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Archive for the ‘creative’ Category

Sept 25

It seems to be rare that I get a chance to piece a quilt.  But there are gifts for special ones that go out ‘in haste’ here & there.

This is for a friend’s first granddaughter that is due soon. A family friend found me via FB and asked if I and any of our group’s quilters would like to make a baby quilt.   Sadly, our friend died 7 yrs ago and we thought it would be sweet to bless the daughter with quilts from her quilting friends as her mother would have been doing.  I was the only one that sent a quilt. The baby’s room is painted a golden yellow with accents in navy, purple, and fuchsia.

I chose the accent colors from my stash but just could not find the right background fabric for this.  I could drive 1 – 1 1/2 hrs each way to a modern quilt shop to try to find something which adds up to “take a day trip” with 3 hrs on the road, lunch out, etc.  I could have looked online for awhile and ordered but then I wouldn’t have it in time.  Or… I could dye my own!  My SIL was here and I was asking her help with choosing dyes off my color chart. Nothing was quite right and I was also looking for yellow dyes in the storage drawers.  There NOT on the chart but in my inventory, was pencil yellow.  Yes!  That was the color we wanted and I had bought that on a special – no longer made deal.  Of course, now I love it and hope to get some more pencil yellow fabric from my amount of dye.

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The next day I dyed an extra amount of fabric than my plan needed just to be sure I had enough.  I was also making my own pattern so was just using my guesstimated amount of fabric needed.  I used about a 1/2 strength of dye.  I stirred the dye about every 15 mins for an  hour to have it more of a ‘solid but not quite’ coloring.  I was so excited as I think it came out perfect to what I wanted!
I cut the half-square triangles (HSTs) with my accuquilt Go! cutter.  LOVE IT!  I line up the fabrics that will be sewn together, right sides together, and they come out of the cutter ready to zip under the sewing machine.

Once I had all the HSTs sewn and pressed, I laid out part of the center design.

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Sewed the top together…

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And this also shows some of the quilting marks I made before I loaded it in my machine for quilting.  I had guidelines for the circles and divisions of 8 or 4 per ring.

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First the detail quilting in a variegated thread that stands out on the lighter fabrics.

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The finished quilt – quilted, labeled, bound, & washed.

12Close-up of a corner and you can see the circular designs.  The background fill thread was a matching yellow and a finer size thread.

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The back of the quilt. Once again, without going to buy the fabrics, I pieced the back from other fabrics in my stash.  🙂

I appliquéd the baby’s first initial and a heart, then pieced in the diagonal piece of fabric for an accent.

label 01
I had help from my family & friends on the label verse but I found it fitting since the mom has never met me. It was just a gift from God, with love from one of her mom’s quilting friends.  Sent from Illinois to Mississippi.

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The one who contacted me and the new mother were surprised at how well it matched the baby’s room.  Yeah!  I loved this quilt and had a hard time putting it in the box to ship away.  It was a gift of love so I knew I needed to send it.  It sounds like it was well received.

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The last clue added the last row on the outside of the quilt.  The soloist continued a pattern to the centers and the corners.

11-complete-top
She also suggested piecing the backing from stash and I continued in my neutral pile.  And you know …. there are still more fabrics in the bin!  Her instructions included a bit of “sashing” on the back and corner posts.  I did all of this in neutrals but many in the group did another design of colors with this piecing.

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I wrote the label on one of the backing cornerstones before quilting.

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Planning the quilting….  I took a photo of the complete top, printed it in black & white, and then used tracing paper over that master to draw some ideas on paper.  In this photo, some is marked and I’m looking at thread ideas.

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Next up… quilting!

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I had the first week of MOPS for the school year while Mom was here so she went along with me.  My helper mom this year is my MIL and both our moms are friends so they enjoyed the morning together.

I had 3 kids in the room that day and reminded them that my “name” at MOPS is Mrs. M— and that “this one” will be our helper in the room each time and she is also Mrs. M–.   The kids were surprised!!  My MIL isn’t thrilled to be called that so we call her Grandma M as that is what I’m used to calling her.  To add more intrigue, I introduced my mom and they were so surprised that MY mom was there from so far away and that the other one was my husband’s mom.  It was fun!

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One evening we went to the PC Quilt Guild meeting.  It was an extra-special speaker that night and whereas most months we may only have 1 or 2 guests, this time my mom was one of 18 visitors to our guild!  Many, many of my guild friends (members at this one and members at the other one I’m in) were thrilled to meet her and introduced themselves.

Mom & I even had show & tell to share!  I prepared this embroidery for her to work on and she brought it back all done!  I still need to do piecing of trees for the border and quilt it for a table runner.

snowman-embroidery

She does beautiful work!  I couldn’t see a pencil line of the pattern left!  I’m not sure how she did all this of white & gray floss on white fabric!

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And I got her to initial it!  🙂

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~~
The second Sunday she was here was an open day for Miss K and we all met in the middle for a wonderful dinner!

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Once again, mom was the charmer and attracted the attention of the owner of the restaurant!  He came to our table and welcomed us, shaking mom’s hand and then giving her a light kiss on her head when he left.  After we had finished our meals (well, as much as we could eat and had packed up our leftovers!), Mom & I visited with the owner again.  Soon our waitress came to our table with a full serving of their dessert beignets compliments of Mr. Vitalie!  Beignets with marshmallow cream and a chocolate swirl for dipping!  We were sure our stomachs had not one more inch of space but warm beignets fit in there just right!

06-dessert

We brought home some leftovers and mom would heat a few each day for her mid-morning snack.  🙂  Of course, she made me have one too!  Maybe my next “meal” there will be just an order of beignets!  ♥

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During vacation, the Sisters group at church had a paint party and I signed up for myself, my mom, and a friend to come.  My friend claimed she wasn’t a painter and I said that it would all be fine and that my mom has probably never held a paintbrush in her hands.

For not fun reasons, my friend was not able to come.  I then sent a text to another friend, one of my MOPS moms, asking if she’d like to come.  It was my treat, she just needed to come.  She was thrilled and all the child care worked out easily for her.  So one friend was sad and one was blessed to tears by the opportunity to come to a Sisters event.

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I had hoped it was a paint party of copying the design the teacher had for us as I’ve seen many friends participate in doing.  However, it was a plaque/wall board and phrase paint class.  We used chalk paint and learned the benefits and the properties of it and it was fun.

This was shocking…. my mom doing a craft project!!

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About 40 were there, we had snacks but once we started with the project we were too busy to think much about more snacks!

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We had a good table of friends.  Fun evening and we were happy with our projects!

Mom was sort of a celebrity when I had her out for events.  She was thrilled to have “come the farthest” and everyone was thrilled she was out traveling and her age.

paint-class

I’m taking bets if she has this hidden in her room or hung in the main living area.  What do you think?
Mine is ready to be hung…. I need to choose what will hang on the wall area and do a layout.

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September ~
I think that is what she said afterwards!  My mom got her 2 weeks of vacation with us!  (Well, this time with us… she gets a lot of vacations and loves it!)  You’ll see I had her working and busy and out & about a lot.  I’m sure she needed to rest after vacation!

Some highlights —
Day 2 – after church — and I love that she is great with selfies even tho she doesn’t have a phone to take photos
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She got to see her youngest (and tallest) grandson for a 1/2 day before he headed back for his last semester. He was drummer at church that morning.  I think it was 11 yrs ago she saw him drumming last!   😀
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She hung out in the studio with me.  One day, while I quilted, she ironed 3 yards of fabric “we” had dyed the day before.

~Often when I said “we” did this or that, she said it was more like “Betsy & I killed the bear.  Betsy sat on the fence and I killed the bear.”    Have you heard that phrase?

(a quick google gave me this:
“Betsy and I Killed the Bear” is an expression whose meaning has been lost. Like many of the things I work with, it is an evocative archaeological find whose significance is not immediately discernible. Its meaning – as nearly as I am able to reconstruct it – has to do with taking credit for something one has not done. But this meaning has become so obscure that it remains more or less a private one to the individuals in the photographs, in particular to my Aunt Dorothy, who mentioned it to me in conversation a few years ago; now 91…. (which fits the age range for “Betsy” in this case).  )

 

Another day, she had her knitting and I was quilting and with my barely long enough arm, I was able to get both of us and our projects in a selfie!  (not to be confused with my long arm machine for quilting! pardon the pun…)
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My Instant Pot was still new and she got to be a tester for some new recipes.  How about hot fudge brownie with chocolate raspberry swirl ice cream for a bedtime snack?  Yum!!
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Lunch outside on a busy day (for me) when we couldn’t take time to eat at the table AND catch some rays at separate times!
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Another day we had a quick run to the drugstore and she was given a $5 cash back coupon.  She said she didn’t use them.  Gasp!!  I asked if she’d like a snack for the trip home but she declined.  I said  I would use it and headed for the chocolate aisle.  I showed her one of my favorite treats, Dove Dark Chocolate covered cranberries, and asked if she’d like this.

Immediately, since she was also scanning this aisle that she’s probably never been in, she said, “What about trail mix?”  I asked what she likes in her trail mix and before she answered she asked about this can of snack mix.  Oh yummy!!   Great!  She chose her own use of the coupon that was hers to use anyway.  It was $4.99, we checked out and with the .01 something tax, I gave the coupon and we were free & clear!
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I put this in the bag she already was given and as we walked out, she agreed that was fun!  I didn’t even get my seat-belt on in the car and she was opening her can of snack/ala candy!  After almost 2 weeks, I still forgot to make sure she had her ‘2nd breakfast’ and she was hungry!  However, hungry with you & me is different than hungry and my mom.  She had 2 bits and was done!  I don’t have such willpower once chocolate starts in!  It was packed in her car bag for the trip home.

A few more parts to her visit to come….

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Once I had my detail guidelines marked and the ideas mostly in my head and a bit on paper, I was able to load and quilt.  I only got the detail quilting done and then the customer work was flowing in fast so I took it off my frame.  A hard choice to make but I knew I had enough quilting done, plus added a few pins for basting, that I could put it aside.

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I used a turquoise and purple variegated thread; Superior Rainbows 802 Brasilia Blue.

This was on & off my quilt hanging rack 20 or more times while other quilts were photographed!

Some of the detail quilting —

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So then it waited from early March until August.

I took a week to quilt a baby quilt and finish this mystery quilt.  The Olympics were on TV so I had that as my background noise a lot while I did the small fill-in quilting.  This took a bit over 10 hours of quilting time.  I quilted  during the day a few hours at a time and 2 nights until 10 p.m. or after to finally get it done.

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I knew my current bobbin was nearing the end as I was nearing the end of my quilting and prayed I’d make it without having to wind one more bobbin.  I made it with this much left!  Yeah!  10:20 p.m.  #yawn

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I had it just draped on a chair until a weekend when I could trim it and sew on the binding.  I walked into my studio one day and it was like this and I just had to have  a photo.  I was so glad to finally have the quilting done on one of my own quilts.

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I added the soloist turquoise for binding and once that was on, it had really completed it!

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I really like this and I’m not sure I want to give it away now!
Pattern is available at Colourful StitchesSymmetry Square  it is an e-pattern.  I suggest it!!  No special tools needed.

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I corrected the previous post that we get clues for this every WEEK.  So the first few weeks slid past me quite fast!  One quiet weekend in January, I did the cutting. Then I worked in the long evenings that week in getting caught up on the clues.

Clue 2 had us making a pile of 9-patches and Clue 3 added in some long rectangles.  Also for clue 3, these sets were combined and added to the center like this.  I’m just pulling random neutrals for my scraps, though making the rectangle parts go together per piece.  She tells us where the soloist fabric goes.

clue 02

Clue 4 was another pile of 9-patches.  They get monotonous so it was OK to break those times up!  I was working about 1 clue a day still so it was good for me to have a change of pace.

clue 03 and 04 combined

Clue 5 is below and added the outer row, where I marked off the center already completed with the dashed line.  By now, some of the other quilts posted on the group are showing very fun color arrangements!  I’m trying hard to not be swayed.  The writer is encouraging my randomness.  Good to get out of a planned box!

 

clue 5 900 b

Below, Clue 6 has been added as an outer row again.

clue 06 b

More to follow….

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