Category Archives: My Quilts

CAT – A Quilt for Cats 2013

I made this little quilt for my mom’s house.  It’s a pattern by Helene Knott called “Spelling Beasts”.  It was another one of Diane’s classes.  I wanted to add more techniques to my repertoire.  I thought it would make a good Christmas gift for the cats that live with my parents.  They have a tile floor they eat on and I imagine it can be cold on their paws during the winter months.

SB_CATMom decided it was too cute for the cats to eat on so she’s draped it over the back of the couch.  The cats of course hang out there, so I don’t really see what the difference of being on the couch or under their dry food bowl.  Nathan wasn’t too happy about it either “Grandma!  The kitty is sitting on mommie’s quilt!”

I used a variety of batiks and blenders I had in my stash.  I didn’t mean for it to be the same colors as the sample – Carol had some green paw print fabric I just had to use as a border!  So that’s how the green came to be.  There is also a multi-color paw print fabric on the back.

multi-colored paw prints for backing
Backing Fabric

I also decided to make the “chins” pink.  The first cat reminded me of Shadow, one of my childhood companions.  She used to sleep on her back with just the tip of her tongue sticking out.

The quilt finishes approx. 36” x 24”.

Starlight Reflection – 2013

Starlight Reflection was born from two quilt classes I had taken from Diane at Fabric-Etc using the Rapid Fire rulers – Lamoyne Star and Hunter’s Star.  In February of 2013 I took a class on the Hunter’s Star and followed up with the Lamoyne Star class the next month and had made some blocks that are still in my scrap bin waiting for a project.  When I took the classes I didn’t really have a set project in mind.

Starlight Reflection - Finished Quilt
Starlight Reflection – Finished Quilt

I had taken my first quilt class over the summer of 2012 and when I finally finished the quilt it went to Nana, my husband’s grandmother, for Christmas in 2012.  At the time I had chosen this very abstract fabric for the focus of the quilt.  Being a new quilter and having the plans to gift my quilt from the beginning I bought enough for two (or three) quilts!  My thinking was I could give one away and recreate a second one for myself (which I never got around to doing).  Nana loved the quilt, of course, and one of these days I need to go over and capture a photo.

Starlight Reflection, December 2013
Starlight Reflection, December 2013

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend’s mother always joins us for holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.) and in 2012 I had hoped to also make a quilt for her, but never got around to it.  My thinking was how she was always colder then the rest of us.  If I made her a lap quilt she could use it while we all gathered and then we won’t have to use the fireplace while opening all the windows!  So when I came home with the fabric choices for the Hunter’s Star class and discovered it matched the focus fabric I had used for Nana’s quilt I knew I had a sister-quilt in the making!

Now I’m not big on piecing boarders, I’ll do it when needed but if I can get the center quilt top to be smaller than the width of the fabric being used I’ll go ahead and create a corner block for the borders.  I had done this with Nana’s quilt, using one of the quilt block patterns I concocted in what I named “My First Quilt”(the first quilt I made to completion – quilted and bound.  You can read about it here).  I chose do to the same thing with this quilt.  I made new Lamoyne Stars using one of the light green batiks used in the center pattern as well as a Michael Miller Fairy Frost I had in my stash.

Close up of the two different blocks
Close up of the two different blocks

One of the things I learned from making this quilt is directional fabrics can make a difference with the Hunter’s Star ruler, but is less noticeable with the process for the Lamoyne Star Ruler (Unless you want ALL the directionality to be the same in the entire block.

Quilt label
Quilt label

I had intended on hand quilting the label, like I had done for Butterfly Garden.  I had struggled with coming up with a name for the quilt.  I ended up going with Starlight Reflection, it came to me when heading to bed one night, but Christmas was too close and I had other homemade gifts needing finishing.  I’m not a big fan of my chicken scratch handwriting.

Starlight Reflection was given to Mary for Christmas, 2013.  This next Christmas I hope to make something for my mother-in-law.

Butterfly Garden – Bonnie’s Team 2013

Butterfly Garden was my second Bonnie’s Team quilt.  I had two goals with this one: try to create a quilt inspired by this post and practice some free motion quilting.  Actually, I had one other goal and that was to turn this quilt in early, but that didn’t quite happen.

Butterfly Garden - Bonnie's Team 2013
Butterfly Garden – Bonnie’s Team 2013

 

Bonnie’s Team holds a special place in my heart (see previous post here) for many reasons; the first is I love that the quilt store I learned to quilt from is donating fabric and batting and the second is the untimely passing away of my Aunt from cancer the first time I participated in the Bonnie’s Team.  I think it is important to give back and I hope that my quilts give some warmth and comfort to those going through a tough time in their lives.

Butterfly Garden - Laying out blocks
Butterfly Garden – Laying out blocks

I created my blocks using 3.5” unfinished squares and nine patches using a variety of fun fabrics.  I can’t remember every fabric in the quilt, but there were a bunch from Riley Blake’s Hello Sunshine, a teal from Katie Spain Cuzico line, Celebration from Bunny Hill designs, and some from the same line as the backing fabric I picked that I can’t think of the name right now.  I used a white tone-on-tone for the background that had little star bursts from my stash.  I had originally bought the white for making snowmen appliqué but I ended up finding something that looked more like snowflakes (which is still untouched in my stash… someday…).

Butterfly Garden - Finished Block
Butterfly Garden – Finished Block

One of the challenges I had was making the quilt into a rectangle.  I got lucky that my squares ended up just over 12.5” finished, so I had to figure out how to fill in the sides.  I used some of the left over strips from the nine patches and took a seam ripper to them.  Why cut when I have all these ends available?  I went for a four-patch scrappy boarder.

On Display at Fabric-Etc
On Display at Fabric-Etc

 

I was really happy how this quilt turned out.  I hand quilted the label, a first for me, using this tutorial.  Looks so much better then my chicken scratch handwriting!  I was able to finish the binding at my quilt guild meeting so I got to share it during the show and tell.  I was trying to hand it over to one of the members who worked at Fabric-etc but she left before I could take a photo of the finished piece.  I ended up leaving it (accidentally!) in the care of another store and my teacher, Diane, was kind enough to swing by and pick it up and deliver it for me.

I didn’t realize until I was putting together this post that the way I chose the color places looks like XOXOs for hugs and kisses 🙂

BT2013_004

Oh, and the name?  There’s butterflies quilted into the boarders as well as the colored 3” squares.  If you look at the full quilt picture there is one lone dragon fly hidden amongst the leaves where I got tired of quilting the butterflies.  I wonder if the new owner ever found it.

My First Quilt – Bonnie’s Team 2012

This was my first quilt, technically.  Although I had a quilt top completed from my beginning quilting class (barely!) I had not completed quilting and binding it.

BT2012_001

In the summer of 2012 I took a quilting class from a local quilt shop, Fabric-etc.  It overlapped with their annual charity drive to collect lap quilts for the local cancer center for patients going through chemotherapy.  Named Bonnies Team after the memory of Bonnie DeSpain.  I never met her, but you can read about her story here.  As part of October’s Cancer Awareness Carol donates a piece of batting and a yard of backing fabric to those who sign up and I decided this would be a good way to practice quilting.

BT2012_002

I chose one of the brighter backing fabrics available and bought some more so I could match the quilt top to the backing.  I then sketched out two blocks I thought would work together.  I calculated how many blocks I would need to fit within the recommended size instructions (based on the lap sized quilts Bonnie would make) and figured out my block size and pattern.  I then sketched out my individual blocks, took notes and made up some mock blocks out of some scrap fabric I had laying around from other sewing projects.

In my beginning quilting class I had the fortune to learn from a very talented quilter, Diane.  She taught us how to create flying geese from squares instead of cutting out the triangles and trying to sew a bias cut edge.  I figured out if I started with a square I could create triangles on all four corners of the block.  This was the basis for the center of my blocks.

After assembling most of my quilt blocks I received news that one of my Aunts had passed away from cancer.  She and her immediate family had not disclosed that she had been ill, per her request.  My mother was devastated; Aunt Debby was the oldest and was like a second mother to all the siblings.  It hit me pretty hard too as I had spent many summers as a youngster at her home.  I found some solace working and finishing this quilt; it was thereputic knowing it would be going to a stranger who would hopefully find some warmth and comfort.

Lap Quilt - Bonnie's Team 2012

This quilt was doubly special.  I labeled it “My First Quilt,” dedicated to Aunt Debby and her family.  On the day AFTER it was due I handed it over to Carol, the shop owner, explaining with tears in my eyes about our family’s loss.

Lil’ Twister Xmas Wreath – 2013

Hello, and welcome to 2014!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  It was very strange for me having the entire week between Christmas and New Years off.  Joys of no longer working retail.

So one of the (many) reasons I created this site was to document some of the sewing projects I’ve made and am working on.  I have many influences and “oooh! I want to do that!” from other bloggers and I hope someday that someone will find inspiration from me.  I know I have a long way to go on my quilt journey, but you have to start somewhere.

Today I wanted to share my Lil’ Twister Xmas Wreath table top quilt I made for my Aunt Rosanna and Uncle Pete this year.  I wanted to post this before the holidays, this is such a cute project (my mom wants one!) and real easy to do.  I chose not to in case some family members happened to come across the post and spoil the surprise!

I got the idea from Carol’s blog, she gave me a free copy of the instructions when I bought the Lil’ Twister ruler.  I really loved her fabric choices so I used the same ones she did for the wreath but I wanted more of a berry look, so used two greens on the wreath and only one red square.  I already had a nice cream with metallic swirlies (nice technical term!) that worked perfectly.

miniature quilt of a wreath
Wreath created with Lil’ Twister ruler

When I finished the miniature quilt top I was sad to discover the red got lost, due in part to the green leaves in the print.  When I do this again for my mom I will use a print with more red.  The print used in the “holly berries” is the same as the border fabric.

This was also a free motion practice, I used a version of the holly vines from the book 501 Quilting Motifs: From the Editors of Quiltmaker Magazine.  I also did a tight stippling to help the wreath stand out more.