quilt I was proud of having made, and it's this charity quilt.

My brother-in-law asked me a few months ago if I'd be willing to make and donate a quilt for a silent auction his neighborhood was putting together to raise money for a boy with cerebral palsy. Since I only started quilting in January, I haven't had many opportunities for charity projects and thought this would be a great way to give back. After all, my family has been the recipient of some wonderfully charitable people over the years.

I set out to find a design that would work well with the jellyroll I planned to use. I ended up finding three designs that I liked and worked to fuse them together.

I wanted the back to be pieced so there would be more versatility to the quilt, thinking maybe someone would want to bid on it more if they could almost get two quilts out of one. So I sketched out the back...

and was able to break out of my "single fabric collection shell" a little bit by adding some fabrics from my stash that coordinated nicely - a good exercise for me.

I liked how some of the cuts came together to make a design I hadn't anticipated.

And I worked hard to improve my skills, carefully quilting and binding the quilt, forcing myself to take more care since I wanted it to be of good enough quality that someone would want to bid on it.

All in all, I'm really proud of this quilt. Not because I love the design, but mostly because I tried harder to do a better job to make a product that someone would want to own.


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