Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Homemade Christmas

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a lovely one.

Now that the gifts have all been given and received, I can share some of the things that I made for Christmas. I must admit that after writing this, I'm amazed I actually got it all done! Some items were commissioned, and some presents to my loved ones.
The biggest project is a large queen sized yellow and blue quilt that was commissioned for the master bedroom in a restored 1800's farmhouse. I must say, it turned out beautifully! I've always wanted to do a blue and yellow quilt, and this fulfilled that desire. It's also the largest quilt I've ever made. I had to stand on a ladder and take the photo from across the room.

It's a Barn Raising pattern made from a Split 9-Patch and is made from something like 742 solid squares and 224 half squares! Yikes! It didn't seem like that many when I was sewing it. It has over a dozen each of blue and yellow. I think it's more like 15 of each, but I don't recall the exact number. I should have written it down. I used batiks and prints on the front and a fantastic 118" spotted batik on the back that I found at Sew Batik during a quilt show a couple of years ago. (Sew Batik, by the way, is run by the nicest husband and wife team. They design and manufacture their own batiks.)

I had seen the design of the quilt in several antique quilts and thought it would be appropriate to the house it was going to, so I drew it up in EQ6.

I spent quite a lot of time figuring out how to make it rectangular with out messing up the pattern, since you need to always add a row at both the top and bottom to make the pattern come out even. Adding 2 rows made it much too large. Taking 2 away, much too small. I played with borders, block sizes, settings etc. I finally had a light bulb moment one day and decided to take just one row of the 9-patch and put it at the top and bottom, making the pattern symmetrical, but not making it overly large. Was that ever a relief!!!
After spending all that time designing it I happened on a Kaffe Fassett book at the store, and what is in it? The Split 9-Patch barn raising!
At Dori and Jennie's suggestions, I quilted the blues in a straight line and the yellows in a swirly pattern that is reminiscent of the paisley in the border and center of the blocks.

I made another of my folding grocery bags for the wife of one of my co-workers. I just love this one! Who am I kidding? I really love them all! It's made from Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market cherry print for the main section, Heather Bailey's Bijoux for the side gussets and bottom, and a Micheal Miller red ticking for the handles. I used the Kaufman bamboo/cotton blend for the interior.

I also whipped up a Tammy Tadd Designs "You Go Girl" tote for my friend's teenage daughter. I used the Summer Dayz fabric from a couple of years ago that I had been hording, not able to cut up. To "bling" it up a bit, I found a pony tail hair thingy at JCrew that was perfect! I just cut out the elastic band and had Jennie sew it on for me (button sewing falls under the hand work category that I don't do). I read the directions wrong when I was putting the outside of the bag together, so the bag is actually about 3" too tall. It's fine for the teenager in question though, since she's a catcher on multiple softball teams and has a lot of equipment. I'm told that she loooovvved it and has already used it several times for sleep overs at friends houses since Christmas!

It's a great bag for hauling around quilts too. I have one and use it all the time.

If you remember back to this entry, ages and ages ago, Jennie guessed what I was making. But she already knew, since she was working with me when I picked out the fabric, so it didn't really count that she knew what the pieces were to become. I had bought this pattern of Tammy Tadd's a few years ago and always wanted to make it, but didn't find the right fabric. Then we got in the Merry and Bright line by Sandi Gervais. It's perfect for my sister's brightly painted house. And it's whimsical, like my sister. It was in Tammy Tadd Designs as a sample for several months. Tammy liked it so much that it's now the cover for her pattern!

Tom got his quilt for Christmas. Donna sent me a photo of him today, all wrapped up in the quilt, napping in the chair. As soon as I saw the Hawaiian fabric, I knew I would have to make a quilt for him because he used to always wear Hawaiian shirts when he and Donna were dating. I mean always. His closet was wall to wall Hawaiian shirts. I backed it with Moda's version of Minky, Snuggle. The stuff is to die for! I quilted it with waves, surf boards and the cars from the main fabric. I blew up the pattern on the copier, then traced it with Sharpie and then traced it onto Golden Threads paper. I wish I had figured out my new way of quilt top marking at that time! The designs look way better on the back then the front, since you really can't see them on the front unless you are looking for them. Oh, and it's my all time favorite pattern, Yellow Brick Road!

Anna got her Bluebird of Happiness quilt. She immediately wrapped herself up in it. I had intended it for a wall hanging, but if that's how she wants to use it, that's how it will be used! I'm just glad she likes it.

Things I made but forgot to photograph prior to giving them away:
Ryan got his flannel tie dyed blanket that I made from the flannel we tie dyed together this summer. I forgot to take pictures of it though. I made both Anna and Ryan Scooby Doo at the Zoo pillowcases and Carolina a Frosty the Snowman pillowcase since she's been obsessed with Frosty since this summer. I also cranked out two of my carry along bags one for the early 20-something niece of a friend and one for my early 20-something friend Liz.

And last, but not least, I finally made the pillows for Amy to give to her hubby. He requested pillows made out of his old college sweatshirts like 2 or 3 years ago. I procrastinated making them since I had no clue what I was doing and 3d things scared me. Now that I've been making bags, I decided to jump in and try it. They were totally easy to make! 2 hours, start to finish for 2 pillows! I used the scrap denim material Amy had given me years ago for the backing.


Jennie said...

Everything looks so lovely! The blue and yellow quilt turned out so pretty- I hope they just love it! And for the record, I was NOT working with you the day you picked out the fabrics for the tree skirt- I had seen it at your house as you worked on it, that's how I knew what it was!

batik fabrics said...

that's cute... ^_^

amy said...

Just so you know, Bill is RIDICULOUSLY thrilled with the pillows. He'd sleep with them if I let him. (I do not.)

I've given him your email address and mentioned that a thank you would be appropriate. I hope you get it someday soon! :-)

Thanks again for finally tackling them. They are just awesome!

PaigeAlaine said...

Girl, you are amazing! You got so many beatiful things quilted the past couple months! Your quilting design on the yellow & blue is great you will need to show me how to do on EQ6 all I know how to do are blocks! Oh, and I love your grocery bag -the cherry fabric is perfect.