Are you ready? Have you taken a picture of your pet(s) on a quilt? Do you have an animal-themed quilt? Wednesday will be here before you know it. Just head on over to Lilypad Quilts on Wednesday and link your photo or blog for a wonderful quilt show. Read more about the Pets on Quilts Show here.
Remember the rickrack and flower quilt that I made and thought it needed “help”. Well, Jan in Atlanta came to the rescue and suggested that it needed some leaves. I couldn’t agree more – I think that will give it the pizzazz it needs. With so much on my plate right now, I asked Jan if she would like to take that quilt top and finish it with her own special touch for her granddaughter. So, Friday I shipped the top and enough fabric for leaves and binding off to Atlanta. You can visit Jan here at her blog, Geema Sews. She does some beautiful quilting, so it will be fun for all of us to see what she does with that top.
We visited with our daughter this past weekend for our grandson’s baptism. And what a delightful surprise to see a beautiful quilt that she received from a friend for our grandson. While I don’t know her friend, I do know from seeing this quilt, that she is a wonderful quilter. I loved this quilt so much that I have to show it to you. The overall design is very striking with the center pinwheel section set off with prairie points and a border and binding that accentuate it perfectly. I love the straight line quilting. (I’m going to try the same thing on a border soon.) And the fabrics are delightful. This quilt is almost too pretty to be used – it would be beautiful on a wall. But it is already being used as you can see that my daughter has washed it already. And it will be used and enjoyed for many, many years.
The fabric on the back is a tan color – on my computer it looks gray, but it is a very fun fabric and perfect for the back.
When I was making the quilt for my nephew, there were a few blocks left over from all the different layouts I tried. In fact, there were enough blocks left over to make another baby quilt. And, whenever I digitize, lots of blocks are created. Altogether, they turned into a cute baby quilt. And the machine embroidery set is for sale and ‘on sale’ in my shop. I also added some elephants to round out the ‘zoo.’ The photo is from my phone and it’s hard to hold it completely still – but you get the idea.
And since the top was 45 x 45 inches, the backing needed some extra width. Thus, I added some quarter square triangles that were cut using the 8 inch finished quarter square triangle die from Accuquilt. And that made a perfect back for this little quilt. Love the way this turned out – I can see using strips of triangles across backs in lots of different ways.
Believe it or not – the blue on the front is the same blue fabric as the back. The light really changes the appearance of color.
And I thought I’d add in a couple of extra photos that are fun. Here are Ezri and Kes at pre-kindergarten graduation. Kes will still be in pre-K in the Fall, but Ezri will be in Kindergarten. Don’t you love those paper hats? They’re like the paper crowns we used to wear when I was a child – what a nice and inexpensive way to “graduate.”
And my husband is building a “tree house” addition to the swing set for the grandchildren. Last summer just before school started, Ezri and Kes were having a conversation as to whether our house (back yard actually) was a playground or a park. Ezri, much more experienced with school, assured Kes that Grandpa’s house is a “park”.
It’s always dangerous for me to re-arrange my work area. This morning I can’t seem to locate where I put the two tops that Sherry finished and I wanted to take photos. I sorted everything and re-arranged some things, so I know everything’s there; I just can’t remember where. Will find them today and show you tomorrow.
Last week I took some days just to clean and sort and shop for groceries, etc. Whole Foods had organic blueberries on sale for $1.99 so I got two gallons for $20.00. I put them in the freezer–they will last a long time–and make great smoothies and popsicles for the children.
And yesterday it was back to stitching again. The zoo animals digitizing is done – and now all I have to do is the documentation. Will try to get it finished today. Here’s a preview:
You must have known that once things settled down around here, I’d turn the embroidery machine on and play. Yesterday I finally broke open my Zoo Animals die from Accuquilt and made some machine embroidery to go with the die cuts. The embroidery is very simple, as I want these to be quilted, and the last thing a functional quilt should be is stiff and heavy with embroidery thread. Ezri came over to visit (and help), and she pushed the Start button on the machine for every thread change. She also chose the fabrics and the thread colors. We had a lot of fun. The monkey’s finished too (no photos yet). All that’s left to do today is Mr. Lion.
Click the photo below to open a larger image. The one on the right is a satin stitch and the one on the left is my free form applique stitch. After these stitchouts, the smile was tweaked. They’re pretty cute though, you must admit. I’m envisioning a pieced quilt with all the zoo animals and an elephant or two marching in a row along the top or bottom of the quilt.
While working on the Quilts of Valor that are just completed, I also took the opportunity to make a ‘leaders and enders’ quilt for my grandson. These are squares and triangles that I kept beside the machine and are made from scraps leftover from other projects that I cut using the Accuquilt 3-1/2 inch strip cutter and the 3 inch finished half square triangle. The centers of each star are novelty prints.
The attic windows design seemed nicer than a standard sashing. This was a lot of fun to make and very quick to quilt using continuous curves in the 9 patch blocks and a single curvy line in the window frames.
And last – but not least – is the quilt label that I stitched for the Quilts of Valor. The main reason I purchased an embroidery machine was to make quilt labels – and then they never seemed to work very well. Finally, using a border from Embroidery Library and my own lettering, this is a very nice label.
Progress on the elephant baby quilt. Isn’t it adorable? You can see I still have some more blocks to do and to add a border. And the wild animals and train dies are back in stock at Accuquilt, so I ordered them this week.
Was working on digitizing Overall Sam when these little elephants came to visit and distracted me. So, my only defense is that they were so adorable I just had to play. And it was a three and a half day and night party. But I love the way they turned out. It was difficult to take good photos with the black background fabric – the colors look washed out and in person they’re bright and beautiful. But I used the black background to go with the elephant fabric I bought. You know that fabric also comes with a white background. . .
I made an elephant border – Momma Elephant and Baby Elephant. And made all of those elephants turn to the right and turn to the left so I wouldn’t have to fiddle with them when I got ready to stitch. Wouldn’t that border be cute for a horizontal strip quilt or a border on a baby quilt? Wouldn’t those little elephants be adorable facing each other with a little heart between them? You can see all the photos at my embroidery shop.
Candy Hearts make such adorable projects. Here’s the Sweethearts Quilt that I’ve been making. While I used the candy hearts embroidery set, you can also make this using a novelty fabric or you can cut the hearts on your Accuquilt GO! and fuse them and use an applique stitch on your regular machine to stitch them. You can also use a stencil or fabric markers to write the candy heart sentiments.
Here’s the quilt:
And here’s the finished block:
You will also need to cut an equal number of plain squares that are 7.5″ which is the finished size of the heart blocks.
Here’s the block showing the size of each piece in the block. The finished block size is 7.5″
And here’s the Fat Quarter cutting chart. I am making my quilt using fat quarters. Each fat quarter makes 4-5 hearts and there’s a small 4-5″ scrap left on the end of the fat quarter. Those scraps can be used to add some pieced blocks to the border or cut into strips for other scrappy blocks.
Yesterday, we talked about making pinwheel blocks. There is always a standard setting using sashing and that makes a very pretty quilt. But thinking about how to use my pinwheel blocks sent me to my EQ7 software to see what I could make. Here is one example.
The Variable Star block with a pinwheel center is one of my favorites. It is usually made as a star block with the points constructed as Flying Geese units. In this version, I used a snowball block and a modified half snowball block rather than the usual flying geese unit to make the star points. This would definitely be easier to piece than the usual variable star. The other advantage is one that is always important — fewer seams which makes a prettier quilt.
Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how I would cut this with the Accuquilt GO and how I would piece it. There are multiple options for cutting and piecing.
Yesterday, I gave you some options for the Chisel Die. I started playing around in Electric Quilt and came up with some more options. The individual block will be shown first, and then the quilt layout from EQ7. Some of these are just positive/negative changes rather than completely different blocks. Play around with this and see what you can create.