Sunday, June 15, 2014

Green, Summer Days

Everyone who knows me will attest that I am horticulturally-challenged. I have been heard to say that the plants in my yard "have a contract with God," so if they aren't growing due to drought, heat, or lack of sun, they should take it up with Him. But I do love green things (especially flowers with lots of greenery), so I continue planting flowers and vegetables...then turn them over to God to allow them to live or die.

Occasionally it works out...

But much more reliably, I can make myself a bright green quilt...and that makes me happy year-round, no watering required!

Last week, I finished two UFOs (unfinished objects, quilting slang for projects started a while ago, set aside, and finally returned to the queue for completion). Both were pieced three or four years ago. 

The first one was a sweet little churn dash.

It is only 33" x 56" or so, and is an adorable size to hang on the wall in my library. I quilted it with the "Tickle Too" pattern, and filled the little bit of blank space with some fairies.

I think this quilt is very summery...the golds make me think of day lilies, and the brown mushrooms, with orange campfires...but I've had friends say it's more autumnal. I like it either way.

The second quilt uses the same floral fabric, but in a more formal, stylized way. This quilt was a mystery quilt from McCall's magazine, but I sized it down 50% to make their 88" square quilt finish at only 44" square.

I did a bit of fussy quilting on this one, so enjoy some close-ups:

Under my frame

Feather Fern (green on green)

A nice fancy block...brown on the brown

I am entirely spoiled by my computerized longarm system.

I chose these shells for the border, because I liked the way they echoed the feather fern frond.

I adore the density of the quilting on this one.

So, two small projects for me. This one is also going on my wall, but right over my bed.

The big quilt on my bed just happened to match, so it was elevated to bed-status. It was a Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr design from a few years ago. Obviously, loving green is not a new thing here at the Manor. I did pull both these quilts off the walls again to take them to Greenville Quilters Guild show-and-tell on Thursday night, so I will label them before I hang them again since they are down anyway.

This week will be a busy one for quilting! I have two start-to-finish commission pieces, plus two customer quilts and two quilts for charities (one for Quilts of Compassion, one for Quilts of Valor) in the works right now to finish by the end of the month.

Go make something beautiful this week!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Graduation Smiles

The school year is ending, and our church youth group is graduating a large senior class of very talented young people. One of my dear friends, in anticipation of her only child heading off to Boone in two short months, started quilting with me this spring, and made her first two Jelly Roll Race quilts, then decided to make her daughter a perfect school-colors-for-the-dorm-room quilt.

She bought the pattern "Kwik Shifted Blocks" by Two Kwik Quilters while on the shop hop here in eastern NC in February. Unfortunately, the pattern only finishes 48" x 62" and she wanted a twin quilt. So, we made a color photocopy of the pattern picture, and tried doubling it, and adapting the middle border. Pretty advanced stuff for a beginning quilt maker!

She spent lots of her limited "free" time piecing for the last few weeks.

I love the fun fabrics she chose! Mustaches, bananas, and even elephants!

We decided to quilt it in charcoal gray Glide in the "Ebb & Flow" design that complemented this modern design.

The backing fabric is fabulous!

After auditioning a couple of options for binding, we decided a wide black binding would be best. So I cut 3.5" strips of Kona black, and attached it with a half inch seam allowance on the back of the quilt, and turned it to the front for top-stitching, making sure to miter the corners.

After the quilt was finished, we decided the piéce de résistance would be a matching sham!

I think this is my new favorite quilt!

Graduation is exciting for students, but traumatic for parents. I'm grateful for the part I played as quilting coach...some might say make sure this dearly loved child is wrapped in her mama's hug every night while she sleeps.