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

October 20, 2014

Poppy Love {A Finish}

I was just looking through my pictures from the last year and discovered a quilt that I never shared with you all. I created this quilt based on a quilt challenge issued last year by the Swirly Girls to use their collection Poppy Love to create a quilt.  This is what I came up with...

This quilt was such a fun quilt to make.
The block is what's known as a string block, made with differing widths of fabric sewn to a foundation piece.  Either a piece of paper or fabric in the desired size can be used for the foundation where are the strips are sewn together. I chose to use a 10" square of muslin for my foundation.

I wish so much I had thought to take pictures of my steps, but I will try to give you a short description of the steps. I'm sure you can find more detailed instructions with photos online.

Before sewing an strips down I drew a line diagonally from corner to corner to mark the center. Then I lined up the edge of the first strip with this line and used washable fabric glue to hold this piece in place. This first strip is placed with right side up.

The next strip was then placed face down (right sides together), lining up the edges that will be sewn together. Sew through all 3 layers - the foundation and 2 strips - using a 1/4" seam. Flip the 2nd strip over so that both strips are now side by side with right sides up. Press. 

Continue adding strips until your foundation piece is completely covered. 
Once complete trim strip tails and square to your desired size.

My original design for this quilt included an aqua and gray border completely surrounding the heart.
But due to time/deadline constraints and my own boredom with continually sewing the same straight lines I stopped with an off-centered heart. 

I actually ended up liking it off centered more than I thought I would. 

When I first started quilting I always choose a colorful backing fabric. I made this choice for two reasons 1) I loved the splash and surprise of color on the back. 2) the designs and color of the backing served to hide my very imperfect free motion quilting. 

As I worked on the Free Motion Quilting I began to realize that all the strips were hiding the quilting I was doing. I didn't mind this too much and continued to quilt, using it as an excuse to practice and play with my quilting. In the heart I did a variety of quilting designs; feathers, swirls, pebbles, paisleys and more. Now that I've begun teaching free motion quilting it would be great if the quilt could be flipped over to see the quilting better. Now I'm using solids or blenders on my quilt backs so that the quilting I enjoy doing so much can be seen and enjoyed. 

Quilt Details and Stats:

Finished Size: 46-1/2" x 37-1/2"
Quilt Pattern: Heart String Quilt Designed and Pieced by Marcia King (yeah that's me).
Batting: 100% Cotton
Thread: Aurifil Dove 2600 - 50 Wt.
Quilting: Machine Free Motion Quiltied on my domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q
Awards: 1st place in the Quilt Division of the Swirly Girls Poppy Love Challenge 

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

August 26, 2014

A Memorible Memory Quilt {A Finish}

I can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged about this quilt and what all I've been up to lately! 
Time just passes much too quickly, especially when I get busy.  I'm sure you understand and have experienced this yourself.  Before I dive into my next quilting project I wanted to be sure and share with you my most recent finish. I love how this quilt turned out!

Brent's Memory Quilt that I had been working on was one of those quilts that I wanted to be extra special for his family and I poured an exorbitant (huge, enormous) amount of time into this quilt. 

Custom Memory Quilt
With Custom Trapunto Work and Free Motion Quilting

I asked Melissa to share a little about Brent and her thoughts on this quilt, which is what I want to share today.

Here is what Melissa said and the pics she sent:
"Our 18 year old son was tragically killed in an auto accident in May of 2013, having just graduated our home-school high school and celebrating that accomplishment just 3 days earlier. After a few weeks of trying to process the whole thing in our minds, we knew we wanted to somehow preserve Brent's flannel shirts - one of his favorite things to wear. We thought a quilt would be a wonderful way to utilize the clothing in a tribute that would also serve to be useful.

In cruising the internet looking for ideas, I knew what I did not want: a quilt with big blocks of shirt: that just wouldn't be "him", nor something he would like. He didn't have a T- shirts collection of significant events in his life, or anything that would really lend itself well to that type of design. He was a young man that loved the outdoors in a major way: he loved to ski, hunt, ride motorcycles & ATV's, and most of all - he loved people. He loved to help others (he was a Jr. Firefighter, and left "Jr" status when he turned 18 earlier in the year), and he enjoyed spending time not only with his age mates, but with everyone from kids to the elderly. His "quirk", I guess you would call it, was that as much as he loved to be totally involved with something, he did NOT want to have attention called to him: he wanted to do his thing but remain in the background when possible.

Then it struck me: his quilt needed to be one where the shirts themselves were not the star attraction, but that the pieces of them were integral in contributing their flair into the overall design.

I began looking for quilts that might seem to fit this idea, and came across Little Pink Rose. One of the beautiful quilts jumped off the screen at me: the details and design spoke as much as the colors and the fabric. I felt a "connection" and a surge of hope.

I contacted Marcia and shared our story & what we were looking for, asking if she would be available for custom work, and to work with us on a design. Working with Marcia was such a joy! She listened to my ideas, and considered my preferences, and worked to make the quilt an amazing representation of Brent's life and memory. Those who have seen the quilt in person marvel at the workmanship, and remark at how she managed to capture the essence of Brent's life in fabric and stitching. (And I know that it would get Brent's grin and nod of approval, and probably a, "Wow - that's pretty cool...")

Words can't adequately express how much we appreciate all the TLC and careful thought and planning that went into the creation of this quilt. That kind of crafting ability is a gift from God! And we have a wonderful keepsake, made from our boy's favorite shirts, which expresses his personality, love of life and the outdoors."

It was truly an honor to create this memory quilt and pray for Melissa and her family. 
Here are a few more pics of the finished quilt

Trapunto Work in the Border.
Brent's full name and birthday were also done as Trapunto Work in the borders.
Pieced Backing


Some of my favorite quilted blocks.

Quilt Details & Stats:

Finished Size: 95" x 110"
Quilt Pattern: Squared Off by Elisabeth DeMoo of Brown Bird Designs
Batting: 1 layer 70% Cotton 30% Rayon
Thread: Aurifil 50Wt. Thread (used 12 colors)
Quilting: Machine Free Motion Quiltied on my domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q

Thanks for stopping by and catching up with me!
God Bless & Happy Quilting,

Stop by our website to shop our End of Summer Inventory Reduction Sale. 

January 22, 2014

A Snow Day for Quilting

Yesterday was a perfect day for some uninterrupted free-motion quilting time. 
I'm hoping that the next few days will be the same type of days for me, 
with lots of time at the machine.

Here's a peak at what I've been working on...

Free-Motion Straight Line Stitching

Free-Motion Swirls

Over at the Website we're celebrating you the customer with our...
Customer Appreciation Days
January 22-26
Save 30% OFF Your Entire Order

PLUS Earn Double Reward Points
We love our customers and want to thank you for shopping with us!! 
visit www.littlepinkrose.com to shop.
Thank you for stopping by, I've enjoyed sharing my snow Sew Day with you. 
Happy Sewing & God Bless,

January 16, 2014

Non-Typical T-Shirt Quilt {WIP}

Melissa's non-typical T-Shirt Quilt is coming along nicely.

Borders attached.....

 First steps of Trapunto work finished...

Twelve 50 Wt. Aurifil thread colors chosen....

Free Motion Quilting time begins! 

Thanks for stopping by and saying Hi.
God Bless & Happy Quilting!
 P.S. Stop by the shop www.littlepinkrose.com where 
you'll find everything by Tula Pink marked down 20% this weekend.

December 17, 2013

"Memories" {A Christmas Finish}

Today I'm happy to reveal the finished "Memories" Quilt a non-typical T-Shirt Quilt. 

I say non-typical, because as you will notice there are absolutely no T-Shirts to be found anywhere in this quilt, it's all plaid and flannel shirts that were favorites of the soon-to-be recipient. Additionally the blocks are only 4-inches square instead of the typical 12-14 inch blocks with sashing normally found in a T-Shirt quilt. 

To prepare the shirts I cut away the seams, buttons and pockets then ironed a feather weight interfacing to the  back of the fabric sections. On a typical T-Shirt quilt I add the interfacing to stabilize the T-Shirts and tame the natural stretch they have. I chose to interface these shirts as well even though they didn't have any unruly stretch, I knew I wouldn't be able to cut every block on the grain and I wanted to avoid some blocks stretching out of shape due to being cut off grain. 
 The interfacing does add a little bit of weight to the quilt, but not too much.

I'm sure you've already guessed that the recipient of this quilt is a big Ohio Buckeye's fan.  The Block "O" is a layered applique. The red is from the same red shirt as the solid blocks in the rest of the quilt top. For the white and gray in the applique I used Pure Elements Solids from Art Gallery Fabric: Moonstone Gray and Snow White. The Buckeye and the Leaf are both made from shirts. 

To keep all the pieces in place I used fusible web on each layer. This did cause it to be a bit more stiff than I had hoped for, but it will soften with use and washing. The red and white layers of the "O" were satin stitched to the gray before it was attached to the quilt. Then to attach the entire "O" I fused it to the quilt then satin stitched it the around the gray layer  to quilt top before adding the leaf and the buckeye. Once everything was stitched in place I did an outline stitch around each element. The only place I had a little trouble was when straight stitching around the leaf where there were several layers of fusible web and fabric. My needle didn't really care too much for the fusible web, but we made it through it.

The numbers came from the sleeves of an Ohio Buckeye's jersey and are a part of the quilt in memory of this young man's brother whose Volunteer Fire Fighter number was 11 and who was tragically killed in a car accident earlier this year. 

To attach the number I added some fusible web to the back of each number to help tack them in place until I was able to stitch-in-the-ditch between the red and gray stitching.

The quilting is a Free-Motion All Over Medium Meander Stitch. It's bigger than a stipple stitch, but smaller than an a regular meander. I like it for it's ability to give a good amount of stability to all the layers while remaining soft.  If you're curious about how I use an inkjet printer to create my labels click HERE and scroll to the end of the post. 

I just have to share this picture....love it when I can catch my helper peeking at me over the top of a quilt! He's just too cute and so much fun!!! 

Quilt Info: 
Finished Size: 56-1/4" x 71-3/4"
Backing and Binding: Free Spirit Designer Solid Slate Gray (available at www.littlepinkrose.com)
Thread: Aurifil 50Wt. Color number 1158
Batting: 1 layer 70% Cotton 30% Rayon

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, I greatly appreciate the time you've spent with me here! 
Merry Christmas & God Bless,
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