Monday, April 20, 2015

A New Grown-up Quilt For My Cousin

One of my very special cousins lives in Chicago with her British husband, who makes me laugh in person, or when I read his fb posts. They have a son, Matthew who is in 4th grade, a daughter, Hannah, who is in 2nd grade, another son, Andrew, who just turned 1, and a large poodle, Dixie.

Of course all the children got baby quilts when they were born. Recently we were skyping. Matthew and Hannah spontaneously showed me their quilts, and told me how much they still love them. And they still sleep with them and put them on top of their blankets. Did I get that heartfelt warm and fuzzy feeling? Did I tear up? You bet I did. I never expected this, and I am so happy they are still enjoying them.

I decided that I would like to make each of them a single bed quilt that is age appropriate and larger. They can use the new quilt as they grow up, until they graduate high school,and bring to college if they want.

Today I am asking my readers for their opinion, and I am going to post the two options on The Late Night Quilters fb page too.

I've decided that I am going to use Aloha Girl, by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics for Hannah's quilt. But I haven't decided on a pattern yet.

For Matthew's quilt I have two thoughts in mind. The first option is to use Heather Givens Succulents collection, with the Turning Twenty pattern.




Or I will use the Connect Four pattern from Country Girl Modern: 11 Modern-Traditional Quilts from the Junction, by Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken.


I love the simplicity of this quilt. It has a timeless, versatile style. 

So, please comment in the comment box below. Tell me which of the two you would make, and why. Thank you for your thoughts.

On a another note, I still haven't heard from Joycita, the winner of reader appreciation week, and she didn't list her e-mail or link it to her photo box in the comments section of this blog. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow, my husband will pick a random number, and I will announce another winner on this blog, and hopefully reach you by e-mail. Yummy chocolate is the prize.

Happy Quilting!! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Quilting and National Library Week

I have been very busy this week at my part-time job as a Reference Librarian. Before I was a Librarian, I was an HR Manager for two large law firms in Manhattan, which was a great job too. Although I had one graduate degree, I made the decision to go back to school and earn a degree in Information and Library Science. I am a lifelong learner, and I love it. And the library is one of the best places to research, learn and become inspired.

Besides books, I borrow DVD's, CD Audiobooks to listen to in the car and musical CD's. I also read magazines and newspapers in the library or on my iPad through the library's digital resources. 

And it's all FREE. Your tax dollars pay for this amazing resource and these borrowing privileges. Your public library offers free programs too. Chances are if you are the teaching type of quilter or sewer, you might be able to offer your library programs in hand sewing, embroidery, knitting and crocheting, while earning a fee, and increasing your visibility. 

This week is National Library Week. Yes, there are "unlimited possibilities" at your local public library. Last week and this week, I visited four out of the thirty-eight libraries in our consortium. I looked to see just how many quilting books I would find. Many. And I mean many. In one of them I found four very large shelves, packed with quilting books.



And this photo shows about half of one shelf.



Often I check out a quilting book, before I buy it. If I decide to buy it, I know it will become part of my permanent quilting reference library, and it's money well spent.

I have also found undiscovered treasures, not just in the quilting and crafts sections, but others too. Have you ever looked for a specific book at the library and it's not owned by any library in the consortium? You can ask your library for and ILL.

Many of you may know this, but if not, most libraries offer an Inter Library Loan service; an ILL.Your library can put a request out, and possibly borrow it from another library in the U.S. This is a great service, especially when trying to find very old books.

So to celebrate National Library Week, tell me what your favorite book is, or the last book you finished, and why you liked it. My favorite is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's told in letters. Very difficult to write a great and memorable book using that technique. And do you prefer reading a book or do you prefer reading on a device or computer?

Happy Quilting and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Congratulations - Winner of Reader Appreciation Give-a-Way

The winner of the Reader Appreciation Give-a-Way is Joycita. In order to mail you this prize, please send your snail mail address to acbeier71@gmail.com Thank you. Congratulations.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

1930's Top Finished and Reader Appreciation Give-a-Way

I would have thought this top would be finished a week ago. All that was left was to sew on the borders. But I encountered some unexpected challenges with them. Right now I just want to enjoy the moment of the finish.



Close-up of the middle section - the blocks.





About a year ago, this quilt was not working for me visually. I had used some fabrics from a jelly roll that had a lot of neutrals in it. To me, it looked entirely too drab. Fortunately, I had not yet sewn the 100+ blocks together.   I laid it out, and went back and forth about re-doing 75& of the blocks. 

In the end, I decided to re-do almost 95% of the blocks to make it really "pop" with color. And now it does. It is also smaller - 82 1/2 X 77 1/2.
I used Chloe Closet 1930's reproduction fabrics, by Moda, and Moda Bella Solids. Some fabrics came from my stash too.



While adding the borders and also trying to use my scraps and leftovers, I really had to take the time to audition the fabrics. I learned in a class I recently took; to carefully look at the seam and examine how those colors and patterns work together. The objective is to create a contrast. That ended up to be the key to making this, a better looking quilt the second time around. An invaluable tip.




So to continue on the contrast theme, I decided to go 180 degrees and will use a black and white fabric for the backing. The backing fabric is by Windham Fabrics.




I love this purple lilac fabric, which came from my stash. (The selvage edges are cut off, so I don't know what fabric company printed it). I used a little in a few of the squares on the front. 

Next stop....the basting table.

To thank my readers, and those who have encouraged me through my re-do, I am having a give-a-way. A chocolate give-a-way from Chocolations. This Sunday, Maria and her shop received a lovely write up in the New York Times.

Please leave a comment in the comment box and tell me about your favorite quilt that you have made.    

Or, tell me your favorite part about spring. 

Or just tell me what you are working on.

Or what your favorite color is.

I will announce the winner on Tuesday, April 14 on this blog. This give-a-way ends at 12:00 PM on April 14. Please make sure to leave an e-mail address. 

Most of all, I want you to know how much I appreciate your sticking with me through this re-do. And the photos had to be a bit repetitive at times. It took me away from discovering new quilting information and other projects in the works, which I enjoy sharing with you.

I am linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Modern Pieced.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

WIP 3 - Jelly Roll Race

Last Friday, I began a Jelly Roll Race quilt. I have had this project in the background for a while. Someone in my Friday morning quilt clinic at Pins and Needles in Mt. Kisco NY, was making one, and I thought it was so pretty and very cool looking.

The Missouri Quilt Company has patterns and a video about how to make this quilt. It is quick and easy, but I have a lot going on, and I'm not in a big hurry to get it done. It's really fun to do.

A while back, I bought two packages of these jelly rolls for this quilt.



Last Friday, I began sewing the strips together into one long, long strip. 





Each strip is sewn together at right angles. This is the same way, as how you would put together a binding.






I may add some more strips, because I want it to be a double-sized bed quilt.

I won't get back to work on this until next week, and will post the next steps.

I love how these batiks fabric looks together. So fresh and summery looking.


Tomorrow I will be focusing on my 1930's reproduction fabric quilt. I've hit a glitch and will bring it to Pins and Needles tomorrow.

Happy Quilting and have a great weekend!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WIP 2 - Turning Twenty with Succlents

At QuiltCon, I met the lovely and talented Heather Givens from Crimson Tate, a brick and Mortar store in Indianapolis, IN. Heather designed her first line of fabrics for Windam Fabrics, called succlents.

When I saw this line I was incredibly, "wowed," which takes a lot. I fell in love with this line of fabrics because it is so original and unique. In over 20 years of fabric shopping, I have never seen cacti on fabric, and used in such cute and playful designs.

I couldn't wait to break my fabric diet and order some. And over the weekend this box showed up at our door.


I was so excited to open it. I had been thinking and talking with my quilting friends about this line, and what might be a good pattern to really show it off.

But first...


I opened the package, and I found all this beautiful fabric in a great plastic case with these adorable pins.



Some close-ups, really do the fabric justice.



And I am not a button person, but these did crack me up. I will use them in my quilting studio.



So I will be washing these fabrics. Cutting into them very soon. And can't wait to make a Turning Twenty with it.



Happy Quilting!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

WIP's

I have been busy sewing up a storm, and have at least three works in progress. But I am only going to share one of them today.



All of these little pieces of paper are now removed from the blocks and rows of my 1930's reproduction quilt. I loved unpinning them, and finally seeing how this was coming together, row by row.




Stitching.....



Ironing....

And finally....




It's all together, except for the borders, which I will begin on Friday.


Stay tuned, because a lot of new fabric is coming my way and are going to specific projects I have mapped out. A lot of sewing is going to be going on during these next several months.

Happy Quilting!!

 
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