My kids’ teachers’ quilts are done! This one is for a teacher who likes westerns and America. I though some stars and plaid were in order. I used the woven fabrics currently being sold at both JoAnn and Hobby Lobby. I love the texture of the woven fabrics. It feels like I pulled this quilt out of a log cabin from the 1800’s. I will admit, though, that I was confused when I cut the fabric. I wasn’t sure whether to cut according to the design (and the weave) or to cut according to how the fabric lay (no, it did not lay straight), so that is why the pattern on the blocks look a little skiwampus. I cut according to the lay of the fabric.
I used an EZ quilting drunkard’s path template for these blocks. It has a star template included in it. It was very easy to put together. The most difficult part for me was sewing the white circle inside the red circle. But, hey, I figured it out (at least 9 times) and got it done.
The simple meandering quilting was the perfect way to finish this relaxed quilt. Add a bright red binding, and I’m pretty pleased with this little quilt. Hoping my kid’s teacher loves it just as much.
All of the teacher quilts have a strip of white/off white on the back filled with their students’ handprints and signatures. Probably my favorite part of the teacher quilts, and the kids love it, too!
If you are lucky, you get to know them really well.
I’ve been thinking a lot about cousins lately. You are raised by siblings, or at least, a set of siblings contributed to your DNA. You and your cousins share 1/8 of the same genetic material. Not a whole lot, but just enough.
My husband knows his cousins on one side, but doesn’t know his cousins on the other. I love his cousins. They have treated me like family, and I am grateful for their love.
I never grew up with my cousins. The closest cousins always lived 2000 or more miles away. I would see them maybe every 4-12 years. For most of my life, I didn’t speak the same language as most of my cousins, and to be honest, I don’t know a lot of their names. I blame the language barrier for that one. I always envied the relationship some people have with their cousins.
In my teenage years and young adulthood, I had some neighbors that had close cousins. They would include me in some of their family parties, and so while I didn’t get to know the cousins like they did, I was able to see them interact. I have to admit in being a little envious of their relationship with their cousins.
My neighbors lost their cousin in a tragic accident this past week, no even one mile away from my home. I can’t drive past the intersection without thinking of him, of his wife, his children, his mom, his dad, his brother, his aunts, his uncles, his in-laws, and his cousins. It overwhelms me to the point that I try to avoid the intersection if I can. I feel indescribable sadness for their loss. But since the accident, I have been able to watch from a distance how they have chosen to comfort each other. They share their memories. They joke, they praise, they remember.
I have four American cousins. I attended two of their weddings, and two of them attended mine. One of those cousins that made the 2000 mile trip to see me on my wedding day was recently diagnosed with cancer. He still needs to have the cancer removed, then he has to fight through radiation and chemotherapy. Even after the cancer is removed and he is healed, he will still have to live with the harsh changes that it has wrought in his body.
My heart aches for him, for my uncle, my aunt, for his brother and sister-in-law, and his nephews. I am so far removed, I feel helpless. I cannot be there comfort them. I cannot bring them meals. I cannot make life any easier for them. But I want to. I want to help.
So, I did what I do best. I made a quilt.
Sometimes you hear that a quilt is “stitched with love.” Only after I have made a quilt specifically for someone have I understood that process. I have found that it takes me 30 or more hours to make a quilt. In the case of a quilt like this, that means that I spend 30 hours thinking about a person. While you plan the quilt, you are thinking about them. While you cut the fabric, you are thinking about them. When you sew the seams, press the seams, arrange the fabric, you are thinking about them. When you are placing the pins to baste the quilt, when you run the quilt through the machine hundreds of times, when you cut, sew, and add the binding to the quilt, your thoughts are with that person. Love is sewn in there, somewhere, and hopefully that love is felt in a tangible way when they receive it.
I used minky (a very bright green minky) because my neighbor who just overcame thyroid cancer said that minky was the best for her skin. This minky honestly feels as soft as a baby rabbit.
I hope to ship this quilt to my cousin by the end of this week. I’ll pack the box with messages of love from all of my family, and I’ll also fill it with a hope and prayer that it will be helpful in the recovery and healing process…
…So that one day, we can make more memories.
For my cousin, I love you and I’m thinking of you.
I’m making a quilt for my mom. It is going to be a big project.
This is what the piles of pieces look like:
Sewing will begin tomorrow. So much sewing. So much ironing. So much pinning.
After all of that cutting, I had to decompress by making a baby quilt quilt top.
Same main idea. This quilt will be a little different than the king sized one I’m making, though, because I have decided to make this baby quilt using a jelly roll.
A Jelly Roll is a group 20 of fabric strips 2.5 inches wide and approximately 42 inches long, usually with 10 different coordinating fabrics. USUALLY. I actually used a little more than a jelly roll. I needed 22 strips of fabric, so I cut two 2.5 inch strips of 11 fabrics from selvedge to selvedge. If you have a jelly roll, you may also need to add two 2.5 inch strips of another coordinating or complimentary fabric. I also needed a yard and a half of background solid fabric. I chose white. From this white fabric, I cut (from selvedge to selvedge) a 2.5 inch strip, two 4.5 inch strips, and six 6.5 inch strips.
I needed to make four basic blocks.
I needed thirty-six “edge” blocks (4.5 x 6.5 inch background fabric, three 2.5 x 2.5 squares of jelly roll fabric)
I needed nine 6.5 inch x 6.5 inch background (white) fabric
I needed sixteen nine-square blocks with background (white) square in the middle (each square 2.5 x 2.5)
I needed twenty L shape blocks (4.5 x 4.5 background square, and five 2.5 x 2.5 jelly roll squares)
Each of these blocks, after sewn to completion, should be 6.5 x .6.5 inches squared.
You could cut your jelly rolls into 2.5 x 2.5 inch pieces first, and then begin piecing them together. I chose to go the easy way and strip pieced my jelly rolls. I chose three strips of fabric and sewed them together, and then after ironing, I cut these into 2.5 inch strips, resulting in these 2.5 x 6.5 inch strips.
While sewing the jelly roll strips together, I tried to make sure that if I put one fabric on the center of a trio, that I put the same fabric on the outside of a trio, that way when I had to match blocks side by side, I was less likely to have matching fabrics next to each other. I also strip pieced the white 2.5 x 2.5 inch strip with two jelly roll strips to make the nine-patch blocks. You’ll notice that each 2.5 x 2.5 white square has a pink/brown stripe square opposite a pink jacks square. That was my center trio.
To make the L shape blocks, I strip pieced a duo of fabrics. You’ll notice almost every L shape piece has a green striped fabric next to a pink polka dot print. That was my duo (2.5 x 4.5). Add that to a 4.5 x 4.5 square and a trio, and you have an L shape block.
The white 4.5 inch sashes were further cut into 4.5 x 4.5 blocks. My two 4.5 sashes only made 14 blocks, so I used the extra 6.5 sashes to make another two 4.5 x 4.5 blocks.
The white 6.5 inch sashes were further cut into nine 6.5 x 6.5 blocks, and thirty six 6.5 x 4.5 inch strips.
After all of the sewing, I arranged them on the floor, making sure to avoid putting matching fabrics side by side, and to make sure that the colors were evenly distributed.
Then I pieced all of the blocks together.
The resulting quilt top is 54.5 x 54.5 inches.
I could see this pattern working well for a boy quilt, with maybe a darker background fabrics, and more reds and oranges and blues and greens…
I could also see using this pattern for a fun twin quilt. You’d need a lot more jelly rolls 🙂
I’m still debating how I should quilt the back….
Oh, and my inspiration for these quilts?
Looks like TV is good for something (and thank goodness for DVR and phone cameras!).
My mom had given me an item of clothing that she thought would be fun to recycle into something new. I agree. It has a fun Asian elephant print. Since I needed to test the new machine anyway, there was no better way to do it than testing it on pot holders.
I made my pot holders with one cotton layer (elephant fabric), two layers of cotton batting (using up my batting scraps!), and one layer of something that I bought years ago. I don’t know what type of fabric it is, but I think it is some sort of thick home decor fabric. Maybe I bought it to make curtains? Who knows! Anyway, now it is a pot holder.
Pot holders before and after binding is hand stitched to the back. The white diagonal line is where the hand can be placed inside.
The mystery fabric...
And I literally had the black and white quilt halfway quilted when the Singer died on me.
Black and white quilt literally half way complete.
So, I was SO HAPPY to finally be able to finish it. This quilt was pieced almost a year ago, before I was pregnant. I used the scraps from the pink and black quilt. I had a lot of scraps!!! Then, it just sat there during my morning sickness phase, and it sat there during my “I don’t want to have to quilt a twin and rip out tons of string because I don’t know how to baste properly and keep sewing puckers on the back side” phase, and then it finally became a priority to me. This was the first twin quilt that did not pucker on me, so I didn’t have to undo anything. YAY!!!
I have become a believer of pinning the binding before you sew. I know, Sewing 101, but it makes a big difference! Straighter lines, and believe it or not, it is actually faster to pin. For me, anyway 🙂
I pin the binding to one side at a time, and then sew. I learned how to do mitered corners on the internet. I make my binding strips 2.5 inches long and then fold them in half and iron them, so the resulting strip is 1.25 inches wide. I machine sew it to one side, and then hand stitch it to the back. As you can see in this quilt, I have used the scraps to make the binding. Hopefully, soon I will have it complete and I can post pictures of it!
This quilt took me FOREVER to finish. I first began the quilt to auction off or to be a prize for a Fundraising 5K. Since the 5K was to raise money for a girl with leukemia, I decided to make it a pink colored quilt. The sad part is, my machine died three days before the 5K and I wasn’t able to get it finished in time. The good news is, the event went well, and so far the treatments have worked for our friend who had cancer.
I used a pattern from “American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine” August 2009 issue called Rhythm & Blues, only I added about a foot to the length so that it could be made into a twin sized quilt. I pieced it out on my husband’s office floor since I don’t have a design wall. Once I organized all of the squares and triangles, I quickly sewed the quilt top together before my children could destroy it.
This is the Pink and Black quilt with only a few more rows left to sew.
I then added a bright pink border and a black border. I quilted it twice, basically. The first time was quilting the edges of the black triangles with black thread. I didn’t quilt “stitch in the ditch” style, but instead opted to do a curved line from corner to corner. Then, I quilted all of the pink parts with spiral shapes which resulted in three “S” shapes in each square.
You can see the black stitching on each triangle, and the pink spirals in each pink square.
Did I forget to mention that I pieced together a backing for this quilt?
The back side of the quilt
I love how the quilting shows up so well on the back. I used white thread in the bobbin when using the pink thread for the top.
Here is the final quilt! It was also auctioned off for a youth group fundraising activity. This quilt became a wedding present to a couple whose colors were bright pink and black. I hope they love it, because I put a LOT of work into it!
The best picture I could get standing on top of my couch with my phone above my head.