Friday, November 21, 2008

"Seasons" quilt

I figured I'd better do a short entry, even though I only have a couple of minutes, because as Jennie pointed out at lunch today, it's been two weeks! Time sure flies when you have a Christmas deadline looming and multiple gifts to make, doesn't it?

This is another quilt I just found photos of that I made last summer as a commission for a birthday present. The client told me the colors of the room and showed me an arm protector from the couch that he snuck out of the house, so I based my fabrics on that. I also know the client quite well, so I thought they would fit what I know about him and his wife (the birthday girl). I'm quite pleased with how it came out, as was the birthday girl. She is a sewer too, so she appreciates the work that went into it.
I find that most of my quilts end up square, so to make it longer I decided on a checkerboard border on just the top and bottom. Do any of you quilters out there run into this problem as often as I do?

For the quilting I used a red variegated thread in the stars and cream in the solid blocks. I found a stencil that I traced on golden threads paper. I wish I had discovered my water soluble interfacing quilting pattern system back then! The stencil was a double pattern, I did both patterns in the solid white blocks and just the inside motif on the star blocks. I used a different stencil on the checkerboard portion that reminded my of a flower. And on the outer border, I just outlined the flowers in the fabric to make them poof out a bit.

I used a left over star block (again my disliking math issue rears it's ugly head, I don't know why I just can't count blocks!) in the middle of the back with the left over gold, red and cream materials. I think it turned out nicely.
I know some people insist on all one material on the backs of their quilts, but I prefer piecing them. I think it makes the back just as interesting as the front, and it's a good way to work in those extra blocks that you accidentally make!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Peaceful Safari

I'm going on a quilt retreat this weekend so I thought I would share what I did last year on my retreat. I designed and assembled the entire top of the quilt for Ryan's big boy bed. Font sizeI had done a bear fishing theme for his baby quilt, but now he has a great love of safari and jungle animals, leopards in particular.

Luckily I had some fabulous fabric on hand to make him something with. The main panel and borders are from the Peaceful Safari line by Teresa Kogut for South Seas Imports that I bought several years ago. I decided to use the classic Attic Windows block around the panel scenes so that it feels like you are looking out at the safari scenes.
For the windows I used a wood grain material and a batik that looked kind of mossy/paint peeling so as to feel like a cabin on the Serengeti might. For the sashing I chose a crackle wood colored print, like sun dried wood.

The best part is the leopard print Minkee fabric I was able to find for the backing. It is the bomb! If I say so myself. If you haven't pet Minkee fabric yet, you should search it out and do so.
I'm quite sure that Ryan agreed since his reaction when he saw it was fabulous. He was so excited he just jumped up and down in rapid succession. His dad asked him to tell me if he likes it, and he nodded his head vigorously while still jumping. Then a little later he was climbing up my staircase (a favorite thing of small children when they come to my house, though I'm not sure why) he called down "I love my blan....I mean quilt Aunt Vicki!" That's why Ryan gets quilts! Even though he was only 4 years old at the time, he appreciated that I had made it for him.

It ended up much larger than I thought it would, but luckily his bed is high off of the ground, so it is an ok size. It's so large that it was really difficult to take photos of, so I hope you get the gist. The bed that it's on in the photo is a king size and Ryan has a twin! Oh well, math was never my best subject in school.
Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Who has the best sister ever?

I do. My sister has been traveling overseas for business lately and has brought me some wonderful treasures.

The lovely blue and yellow olive branch and leaf motif fabric is from her weekend visit to France and the chocolates sitting on the fabric are the best chocolates ever created by humans, Leonidas from Belgium. Leonidas has a lovely selection of chocolates, including a wonderful assortment of hazelnut / chocolate combinations. You can actually get Leonidas in the States, but we have decided that, while it's really good from the stores here, it reaches "food of the gods" status when it's fresh from Belgium.

I'm thinking that the fabric will become one of my shopping bags, so that I can admire it's beauty at least weekly.

She also brought me this darling jar of a Nutella-like chocolate spread, because the jar was so darn cute, and Nutella-like food will never go to waste!

She is going to be in Australia over Thanksgiving this year, so I'm hoping that there will be wonderful Australian quilting items in my stocking year for Christmas. Of course, I did send her the link to the Material Obsession website and a list of items that I would enjoy, just to help her along.
The Material Obsession ladies were ever so thoughtful as to provide information on how to reach their store via public transportation! Aren't they thoughtful? I suppose if I can't go with her to Australia, at least I can have some wonderful quilting things from there!