Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tesseled Quilt Finish

FINISHED!! This quilt was so fun to make! (See the first steps here). I've seen some other folks online who have use the "Twister Tool", and actually have tutorials how to use the Twister Tool (just google "Twister Tool Tutorial"). I highly recommend this pattern.

I started with the squares in the left picture and ended with the pinwheels in the right picture. Notice that the order of colors of the squares and the pinwheels is the same in each quilt - because that is how this process works!

I was low on the lavender fabric, so I added a few pinwheels on the back, also.

I quilted through the diagonals of each patch - I like the squares the quilting makes on the back of the quilt.

This quilt is going to a baby (and Mama) who has a big sister. So I made a baby doll quilt for the big sister.
Soft. Warm. Colorful. So fun to have made these; touching the flannel and praying for the three precious girls: Baby, Big Sister, and Mama!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Starburst? But there are no stars!

You may have wondered why I called the 9-patch quilt "Starburst" (See yesterday's post) . Well, it turns out that was the bride's favorite candy. . . you know - those brightly colored little square taffy-like candies that TASTE like a star burst in your mouth. I thought the squares in the 9-Patches closely resembled this candy - thus the name "Starburst" and the label:

After we arranged the colors in a pleasant order, we began to sew the squares into rows, and then the rows to each other. It went amazingly well - each row turned out square and equal in length since we used the white squares as our standard for stitching.

Then we started creating the border. My daughter always wanted it to be "little piano keys" . . I might describe it more like square lego rows. We framed the legos with white and black and ended up with a striking border all the way around the quilt.

Only rarely (once before - in my life) have I had a quilt ready for the bridal shower. This time I hoped to accomplish on-time performance. A friend had just gotten a long-arm quilting machine and was willing to quilt it for me on short notice. She did an AMAZING job!! I got the quilt back with 2 days to bind it. Mission Accomplished!! Quilt was finished for the shower.

I might have to make one of these for me!! I love the colors and the motion. I adore the border. I like the use of SCRAPS - the only thing I had to purchase was the solid black for borders and binding (I can NEVER get enough black!) and the batting.

I adding a little of the Starburst feature on the back of the quilt.

I can hardly believe that I actually FINISHED a project in one summer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

9-Patch Starburst

This summer a pair of kids at our church, who are very special to me, got married. My thoughts began to wander, of course, to making a quilt for them. I had my heart set on making a 9-patch quilt sometime. It would be a quilt that used a 9-patch block alternating with a plain block and would have amazingly strong diagonal motion. I decided now would be a great time for this project.

I happened to have a whole box of 2 - 2.5 inch strips of mostly bright colors and a whole file box of white-on-white.

So the project began.
I pulled strips and made sure they were 2 inches wide. I made sure to include enough of each color to create 2 or 3 full 9-patches, as my vision for this quilt included each 9-patch being one colored fabric for the 5 squares and 4 squares of white-on-white.

I invited two friends over to the house - and we had quite an assembly-line going! I would pin strips together, the Machine Lady stitched and stitched anything I gave her, and the Ironing Board Lady (should I say "Ironing Broad"?) pressed the seam allowances away from the color. I pinned the next strips - and sent the fabric through the assembly line again.

Once I had these strips of three fabrics, I cross-cut at 2 inches to make a stack like this:

which I sent back to the amazing Machine Lady who matched the corners perfectly - and made a huge stack of 9-patches.

The really clever thing about this quilt is the 5 inch blocks you sew between the 9-patches. Any errors in cutting, sewing, or ironing the 9-patch blocks were rectified as we used the white blocks as our guide for sewing. Each row came out even, straight, BEAUTIFUL!!

We had quite a bit of fun deciding where to place the blocks so that the colors had as much fun as possible. My daughter is the resident expert on color placement - so she was the constant advisor at this stage.

I'll show you the rest tomorrow.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brown Corduroy Blazer

Brown Corduroy is the most amazing fabric!

It FEELS so wonderful as you cut it. It LOOKS so beautiful with its variations in nap. It SEWS together in such an amazing way!! It says "FALL" like no other fabric. And it makes a sharp blazer for the college freshman!

Each feature of the pattern looks so sharp with the corduroy.

The lapels,

The buttons,
and pockets.

And the signature of the seamstress - close to his side, but hidden from the view of college buddies. (My daughter once noted that "MOM" held upside-down says "WOW").

I made the buttons on the sleeve-placket actually functional. That will make it a little easier when he wants to roll up his sleeves.

A Christmas present completed - Christmas of 2009!
Just in time for the cooler weather of 2011.
Nothing says "FALL" like brown corduroy!

I'm linking this to Stitched in Color's Celebrate Color.
Celebrate Color
Check out all the other lovely fantastic fall creations as we celebrate the colors of the season!!


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Brown is one of my favorite colors! Living in Texas, in the late summer
and early fall . . . and even into the winter, brown is EVERYWHERE.

In my house - brown granite, stone tiles, coffee corner and even the lamp made by my brother-in-law help surround us with the color brown.

In the kitchen there is usually something with chocolate -
starting with chips,

then cookie dough and

(if I get baking before the troops find the dough)
Chocolate chip cookies.

I wanted to show this to you, because I have finished a BROWN project. A Christmas gift. For my son. For Christmas of 2009. I ran into a few problems.

At 18 years old, he has LONG arms: longer than the sleeves of the pattern I used. So I had to make some changes just as I was about to put in the lining.

Then my sewing machine became unreliable. Our 33 years together were beautiful, but machines just break when you use them that long. I was going to put eleven buttonholes on this project. I sure did not want those to be a failure. So I had to buy a new machine. Then I had to get used to the machine.

And then the weather began to cool (finally) and my son began asking for his promised gift. As I approached the end of this project, I ran into a contest on another quilting blog, and decided to enter. You might want to look at the contest - and you might want to enter!! I'll show you the finished project tomorrow!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Texas Ranger Banner

OK. So this is supposed to be a blog about my quilting projects (and other creations). But the Texas Rangers are about to make it to the WORLD SERIES for a second year in a row!!! Most of that is due to our amazing right fielder, Nelson Cruz. We went to the game on Monday - where he hit a walk-off GRAND SLAM in the 11th inning.

I happen to have a Nelson Cruz Bobblehead in the exact pose Nelson replicates at key moments in baseball history. Notice the similarity of my Bobblehead's pose and the pose in the newspaper on Tuesday.

Well, fast forward to Wednesday - mostly because we lost on Tuesday. Tied game in the 11th inning. We go ahead with a nice hit from Napoli. Nelson Cruz comes to bat.... 3 run home run!!! Notice the Bobblehead in front of the TV screen: same pose on Bobblehead and TV.

What does this have to do with QUILTING? Well, in the 1990's (1996, 1998 & 1999) the Rangers went to the playoffs. As a school project in our homeschool (we are talking HISTORY lessons here) we made a Texas Rangers banner.

We used a technique that was in vogue in the 90's. . . involving Wonder-Under and fabric paint. You iron Wonder-Under on the fabric, cut it out, and iron it onto the desired background. To seal the raw edges, you use fabric paint that came in these little bottles with pointy openings that delivered the paint in a nice, even line.

Notice the detail on our Texas Rangers Logo:

And the amazing banner that is right now hanging outside our house.

Go Rangers!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bloggers Block of September

I finished my first Bloggers Block of the Month!

(See my fabric decisions here).

You can see other Bloggers' creations here. It is so interesting how so many variations come from just one block.

I am going to start a new project today.
Gotta get to work!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Grandmother's Flower Garden

I started English Paper Piecing a Grandmother's Flower Garden in 1982. Yes. 29 years ago, now. I used scraps. Scraps from clothes I wore in Jr. High. Remember those mini-dresses made out of . . . I don't know what to call it. It had interesting texture and thickness, wild, bright flowers. Like this:

Scraps from BEFORE Jr. High - Remember Dotted Swiss?
And Seersucker?

And scraps from clothes I made in High School. Scraps from one of my favorite blouses - it looked Victorian. If you look closely, however, you will see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in SOME of the medallions. I called it my "Mickey Mouse Blouse". I fussy cut these hexagons before I know the words "fussy cut".

I added some dark green collections of hexagons on the left and right side to make the edges less scalloped. Then I added a row of light green and a row of dark green. Don't be too impressed yet, it HAS been a UFO for 29 years now!!!

The last row was all I needed. I cut 172 light green hexagons during vacation in 2007.

And lost them.

Since then I just kept hoping they would show up somewhere. Alas, they have not appeared. Last night I gave up. While we watched the Texas Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers (and during the two rain delays), I pulled my scraps of light green and cut 172 more hexagons.

Now I have handwork again. Only 172 hexagons to go.

Go Rangers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sunday Baby

What better kind of baby quilt for a family named "Sunday",
than a quilt with Ice Cream Sundaes,

With vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flannel, whipped cream "minky",
chocolate sauce with sprinkles, and cherries on top!

I understand Daddy likes the quilt and uses it often!
I'm sure they will share as the baby grows older...
And, though it is hard to believe, the weather MIGHT someday get colder!

The denim back makes it a warm, cozy, and hardy quilt.

I should have made one for me!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


We drove to Austin Friday, and back Saturday - and had enough time to FINISH the padded hexagon quilt!!!

The prints are on the"right side" of the quilt. 
The solid-like greens run in between to make a kid of river separating the colors. 
 On the "back side" of the quilt the solid side of the flowers show.


I have never seen another quilt like this - although I have searched the internet. I am fairly certain my Mom started the Hexagons in a quilt class in California. I do not know what the intended outcome was!! Please leave a comment if you have seen projects with "padded hexagons" before.

Mom HAD started putting them together randomly, print sides up. (OH! I wish I had taken a picture of that before I re-structured the quilt). After deciding to sew them together into flowers, I fiddled with them and fiddled with them to find a pleasing arrangement. To see some of the earlier steps of this quilt check here and here.

I realize that I really DO like hexagons - and now I may go cut out the dozens of green hexagons I need to finish my Grandmother's Flower Garden that I started in 1982. I only need one row of light green to go all around the completed quilt top to frame it. I HAD cut them out in 2007 while we were on vacation. . . cut them out BY HAND. But I lost them. Yes. Lost them. I am pretty sure they are NOT in my stash - but I have no idea where they are.

Let me relish this finish once more with a close up of a part of the back:
(I FINISHED something!!!)
But I have other projects!