August 31, 2016

Quilt 69: Windows of Aussie Animals - DONE!

I wanted to do a quilt using Australian animals as the theme - a gift for a friend I'm going to be visiting soon.  I found a lovely print which has lots of different animals - echidnas, kangaroos, galahs, wombats, crocodiles, koalas, platypus, emus, possoms, and so on.  Just couldn't resist it.  But how to use it in a quilt? 

I decided "3-d windows" would work well, as long as I cut the fabric in a way that the windows would show different groupings of animals.  Doing that was a bit challenging, but I managed it. 

Here it is on the longarm (below).  It's the largest quilt I've done on the longarm to-date.
Here's a closeup of one of the windows, showing the animals.

Last year I got several meters of a gum-tree print - and used that as one of the borders.  Cutting along the selvage, I was able to get a single border strip without having any seams interrupting the flow of the branches:

Below is the backing, showing the "blustery breeze" stitch pattern.  And, as you can see from the photo above and below, I bound the quilt with the gum tree print.
I added some triangles to the corners for a little extra visual interest, and also to break between the bottom and side "gum tree" borders.
And here it is finished:
52" x 76" - polyester batting - quilted on the longarm ("blustery breeze" groovy board)

Hubby Stephen had to really stretch to hold this one up!

August 24, 2016

Quilt 68: "Grow" - DONE!

Well - this one happened in a blink. 

I was at my favorite quilt shop and wandered past the charm square table - finding the most ADORABLE sets there - just 2 packs of a charm square set called "Grow".  The cheery pastel rainbow colours grabbed me instantly (I'm a total sucker for pastel rainbows).  I just had to grab those 2 packs, knowing that they'd give me enough to make a decent sized throw.

I should have done so many things here - like getting a photo of the charm pack (as I try to do) - but I was just on fire for this project and whipped through it without thinking.

I have to laugh, too, because it was right after I finished this that I decided to make a trip back to the US and see family and friends in Ohio, Florida, and Colorado.  And in Ohio my beloved sister-friend Val has the most adorable grand-daughters.  I'm taking a stuffed kangaroo for little Claire - and the quilt you see below will be lovely for her new baby sister Lucy.

52" x 61" - a bit large for an infant, but when she's older I think she may like it.
I went back to the quilt shop earlier this week hoping to find more of those squares - but they don't seem to have them.  I'm so glad I grabbed those 2 remaining packs and didn't wait.  If' I'd waited, I'd have missed out.

Here's the backing - just plain solid green, but the cream quilt thread shows up delightfully:
Bright colours all around. 

I hope I can find more of these charm squares, as I'd like to make a couple of these for Inspirational Quilts.

And, you are thinking..."What about a quilt for Claire?"  Well - yes... that will probably happen at some point.  But Claire is only about 2 1/2 years old and she isn't going to be thrilled with a quilt at this age.  That stuffed kangaroo will be much more to her taste at this stage. 

August 17, 2016

Hawaiian-Themed Quilts for Julie's Grandsons

Last April my good friend Julie sent her daughter Samantha and teenage grandsons Hudson and Raine on a fabulous cruise to Hawaii.  It was the trip of a lifetime for the three of them and they all had an absolute ball.  Julie loves to give the boys special presents at Christmas, and I suggested that we look at my remaining stash of Hawaiian fabrics (purchased on Maui) and see if there was anything she liked - with the idea of doing a quilt for each of the boys.

Here are the ones I showed her:
(click the picture above to see a larger image)
The blue boats/pineapples/sea turtles one immediately grabbed her.  Hudson, as it turns out, has developed a fascination for sea turtles, so the fabric at the bottom of the photo above has been earmarked for him.  And, as luck would have it, the boy's mum says Raine is interested in musical instruments and surfboards - so the print in the upper right will be his.

Both boys are growing like weeds and Hudson in particular has really sprouted in the last year or so.  At 15 years of age, he's already 6'1" - and his brother (13 yrs) appears to be following suit.  The quilts will have to be good-sized ones.

No worries!  My longarm frame is only 8' wide, but even with that, I can make quilts wide enough for good-sized "throws", and length is not an issue at all.

I pulled out my quilting software and got to work - came up with this design for Hudson's quilt:
60" x 86" - this will be the largest quilt I've done on the long-arm,
and will be big enough for Hudson to tuck it under his feet and still be able
to pull it up to his chin.
I'm planning to use solids coordinating with the colours in the print.  That will ensure that the effect of the print is maximized, and will also keep the cost down.

And, to avoid any "sibling jealousy" - I'm using exactly the same design and dimensions for Raine's quilt - just changing the colours to pull out the snappy colours in the surf-board print.
So we're off and running.  I've got the main fabrics and the design, just need to get the coordinating solids.

August 10, 2016

Still in the "No-Sew" Zone

Well, the surgeon unwrapped my finger, pronounced it "healing well" and promptly re-wrapped it.  The new bandage is much smaller than the first one, but I still can't get a thimble on that finger, so I can't quite finish anything (I always hand-sew binding on a quilt).

But he told me I can remove the bandage they day after tomorrow... so yay!  I should be able to get some things done and ready to show next week.

Stay tuned!  


August 4, 2016

How very inconvenient

I've been bothered by a fairly painful cyst on my right middle finger for several years, and finally decided to have it removed.  The surgery was last Monday - and so now my thimble-finger is wrapped up in dressing so that it's 3 times normal size.  The word "awkward" doesn't even quite cover it.

I'm limping along with my projects now - so nothing to report just yet.  Everything I do takes 5 times longer than usual - even typing this post.

Bandages come off in 2 weeks - so stay tuned...