Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday

This blast from the past was my first Scraps To Treasure challenge quilt made in 2007.  I made this quilt to celebrate the love that a couple has for their children, all adopted.  At the time I made this, they had adopted three and were prayerfully considering adopting one more.  Somehow I just couldn't resist giving them an extra baby girl.

Baby K.

So I was delighted to hear a few months later that they indeed had made another request for a baby and that a baby girl had found her way into their arms and their hearts.
Father and Son

Another Son
Both Daughters and a Rabbit

Momma will join the fun as soon as she sets this picnic basket down.

This one's called, A Patchwork Family.  It was challenging, but lots of fun to design and construct.  I learned a lot from the process, as I have with all these challenges.  It's just about time to get started on this year's STT quilt.  My fabrics have been sent and I'll soon get a set of every participant's 6" squares of fabrics to play with.

AGAPE (adoption agency) is stitched in Greek letters across the heart.  It represents the purest form of love.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Off the Frame

This is such a sweet quilt for a baby girl soon to be born in the southwest.  I met the most cheerful young quilter at our guild and agreed to quilt it for her to send to a friend.  Since the quilt maker and her husband are both aerospace engineers, she opted to emphasize the stars in this top.

The nursery rhyme fabrics contained whimsical drawings.  So the quilting was an easy decision.  Fun, whimsical "sine waves" in the brown fabrics framing each block to bring out the engineer and more stars with loops in the borders and alternating blocks.

The pink plaid in the first border providing nice markings to play.  More sine waves with large data points.  Or, for the less math minded, swirling curves with loops. 

This cannot be comfortable.  But it did make me laugh!  That naughty squirrel just knocked down the hook a few minutes ago.  Now he can eat upright.
Eating his stolen goods.

Time for another seed.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday

This one is from November 2009.  Our neighbors across the street were preparing for their daughter's wedding. These colors were really off!  The wall was actually green.

It's a wall hanging of 9 separate quilts.  The inspiration came from an art piece that they listed on their registry.
Instead of the raised designs in the metal, there were designs in the batik fabrics.  Unfortunately, I didn't get shots which show the quilting.  It was a simple, 2 line design which restated an element in the batik.
The quilting followed the squiggly vertical double line in this quilt.
For this quilt, the quilting lines formed one large leaf from a fern frond.
The rods were painted wood dowels.  First black, then mottled with brown to make it look more textured.
Ribbons were the vertical supports.  Each quilt had a rod pocket which was split open in the middle.  I wanted it to be able to be hung with 1 nail and to balance well so that it wouldn't be crooked.

It was fun browsing through a few older photos today.  I'd forgotten about this one!

Our thought and prayers are with my mother-in-law as she's overcoming pancreatitis in the hospital.  It started suddenly and swiftly.  Wish we could jump across state lines instantly and be there during those restricted visiting hours.  For now, two of her sons have been there most of the week.  My husband will fly there soon and stay 10 days. 

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday

This quilt was made as a signature quilt to comfort the family of a dear online friend who lost her battle with cancer.  The list was formed way back in the summer of 1996 when a bunch of ladies were expecting babies the following April.  We shared all those stories about our pregnancies that would have bored our other friends and family members.  Then, we stayed together while we had babies, then toddlers ... because we still had to share about all those cute little things they say and do.  We even have our own acronyms for the message subject : CTTS - for Cute Things They Say.

A quilt for Cindy's family

Over the years, our sharing has broadened to include topics about our other (non-April) babes and our marriages and family struggles.  It's been almost 16 years since we first formed the group.  I love that I get to understand how others think and feel about things.  Differing political or religious views, differing ideas on raising their children, differing regional culture... just about everything.  Since we're moms first, and have long time friendships, it really helps to have that foundation in understanding an idea completely opposite of my own.

As Cindy shared about her battle with cancer, we cheered her own.  Many of us prayed for her health and we often asked her how her treatment was going.  Her husband was amazing.  He supported her and showed his love to her very last breath.  When she couldn't post any more, he would give us updates and we'd return well wishes and words of encouragement.  Upon her death, we all wanted to do something to comfort her husband and children.
My first attempt at continuous curves quilting
Although most of the April moms are non quilters, they could share a photo or come up with words and a design on the computer.  Most of them emailed me their artwork, which was printed on to fabric.  A few did embroidery onto their fabric square and mailed it to me.    The blocks were arranged and rearranged until this layout came together.  I really like the Mariner's Compass blocks mixed in.

I had a few empty blocks to make the layout work.  So the quilt was mailed in December 2008 with permanent pigma pens to invite her family to add to the love expressed in this quilt.

Her husband, Jay, sent back a story of how Cindy had made quilts to comfort others.  He told me that if she had picked out the fabrics for this one, she would have selected from the same blues and teals that we used here.  He ended up helping her make a few and knew well the time involved and of rotary cutters and chain piecing.  Wow! In the midst of his grief, his expression of thankfulness was an encouragement to all in our moms group. 

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Easy Peasy

An online group is making a quilt to cheer a young woman fighting breast cancer.  Although I haven't met her, I read about her life, and her dreams and I hope to encourage her on as she faces this battle when she'll need an extra portion of strength from above. 

Each quilter who participates is making a few heart blocks in black, white and pink.  I forgot how quick and fun it can be to make a block rather than a whole quilt top.  These four were made as leaders and enders for another project.

The pattern is a free one and can be found here.

Sigh.  I kicked the brick step in my studio Thursday morning as I rounded the quilt frame.  My two smallest toes are purple and very tender.  Trust me, you do not need to see a photo of these toes!  Purple is a beautiful color in a quilt, but shockingly ugly on a foot.  It's always terrible timing to do a clumsy injury.  Today, I would have participated in a fencing tournament.  I still need to be there since I'm responsible for the venue.  It would have been much more fun to join in the swordplay than to sit with a foot propped up.  I don't like these lessons in humility.

I'm hoping this heals quickly.  It's time to be gardening and getting whipped back into shape, taking walks and jogs around the neighborhood so I can see what everyone's growing in their flower beds.  Yes, I'm that stalker neighbor!  The one who pretends to enjoy a stroll just to see everyone's landscaping and the birds perched on roofs, trees and bushes.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Updated Studio Photos

I thought some of these were already on my blog, but couldn't find them to send a link.  If it were daylight, I'd take new ones since things are always changing a little bit here and there.

This room was our screened in porch prior to the April 27th tornadoes.  It measures 12 by 17 feet.  Since there are 3 doorways, furniture placement has to allow for lots of open spaces.   The quilting frame is 10 feet long.

Seeing Stars  :)

Time Travel Tuesday

From 2007 ...
ABC Quilt
This one was for a baby boy at our church.  Since his mother was an elementary teacher before he was born, I thought it was especially fun to make the ABC quilt for him.
A is for Alligators
It was made before I had the longarm, but with the stitch regulator, the quilting was fun!
Now I know my ABC's

Next time won't you sing with me?
I have another set of ABC fabrics, so I can play with a similar idea again.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Well, now I'm grinnin'

After yesterday's post with the awful quilting in the borders, I'm happy to share new photos of Judy's quilt.

Now that it's off the frame, you can really see those spots stand up at attention.

Can't tell you have many times I've bounced my fingers off those poofy stars and circles.

Yesterday, I was a pickin'.  Today I'm a grinnin'. 

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pickin' and a Grinnin'

Quilting detail for Judy's Baby Quilt Pattern
Once the circle templates arrived, I tossed a Project Linus quilt top on the frame to test out those circles.
They're fun and fairly easy to use.  I also have a new template foot which I've put to good use on these last two quilts. 

Double layers of Hobbs 80/20 batting lets those circles poof

There are several filler designs quilted densely enough to puff those circles.  My goal is to enjoy the texture.  Since the threads are a soft baby blue, those wonderful fabrics are still prominent.  Those stars also get to puff up and be noticed.
That white border just isn't right. 

So the pickin' part is going to be to remove the stitches in the white border.  They just aren't pretty.  Too wobbly and uneven.  I only wish I'd decided this wasn't working before I got so far, about 50% around the quilt.  Oh well.  I'll listen to an audio book while I pick threads.

Now the big decision is to find a better design.  One that I can do without ugly wobbles.  Guess I'll practice those figure 8's on paper a lot more often.  I knew that I have trouble making them balanced, but still wanted them on this quilt.

Switching subjects to current events, my prayers go out to those affected by the tornadoes yesterday, especially those who lost loved ones.  Our community was hit hard again, but the injuries were minor.   The aerial views of damage in Indiana is saddening.

I plan to take extra time today to hug those I love.

Enjoy your family today and let them know you love them.
- SeeingStars