Monday, September 10, 2012

The Anniversary Quilt

Well one of the things I have wanted to write about for so long now is my anniversary gift for my husband.  I decided last year to give him my interpretation of the "traditional" wedding anniversary gift each year.  Last year (our first anniversary), paper was the traditional gift.  So I gave him a book about world history.  I know it doesn't sound exciting but he had been saying that he would like to read up on some world history and that while he studied for his boards, he needed to read a book to give his mind a break from Cardiology.  He did not read the book while he studied for his boards, nor has he read it since.  But it is the thought that counts, right?
Anyway, the second anniversary traditional gift is cotton!  So you know he was getting a quilt.  I decided that I was going to do a two-sided quilt.  The front.... Pittsburgh Steelers!  The back.... New York Yankees!  So I decided on a pattern, bought a bunch of fabric, made A LOT of "Steeler" blocks, and when I laid it out on the floor I HATED it!  It was so awful.  I tried taking out the most offensive blocks to see if that made it any better.  It really didn't.  So I started over from scratch.  I picked a new pattern, bought a lot more fabric, made a lot more "Steeler" blocks, and when I laid it out on the floor suddenly the 17 black and gold pinwheel blocks didn't match the 18 Steeler fabric blocks anymore!  How can that be?  They matched perfectly in the store.  But now they don't, so.... Of course, I went to another quilt shop and bought a lot more fabric to remake the 17 pinwheel blocks.  I also bought some black/white/yellow daisy fabric to go with the other pinwheel blocks so they wouldn't be wasted.
So again I washed and pressed and cut and sewed a heap of black, gold, and white fabrics.  I made 17 new pinwheel blocks and when I laid them out on the floor they did not match the Steeler blocks either!  What?!!  At this point, I am cussing and about to start a Steeler fabric bonfire.  Finally, I take all of the blocks outside and put the old blocks and the new blocks next to that damned Steeler fabric and though neither of them matched perfectly, the old blocks looked the best.  Yes, that's right, I made 17 new pinwheel blocks for nothing.  And to top it all off, the new black and gold pinwheel blocks do NOT match the black/white/yellow daisy fabric that I bought.  Of course they don't.
Now the Yankee side was originally the one that was causing me the most stress because apparently the MLB has stopped allowing cotton fabric to be printed with their logos.  So in order to get some, you have to go on EBay where the lucky persons that still have some can sell it to some desperate quilter for $100/yard!!  So I was afraid to even touch that fabric until I knew the Steeler side was going to work.  Oddly enough, the Yankee side turned out to be my absolute favorite.  It looked gorgeous!  I had to work on this quilt a little bit here and there for almost a year.  Then after each little bit of work I would hide it all away so my hubby wouldn't see.  I sent it off to be quilted by my Aunt, who did a beautiful job as usual.  I had it bound and labeled and ready to go with two months to spare!  It took everything in me to wait until July 24th to give it to him.  So without further ado....

My very sappy quilt label :)



By the way, he loved the quilt.  And unlike the book about world history, he has used it once or twice.  :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Who Am I Kidding?! I'm Never Gonna Catch Up!

That's right, I'm a true blue, 100% procrastinator!!  I'll never be "finished" doing what needs to be done because I have too many things to do.  So my projects are coming along.  Some I can share and some, not yet.  My Craftsy BOM is caught up through May now.  Here are my blocks...

 February: Chunky Chevron Block
 February: Balkan Puzzle
 March: Broken Spider Web
 March: String Block
 April: Hexi Stripe
 April: Modern Grandma's Garden
 May: Modern Frame Log Cabin
May: Wonky 5-sided Log Cabin

I have to say, I've really enjoyed this BOM.  I've never done one before and it's really fun to do a different couple of blocks each month.  And you just do the one or two for that month and you're done!  You can move on to one of your other many projects for the rest of the month!  I don't know how I'm going to handle putting all these different crazy blocks on one quilt, though.  I've always been very matchy matchy, so this is going to be a true test of my open-mindedness!  It'll be like therapy =)

To wrap things up, I'll show you one of my old projects.  This was my very first quilt for "human consumption"!  I made it for my nephew who was on the way at the time (November 2009).

I was so proud of this little quilt!  I still think it's one of the cutest things I've made.  I've made a lot of mistakes and a lot of improvements since then, but there is nothing like that first baby quilt and all the love that goes into it! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Playing Catch-Up!

I am playing catch-up in a lot of ways.  With my blog...with my Craftsy Block of the Month...and with my projects! 
I haven't put anything on here in a while but I have been stitching away!  Here are some pillowcases I made to take to my LQS to have donated to participating hospitals.  I used this awesome tube method my aunt was trying to describe to me.  I didn't understand it until I found it online.  Super easy!!

I also took myself back to "school"!  Quilting school, that is.  I downloaded this teaching book about quilting to try to perfect some of my sewing weaknesses.  I did manage to perfect my 1/4" seam!  I took in some of the things they said and discarded a few others but I am enjoying the practice.  So far I have made the center of a sampler quilt and it came out pretty great, if I do say so myself!
Of course, after that I got distracted and started doing something else but I plan to continue on and see if I can learn a few more things to make me a better quilter.
Something fun I started was the Craftsy Block of the Month!  I just got my January blocks completed because I could not figure out what fabric I wanted to use.  But last weekend, I went to a LQS in Annapolis and got what I needed.  I chose 35 fat quarters of a Riley Blake fabric collection with a brown blender fabric as my "solid" background.  So I made the two January blocks and I am about to start the two February blocks.  Then I will be all caught up! (With that, anyway!)  I'll post my February blocks when they are finished.

 Asterisk Block
 Wonky Pound Sign

Well it's time for lunch and Izzy can't cook for herself yet so I must be going.  I think I'll post some more of my older projects next time just to get them on here.  'Til next time =)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My First Quilts

I currently have a few things in progress but nothing to speak of right now.  So.... I thought I would share some of my past creations.  My first experience with quilting was when my Aunt Deb came to visit.  She brought all her sewing supplies and helped me recover a glider and ottoman I bought to sit with Isabel during those late nights.  We got a big discount because it was a floor model.  When I saw the cushions I knew exactly why it was 50% off!  They were faded and stained.  Here is the finished product....

I don't have a before picture, but trust me, it's a huge improvement!  Anyway, the next day she started teaching me how to quilt and I've been hooked ever since!  I made each of my big girls, Kaitlin and Abby, doll quilts for their American Girl dolls.  I learned quite a few things from those quilts and from my Aunt.  Probably the biggest lesson I learned was binding.  I was way too impatient to hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt.  I just knew there must be a faster way, silly Aunt Deb!  So I googled it, and sure enough you can machine stitch the binding to the back of the quilt!  I knew it!!!  So that is what I did.  And that's when I saw how God awful it looked and I realized.....Aunt Deb might know what she's talking about after all.  Ever since then, I have hand sewn the binding to the back of the quilt with a blind hem stitch and I have found that I actually enjoy it.  I can incorporate two things that I love, quilting and watching TV!  Here are my first two quilts, one bound by machine, the other bound properly.  The American Girl dolls didn't notice so it all worked out.  ;)

And this is beautiful daughter number two, Abigail!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Operation: Get Isabel into her own room!

OK, so I have completed Izzy's quilt as well as a few pillow cases and decorative pillows.  Izzy is my beautiful two year old daughter.  My husband and I love her all the way to the moon and back, BUT it's time for her to leave our room.  She was a wonderful surprise but one that we never prepared for.  We also have 3 other children, my two daughters from a previous marriage and my husband's son from a previous marriage.  So....we stay pretty busy and well, we just kept putting "fixing up the nursery" for another day.  So now over two years later, we are "fixing up Izzy's Big Girl room"!

Her room, right now, is a guest room that looks like a bomb made of toys and clothes that don't fit anymore went off in it! 
Don't worry!  We will fix this disaster!

So I went to one of my favorite quilt shops, Lil' Country Shoppe , and picked out some fabrics.  I wanted to go with brown, pink, and yellow.  I found a polka dot pattern with these and with green.  I was not feeling the green at first but now I love it!  One of the ladies there found this pink fabric with little green frogs on cute!  So without further ado, here is my, I mean Isabel's, new quilt, etc!
I am using Izzy's brother's bed as a prop here.  Poor girl has a quilt before she has a bed...or a dresser...or anything for that matter!

The pillowcase patterns were from the American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  The decorative pillow and quilt patterns were ones I got from a magazine and just altered them a little.  The quilting was done by my amazing Aunt Deb who has a long-arm quilting business, Memory Lane Quilts, in Barton, NY.   
I have more things that I am working on for her room and I will show them in later posts.  I just wanted to get her quilt out there for the world to see.  (Or just the one or two people that happen to stumble upon my blog!)  I hope you like my projects and come back to see me again soon!