Monday, April 7, 2014

Seriously?  I haven't posted anything in TWO YEARS?!?  I haven't been idle or kidnapped by aliens or laid low by misfortune.  Not sure why I stopped but someone asked me about it a couple days ago and I thought "Oh yeah, I have a blog!".  The whole idea of this was to chronicle my quilts, not as an active, daily thing but a 2 year gap is just plain silly.  So, with that said, I'll try to gather my thoughts and pictures of any quilts, totes and whatevers I've made since May 2014 and get this thing updated.   Not today.  That would be way too ambitious.  But soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

More Bags!

I love this bag!  It's not fast to make, even by the 6th one, but it is fun and the color combinations are endless.

I'm doing all of them with two large open sections and a zippered section in the middle.  It's not exactly like the pattern calls for and it uses a little more fabric, but I like the results.  Most have a cell phone pocket and some have a metal ring, for those who like to hook their car keys onto something inside their purse.

One of these will be a birthday present, the rest I think I'll put on  If I can bear to part with them!

Here they are.  You can click on each image to get a larger, more detailed view.  Only the raindrop fabric and the polka dot fabric (on the original bag) are laminated.  All others are either regular quilting cottons or batiks.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Melly & Me" Purse

I did something this weekend that I don't believe I've done since high school sewing class:  I put in a zipper!  Yeah, a zipper!  Quilts don't require many zippers and so I've managed to avoid it all these years, but today I made a purse.  There it was in the supplies list... 13" zipper.  Yikes.  But it turned out to be easy and the purse only took this afternoon to construct.  It's a pattern by Melly and Me called Raspberry Ripple.  You can search Google Images and see the original.  This is my version and I love it!  I used a laminated cotton for the bottom pleats (recognize that polka dot fabric from my big tote bag?) and the handles.  That was a bit interesting, but I like the effect.  And think how easy it will be to keep clean!

This really was fun to make and I like the finished bag, so I will probably be making it again in different colors. Pretty sure I need one with red poppies on it somewhere and, of course, I already have poppy fabric that will work.  For this one, I purchased the large, cheerful print (50% off!) just for this bag, but I had the other fabrics in my stash.  I can hardly believe I FINALLY found a use for the lime green and wavy purple stiped one!  LOL I'm not even sure how long I've had it.

I didn't attach the handles as far down on the top section as the pattern indicates because I decided they should be a bit longer.  Next time I'll just cut them longer before I put them together.  "Sew and learn."

I found the decorative buttons when I bought the large print fabric.  I couldn't resist because the colors are a perfect match.

Here it is:  a zipper!  Woo hoo!
The bag has a large zippered center section and open compartments on either side of the zippered section.  It's not a huge bag but it's pretty roomy.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Mini Quilts

I'm willing to admit my interest in miniature quilts has become an obsession.  I showed you the first two in the last blog entry; I've now completed 7, plus two that go with the teddy bears.  

Here's the current 7 that will be given to the quilt guild for the January 2013 quilt show.  None measures more than 20" on a side; almost all are embellished by beads.

I tried to use a variety of techniques, from paper piecing to applique (both raw edge and turned edge) to regular machine piecing. Here are some close-ups of the newest 5:

Raw edge iris applique.

Paper pieced pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness.

Paper pieced flower, with appliqued leaves and a wide border.  This one is all batiks, my favorite fabric.  The only embellishment is a thin line of an orange/copper metallic.

Little pinwheels and flying geese in William Morris reproduction prints.  Pearls (no, not real ones) used for embellishment.

A simple square-in-a-square pattern using 1930's reproduction prints and a bright white-on-white fabric.  I used a variegated thread for the quilting.

It's going to be hard to give these all up!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mini Quilts

Mini quilts?  In the past couple weeks I've often been asked what's a mini quilt and what do you do with one?  I'll admit I had the same reaction when I first saw them but I'm warming up to the idea.  First of all, a miniature is pretty much like a regular quilt, only it measures 20" or less on all sides.  It should have the same features as a regular quilt, just scaled back to make it look balanced and appropriate for the size.  Really skilled quilters can make them extremely small, but the smaller you go, the harder it is to get the details nice and sharp.  I've seen some at quilt shows that take your breath away because the pieces are so tiny and they are so perfectly made.

I decided to give it a try because my quilt guild has a show every two years and they use minis in an auction to raise money for guild projects.  They've asked each member to make twelve!  I don't think I can do that, but I can contribute a few.  Now that I've started, I'm having a blast with them and think I may do more than a few.  Maybe.  We'll see.  I've got until January 2013.

Oh yeah, I posted a two part question, didn't I?  The second part was 'what do you do with a mini quilt?'.  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.  Maybe a cute little table topper.  Or hung on a wall, either with other small quilts or artwork, or in a small space all by itself.  Really small ones could be used in doll houses as bed quilts, wall hangings or even as tiny area rugs.  Adding a matte and frame would enhance any tiny quilt and show it off.  Of course, like any quilt, a mini would make a thoughtful gift.

I've made my first two and planning to do a couple more this month.  Both of these are embellished with beadwork and gold metallic thread for some of the quilting.   They were fun to make and I think I'm hooked!!!

This one is machine pieced and is 12 inches by 12 inches.

This one is hand appliqued and measures 19 inches by 19 inches.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Have an Opinion? Vote!


Vote for your favorite quilter, 
quilting teacher, quilt designer, etc!  
The Golden Quilter Awards!
Click on the SewCalGal's logo image 
above to get to the voting site.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shine On, Shine On!

An important aspect of the fight against any chronic illness is the constant need for fundraising.  Continuing research, awareness and education, as well as assistance for those who have been diagnosed and their families - it's all important and it all takes money.  My friend and co-worker, Evelyn Rubinan-Maldonado has been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.  We raise funds and awareness through many events, including walks and bake sales.  I've made a quilt to help with the fundraising; we'll be selling $3 raffle tickets throughout the Spring and early Summer of 2012, with the drawing to be held on July 4th, 2012.  

I've named this one "Shine On, Shine On!" in honor of Evelyn's fundraising group, The Sunshine Walkers.  Award winning longarm quilt artist Mary Beth Krapil did the quilting.  

The quilt top is 100% cotton and incorporates the Celestial Dreams sun and moon face designs of Laurel Burch.  The mariner's compass design in the center is a starburst for our Sunshine Walkers!  The backing is a gorgeous batik.  The batting is a very light-weight tropical wool, completely washable.   This batting is a favorite among quilters because it will always remain soft and comfortable; even in Florida it doesn't get too warm!

"Shine On, Shine On!"
40" x 40 "
A narrow sheath has been sewn along the top edge 
so the quilt can be used as a wallhanging.
But it's a good size for a lap quilt, a wheelchair quilt or a baby quilt, too.

The Laurel Burch sun faces are all different and beautiful.

The label reads:
"In honor of Evelyn Maldonado, the Sunshine Walkers, 
and all those who have felt the impact of ALS on their lives."

It's been said that wrapping a quilt around you is like a comforting hug, 
always there when you need it.
Quilters believe they put love in every stitch.
Hoping this quilt finds a good home through the raffle!