Saturday, June 23, 2012

Crazy Hearts Quilt with Beading (Times 2)

There are two of these quilts, for the twin beds in the guest room.  And they are oh so sweet!

I'd love to show pics of them on the twin beds, but I can't seem to get the lighting right for good pics in the guest room . . . so the deck will have to do for the picture shoot.  I'm working on my photography skills, but it's a slow go.

The fabrics are so sweet and feminine.  The yellow is very apricot-y and is lovely with the peachy pink.  The whole upstairs of the house where the guest room is has very pink carpet, so I get to indulge myself in pink!  If I were buying carpet I don't know that I would be so brave as to pick very pink, but I love it, I'm glad it's there!

The hearts are done with scraps, crazy quilt style . . . the machine decorative stitches were done prior to the applique.   The edges were pressed under and then appliqued on with a machine blanket stitch (which I never did manage to perfect . . . those curves are tough). 

The original plan did not include beading.  I used cotton batting for the sandwich, and added heart shape cut outs of polyester batting under each heart because I wanted them to be poofy.

Once all the quilting was done it occurred to me that the poly batting was not secured and could shift when washed.  I didn't want to quilt over the hearts, they would un-poof!  So the beading serves to secure the poly batting.  Gave me a chance to use some of my beads.  (Shipwreck Beads is 25 minutes from my house - I've run amok in there more than once!)  Shipwreck Beads > > >

With the beading and the poofing, the quilts are very tactile.  Being a tactile person (yes, I've been reprimanded in museums for unauthorized touching), it's nice to run your hands over the beads and poofy hearts.  I usually close my eyes to get the full effect of textures.  If you are quilting for someone who is blind, adding some texture doesn't take much extra effort and gives an added dimension of love baked into the quilt.

Crazy Hearts . . . Flower Pots pillow sham
After two quilts of poofed hearts and beading, when it came time to the shams, I was hearted out.  So flower pots it is for the pillow shams.  Totally girly!  The grid quilting on the sham was done with the walking foot.

A little bit o' the detail of the quilting which I am very happy with.  I am too impatient to bother marking, so the quilting is quite happily uneven.

On the summer bed in the basement.
Someday I'll have a sleeping porch.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thimbleberries Quilt with Applique Accent Strip

 Thimbleberries quilt. . . on the front steps with the rhodie in bloom
I used to work on the road.  Turns out I was on a perpetual shop hop . . . and I learned which shops had really good sale areas.

Very early in my quilting life I vowed to only buy fabric on sale.  I had bought some full price fabrics I just couldn't live without . . . and then a couple years later I spied them in a sale area while the full price yardage was still just sitting on the shelf.  That was the day I took the pledge to only buy fabric on sale.  I may be a couple years behind 'what's in fashion', but there is no shortage of really nice fabric in my stash!

The Sisters quilt shop in Chehalis, WA always has a great sale area, and during one visit there were piles o' Thimbleberries fabrics.  This is the quilt I made with them.  If you're travelling I-5 between Portland and Seattle, take the detour to Sister's Fabric Shop, you won't be disappointed!  (

The base pattern is a variation of the Yellow Brick Road, with the addition of some 9 patch blocks.  Three quarters of the way through, I thought it was looking awfully boring and decided to add an applique strip towards the foot of the quilt.  I just love it!

 . . . hanging from the dogwood tree

 . . . draped on the fence

Pillow Sham front.  I love circles and came up with these folksy flowers.  They were appliqued using the freezer paper method, then blanket stitched all around.

Pillow Sham back.  These were the first pillow shams I made and thought it would be nice if they were reversible.

The back . . . pieced because I didn't have enough of any one fabric and didn't want to go buy more.

The Thimbleberries quilt was made for a full size bed . . . but it is currently on the summer bed in the basement.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Stash: Making sense of all that fabric

If you quilt you have a stash.  If you quilt and have a collector's heart you have a BIG stash.  I swear I have enough fabric for 5 quilters for 5 lifetimes.  I look at my stash and ask myself "what were you thinking".  There are 6 bookshelves stuffed full.  I am on fabric restriction.

This brings the next challenge, making sense of it all.

1) The fabric needed to be readily accessible so I could 'audition' fabric for whatever I was working on, so shelves were for me.

2) Putting the fabric back on the shelf in a tidy fashion without fussing was important.  Whether by nature or nurture, I'm not a tidy person, I'm a clutterbug.  I need easy systems that I don't have to work at all the time.

A bundling system developed . . . and it works!

All the yardage is folded the same (selvage to selvage twice so it is 4 layers, and then folded up the length of the fabric so each piece is roughly 11 inches by 8 inches). Selvage trimmings are used to tie the bundles.

This open storage bundling system works well for me.  Everything is easily found and resembles tidy.  And most importantly it is easy to keep organized after rummaging through the stacks.

Three quarters of the stash is bundled by project. When I'm ready for a new project, I can grab a bundle, take it to the computer and draft the project in EQ (I love EQ!!).

The rest of the fabric is bundled by color.  When 'shopping' for a fabric for a project, it is easy to grab a bundle and flip through to find a fabric that works.