Apr 30, 2013

Practicing Feathers

I know that practice, practice, practice is what is going to improve my quilting. I really love the look of feathers, so I have been watching videos, reading books and studying pictures. And I have been practicing with my sit-down long arm. 

I am a LONG way from perfection, but I now can recognize my efforts as resembling feathers. I am also learning to echo quilt around them. I am trying to find a few minutes every day to sit down at my machine and practice on my muslin sandwich. 

My goal is to someday be able to do beautiful feathers in the border of a quilt. It may be a few more months, or even a year, before I get there~but I am hoping with enough practice it will finally happen. 

Happy Quilting!

Apr 16, 2013

Spoonflower Contest

My oldest daughter, Meredith, is as creative as her younger sister, Melissa. I am so proud of both of them! Meredith has always loved to draw and when she discovered Spoonflower she decided to try her hand at fabric design. She has entered several of their contests and with each one she has learned more about scale, how to tile her design, and color and pattern combinations. She is enjoying the process and has designed some really cute fabrics. 

Her latest contest entry was for "baby animals". We were all thrilled when her fabric design was voted one of the top ten! It has been fun to see her design on fabric and have people order it. 

Here is Baby Elepants, designed by my daughter and available for purchase on Spoonflower. Insert big proud mama smile here :)

Apr 15, 2013

Love Letters Quilt-Block #5

I have been a bad blogger lately-but I have been sewing quite a bit. I don't seem to be able to find a balance between the two activities.

Two weeks ago I finished The Rose Hip-it's the fifth block of my Love Letters quilt. Now that it's completed, I am officially more than half way through! Each block I finish is a milestone for me. I am loving needleturn applique-I am more than willing to forego other activities (like cooking and cleaning) in order to have more time to stitch on my block.

These are the five blocks I have completed so far-in the position they will be on the finished quilt. I think it's crazy that they aren't in order in the book-but I'm sure there is a reason for it. So, I am stitching them the way they are presented. 

Here is the Rose Hip block. There were two pieces to all the flowers and buds-a total of 52 applique pieces to this block. 

Detail of a flower and bud.

These leaves are the easiest to stitch.

I tucked the contrasting tip of the bud underneath. It was a challenge to get it in the right place!

This was my favorite flower on this block. The shape was simple to stitch. 

I have been stitching away on the sixth block and should have it finished by the end of the week. The more blocks I finish, the more I want to stitch on them. I hope that I have this quilt finished (including quilted!) by the end of the year. There! I said it! So, that's my goal. Now everyone will know if I meet it! 

Happy Quilting!!

Apr 2, 2013

Cherry Blossom Quilt

My older daughter, Meredith, and I both have March birthdays. This year we decided to take a day for just the two of us and have lunch out and do a bit of shopping at some places we have always said "we should go there some day". So, "some day" finally arrived. We had a wonderful time-the weather was gorgeous, salads were delicious and the shopping was adventurous. 

One of the places we explored was an antique shop. There were many beautiful things there to tempt me, but I was being really good and resisting until Meredith spied a quilt that I couldn't pass by. 

I LOVE old quilts! And this one really called to me. It is a bit faded, has some stains and has quite a few tiny tears in it (looks to me like the previous owner may have had a cat that liked to "make biscuits" on it). But it is wonderfully hand appliqued and delicately hand quilted. The maker of this quilt was an accomplished quilter. It needed a new home where it would be loved and appreciated. And I knew just the place :)

I decided to call this my Cherry Blossom quilt. I bought it in Macon, Georgia,    which is the "Cherry Blossom Capitol of the World." There are over 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees in Macon. Every Spring Macon celebrates with their 10 day Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes parades, concerts, parties and a hot air balloon lift. I bought the quilt during cherry blossom time and the pinks just say cherry blossom to me. 

I don't know the name of this quilt pattern. It is similar to some dogwood patterns I have seen, but it's not exactly the same. Maybe it's a dogwood variation. It is a double bed size quilt (though I put it on a twin to take pictures.) A true find in every way.

Most of my old quilts are pastel, so this one fits right in with the rest of the collection. I like to use my quilts, but I display them too. I rotate them through my home and refold them periodically to keep them from deteriorating. I have this one hanging on a new quilt rack in my entry hall. 

When I showed this quilt to Meredith's three daughters they all oohed and aahed over it. They have a great appreciation for old quilts. I know that some day I can pass all of these old quilts down in my family and they will continue to be loved and cared for. 

If you know the name or origin of this pattern or have any info that would help me date this quilt, I would love to hear from you. 

Happy quilting!