Tag Archives: quilt

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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wow, i forgot how much work these puppies take!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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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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laziest. tutorial. evar. for bolt!

Hello! My Steven & I bought a new house (Yay!), so all of my sewing supplies are currently living sad little lives inside cardboard boxes.  In the interim, I am sitting here at my computer procrastinating because I DO NOT want to pack up yet another load of boxes in this sweltering Texas heat.  I was hoping that once the sun went down, the weather would be much more reasonable, but no.  It’s after 7pm and still feels like 102 degrees! So, whatevs, I’m going to put up this quick tutorial for my bolt quilt.  It’s more like a layout, tbh.  Here you go:

These here are your blocks.

The blocks are made of solid strips of fabric and half-square rectangles.  There’s an excellent tutorial here for HRT’s from the Modern Quilt Guild’s 100 Days of Quilts!  The tall HRT’s in bolt started their lives as 8.5″ long x 2.5″ wide strips and finished at 5.75″ x 2″.  The shorter ones were 4.5″ long and 2.5″ wide and finished at 3.25″x2″.  The solid strips were 5.75″ x 2″.  Feel free to experiment with sizes on your project.  Just make sure your triangle points end up a quarter inch away from the edge or the quilt police will get you…

this is your pattern layout

make some columns!

get the neighbors together for a party!

make it a block party!

done and done

Tips? I’d say you could press all your seams open to make it easy on yourself. Did I do that? Um, no.  I pressed them all to the background.  Then all the blocks in column one were pressed down and all the blocks in column two were pressed up and so on and so forth.  That way, each row nestled in with one another.  Secondly, pin like a beast!  And then pin some more!  A graphic pattern like this relies on precision piecing, so take your time and line EVERYTHING up.  The tops of the lightning bolts should be perfectly straight across…  Here’s bolt one more time:

A quilt top for Gabriel & Gadriel

It actually goes together quite quickly once you’ve figured out what color goes where.  I hope y’all try this quilt out.  Or at least make a pillow or something with it!  Have a good night!  I have storage totes calling out to me!  rebecca

 

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bolt!

A quilt top for Gabriel & Gadriel

I finally finished this quilt top! I told myself that I couldn’t put anything else up on my design wall until it was finished, so I guess that lit a fire under me.  It’s about 36×42-ish and after a quick quilting in the ditch will be headed to Oklahoma for my big brother’s twin boys.  Which I will drop a gratuitous photo of them into this post right now:

Gavin & Chasity's twin boys

I took that photo about three weeks ago when they turned two months old, so they are probably twice as big by now!  Too cute.  But I guess this means I better hurry up and finish their quilt before its too small… Happy Saturday!  -rebecca

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moms part two…

Laser cut felt illustration

This image should look familiar if you’ve read my blog from last Mother’s Day. I was inspired by a French art installation and created a piece that celebrated my moms.  It’s been two years since she passed away & it just doesn’t get any easier…

ANYWAYS, on my first version, I cut out each hole from a piece of fabric and turned the raw edges under to the back.  It was easy work with the big holes and not so much as they got progressively smaller.  My bamboo skewer gave way to a tooth pick and after a while, I had my fill of tediousness & put the piece aside.

Close up of laser cutting

So, this year, I decided to turn to my old friend, Ponoko.  It’s a website that can pretty much make anything you dream of into a reality.  You can upload designs to be laser cut or etched onto hundreds of different materials.  They can 3D print anything. If you don’t have any art or CAD skills, they can find you someone who will do it for you.  It’s like a magic dream rainbow factory!  & if you’re thinking, “Well, that doesn’t sound very quilty!” Then let me entice you with the power to create your own acrylic rotary cutting templates!  Can you imagine?  Er. I’ve strayed off topic!  So, I uploaded an Illustrator file to Ponoko and requested that it be laser cut from 2mm thick, cream colored felt.  Then I waited a couple of weeks for it to come back home to me.

When I opened the box, it had a slightly singed smell, but I was able to take care of that by rubbing it with a cucumber face wipe.  And I also had to remove all the little bits from each hole- see below!

crumb city!

I’m sure you can imagine how fun it was to have these little bits o’ felt scatter all up in your living room!  I found a few nestled in my hair & had to furiously keep the cat at bay so he wouldn’t try to eat them.

But now I’m not sure how to finish this little project.  I was thinking about quilting in cream colored thread to create more texture and detail to her hair, but that might spoil the whole spare aesthetic thing going on.  Or maybe work in some tulle or something?  Or chop it down and put it on the wall and be done with it! Who knows…

FYI- Here’s the photo I used to create this whole project. I pray you can see a resemblance in the felt piece! lol

my momma

Sigh.  I love you, moms.  I miss you everyday.  Love, rebecca

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silly bands for a serious cause

I’ve finished quilting and binding my ruby silly bands quilt to donate to a silent auction. I learned that one of the guys I went to school with, Cameron Hollars, lost his little girl from complications following open heart surgery. She was just a few weeks shy of her second birthday (Oct. 13th) when she passed away & my heart is broken for Cameron & his wife. So, when I learned that his friends are putting on a fundraiser to help pay for her funeral & medical expenses, I decided to donate this quilt to the cause. Now, let’s hope the postal service can get it to Oklahoma in time for the auction! -rebecca

P.S. If you want to learn more about little Kadynce Hollars, please visit the Miracle for Kadynce Facebook page.

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i heart mail!!!

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I got the new issue of Quilting Arts in the mail today & my little tornado quilt is featured in the “Tag, You’re It! Challenge” pages! I had to peel myself up off the floor so I could peep the details! There’s an inset pic on both pages of the intro spread & one page all for myself. All of the quilts in the challenge seem to play well together, too. So pretty! I am so very proud to be included in one of my favorite magazines!!!! Pokey Bolton just made my day 100% better…

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sewing samples part two

I finished sewing the strawberry plant and added it to my pattern. I didn’t have access to the good camera, though, so this crappy pic will have to do. I must say, those are some cute berries! Sometimes cuteness can overcome a terrible camera… 🙂

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sewing up samples


I’ve been chillaxing during my long Labor Day weekend with college football playing on the TV and my sewing machine Rory running full speed. I haven’t been able to sit down and sew to my hearts content in a LONG time, so it’s been wonderful! In preparation for the Labor Day Sale @ Patternspot.com, I created a little pattern pack with a ladybug and a strawberry plant. HOWEVER! Photos are a necessary ingredient for patterns & obviously I needed to take some pics of a sewn sample. I stood in my studio and begged the sewing fairies to get down to bidness so I can get some photos online & they pretty much ignored me. So, I sat down and started printing, ironing, cutting, sewing, seam ripping, sewing, DANG IT! seam ripping again, quilting, and finally taking photos. Then I had to add them to my pattern pack in a fanciful way & post everything onto the Patternspot.com I didn’t quite finish, though. The strawberry plant has quite a few pieces and it’s twelve inches tall, so I’m still in the cutting out phase. Oh well, it’ll get done sometime this weekend and I’ll post it on here for you to see. Wow! It’s late! I should probably go to bed… Happy quilting! rebs

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