Category Archives: quilts

broken bars available

Broken Bars

 

Since the February Modern Quilt Guild Pattern of the Month was released yesterday (P.S. It’s by Debbie Grifka of Esch House Quilts & she’s awesome!), I’m going to start selling my Broken Bars quilt pattern to regular folk outside of the guild.  It’s available on Pattern Spot by C&T Publishing and the Craftsy pattern marketplace, but I just made my account on Craftsy, so it might not show up for a day or so.  I thought it would be good to offer it at a couple of different places, in case y’all already had an account with one or the other…. Anyways, happy hump day! -r

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schnitzel & boo mini swap

Mini CoverWhew… I was supposed to mail my mini quilt for the Schnitzel & Boo swap last friday, but my fingers wouldn’t let me.  They put up a protest after I finished the embroidery and moved onto the hand quilting.  But hey, it’s going in the mail tomorrow, so I’m not too late! I hope…

Detail 1

Detail 2

 

I wanted the quilting to provide texture only, so I sewed horizontal lines in a 100wt gray silk by Superior Threads.  I went around the strawberries which gave them a nice trapunto effect: 

close up

 

The edges are finished with a facing technique that uses folded triangles on the corners:

facing corner

 

Since the quilt is only 8.5″x11″, the triangles allowed me to stick in unsharpened pencils as a hanging device.  The top pencil hangs nicely on a nail and the bottom one keeps everything flat and square:

backing

 

Anyway, I hope my partner likes it.  It has a trip across the pond coming tomorrow!  Yay!

end

 

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workin’

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I sewed something! It’s not my DWR quilt, but it’s a start. One of my coworkers commissioned me to make a quilt to take to her friend’s baby shower. She wanted a design that would last a long time- beyond the world of cutesy baby prints- and one that wouldn’t cost too much. I remember seeing a stacked zigzag quilt on Flickr a while back & I thought it would be a good fit. It took exactly one week to strip piece it and quilt straight lines. Anyways, I’m pretty pleased & I’m glad I can still wrestle five feet of quilt through my machine! & oh, it had the prettiest blue flannel in the back! I wish I had taken a better photo…
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In other news, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to pep me up! I really appreciate all the kind words that have been flowing my way. Warm fuzzies for everyone! This month, I’ve written four more pages of my book (To clarify- It’s not a quilt book! I’ve been writing a novel for the past two years), talked to a fabric store owner about teaching a modern quilting workshop in the Fall, designed a tshirt, designed two (!) collections of fabric prints (but they still aren’t done), and drafted my DWR Challenge quilt. It’s come a long way since my napkin sketch. And there’s now a praying mantis involved…
So, I’m going to go back to work now, but I wanted to let y’all know I’m feeling on the up & up! Woot! Have a good day! r

bouncy hearts

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This weekend, I made a trip to Joann’s and perused magazines. In the March/April issue of Quilty, there was a pattern called “Bounce” by Holly Hickman.

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I loved it instantly & bought the magazine right then & there. However, the wheels in my brain were turning during the drive home & I thought about how cute it would look with hearts instead of dots… & then I thought about how much extra work it would be to make hearts, so something else had to give. By the time I got home, I decided to ditch the string piecing for HST to save time & retain that angled look. Fast forward to now- 99 HST & 12 half hearts later- I’m ready to call it a night.

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Here’s the back side in case you want to peep the dirty work!!

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It’s coming along nicely! I wish I didn’t have to go to work in the morning so could make pretty things all day long… Sigh… Anyway, It’s St. Patty’s day for just a couple more minutes & I think I’ll go find something green to eat! Hope you had a good weekend! r

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for pam

Overall

backing

 

Earlier this month, one of my friends at work was diagnosed with cancer for a third time.  It’s a form that doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy, so she was referred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  When I found out, I had visions of Christmas in 2009, when my mom was hospitalized just before Christmas and it was horrible.  I was able to get her free on Christmas Eve- in a blizzard!- and she made me drive her directly to her favorite Chinese buffet for lunch.  It’s one of the happy memories that I have of the last few months of my mom’s life.  So, I didn’t want Pam to have to go stay at a hospital without something to remind her of home & her friends who love her.  I pieced it together the weekend after I heard the bad news by referencing a photo from Angela Walters’ book (you can see it here)  using Texas A&M colors and hand quilted it all this week.

Detail

 

I decided today would be the best day to give it her, since my office was having our Christmas luncheon and it was the last day that the majority of us would be at work before the holiday break.  I hid it in a big paper bag and sneaked around the office to all my coworkers so that they could sign their names on the pink stripe that runs across the bottom.

signatures

 

 

Afterwards, I sealed it inside the paper bag with copious amounts of tape and I’ll let these next photos speak for themselves…

opening

 

pam

 

Pam is an amazing woman and I’m so proud to call her my friend.  I hope this helps her with her fight…  Merry Christmas everyone. r

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in the end

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So, the deadline for QuiltCon has come and gone… I only had three entries ready to go, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I’ll share some of my fails wit ya!

First, I made a fabric panel at Spoonflower & it was glorious. The key word being “was”. I started working on a corner and thoroughly messed up a large seam. When I went to rip it apart & rubbed the color off the fabric. Oh crap. I thought, “I can just order some more of this section of the panel!” But for whatever reason, I couldn’t get that particular portion of the design into the fat quarter preview on Spoonflower. I tried all the repeat options & nothing worked… I couldn’t afford to buy the entire two yard panel, so I decided to abandon ship for now. Here it is in its current state:

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The second fail was due to fabric, as well. I ordered four yards for my background from a company in New Jersey & well,well, well- Hello, hurricane Sandy!! It wasn’t able to be shipped for over two weeks. When it got here, I opened the box & it was not at all what I ordered!! It was supposed to be a heathered gray, but I got a pale lilac solid. Talk about disappointed. I actually cried over fabric! & I am still working with their customer service department to this day trying to get a solution!! Argh. So, I went shopping all over for a similar fabric, but I just couldn’t find it. The heart wants what it wants, you know? So, that quilt was doomed.

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Third was a giant appliqué quilt that never made it past the pattern stage. I think when I saw the sheer scale of the undertaking, I got spooked. Here’s the full sized patterns I got from my printer, good ol’ Miller Blueprint:

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In the end, though, I entered two old quilts & my new reverse appliqué miniature. I’m pretty happy about it, too, because I felt like I had a productive November.

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I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!! Bring on Christmas! 🙂 I’m going to go hang lights on my house now. In 80 degree weather… r

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wow, i forgot how much work these puppies take!

 

 

 

 

 

My pattern called “Summer” is now live on PatternSpot.com! Yippee!!

 

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coming soon…

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a pattern… I think this little quilt is going to be my next project for PatternSpot.  Woot! -rebecca

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whoopi!

I finished my portrait of Whoopi the poodle last night! She finished at 11.5″x11″. You may remember her from this post and this post waaaayyyy last December.  She was supposed to be a Christmas gift(yikes!) for my Aunt Kim, but I missed the deadline and decided to finish it later.  But I had worked on it SO HARD that I felt burnt out and didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole.  So, Whoopi got put into a project box and placed on a shelf.  Not the actual Whoopi, mind you, she’s enormous and we couldn’t fit her on a shelf if we tried.  Here’s a gratuitous action shot:

But now that I’m in my new sewing room, I got her out and decided to finish what I started.  The original plan was to do a blue background with abstract piecing to mimic the original photograph, but it felt wrong when I took a good look at it on the design wall.  Whoopi is clearly the star of the show (as in real life!), so in the end, I just kept her background plain and finished the edges with a facing.  Here’s the original photo I got from my cousin Spencer:

He had put his aviator shades on her & she posed for him.  She dearly loves accessories, might I add, & has been known to wear pearls on special occasions…

ANYWAYS, to design this art quilt, I took the photo and deconstructed into five layers of color using Illustrator.  I then separated out each layer and printed them onto freezer paper so I could iron them onto the correct color of fabric.  Then I laid a piece of clear, dissolve away Sulky stabilizer over top of each layer and traced the pattern pieces with a fine Sharpie to create a placement map.  Once I had placement maps for each layer, I laid down my background fabric and lightly misted it with water.  Then I laid down my first layer of Sulky and it stuck in place to the dampened fabric.  Next, came the hard work of cutting out all those teensy tiny pieces of fabric and sticking them down to the placement guide.  Once I had the first layer down, I zigzagged over top of them to hold everything in place, and set the project in a water bath to dissolve away the Sulky.  Then I repeated it with the next layer.  Then the next until it was complete.  Some of the pieces were smaller than a grain of rice.  I was working with my best Tweezerman tweezers to hold on to everything and to rip off the freezer paper pattern from the top of the piece after it was placed correctly.  Whew.  I’m tired again just from writing that!  After that, I needed to add dimension to her through quilting and it proved very difficult due to the amount of threadwork on the piece.  Here’s a detail shot:

In order to get the appropriate loft for her features, I had to stack four layers of wool batting underneath.  FOUR LAYERS.  It was scary.  Almost like putting a couch cushion underneath your presser foot.  But Rory (my sewing machine) and I persevered and added just enough dimension to really make her stand out.  Here’s a side view to kind of show you what I’m talking about:

Pure craziness!  But this is one of my favorite pieces ever.  I love it to death!  She’ll be packed up tomorrow and be shipped off to Edmond, Oklahoma.  & I suppose this was as close as I’ll ever get to owning a dog!

I’m off to take care of more skeletons in my sewing closet!  Have a happy Sunday! -rebecca

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thar she blows!

Xerxes the whale

 

This is Xerxes the whale!  (I asked my sister to name it & the first name that popped out was Xerxes.  Such an odd child… But I remember naming one of my childhood cats “Thomas Cola”, so I guess what goes around comes around.) Anyways, I’ve been working on her for about a month now. I actually finished her Thursday for a zippered pouch exchange at my local modern quilt guild.  But there was some drama ’round these parts & I wasn’t able to go to my meeting.  She’s been hanging out on my cutting table ever since and I started noticing all the things that were bugging me about her- seam lines were off center, the tail was wonky, etc.  So , I totally ripped her apart again this morning.  But I digress!  She started about a month ago when I made a clay sculpture of a half whale…

 

I used Crayola air dry clay from Target.  Thank God for Back to School sales!  Anyways, while it was about 75% dry, I draped it with muslin and made pattern pieces to test out in paper…

 

When I was satisfied, I busted out my beloved stash of Mendocino fabric by Heather Ross.  I love this line of fabric so much that I’ve been too afraid to make anything out of it!  But Xerxes seemed to be calling out for the ocean, so I sucked it up and cut out my pattern pieces before I could think about what I was doing.  To make it stand up on its own, I used ByAnnie’s Soft & Stable and used polyfil stuffing in the tail.

 

There was much wrestling involved with that zipper, let me tell ya.  It required a buttload of pins and I still managed to break a needle from shifting fabric. Oy.

I’m working right now on finishing the rest of my QuiltCon Block Challenge entries.  I did the easy one first:

& now I’m working on another one to stick with the Texas theme.  So… That was my week so far!  Fun times… Happy quilting!  rebecca

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