Marv’s Trout Wall Quilt

Wall Quilt I made for Marv's new Office

Wall Quilt I made for Marv’s new Office

As many of you know, my husband, Marv, recently retired from the V.A. Hospital and then began a new job at Idaho State University as the Assistant Director of the Physician Assistant Studies.  In his new job, he has his own office and it has been fun to help him decorate it.  I wanted to make him something special for his office and I had seen a design for a wall quilt that I thought would be a nice addition for one of the walls in his office.  The pattern and design is called “About Trout” from Lunch Box Quilts.

Starting to sew the batik fabric to build a section of the trout.

Starting to sew the batik fabric to build a section of the trout.

It is comprised of a series of  5 machine applique designs that, when sewn together make a large trout.  I studied a picture of a rainbow trout as I chose the various batik fabrics for wall quilt.  I love batiks because they add such rich colors, as you can see.

The first two sections of the trout.

The first two sections of the trout.

The center sections of the trout

The center sections of the trout

The last two sections of the trout

The last two sections of the trout

 

 

 

 

 

 

The appliquéd trout sections are sewn together and then surrounded by three borders.  The middle border is comprised of of 16 additional embroidery designs of various flies, similar to those that would be used for fly fishing.

Border with embroidered flies

Border with embroidered flies

Close up of one of the flies.

Close up of one of the flies.

Additional flies in Border

Additional flies in Border

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the flies become three dimensional once they are stitched and trimmed, they are fun to watch stitch out.

The top of the quilt is complete

 

The top of the quilt is complete

 Once all borders were sewn on, it was time to pin the quilt top, batting and backing together and quilt the wall quilt.

Quilting "in the ditch" or on the seam lines of the borders

Quilting “in the ditch” or on the seam lines of the borders

Next, I trimmed away the excess fabric and added the binding.

Trimming the excess backing fabric

Trimming the excess backing fabric

Sewing on the binding

Sewing on the binding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To enable the quilt to be hung easily, I attached a sleeve on the upper back of the quilt.

Laying out the sleeve and dowel to check on correct lengths before stitching to back of quilt.

Laying out the sleeve and dowel to check on correct lengths before stitching to back of quilt.

Now it was time for the finishing touch, the label.  It was designed on my computer and then stitched out on my embroidery module.

The label for Marv's quilt

The label for Marv’s quilt

The label sewn onto the back of the quilt

The label sewn onto the back of the quilt

I found an old Chinese Proverb that stated, “New jobs are like hooked fish.  They feel big at first, but tend to be smaller once you get to know them.  I thought it was  just what I needed for his label.

The best part of all is that Marv was very pleased about the quilt.  We drove over to his office last night and hung it 0in his office.  He said it was the finishing touch!

Marv in his new office at ISU with the trout wall quilt in the bckground

Marv in his new office at ISU with the trout wall quilt in the background

This was a very fun quilt to make and I will likely be teaching a class on it this spring at Quilt Crossing.  It will be exciting to see the different quilts that emerge in that class.

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Heidi’s Quilt of Valor

Quilt Crossing Newsletter with Heidi and Joyce in cover story

Quilt Crossing Newsletter with Heidi and Joyce in cover story

Heidi with Joyce Cambron, the quilt's designer and maker

Heidi with Joyce Cambron, the quilt’s designer and maker

I’m so pleased to share the cover story from the Quilt Crossing’s most recent newsletter.  Mine just arrived in the mail yesterday, but you can also view it at the Quilt Crossing’s website online.

And I quote:  “At our annual staff Christmas Party, we were so privileged to present a Quilt of Valor to Lieutenant Colonel Heidi Munro, of the Idaho Army National Guard.  Pictured on the left with Heidi is Joyce Cambron, the quilt’s designer and maker (it was quilted by Yvette Ebaugh and the photo is courtesy of Don Johnson of Arrowrock Photography).  Heidi, a Physician Assistant, has served three deployments in Iraq, and, as the only female medical provider in the area, was a valuable asset in missions dealing with Iraqi woment and children.  She also travels to Cambodia once a year on medical missions and was named Idaho’s Outstanding Female Veteran in 2013.  Wow!”

My niece, Kristy Bishop, myself and my niece, Heidi Munro

My niece, Kristy Bishop, myself and my niece, Heidi Munro

It was my privilege to share this wonderful event with my niece, Heidi (who is married to my nephew, Kelly Munro) and my niece, Kristy Bishop (who is Kelly’s sister).  My sister, Kathy, was unable to attend due to the weather.

It was a very special evening and, as always, a very fun Quilt Crossing Christmas party.

Congratulations, Heidi, we are all so VERY PROUD of you!!!  Thank you, Joyce, for the beautiful design and finished quilt and to Patty and Laura (the owners of the Quilt Crossing) for the wonderful party.

 

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A Dress for Dolly & B’

Christmas is such an exciting time of year and we feel especially blessed to be able to experience it through the eyes of our grandchildren.

Belén proudly introducing me to her doll, Caroline

Belén proudly introducing me to her doll, Caroline

This year our oldest grandchild, Belén, asked Santa Claus for an American Girl doll named Caroline.  She was absolutely ecstatic when she brought her doll to brunch on Christmas Day and proudly introduced us to her.

Belén's American Girl's Caroline Doll

Belén’s American Girl’s Caroline Doll

It just so happens that Santa gave us a tip as to what Belén wanted for Christmas, so Nana decided it would be fun to make B’ and her doll matching dresses.  I had a darling pattern from Olive Ann Designs that I had made a sun dress from and it included a matching doll dress pattern for an 18″ doll.  I decided to also make Eloise a matching dress, so she did not feel left out.  I ordered coordinating long sleeve knit tops for the girls and allowed a little extra ease in the patterns so the dresses could be worn as jumpers.

Pattern from Olive Ann Designs

Pattern from Olive Ann Designs

Each of the dresses is trimmed with a gathered row of ruffled fabric at the hemline and around the neckline.  In order to make several yards of ruffled fabric for trim, I used my roll and shell hemmer foot (#64) for my Bernina sewing machine.  It was a very fast and easy way to finish both edges of the ruffled trim.

Hemming the ruffled trim with my rolled hemmer foot.

Hemming the ruffled trim with my rolled hemmer foot.

Next, to simplify the process of gathering the trim, I used my Bernina Ruffler Foot #86 and set it on setting #6, which creates a pleat every sixth stitch in the seam.  It was almost magical to watch it quickly transform a long hemmed strip of fabric to a ruffled trim.

Using the ruffle attachment to gather the trim fabric.

Using the ruffle attachment to gather the trim fabric.

I made a couple variations on the pattern itself to simplify some of the suggested finishing steps.  If you are interested to know these, please comment and I will forward this information to you.

Belén was excited when she opened her package to find a new dress for her and she quickly tried it on with her knit top.  Then she opened a package with a matching dress for her doll and she was thrilled – as you can see…

Belén discovering Caroline's matching jumper.

Belén discovering Caroline’s matching jumper.

Eloise is 2 1/2 and has very strong opinions about things. Although she seemed to like her jumper, she was not in the mood to put it on, so here is a picture of her coordinating jumper.

Eloise's jumper with her red knit top

Eloise’s jumper with her red knit top

On the other hand, Belén danced around with her doll and was thrilled that they she and Caroline had matching outfits – and that made it all so very worthwhile.

Belén and Caroline in their matching outfits

Belén and Caroline in their matching outfits

What kind of sewing did you do for Christmas?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and send the best holiday greetings your way!

Happy Sewing,

Jane

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Learning to Sew

One of my favorite things to do is to share my love of sewing.  I especially enjoy giving  private sewing/machine embroidery lessons and recently had the pleasure of spending some time with a mother and her daughter.

Chris Owens with her microwave bowl holder and Put a Cork in It bottle holder

Chris Owens with her finished microwave bowl holder and Put a Cork in It bottle bag

Last Monday night, Tracy Fries and her mother, Chris, took my Anna’s Apron class at the Quilt Crossing.

Tracy stated that she has all my patterns and has taken several of my classes and I thanked her for essentially being my first official sewing “groupie”.

After class, Tracy said her mother, Chris, is here for the holidays and she wondered if she could schedule some private sewing lessons for her during her stay.  I was pleased to do so.  On Thursday morning, Tracy, Chris and I met and after two hours, Chris had not only completed a microwave bowl holder, but also a Put-a-Cork in It Bottle bag.

Chris & Tracy

Chris and her daughter, Tracy

It was a very fun morning and I really enjoyed getting to know both of these ladies better.  They both did a great job on their aprons on Monday night and Chris now has a microwave bowl holder and bottle bag for holiday gifts.

Thanks again, Chris and Tracy!

If you have an interest in private lessons, please contact me via email at rickrackandpolkadots@gmail.com.

Happy Holiday Sewing!

Jane

 

 

 

 

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New Pattern – Microwave Bowl Holders

No more burned fingers from hot bowls in your microwave!!!

Small Microwave Bowl Holder

Small Microwave Bowl Holder

I am pleased to announce my latest pattern – a pattern for Microwave Bowl Holders.  No more burned fingers from hot bowls in the microwave!  They also work great to insulate your hands from a cold dish of ice cream.

It is a fun pattern to make and instructions are included for 3 sizes:  Small (fits average size cereal bowl), Medium (fits large soup bowl); and Large (fits 9-10″ bowl).

All 3 sizes stacked together

All 3 sizes stacked together

They stack and store easily and are very handy in the kitchen.

IMG_9069 - Small

3 Sizes of bowl holders stacked together

The pattern includes detailed instructions and illustrations that guide you through easy construction.  You can make one from a fat quarter of fabric or several from a yard.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly these holders come together and find yourself making several for yourself as well as family friends.  And…. they are a GREAT gift idea!!!

Large bowl holder

Large bowl holder

In addition, they are easy to personalize, based on your fabric selections, and are reversible!

Pattern for Microwave Bowl Holders

One of my customers told me that she uses one every night to hold her cold dish of ice cream – another great idea!

The pattern is available online at Craftsy as well as locally, here in Boise, at the Quilt Crossing.

Last but not least, they would also be a wonderful hostess gift during the holidays.

I hope you will try them out and, if you do, share some photos of your completed holders as I love to see completed projects from my patterns.

Hope you are enjoying this “BLACK FRIDAY”…

Happy Sewing!

 

Jane

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A Heart of Gold

Often times, it seems like our media and newscasters tend to focus on the negative when it comes to teenagers.   Because of this, I welcome the opportunity to acknowledge teens who are doing positive things, as they are often times overshadowed.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a special young lady, Emalee Fischer, who is a new freshman at Boise State University this year.  Emalee has almost completed her Girl Scout Gold Project.  I was told by Emalee’s mother, Anne, that the Girl Scout Gold Project is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout award.

Emalee has been working in association with the Red Cross and designed and made two quilts that will be given to wounded veterans who are returning from the war.

What is remarkable is that she not only came up with her own designs for the quilts, she also chose the fabrics for both quilts, pieced them together and quilted them.  As you can see below, she did a remarkable job.

Turquoise Triangle Quilt
Turquoise Triangle Quilt

 

Green and Black Quilt
Green and Black Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was pleased to help Emalee make a label for the back of each of her quilts.  She chose a coordinating print to stitch each label on, as seen below:

Label for turquoise quilt

Label for turquoise quilt

Label for green quilt

Label for green quilt

 

 

The content on each label reads:

Emalee Fischer – Gold Scout Award – I want to thank:

* The service people for their time, loyalty and bravery

* Pat Price and the ladies of Burke, Virginia Quilting Guild

* Carol Randell Walker – For her help and being a good friend

* My sponsor, Virginia Walton, for her support and input

And a special thanks to my troop leader, my mentor, and my friend, Chris Walton;  without her, this project would not have happened.

Emalee Fischer, Quilter Extraordinaire

Emalee Fischer, Quilter Extraordinaire

And, before I finish this post, I’d like to introduce you to this young lady, Emalee Fischer…  and congratulate her on a job very well done!  Congratulations, Emalee, you are an inspiration!

Jane

 

 

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Fantasy Fairy Princesses for Halloween 2013

 

Belén and Eloise in their fairy costumes

Belén and Eloise in their fairy costumes

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love how the weather cools and Mother Nature puts on her finest show.  In addition to witnessing the amazing natural display of color, I also get excited about preparing for Halloween.  And this year was no exception.

I really enjoy making our granddaughter’s Halloween costumes.  This year, after reviewing all their options, they decided they wanted to be Fairy Princesses.  I found a McCall’s pattern (M6813) with a few versions of fairy costumes.   My daughter, Alecia, and I made a few design changes and decided to add sleeves to the two styles we liked, to provide a little more warmth on Halloween night.  Then I was off to the fabric store.

The costumes were unique in that they are made from a series of petals for the skirts which are sewn together and then attached to lined bodices for each fairy costume.

Trimming one of the petals before turning to press

Pressing the Petals

Pressing the Petals

 

 

 

 

Each petal consisted of two pieces of satin that once sewn together is clipped so that it will turn nicely before pressing.  I was impressed by the number of pieces that each costume required and decided to figure out how many pieces are used for each.  Belén’s costume had 48 pieces for her fairy costume and Eloise’s had 40.  In addition, I also made tulle petticoats that each contained 44 pieces of tulle attached to an elastic waistband.

Finished lined bodices

Finished lined bodices

Sewing the petals together to make a skirt

Sewing the petals together to make a skirt

Once I had sewn the petals (38 for Belen’s and 28 for Eloise’s), I overlapped them slightly to form the underskirts and basted together.  Next, I sewed together the lined bodices for each costume and after gathering the underskirts, attached to the bodices.  Then I repeated these steps for the upper row of petals for the upper skirts.  I had never done anything like this before, so it was fun to see how it all came together.

Flowers for B's dress

Flowers for B’s Dress

Flowers on Eloise's Dress

Flowers on Eloise’s Dress

 

 

 

 

 

Once the costumes were sewn together, I was off to the craft store to purchase some flowers to adorn each costume.  I used artificial flowers that I took apart to remove any of the plastic stems and then hand sewed to each costume.  I also adorned the end of each upper petal with a small flower, sewn on with a seed bead.

Tiny flowers on Eloise's upper skirt
Tiny flowers on Eloise’s upper skirt

Detail on B's skirt

Last but not least, after the final try-on, I finished sewing on the buttonholes and buttons for each costume.

Trying on the fairy costumes and petticoats

Trying on the fairy costumes and petticoats

The finishing touch was the tulle petticoat that was made from 48 hourglass shaped pieces of tulle that were individually wrapped around an elastic waistband to create a coordinating petticoat for each fairy princess.

These costumes were more time-consuming than I had originally anticipated, but it was amazing to see the girls literally transform to real fairy princesses when they put them on as you can see in the following pictures.  Belén is our little dancer to begin with and when she donned her costume, it was magical…

Belén showing Eloise how to dance like a fairy
Belén showing Eloise how to dance like a fairy
The fairies dancing

The fairies dancing

Smiling Fairies

Smiling Fairies

 

 

Eloise getting the hang of it...

Eloise getting the hang of it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checking out Mommy's photos

Checking out Mommy’s photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

About to take flight...
About to take flight…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy with her cat, Ozzie

Fairy with her cat, Ozzie

Eloise trying on her fairy dress

Eloise trying on her fairy dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since there are a lot of action in these shots, below I have posted a final picture of the completed dresses.

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween!

 

Belen's finished costume

Belen’s finished costume

Eloise's Princess Fairy Costume

Eloise’s Princess Fairy Costume

 

 

 

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Personalizing Gifts for Babies and Kids

This past weekend, I attended a baby shower for my niece, Suzie.  I was going to make her a quilt, but when I learned the name she chose for her baby, I thought it would be more fun to play with some embroidery designs and personalize some little outfits for her soon-to-be bundle instead.

I love the name Kodi and think it was a great choice.  However, it has an unique spelling, so I decided to take some cute little outfits and make them uniquely hers.

I started with a few onesies, something you can never have too many of for a newborn.

Onesies come in so many cute varieties these days.

Onesies come in so many cute varieties these days.

Next, I spent some time choosing embroidery designs that are appropriate for a baby.  There are so many cute embroidery designs available, that it was a lot of fun to sort through them.

A cute little bird applique from Embroidery Online
(#12386-06)

The bird applique design from Embroidery Online actually had 2 birds on the original design.  I opened the design up in my Version 6 software and deleted one of the birds.   I carefully positioned the applique fabric so that the little orange leaf-like design was towards the bottom center of the applique.  Next, I added a “K” inside the little pink heart for Kodi.

Here's the completed bird applique

Here’s the completed bird applique

In some cases, the outfit I purchased already had a little design on it, so I added Kodi’s name.  One thing to consider is that it’s sometimes easier to flip your design upside down before sending to your machine so that it will better accommodate the embroidery hoop, like the little gray outfit shown below.

Stitching Kodi's name on her little outfit.

Stitching Kodi’s name on her little outfit.

Here's the little outfit with hoodie, matching onesie and pants

Here’s the little outfit with hoodie, matching onesie and pants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a cute pink top with adorable polka dotted pants and monogrammed the top with a font from DigiStitches called Dotty Girl.

Pink top with Polka Dot pants
Pink top with Polka Dot pants

 

Cute K font from Digistitches Dotty Girl Monogrammed font set

Cute K font from Digistitches Dotty Girl Monogrammed font set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I added some cute designs to the remaining onesies, including, “Her Royal Cuteness” – how cute is this?

Another adorable design Embroidery Online (#NC072_48)

Another adorable design Embroidery Online (#NC072_48)

Then there was also

More polka dots...

More polka dots…

And, of course, every girl has to have a few hair accessories…

Clip on barrettes for Kodi

Clip on barrettes for Kodi

While I was working on items for the baby shower, I had the pleasure of watching our granddaughter, Belén, one day, since she was trying to recover from a cold.  She was excited to see what I was making for the baby shower and asked if we could also make something for her.  When I agreed, she busily went through my embroidery design notebook and found an adorable mermaid applique for me to put on a t-shirt for her.  She wanted to “help” me stitch it out, so she sat on my lap while we embroidered a little pink shirt I just happened to have on hand.  She was thrilled with the finished product.

Belén modeling her t-shirt.  This design is from Bunnycup Designs.

Belén modeling her t-shirt. This design is from Bunnycup Designs.

Then she chose a couple designs to put on some shirts that I had bought for Eloise, including a fun monkey for her purple t-shirt.  It’s so sweet how B’ looks out for Eloise.

Eloise love monkeys, so B' chose this design for her.  Purple is also her favorite color

Eloise love monkeys, so B’ chose this design for her. Purple is also her favorite color

Two of my favorite models...

Two of my favorite models…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I was getting a lot of embroidery work completed, I decided to finish my seasonal Halloween pillow from a design set called Pillow Talk, which is also a class I teach at Quilt Crossing.  The design set includes embroidery designs that you stitch out onto a pillow sleeve, so you can change them out for the various holidays.  Very clever idea, don’t you agree?

Halloween Design from Pillow Talk design set from Claudia's Creations

Halloween Design from Pillow Talk design set from Claudia’s Creations

So there you have it, a few fun embroidery ideas.  You can purchase any of the Embroidery Online designs as well as the Pillow Talk design set at the Quilt Crossing.

What have you been busy working on in your sewing studio?  I would love to hear about it.

Happy Sewing,

Jane

Rick Rack and Polka Dots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Warm Hug from Heaven

Note to my readers:  This was the most difficult entry I have made on my blog, but I am writing this to recognize my dear friend, Joan Wipper. 

The past several months, I have had the pleasure of sharing every Thursday with a good friend of mine, Joan Wipper.  Joan and I first met when we worked together for several years at HP.  She was always there with a bright smile and fun sense of humor and was a great addition to our Market Research team.  I really enjoyed working with her and we became good friends.  When she left HP and moved away from Boise, we sort of lost touch, except for our annual Christmas greetings.  But, one of the nice things about our friendship, is that when we did see each other, we could pick up where we left off the last time and run with it.

Joan in November, 2012, modeling an apron I made for her friend

Joan in November, 2012, modeling an apron I made for her friend

A couple years ago, Joan moved back to Boise and I was pleased to be able to meet her periodically for lunch to get caught up.  Our lives were going in new and different   directions, so it was nice to check in with each other now and then.

In July of 2011, Joanie noticed a pressure and pain in her sternum.  Her daughter, Sara, pointed out that women often present abnormal symptoms prior to a heart attack and suggested she go to the Emergency Room and get checked out.  While she was being examined and tested, a chest x-ray revealed a grape-sized lump in her lung.  Joan was given some devastating news…  she was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer.

The crazy thing is that Joan was the picture of good health.  She enjoyed working out and was in great shape and she had never smoked a cigarette in her life.  In spite of all that, she had an advanced stage of lung cancer and she was literally in a fight for her life.

She began cancer treatments and although I know she had some very rough and scary times, she was always upbeat and positive when I saw her.  She bought a wig to prepare for her inevitable hair loss, but was thrilled that during the various cancer treatments, she was able to maintain a healthy head of hair.  Joan was determined to live life as normally as she could and continued to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  She once told me that a goal of hers was not to look like she had cancer, and I think she has been very successful.

Joan enjoys a great relationship with her children, Sara and Danny, who are now young adults.  Joan’s daughter, Sara, got engaged in 2011 and one of Joan’s main goals was to attend Sara’s wedding in September, 2012.  Joan was thrilled to attend Sara’s beautiful wedding in Hawaii.

In July, 2012, during one of our visits, I mentioned to Joan, if she were interested, I would be pleased to help her make a quilt for Sara and Danny.   I told her that quilts can be warm and snugly and might be a nice gift.  I told her to think about it, realizing she was very busy with all the wedding preparations at the time.

A few months later, in January, 2013, Joan called me.  After we talked for a while, she asked if she could take me up on my quilting offer and I was delighted.  We coordinated our calendars and determined that Thursday would be our sewing/quilting day.

The first step was to determine what type of quilt she wanted to make.  Joan did not have much sewing experience, so we also spent some time teaching her how to sew.   During this time we talked about different styles of quilts and I pulled out several of my quilting books to show her the different types.

Joan chose the cover quilt of the Modern Quilts book for the pattern for Sara and Danny's quilts

Joan chose the cover quilt of the City Quilts book for the pattern for Sara and Danny’s quilts

She wanted more of a contemporary look and really liked the quilt called City Lights in the book, City Quilts.   Next step was to choose the colors she wanted in the quilts.  After a trip to a few quilt stores, she had her palette of colors.

Finding just the right lavender...

Finding just the right lavender…

Once the fabrics were pre-washed, the next step was to cut out the pieces and then to begin to lay them out on the design board.  I set up a design wall near the cutting mat to make it easy to audition the placements for the various colored pieces.

Cutting out the pieces for sashing and binding fabric

Cutting out the pieces for sashing and binding fabric

Working on laying out pieces (in background)

Working on laying out pieces (in background)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the final color placement was agreed upon, Joan started to sew the quilts together.

Joanie at the sewing machine, strip piecing away!

Joanie at the sewing machine, strip piecing away!

It was exciting to see the rows slowly build and piece by piece and row by row, watch the quilt come together.

Pinning rows together

Pinning rows together

Looking A - Okay!
Looking A – Okay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Placing completed rows back on design wall

Placing completed rows back on design wall

The first quilt top is coming together!
The first quilt top is coming together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan wanted to make the quilts identical, so it was easy for her to determine the placement for the second quilts colors.

1 down, 1 to go!

1 down, 1 to go!

I really looked forward to our Thursday sew sessions.  It was a time for us to not only sew and visit, but we managed to also solve a few of the world’s problems along the way.  We met approximately 14 weeks over the course of five months because we both had some vacation time in between. In general though, Thursday was my quilting day with Joanie and we were on a mission!  Once in a while we would take a break towards the end of the day and do something a little different and fun.

Me (aka Nana), Belén, Eloise and Joan at Goodies in Hyde Park enjoying some ice cream.

Me (aka Nana), Eloise, Belén, and Joan at Goodies in Hyde Park enjoying some ice cream.

Joan pieced the second quilt together much faster than the first and was becoming quite a proficient seamstress.

Second quilt pieced!

Second quilt pieced!

Once the second top was completed, we prepared the quilt tops for the long-arm quilter.  Since we decided to put a wonderful cozy Minkee fabric on the back, we thought it would be better to use a long arm machine for the quilting process.

Clipping threads and removing any lint and loose thread from quilt top.

Clipping threads and removing any lint and loose thread from quilt top.

Adding some scrap fabric to back of quilt so it will fit the quilting machine.

Adding some scrap fabric to back of quilt so it will fit the quilting machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began to prepare the quilts for quilting and discussed the weight for the batting and how she wanted to bind the quilt.   I made an appointment at Quilt Expressions and Joan chose the quilt design she wanted to use, a design called Hypnotic.  It was exciting to deliver the finished quilt tops, batting and backing to the ladies at Quilt Expressions and know they were in very good hands.

Reviewing various quilting patterns at Quilt Expressions

Reviewing various quilting patterns at Quilt Expressions

Hypnotic is the quilt design...

Hypnotic is the quilt design…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I also reviewed some label designs  with Joanie and told her to start thinking about what she would like to have on the label on the back of the quilt.  The next week she arrived and told me she knew what she wanted to say…  ” A warm hug from heaven…  Love, Mom”…

Stitching out the quilt label for Danny's quilt.

Stitching out the quilt label for Danny’s quilt.

When the quilting was finished, we were both very excited to see how beautiful the quilts turned out.  They were even better than what we had envisioned.  I was so pleased to see Joan so excited about them.  The final steps were to attach the labels and then the outside binding.

Stitching the binding and labels on.

Stitching the binding and labels on.

And, abracadabra, the quilts were finished!!!

Finished quilt with Joan and myself - this was a very exciting day!!!

Finished quilt with Joan and myself – this was a very exciting day!!!

But we also had to get pictures of both quilts together.  You will notice one is a bit longer than the other, due to the different widths of the sashing that Joan sewed in the second quilt.  We loved they way they turned out!!!

Both quilts are finished!

Both quilts are finished!

Ta Da!!!  One excited Joanie!

Ta Da!!! One excited Joanie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan  planned a date when she could have both Danny and Sara over for dinner to give them their quilts.  Marv and I were flattered that she asked us to join them for dinner as well.   Throughout the building of the quilts, I took pictures of Joan sewing the quilts, step by step.  I told Joan that it would be a great way to document the process for her kids, because a lot of people do not realize what is entailed in making a quilt.  We built a small picture book in Snapfish that she packaged with each quilt.  Many of the pictures from this blog were in that book.

The stage was set, Joan made a wonderful vegan meal and it was so much fun to spend some time with Danny and Sara, Joanie’s amazing kids.  When everyone was seated in the living room, Joan brought out two large gift bags and gave them their quilts.  I think these next few pictures tell the story better than I can…

Joan explaining the quilts to Sara and Danny as they opened up their quilts

Joan explaining the quilts to Sara and Danny as they opened up their quilts

Sara reading her quilt label.

Sara reading her quilt label.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny, Joan and Sara and their quilts

Danny, Joan and Sara and their quilts

 

Both Danny and Sara were very pleased with their quilts and touched by all the effort Joan put into making their quilts.  She told them she wanted them to have them to snuggle with when she is gone and to think of it as a “Warm hug from heaven” from her.

Thank you Joan, I am so thankful for the many hours we shared in the creation of your beautiful, loving gifts for your children.  You are a kindred spirit who I think the world of and I so treasure your incredible gift of friendship.  Now that you have this sewing/quilting process down, I hope to have many more hours together as we create who knows what!  I love you, Joan, and am so very proud of you…      Jane

 

 

 

Posted in Finished Product, Home Decor | 3 Comments

New Pattern – The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea quilt for Eloise

The Princess and the Pea quilt for Eloise

I’m very pleased to share with you my new quilt pattern entitled, The Princess and the Pea.  A quilt that was designed for our 2 year old granddaughter, Eloise.  We are so fortunate to have two beautiful granddaughters, Belén (age 4) and Eloise (age 2).  When Belén transitioned from the crib to her “big girl” bed, I made a quilt for her bed, which eventually became my first pattern called B’s Big Girl Quilt.

 

Now that Eloise has also moved to her “big girl” bed, it was time to create a quilt for her new bed.  My daughter, Alecia, (aka Mommy) had a great idea to make a quilt based on the Princess and the Pea story.  I thought it would be fun to come up with a quilt for Eloise incorporating that popular fairy tale and started to jot down ideas.  Eventually, my notes and sketches all came together to create this pattern.

The pattern includes a hand and machine embroidery design for the crown and the pea.

The pattern includes a hand and machine embroidery design for the crown and the pea.

I wanted to be able to personalize the quilt for our own little princess, so I digitized a crown embroidery design that can easily be personalized with a child’s name.  For my pattern model, I used the name “Princess,” and Eloise’s crown has her name on it.

The pea is an important element for this quilt and has a personality of his own.  I created a digitized version for machine embroiders as well as a template that can be hand embroidered.

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Adding the pea to quilt top

Look closely to see the pea on the finished quilt.

Look closely to see the pea on the finished quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

Then it was time to sew the bed frame and prepare it to be machine appliqued onto the quilt top.

It was fun to work on the quilt as it came to life.  The wandering vine and its many colorful leaves and spiral flowers are the focus for the outside border.

Making leaves for the vine from a variety of green fabrics

Making leaves for the vine from a variety of green fabrics

I came up with an unusual spiral flower design and have a unique way of making each of these flowers.  I enjoyed mixing up the colors for the flowers to add a bit more whimsy to the quilt top.

Making the unique and whimsical spiral flowers

Making the unique and whimsical spiral flowers

Once the quilt top was completed, I took it to Yvette Ebaugh to quilt.  She did a beautiful job of capturing the essence of the quilt with her quilting.  Then it was time for the finishing touch, a playful bias binding.

Sewing the binding onto the quilt

Sewing the binding onto the quilt

Last, but not least, final photos were taken and Eloise’s “big girl” quilt was complete!

Taking pictures of completed quilt

Taking pictures of completed quilt

It was a very fun project and I’m excited to see Eloise’s quilt on her big girl bed.

If you would like to make this quilt for your little princess, you can purchase the pattern online at Craftsy or locally, in Boise, at the Quilt Crossing.   I will also be teaching a class on this quilt pattern (check out the class list at the Quilt Crossing website) and welcome you to join the class.

New pattern created from quilt I made for Eloise

New pattern created from quilt I made for Eloise

If you decide to make this quilt, I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.

Happy Sewing!

Jane

 

 

Posted in Bias Trim, Finished Product, Gift Idea, Home Decor, New Patterns | Leave a comment