Saturday, September 16, 2006


I'm still working on my homespun Lucky Star quilt. I actually ran out of one of the threads I've been using to quilt the top (YLI Sticks and Stones--just lovely), so I moved on to another part of the quilting and then ran out of cream backing thread. I had no idea it would take this much thread. I'm stippling around the stars in YLI Pastels, which I have a bunch of, so as soon as I can zip to the store tomorrow to pick up some cream, I can keep on with that. Our local quilt store closed several months back (not a terrible loss, sadly) so I no longer have a place to pick up thread quickly. That was really all I bought there--my taste did not map to their buyer's.

So, whilst waiting, I thought I'd post another picture of some already-done quilts. These are the third and second versions--respectively--of my daughter's and son's nap quilts. You likely can guess which child belongs to which quilt. My daughter's first quilt was a small pinwheel; her second, a Lucky Star. My son's first was a Lucky Star. When you send these to school, you wash/dry them every week, which makes them very soft but also adds to the wear and tear.

My daughter's all pink quilt arose because I had made her a twin-size quilt in bright colors, following on the heels of two bright nap quilts, and her response was--"Someday, mommy, can you make me a pink quilt--with just pink." So, I did. Since I was about to make her third nap quilt, I didn't want to devote my life to it, so I simply pulled some pinks and bought a nice pink ballerina novelty print. I cut strips of various widths selvedge to selvedge, sewed them with consideration to pattern and size placement, evened the edges, and bordered the quilt only on the sides to get a nice width to length ratio. It's quilted with variegated pink thread and backed with another pink print. She loves it.

My son's quilt is made from the first iteration of the Sock Monkey fabric, which I think is just outrageously cute and funny. (I've bought some of the follow-up version, too.) Plus, I call him my little monkey, so it's quite appropriate. His quilt is made exactly the same way and bordered with the Sock Monkey face fabric, which also backs the quilt. I once made the mistake of asking him if he had his monkey blanket, and he looked at me very seriously and said, "Mom, it's a monkey quilt."

I know some folks sell patterns for quilts like this, but let's be real--how hard is it to find fun fabric, cut a bunch of strips, and sew them together? Throw caution to the wind, people!

And, that's my dog sleeping contentedly next to the quilts. We have a stack of cozy, cuddle quilts under the coffee table that tend--after use--to end up on the floor until I restack them. If I don't get them quickly enough, she claims them as her roost.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Random Threads

I haven't updated this in a bit, so I thought I'd throw a few different items together.

First, I shall speak about wonderful people, the kind who call you in the middle of lunch out of the blue to ask if you would like an extra Bernina that's just sitting in the garage because it needs a good home. These are the best kind of people, ever. So, for them, you buy gifts of . . .

variegated thread--which is one of the best inventions ever--to use in their other sewing machines. Behold, the Gift Tower of YLI! I have to confess that I kept the top spool, "Earth," for myself--it just fit my muddiness so very well.

Also, I thought I'd update you on the quilt that opened this blog. I've finished all the blocks (it's a Lucky Star quilt) and am awaiting a free moment to assemble the top. Maybe this weekend.

It turned out very natural and peaceful looking, which is ideal since I'm making it for a friend who's going through chemo. She wears lots of linen, which made me think of these homespuns as the perfect fabric for her. The background fabric has little glowing dragonflies and complements the star/sash fabric quite nicely. I need to find a good backing fabric now.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Just Outside Your Door

When we moved into this house about a year ago, I decided I wanted to hang a quilt outside my front door--kind of a changing exhibit. Initially, this was easy because I had a pumpkin quilt that I had finished years ago and hung inside my old house at halloween. It looked lovely and the mail lady loved it. Of course, I packed it away after halloween and now can't find it to post a photo. C'est la vie. Same with my "Wear Warm Clothes" quilt that hung at Christmas. But, maybe I'll find them in time for the seasons.

For fall, I did a rustic daisy quilt. The pattern for this had a very boring picture on it; almost every fabric was a tone on tone, flat looking thing that left the quilt kinda lifeless. But, I saw the possibilities, plus I loved the idea of the odd pieced border. I used busier but still muddy prints throughout. This is blanket stitch applique by machine, with stipple quilting in a variegated thread in the background and swirling quilting in the border. I like it so much, that I've moved it inside to hang permanently--and now need to make a new fall quilt. It really isn't crooked; I just had to work around the dog while taking the photo.

After the holidays, I wanted something to suggest new life. I have had this pattern forever, but never got around to doing anything with it. So, I thought, why not? I changed the borders, but the center is as designed. Again, in the pattern photo, the fabrics were very solid--but I do not lead a solid life. I have to confess that this is simply ironed on, since I began to question why I would spent several hours appliqueing quilts that were to hang outside my door. The border is scraps from inside the quilt cut into different size strips, sewn together, and cut as one fabric. This looks kinda lumpy because it was folded away in a closet. Before hanging, I'd iron it, but I was too lazy to do that for this photo. The one thing that bothers me about this quilt is that the crow looks like a dove. So, I get around that by thinking of it as a mourning dove. The flowers also look a bit too perky.

For my summer quilt, I used another old pattern and some fabrics that were bundled together (maybe Kaffe Fassett? these look like Westminsters of some sort) along with a background dragonfly fabric that I've had forever. I'm using a lot of that in a quilt I'm working on now. For this little door quilt, I wanted something that looked like a surrealist ice cream dream summer--and I liked that some of the fabrics had a weird scale for a quilt this size. One of my problems with these door quilts is that I want them finished and up! I'm very into completing things. So, I never stop to think if the hanger on the back conflicts with the spacing of the hooks, which it does in this case--making it bunch up a bit. I'll work on that.