Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quilts I Made Before I Started Blogging

I came across some photos of quilts, and things that I made some years ago before I started this blog, so I thought it might be fun to post those, since all I have left of most of these are the photos...
This quilt is from the Alphabet Quilt Pattern I wrote and designed. (To purchase the pdf pattern see my Craftsy patterns on the right side bar). When I worked at the local library, Tracie, a co-worker needed a quilt for a baby and I made this for her. I changed it a bit from my own pattern, adding flowers in the corners, with the baby's name written on the flower centers.
The border fabric here was from an "ugly fabric challenge" that a small group I belonged to wanted to do. This is the fabric I received and at first I was going in a different direction with what I wanted to do, then it stuck me to make a Stack and Whack quilt. I love those quilts because it's such a surprise to see what you end up getting and I loved how all the hexagons turned out. Hard to believe those hexagons were made from that border fabric. I donated this quilt to Project Linus several years ago.
This is the back of the Stack and Whack quilt. Those red and purple shapes was what I was going to do for the entire front of the quilt, but then decided on doing the Stack and Whack instead. So I added those rows on the back of this quilt.
Close-up of the Stack and Whack hexagon and my "free form quilting". I wasn't too good at free motion quilting then, so I just used a walking foot and went in all directions when quilting this.
I am a vegan and entered a contest several years ago to make a quilt block or a double size quilt block (this one is double sized) about the cruelty of the fishing industry. The contest wasn't to win anything, but they would use all the quilt blocks and make a quilt to let the public know what really happens in the fishing industry. This is my original quilt block. I could embellish it and I did add lots of different embellishments.
Here is a close-up. I used some leaves from artificial flowers to look like seaweed. I added beads, sequins, metal washers, tulle and appliqued the fish. The background fabric I had painted with paint that reacts to objects that you place on top of the wet paint and leaves images. I used washers, a key and other objects on the painted cloth. 
I remember making these blocks, but I really don't remember where this quilt went. I imagine I donated it to Project Linus as I donated many of my quilts to that organization.
The blocks in this quilt was made by several women in a group I used to belong to. They each wrote a quote of their choice in the center of the blocks. Again I probably made this and donated it, but I really didn't even remember this quilt until I came across the photo. I wasn't too computer savvy back then and didn't rename my photos with a caption, I just left the number of the photo on it, so now I know better.
These quilt blocks also came from that same group of women where we exchanged quilt blocks. I still have this quilt and use it as my picnic quilt to spread on the grass whenever we go to a park. It's backed with that same navy blue fabric that you see on the top.
I knit this sweater for a co-worker when I worked at the library. Kris' daughter was expecting her first child and thus making Kris a grandmother for the first time. Since I didn't know the sex of the child, I found this soft chenille green yarn. 
Purse I made for a friend several years ago. She loves sea turtles and batiks, so this was the perfect fabric combination as both fabrics are batiks.
Back of the purse.
This was a scarf I knit for a friend. I added green eyelash yarn to the regular green yarn to give it that fuzzy look. I sure have come a long, long way since knitting that scarf.
More purses I made that same year I made the black and green one above. These were all gifts I gave away.
I made an all heart quilt in scraps like this (without the house) and it's been on my wall for years. Funny I can barley remember this one. This is only the top, so I have no memory if I even quilted it. Could it be in my pile of UFO's still? If it is I will finish this. If not, where did I give this one to? Oh well, maybe all that is left is this photo. I like making those heart blocks as they use up scraps and are small blocks, but they are paper-pieced, which I am not too fond of doing. At least this is an easy paper-piecing block. *** Okay the memory just kicked on about this one (especially after seeing I signed this)...I made this large block for a quilt guild member who moved out of state a few years ago.
My daughter loves all things Irish/Celtic, so I made her this and it hangs in her kitchen. I used St. Patrick Day fabric for the green fabric and center of the block and this is a double (or is a triple?) Irish Chain quilt.
This was made way, way back in the late 1970's. I was in college and we had to make a final project that had to be 3-D in one of the art classes I was taking. I chose to make a quilt, since I knew how to make the blocks, but hadn't actually made an entire quilt yet from start-to-finish. This was made before there ever were rotary cutters, so this was all stitched by hand and I cut out every piece with scissors after tracing each piece with pencil onto the fabric back using a cardboard template. I used the quilt-as-you-go method to quilt this. I was dating my boyfriend, (who is my husband of 32 years this August) and I took my quilt pieces with me everywhere we went so I could get it done. I did complete it and got an "A" in my art class too. It was our quilt for many years and now my daughter has it, because she likes brown.
A closer look. This the the Grandmother's Fan, set in the Mohawk Trail setting. So many fabrics have faded in this quilt since I made it in the late '70's. There is also a few stains. I have learned so much since that first quilt of mine.
I made this one called The Navajo block. I wasn't good at the quilting part then, so not so great there. I gave this one away to Japan after their natural disasters there a few years ago.
Scrappy crazy quilt. I made so many small blocks trying to use up scraps of fabric and then sewed them all together. I added an off white flannel as a backing (see turned over corner in the right corner of photo). I had intended on donating this quilt after I made it, but my husband loves it. He likes the soft flannel on the back to put on his lap when we watch movies on the telly. Who knew it would be one of his favorites?
I made this when my son was about 11 or 12 years old. Hand quilted it, machine sewed the pieces. My son will be 27 in a few months.
Closer look at the hand quilting.
I was commissioned by a co-worker several years ago to make a tee-shirt quilt using her daughter's tee-shirts from her marathon races. I found the perfect fabric as the backing fabric and the filler fabric on the front of the quilt too. Since so many tee-shirts were all different sizes, I put the small ones in the corners, the center area I placed the same size shirts and figured out out to place the rest using filler fabric around the tee-shirts. I found a red print to add to the border.
This is the marathon fabric I bought for the Marathon Tee-Shirt quilt.
Closer look at some blocks.
Closer look at the blocks and the border.
Another section close up.
This is our king size quilt. I made this one about 10 years ago. It's a Trip Around the World style quilt.
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Quilted Tote Bags

I made a tote bag using quilt blocks like these a few years ago. I was asked if I could make a similar bag on commision, using purple fabric for the handles, sides and bottom of the bag. So here is what I came up with~
This is the bag I made for Felicia. I made even better handles on her bag than I did on my own. I learn more with each thing I make and then make improvements the next time.
This is the other side of the bag. I made the block in the lower right corner with the jam and fruit print. I added tiny purple buttons around the 4 black corners that form a diamond, and a square purple button that I stacked a square yellow button on top and a tiny turquoise button on top of that.

Here is a close-up of the buttons.

I made a large inside pocket that I added a strip of the purple polka dot fabric on the top of the lining fabric as an accent, and also added my label. Felicia seemed to like her bag a lot and I found a good home for those quilt blocks so it worked out well for us both.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Sewing Room Re-Do

With the carpeting up and the cement floor exposed this made a perfect place for Ron to build my sewing table. Now that it's built it will be taken out of the room and the floor painting will begin.

Top view of the table. It still needs another coat of sealer on top.

The painted RED floor is done! Now it's drying until I can bring the furniture in.

The new sewing room. New table, painted floors and the room is neat and clean {hope it stays that way for a little while :0)}. Looks great, doesn't it?
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Can Tote, Zipper Pull, Knitted Bear

I quilted a piece of Love Bug fabric and wrapped it around a cardboard can (powdered soymilk once lived in this can) and added 2 handles. I gave this to my grandson to carry his little Match Box cars in. He always has to bring along 2 or 3 or 4 cars whenever he comes for a visit and now he can carry them in this can.

I made a little bag and put together this zipper pull with the Eiffel Tower and gave it to my daughter as she likes the Eiffel Tower and has been to Paris and saw it in person.

I knit this little bear a few years ago and never got around to making his face. Ron said he liked it without a face, so I finally put it out and it sits on our desk. I have on my to do list to knit a large teddy bear. I hope to start it sometime this year, but meanwhile I have other things to finish first.
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New Sewing Room...

...coming soon.

I have 2 small rooms devoted to my sewing/knitting/crafts. One is where I have my sewing machines set up to sew and the other is where I have my cutting table and ironing board & iron. If the rooms were located side-by-side, which they are not, I would have  knocked down a wall and made one large room. Unfortunately, one room is located right across from the other room, so rather than cram everything into one room, which would leave me no where to sit or stand or walk or be able to do anything, it is divided into 2 rooms. The upside to this is I have to get up from sewing to cut or iron and at least get moving more, as it is better to move around and not sit in one place too long, right?

Both rooms were carpeted, and the carpet in the sewing room was looking a bit shabby, so my sweet husband offered to put in a new floor for me. The house is on a cement slab and we have both always wanted to stain a cement floor as we have seen some beautiful floors done this way. Ron researched about doing this, but the real test was to rip up the carpeting and see what actually lurked beneath. The cement was in good shape, however in order to apply a semi-transparent stain (our 1st choice) to the cement floor, it has to be completely free of any paint. The stain reacts with the cement and penetrates to allow the pretty colors to show through. There of course was overspray of paint from the walls when the house was built and the bright pink paint under each outlet for the electrician to know where the outlets are located. Ron had to apply paint remover and scrap and scrap off the old paint. Then there was the cement patching that needed to be done because the carpet tack strip left small holes all around the room.

So as Ron got into doing this work and reading more about it online, he discovered that unless the cement floor is pretty much pristine (like in newly poured and never had a carpet on it before) the semi-transparent stain would show every blotch and imperfection. He read all kinds of stories about it and then decided we should paint the floor with a cement opaque paint, that would cover it all, but we wouldn't get the beauty of the transparent floor. Boo-hoo, I really like that transparent look.

Ron went to Home Depot yesterday and when he came back he was all hot-to-trot about putting down a wood-look plank flooring. It would look neat and would be easy to do. So I liked that idea. He bought 6 boxes of it. He took a couple of planks out of one box and he set them down on the cement and walked on it to test out how it would feel. It sounded like he was walking on crunchy sand or potato chips! He said we needed to put down an under layer to absorb the sound. We put a small piece of plastic down so he could show me what it would be like. No more crunchy sound. But when he later looked at Lowe's and Home Depot for the under layer, he found it would cost more than the flooring cost (which was a good price). Plus he would need 2 rolls of it as one wasn't quite big enough. So we would get stuck with the rest of it, or if I do the cutting room floor, we would need to buy just one roll and use the rest of the second roll. Depending on the quality of the under layer it would cost from $25.00 per roll up to $60.00 per roll and we would need to purchase 2 rolls so that adds up. The more expensive one was the best in terms of noise reduction and it added a little cushioning too. So our inexpensive flooring job would end up being doubled because we didn't realise we needed an under layer and that it cost so much. Since we hadn't started anything yet, back to the store the flooring went for a refund.

Now back to the painted floor idea again. We would have to get the opaque paint and not the semi-transparent, but we figured this way would be the cheapest and probably the easiest to do. Plus if we didn't like it, we could always lay the wood-look planking over the painted concrete or tile it in the future. It would also satisfy Ron's desire to have this kind of floor and if it works out really well, we will have plenty of paint leftover to paint the cutting/ironing room too, making this really a cost effective job.

So what color did I choose to go in my sewing room you might ask? Well the walls in the sewing room are painted a pale yellow and the baseboard trim, doors, and closet doors are painted a medium turquoise, so I decided to go wild and chose what they call Tile Red! That will be one wild looking room, but what the heck, we have all different colored painted walls and doors in the house and all the colorful quilts hanging everywhere, so why not? I've always had an eclectic style, because I like so many things I could never have an entire house done in one style or one color. I can't even have one room done in only one style. My house is funky and very, very colorful!
The wood-look flooring idea that didn't work out.

Cement floor. As you can see if we had tried the semi-transparent stain all the patching and paint on the floor would show through. This is as good as the floor could get after all the paint removal and scraping. You should have seen it before it was this clean. Forgot to take photos of the real "before" floor. More photos will follow once the floor is painted and the tables are built (Ron's building me a huge table for my sewing machines).
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