Monday, March 22, 2010

A Quilt is born October day...

The snow is melted for now...though they are expecting flurries again this next weekend. I need spring...the winter has been long and I am ready.  We are making our spring, summer and fall plans. Just finished another quilt top and have started then next one...and have two more in the planning stages.  Fabric laying out everywhere and not enough time for all the things I want to do.

I wanted to show you the first version of the quilt from last October American Patchwork Quilting.  Some day I'll do the leaf version but I enjoyed  making the two versions that I have made of this pattern.

I am currently an unemployed Computer Professional. I have found myself in this unfortunate situation at my age, too young to retire but too old to be a new hire. I am trying to figure out how I can reinvent myself for the second career which I hope to take me into retirement.  I want it to be 'something" which uses my computer skills and my 45 years of sewing experience...Humm, wonder what that might be...more on that a little later.

My father introduced me to fabric and my mother taught me to sewing...Dad encouraged me to learn and for all the years he was with us he provided me with fabric through his businesses.  So I LOVE fabric and I have a wonderful stash but I have never seen a piece of beautiful fabric which wasn't waiting for a new home! 

Last fall on a beautiful Indian summer day, I stopped into a new quilt shop for me and an old one... The new one was "Quilt in Joy"  in Huntley, Illinois. (   It's a nice quilt shop that is a couple of years old now. I always wanted to open a Quilt Shop there but I never had the funds.   Oh my, they have beautiful fabric, this is gonna be tough.  There are many kinds of fabric shops today,  some specialize in "1930's reproduction fabrics", "Civil War reproductions fabrics", "Thimbleberries fabric" and many more.  I like the shops that have beautiful, bold, vibrant colors. I think I have found a closer to home new favorite Quilt Shop. It's a really nice shop.  I resisted as best I could but I found some beautiful fabric on the clearance table which called my name loudly. I did not know what project these would be for just yet but a couple of yards each will do.

I met some former coworkers for lunch in DeKalb and we had a really nice visit.  On my way home I decided to stop at my other favorite Quilt shop in Hampshire, Illinois,  "Judy's Quilt and Sew ".  (  It a wonderful shop which has beautiful, vibrant fabric but it's about 35 mile away.  So I have to make really good excuses to drive there and lunch in Dekalb with my friends gives me a good excuse!  Lunch with friends and vibrant fabric go together fabulously!  Once again I looked around and found a beautiful floral which gave me the idea to use the new pattern from my new quilt magazine! So a couple more fabrics from the clearance rack and the brain is planning the next project. It turned out beautifully if I don't say so my self.  This is the first quilt that I had machine quilted.  The quilter did a great job and now I am very interested in a long arm machine and a new retirement career.  I called the quilt "Flower Garden Dreams".  The Quilt works well in my newly painted spare bedroom.
Believe or not this is the same block as the leaf block except I cut a five inch square of the beautiful floral fabric and sewed to accent fabrics offset to the side as they showed in the directions.  The difference is how I laid the blocks out. I twisted each block 90 degrees from the previous block and this is the pattern you get. It looked rather Oriental to me and I decided I liked it!

Up close view. I supplemented the fabrics I bought that October day with two pink fabrics which I had in my stash and this quilt was born on that October afternoon from the clearance table!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Then the border of blossoms.

Sewing pleasures to all!

Love, Jan

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Joyce's Birds - March 2, 2010

Wow, the time sure has flown by.  It is March already and it has been a month since I wrote a Quilt blog. Sorry it has been so long but I have been very busy. I will try to write a blog a bit more often....

It has been a busy few weeks for me because I have been trying to get ready for my sister’s 50th birthday. I am having all my sibling and their spouses come for a long weekend visit so we can celebrate her birthday. Today I will highlight a quilt that I have made for her Mother-in-law which she will take home with her on Sunday evening.

This block is an offset Log Cabin which I have had quite a bit of fun with. It was a block featured on the cover of American Patchwork Quilting in the October 2009 issue. I modified it just a little.  Instead of piecing the square leaf block, I found a large print which I could use as the 5 inch center block.  Then I "built" the log cabin type offset around the five inch block.

 The ideas for this quilt developed after my brother-in-law saw my log cabin quilt which I had made for our travel trailer….

Yes, I have a quilt in our travel trailer! It is a log cabin block which features birds, birch trees, tree bark and looks very outdoor like….
I took it a step further and recover the valance with the bird fabric and made some cute curtains for the trailer to match. We also added a new cute bird wall paper border and the trailer now looks like new. Michael (my brother-in-law) stated that his mother would love the bird fabric and Michael loved the birch tree fabric.

SO I went in search of bird fabric and found this fabric which to me looked like a fabric which any mother would have loved! The fabric line has several coordinating fabrics which I used but I also added some touches of my own. The fabric highlights Cardinals, Robins, Sparrows, Hummingbirds and Wrens. A coordinating fabric used for the backing highlights a beautiful combination of raspberries, vines and leaves.

I added an additional modification to the block by adding a shadow or window box grid around each block using a pretty green fabric and finished the quilt with a matching bird border.
Shows Border Fabric                        Shows Pieced Back and Border
 And Robin Block up close

This block was really fun to work with. Next I will feature another quilt which I made with this block but I arranged the blocks differently for a very unique quilt.

Enjoy ... until my next Blog.  May you have "sew" much fun!

Happy Sewing,