August 27, 2016

Reproduction of a Reproduction Quilt - Part 1

Hello, Friends!

Today I'm sharing a story
about a quilt I made a long time ago,
relatively speaking...back in 2003...
using reproduction fabrics called
Aunt Grace Through the Year.



and one of my readers contacted me to ask
if I could reproduce my own quilt for her.
She had all of the required fabrics...
she'd saved them with the intent of making her own quilt.
She decided she would love to have me create a new quilt for her
just like the one I'd shown on my blog.



I agreed to this arrangement,
because I really loved making this quilt the first time around.
Having those exact prints available
made it easy...no scavenger hunting to find OOP and rare fabrics.



This was an unusual challenge...
I had a few things to overcome, as I made this version.

1.

I didn't have a pattern for my first Aunt Grace quilt!
It took some "trial and error", but
eventually I was able to make my template
for the little Dresden plates,
so that they would finish at the proper size.



2.

My first quilt was hand-quilted...by me.
Initially, we had agreed that I would hand-quilt
this one as well.
Oh, boy...what a difference 13 years makes!
I tried to hand-quilt this, but I seem to have
lost my knack somehow!

I.Could.Not.Do.It.

I looked at the 2003 quilt and could barely
believe that I'd done all of that quilting by hand.



Now, in 2016...I couldn't seem to get that needle through all of the layers,
no matter what tools and needles I tried.

There had to be a solution...
here I was with this nice quilt top,
and it just cried out for me to machine quilt it.



We agreed to this drastic change in plans...
and in practically no time, 
I was finished with the machine quilting.



I have to say that I can't decide which one I love most.

The hand-quilted one is wonderful for sentimental reasons.
It reminds me of a place in my creativity where I used to be...
and will probably not be able to visit again,
except through projects like this one.


I get an equivalent sense of pride from the newer,
machine-quilted one.
Thirteen years ago, I could never have made THIS one.



I'm happy that my friend Kathy reached out to me,
to see if I might travel back in time
to recreate a quilt I've loved for a long time.
It was super sweet of her to let me
put a little bit of 2016 into this reproduction quilt, too!

I plan to put up another post soon,
with some photos of the making of the new version.
I think you'll enjoy them...here's a taste!





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August 10, 2016

Norway Mini Quilt

Hello, Friends!
While I'm waiting for my hand to mend,
I'd like to share a project that I had made earlier this summer.
It's a mini quilt,

Photo credit: Thimbleblossoms Big Cartel shop

It came with everything I needed.
In fact, aside from the background, there was enough fabric
left over to make another one!


Photo credit: Connecting Threads website


This kit is still on sale, and if you need a little pick-me-up,
I highly recommend this fun kit.
I enjoyed practicing some free motion quilting.


All the small pieces present a bit of a challenge,
but that made it a great opportunity
to sharpen my sewing skills.


I love Nordic themed projects
that can be used for Christmastime
and beyond.


It feels great to have my Norway mini quilt
all ready for winter decorating!



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July 23, 2016

Hands and Pot Holders

Hello, friends!
How's your summer?


Mine has been rather too eventful for my taste.
We've had some scary health issues in my family,
and yesterday I joined in the drama by breaking my left hand.

{Sad face}


Still, I'm counting my blessings:

1. There was no blood involved.

2. It isn't my dominant hand.

3. We had just returned from a fun vacation...
which is how I tripped over the suitcase and broke my hand,
while carrying a large basket of...

4. CLEAN laundry.

{Happy face}

Now let's get back to some sewing news...
prior to the Laundry Accident I'd been busy making pot holders!
expertly written by Amy at nana Company blog.

I pulled some lime green and cheery red prints from my stash
and whipped up this set in no time.


Cherries make such a sweet kitchen theme, don't they?
I had a piece of fabric called Oh-Cherry-Oh from 
Me and My Sister for Moda.
Delicious!!!



The red and white binding fabric was from the same line.
I used it for the adorable ruffle, too.



The green plaid is from Sugar Hill by Tanya Whelan.
I often use a Frixion pen to mark my quilting lines,
but this diagonal plaid made it really easy to create a grid design.



Tags are fun to create,
especially if you have some fun Japanese ribbon for detail.



Here's the other tag.



The finished pot holders make a great gift
that is functional and fresh.


I love the way every set made from this tutorial looks so different.
Here's another pair I made for a new bride
with a country kitchen.




The fabrics are from Dandelion Girl, by Fig Tree Quilts.
I'm still enjoying the fat quarter bundle I bought to make this quilt.



I made the pair of pot holders similar, but different.
One features gingham, and the other has a pretty tonal leaf print.



The colors are soft and understated,
so I left out the tag detail.



The squishy quilting will make baking even more fun.


That ruffle detail adds romance and style.


Soon I'll be sharing more pot holders and other projects...
I can blog with one hand tied behind my back!



Be careful out there, everyone!

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July 10, 2016

Social Butterfly Mini Quilt

Beautiful butterflies are one of the best parts of summertime!
They inspired me to stitch a new mini quilt


I first fell in love with this project
when I watched the YouTube video
which featured the full-size version of the quilt.
You can see that project and lots of other
inspiration on the Lella Boutique blog.


I was looking for instant gratification,
so I was super happy to see that the pattern
was available in the "mini" size,
in a downloadable PDF format.

I got started as soon as the file was delivered
to my email account!


I chose some favorite prints from a
Riley Blake line called The Cottage Garden,

I've used this fat quarter bundle a lot,
 most recently to make this little pincushion.


Before long, I had my pieces cut out for the block.
Usually I like to do my cutting in the evening,
then stitch my projects another day, when I have more time.


At first, I was a bit disappointed in myself,
for not choosing fabrics with lots of contrast.


Once my little butterfly was completely finished,
though, I learned to love her more each time I see her.


So...quilting is always a challenge, right?
"Quilt as desired," the patterns always say...
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Since this was a mini quilt,
I let myself go and tried something new...
free motion pebbles.


This was not within my comfort zone,
but I'm really glad I tried it for something I intend to keep.
I like to think I did an "okay" job with it...
my husband actually admires the rich texture.


I don't plan to do this pebble quilting any more, though.
Why? Two big reasons:

1 - I don't prefer heavily quilted projects,
because they interfere with the feel and drape of the fabric.
The thread can also sometimes interfere with the fabrics,
in my opinion.

2 - This. Took. Forever.
And it's only a MINI quilt!
My patience wore thin, and I was afraid
my circles would grow bigger and bigger,
 just so I could finish it.

{Note to self: try making bigger circles on even a smaller project.}



All the same,
I'm very happy with my pink and teal butterfly,


Can you see my little faux pas?
I forgot to create a hanging sleeve!
In my rush to photograph,
I just used some Clover Wonder Clips to attach  my mini
to the cute little display frame.
I have a strip of binding left over that I'll add to the back,
to finish it off more professionally.


I loved making this pattern,
and I hope to use it again to make more pretty butterflies.
Mini quilts are great gifts...
if you can bear to part with them!


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