in memory

I recently had a commission from a woman who had a tote bin full of her deceased dad’s t-shirts.  Quilting in crisp to quality cotton is the best, but there is something special about being able to create something new to treasure from a loved ones old clothes. I have made a few different memory quilts and one other t-shirt quilt, so I had a bit of a plan on how to attack this challenge.

First big step is to cut the images out of the t-shirts, and attach interfacing so that the t-shirts don’t stretch when attached to cotton.  Then layout…

These were the first parts I had a clear picture of in my mind.

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C requested NOT the traditional t-shirt quilt of all just t-shirts.  Also lots of white if possible.  Lots of dark t-shirts made that a challenge.

So more playing with layout, leaving space for white.

Finally put it all together.

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C also requested fleece hearts, if possible.  And some free motion quilting.

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I stitched around a lot of the icons on the shirts.

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This is the result before I bound it in white.

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I stipple quilted all the white, adding a heart shape here and there, and for an extra touch, I put C’s dad’s name in the quilting.  Right near his photo.

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C had a few squeals and claps and a big grin.  I take that as a satisfied customer.

This one was 5 1/2 by 7 feet.  Big! I worked from the center outwards in all directions, no puckers!  I often add a pucker or two for character;) heehee.

Now back to all my WIPS.  Oh wait, it’s baseball season. Better cut a few hand quilting projects to do in the stands!

Enjoy the sunshine.

 

order from chaos

Order certainly drives me.  I love lists, and lineups( and queues), and sorting books on a shelf.  Although it is never complete, I take satisfaction from tidying up.

This also works in the quilting world! From an idea and a mess of fabric, you can put together something quite lovely.

I hate to admit that this is how it usually starts, but that’s the truth.

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At our November guild meeting, we were given a piece of card stock and a bunch of scraps and told to play.  At the end of the meeting we were challenged to make that into something quilted. ( my post card appears further along in this post). Some sketching and math to make this bigger than 4×6″ and so that it was makeable in fabric. And then I began the cutting and laying out.

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Some different shades of blues, but a decent representation of the post card on the right.

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When I made the post card I was thinking of water at the bottom, but in fabric pulling, I decided it was grass.

Now, a nice small piece like this quilts up fairly fast, which is a refreshing change from what I normally put on my plate.

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My favorite part is the trees along the dark blue.

So from the chaos of my dining room table, this one came out pretty well, I think.

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PS, It does hang straight on a wall, but the branches were not very supportive of my photo taking.

 

tension

Difficulties with tension cause, well, tension!  I am quilting a friend’s quilt top.  Her batting seems the same as what I use, but must be less dense, and I normally use flannel or fleece on the back, so that adds more thickness too.  Which all equals a thinner quilt, therefor tension adjustments on my machine in order to get things to look good.

I start with some ugly fabric, batting and ugly fabric on back.  Then adjust the top tension knob one step at a time, checking how the free-motion stitches look each time.

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I thought I had it pretty good, but then NOPE!

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this is not right. (The stitching, and the ugly cat fabric).

Finally it looks good, and sounds good with the actual quilt running thru my machine.

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So, quilting coming along very well.

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But then tension problems of a different kind appeared! argh!!!!!!

My bobbin holder is shifting out of place while I am quilting, thus jamming everything and making nasty sounding noises in the process.  I have been piecing all weekend with no problems, but clearly my machine is not in the mood to quilt.  This happened almost exactly 1 year ago when I was free-motion quilting my Quiltcon entry.  I have done lots of free-motion in the year in between with no problems.  What’s up now???

And the kicker is that I have been procrastinating on this quilt, and finally just got to it.  Now machine problems.  Did I say Argh!!!! already.

And, I have a this week off and planned to do a whole lot of quilting.  We will see what Sawyer’s sewing centre says tomorrow. ( if they are open due to the holiday).

birds in the neighbourhood

I live near a pretty big city, in a fairly urban area just outside of the city.  Most of the wild creatures I come across are of the unlikable kind, rats in the shed-eewwww!  Tiny ants coming in under the baseboards in summer, Wasp nest in the bike shed-eek it was big!, and raccoon poop on the back fence.

But sometimes I get little treats!

I have a breeding pair of Anna’s hummingbirds in my big Sugar Maple in the back yard.  It is super cute to see tiny hummingbirds zooming around with their parents.

The other day I looked out the window and saw a little family of quails in the front yard.  I snuck out from the backyard to try to get a decent photo. Not very successful.

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And the other day after school drop off I spotted a Northern Flicker

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Mostly this shows that I need a better camera for faraway shots of moving targets:)

In quilting news, my Modern Quilt Guild had a birthday challenge using Libs Elliot fabric swatches.  I can’t remember if I told you about the lovely fabrics that I ordered and gave out to guild members in the form of a birthday cupcake.

I chose this piece with gold diamonds on it. And after much debate settled on this yellow and teal(ish) accent fabric.

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Using the print on the fabric for inspiration, I sketched a design and started cutting.  Kind of scary when you only have a fat eighth of fabric to work with.

do you see where I am going with this?

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Ta-Da! And sparkly white fabric background to complete this mini quilt I have named “Shiny, Happy”.  Lots of fun to make with little sparkly details,DSC04193

some geometric free motion quilting

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And my favorite swirl quilting

DSC04191I didn’t win the cool Libs Elliot designed vodka bottle which is just as well, I don’t really drink very often;)

Mini quilts are a fun and satisfying way to get in some fabric play and have the sense of completion that is often a long time in coming on big quilts.

still quilting

I love piecing a quilt top, and I love quilting, but somewhere in the middle of free motion quilting details I feel like I am walking through thick mud, making VERY slow progress.  I did a lot this weekend, but there is still lots to go.  Perhaps I need to make better choices in how I quilt things.  I do love dense quilting, but less can be more.  Too late for this one though.

I decided to attack each block as a single entity.

Wood grain and skyline background for the totem pole

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Veins on the maple leaf (still undecided on the background of this one

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Rocky shore below the lighthouse

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stippling background for the snowflake

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And a glassy reflection for the ice, as well as “Made in Canada 2017” on the hockey stick.

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pretty happy in general, just at the point where I want to be finished. Now.

And my older son’s All Star baseball team starts their district tournament tomorrow, everyday for a week, so not going to have this out for another week.  Go Lakehill! I will be out there cheering.

 

sewing frenzy

so the last week has been me and my sewing machine and my Quiltcon quilt.  Everything else has been sidelined.  But after many late nights and aching fingers from hand binding on a tight schedule, my quilt has been submitted to Quiltcon.  Now the wait to see if it gets in.  Stress, nervous, excitement.  My first time entering a big competition. Did I do it well enough?  Did I take good enough photos?  Too late to change anything now, I just need to let it go.  I have entered the American Patchwork and Quilting Nine-Patch challenge.  http://www.quiltconeast.com/quilt-show/nine-patch-challenge/

I took  a nine patch, changed up the dimensions, and quilted the hell out of it.

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even the shadow box around got lots of stitching

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And I put the title in there too.  Nine Nines Floating.

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I will wait for acceptance or denial from Quiltcon before I show you the whole thing.

And now a moment to breath, and then get fully into Christmas sewing and making and decorating.  It is December 1st, time to giddy up!

rainbow zebra

Well that’s a fun title.  To go with a bright and happy fabric I saw.

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How can you not smile when you see this. Someone submitted this as an ugly fabric at our guild swap.  I LOVE it!

On the ugly fabric challenge, I won. Thanks for voting for me quilty folks.  I will have not problem finding a way to spend my gift certificate at Gala Fabrics. I did some straight line quilting on the green part of the chevrons, but decided to do some free-motion flowers.

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I have never taken a lesson in free-motion, but I have learned that EVERY time you start free motion, you should spend just a moment doing a warm up.  I grab 2 scraps and a piece of batting, and give it a whirl.  Practice makes perfect, well makes better than just winging it.

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I think I improved as I went along, and did pretty good on the thread match too.

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The only actual sewing that happened this weekend was hand sewing binding while sitting for an hour in line at the passport office. Ugh, but good quality time with my needle and thread.  Have a great week ahead.