Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Diamonds and A Girl's Best Friend

 Oh, happy day! I have another 'Finish' to show you today. It's a real jewel and a long time coming!
 The pattern was a free one by Tula Pink and, although I can't seem to find it available anymore, it looks an awful lot like this one on Craftsy. Be warned, though, that because of the piecing method, each diamond might turn out to be a different size and need to be trimmed before setting the quilt together. I'm just sayin'.
 Back in 1980, I took my very first quilting classes along side my bff, Jan. Since then Jan and I have sewn many quilts in tandem, this Gypsy Diamond quilt being our last collaboration. Many of the fabrics were purchased off the flat-fold tables from various small town Alco stores in Kansas.
 The outside border, however, is an Amy Butler fabric called Gypsy Mum that I purchased after the diamond blocks were finished. Although I wouldn't call that particular print a favorite, I love the way it incorporates the colors and lends a sort of autumn feel to the quilt. A trip through the washer and dryer turned my all-over leafy quilting into pure crinkly delight!
 The quilt is a large one, 88" x 98". The blocks were finished in 2009 and set aside for about 5 years out of frustration with the size discrepancy. Finally, about a year ago, I got the top finished but took another year to get it quilted and bound. Sheesh!
 The quilt is backed using an extra wide blue batik purchased as a flat-fold in Delta, Colorado (my hometown growing up). The perfect binding was found among my stash treasures: a blue/grey square design by Aneela Hoey.
Last March, I wondered who would get the top quilted first....Jan beat me by a month or two. I'm happy to have at least caught up, finally!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild had a 5 year birthday celebration last week. Shea's sewing machine cookies were a huge hit. Some people couldn't bear to eat theirs because they were so cute. But I did!
 And on the subject of baking...The gals in the Mid-Century Modern Bee are turning out some awesome cakes for me as I'm the queen bee this month. Three arrived this week...I'm so excited!
After several months of gathering dust, my quilting frame has been seeing quite a bit of action. I think this UFO is going to be so happy to finally become a real quilt!
 I also have made a decision to topstitch down the seams on the back of the Spider Web quilt to use it as a tablecloth. I'm hoping to finish it up at the KCMQG retreat this weekend...aptly named Quilt-Non since it's taking place the same weekend that many are enjoying Quilt-Con in Austin. We have some fun stuff planned! Stay tuned for more on that.
 One plan is to make some blocks as a group to be used in a charity quilt. We'll be using the Quilt-Con colors in a simple design. The fun will come in setting them together creatively.
And speaking of creative....look at the great stage make-up Haven wore last week in her 3rd grade play called "It's a Jungle Out There". 
Isn't she the cutest cheetah ever!

Friday, February 13, 2015

On the Fence

 Two years after it began, Juicy Fruit is finished. And she's a cheery darling!
 With excellent help from members of the Mid-Century Modern Bee, Juicy Fruit is made of 200 six-inch churn dash blocks, 5 twelve-inch blocks and one large 18-inch churn dash. I collected them on two different occasions when my month as queen of the bee rolled around in 2013 and, again, in 2014.
 Starting out with red, pink and orange, I'm super happy that I added yellow and white to the color combination in 2014. Square Elements, in black, made a great contrast for the binding on the queen size quilt.
 With all the seams making up the quilt top, I decided to go with a 108" wide backing this time. The neutral grey/white polka dot tones down the front a bit. (If that is even possible!). I top stitched some extra six-inch blocks and the signature blocks onto the backing before I quilted.
 The postman was kept busy delivering pretties from as far away as Australia and Canada, as well as Florida, Washington, Texas, California, Colorado, Minnesota, and Ohio. I'm so privileged to be a part of this group of excellent quilters! Thank you, ladies, for helping with this wonderful project.
 My quilting is never fancy. I call it utilitarian, actually. This time I free handed leaves and vines all over the top thinking that leaves went well with the "Juicy Fruit" name.
 As I quilted, I again admired all of the bright fabric combinations included in this scrappy style quilt... my favorite kind. Oh how I love it so!
 On a cold winter day, with not a green leaf in sight, it brought much sunshine to my soul as I snapped photos of this white fence near my home in the country.
 Now, I just hope that the bright color scheme doesn't actually glow in the dark and keep us awake at night!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

All Those Squares!

I really meant to begin quilting my Juicy Fruit quilt yesterday, but it was just too cold to be in the basement where my machine is, I decided. So, instead, I began putting together the rows to my latest Free Quilt-- such scrappy goodness!
 I began sewing 2.5 inch squares together as leader/enders in a light/dark pattern in January 2014. Assembling them into rows of 44 squares each, I finally have enough for a large bed quilt.
 Here's what a fourth of the 2112 squares looks like all sewn together into colorful fun!! I plan to sew twelve rows together at a time and then assemble the whole quilt from there.
 There's nothing boring about this type of simple quilt. For the postage stamp quilt, Ambrosia, that I did a few years ago, I used a white square for every other patch. It's still one of my favorite quilts and I love to just stare at it!
I think that I could stare at this one forever, too. But, I guess I better be making plans for my next leader/ender quilt instead! I've got an idea....