Friday, August 19, 2011

Quilt of my own

I've made quite a few quilts now, not that I'd call myself prolific. There are those wonderful people out there that seem to be able to churn out quilts. I don't mean this in a derogatory way at all. I am amazed at how fast they can put together the most beautiful quilts. Me, I'm a snail. Sometimes it seems to take me nigh on forever to complete a quilt. Ask my kids. I don't think I've ever completed a quilt on time as a gift for them. Bless them, but I knew they would understand - mostly- when their quilt was a little late. A really good example, my daughter's wedding quilt. She is being most tolerant of me. She's been married 3 years now and has given me a gorgeous granddaughter. Does she have her quilt? No. Though I give her regular updates and have even sent her pictures of the quilt in progress. I've spoken about it here before too. It's moving along, but at that snail's pace. I kid that it will be done by her 10th anniversary. I may not be far off the mark I'm afraid.

Almost all my quilts are gifts for friends or family and were an adaptation of a quilt pattern I've found in a book or magazine. I usually have more than one project going at a time because I like to have machine and hand projects to do. I love to hand quilt. The above mentioned wedding quilt is hand pieced and will be hand quilted. (For the record, I'm now sewing the rows together! It's not picture worthy or else I'd put a picture of it for you right now. Mostly just a mass of pins!) But I've been trying to get comfortable with machine quilting. There are times that a quilt just needs machine quilting, either because of the design or maybe how it was constructed.

I've just completed my first quilt that was completely my idea from start to finish. My church has the most beautiful stained glass behind the altar. There is a special name for it, but for the life of me I've never been able to pronounce it much less spell it. I won't even try here.
Pictures don't do it much justice, but I find it quite inspiring on many different levels. It is meditative and I really wanted to capture it in a quilt. I made a small wall hanging, combining applique and traditional piecing. I hope you like what you see.

Inspiration and beauty are all around us. For me, they all can SA(y) quilts.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm Back!

I don't know what it is about this summer, but it's just sliding away from me. Maybe melting is the better term with all the hot weather. I am not a hot weather girl, I much prefer it to be in the 60s or 70s. Eighty and above is too hot already.

All this hot weather has made stuff grow too. No, not in my garden. My poor garden is suffering in this heat too. I mean, the old lady hairs that grow on my chin! How is it that my hair has gone gray, but the old lady hairs are BLACK? What's worse is that I can't see them in my dotage unless I have a magnifying mirror. My husband has to get better at warning me that I have a beard or the beginnings of a goatee. A little notice that " there's a little something on your chin dear" would go a long way. Sometimes I so love getting old.

I had a few long distance birthdays and of course all the graduations to get gifts for this summer. Mostly I go to gift cards for graduations, but I feel guilty about not getting something more personal. I decided that I would make the gift card holders. It's not hard and that way there can be something more personal about it. Here's how you go about it. Anybody can do it. Honest!

1. Cut two pieces of fabric in the shape of a house. The sides of the house are 6" long and the base is 5" wide.  I made myself a cardboard template so I don't have to keep measuring each time I want to do this. Lazy!
I used two coordinating fabrics, but they can be the same or even very different.

2. With right sides together sew around all edges using 1/4" seam allowance leaving a small opening at the bottom so you will be able to turn it right side out. To get a nice point at the top, sew 2 stitches across at the point. Clip the corners to minimize the bulk.

3. Turn right side out, making sure all the seams are pushed out. You can use the blunt end of a chopstick to help make sure that the point is all the way out and to smooth the seams from inside. Fold the opening in as for a knife edge (it will want to do this). Press well.

4.  Top stitch 1/4" in across the bottom to close the opening. At this point you could play with all over stitching of some kind if you want. Since there is no batting it isn't necessary, but it could be fun!
5. Decide which fabric you want to be the inside and place that face up. Fold up the bottom to meet the bottom of the triangle (top of the house).

6. Top stitch all the way around 1/4" in. You will now have a nice pocket.
7. Fold the pointed top down, press, and viola! You have a nice holder for a gift card. You can add a closure to the outside if you like, but I find it isn't necessary.

Hope that helps with all the upcoming birthdays and holidays. Now you have a good excuse to go get cute fabric. Even little items can SA(y) Quilt!

Until next time,