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Archive for the ‘gift quilting’ Category

Back to quilts!

A while back, I started a red-white-and-blue quilt. In fact, I began working on two of them: one with a scrappy background, and one with blocks that all had the same pale blue on white background. All the blocks are big bow ties (simplified pattern, without Y seams) that lend a fun double arrow look.

Well, the baby who is the intended recipient has been born, and he’s a cutie! Little Augustine (“Augie”) will be able to cuddle up with these 1930s reproduction prints:

Sept 2014 Nikon 081

I put a cute “quilting words” fabric on the back because Augie’s mom also likes to sew:

Sept 2014 Nikon 066

Sept 2014 Nikon 072

Augie is just three weeks old, so I think this will be his view of the quilt for a while:

Sept 2014 Nikon 071

After piecing the quilt and layering with a 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting, I free-motioned large meandering patterns in pastel variegated thread. Free-wheeling quilting lines are good for a baby’s small hands to trace, and the primary colored arrows are stimulating for little eyes. I hope he likes it!

Here’s a photo showing my scrappier blocks, as yet to be turned into anything. I do like this block arrangement, too:

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My friend and colleague Anne has been busy. She’s recently finished several outstanding quilts. I couldn’t resist sharing her work. Look at this gorgeous all-flannel quilt she made for her college freshman nephew (held here by our colleague Olga):

Here’s a closeup of a neat “spinning” pinwheel quilt. These bright colors remind me of the South of France:

Another geometric quilt captured perfect circles. I love this so-modern-it-hurts pattern. Jealous of the lucky recipient of this one and all these quilts!

Last but definitely not least, Anne created a fan quilt using a technique that combined thick and thin strips into log-cabin blocks, carefully planning her color choices to make these fans appear.

Also loved the Japanese fabric that backed this quilt:

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It was nice to see my polka-dotted baby quilt, Baby Blocks, make a mom-to-be happy! Katie, my colleague who is expecting a baby boy in September, was celebrated at a lovely outdoor baby shower, and I was so pleased to see her smile when she opened the box.

Our colleague Derek really seemed to appreciate Baby Blocks too. Or maybe he was just dreaming of taking a work-day nap.

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Here’s a closeup of that funky backing fabric (forgive the threads!). Thanks, Connecting Threads, for another cool print, and thanks to Ursula Reikes for the pattern. I hope that Katie’s little one will enjoy getting snuggly with this quilt…

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My quilt, Woven Together, has left the building… and I know it’s in good hands. I gave it to my two friends in honor of their wedding last weekend. You can see I decided to go with an apricot orange binding. I love the quilting done by Julie Curry, a professional longarmer, which “dresses up” this wallhanging quite nicely.

My older daughter has been enjoying her summer of no homework and creative camps. She looks kind of happy here, huh?

My younger daughter helped me with some outdoor basting the other day for another gift project. My driveway is pretty flat. The breeze does tend to try to lift the quilt up, but painter’s tape does the job.

More on that one after it is gifted very soon!

 

 

 

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I visited two of my baby quilts earlier this month in North Carolina. They have clearly have been enjoyed by the toddler and preschooler I made them for, but are looking very well indeed. They have softed through washings to become even more cuddly. This one features Beatrix Potter characters in a simple framed design. I like how the stripes and polka dots turned out. Here is a close up, which shows the outline stitching I quilted around the characters in translucent thread:

And here is the other child’s quilt. The family loves dachshunds so it’s quite appropriate and has clearly been loved… This was one of the very first quilts I made:

I like cute fabric. Nothing wrong with that. I’ll continue using theme prints that make me smile, especially for baby and kid quilts, since the little ones like those fun prints too. Just as fun is shopping for them… I got a few more lovely prints at a shop I discovered on my trip to Raleigh, Wish Upon a Quilt…  I do find myself drawn to “modern” patchwork that is exclusively solid fabrics, where the art is really in the graphic elements that you pull together. But quilts don’t have to be high art to be adorable, enjoyable, and just plain useful, as these little quilts show.

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I’ve raided my stash for some vibrant prints, and found the makings of two very different baby/kid quilts. This one I started with a few charm squares from Connecting Threads that featured a cute little print of bunnies, racooons, trees, and mushrooms and coordinating solids/tiny prints. I sewed them into stacks of “coins” and then selected an eye-burningly bright green to surround them. My daughters really liked it and I told them they could use it as a little lap quilt in our living room.

My older daughter’s holding it up in these photos (excuse the wrinkles) and my younger one wanted her picture taken right in front of it. Believe it or not, the green she’s wearing is an even more neon shade! (Reminds me of a sweatshirt I had back in the eighties that could stop traffic, color-wise.)

My other project was a baby quilt for our cousins, who are expecting a little boy in a few weeks. I decided on a more sedate look with the same coordinating fabrics, but focusing on the larger squares of small animal prints. My daughter Beth thought that these blocks looked a bit like interconnecting test tubes in a science lab. I got the idea for this simple block, turned two different ways, from a baby quilting book by Ursula Reikes.

I think it’s neat to see how much difference a few color tweaks can make using the same family of fabrics, don’t you?

One more note: this quilt was professionally quilted by Julia Curry of Menlo Park, CA. She made loopy circles to mimic the polka dots in the green fabric (using green thread). She does fantastic work. When I see how beautifully long-arm quilters finish a job like this, it makes me realize how minimalist a job I do with my own machine quilting! But then, her machine takes up a whole garage, and mine sits securely on a small desk…

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I’m making this quilt for a very special couple, one of whom just may be reading this. (This is a test, only a test… Comment if you’re there!) I couldn’t wait to share it, but it will be a wedding gift for her so I hope she’ll still act surprised and happy to receive it when it’s all done. Right now it’s a fresh, 31-square-inch quilt top hanging on my door, which I seem to use as a lightbox. I call this “Woven Together” and I used some really pretty, rich batik charm squares and a straightforward, modern pattern from Gail Abeloe of Back Porch Fabrics, my favorite place in Pacific Grove (well, that and Lovers’ Point – where the view of Monterey Bay just can’t be topped).

This palate makes me think of rain pouring over the “golden” hills of Northern California–rain we desperately need. I just heard that San Jose has had only a quarter of its expected rain by this time in the season. Perhaps this can serve as my personal rain dance.

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