Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jammer's 100 Good Wishes Quilt

Nine years ago today, after 28 hours of traveling to the other side of the world, we woke up in Ho Chi Minh City and a few hours later, this tiny little cutie was placed in my arms and we became his parents forever.  I will never, ever forget that moment. 
It seems only fitting to share for the first time on the blog his 100 Good Wishes Quilt.  Although it has been done for years, I was only recently able to get pictures of it.  Why?  Because it is huge!
(Warning...there are a lot of pictures in this post).
This is THE quilt....the one that really started my journey to becoming a quilter.  Well actually, total truth to be told, it was the 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Sunshine (that has yet to be made) that really started it, but since Jammer came home first, his quilt was made first. 
The first fussy cuts of the blocks started in July 2010.  To say that I was nervous and my hand shook a little as I made the first cut is an huge understatement.  Something that I had been planning for many years was about to become a reality.
The family room floor of our previous house was put into use a lot as I was laying out the blocks.
When it came time to find backing fabric, I came across this great dark Red Fusions at my LQS and bought all they had left on the bolt. Since I needed more to make it big enough, I found the  Brown leaf fabric and they looked perfect together.
To show you just how big it is, here it is on our king size bed.  It finished at 116" x 130".  Yes I was insane at the time and wanted the blocks I know better....but I still love it.
As is the intent of a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, I can identify most of the fabrics and exactly who they came from.  Jammer can identify a lot of them too.
Since we are the center of his world, at the very center of the quilt I put the 4 blocks from me and my hubby, his are the 2 fire department ones and mine are the 2 with lobsters on them.
Surrounding those 4 are the squares from our immediate family and closest friends.  These are just a few of my favorites:
This one was from my youngest sister.  Her son drew it as part of a school art project and she had it printed onto a piece of fabric.
My mom's mom passed away many years before we started the adoption process but I was able to have her represented in the quilt after my mom gave me a box of fabrics that were hers from when she used to make Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls.  I think this was from one of her aprons.
My mom aka Nanny gave us this adorable frog reading print. Reading with the grandkids has always been something she loves to do.
Uncle Tom (Chuck's one and only sibling) was living in Hawaii at the time so this was his contribution.  We are sure that bringing Jammer home was his incentive to move back to the area.
My other grandmother knew we were adopting and gave us a piece of this Holly Hobby fabric.  She actually passed away at the age of 95 the morning after learning that we had received Jammer's referral.  So that she could be represented in both kids' quilts I searched online for months and eventually was able to purchase a 2nd piece of this same fabric for Sunshine's quilt.  
My nephew Danny, who many of you remember the story of his tragic death at barely 16, is remembered in the quilt buy this Spiderman piece....his favorite character. 
And this block, just one of so many more in the quilt from other waiting parents who have eventually become friends, is from my BFF.  Little did we know at the time that I was collecting the fabrics and wishes just how special some of the people would become in our lives. 
That is exactly what a 100 Good Wishes Quilt is all about ......the personal connections we have to the people who's squares make up the quilt.
This quilt weighs a ton and even with a pillow tuck, it skims the floor.  The reason I made it bigger than the typical kids' quilt.  I wanted him to use it longer than when he is a kid.
I guess I overdid it just a tad.
When I was sewing the blocks and rows together, I had no plans for the borders but the pieced one finished it off perfectly.
All those years ago, I had a specific vision for the background and sashing fabrics.  After traveling to every single quilt store in my area,  I found what I was after and to this day, I'm still thrilled with the way it turned out. 
Since this quilt is so big, the only place that I could find where I could take a full picture of it was at my sister Tina's house.  When I took this picture, I was standing on the ground and my 2 brothers-in-law were holding it while standing on the 2nd story deck.
I still get a little teary just looking at this quilt and it will forever be my greatest accomplishment....because it brought our adoption story and my quilting life full circle.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dogwood Trail - another finish

My mother-in-law is turning 75 so it is the perfect time to make a quilt for her. I've wracked my brain to come up with a different name for this one but can't think of anything better than the name of the fabric line that I here is my Dogwood Trail quilt.

Originally I had planned to make a different quilt for myself with this fabric but while organizing my stash a few months ago and coming across that "kit" I realized that this really isn't my style or colors any longer but it certainly suits my mother-in-law's taste to a T.
I think the Hot Pink So Fine thread that I chose does a good job of standing out a little without overpowering the piecing.  For the panto, Dainty mimicked the blossoms in the fabric perfectly.
The combo of the two produced a nice flowing texture across the top.
The pattern I used was Grandma's Dominos by Kymberly Pease for Moda Bakeshop. Since I was piecing this top in the middle of Girl Scout cookie season, I wanted to make something fast and easy that would also result in a pretty quilt that is her style.  The quilt finished at 62" x 77".
I found a pretty backing fabric at a terrific price in Pink with light Blue flowers.
When I went to piece the backing together, I found that the company I purchased it from shorted my order.  Rather than try to get the additional inches sent by them, I luckily had some other yardage of the same fabric line and decided to piece in that to make it large enough.
Since I like the added interest a pieced backing provides, I was happy in the end with this solution and the added yardage coordinates just fine.  It's always fun to see how the early morning sun shines through the quilt when hanging on my front porch.
My mother-in-law was thrilled to receive her quilt and I'm sure it will help ward off the chill in the evenings as she sits and reads in her favorite chair.
 Linking up with:

Sew Fresh Quilts
Fort Worth Fabric Studio

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Paradiso table runner #1 - a finished project

Surprise, surprise I actually have a finish to share.

Before the onslaught of Girl Scout cookies arrived at my house, I was itching to stitch up something fun and quick and when I looked in my stash dresser, I saw this jelly roll of Kate Spain's Paradiso.  The colors felt fresh and spring-ish so out it came.
The plan was to make a table runner, or more accurately two table for my smaller kitchen table and one for the longer dining room table.  I wanted them similar but not 100% exactly the same.  I started by sorting the strips.
I grouped some of them, sewing them into strip sets and then cut them apart.
A quick layout on the floor and a rail fence table runner was in the making.
It took no time at all to sew the rows together and then it was onto the quilting.  I chose to use a Hot Pink Fantastico called Giggles for the straight lines.
I wanted to do something linear but not as plain as just straight lines so I marked a box and quilted 2 sides of it working out at 1 inch intervals.  Then I did the same going in the opposite direction.  On the other 2 corners I marked the box on the outside and worked my way in.  I'm really happy with the overall effect.
I only got half of it quilted before the cookies took over so it sat for a few weeks before I could get back to it to finish it.

Ta Da!  Here is my finished runner. 
It's the perfect size for this table and it adds just enough prettiness to the space.
The colors pop against the darker wood of the table.
I used some of the leftover strips on the back with some thicker strips of white.  You can see the overall quilting design better in this photo.
Of course my napkin holder (from Classic Metal Company) that hubby got me for Christmas looks perfect in the center.
I still have to quilt the 2nd runner and am considering how I want to do that one.  As soon as it is gracing the dining room table, I'll share it with you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

MQX recap - Part 3

Today is the day that I share the rest of the quilt pictures that I took at MQX so grab a cuppa, relax and enjoy.

We'll start with the rest of the Alfred Shaheen panel exhibit.   This first one was quilted by Sue Ahnrund of Chepachet, RI.  She calls it "Himalayan Blue".
I like her choice of the blue thread for the outer border quilting.
Next up is "Ikebana" by Denise Lamb of Sterling, CT.
This pretty pink one "Papaver deco" was quilted by Donna James of Canada.
And lastly this is "Blue Blossoms" by Vicki Ruebel of Las Vegas, NV.
The ghost blossoms are just a wonderful addition to her quilting design.
There were many more beautiful quilted panels as part of this exhibit but I didn't take pictures of every one of them.  They will also be at MQX in Springfield in October so if you are in that area, you should go and see them.  I know that these quilted panels has given me lots of ideas for quilting panels in the future.

So now we are back to the rest of the quilts from the show.

This is one of my favorites.  It is "My Montana Dreams" and it was created by Laura Ruiz of Malabar, FL.
Too bad I can't have this hanging on the wall in my home to gaze at every day.  It is just gorgeous.
There was also another special exhibit at MQX this year, this one showcasing some of the quilts that are the work of Jennifer Day.  Her fiber artistry is so realistic that you almost can't tell that it isn't a photograph until you get up close to it.  I took pictures of a couple of my favorites.  This one is "Boy and his Best Friend".
And this is "Dance to the Music".  Each of the cards also showed the original photograph that was the inspiration for the piece.

This quilt is titled "Controlled Choas" and was a Quilts Among Friends First Place ribbon winner.
The parts were pieced by members of the NH Modern Quilt Guild and it was quilted by Lara Teichmann of Amhurst, NH.
Next is "Having a Little Fun" by Kathy Rich of Mendon, MA.
Kathy incorporated pretty designs in all the negative space.
This jaw dropper is "Radar", pieced by Kevin Huffman and quilted by Ann McNew of Winfield, MO.  It sports a Faculty Award ribbon.
Custom Our Daily Bed First Place was awarded to this quilt "Barbara's Circle" by Beth Nufer of Brookings, OR.   This biggest compass has 256 points.  Wow-wie!
I don't think I'd ever want to tackle a project this intense.
How fun is this quilt?  It is "X Marks the Spot", was pieced by Pat Lang and quilted by Teresa Pino of Hernando, MS.  It is the winner of Emerging Entrants First Place.
The matchstick quilting worked very well for this design.
"Always a Way", pieced by Daniel Perkins of Rangeley, MI and quilted by Carol Perkins won Custom Our Daily Bed Honorable Mention.
I love the secondary design in the background areas.
This is another of my favorites.  It is "The Magical Garden".  It was pieced by Ellen Simmons of Chestertown, MD and quilted by Jane Hauprich. Her use of Kaffe Fasset fabrics for the Dresden plates is so fun and unexpected.
Jane added pops of color in the quilting. 
A Faculty Award ribbon hangs on "Infinite Variety Revisited", pieced by Gail Smith of Barrington, IL and quilted by Ellen Granda.
Pretty, pretty!
Yowza is all I could say when I first glimpsed "Celebration", pieced by Gail Garber and quilted by Kristin Vierra of Lincoln, NE.  It is an original design by Gail and it is just stunning.
Kristin's quilting just brought an already beautiful quilt into the spectacular category.
Some day I want to make a Judy Neimeyer quilt too but for now I'll just appreciate those made by others.  This one is "Radiant Rainbows", pieced by Gail Bartlett of Corvallis, OR and was quilted by Jody Bowyer.
Their combined talents were rewarded with a Custom Heirloom Show Second Place ribbon.
"Reflections in Blue" by Robyn Cuthberson of Australia is another terrific quilt and was awarded two ribbons, Emerging Entrants Second Place and a Faculty Award.
I'm in awe of the intricate details in this quilt.
The Wholecloth Small First Place ribbon was awarded to "Color Me Quilted" by Colleen Barnhardt of Oregon City, OR.
Standing back from this quilt it is hard to imagine that this wasn't pieced.  It was first quilted with black thread on white fabric and then it was painted. 
The true color of "Wickedly Green" doesn't show in these pictures, but trust is more of a lime shade than you see here.
This creation was the work of Deborah Poole of Shelley, ID.  It is a job well done, I say.
Both Best Machine Quilting Stand-Up and Wholecloth Large First Place ribbons were won by Margaret Solomon Gunn from Gorham, ME for "Ode to Spring".
As always, Margaret's quilting is immensely detailed and intricate.
And finally we come to Best of Show.
I personally love this quilt and appreciate that it is a more modern design and color than many other Best of Show quilts that I have seen in the past.  

This absolutely stunning design is "Moonflower" and it is the creation of Molly Hamilton-McNally of Tehachapi, CA.
Molly's ode to the simple Daisy was the inspiration for this quilt.
Congratulations Molly.  It is just beautiful.
So there you have it.  All of the quilt pictures I took at MQX East this year.  As I have in the past, I'll spend lots of time in the coming weeks pouring over the photos so that I can appreciate all the details even more and might even try out a few of the ideas myself.  How can a person not be inspired when you see such wonderful quilts such as these?

I hope you've enjoyed my showcase and maybe I'll see you there in 2017.