Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flannel Shirts

When I first started quilting over 12 years ago I was really interested in being able to recycle old clothes into quilts.  Then I discovered the whole world of quilt shops and speciality quilting fabrics!  It has been such a treat to be able to work with the beautiful colors and designs of these speciality fabrics but there's still the desire to create something new from something used.

I began collecting fabrics on my first trip to Lancaster PA.  My sister Dutchy and I went there with a group from our guild and on the bus I won my first fat quarter.  How exciting!  I didn't even know what a fat quarter was but I now had two of my very own.  The main reason for taking this trip to Amish country was to attend the huge quilt show but the second reason was to buy fabric.  I had no idea what I was doing but the group of seasoned veteran quilters were eager to help me out. 

Since that first fat quarter, my fabric stash has become much bigger than I ever expected.  At the beginning of the year I decided to expend some real effort to do something with all that fabric. So I've decided if I can't make something with it I'll have to get rid of the fabric.  Oh my!  I don't know if I can part with my fabric!  I know the quilters among you will understand :-)  Well, not all of it just the stuff that's been hanging around for so long I've forgotten what I was going to do with it.

I started by sorting out the fabrics into colors and weights.  I'll spare you the details but I found a stack of flannels.  This was one of those things I've been going to get around to some day.  Well, someday is now. These plaids are just two of the dozens of flannel shirts that my sister Sue gave to Dutchy after cleaning out her husbands closet.  Some of the shirts had never even been worn.  After all one man can only wear just so many shirts! Dutchy used pieces from many of the shirts to create a great lap quilt for Scott.  He loved it and Sue is still using it all these years later.  There's still a big box of flannel in the closet of Dutchy's sewing room which is on her list of things to use or lose.

I took these two to add in with some flannel fabrics my Mom had given me.  I had purchased some white flannel to use on the Holiday pillows I made after Christmas.  So I guess you could say this next project is a family affair! 
I didn't start with any particular patten in mind just large half square triangles (HST).  I wanted to try to use up as much of the flannel as possible so they are pretty big - 5 1/2 inches square.  I used the tube piecing method that I had seen on the Missouri Star Quilt Company's site. You can find the video here.  It's such a cool and fast way to make HQTs!
I've made a few blocks and they are on the design board.  I'm very happy to be getting around to recycling old clothes to make a quilt.  I have no idea what the final design will look like so stay tuned.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pillow Case

I've started on a large quilt that I'm really excited about!  I can't show it to you just yet but I'm taking pictures as I go so you'll see it all later.  In the mean time, I've decided to try working on smaller projects in the evenings to see if I can get some stuff finished up.

I've decided to add my post over at Crazy Mom Quilts for "Finish Up Friday". I'm a big fan of her blog and love the idea of having a place to show off my (finally!) finished projects.

Last weekend I was looking at the basket beside my sewing table knowing that there were things in there that I haven't looked at in a long time. I opened the lid and sure enough, I found this pillow case project just waiting to be put together.

 Aren't those the cutest cats?  And I love the little mice running around!

Remember when pillow cases first appared at quilt shows? They were all the rage a few years back and I jumped on the band wagon. What could be easier?  This one is for a body pillow I use when my back is bothering me.  The pattern called for French Seams but I decided since I was going to use it here at home I'd just do regular seams.  It looks so fun on our bed but of course doesn't actually match the light blue color scheme ;-)

Here's a close up of the band.  Can you read the words?  (Pictures are still a bit off cuz I'm still futzing with the camera on my new phone. I'm hoping not to have to buy a separate camera but it's a challenge.)

So that's it for this my finish this week.  I've already started a simple flannel lap quilt for next week.  Stay tuned.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Finished Christmas Trees

For someone who has all those projects piled up I'm not getting much done!  I did manage to finish the Whacked Christmas Trees so I'll share that with you today.  If you're interested in how it all came together you can see the process in the October 2012 archives.

The quilting on this came out just lovely.  It is done with red thread on the front and gold thread on the back. My picture taking skills are not as advanced as my quilting skills but I gave it my best shot.

The quilt pattern is actually Christmas Trees!  How original right?  I had planned in my head to have stars as the quilt pattern but during the "looking" process - that's where Lorri patiently scrolls through the tons of patterns she has on her computer while I look for the one that strikes my fancy.  We started out looking at stars but when this pattern of trees came up we both went - that's it!

If you look closely in the picture above you can see, at the top and bottom center of the picture, inside the white fabrics, two upside down trees.  The squiggle is part of the connecting lines.  It's always so exciting to see the finished product.

Here's a shot of the back - I manipulated the color in the photo to highlight the quilting so it looks kind of orange but it's really a beautiful Christmas red.  The trees look like they are dancing around having a party!  Lorri did a great job and as always it was fun collaborating with her on the quilting pattern, thread choices and even the binding color.  Thanks Lorri, that shade of green was the perfect choice.
Again, sorry for the poor pictures of the quilting but how's a girl supposed to get great pictures when the cat wants to be in the photo shoot?  (Besides the cat you can also see the green binding in this picture.)

That's Alice who jumped up on the sewing table while I was in the office downloading the pictures to the computer.  She has claimed this quilt as her own but I'm putting up a good fight, this one is for me.  It is currently laying over the back of my favorite recliner just waiting for me to take a nap ;-)  She's been poking her head up under it all the way to her shoulders.  I'm not sure what she's doing but I get the feeling she thinks we can't see her when her head is covered up !!!

I did manage to get a couple of nice pictures of the whole quilt outside.  This is in the snow on the hill next to the driveway.

Here's my favorite, hanging on the fence.  You can't see the top row of trees but isn't it pretty?  It was bitterly cold here in NH that day and the wind was blowing so I only got a couple of shots but the lighting was much better out doors.

And finally, a close up.

I hope all my friends in the snowy states are keeping warm and dry this winter!

As for that pile of other quilting project that's waiting for me I have actually started on a couple of them - Birdies, Bunnies, and a red-white-blue scrap quilt.  Did I mention I also went shopping for fabric?  Call me crazy but I'm looking for just the right shades of blue and cream for someone special.

I'll see if I can get the cat off the sewing table long enough to get some good pictures and write again soon.  Stay tuned.