Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Star Wars Quilt finished!

Star Wars is finally finished!

I started R2D2 here:

http://uniquelyyourscreations.blogspot.com/2013/10/star-wars.html 

Progress here:

http://uniquelyyourscreations.blogspot.com/2013/11/star-wars-quilt-progress.html


I made the quilt in sections for quilting - quilt as you go.


 Minimal quilting - I didn't want it over quilted.

Then sewed the sections together.

There are many great tutorials on the web for
Quilt as you go. 




                     The finished quilt is about 60" x 60"

It was fun designing this quilt for my daughter and
son-in-law! They love it!

I always had problems with my binding until I found

Sharon Schamber's tutorial on youtube.  It's  easy

to follow  and the best part of it is - no pins! 



There are more videos on youtube from Sharon Please be sure to check them out! Have a very Happy New Year!  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another Improv quilt

Lots of snow here in Lancaster this past week!


I had started a new Improv quilt awhile ago

and just recently finished.

Disguised Harmony




 I have strips, squares, rectangles and pieces of 
various fabrics. Some are from my hand dyes,
some are treasured pieces that I bought years
ago and some are new. There is also a touch
of batiks.

 What I enjoy most about making Improv quilts
 is the process itself.
There are no rules, no boundaries or measuring
pieces.
And best of all - you don't have to match seams!



There is no pattern to work from - It is intuitively
pieced  - You make the choices of fabric and 
shapes  as you go.

I cut on angles or just straight. On some pieces 

that are cut straight; I make just a slight curve 
while I'm sewing. It makes for an interesting effect.


To me, intuitively pieced quilts are playful and fun!
Anything goes!








I do like to color coordinate - otherwise it can look 
too harsh and busy on the eye. It has a certain 
amount of harmony

White or a lighter color fabric will also show off some

of the odd angles and also give the eye a resting place.



Improv quilts do not have to have angled seams
you can also add  straight cuts and circular.

The result is an abstract looking quilt
!


Don't have a lot of scraps?

Most of us quilters have remnants from other quilting projects.

Cut them into strips or large squares
.







I had a lot of left over cuts so I made this
Table Mat to match.

For both the quilt and the table mat I used
DMC threads for the Big stitch quilting.

I was inspired years ago by Nancy Crow  Gwen Marston
Freddy Moran
!

(These are for sale in my Etsy shop)

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oldies But Goodies

It's an overcast day here in Lancaster County

today. We're supposed to have snow flurries

today - I am not ready for winter!

My computer has been slowly dying. It's been

making a loud roaring noise. I brought it to

the Geek Squad and the guy told me that it's

my motherboard - )o:

My daughter was visiting from NY and brought

a Laptop that I could use in the meantime.

My old computer won't read any of the CDs

that I have; so I decided to use the Laptop

to look at the old Cds and then store some of

the photos and files on a flash drive.

I found a couple of quilts that I had made

when I first started to quilt.


The photo is not very good; I took it with one

of those disposable cameras. 

I took my first quilting class back in 2003 and

then joined my Guild at the end of that year.

In 2004 we had a challenge to make  a Black and 

White With A Touch of Red quilt. I forgot the size

that it had to be but I know that I went over about

2 inches. I was frustrated that I had to cut off part

of my quilt on the right side which changed the 

whole look of it. I was so frustrated that when

the challenge was over - I threw it into the garbage!

I was so sorry that I did that I could have learned

so much from my mistakes! So now I'm glad that

I found this photo so that maybe someday I can 

do something similar and better.


Here's another one from that same year. It has

some  3 dimensional flowers and also the butterfly.



 The next year was the first quilt that I gave away.

I was so nervous because it was for my cousin's

baby shower. I didn't know if she would like it.

Well, she loved it and stood up and walked around

to show everyone. I was relieved! It's a bento box

pattern that I just loved. 

Again, the photo was taken with a disposable

camera. That God for digital! 

It was fun going through all my old photos. 

 BEING CREATIVE IS NOT A HOBBY IT'S A WAY OF LIFE




Happy Quilting! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hobbyist?

When I have the time; I love reading blogs. 

 Two of them made me really stop and think.


One said, I'm paraphrasing, "....exhibit or show 


your work, have it published or teach" other than

that - it's a "hobby". 




Now to me personally, when I'm creating something 

that pops into my head; I'm not doing it thinking - 

Can I enter this in a show? or I wonder if I could 

have this piece published or maybe I can have a class 

and teach it to others."   This would stress me out - it 

would have to be perfect, in my mind anyway. 

"Will a judge find this good enough, Is it perfect?" 



I am not putting quilters down who do this - definitely


 not! I so enjoy looking at and admiring their work! 

As a quilter; I can appreciate the time and effort that

they put into a piece.




But it's just not for me....yet.


I make what I feel even though it may not be perfection. 


 I do have to point out that I do use all of the skills that 

I have and learned  and try my best to make quality pieces.

But To me it's about the creation process and it 


shouldn't be stressful; it should feel like a release -

 releasing - like freeing a bird from it's cage - go out 

into the world,  sing your song and be happy.






I don't consider it "just a hobby" because I don't "show, 

exhibit, publish or teach."

I love making and designing functional quilts, to 


display in my home, to give away, to donate to

charity or for a cause and also I make quilts to sell.


 All of this brings me joy, peace and happiness

- just like Christmas.

And what the heck is the definition of a "hobby" anyway?

 


According to wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobby

"A hobby is a regular activity that is done for pleasure, typically, during one's leisure time. Hobbies can include: collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, and playing sports, along with many more examples. By continually participating in a particular hobby, one can acquire substantial skill and knowledge in that area.

Generally speaking, a person who engages in an activity solely for fun is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as opposed to a professional who engages in an activity for reward. An amateur may be as skilled as a professional, the principle difference being that a professional receives compensation while an amateur does not."


(I guess that  explains it some what )



If you're a beginner quilter - learn all of the techniques 


that you can to develop your skills,  just have fun - do 

what you feel - and enjoy the creative process. You're 

in your own space - there's no one standing over you

telling you "you're doing it wrong" - just "go with it" 


and be yourself. Make  it "your own". Then you can decide 

whether you would like to "show, exhibit, publish or 

teach" it or ......you can be just a "hobbyist" (o:

The other blog that I mentioned will have to wait for another post.

In the mean time -

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Star Wars Quilt Progress

Still working on the Star Wars quilt.


I had taken down my design wall to


clean the sewing room. It's not

very large anyway and I might have


to re-do it. I covered it with

batting and there was lots and lots 


of tiny pieces of thread stuck

to it. It drove me nuts!

So, the bed in my spare room is 


the design wall for now.

 
R2D2 is put together (over 500 1" squares)


and I was debating whether to put an extra

row of white around his block. I was really 

stressing about this!

 I thought it would be too much white 

around all of the dark fabrics. I realized that 

I don't really work with a lot of dark fabrics; 

I'm used to a lot of mediums to light.

I don't like working on the dark side (-; 


I couldn't resist.



Along with the printed Star Wars fabrics 


comes this mint green and pale blue - personally,

I don't think it blends well with the backgrounds 

of the other fabrics. But I have to work with it 

cause that's what DD wants.
 

Then I got this brainstorm to make blocks to 

go with R2D2....

I think it's going to work.






I like this idea but now I have to make 16 


of them - consisting of 36 - 1" squares !

wish me luck!

Happy quilting!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blogger"s Quilt Festival - Chasing Rainbows


I entered my quilt in the "Wall Hanging" category. 


                                                                Blogger's Quilt Festival

 Please check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival! Several different categories
and all the quilts are wonderful!


I started this quilt back in February, 2009 and just finished quilting it just recently.
(Sometimes life gets in the way)  I blogged about it here:

http://uniquelyyourscreations.blogspot.com/2009/02/improvisional-quilts-2.html


I was so inspired by a book that I was reading "The Quilts of Gee's Bend"
that I decided to experiment with 2 bundles of colored fat quarter fabrics.
I used no pattern; it was totally improvised.




I was also inspired by  a book
on my library shelf by Jenny Beyer - Quiltmaking by Hand.
On pg. 7 Jenny says "...generations of quilters made do with minimal supplies ... All it took was a needle and thread, a thimble, a pair of sharp scissor, cardboard..." - And this is all

that I used.
That's how my Chasing Rainbows quilt came into being.
Although it looks like a modern quilt - it has it's roots in traditional quilting.


I  wanted to add a piano like border - those were cut with the rotary cutter BUT they were all hand sewn also - 1 1/2" x 5" abt. 166 pieces! And thought "I must be nuts!"



I  used various colors and different weights of threads - thinking that it would give the quilt a nice textured look. 
I used DMC #8, Perle Cotton #8 by
Thread Art (on-line)and Superior Threads,
Hand Quilting Thread.
100 % cotton warm and natural batting
100 % cotton fabrics



I Blended Big stitch quilting along with traditional quilting(small stitch);
I created a maze with stitches. They are not meant to be perfect as the blocks are not.

I titled it "Chasing Rainbows" because it just reminds me of one with all of it's bright colors. I think that it's a very happy looking quilt; and I'm very satisfied about the way it turned out.

And so after all of this work; I didn't
want it to be a throw quilt and decided
to add sleeves to the back and make
it into a wall hanging.



I added the lower pocket so that the quilt will lay flat and straight across.
You can use a yard stick or same size piece of light wood.



I hope that this quilt and my story
will inspire and encourage many quilters
to try hand piecing or even better
hand quilting. 

With everything computerized in today's
world - take the time to do some "slow"
quilting - it's creative - it's 
meditative - and it's relaxing! And 
don't worry about the size of your
stitches - Just have fun!


Enjoy the Quilt Festival!

Happy Quilting!



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Star Wars!

My daughter sends me all of this 

fabric

 And more!

She bought it at the Fat Quarter shop and had

it mailed to my house. 

"I would like R2D2 to be the main character."

I found a pattern on the web that said "free"

but it wasn't a quilt pattern block it was for

beading. So I thought that I could translate

that into a quilting block.

I printed it out and went to work and work and work.

I decided to use 1" squares and there is over 500

of them! But it was a challenge and so far so good.


R2D2 is going to be the center block - he's is

about 24" x 24". Then to decide what to do with

the rest.... hmmm. 

Have a great week and

May the Force Be with You!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn

Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest,
I have seen You in the setting Sun
with Your long auburn tresses...
You sit upon Your throne and watch
the dying fires of the setting Sun
shine forth its final colors in the sky...
Lady Autumn, You are here at last...
~Deirdre Akins


I love autumn, love the colors, and
the smells.

And so gathering up some of my hand
dyed fabrics; I decided to make something
to celebrate autumn.


A skinny table runner - 10" x 36" I love the colors!


There's some of my sun prints in there and
I use decorative stitches to frame it.

I tried for the very first time "wrap around binding"

I found a great tutorial here: http://www.maubys.net/2011/07/maubys-binding-series-part-six-wrap.html

at Maubys.net.  I found that the corners can be

very tricky.


And here's the back - I'm really loving these colors!

So much so that I decided to make some fabric

coasters!

 And quilted them with a modern flair!

Also made with my hand dyed fabrics.


 Here's the complete set - so bright and cheery!

My color inspiration ---







Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus




Monday, September 16, 2013

The Rose Lady


How many times have you traveled

on the same road in your neighborhood?

Uncountable right? 

When I first moved here; I found a short

cut to my house from the highway. And

to my pleasant surprise; there at the corner

stood an old farm house with a very old

woman with a slightly hunched back -

maybe about in her late eighties - gardening.

The entire front and sides of her land, which

I would guess is about 2 acres, were filled

row after row with rose bushes. So I dubbed

her, The Rose Lady.  She had a little sign

in front of her house called The Rose Cottage.

Fast forward - right before she passed away;

I would see her on her lawn tractor - she had

to be now in her early nineties! I was amazed

by this woman. I would see her in the 

supermarket and when my husband and I 

went out to eat on Friday night - there she

was in the same restaurant! 

Then one day there was a auction in her

back yard. I asked one of my quilter friends

(she goes to all of the auctions) and asked...

Oh she passed away. I was so sad. 

Eventually, the house went up for sale.

They rebuilt the huge barn and the roses

sadly went neglected.  I can tell that no one

lives there - they just use the barn and I'm

thinking that eventually that they will make

that property some kind of business.

I passed the other day and to my horror....

 it looked worse - and not a single rose.

As I drove on 


I saw the crane and I almost cried! Another old

farmhouse being torn down! They pulled out her

little sign but look on the porch - the bench is

still here and there are curtains still in the window.

Now I know this sounds silly but I thought that

they would at lest take them down. 

And then slowly riding up I saw them!

 Look at the far left under the stop sign...Roses

in full bloom! I rejoiced! 

I never found out this woman's name. The road

is very busy and I never had a chance to take

a photo of her glorious gardens. There was

always someone in back of me and there's no

place to pull over. I'm so sorry that I never did.

So, here's some of my roses in honor and 

memory of The Rose Lady.







Rest in Peace Rose Lady!

 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Zoom Zoom

I so enjoy making quilts for children!

I just finished one called Zig Zag Zoom.




 I had some racing car fabrics and 

decided to make a quilt for a small

boy. 



I bought high loft batting because I

wanted the quilt to be fluffy and not

flattened by a lot of quilting.

I drew out a shape of a car and cut

it out of cardboard so that I could

trace the outline with a pencil onto

the quilt. I used different colored

threads for the cars.



 It's all hand quilted ---

There is some straight line quilting,

and also big stitch quilting with DMC

along the edges. 

I also appliqued some "one way" signs;

I got the idea from the fabric on the back.



I think that it turned out really cute!

Happy Quilting!







Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hand quilting - get ready






Just arrived in the mail!  I'm so excited!

The patterns are wonderful!

And


I have been dyeing some cotton sateen


to start my practice projects!

I love the feel of this fabric - so soft - and

it's easy to hand quilt.



And the colors in the garden are so

inspirational!

 Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Surprise .....Batiks!



Back in November I posted about

eQuilter and Timeless Treasures

asking for quilts to distribute

to hurricane Sandy victims.

The other day I received these

Batiks as a Thank You for my quilt!

What a nice surprise!

Thank you Timeless Treasures -

I love them! I certainly will have

fun playing with them!

Happy Quilting!

 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stash Busting

Looking through my fat quarters

I found some nice summer colors

to play with.

As I enjoy making functional quilts 

for table tops, lap tops and or beds;
 

I decided to make something simple.

Sunkissed
 Nice cheery colors for summer!

I also decided to do some simple

machine quilting on it.


 Just nice simple lines.

I also am very happy that I finished

another UFO quilt.

I blogged about awhile back http://uniquelyyourscreations.blogspot.com/2009/02/improvisional-quilts-2.html">
here

It's all hand pieced and I also hand

quilted it. It has been sitting in

my closet patiently waiting. I was

unsure how to quilt it until I had

an idea.



 I could use various colors and 

different weights of threads - 

thinking that it would give the 

quilt a nice textured look.


And I think it does!

I Blended Big stitch quilting along 

with traditional quilting; I created

a maze with stitches. They are not 


meant to be perfect as the blocks

are not. I also decided, as it's


an artsy kind of quilt; to make it

a wall hanging and added a sleeve

in the back. 



 I titled it "Chasing Rainbows"

because it just reminds me of one.

I think that it's a very happy 

looking quilt; and I'm very satisfied

about the way it turned out.


The weather here in Lancaster has

been very hot! I went out to water

my garden and found that....



 they're back! Beetles doing their

business on my roses! Ugh!



 The Marigolds are blooming and they're

huge! 


The phlox are just gorgeous and

beautiful shades of pink.


And the spiders are still hanging 

out having lunch (-:

Walking through the garden is such

an adventure! 

Now back to my stash to find more

fabric to use.

Have a great week and stay cool!