Friday, July 30, 2010

At least I'm not Confused Anymore

It usually doesn't take much for me to come up with a quilt. (Especially doll quilts. As we all know. LOL) I see something, or think of something and one thing will lead to another and wa-la, I grab fabric and usually have something presentable in a day or two. But this one had me stumped! I actually had to get out paper and colored pencils and draw it out by hand. I had seen mazes before in quilts....not too often though, and for the life of me, couldn't understand the construction. How in the world did they go round and round and round? Duh! I knew the colors I wanted to use to make it effective.........

but first had to determine what went where, when and how! Duh! Well, let me tell you, after I had it all drawn out, numbered and my fabric strips cut, it went one two, three and in a minute you'll see why.
Now, that doesn't look too hard, huh? Not at all once you figure it out.........

Color Maze #1

Not one of my best works, but at least I'm not confused anymore!! (At least not for colored fabric mazes. LOL)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Have you been counting?

If you have been counting, you probably think I'm nuts. 'Course many of you who really know me, might think I'm nuts anyway, but we won't go into that. LOL I told you I'd be busy for the doll swap, and I wasn't kidding. (As you have probably noticed if you've been visiting for awhile.) We're up to 8 at last count and that is before today's new one. In justification though, I am keeping one for myself and I have already given one away which brings the total down to 6 and I figure we're going to need at least 8 for angel quilts. (Maybe more.) Last time, for DQS8 we sent out 7 or 8 and that was for a group of 160 players. This time we have 200 participants, so who knows? This is a warning....there will be more so if you're sick of these little quilts, come back after September 1st when the swap will be over. LOL I LOVE making these little things!!!

Today's quilt came about because I wanted something so I could continue my "swirl" free motion quilting practice. (Can you believe?) I hated to duplicate the stuff I've already done, but I had to have something with a white background. Birds seems to always be the "go to" in the swap. Seems everybody likes birds, so I thought I'd start with them figuring that I'd cut out some flowers and plop them on and be done with the thing. BUT, then I spied the new fabric I bought last week with big circles and thought, "Hum, what about using them as the flowers?" It might look a bit folk artish. So that's what happened. First, I drew the birds and cut out the circles:

I actually took a picture of the circles on the fabric so I'd have reference as to how I liked them so I could fuse the fabric for the birds first. After that was done, I replaced them, fused them down too and drew lines for the stems of the flowers.

Of course, now came the fun part to sew everything down and stitch the stem lines, etc. plus do the free motion quilting. (My favorite part, other than the initial drawing.) And wa-la! May I present, "Two Birds Hiding".

"Two Birds Hiding"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Busy Girl

I've been a busy girl this week! First I finished a doll quilt that I discovered in a book called, "Whimsyland" by Liz and Beth Hawkins. Rarely do I use patterns for anything, and to be honest, I didn't this time either as their templates were too big for the size I needed. I just looked at the quilt in the book and sort of "winged it" so to speak:

DQS9 "Laugh"

The only trouble I had was trying to embroider through the already fused fabric. I needed a pliers to pull the needle through in spots. :)

Then, today, I was thinking that I wanted to do a fast project, so I got up my bag of already cut strips and made a quick string quilt to use as another angel quilt. I've made so many string quilts I could make them in my sleep, but this time I did something a little different. I seamed a real scrappy binding for it and I love it. It seems to tie it all together so nicely.

DQS9 Simple String Angel Quilt

So, that was my week. What about you?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Oh Happy Day"

People sometimes ask me how I get my ideas, or where it all comes from and while I can't always tell them how things form in my head, or why I do certain creative things, I can explain one thing that I enjoy. I've always been fascinated with children...and how they move so effortlessly and the simple things that seem to give them the greatest joy. Girls especially! I used to just sit for hours and watch my kids play when they were little, and while my son would throw stuff and run, be tough and get in trouble on occasion, my daughter was a little lady all of the time. (At least the times that she was with me...who knows about those teenage years? LOL We won't go into that!!) Well, when I joined my first doll swap (DQS7) I wanted a gift for a good friend and designed "Someday my Price will Come" for her. She's a single mom and often she'd ask me if I thought she'd ever find another "Mr. Wonderful". Since then, things evolved and so far I have created five doll quilts of little girls. I've decided to call them "The Little Girl Pearl" series since each little girl wears pearls. (Don't ask me how that started, I haven't a clue!) Well, #5 was born yesterday and I think she's pretty cute, myself.

It starts like this....on a whim...out of any time and I better have something close to transfer the ideas onto because they come really fast. This was the first sketch in a 6 by 9 1/2 inch notebook:

Then I transferred that idea into a useable pattern on bigger paper:

And then I get going, cutting my base fabric to size (usually 1 inch bigger all the way around to allow for shrinkage in quilting, etc and to square it up properly when it's done) and tracing my drawing and cutting fabric pieces with the steam a seam. When it's to my liking, I iron all the pieces onto the background. It looks like this. Note, there are no steams for the flowers, only pencil lines. The same with the balloons. Oooopppps, first I pieced the grassy area. I took a piece of steam a seam and placed tiny green fabric pieces onto it and ironed it. Then, I cut it to my traced shape and carefully tore off the back piece and ironed it onto the base fabric and sewed around each square so it would stay on there forever.

After I made my quilt sandwich, I got out my applique foot for my Bernina, and did a fancy stitch for my flower steams and the balloon stems. I could have hand stitched them, but that stitch is so much faster. (#86 for you Bernina Activa 240 users.) When those were done, I got out my #24 foot (open toe free motion foot) and sewed around each shape with the matching color thread. I use white in my bobbin all the time and never have a problem.
Note her eyelashes! I drew them on with one of those Pigma Micron pens. I use the #02 size. I also put my initials on it in a corner and the year. Then, I free motion quilted it in my newly learned swirl quilting......soooo cool! And wa-la......add a few special touches and done!


Isn't she just the cutest????? I think this one is going in my laundry room! I'll have to make another one for the swap. :)

"Oh Happy Day"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shirley's Classy Quilting

I showed you the quilt unquilted, remember? Well, it's back now in all it's glory because of Shirley! And wait until you see it.........g o r g e o u s !!!!

DQS9 Flowers - Finished

My favorite picture of her fantastic quilting:

Quilting Detail - "Flowers"

Someday maybe I'll get that can always hope!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Flowers

I thought by now I'd have the quilt done that I showed you last time, but I got "chicken" and thought I'd mess it up, so gave it to my friend, Shirley, to free motion quilt for me. I wanted nice swirls like Kellie does on hers. Once I gave it to Shirley though, I really wanted to make another one, so got out all my stuff, and sort of made up my own pattern making some of the flowers smaller and the stems, thinner. I used a fancy stitch on my machine for that. And when I was done with the fusing and raw edge applique, I looked at it and wondered if I could actually quilt it myself. I checked out all the u-tube videos of swirl quilting, and studied the pictures online of everything I could find and finally made up a small quilt sandwich to practice.

Practice Swirls

Shirley told me to draw a leaf shape and flower and to pretend that it was a fused applique so I could practice going around I did and I didn't think I did too bad of job for my first attempt, so decided to quilt my quilt myself. (Nothing like a swirl virgin, huh? .......A friend called me that. LOL I thought it was a riot.)


And here's the whole thing done. This one might go to my swap's in the running!!

"How does your Garden Grow?"

Next time I'll show you Shirley's and then you'll know why I wanted her to do it. I'm positive that hers will be 1000 times better, but at least I tried and isn't that what this quilting bug is all about?

Friday, July 9, 2010


I've always admired the fantastic quilting and gorgeous, bright and happy designs by, Kellie from I can't even tell you how many times I've visited her blog in awe of her creations. Then, it occurred to me that there was no reason I couldn't use her pillow tutorial to create an angel quilt for the ongoing DQS group. I could practice her technique and still not copy. Yeah!!! (Although, I must admit that I might have my dear friend, Shirley, ( do the quilting. Shirley is an awesome quilter and it would look soooo much better if she did it. Isn't that right, Shirley????? Besides, who says angel quilts can't be a collaborative effort????

Here's the beginning all fused but not yet appliqued nor quilted.

DQS9 Flowers

I'll show you the finished product as soon as "we" have it done! Okay?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Better late than never, I suppose, since the day is almost over. Duh! I should have thought of this earlier, I guess. Oh well! Hope your day was lovely and you celebrated appropriately!

I just sat around here most of the day today just doing nothing. It seems that I have wild days of sewing and then just chill for the two days following. Don't ask me when this started because I have no idea. I made duplicate little minis yesterday for the QT Swap but alas cannot show you since my partner needs to get hers first. I made me one too, I liked it so well. The theme was beach/underwater so that might give you a clue.

I can show you my quick (like really quick) little drawing for the next doll quilt though. I did draw this out the proper size today and there will be a few changes, but I think they're all for the good. I'm hoping it will be as cute in fabric.....

The Next One

So, that's about all I've been up to besides the normal housewifely, cleaning, cooking stuff. I'd rather be sewing, to be honest with you!!!

I'm hoping to finish that next doll quilt this week sometime, so stay tuned.......................I'll be back soon!