Saturday, 30 November 2013

Indian Summer Lone Star Quilt

This is the last day of the month, and I wanted to show you because November is Native American History month in the US.

lone_star_quilt4

I made this quilt for my sister, who recently moved from Texas to Arizona and wanted a quilt to represent both places. I was inspired to make a Lone Star when I saw this quilt by Amy of During Quiet Time.

lone_star_quilt

Brief History lesson--The Lone Star became a symbol of Texas after the battle of the Alamo in 1836, but it's history isn't just Texan. The Lone Star quilt is called a "morning star" or "star" quilt by the Native Americans and they replaced the buffalo robes during ceremonies. Star quilts are considered the most-valued gift to the Sioux Indians and are given for births, marriages, sporting championships, and other momentous occasions. Ok, history lesson over. 

For my quilt, I used Art Gallery's Indian Summer fabric and used Moda Aqua for the background and binding. I used Kona Ash for the backing. I ran out of the ash fabric and I had to think of a way to use up some of the fabric I had leftover from the front, and made this feather. I love this feather almost as much as I love the star on the front.

lone_star_quilt5

The process of piecing this was kind-of a crazy nightmare for me. It started out good, and then points weren't matching up and things got really tricky. I'm working on another lone star and hope that I can correct the mistakes I made on this one.

lone_star_quilt2

To quilt it I followed the lines of the star from the center on all the rows of diamonds. I had it long-arm basted before I started, and I don't think I'm going to do that again because there was still too much slack but I will go into detail about that on another post.

lone_star_quilt3

Overall, though I think it turned out pretty good for my first lone star. I'm giving it to my sister to Christmas so it's off to the post office on Monday:)


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Church Quilt for Mom

church quilt 7


I don't know the exact name for this quilt pattern, it's like an orange-peel, and resembles a cathedral window, but I started calling it the Church Quilt because I knew it would only look right taking the pics near this pretty little church near my home (I love living in England).

updated church 7


I made this quilt for my mom--this is the first one I've made for her because I was waiting for something perfect to come to mind. My mom is very particular about her home and I knew not just any quilt would do. When Winter's Lane fabric was released I knew it was the perfect fabric to use.

updated church quilt 3


To create the design, I used the Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful. The curved piecing was really easy when I used the video tutorials. I didn't use one of the published patterns, but I just messed around with the blocks until I achieved what I wanted.

My long-arm quilter, Asta, did a beautiful job quilting it up. I really have to get myself a long-arm machine one day!

updated church quilt 2

From some of the pics it looks as though the orientation is a bunch of squares, but really when it is draped like it should be, it is like diamonds.

updated church quilt 5

I'm actually a little nervous because my mom wants to see the pics before she sees the quilt in person, so when she views this (Hi Mom!) it will be her first glimpse at it.

church quilt 5


I hope she likes it:)

I would be more than happy to create a tutorial on how I made this if anyone is interested. Just let me know.

Linking up with Quilt Story and Finish it up Friday

Monday, 11 November 2013

Veteran's Day Quilt

Today is Veteran’s Day, and I wanted to share with you the story of a quilt I made a couple of years ago. This quilt is not perfect, and it showing signs of “love”, but it is one that means a lot to me.

In 2011, I received the news that I was going to be sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea for 12 months. Because of the location, this included the painful realization that I couldn’t take my family with me. I had been separated from them before, but never for such a long time. Leaving them for any amount of time is always difficult, but a year seemed like an eternity. It makes me want to cry just thinking about how it felt to know I would have to leave my then 1, 5, and 11 year old. I love being in the Air Force and I knew that extended absences from the family are part of the job, but I think every service member experiences the fear that their family will forget about them, or the bond will not be as strong once they return.  I knew that I needed to remain level-headed for my children, and find a way to adjust to life temporarily without them.



Before I left, my husband bought me a sewing machine for Mother’s Day. I decided that I was going to spend my year doing something I’d always wanted—learning how to quilt. In Korea, quilting helped me in so many ways. More specifically, it kept my mind busy and focused on something other than my heartache. When I wasn’t working, I was sitting at my sewing machine, reading quilting blogs, or watching video tutorials to learn everything I could. That year I made 11 quilts, and today I wanted to share with you the one I made for the oldest of my three children, Trevor.


The quilt was made with uniforms that belong to my husband and me, and they have been worn in locations all over the world—from Iraq to Europe to North Dakota. Two of the camouflage patterns on the uniforms have been retired, so I like to think of it as a piece of Air Force history.  I wanted the style of the quilt to be simple and modern and chose to make a chevron pattern that resembles the rank we wear on our sleeves. And now that I have a little more experience (and my eye is a little more critical) I see that the chevrons aren’t exactly symmetrical, the binding is imperfect, and if I had to do it again I would’ve probably chosen to quilt it differently; but it still one of the most meaningful quilts I have created.



Trevor was born into a military life, and has sacrificed just as much for his country as his father and I have. He has had to constantly change schools, leave old friends, make new friends, and say goodbye to his parents over-and-over again. He is a trooper. To show my appreciation for him and everything he has done, I made him the quilt to say “thank you”.  Because when one member of the family enlists in the military, the entire family joins with them. They too have to make sacrifices, and experience their own hardships, and uncertainties. They impatiently wait for you, just as much as you look forward to seeing them again.



Once “our” year was over, and I returned home again, I was overwhelmed by all the hugs, kisses, and tears. My fears that our bond wouldn’t be a strong dissolved. Within a few days life fell back into its normal crazy routine, and I was amazed at how quickly my children adapted to life with “mom” again. For Veteran’s Day we honor those who have served to protect our nation; however, as a member of the armed forces myself, I think this day should also honor those loved ones that provide us with unconditional love and support, give us the strength we need go on, and are waiting for us to come home again. 




Quilt Story







Sunday, 3 November 2013

Wallflowers

I finally received my Wallflowers fabric for the Wallflowers Quilt Design Contest!!!

wallflowers_fabric

There are some great stash builders in this bundle...

wallflowers_fabric2

And don't you love these florals?

wallflower_fabric3

The colors are absolutely perfect...

wallflowers_fabric6

Even the selvage is cute!

wallflower_selvage

I was so excited to get started and I've already made my first block to make sure I could still piece my own pattern. This block is 16 1/2" square!

wallflowers block


And I am working on the rest of my center blocks...

quilt blocks


It's so exciting, because I've waited since June for this fabric to arrive. It's really such a soft, light cotton, I think it's going to make such a comfortable quilt.

This week I also received my very first bolt of fabric. I was tired of always running out of white fabric, so I took the plunge and bought a whole bolt of Moda Bleached White. It makes me feel like I'm almost a professional.

bolt bleached white


If you order 15 yards or more from Fat Quarter Shop you get 20% off, so really I SAVED money...but that didn't stop my husband from giving me the "MORE FABRIC!!!?" look.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Linking up with Sunday Stash @ The Floral Suitcase
Anything Goes Monday by Stitch by Stitch
and Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story

Saturday, 2 November 2013

And he says he doesn't like it...

Today I want to show you this 2nd quilt I got professionally basted, but I'm having some problems getting some decent photos. It's too wet to take the quilt outside, and too overcast for pics inside, but I had to take them anyway because it will be at least another week before I get a chance, so bear with me!!

Last November, after taking a long unintentional break from quilting, the first quilt-top I pieced was this Seaside Stars pattern by Amy from Diary of a Quilter.

seaside_stars_2

I used the same fabric collection that Amy used, Seaside by October Afternoon, but I wanted it to be more boyish--it was meant to be a twin quilt for my (at the time) 3-year-old. I added different borders and corner stones--not a huge difference from hers, but definitely appropriate (I think) for a little man.

seaside_stars_quilt 9

I was so pleased at how it turned out--it is so scrappy looking and has a vintage vibe.

seaside_stars_4

The only word he said when he saw it was "no". Right there, at that very moment, a mother's heart was crushed.

seaside_stars_quilt

At the time, I had never basted a quilt this large, and I was so overwhelmed with it, that I set it off to the side. My son didn't like it anyway (I was secretly mad about the whole thing) and I kind-of forgot about it. I remembered it a few weeks ago, and dropped it off to Asta to get basted , and when I got it back from her I liked it even more and was so excited to finally finish it.

seaside_stars_6

Assuming a year was enough time for a little boy to change mind, I showed it to my son again.

seaside_stars_7

He glanced at it for a second, looked slightly annoyed and said...

"I don't like it."

But that's okay, because I love it and I'm not above 'indian-giving'.