Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pink Batiks

"Pink Batiks"
Size: 12 1/4" x 38 1/2"
Pattern: original design
Completed: December 2004
Made in: Bellingham, WA
Given to: Laurelyn Miner
Machine peiced and quilted on a Pfaff Hobby 301
The story: Mmmmmm. I love reds and I love batiks, so when I found this red swirl batik fabric, I had to have it. This was another Christmas project for 2004 and I knew my dear friend Laurelyn in Alaska would love the fabric as much as I did. Because I was so ambitious that Christmas (I think I ended up making 4 or 5 table runners for gifts) I had to be efficient in my designs. This was a simple alternating pattern bound with a light striped batik to help the reds and pinks pop.

Red Floral for Billie

Close up to see the flowers and paisleys. I loved this fabric!

On Mike and Billie's beautiful cherry wood dining table.

"Red Floral”
Size: apprx. 12" x 100"
Pattern: original design
Completed: December 2004
Made in: Bellingham, WA
Given to: Billie Bennett
Machine pieced and quilted on a Pfaff Hobby 301

The story: With my new found passion I decided I was ready to make quilt Christmas presents in 2004. This one was for my mother-in-law Billie in Nebraska. She and my father-in-law Mike had just built a beautiful home and I wanted to make her something for her formal dining room. I can't recall where I found the fabric, but it was most likely from Fourth Corner Quilts in Bellingham, WA. I used two coordiating fabrics in 3" wide strips with a contrasting green binding. This was the first time I used strip piecing and it worked great. I believe I just quilted it in the ditch.

Koi Pond

"Koi Pond"
Size: 12 1/2" x 66 1/2"
Completed: Summer 2004
Made in: Bellingham, WA
Machine pieced and quilted on a Pfaff Hobby 301
This quilt is kept on the table in my entryway.
The story: This quilt is the result of falling in love with a fat quarter bundle at a little quilt shop in Anacortes, WA. I loved the Asian elements of the fabrics and the boldness of the red. The bundle sat in my craft room for a while until I found the perfect use for it. After having taken two classes I decided I was ready to venture out on my own. I purchased Marsha McClosky's Block Party book of 120 block patterns and went on a search for something I could do with this beautiful bundle of fabric. I knew I needed something fairly basic since I was on my own with this one. I settled on the Stepping Stone block, placed on point with four patch blocks and large triangles to highlight the red coy fabric. Looking at this quilt even now I am pretty impressed with how I put it all together. But I think the credit really belongs to whoever put the bundle together. I remember that I ran out of the red koi fabric and none of the shops in Bellingham carried it, I think I had to have my mom search for it, too. Luckily I found what I needed and was able to complete the project. This is the last quilt I hand sewed the binding on!

Friday, March 27, 2009

May Basket

"A Golden May Basket”
Size: approximately 22" x 22"
Completed: Spring 2004
Made in: Bellingham, WA
Given to: Emily Dade
Machine pieced and quilted on a Pfaff Hobby 301

The story: This wall hanging was also a class taught by Nancy at Fourth Corner Quilts in Bellingham, WA. I took the class in May2004 and completed the piece sometime that spring. The class just got me as far as the 12 1/2" May Basket Block and I turned it on point and added the borders, white triangles and cornerstones. I also did a lot more quilting that was visible on this piece. My first quilt was just quilted in the ditch, but I did some pretty heavy quilting on this one. Not bad for only my second quilt.

I loved the bright colors of the batik fabric, but it didn't match anything in my house. Eventually, I hung it in my office at work, where it looked great. Then, in June 2005, when we were moving to Hawaii, for some reason I decided to give it to my sister Emily. She found the perfect palce for it in her house. She passed away from breast cancer in July 2007, but her husband Gary has kept it and even found a perfect place for it in their new home. It means a lot to me that Gary and the kids have it. I know Emily really loved it.

My First Quilt

"Winter's First Snowball"
Size: 30 1/2" x 39 1/2"
Completed: February 2004
Made in Bellingham, WA
Machine pieced and quilted on a Pfaff Hobby 301
This quilt now hangs in my sewing room.

The story: In January 2004 I took my first quilting class - a series of I think 4 or 6 evening classes. It was for beginners and I was definitely a beginner. The class was taught by Nancy at Fourth Corner Quilts in Bellingham, WA. The photos are not great and I wish I had a better camera or lighting to really show the colors, but oh well.

When selecting my fabric I first chose the fabric for the large snowballs and then tried to match all the others. I have learned A LOT about fabric selection since then. And I would not love this quilt if it weren't for the fact that it was my first. I learned so much - most importantly that I HATE hand sewing binding! I quickly figured out how to do it by machine. It may be cheating, but I don't care.

Not bad for my first 1/2 square triangles.

Just a close-up to see some of the quilting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why a blog.....

So I've decided to start a blog of my quilting and sewing projects - past, present and future. It's a bit overwhelming to decide where to start: my first quilt or my most recent creation, why I started quilting or how I find time to quilt with a two year old. I guess I'll start with a little background and go from there.

I have been sewing off and on since I was a kid. My mom sewed clothes and costumes for us growing up and I always enjoyed sewing with her. Every summer we would work on sewing projects for 4-H - up until the wee hours trying to finish something in time to get it entered in the county fair. Once I became a teenager I would ocassionally sew a skirt or something for myself, but lost interest for a few years. Then my mom gave me my first sewing machine of my own (a Pfaff Hobby 301 - more to come on that little machine later) for Christmas in 1994. I dabbled with it a bit here and there, making pillow cases, curtains and the ocassional dress - bridesmaid dresses and I wasn't very good at it and frequently found myself back at home having mom walk me through the hard parts. I realized I didn't really like making clothes. And since then have only done it if I have absolutley had to.

So my machine sat in the closet most of the time. I would sew a few times a year and everytime I moved (which was frequently back then) I would make new curtains for the house or other such things. I made baby quilts (clueless about it now that I look back) for a nephew and a couple of good friends and then in the fall of 2003 a new quilt shop opend up around the corner from our house. I had always admired quilts, but felt I didn't have the skill or patience to do it right. I mentioned to Cory a few times that I would love to quilt, but would need to take a class or two to get started. Well, he was paying attention and for Christmas that year he signed me up for a beginner quilting class at the shop around the corner (Fourth Corner Quilts - Bellingham, WA) and he even talked to the owner (Julia Menkee) and picked out a few basic supplies that I would need - cutting mat, rotary cutter and acrylic ruler. I was thrilled with the gift and I could tell he was proud of himself. Little did he know then that quilting would become a minor obsession of mine.

So I started my first quiting class in January 2004.

Ok, tht's it for now - naptime is over.... Next installment will be about my first real quilt.