"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

February 12, 2016

Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels {A Finish}

I made my last quilt of 2015 for a very special young woman and incorporated her name right into to title of the quilt, "Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels." It was even delivered on New Year's Eve right before she left to move into her college dorm. I wanted to send her off with a hug from home made especially for her.  

"Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels" ready to quilt
I was visiting with Gabby one day about her decoration plans for her dorm room and when she said her favorite colors were purple and coral and she loved butterflies I knew I had the perfect fabric and pattern in my stash just waiting to be a quilt for her. I had picked up a Jelly Roll and some coordinating yardage (the outer border) of the fabric over 4 years ago on a shop hop in Missouri with my mom. It's Watercolor Garden by Benartex.

One of my goals when making a quilt for a specific person is to make it something they will love and enjoy. So I asked her mom to help me out a bit. Once I had all the pinwheels made I posted three pictures on my Little Pink Rose Quilting Facebook page and another Quilting page asking for opinions on which was the most pleasing/which they liked the best. 

Option 1 - Diagonal color blocking
Option 2 - Color Blocking in Rows
Option 3 - Random layout
There wasn't really an overwhelming consensus among the quilters on a favorite layout, which didn't really matter since what I really wanted was Gabby's opinion. But, I did get a good suggestion for a better layout was to go with the diagonal layout but rearrange the colors using the Rainbow (ROYGBIV).

Final Layout {LOVE!!}
Oh what a difference the rainbow made.  This made me so very happy!! 
But I still hadn't heard back from Gabby's mom about what Gabby liked. I added this option to my layout choices on my page and held my breath.

Turns out that her younger sister got involved in secretly finding out what she liked. I love that it became a family effort to surprise her! 


Butterflies and loops Free Motion Quilting
A month earlier my hubby and I decided to order an Artistic Quilter Sit Down 18" Longarm for me. I had just gotten back my Husqvarna Sapphire back from the repair shop. They said I had broken it because of the way I was Free Motion Quilting. After an almost $400 repair bill and on the recommendation of the repair tech, my hubby agreed it was time to get me an industrial strength machine that could handle the kind of quilting I was doing.

My Christmas/Anniversary/Valentine's Day/Birthday/Mother's Day gift from my hubby for at least the next year.
 Happy dance this sweet baby showed up just in time for me to quilt Gabby's quilt

 I only had 3 days to do all the quilting, binding, label, wash and photograph the quilt before I had to have it ready to deliver on New Year's Eve. The timing of this machine arriving couldn't have been better! If I had, had to use the Husqvarna with a 10" throat there's much more wrestling of the quilt involved. It's a strenuous battle that wears me out and limits how long I can quilt in one setting. With all of the wrestling and rearranging required to quilt on a regular sewing machine causes it to take longer. Having 8" more space to work in I was able to quilt much more quickly. What would have normally taken me over a week to complete I was able to do in just a day and a half. If there had been any doubt on whether I'd like this new machine it was gone. 

Feathers in the border - Marked only the center spine of the feathers as a reference point to anchor the feathers as I stitched.
Feather border seen from the back. Backing fabric Fairy Frost in Snow by Michael Miller


I do have a few quilts out in the world that I've failed to label. But my goal is to label every quilt I make or quilt. Along with a personal message I've recently started including on the label care instructions for the recipient, so they never have to question what it was I had told them about caring for the quilt.

I LOVE giving quilts and seeing how happy the person receiving it is because they feel so special when they receive a quilt made especially for them!!



Mom showing Gabby the butterflies in the quilting.
Reading the message on the label
I think she likes it!!
My only regret in the whole thing was that in my rush to finish and wrap the quilt I completely forgot to take any pictures of the finished quilt. But, Gabby and her parents were awesome and took some pictures of it for me after they arrived and set up her dorm room.

Ready to snuggle under the warmth of a handmade quilt on cold winter nights.
"Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels"

Quilt Details & Stats:

Quilt Name: "Gabby's Butterfly Garden Pinwheels"
 Finished size: 85"x91"
Quilt Pattern: Jelly Roll Spin by Moda
Fabric: Watercolor Garden by Benartex, inner violet border from stash,
binding and smallest inner border Simply Pleasures by Debbie Beaves,
Backing Fairy Frost in Snow by Michael Miller
Batting: Heirloom Perimum 80% Cotton 20% Poly
Thread: 50wt. Aurifil White #2024

Quilting: Free Motion Quilted using my Artistic Quilter SD18 Longarm.

Thank you for stopping by and catching up with my on my quilting journey!

God Bless and Happy Quilting!
Marcia

January 18, 2016

Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt {Sew Along Month 3 - Mountain Laurel Block}




I can't believe we're already on month four of the sew along and I totally missed blogging about about our Month 3 December block - the Mountain Laurel, and I have so much I want to share with you.  I absolutely adore this block, especially the little heart shaped flowers.
They are just so dainty and sweet.  


photo credit - Pamela Wynfield
So far on all the blocks I've used the back basting method for preparing all of my applique pieces. I'm using the Wash-Away Applique paper from C&T Publishing as my base, ironing it onto the wrong side of the fabric and then using water soluble fabric glue to temporarily baste the seam allowance down until I hand stitch it in place.


In the past when I've needed to line up pieces on an applique block I've used the window. Except that I've found the window to be really inconvenient when I'm working with lots of little pieces.  I've also used my clear acrylic sewing machine extension table with a light under it which works great when I'm in my sewing room. But I wanted to hang out with my hubby in the living room watching Andy Griffith or The Twilight Zone and needed a solution that was easy to transport. Sitting right beside me was my clear Art Bin with all the pieces for this Sew Along....light bulb moment!!

photo credit - Pamela Wynfield

Why not use the flashlight app on my phone!?! I could put the phone inside (above photo) the bin and tape the pattern on top of the bin (photo below).  

photo credit - Pamela Wynfield
After finding the center of my fabric block, by folding it in half twice,  I used a water soluble marking pin to mark the center of the fabric.

photo credit - Pamela Wynfield

Then I lined up the center of the fabric with the asterisk marking the center of the pattern and pinned the fabric to the pattern.  Then I could move the light inside the box to see the area I wanted to work on and glue the pieces in place.  

photo credit - Pamela Wynfield

I glued 3-4 pieces to the background fabric at a time, starting with the lowest layers.

I use this same light box method when tracing the shapes onto the Wash-Away paper.  First I number the pieces on the pattern in the order I need to stitch them in place. Then I flip the pattern over and write all the numbers on the back of the pattern.  After rewriting the numbers on the back I leave the pattern facing backside up and tape it to the box and place my light inside the box.  I place a sheet of Wash-Away paper with the rough side (glue side) down so that I can trace the pieces onto the smooth side of the paper. By tracing from the backside of the pattern I've reversed the pattern so that when the paper is ironed to the wrong side of the fabric all the pieces are correct. Once all the pieces are traced onto the Wash-Away paper I remove the pattern from the box and flip it over and re-tape it in place so that the right side of the pattern is now facing up.

photo credit - Pamela Wynfield

Block Details:
Background fabric: Designer Essential Solids by Free Spirit Fabrics in Orchid
Flowers: Elizabeth - Astraea in Tart by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics
Leaves: True Colors - Daisy Buds in Grass by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics
Stem: Elizabeth - Bats in the Belfry by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics
Started with a 17-1/2" background square trimmed to 16-1/2" square.
Thread: 50wt. Aurifil



Pop on over to the SVBAQ - Sew Along blog HERE to see all that's happening with the Sew Along. It's not too late to join in the fun, while you're there you can pick up the pattern for the quilt and join in the fun. All the proceeds from your pattern purchase benefit the Virginia Quilt Museum.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing in my quilting journey
God Bless & Happy Quilting!
Marcia

November 16, 2015

Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt {Sew Along Month 2 - Iris Block}



I'm really enjoying working on the blocks for this quilt each month.  I'm especially enjoying the process of choosing fabrics for each block, finding the coordinates from the Tula Pink collections I'm working with that play well together as well as the colorful background fabrics I've chosen.

November aka Month 2 of the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt Sew Along was the Blue Flag or Iris Block. I was a bit puzzled at when I first saw the name Blue Flag for this block as it appeared to me to be an Iris. I did find it interesting to learn Blue Flag was just another name for Iris. Iris' are one of my favorite flowers in the garden. I was a bit sad to see that there were no Iris anywhere on the property at our new place when we moved in, yet even after two years here I haven't managed to get any planted....too busy quilting I guess, well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I made a couple of changes to the layout of my block from the original. I took the stems for the side shoots and extended them down into the bulb instead of having them come out from the stem so abruptly. I thought it seemed a bit more natural if those additional buds came up from the rhizome. The difference is very subtle and barely noticeable, though I like the change.

Original Blue Flag block

Background Fabric Designer Essential Solids - Hyacinth
Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt - Sew Along Progress

Pop on over to the SVBAQ - Sew Along blog HERE to see more blocks from others participating in the sew along.  While you're there you can pick up the pattern for the quilt and join in the fun. All the proceeds from your pattern purchase benefit the Virginia Quilt Museum.

I'm off to create a label for my son's Graduation Quilt, he'll be impressed that I'll be giving it to him when he comes home for Thanksgiving (only 6 months after he graduated).  Pictures and the story behind the quilt coming soon. 

Thanks  for stopping by and letting me share my quilting adventures with you!
You're invited to visit my online fabric shop at www.littlepinkrose.com where everything is 30% off with the coupon code on the home page.  

God Bless & Happy Quilting!
Marcia

October 30, 2015

Rock Legends T-Shirt Quilts {Two Finished}

Rock Legends T-Shirt Quilt at Auction.
Photo from Rock Legends Cruise III

Until recently I dreaded making T-Shirt quilts. But when I learned about the "Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts" method I immediately downloaded their book with step by step instructions and tips. I poured over the book and was excited about my next T-shirt quilt.
In the Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts book I discovered:
          • there is no need to use stabilizer on the T-Shirts
          • no sashing is required
          • a faster method for cutting the fronts and backs of T-shirts
          • template sizes to ensure designs aren't cut off
          • a formula to figure the size of quilt needed for the number of blocks
          • a quicker method for fitting the puzzle together
          • an important step that insures the stretchy T-shirts lay flat after quilting.
          • the joy of creating a beautiful T-shirt quilt to be proud of.
          • the method I will use for all future T-Shirt quilts.
          • a book I highly recommend! 
Several months ago I was asked to make 2 Queen size T-shirt quilts for the raffles on the Rock Legends Cruise III presented by the Native American Heritage Association. I had just 2 weeks to piece, quilt and deliver both quilts. Because of the Too Cool T-Shirt Quilt method I was ready to dive in and knew I'd be able to save time with cutting and skipping the stabilizer. These would be my first quilts with this method so while I was ready, I was still a bit nervous about the time frame.

 Cutting T-Shirt Designs and keeping all the autographs and designs intact was a bit of a challenge on some of the shirts. When my brother learned what I was working on he told me it was just sacrilegious to cut up all these autographed T-Shirts. I'm sure many agree with him, but I had to do what was asked of me. It was an honor to work on such a great project.

Autographed T-shirts were among what I had to work with

 After cutting it was time to organize all the squares by size.

 I'm not the best with computers and the excel program so I went old fashioned with graph paper and a marker to create all the pieces for my puzzle. Then it was onto organizing them into an arrangement I liked.  Once finished arranging and rearranging I divided the design into four quadrants for piecing.



 Partial seams are a necessity when piecing a quilt with multiple block sizes.


I was thrilled to discover who flat everything was after all the quadrants were sewn together!


 Once layered and pinned together with Pinmoor anchors and straight pins I was ready to Free Motion Quilt. For these quilts I outlined each of the designs with matching thread and then did a large meander across the rest of the quilt.


Completed Rock Legends Autographed T-shirt Quilt....Auctioned off on the cruise earlier this year.




The second Rock Legends T-Shirt Quilt


I really like how both of these quilts came together and turned out. In the end I was able to finish both quilts with a day to spare thanks to the Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts method of preparation and construction. Amazingly I'm actually looking forward to my next T-shirt quilt.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share another quilting adventure with you.
God Bless & Happy Quilting,
Marcia

October 12, 2015

Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt - Sew Along Month 1

October first marked the beginning of the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt Sew Along (SVBAQ) hosted by the Virginia Quilt Museum.  The sale of the pattern helps support the Museum and the beautiful work they are doing.

The full Pattern is available through the SBVAQ - Sew Along Blog HERE.

Two amazing and inspiring quilters, Doreen aka Aunt Reena and Dawn aka Collector With A Needle, will be walking/blogging us through this 23 month Sew Along, their information is below: 

Aunt Reen's Place
 
Collector With A Needle


Since I heard about the quilt along I've been contemplating what fabrics I would use for this quilt.  I like modern bright and fun prints and wanted to do something that would be unique and even a bit out of the ordinary.  I chose to use a combination of two of Tula Pink's more recent collections, Elizabeth and True Colors.  For my background fabrics I've chosen to use Designer Essential Solids by Free Spirit Fabrics that coordinate with Tula's collections. 

All of these fabrics are currently available in my online shop at www.littlepinkrose.com.

 I'll be making a couple of changes to my version of the quilt.  First I'm turning the blocks on the top two rows so that they're all right side up.  The other change is that I won't be making the center Rainbow block, it just didn't speak to me, so I've moved the Liberty Tree block to the center position and made a fourth pineapple block to have the requisite 25 blocks.

I made two photo copies of the pattern cover and cut out the blocks that I needed to shift around so I could have an image of how my quilt will be laid out when it's finished.

The new layout for my version.
October 1st Aunt Reen revealed that block one is the three pineapple blocks. Link to that blog post here: http://svbotanicalquilt.blogspot.com/2015/10/pineapple-blocks.html

Here are my four 16" pineapple blocks.

Background fabric Designer Essential Solid - Macaw

Background fabric Designer Essential Solid - Macaw

Background fabric Designer Essential Solid -Aqua

Background fabric Designer Essential Solid -Aqua


I'm having a great time working on this quilt project and already looking forward to November 1st when we find out what which will be the block for month two. I invite you to check out the SVBAQ - Sew Along Blog, order your pattern and join me in this wonderful botanical adventure!

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my quilting adventures with you!
God Bless & Happy Quilting,
Marcia
 
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