Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Made with love for my youngest son

This is the quilt I chose for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  It's the quilt that got my whole family tired of hearing me say "wonky log cabin."  It's the third REAL quilt I made but the first one for one of my loved ones. 

I made this quilt for my youngest son Carson to take to college with him.   He could see I was having a hard time with him leaving, and he could also see that I was really getting enthused over quilting.  One day when we were talking about college (I admit ... I may have been tearing up a little) he said that he thought an orange and purple quilt would be cool to have on his dorm room bed.

I'll never forget that he said that.

I LOVED making these squares! 

Working on this quilt gave me real purpose and was a blessed diversion after he left.  I was bound and determined to give him the coolest orange and purple quilt in the whole world.   Carson is a fun person to design a quilt for because there are so many interesting facets to his personality.  He's an awesome guitar player, a physics loving geek, a mystery science theater lover, an avid reader, a drum line member, a .... Well, I could go on and on here ....  

For the very first time I went to internet fabric shops (who knew!) and poured over the fabrics to find the perfect ones.  I even swapped for the first time when one of my new flickr friends offered to send me a fat quarter of Michael Miller guitar fabric.  I found a funky orange martian print,  some kooky birds, bright purple rings and yards and yards of kona eggplant and tangerine. 

My favorite square with the martian peeping out

I loved making the free flowing wonky log cabin blocks.  I was free to design each one individually and each one was my favorite.  Oh the excitement when I'd get the final trimming done and could see the new creation!  I felt like I had a good eye and could balance out the wonkiness perfectly.  I was trusting myself and things were coming together perfectly.  It may have been about this time I said "wonky log cabin" one too many times for a certain person.  Ahem. 

I gave this quilt to my boy during his Thanksgiving break from school.  I'm not sure how much a quilt really means to a nineteen year old boy but I know he loves that I made it for him.  When I look at it I just remember how kind it was of him to say that he wanted it. 

Ok Jada!  You can be in the back shot.   

Carson today with his adorable girlfriend Jessica.  I was making them stare into the sun. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Hexagon Process

Rossie recently posted a pledge for quilting bloggers to talk more about their process, delve into their thought process a little more as opposed to showing a finished quilt with one journal entry.  This works out great for me because I don't have many finished quilts to show off.  Especially this time of year when the weather is so nice and the sewing room is sooooo indoors. 

I didn't think I had a process but then I realized there are many times I have to stop working on my quilt to just think.  I have to think about what I've sewn so far and what I need to do next to get it to feel the way I want.  Sometimes I put it aside for a week or so but it's in my thoughts many times during the day.    I also like to incorporate embroidery on my quilt tops and that can be tailored to the individual who will receive the quilt.  There are always so many ways I could go but I usually feel right about it in the end.   

I'm now working on two quilts.  One is a hexagon quilt-a-long with my flickr quilt peeps and the other is a wonky star quilt that is my own creation.  Well .... I guess as much as it can be .... I mean I didn't invent the wonky star or anything, but I'm working on it with no pattern so I can say it's my own creation.  It is on the back burner at the moment just simmering, but almost ready for a breakthrough.  I'll keep you posted.

The hexagon thought process:  Since this is a quilt-a-long and I'm not sure how these are sewed together yet it's a little hard for me to plan ahead so I take it a little at a time.  I'm planning on giving this quilt to a someone in her mid-twenties, she is totally cool and hip, but still a classy girl.  I  picked out some fun, flirty fabric for the hexagons.  I got some ochre kona cotton solid and it's so beautiful, oh ... so beautiful.  It's my new favorite quilt color. 

I love the classic look of solids in a quilt, and I think she will too, but I still want something a little funky. So what I'd like end up with a quilt with some swathes of colorful, printed hexagons in various strips or partial strips.  And then some rows of hexagons with just solids to break them up.  Maybe some strips of solid in there too.   I would like to make the print hexagons kind of random so they are there ... but don't dominate the whole quilt.  I was trying to do some drawings,  but,  have you tried to draw hexagons??  It's HARD!  So, it's all kind of in my head at this point.  I'm also a little worried about my hexagons. Some are slightly curved.  I'm hoping they just end up OK after a lot of steam ironing. 


Quilt a longs can be fun, but they can be frustrating too when you really don't know the next step.  How WILL all these hexagons get sewn together??   

Here's a cautionary image for you.  This is what happens when your sewing area is a disorganized mess and you store your rulers on the floor.  Very sad .... very sad....

I promise I will read the book to my camera very soon and figure out why all my pictures are so dim and yellow.  Promise!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May Blatherings

Ya know how it is when you see a million of a particular item everywhere you turn, but when you want one of those items they are no where to be found??  I've recently become very disenchanted with my bathrobe.  It's just a plain, frumpy, looong, black velour robe.  Pretty generic and dull and it tangles around my legs.  I like to put my pajamas on pretty early and I feel ridiculous when I'm caught schlepping around in that thing.  So I started a quest for a fun, new bathrobe. Maybe something someone UNDER 60 would wear anyways.  Of course none to found in the United states.  The United States is TOTALLY out of cool bathrobes people!  It finally occurred to me, "Hey!  I can sew!  I can embroider! Why don't I remake my old bathrobe??"  Duh!  I shortened it about two feet and got out my sublime stitching books and embroidered a large design on the back in some bright colors.  Now I feel like old Hef slinking around the house in my smoking jacket.  (You can tell my state of mind lately by the fact the I associate myself more with creaky old Hef than one of the "girls next door")
My son took this picture so we can blame him for the fuzziness

I've knocked two things off my Spring to Finish challenge so far.  I've got my garden pretty well cleaned up and ready for the season.  I still need to buy my annuals and herbs and plant pots but still a little early for all that.  I cleaned up my sewing area and got almost all caught up on the hexagon quilt a long.  Feels so good to have my sewing area organized and it's so pleasant to have it clean!  Really reinvigorates my urges, if you know what I mean! 
I love the blue glowing light on my sewing machine at night.  It beckons me sometimes....

What will you end up to be little triangles?

This hexagon quilt-a-long is such a mystery to me!  I'm just blindly sewing each week when the new blocks get posted but I have absolutely no inkling of how all this is going to come together or how we sew it.  It's pure faith that is keeping me going and I'm going to be surprised by the end result ... and I'm hoping it's a pleasant surprise. 

The only other sewing I've done this weekend is to make a set of coasters for an old friend I've become reacquainted with on Facebook.  These are my favorite little quick gift for people and I love making them!  If anyone is interested I could attempt my first tutorial and show you how they're done.  All you need is five inch squares and an urge for a drink coaster! 
Who couldn't use a drink coaster? 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ugly Quilt Contest

Oh my word!!  When I saw this quilt contest over at Piece and Quilt  I cracked up.   I made the most ridiculous quilt this winter when my blog was brand new and I tried so hard to sound upbeat and make it look pretty for the camera.  Now I'll post the pictures that didn't make the original post.  This is the quilt I really wish I could take back and redo or undo or just forget.  Here's the story......

It all started one snowy day when I saw this AMAZINGLY beautiful quilt on cluck cluck sew.  Wow!  That's a great quilt, isn't it!?!  Seems pretty easy when you read the tutorial, doesn't it?!?!  Well, if you start without a plan and then change the non-existing plan in the middle here is what you end up with ......

Hmmmm .....  Shouldn't have attempted sashing with that skill level

Not too much going on with the back
The worst part is I started it for my supercool 13 year old niece and told everyone I was making it for her and then I even embroidered her name on it.  I really in my heart wanted to make her a  funky fun radical quilt that a thirteen year old would love.  When it was becoming apparent that this was NOT going to be supercool and funky I just didn't know how to stop.  Stop making a quilt in the middle!!  Do people do that?! 

I feel really bad that I even gave it to her and have many times tried to think of ways to sneak in and replace it with a better one.  The funny thing is that I put the most work into this quilt and the most love.  I actually feel better about it now that I wrote about it made fun of it and I'm warming up to it.  I kinda feel sorry for it looking at the poor quilting and bedraggled scruffy edges of the fabric circles.

Awwwww  ..... poor ugly quilt.  I think I love you now.
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