Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Magic of Christmas...Sorta

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is holding a stitch Along for Christmas here.  Chelsey and I have decided to work on the blocks.  I want my quilt to be bigger so each block pattern I'm making two.  I have chosen black and white--at least for right now.  Not Christmas-y but I'll use it a lot more.
My first blocks:

I love seeing quilting from a new set of eyes--- Chelsey's.

'Mom, how big do I make the squares before I cut them?'  I hadn't studied the pattern, but Lisa';s instructions have always been really accurate.  I looked at the pattern-- '1-4 1/4" ,  To a seasoned quilter, I completely get it.  But I called and read it to her." one square four and one quarter inches... "Oh, that's what that means-- I had no idea."

It's fun sharing it with her.  I'd make a seam and send her a cell phone photo.  Technology is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rainy Day ---

Never leave home without it..... a hand sewing project.

It's been raining off and on this afternoon.  I've been enjoying myself --- catching up with Carolyn and hand stitching on wool applique.

Hoping for and early season completion.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Falling Charms

The clock on summertime is ticking…. I was picking up in my sewing room when I came across 3 Blackbird Designs charm packs.  Beach House is the fabric line. Love then name, love the colors, the feel of the fabric--- love everything about it.  Being several years old – there’s no more fabric in the stores.  I added some stash fat quarters to go with it.

I’m not ready for Fall—wanting to hold onto Summer for as long as I can…. I voted for an easy to quilt piece.  Missouri Quilt Company had an online tutorial for a quilt called Falling Charms.  I thought it was perfect because I don’t want to cut up these charms --- I love every inch of fabric.
Whether it’s thrown over the hammock, hung on the rack in my breakfast area, or on a hanger next to an un-lit wood stove (hopefully we won’t be needing it too soon)….This quilt will cozy things up. 
I better get busy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A quilt called Black Birds

DNA demanded it…. Chelsey’s started quilting. While I felt like she labelled me as the ‘dork’ of the family—Quilting has become the ultimate in cool.  It’s been a  great bonding moment for both of us.  I don’t know who loves it more--- her or me for  the fact that I get to share my ultimate passion with her. 
Every quilt I have ever given her has taken on new meaning as for as quilting styles, binding techniques, and lessons in piecing. She was given my old sewing machine when she moved out.  She’s dusted it off  and we’ve tackle that first ‘ broken needle’ together.  As I type this – I’m ordering a quarter inch quilting foot for that machine--- to give to her.
‘Mom, I never really knew how much time it took to make a quilt’. 
‘Mom, I got all my fabric from thrift shops --- and it’s still expensive…. I never knew’.
So many conversations that she’ll probably never know how much they mean to me. 
My family calls me ‘Aunt Bee’.  They’ll never call her that --- she wears the title ‘ Quilter’ with pride and dares anyone to judge or tease her.   Me--- I’ve never been that brave….
We were sharing pins on Pinterest -  (quilt pins)… 
I found a pin to share
 I loved it.  I told Chelsey it reminded me of her--- it said, “ Stand out in a Crowd…. Dare to be different”
She said we had to make it.  I researched and found the pattern.  I sent it to her. She texted back-“ I don’t know Mom--- looks like a quilt for someone with more experience.  I don’t think I could do it—maybe in a couple of years—just not now.”
I hate being pressured – and I have learned this about myself—quilting is my hobby on my own terms. I hate ‘have to’s ‘ and I hate deadlines.  I told her no big deal  that I got it, “ But Mom, you go on and make it.,” she said.
I just know she can do it.  So last night after eight o’clock, I pulled out my scraps – she just needs a sample, plus I’ll decide how hard the pattern is.  So this is my canary (Because it is yellow)-

I wrote her a letter—because she lives 100 miles away—and sent it. I told her to use it as a sample, or maybe if she ever makes the quilt to possibly use it as a label for the back.

I have to make this quilt—because it reminds me of her…..

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Billy's Shirts

The baby quilt was pieced and quilted and sent on his way.  Made entirely of a friend's son's shirts who was a volunteer fireman.  He was to be Uncle Billy to a new generation of Pestor babies.  Taken suddenly with congestive heart failure at 30 years old.  My friend brought me shirts and said, " just make something-- you choose." The fire trucks seemed appropriate, they were a $2.50 download from Etsy.  The other blocks were just pictures found on Pinterest.

I started the quilt on Mother's day, kind of 'teary' while cutting out each block.  I can't imagine what my friend must be going through losing a son.  I finished it on Father's Day.  They back was made from Navy and white gingham.

A good memory --- and I can definitely say a quilt brightened a very sad story.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Yellow Quilt

83 hours later - It's finished.  Granted, the 83 hours was over a span of two years, but I'm still just as proud of it.

The quilt started off as an experiment to see exactly how long does it take to make a quilt. Quilting is a hobby for me.  I still man a 40 plus hour a week job, along with a great husband and a couple of high maintenance pups.  People always ask, " how long does it take?"  I never knew.  I spared them of the details of the difference between piecing , appliqueing, paper piecing, etc..  I did not discuss the merits of the machine working effortlessly versus those days when a stitch never seems to go one after the other.  But I kept count.

I had 58 hours, I believe going into the applique portion, 3 hours in the binding. So between appliqueing and machine quilting there was 22 hours.

I made several baby quilts, a couple of pieces for my mom, a set of curtains, and remodeled a kitchen somewhere in the middle of all this. I hate UFOs.  I feel defeated and honestly-- wasteful.  I saw the pin of the quilt on Pinterest and loved the quilt all over again.  I thought how pretty the  black centers would blend with my dark kitchen counter tops now.

And I went back to work on the quilt.

I cut the borders out first-- to insure I had yardage without piecing them. What borders?  Guess what happened -- in all the 'minute counting' and rush to complete to move on to the next project-- I forgot about the borders.  I simply appliqued and stretched it on the quilting frame and again plowed into machine quilting.  It wasn't until I looked at the pattern still laying on the coffee table that I realized the error.

I was incredibly disappointed.  I looked at how I could add them, should I try removing the quilting I had already begun.  I talked with my mom.  She said the quilt is twin size without the borders and would still do a 'fine' job of keeping someone warm...The borders weren't meant to be,

I let go of the disappointment and love the quilt just as much.

Lessons learned.  I'm not plowing into anymore projects.  It's my hobby for the shear enjoyment.  No more.  No less.

Have you ever had a quilted piece that you look at and it reminds you of something.  That's what this piece will  do.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day -- finishing off a 3-day weekend. Today has been sunny and 82 degrees. Beautiful.  The other two days have been cloudy intermittent showers --- permission to quilt.

I have always followed Bonnie Hunter.  I admired her 'made from shirttails' quilt designs.  I loved how she thrift shopped for men's shirts for quilt fabric.  Kinda shot that " I can't afford to quilt " analogy to hell.  I have never cut up shirts for quilts -- except the t-shirt quilt I made Eric...

I never have -- until now.   A friend I work with lost her 30-year old son to congestive heart failure.  He just didn't wake up one morning.  A volunteer fireman --- looking back, friends and family could all pick up the signs, but being too close to Billy --- they just didn't pick up on it.

Kay brought me a tote bin full of his clothes and asked me to make a quilt from them. Yikes -- all I thought was that I don't quilt well enough to do something like this.  'No seriously,  My other son just announced they are having a Baby -- I'd like a quilt for that baby from Billy's clothes.."

I put the tote bin in the dining room corner and left it there for 3 weeks.  I couldn't even open it.  I finally opened to bin and saw the different pieces she sent. I combed  through books, Pinterest-- anything I could find to get an idea of what to make.

I picked out a nine patch variation.  I also found a fire truck applique.  So for $2.50 I downloaded it.  I probably could have drawn it out, but felt like accuracy was important.

This is the bottom three rows.  It's made up of a baby blue oxford and three different plaids.  It was amazing how for the shirt fabric went. Bonnie had a tutorial on how to dismantle the shirt to make the most of it. I incorporated a solid white background.  I bought navy and white gingham for the back and binding.

There will be a row of 3 firetrucks.   The firetrucks are burgundy, from one of Billy's shirts.  It fit the theme.  There will be a single plaid row on the top.

I started cutting on Mother's day.  It was tough. Really tough. Lots of tears, tons of prayers for that family, for that Mother as the scissors cut out individual blocks. I can't even imagine her heart ache.

This is go to be a great quilt.

P.S.  I'm back -- 4 quilts left the house without even a photo.  Everyone goes through different seasons in there lives... I think I'm about to embark on a great one.