Quilt Archive

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Denim Dreams Denim Rag Quilt

Hello Friends,

I'm home from the scrapbooking retreat, and have finally caught up on my sleep.  Today's post takes us back into the archives so I can share a denim rag quilt I made for Denis' nephew Kurt for Christmas 2011.  I named it Denim Dreams.  Kurt had just moved into a new apartment that was a little cold in the winter, so this quilt came in handy just in time for the cold Michigan winter.  He told me recently that he used it everyday and kept him very warm.

I began searching out the denims for this quilt in the summer of 2011.  Denis and I like to poke around in rummage and garage sales.  What better place to find a variety of denim colors and patterns (and for cheap) but at these sales?  And, they were well washed and broken in.  I found all the denims I needed for about $15.00, all nicely softened up.  I used a layer of flannel in the center as the batting, and a nice burgundy heather print flannel (from the Maywood Woolies line) for the back.  It is a heavy quilt.  I cut one of the squares with a pocket and used it to make the label.

This quilt measures 48" x 63" and is made in the "rag" style, meaning the raw edges of the seams are on the outside.  Small cuts are made in the seam allowance, then the quilt is washed and dried several times, so the cuts can fray. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Scrapbooking Retreat, Day 3

Hello Friends!

Today was our final full day here at retreat.  Tomorrow we pack up and head back to the city, families, and jobs. 

Here's a shot of the room earlier today showing everyone working diligently.

Today I completed 8 pages, and I concentrated on the Museum of Science and Industry.  I'll post some photos of my pages tomorrow night from home.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Scrapbooking Retreat, Day 2

Hello Friends!

I'm happy to report that I've been busy here at retreat and have 16 pages completed.  I finished Shedd Aquarium pages and I've posted pictures of these pages below.

All our ladies are here now, the last group having arrived this evening about 6:00. 

Back to work...more in tomorrow's post.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scrapbooking Retreat Day 1

Hello Friends!

Here I am at scrapbooking retreat.  Remember that huge pile of stuff?  Well, it was loaded into the car, and is now set up in my space here at retreat.  Here I am hard at work in my space. 

I have been working hard ptoday and have 3 two page layouts done so far.  Tonight I'll finish up my pages on the Shedd Aquarium from our Chicago trip.  As I mentioned in my last post, I am using premade pages, and that makes the work go much faster.  It's only a matter of choosing the photo, and sizing it to fit the mat.  I'll post pictures of pages in tomorrow's post. 

Back to work.....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Over the river and through the woods... to scrapbooking retreat we go!


It is time to switch gears from sewing to scrapping for this coming week, as I will be going to a scrapbooking retreat with 30 other girls.  I leave bright and early on Thursday morning to head to northern Wisconsin for 4 days and 3 nights of girl talk, wine, good eats, and scrapbooking!

I'm packed and ready to go.  Here's a picture of all my stuff.  I'll be posting from the retreat and will show you my space once everything is unpacked and set up.  I'll also send some pics of finished pages.

Now, I know what you are thinking..."You're taking all that???"  Well....yeah.  I have my 12" Cricut machine in its travel bag (far left), along with cutting mats, cartridges and other accoutrements.  I have all my papers (a must for scrapbooking, kind of like fabric is a must for quilting), ink pads, tools, embellishments, ribbons, acrylic stamps and blocks, laptop, printer (not shown), and the Gypsy Quilter's Sit Upon.  Now you are probably thinking..." I hope she has a large vehicle like an SUV."  Fear not, I have a KIA Sorento. 

My pride and joy is the two matching pieces of MIMI craft luggage (the red bags in the center, toward the back).  They are made of red suede and feature many clear vinyl pockets inside for maximum storage.  The bottom one has wheels.  I have all Close To My Heart inkpads in the tall narrow black tote on the right.  The smaller black and white square tote in the left front is by Creative Memories and holds all my tools. 

I never use preprinted photos, but print my own on my wonderful HP color inkjet printer.  I also take my laptop computer, so I can crop, resize, recolor my photos before printing.  We have internet access where I am going, so I will also use my laptop to use Cricut Craft Room online.
I have a great camera.  An Olympus DSLR.  I took the shot of Chicago skyline from the Shedd Aquarium.
We stayed in Shaumburg.  I took the shot of the clock tower at dusk.  P.S.  I love large photos...can you tell??

I am scrapping a trip Denis and I took to Chicago several years ago.  Can you believe it, but I started this scrapbook at last year's crop.  I have really lagged on this project, and like all UFOs, I want it DONE!  I am using many premade layouts for this, much like the one I showed you several posts ago (from scrapbooking group night).  As a matter of fact, all the pages I intend to use are from scrapbooking monthly group.  I need to work on pictures from the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum.  I already have the Willis Tower and Adler Planetarium done. 
 Here is one set of pages from the Adler Planetarium.  The pages were premades from monthly group.
Here we are "on the ledge" at the top of the Willis Tower.  Again, premade pages from monthly group.

I'll be busy tomorrow night, packing the car and making some treats...my contribution to the food for the weekend.  My next post will be from retreat on Thursday evening.  I'll tell you more about the retreat itself then.

Kitty on the Edge

Occasionally, Miss Betty pushes the envelope (of my patience) and sits on the edge of the half wall in our upstairs living room.  The stairwell in this picture is just to the right, and is a full flight down, should she fall off, which of course she never does.  My t-shirt quilt is hanging on the railing, as you can see.

Yesterday kitty was sitting looking at me (with the same expression) on the kitchen counter, where she is not supposed to be, of course. 

Oh, the many joys of KAT!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Making Curtains on a Snowy Day...in April!

Hello friends.  It is April 21, one month past the Vernal Equinox, and it is snowing.  We seem to be stuck in the land of perpetual winter here in Wisconsin!
I'm spending time today making curtains for Kristy's boys' rooms.  They just moved into a new house and the boys are very excited that Grandma is making curtains for them.  Kristy and I went with the boys to our local Hancock Fabrics store last weekend and let them pick out the fabrics they wanted.  So, try to imagine four boys, age 8-10 and very enthusiastic, in the fabric store.  It was quite the shopping trip!  We came home with a varied assortment of fabrics:

Conner's choice:
 Corey's choice:
 Cameron's choice:
Cory's choice:

The curtains will all be lined, to add some room darkening capabilities and to preserve the prints from fading from the sun.  I'm hoping the hum of the sewing machine combined with tunes from Sirius XM Radio will help with the never-ending winter doldrums...in April!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Scrapbooking Group Night Chantilly Papers

Hello friends!

It is monthly scrapbooking group night!  My daughter, Kristy, is a Close To My Heart Consultant.  Each month we gather, Kristy as our guide, to create 6 pages from one of the current kits in the catalog.  We cut our papers per her instructions, and assemble following her sample pages.  At the end of one year, we have 72 pages ready for photographs!  We worked with the Chantilly kit tonight and it features springtime papers with cute flowers and pastel patterns. 
Here are my finished pages:

For my quilting friends, the blank spaces are photo mats. 

Scrapbooking is a lot like quilting...you take a piece of paper, just like fabric, cut it into small pieces, then put it back together again!

Monday, April 15, 2013

All Aboard Train Bag

This next project was completed less than an hour ago.  It is a labor of love for my husband Denis, who is building a HO model railroad layout in our lower level.  We attend several train shows throughout the year, and we needed a bag that was comfortable to carry when full, and large enough for the sometimes bulky items we buy. 

A month or so ago, we were making the rounds of the quilt shops in Green Bay looking for fabrics and a pattern that might be suitable.  I found the pattern at The Silver Thimble quilt shop, as well as a panel of locomotives from Timeless Treasures.  I fussy cut the images from the panel for the outside front, back and side pockets.  The pattern is by Whistlepeg Creek Productions, Sweet Retreat's Little Sister (Shhh...don't tell Denis it has a girly name).  The main fabric is from Just Train Crazy Line by RJR Fabrics.  I found this fabric at My Favorite Quilt Shop in Green Bay.  The railroad tracks fabric for the sides and handles is made by Timeless Treasures.  I purchased it online from BugFabric.com.
Front and back are the same.

The two sides are the same.
This is my first attempt at making a bag, and to be honest, was not as hard as I thought it would be.  It went together pretty simply.  This is a nice, roomy bag.  It measures 18 1/2" wide x 30" long x 6" wide at the base.  I also made an optional, clip on shoulder strap.  The pattern also has instructions for an optional zipper and bag base. 

Denis is going to a train show in Green Bay in a couple of weeks and will test the bag then.  I'll add a zipper and base if he thinks it needs it.  Otherwise, it's done and ready for shopping!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Play Ball! Finished!

Hello friends.  Remember that Sneak Peak fabric I showed you several posts ago?  Well, the quilt is finally finished!  As you can tell by the inspiration fabric I showed you, the quilt is a sports themed piece.

Besides this inspiration fabric, I also chose 4 other fabrics:  baseballs on green, basketballs on red, soccer balls on blue and footballs on green.  The center squares finish at 7 1/2", and each square has a 1" border in one of 5 different colors and patterns.  The border fabrics  chosen were a dark blue with stars, red, orange, green and yellow textural prints.  Each main theme print was bordered by one of these 5 colors.  No two squares are bordered the same.  In all, I made 25 squares.  I arranged the blocks in a staggered arrangement (thanks in part to my good friend and fellow quilter Cathy K.), and split two of the blocks to make a full square inner portion of the quilt. 

I wanted to set the blocks apart from the outer border by more than just their own smaller borders.  I chose a white tone on tone number print, to emulate the numbers in the inspiration fabric.

I used a blue flannel on the back, because this quilt is made to be cuddled with, and what is more cuddly than flannel?

I pieced the binding from strips cut from the five block border fabrics.  I like to sew my binding down by machine, and chose a fun stitch that reminded me of the stitching on a baseball.

And now, here is the finished quilt:
This quilt measures 61" x 61", which is Denis' maximum arm span (he's my P.A.--Photographer's Assistant).

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Potato Chip Pillowcase

Here's the latest quick project I've just completed.  It is yet again another pillowcase.  This one was made for my grandson Conner.  His pillowcase story begins at Christmas...  Kristy is his mother, and she received two Packer pillowcases.  Corey is his little brother and he received two pillowcases during his recent stay at Children's Hospital in Madison.  Chris is Kristy's sig other and he received a golf pillowcase at Christmas.  Cameron and Cory are Chris' boys and they each received an M&M pillowcase at Christmas.  Kristy and Chris and boys have all recently moved in together.  It has not escaped Conner's attention that he is the only one without a special pillowcase.  Grandma (that would be me) just could not let Conner go without, so she made him a special pillowcase.  It is made of a potato chip print because, you guessed it, the boy loves potato chips.  The band is a chocolate brown print, and the contrast strip is a dark brown color.  It is waiting for Conner on his bed, and he will find it tomorrow night when he comes back home for the weekend.  What are Grandmas for, if not to make things right with the world?
To Conner, with Love from Grandma.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ice Storm and Daffodils

Greetings all!

I've been busy the past few nights working on a project (unrelated to sewing or scrapping) for my daughter, so I haven't had much time for sewing this week.  This morning we woke up to no power and a nice little coating of ice on everything.  Power was restored about noon-ish.  The daytime temps didn't get much above freezing, so the trees have stayed pretty much as they were early this morning. 

Icicles on the deck 6:00 am this morning.
My poor Arbor Vitae all bent over.  Large pine trees in back all broken.
My front yard tree, a thing of ethereal beauty.
My daffodils are ready to bloom, as you can see.  I hope they are hearty enough to withstand this ice storm and some cold weather.
Weather service is predicting more of same starting overnight tonight and all the way through Friday.  Old Man Winter, release your grip!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

COLORADO! T-shirt Quilt

I'm still working on Play Ball! and hope to have a completion report very soon.

In the meantime, I'd like to share another one of my recent projects.  This one is entitled "COLORADO!"  and is a t-shirt quilt.

Fran, my Mom, lived in Colorado for about 15 years, having moved to Grand Junction after she retired from her job in Reno.  Yes, Mom is a desert rat (and I mean that in the most loving way, Mom).  I was able to visit her and her husband Jim, many times and collected a number of t-shirts during that time.  They were, of course, collecting dust hanging in my closet, never seeing the light of day. 

I had contemplated making a t-shirt quilt for several years, but was unsure how to go about it.  I was visiting Mom one day early last year and we did a little shopping at a local quilt shop, Antoinette's Quilt Shop in Plover.  They had a t-shirt quilt on display there, along with the pattern and accessories.  The pattern is "Memories to a "T"" by Crooked Nickel Quilt Designs.  The foundation for the quilt is Pellon Quilter's Grid On Point.  It is printed with 1" wide grid lines, and quite simply, you line up your t-shirt squares, sashing strips, and setting triangles on the grid, press to fuse to the grid, and sew your seams.  The seams are all encased within the grid, so no raw edges!  And, your t-shirt knits are firmly stabilized!

The hardest part of this project was finding just the right fabrics for the sashing, inner and outer borders.  The outer border and setting triangles (the green) is a forest print, which reminds me very much of the mountains of Colorado.  The inner border is a rust, and the sashing and binding is a marble print of rusts, browns, greens, white. I used brown flannel for the backing.   
Here's a close up so you can see the fabrics I chose more clearly.  The t-shirt from Vail says:  Caution Bear Dropping   (It's my favorite one!)

This quilt currently hangs over the railing in my front entry hallway, so it's the first thing my guests see when they come in the front door. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Tranquility Table Runner

I thought I would share a quick and easy little project that I made for the spring/Easter season.  It is a table runner made from a pattern called "The Big Easy" by Pieced Tree Patterns.  I found it at a recent quilt show.  I absolutely love the fabrics!  They are from the "Tranquility" line by Michele D'Amore for Benartex. 

The runner was made for a piano bench that sits in front of our living room window.  It is 42" long x 21" wide.  I used a large wavy stitch on the inner border and a large meander on the inside section.  It was perfect with my Easter decorations.  Although the Easter decorations have now been put away, I'll leave the runner until I decorate for summer, sometime in late May.

I've named it Spring Tranquility after the fabric line it is made from.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Play Ball Sneak Peek

I apologize to all viewers...I missed yesterday's post.  My daughter Kristy is moving this weekend, and last evening Denis and I were helping her do some last minute packing.  It was late when we got home, and we headed straight to bed!

I'll bet you've all been wondering if I've been working on anything recently.  As a matter of fact, the answer is "Yes".  I currently have a project in process for my oldest grandson, Conner.  He is 10.  The project is nearing completion and I hope to have it entirely done by the end of this coming weekend.  Here is a sneak peak of the inspiration fabric for this project:

It is perfect for him as he approaches teen-hood.  Shhh...don't tell his mother I said that, she is in denial!!

I'll post more on this in the next few days.  Stay tuned for the finished product this weekend.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pennies from Heaven Shadowbox

This is a shadowbox that I made for both Denis and his brother.  There is a story behind the coins in the shadowbox.  Their dad, Bill, was a coin collector.  He would keep spare change (and would find it, too!) and would collect this change for an entire year, then cash it in at the bank.  It was his "mad money" while on vacation.  He was known to hide his stash of coins and money in the rafters of the basement at their home in Neenah.  Bill and Stella (Denis' mom) have both passed away, and Denis inherited the house.  He was doing some renovations in the basement (removing walls, etc.) in preparation to selling the house.  We often wondered about Bill's stash, if it even existed, and if we would find it.  The last wall to come down would reveal its hiding place, and at long last "the treasure" had been found.

I used some of the actual wheat pennies and rolls of coins as part of the display.  This is contained in a 12" x 12" shadowbox frame.  There are notations on the rolls written in pencil in Bill's handwriting. 
I gave this one to Gordon, Denis' brother for Christmas in 2007.  It was the WOW gift that Christmas.  It made him cry.  I made another one for Denis soon after.

Here is the write up from the shadowbox:  "Bill was well known as a collector of many things.  One of his most prolific hobbies was to collect coins, roll them in paper wrappers, and stash them in the walls ad rafters of his basement workshop.  During recent basement renovations, Denis had almost given up hope of finding this legendary treasure until the last of day of his work there.  The wall containing the door to the workroom was the last to come down, and there the treasure resided.  Rolls of wheat pennies dating back to the 1940's came tumbling down, as well as rolls of quarter and half dollars.  This display is dedicated to you, Bill.  Although you are gone from us, you continue to shower us with 'Pennies from Heaven'.  Thanks, Dad."

These photographs are the ones used in the display:
 Bill repurposed a variety of containers for his coins, including this Velvet tobacco tin.
Here are the tobacco tins and rolls of coins stashed within the wall above the door to the workroom.  This space was full of tins and coins.