Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 in the Rear View

Well, 2010 is almost over. Frankly, I'm ready to put it in the rear view mirror. Despite the bumps in the road, I did accomplish quite a bit of quilting. The year started with an online quilting challenge. I also jumped into Flickr and the world of online swaps. The challenge and the swaps really pushed me to try out some new techniques and finish more than I would have otherwise.
The above mosaic displays the quilts that I finished this year. Let's see, I've got 15 quilts there...
  • One was made to hang on my daughter's wall
  • One was a charity quilt
  • Two were made as gifts that I gave away
  • Two were commissions
  • Four were made for an online challenge (those remain in my possession until I find them a new home)
  • Five were made for swaps

There are two Lorax quilts in the mosaic and, no, it's not a mistake. I made one for a swap and a friend commissioned me to make one as a gift for her daughter. Of the 15, six are baby to lap quilt sized, while the other nine are sized from 8" x 11" to 25 inches square. There are a few others that were started and not finished, so they'll have to wait until next year. Included in that list of unfinished quilts is a second Peso (the penguin) quilt for my daughter. Hopefully I'll be able to tick that one off in the early days of January.

So, 2011 is going to be better, right?

I'm imagining good great things for 2011. For 2011 I'd like to accomplish the following creative/artistic goals:

  • Open an Etsy store - yeah, that was supposed to happen in 2010...
  • Continue working with fused glass
  • Learn to work in stained glass
  • Continue to participate in quilt swaps

Here's to 2011 and new opportunities. What are your creative goals for 2011?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Am The Lorax

...and I speak for the trees. This is my latest mini quilt for the Mini QT Swap on flickr. The theme for this swap was 'books'. My partner, ruthiequilts, mentioned that she liked Dr. Seuss, so I selected The Lorax for her quilt. The individual pieces are fused onto the background fabric. The details are a combination of machine and hand stitching with a little bit of permanent pen.

Here's a close-up of the little guy himself. I just love this story. If you are unfamiliar with The Lorax (as Ruth was), check it out.

First published in 1971, the story is quite relevant for today. I've heard that there will be an animated film coming out in 2012. I still remember the film from when I was a kid in the 70s - I think the original will remain my favorite, as the animation mimics the illustrations from the book and the new film seems to consist of computer generated imagery.
Check out this previous post for the adorable quilt that I received from ruthiequilts. She chose If You Give a Pig a Pancake as the inspiration for the quilt she made for me. It is simply perfect! Thanks again Ruth!

Monday, August 30, 2010

More Happiness in the Mail

Late last week I received a little package filled with fun stuff. Leisel, over at Brown Paper Packages, sent me eight fat quarters of vintage sheet fabric. It was a thank you for participating in the So You Think You Can Quilt contest she held. Thanks, Leisel, I just love the fabrics and look forward to creating something with it. I had a great time participating in the contest and love my parting gift.

This was an unusually good Monday morning. When I arrived at work there was mail waiting for me. It's my quilt from the August/September Mini QT Swap on flickr. The theme was books. My partner and I gave each other the names of a few kids' books that we like and we set about making a quilt for each other. Ruth used If You Give a Pig a Pancake as inspiration for my quilt and it is just the cutest thing!

Here's a close-up of the little piggie. Such a mischeivous little guy. The workmanship is gorgeous and it's such a fun little quilt.

Ruth also included a copy of the book (now I don't have to share with Cassidy), a beautiful bookmark she made, a pencil & topper (which reminds me of If You Give a Moose a Muffin).

Now I've just got to get to work on the quilt I'm making for Ruth...stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Is it My Turn Yet?

The last week and a half have been crazy busy, but I'm happy to say that I finished a few projects (on time!) and am now able to do spend a little time working on some things that don't have to be finished immediately. The kitchen is painted, the new light fixtures are installed, and I finished a couple more quilts.

This little baby quilt went in the mail today to my friend, Terry. She plans on giving it to her niece who is expecting a little boy in September. It's a cozy little quilt (about 33" x 44") made of alternating flannel and chenille with a flannel backing.

Below is a little mini that I made for the flickr Quilt Swap Boot Camp for Newbies group. Now that it's reached its recipient, locodowo, here's a picture of the finished quilt. I just love that little owl fabric! I hand quilted this with a large quilting stitch because I wanted the quilting to have more of an embroidery feel to it. It's a simple little quilt, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Of course, I'm not just sending out quilts, I received a couple of beauties in the mail Monday. The quilt below was created by Olivethebeach and I received it in the flickr Mini QT Swap for July. The quilting is quite lovely. The fabric choices are great too, including the manatee fabric on the reverse.

My other little treasure came from ashleyboccuti and is my take in the flickr Quilt Swap Boot Camp for Newbies group. It's a gorgeous little quilt full of raw edge appliqué and hand embroidery.

I must say, I'm liking this whole swap thing. It's fun to send my little creations out into the world and to receive little works of art from others.

Now, what should I do next?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Finally, A Few Finished Projects

I've been keeping pretty busy lately finishing up a number of projects. I'm by no means caught up, nor do I ever expect to be, but that's just part of the fun. First up is my mini quilt for the Mini QT Swap on flickr. This quilt finished up at 12 inches by 12 inches and went to olivethebeach. The dolphins are paper pieced with a pattern from A Quilter's Ark.

Next up is the baby quilt I made for my cousin Ginger's baby shower. It's a generous size, measuring about 40 inches by 50 inches. I adore the focus fabric - Zoology by Michael Miller. The colors don't scream 'baby', but I really like the look. I decided to make pretty basic (large) blocks so that I wouldn't lose the impact of the animals. I had about a yard of this fabric, enough for this quilt with ten blocks left over. I plan to create a second, smaller, quilt out of nine of the blocks.

Finally, here's a picture of the finished charity quilt that I blogged about earlier. It's for Downy's Touch of Comfort program.

I've got another mini quilt I need to finish and mail out on Saturday for the Quilt Swap Boot Camp for Newbies group on flickr. I guess I had better log off and get to work...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Counting: 1, Amy: 0

I'm working on a little quilt that has 100 one inch squares. 100 different fabrics. This is the second time making one of these, but this time I'm using the technique that I've seen all over the web where you draw a grid of 1 1/2 inch squares on fusible interfacing and then sew it up in strips, trim a smidge off the edges so that you can open up the seams and then sew in the other direction. Works like a charm - that is, IF YOU CAN COUNT TO TEN! See anything wrong with my 10 x 10 grid? Yeah, it's actually only 9 x 10. Oops.
The sad thing is, I drew my grid larger than I needed and then trimmed it down to 10 x 10 (or so I thought). I could lie to you and say the fusible was only wide enough for nine columns, but the fact is that I was bested the kind of counting skills that most pre-K kids possess.
No worries, it's an easy fix and has since been remedied.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In the Pink

Our submissions to the So You Think You Can Quilt project were due on Saturday. This is my submission for the 'Modern' themed quilt - this is our last month for the project. I've had loads of fun creating the four quilts for the various themes: Love, Vintage, Circles, and Modern. I've tried out a few new (to me) techniques and have forced myself to start & finish projects when I might of normally thought I was too busy.

Here's a picture that includes a glimpse of the backing. The front is a mix of cotton calicos and linen fabric and the backing is a polka dot cotton fabric. The binding is a pink cotton that matches the color of one of the polka dots in the backing. This was my first quilting project that involved linen and I'll definitely be using linen again.

My daughter likes to play with my jars of buttons in the sewing room while I sew. She created this portrait of me last night (those are snowflakes falling around me). So, if you've ever wondered what I look like, mystery solved.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Charity Quilt Preview

Here's what I received at the beginning of the month from Downy's Touch of Comfort program. The kit includes all the fabric for the front and back of the quilt. I just supply the thread, batting, and binding. The kit also includes very specific directions that they require you to follow for the piecing. The strips were cut to size, as were the 6 1/2 inch squares of the focus fabric. Unfortunately, the squares weren't very square, so I had to trim all 15 of them so that the quilt would work up properly.
I started and finished piecing the front last night (it went together very quickly) and will post a picture of it soon. I haven't settled on a fabric for the binding yet. The rainbow fabric you see up there ends up being a 1 inch wide border which is followed by a 3 inch border of the focus fabric. Although pretty, the rainbow fabric seems an odd choice to me, as there is zero purpe elsewhere in the quilt. So, perhaps I'll go with a purple binding to give it another shot of purple. I'm determined to use something from my stash for the binding... I need to send the completed quilt back no later than mid-July to meet their 4-6 week deadline.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The theme for the third month of So You Think You Can Quilt was 'Circles'. Voting ended last night and I'm happy to say that I'm still in the contest. My entry is a wall hanging, measuring about 25 inches square. To make this quilt I used Caryl Bryer Fallert's free Flying Geese in a Circle paper pieced pattern as a jumping off point, enlarging the pattern slightly on a copy machine. The photo online of the finished quilt indicated that the quilter should trim the circle of geese both inside and out (essentially making a donut of flying geese), but I adapted the pattern so that each of the four quarters was squared off. The four quarters of the circle went together like a dream. I enjoy the contrast of circles and squares in the piecing and continued that with the quilting. I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
Cassidy named this quilt Sunstruck.
I learned a little lesson about continuing to sew when I should be sleeping. As you can see below (partway through my repairs), I forgot to put in some of the black framing and had to unpick stitches and do a little more cutting and sewing. I'm glad I followed through with my original vision, I like it so much better with the black framing crossed at the corners.

Here's a picture of a mama and her little ducklings. This was taken on the day before Mother's Day. It was very windy and the poor little guys were getting blown end over end.

Finally, this picture of mama swan and her cygnets was taken on our Mother's Day walk around the lake on campus. Originally, she was farther away near the little island in the middle of the lake. We were surprised when she came up to the shoreline.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Love Spring

It's finally spring here, kind of. In typical northern Indiana fashion our temperature this time of the year can easily swing 35 degrees or more in one day. Certainly makes it fun in the morning when trying to decide what to wear. But the trees are in bloom and things are 'greening up' nicely. It is much appreciated after a long winter.

These pink flowers are from a tree here on campus. I love the way they look against that blue sky.

These are in my front yard. I love the tree, but wish the owner had planted it elsewhere (rather than directly in front of a window) and trimmed it properly into a standard tree shape.

Hello little lady bug. These little critters are cute when they are outside. Less so when they find their way into my house and can't find their way back out.

I've really got to get cracking soon to start on my 'circles' quilt for the So You Think You Can Quilt contest. I think I've got a plan, but who knows. I've had several plans so far and I've changed my mind each time. I've got until the 15th, so I should be okay. Yesterday was my last day of class for my master's program. Cue the choir of angels. No more homework = more time to sew!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Get to the Point

'Get to the Point', that's the name of my entry for the second round of So You Think You Can Quilt. The theme was 'Vintage'. Here's a picture of the quilt I made. The binding looks wonky in this picture because I did a poor job of hanging it on the wall - it's actually quite square. When it came time to take pictures it was a rainy day, so I had to do indoor pictures in poor lighting. Ugh.
For this quilt I dug out five fat quarters that had been living in my stash for a few years. When I bought the fabric I liked the vintage look of the pattern, but didn't have a plan for it (story of my life). When the vintage theme was announced, I decided to try my hand at the flying geese pattern. I used the No Waste Flying Geese Method of piecing since I didn't have much fabric to work with. I really liked this method since it takes care of the problem of sewing on the bias. The binding is also cut from the same fat quarters, so there was very little of that fabric remaining. The finished quilt is approximately 36" x 36". Here's a close up shot which shows the prints much better than the full shot.

So, I've survived to make it to Round 3. Plus, I've finished another quilt and tried out a new technique. Success all around. If you haven't already, head over to Brown Paper Packages and take a look at what's going on. The entries for Round 2 were quite lovely.
The theme for Round 3 is 'Circles'. I'm tossing around a couple of ideas, but haven't settled on anything just yet. You'll just have to wait and see. Voting will open around May 16 and I'll show you my entry about a week later. Can't wait to see the entries!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Pendants

The above pendants are some recent ones I made. I'm off to the studio in a little bit to pick up some finished pieces and make some more.

Meomi Swap Results

Meet Quatchi. He arrived in the mail Thursday and is the handiwork of Melissa from Dandelionladyseeds. He's simply adorable and garnered immediate hugs from Cassidy. My swap partner was also kind enough to send along one of her garlands and some handcrafted tags complete with velvet ribbons (I dig velvet ribbon!).

This is the Nurse Peso Penguin quilt that I made for the swap - he resides with Melissa now. I thoroughly enjoyed making this and was pleased with the final product. This little 'art quilt' measures about 17" x 18" (roughly, as I forgot to take a final measurement after completing it).

Thanks to Melissa from Dandelionladyseeds for the awesome swap goodies. Thanks also to Karen at Urban Craft for organizing the swap - I had a great time!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010



Here's a little something that Cassidy made recently in Glass Club. She used some scrap glass, stringers and millefiori slices. Isn't it just adorable? She's so creative - I think she really has a knack for this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Three of Hearts

The February voting has closed over at Brown Paper Packages and it looks like I get to play along for another month! The theme for March will be announced tomorrow. I didn't think of a name prior to submitting my pictures, but decided afterwords on 'Three of Hearts'...I know, remarkably creative. The quilt measures approximately 37" x 45". I was hoping for a sunny day to take pictures, but wasn't that fortunate. I'm not gonna complain though, the sun has been shining just about every day since then. Our theme was Love...here are a couple of shots of my entry.

I accomplished what I wanted with this - mainly that it was completely finished in time for judging. I didn't want to end up with more additions for my pile of unfinished quilts. I also christened my new machine (thanks mom and dad!) with this quilt. The quilt was pieced on the old machine, but I decided to (finally) unpack the new machine for the quilting. Originally I had planned on doing free motion quilting (feed dogs that drop at the flip of a switch!). However, after a little practice, I determined that a lot more practice was in order. I need to spend a little more time getting to know my machine before I commit to my next free motion project. Since I didn't have the luxury of time, I made the decision to quilt this in an echo pattern. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Meomi Swap

My first swap! Karen at URBAN CRAFT has organized a swap and I'm getting involved - because, you know, I need another deadline staring me down! I need to make something based on a Meomi character. I'm leaning towards Nurse Peso Penguin. Isn't he the cutest?! Perhaps a stuffie? Or maybe recreate one of the scenes in felt for a wall hanging? I need to mail out whatever I create to my swap partner by March 20. That seems reasonable (deadlines often seem reasonable to me at the beginning and much less so at the end). I'll likely start really planning this out after I send off pictures of my finished quilt for the contest at Brown Paper Packages, speaking of deadlines...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

Saturday I went with some friends to Chicago. While there we stopped by the Lincoln Park Conservatory and pretended like spring was near. Truth be told, it made me really miss Florida. February in northern Indiana will do that for you! We had a nice time strolling through the conservatory. I took lots of pictures of tropical flowers to help me get through the next few months.

What about these poor guys? They exemplify how I feel about all this cold. Brrr. We walked through the Lincoln Park Zoo to get to the Conservatory, so we stopped and said hello to a few of the animals.

Sunday, it was on to glass club. Above is a 'Before' shot. It'll be about a week before I've got an 'After' of the work. I'm primarily working on some pendants to donate to the club for their annual sale. The purpose of the sale is to raise money to fund a local service project.

Friday, January 22, 2010

So You Think You Can Quilt...

Leisel at Brown Paper Packages, a blog I enjoy reading, is hosting a "So You Think You Can Quilt" elimination contest. After going back and forth, I finally decided that I'd join in the fun. Considering my current workload this is probably pure folly, but what the heck!

The contest requires that contestants design and create any sized quilt top based on that month's designated theme. We can quilt and bind the quilt, but it is not required. I'm hoping to turn in pictures of completed quilts - goodness knows I don't need more UFOs (UnFinished Objects) lying around the sewing room(s). Once the theme is announced, we have a month to send pictures to Leisel so that she can post them and open up voting. The contest runs ten months, but someone will be voted off each month. Here's hoping I make it at least a couple of months! Leisel will be introducing the contestants soon, so come on over and see what we're up to. I won't be able to post pictures of my progress until after voting is closed each month (to keep things anonymous), but I'm really looking forward to this challenge.