Monday, August 27, 2012

A finish!

I don't often get a quilt done as quickly as Ava's quilt, but I didn't have a lot of time! We attended her baptismal service yesterday morning, and the completed quilt came with us. Having a sewing machine that can easily handle the quilting on a quilt up to at least a queen sized quilt makes the job much easier! So, here it is:
This quilt is meant to be played with, dragged around and probably spilled on too, so I stitched the binding on and then machine stitched it down on the back just to give it a little more strength. Each block is different, and I included a note with ideas of how to use it - younger children can simply find any specific block (zebras or cars, etc.); as they grow older, the search can be for a concept - for example, something that reminds you of summer (sea shells). I hope that Ava will someday have a brother or sister to share this quilt with, but for now, it's her's alone - and there's a block with different letters of the alphabet on it, including the letters A, v and a!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm finally posting what I did last night!!

Alright, where to start? Last night (Fri. Aug. 17th) was the August Friday Night Sew-In, AND the deadline to finish one of my current projects. When I signed up for this month's FNSI, I was asked to indicate what I was hoping to accomplish, and I commented that I had lots of things to work on, including my Quilt of Valor mystery quilt.... A while back, I saw a picture of a great quilt - and I tried and tried to find out what the pattern was, so that I could make it. I finally found out that it was a QOV quilt, one of many that had been offered online as a mystery quilt. One thing led to another, and I ended up signing on to make a QOV. This is the second one that I've done this year (One of these days I'll share the other one here). So, I'll start with my mystery quilt - we had 2 weeks to complete the last step, and I really needed every minute of it. I'm still working through my mom's death, and, with a few family members, helping dad through it as well, so planning sewing time has been kind of hit and miss. Added to that is the christening of the baby of one of my son's friends - and we can't go to that without a gift!
SO, it was finally Friday night - and I grabbed my mystery quilt, and some fabrics for baby Ava's quilt. I had the body of the mystery quilt done, although I made it a bit bigger; I needed to make up the border and attach it. To make the star points for the quilt, we had the option of using whatever method we chose, and I picked the method that yields bonus triangle units. I later took those off-cuts, and joined them for the border (and I threw in a surprise or two!) I can check that project off the to-do list (now I have a few weeks to get it quilted....). The other project is an "I Spy" quilt for baby Ava. She's a bit too young to fully appreciate it now, but it will make a great gift in the years ahead, as she realizes all the different things that she can find. An I Spy quilt usually has all sorts of images on it - some have doubles of every image, some only one. The game can be as simple or complicated as the player (or parent) makes it. I chose to make each picture different, but many of them are themed ( for example, a number of blocks have stars; others have animals) - so at first she can find all the blocks with animals; as she grows older, it can be narrowed down to black and white animals (cows, zebras, pandas, etc.). And, it can be passed down from one child to the next. I spent a large part of my time last evening cutting images for the quilt, and also strips for the "checkerboard" that separated the blocks from each other. The pattern is based on the one on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site. I only managed to sew a few of the offset checkered squares - more strips have been sewn, but assembling them is my job for Monday - did I mention that I need to have the quilt done so I can give it to her parents on Sunday? Guess there won't be any sleeping in next week! Here's a picture of some of the featured pictures, and also the checkered squares that will keep them apart.
Well, it looks like this is going to be a busy week! Thanks for your encouragement and comments.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Little quilts!

Every summer, I make myself a new miniature quilt. It's something that I've done about 6 or 7 times now, and I really enjoy making them. Making a tiny quilt like this is a lot of fun, and you get to see if you're going to like the quilt before you actually have to commit to making the full-sized version of it. Part of the challenge is making each of the sides shorter than 12"! I spent an afternoon at Cathy's house for a sewing afternoon again last week, and one of the things that I worked on was this little mini quilt:
The pieced blocks are "Darting Birds" blocks, and all of the pieces for the 5 pieced blocks came from the off-cuts from a Quilts of Valor quilt that I'm working on (I'll post a picture of it in the next day or two...) The other thing that I worked on was cutting blocks for a baby quilt that I wanted to make. I saw a picture of the quilt online, and studied it for a few minutes, until I thought that I could figure out how to make the quilt. (It was actually a silly thing to do, because the instructions were included with the picture - I just hadn't noticed them). I got the top completely pieced in a day and a half, which isn't a big deal, because the quilt is only crib-sized. I don't really need it right now, but it's probably a good idea to have one done, just in case I need a baby quilt for a gift some day. It's completely put together; just needs to be layered, quilted and bound. (I just now noticed 2 of the same block positioned with just one block between them - so, once this post goes up, I'll be grabbing the seam ripper...) Argh!
This coming Friday evening is August's "Friday Night Sew-In" - and, as always, I have more than enough PhD's* to choose from! You'll have to check back here Sat. evening to see which one I worked on! (*Projects Half-Done)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Does anyone like making sympathy cards???

I know that I sure don't! (although when you're on the receiving end, it's nice to know that someone cares...). We've just had 2 deaths in a week in our church family, which meant that I needed to come up with a few new cards. It helps that I just got the new Serene Silhouettes stamp set from Stampin' Up. The other SU set that I love is Thoughts and Prayers - it's so appropriate for a number of occasions. I go back to it for sympathy cards over and over - and there are so many different ways to use it. So... here are the 2 cards that came out of that card-making session - first the Thoughts and Prayers card:
I used a striped designer paper and some cardstock that I punched with a scalloped edge - add that to the stamped design and sentiment, round off the bottom corners, and it's done. The second card used the Serene Silhouettes stamp - I used my markers to colour the image, using the green ink to match the cardstock. I embossed the outer edge of the card, and stamped a vanilla panel with the French Script background stamp (using Sahara Sand ink). I mounted the small image on another piece of green C/S, added brads to the top corners, and mounted it on the center of the card. This is what it looked like:
Thanks for stopping in!