Friday, September 29, 2017

Bunny Tales Quilt Finish


Finally got the last stitches in this quilt for my granddaughter, washed and dried it to achieve crinkly softness, and gave it to Abby.


This quilt had a few firsts for me ... I had never used a panel but had to try it the second I saw this Bunny Tales panel from Missouri Star Quilt Co. My daughter has always loved bunnies so I knew the momma and baby bunny would be perfect for Abby's baby quilt. Used two darling accompanying prints for borders.



Another first was big-stitch embroidery to highlight the panel. It was fun to do and turned out even better than I had hoped. I also hand-embroidered Abby on the momma bunny's kerchief.


I inserted a machine-embroidered strip on the back with her given name "Abelina" and birthdate, a few decorative touches and "Made With Love by Nana Jane."






It was a lot of fun to make and the baby already loves it. After taking it out of the dryer and draping it over the back of a kitchen chair to cool, Abby scooted over in her walker to look at it and touch it. Sweet girl!





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An Oregon Wedding


Our family just spent an amazing week in Portland, Oregon, celebrating the wedding of my baby sister and her wonderful new husband. They had a beautiful, spiritual handfasting ceremony in a sun-dappled forest glen with the Salmon River providing background music.


I made them a quilt that reminded me of their sweet backyard garden. The pattern is the Binding Tool Star Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. I chose jelly rolls in Basic Colors Purple and Green from Jellyrollfabric.net for the blocks. The background and binding are a solid medium charcoal and the backing is a gray print, both from Joann's.


The label has a hand-embroidered monogram, some decorative stitching and a note written with a Pigma Micron 05 fabric pen. I used scraps to make a piano key border to match the quilt front.


While I've quilted all of the quilts I've made myself, this is the first one that I free motion quilted. I used an all over pattern of meandering loops and found that polyester thread works better than cotton for me in FMQ. I had very good luck with the gray polyester cone from Connecting Threads. And my Baby Lock Jazz was so great with all the throat space for this large quilt. Having good tools really does make a difference.


Their sweet dog was their ring bearer and I designed a ring bearer's pouch that we tied to his collar.


It worked perfectly and he really is the Best Dog!


Here's wishing the newlyweds many years of wedded bliss and joy cuddling under their quilt!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Big Stitch Bunny Tales, part 1

 
I'm working on a quilt for my new baby granddaughter. The only purchase I made on Black Friday was from Missouri Star Quilt Co. I was in full scale holiday madness with a retail job at the time and did some quick online shopping, choosing this sweet Bunny Tales panel along with some accompanying fabrics. My oldest daughter has always loved bunnies -- even had one for a pet -- so when I saw the momma and baby bunnies among the pretty peaches, pinks and oranges, I knew it would be perfect.

  
I wanted to personalize the quilt with both the baby's full name and nickname so hand-embroidered "abby" on the momma bunny's kerchief. I've added simple borders with the carrot and polka dot fabrics. 

 
For the back, I machine embroidered a large panel with her full name and birth date, a butterfly to mimic the butterfly backing fabric, and my Made With Love info. This piece was inset on the lower back.

 
Having been enamored with big-stitch quilting for some time, I felt this panel was the perfect chance to give it a try. I'm using DMC #5 perle cotton floss purchased at Michael's.

 
My Mom had a quilting stand and hoop that she no longer uses and she very kindly shipped it to me for this. It is completely awesome!

 
See the cute little jeweled butterfly on the momma bunny? That's a needle minder, a magnetic place to hold/rest your needle when you stop. Mom had included several of these with the quilting stand. So fun and functional!

 
I am having a great time doing the big-stitching! I've always been a fan of hand-embroidery and this is so fast and so pretty. I'm just picking elements in the panel to feature and outline that will hold the quilt layers together.

Once I've finished the oval design center, I'll machine quilt the rest of it and finish with carrot striped binding. I'll post again when it's done, but wanted to share how much fun the big-stitch quilting is ... I highly recommend giving it a try!


Monday, April 3, 2017

Beaded Scissor Fobs

 

Beaded scissor fobs ... who knew? Am I the only one who didn't have any or even really knew about them? Not only are they cute, they help you locate your scissors in piles of ongoing projects and identify them as yours in classes and at retreats.

Mom emailed me last week and asked if I still had beading supplies. Back when we owned our stationery/gift shop, we sold a lot of handmade items including beaded bracelets and eyeglass chains. Since I never craft halfway, I have many, many boxes of tools, beads and charms just waiting to be made into something useful and cool. Whenever I get into a new craft, my hubby always says, "Do you have to have everything???" And, yes, I do. 

Anyway, Mom had sent a couple of ideas she'd seen on Etsy and off I went. Turned the kitchen table into bead central and just played. I had some cute charms, including a tomato pincushion from Missouri Star Quilt Co., paint palette, feather, bumblebee and hearts.

Sent the 5 fobs on the left to Mom along with a cute new pair of embroidery scissors I got at Michael's with a 60% off coupon (on the second fob from the left). Woohoo!

I had forgotten how much fun beading is but have confirmed a couple of things about myself:

- Mom wanted hers to be 3" to 3-1/2" but that's only long enough for a few beads. I had a hard time editing and could put thousands of beads on each one. And I do not exaggerate! I literally strung them, admired them, measured them, sighed, then took beads back off.

- Also, I'm not into, or apparently able to handle, asymmetry. Nope, everything has to be balanced and even and fair. Like my life ... again, no exaggeration here!

Scissor fobs ... they're pretty, easy to make, would make great gifts and are wonderful for your own cute little scissors. It's a thing!

So many projects, never enough time!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Palindrome Xmas Quilt Label

 

How late is late? Finally created and attached the quilt label for our oldest granddaughter's Christmas quilt made for her *ahem, cough* 3-1/2 years ago.  Blogged about making the quilt here.

Fortunately, the lack of a label hasn't kept the quilt from being well-used and loved. I machine embroidered the information, then bordered it with the striped fabric used for the quilt binding. Please note my first (and possibly last) attempt at mitered corners. Mitered corners are a fussy business!

 

Here's the back. I pressed a 1/2" hem, then topstitched around at 1/4". Also ironed on lightweight fusible backing (SF-101) for stability and to protect the embroidery stitches from use and repeated laundering.

 

 


Whip stitched it to the quilt back along with my Lilla Lotta Handiworking label.

Palindrome Xmas Quilt Label ... Check!

So many projects, never enough time!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quilt Finish :: Summer in the Park

 

Just wanted to share the quilt I made for my sweet sister-in-law for Christmas. The wonderful pattern is Summer in the Park by Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Unfortunately, it was an unusually dreary day in Phoenix when it was completed, washed and packed for shipping so the colors appear darker in the photos than they really are. The quilt border and backing fabric features turquoise peacock feathers with pink hearts.

 

One of my favorite elements on this quilt is the hand-embroidered label. My sister-in-law and husband lovingly call each other dumbass ~ every phone call, text, email, greeting card ~ it's Hello, Dumbass! Which makes me an honorary dumbass by marriage. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would sit and painstakingly stitch the phrase dumbasses by marriage on anything ... but there it is.

 

Here's a better picture of the colors on the quilt front during the pin-basting stage ...

 

So many projects, never enough time.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Best Apple Pie Ever :: Recipe by Audrey's Apron



I've always been more of a cake and cookie baker but am determined to conquer pies with homemade crust. This week it was apple pie -- recipe courtesy of Audreys's Apron blog. Truly a beautiful recipe with simple to follow instructions. 



I made a double batch of Audrey's pie crust recipe (link supplied in the apple pie directions) in my Breville Sous Chef food processor and it is great dough to work with. Rolled out beautifully and was pretty pleased with my first ever lattice crust. These pie crust rings from Taste of Home have been waiting patiently in the pantry for many years and they really did make the process faster and easier. Lots of butter in this recipe but if I'm going out eating apple pie, it better be the Best Apple Pie Ever ... right?!?!



My hubby strolled through the kitchen, sniffed the pork roast in the crockpot, tasted the cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y, syrupy pie filling that coats the Granny Smiths and the lattice crust and said, "I'm not going to fit into my clothes!" That makes two of us. Also, one of the great pleasures for me with baked goods is grating fresh nutmeg into the mix. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it for the pure, intense fragrance and flavor it adds.



Thanks, Audrey, for sharing this gorgeous recipe. It's a keeper!