Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Middle-Man's Train & Polar Bear Quilt

It's quite a juxtiposition there: trains & polar bears. I suppose if you are thinking about The Polar Express (which he frequently is), then these two things do go together. Initially, I was skeptical how I'd use these fabrics together, but I think the quilt top is coming together well. The back is also pieced, but is predominantly the polar bear fabric. Hopefully next week I can show the completed top. It needs a 6" medium-blue border & an inner border of train tracks. I think that I will have the winding train track motif quilted into the blue border too.

Ready for the Mailman

I've been procrastinating a little on finishing the label for my winter swap quilt, but today I finally did it. I picked up some fabric pens that I kind of like. I'm pretty pleased how well the purple shades actually match the quilt. I hope my partner likes what I did. It is more traditional than many of the quilts I have seen completed, which are also lovely. I just didn't feel compelled to use blue & white, typical winter colors, as they are not "my" colors, or do appliqued mittens & trees -- all very typical of winter. The ivory fabric has a subtle snowflake patterning on it.
And yes, it is sitting on real-live snow. Two feet of it to be exact! And I took my picture just in time, as it has begun to snow here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Adding some borders to the summer queen-sized star quilt...

I now have 8-18"blocks and one 24" center block. There's four with this border (blocks are different color stars though)

One center block on point, with neat mitered floral border.
And 4 blocks with this greenish color border.
Together, the blocks with their shades of sage, lime, turquoise and burgundy are heavenly!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

9-12" blocks complete

I have all nine of these blocks completed. It took around 20 hours I think to make them. Now I am using .JPGs of them in my scrapbooking software to arrange the placement and further the quilt's design.

Two of these:
Two of these:
Two of these:
And two of these (but I am undecided if they will have the border or not):
Here's the center block that will be on point:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Some Christmas Projects

I couldn't show these before Christmas for fear that the recipients may see them. And it is kind of a no-brainer who they were for if they happenned to see them.

This is my neice Alyssa, with her new fairy quilt. I did her a pillowcase for her birthday in November, but I don't think she had any idea a quilt was in the works. It's bright. BRIGHT. I had a local woman, Mary Dacey, do the machine quilting so that I'd ensure it'd be finished in time.
My mom got the 60" table runner, as requested back in the early summer. I don't think she expected it though. Perhaps nobody really expected that I actually listened when they subtley made requests. Her runner has 8 matching dark blue napkins too. I learned that the mitred corners look great and are not that hard to do. Use the iron! The fabrics are some great ones I got at a local quilt shop. It's hand quilted too.

Here's a picture of a table runner I did and sent to somebody. It was a big quandry whether to actually give this one away or not. The piecing took a long time and is exactingly perfect, if I do say so myself. I love the Provincial style fabrics. In the end, I let my husband decide if we kept this or gave it away (actually, he chose between this runner and another I was working on and have of course NOT finished!). I am really bummed, which sucks because it's not at all in the spirit of Christmas, but the recipient of this lovely runner sent us something with no appeal whatsoever, and just like every past year, has yet to even say thank you. Oh well, next year this runner will be for me!

My brother met his wife when his submarine stopped in Japan, 10 years ago. The sub was enroute to home port in Hawaii. She was working civil service on a Navy base there doing occupational therapy. Within a year they came back stateside and begun planning a wedding. Since about 2000, they have been living in either NY or CT, and we have visited frequently. We watched as they had 2 girls, that are now 4 and 6. At the end of this month, they are being transferred to Italy for 2 years. She used to travel a lot before they married. So, for my brother & sister-in-law, I made these placemats and napkins in pretty Japanese fabrics, to help remind them of where they have come from, as they venture out into their new life. I just love how they came out. The napkins are in the parasol Geisha girl fabric. There is also a table centerpiece that I failed to get a picture of that is a hexagon with the parasol girls that is done like a kaleidoscope. Real cool. I was kind of in a funk on Christmas and did not get pictures. That's a pitfall to my character...I love to make the great presents but the holiday itself stresses me out so that I cannot really enjoy it. I often just get frustrated and upset that other people do not put the forethought into presents that I do. That's life...

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Son's new quilt-to-be

I am starting a new quilt for my middle kid. He's 3 and a half and is ready to be out of a crib. I have designed the quilt using scrapbook software, as I do many other quilt projects. The wide blue border is really a pieced assemby of diesel train fabric squares. The boy (and why do I allow a 3 year old select his bedding???) wants his room to be with trains. Though a couple months before that he thought he loved polar bears. So because I had already purchased several yards of this adorable polar bear material, we settled on using both. The back of the quilt will be mostly polars, and the bed skirt will be the dark blue, something he won't outgrow in 15 years I hope.

And here's the square that is repeated 24 times... It's rotated to make the pinwheel patterns. The trains and bears are individually cut so as to frame out the patterns.

Busting the Scraps

My piles of scrap fabric are approaching the size of the piles of snow we have here!...Here's a very quick - 1.25 hours - quilt top that I hope to finish in the near future for Project Linus. I might even try my hand again with free motion quilting it. Previous attempts haven't been that good, but the practice can't hurt. So many people donated scrap cloth to me last year that I have bits and pieces of more than I know what to do with. Just making a scrappy top doesnt come close to making a dent in the stash whatsoever. Not sure that 25 tops would honestly. This top is not really lovely, but some little girl will be delighted (I hope) with all the flowers.

I spent time last week moving my sewing "stuff" to the basement. The dining room where I did have it was becoming a MESS and a temptation for my youngest kids to mess with. The basement is a tad chilly these days, but it has more sound proofing so that I can sew early in the morning and during naps without fear of awakening the kids. I love being able to race my machine and get things done fast! Here's the before...

That's actually part of my problem. I have a real need for some quick gratification now and then. But then I like to do intricate projects too so I don't bore with sewing. But without these quickie quilt tops, I'd never have the stamina to complete the more time consuming ones.
I'm currently awaiting some fabric I ordered so I can complete a top for my middle kid's new bed. It has trains and polar bears, which was his request. Sounds a little odd I know, but the pattern and fabrics are really cute, and cute together.
My winter 4-seasons quilt is all done except for the label and will be enroute to it's new home soon.
And I have begun knitting Sophie a sweater. The back is done. 1st attempt at anything beyond a scarf or hat...
What are you sewing??