Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Holidays Tree Skirt - #4

This tree skirt was made by Cheri using the Happy Holidays pattern from Atkinson Designs.  Cheri made this tree skirt for her niece from fabric from her sister's collection.  Cheri's sister can no longer sew because of early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Cheri shared with me that it was her sister who got hooked on quilting.  It is sad that they can no longer share this passion together.  This tree skirt turned out beautifully and will definitely be treasured by the recipient because of the love her mom and aunt put into it.

Cheri left the quilting up to me.  This is actually the 4th tree skirt of this pattern that I have quilted for Cheri, so I tried to make it a little different than the others that you can see below.  I like a mix a straight lines and free motion.  I used a tan Magnifico thread with a bit of a sheen over all of the fabrics.

Here you can see the skirt complete with binding all ready to give away.

And here are the 4 versions Cheri has made over the last few years for her daughters and niece.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ukulele Case

Daughter #2 recently purchased a tenor ukulele for herself and the store did not have any cases to fit so she had been carrying it around in the cardboard box it came in.  I had to fix that!  This was one of those "make it up as you go along" projects, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

This fabric has been sitting in my stash for a long time.  I'm not sure why I purchased it originally.  It might have been a super deal when a local quilt store was closing down.  At any rate, it felt perfect for my hippe girl. I popped the fabric on the longarm and instead of regular batting I used a product called "Annie's Soft and Stable" between my lining and top fabrics.   It really does not require quilting, but I wanted to accent the flowers in the fabric.

I cut out a front and back about half and inch bigger than the ukulele.  I made a few of the curves a little more gradual.


I decided that the zipper just needed to be at the bottom of the case, instead of all the way around, so I made the zipper section of the side panel first.  After if was complete I cut more side sections and experimented until I had just the right length to fit the case back.  

Wonder clips were perfect to hold the sections together and take them to the sewing machine without stabbing myself.

A little test fit to make sure I was on the right track before adding the second side.

Here you can see the case inside out.  To make the inside neat and tidy I bound the edges just like I would for a quilt.  I cut 2 1/4" strips of binding and folded and sewed one edge down and flipped it over and sewed it down by machine.  I'm glad I decided to have the binding on the inside of the case instead of the outside, (and that I didn't use a contrasting fabric) as it was tricky to keep it totally neat with the bulk in the binding and the firmness of the case fighting me.  I am more than happy for the lining, but it would take a little more practise for the outside of a project.

This was the first time I used Annie's Soft and Stable, but I will use it for any quilted bags that I make.  It is easy to work with a has a great amount of body.  Happy customer.

I added a handle and ta da!  Ukulele case done!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A few small but fun projects

I am trying to catch up posting some of the things that I have been working on.

My local guild was donating place mats to  a local organization and although I couldn't go to the sewing day, I wanted to contribute, so I made this first one from a Simply Color mini charm pack and 1 Fat quarter of fabric for the border and binding.

This one used up some scraps from another project and I used it to test drive a new thread.  I used Superior's new Micro Quilter, that is 100 wt.  I went fast and wanted to see if it would break.  Nope!  it is a fine but strong thread and I can see it will come in handy for certain applications where I don't want heavy thread build up or just want the thread to disappear.

This is a little fleece throw that I quilted for Sandra.  This is a new panto called Monkey Jungle and I think it turned out really cute.  Sandra took this one to give away on her recent trip to China and had asked if I had a monkey panto to coincide with the Year of the Monkey.

You can tell I am behind in posting photos as the ground is now white not leaf covered!

Now I saved the best for last.  I don't really knit, but when I saw the pattern for this hat I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Sandra is a talented knitter and we traded skills and she made me the most awesome hat ever!  Could there me a most perfect had for me??

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Debbie's Disappearing Nine Patch

Debbie made this really lovely Disappearing Nine Patch quilt with fabrics that she originally purchased to include in her wonderful Leaf Row quilt that you can see here. Debbie ended up with a bit of a different palette for that quilt, but really ended up with a lovely (and large) secondary project. I tease Debbie that she only knows how to make big quilts - this one is 114" long!

Debbie wanted simple quilting and we decided that the Fascination panto was just right.

I love the rich backing fabric she provided.

A beautiful quilt that we will be well received by the lucky recipient.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wavy Lines

Sherry brought me two lap quilts and she knew exactly how she wanted them quilted.  She even brought me two references of other quilts done with wavy lines that she liked, so my job was pretty easy!

The above photos don't really show the details of all of the fabrics Sherry used.  Sherry always has a way of surprising me with her fabric choices.  I always find her quilrs very appealing, but they always contain fabrics that I would never have thought to put together.  This floral and the batik strips look beautiful together, but I can say for sure that I wouldn't have even tried them out together.

This was the interesting color of thread that blended so well with Sherry's fabric palette.

The second one uses a neat focal fabric with birds and I really like it as well.

I found the last bit of this Stonhenge backing in my remnant pile.  It was meant to be.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cross Stitch Quilt

This unique quilt was made by Sandra.  Each of the blocks is cross stitched,  so when Sandra told me this quilt was many years in the making I could certainly understand why!  I wish I had gotten a better photo of the entire quilt, but it had a white backing so I wasn't going to risk taking it outdoors for photos, and our fall has had many a cloud covered day!

Sandra prefers a lighter rather than heavier amount of quilting, so the only place I went a little more intricate was on the solid outer border.  Our goal was not to overpower the fine detail of the cross stitch blocks.  I did simple swirl in the pink sashing with a matching color of So Fine thread, and piano keys in the wide floral border with a shiny gold Magnifico thread to match the metallic accents in the fabric.

Deciding what to quilt in the cross stiched blocks themselves was the hardest part of the process.  I wanted to find something that would let the cross stitch shine, but also be enough quilting to keep the blocks from sagging and bagging. 

I used Superior's new Microquilter thread and stitched right over the hand stitches.  This thread is 100wt and very matte and it almost vanishes completely.

The border was a lot of fun to quilt!  With the outer border being solid the curling feathers show up really well and don't get lost.  I think they were the right finishing touch for this quilt.