Friday, November 26, 2021

Americana in the Park Wall Hanging and Place Mats


Four months!  It's hard to believe that it's been that long since I've posted here.  It certainly wasn't intentional and definitely won't be the norm in the future.

As for why? It's a lot of reasons. I couldn't work on posts while we were on vacation at the end of August because my Ipad is old and Blogger no longer works with the older operating systems.

Then, on the urging of a couple of friends, I applied for and got a job (while on vacation) as a part-time study hall monitor at one of the middle schools.  Once we got back home on Labor Day it was a ton of rushing as I had mounds of new hire paperwork and online training to complete, a required training to attend the following day and school started the day after.  

As it turns out, that job was not for me.  It was more hectic and aggravating that I had imagined and definitely wasn't worth it.  I was either stressed out or had a headache practically every day and wasn't in the mood to sew, let alone to write blog posts.  I left at the end of October. My mom visited for a week in early November.  Some other family issues over the past couple of weeks have kept me away from the computer but hopefully now things will begin to settle down and I can get back to the regularly scheduled programming.  I have a lot to share with you.

First up is my 

Americana in the Park wall hanging and place mats.

Last summer, while participating in Moda's Summer in the Country quilt along, I got the bug to make a summer time wall hanging for the space above the desk between our kitchen and great room. I was happily surprised when I found this fat quarter bundle of Beechwood Park by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit that I had totally forgotten about.

I knew I wanted to make an oversized Blackford's Beauty blog because 1) I like that block a lot and 2) it would tie in with my American Beauty table runner. When I laid out the pieces, I accidentally set the flying geese blocks in the center of each row upside down but when I noticed the oops, I decided that I liked it so I kept it that way.

After piecing the wall hanging and the place mats and then sandwiching them with batting and backing, they sat waiting for quilting.  For a whole year. In June, with school almost over and July 4th fast approaching, I decided to get these done.

Quilting was going to be simple and done on my domestic machine.  I started by drawing a 45 degree line with the purple disappearing marker.

After sewing that line, I used the seam guide for my walking foot to quilt a grid.

The process was then repeated in the opposite direction for a cross hatch design.

The completed piece hung there all summer.  It finished at 28" square.

The place mates were all created utilizing the leftovers from the FQ bundle. 

I took the largest pieces from each print and then added randomly until it was 12" x 20".

Each one is different and I don't have a favorite.

I do love that the fabrics aren't typical patriotic prints.

The best part is that, other than some small bits which were tiny scraps, I was able to use up the entire bundle so nothing got added to my scrap bins. The batting used was also scraps. 

 I was thrilled with how they turned out.
I'm happy to finally have these UFOs finished and crossed off the list plus I now have another seasonal set for the wall and the tables. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Kathy's Pink and Black Flower Blocks Quilt

 When my customer Kathy brought me her adorable chickens quilt, she also brought this pretty Pink and Black Flowers Block quilt.


The combination of colors that she used is very vibrant and it just needed the finishing touch.

Unfortunately with the practically daily rain and/or overcast skies we've been having here, getting really good pictures of the finished quilts is nearly impossible but trust me when I tell you it turned out gorgeous.
Glide thread in Military Gold was the perfect choice for the top.
The panto Surf's Up was fitting and I really like the way it mimicked the edges of the flowers in the Black fabric.
A pretty gold print was supplied for the backing and Glide thread in Honey Gold was just right to have the stitching show, which Kathy prefers, without being too overwhelming.
Such a simple pattern resulted in a really beautiful quilt.
Kathy told me she has many more quilts in process so there will be more coming my way to finish.  I can't wait to see what she brings me next.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Charms for My Sister

 This is another recent finish and this one was for my younger sister Diane. 

Way back in Spring 2013, I signed up for my very first charm swap.  Little did I know the appeal of swapping charms at the time and I eventually ended up hosting a number of Kate Spain charm swaps in later years.  I had no plans for them at some point I added a Disappearing Nine Patch pattern printout to the baggie they were stored in and put them on my project shelf.

Fast forward to 7 years later, I decided to use these charms for the quilt for Diane. When I tried to make color groupings for the blocks, I didn't like the result so I went searching for an alternate idea.  I came across the Falling Charms pattern and once I laid out the squares I had, I knew I had a winner. I had just enough of the right color squares for each row, with just a few leftover.
This is a really easy pattern to stitch up and the blocks were done quickly with chain piecing.
Within a few days, I had a finished top. It is 57" x 76".
Here is the "before", loaded on the frame to get fancy-fied.
I was really liking the effect I saw once I stitched the first couple of rows.
All finished and ready to be bound.
The colors are actually a lot brighter than in the studio pic above.
 I chose the Lida pantograph for this quilt to give it some nice soft swirls.
You can see the wonderful texture the stitching added better in this photo.
 I used Denise Schmitt yardage I had for both the backing and the binding.
I had planned to gift this to Diane at our nieces wedding in early June but she wasn't able to attend so I shipped it to her in South Carolina instead, getting her sworn promise first to not say anything or share any pictures yet because the other 2 siblings hadn't received their quilts yet.

This is her Yorkie who was already trying to claim it for himself the day it arrived.
We were on the phone when she opened the box and needless to say, she loves it.  It makes my heart sing to know that she'll be snuggling with it for years to come.
I have 2 more sibling quilts to share so stay tuned.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Kathy's Adorable Chicken Quilt

 My customer Kathy brought me an applique quilt of adorable chickens to stitch up for her.


This quilt is for her daughter, who actually purchased the pattern and the fabric and asked her mom to make it for her. Although this would have been fun to add great details with some custom quilting, Kathy wanted only an edge to edge design.

This is what the top looked like before any stitching was added.
 Here a few of the cast of characters, both before and after.

I imagine Kathy had fun creating each of these blocks and her applique is fabulous.
I know the stitching is really hard to see.  Kathy wanted it to blend in the most against the block background fabric so as to not take away from the chicken wire print.
I know I wouldn't have the patience to complete something like this.


In this picture you can see the stitching a little better.  She chose the Expression pantograph.  I think it was perfect as the style of the loops mimics the comb on their heads and the wattles under their necks.
Glide thread in Warm Gray 6 was used on the top and Cool Gray 6 was used in the bobbin.
 The quilt now has a really nice overall texture that doesn't detract from the applique.
The backing fabric is a prairie theme gray print.
Again, it's tough to see the stitching in these pics but the amount of texture is just right.
Kathy's daughter is one lucky lady to have a mom who can create such an adorable quilt for her.