Friday, July 30, 2010

A Quilt for Anne Michelle

Anne Michelle's Quilt - top
Originally uploaded by emedoodle
This week I threw myself into a project, not simply for the sake of sewing, but for the sanity that sewing gives me. Monday morning I got a text from my best friend Michelle -- we live about 400 miles away from each other, so understandably we have many other best friends too --- anyway, her very good friend Leslie (and husband Kevin) were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first child, and I was excited to hear the news that he/she was born. Instead I got a text that I hope no one else ever has to read. Leslie's baby was stillborn. She was full term and had a completely healthy pregnancy. No sign of any problem until just a short time before Anne was born, when they lost the read on her heartbeat. She was born via C-section although they had already found out that she was no longer alive.

My friend Michelle was there as Leslie's secondary support person. She got to hold little perfect Anne Michelle just once. They were given time with her to accept the loss, and to marvel at her perfect beauty.

I can't explain how it feels to recieve this news. I mean, my own daughter was born with hearing loss - something that never crossed our mind during the pregnancy. My sister has a child (now 4) who has been battling cancer since she was a year old. I know that parenting comes with a lot of surprises. But this was/is too much. Leslie had the most joyous day of her life taken from her. This is her first child (second really, after one miscarriage) - her first chance for that happy memory. It's shattered.

After hearing this news I knew immediately that I had to start a project to keep my mind busy. I knew it was going to be something little and delecate, and pink. This is what I got from there. A little (22" x 25.5") quiltie for Leslie and Kevin. Although I have never met them, I feel like I know them very closely - through my friend Michelle. All I can think of is that they left the hospital without a baby to hold. So empty, at least this little quilt can be something to fill their arms. Even though she's not here to enjoy it, I felt that Anne deserved a quilt for her own too. Something that can just be a gentle reminder of the joy and excitement and sorrow that came with her little life, that was shared completely within her own mother's body. I wish there was more that I could do, but this is my talent, and it's for them this week.

A little more on the details, I made this out of some leftover fabric from a shirt I made Allie when she was a baby, I didn't have very much left, and I really had wanted to bind it with the pink too... I ran out. This is my first real attempt at embroidering words onto a quilt, and it's pretty cool... not perfect, but pretty. Also my first attempt at close strait line quilting, and before doing more of it I'll definately invest in a walking foot. (duh)... it got a little wonkified there in the middle and I had to scramble to fix it. The back is some of the "lorenza" by Alexander Henry that I got from winning the one yard wonder thing. I wanted the back to be free and fun, as Anne is now up in heaven waiting for us.

For the souls of the faithfully departed, by the mercy of God, may they rest in peace!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please check out an article on Polymeri Online...

My Aunt Kathy's art and my neice Rosemarie (who has stage 4 neuroblastoma) are focused on Polymeri Online today. Please go check it out! Here's the link!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Playing around today. :) I keep thinking that I might want to make a big one of these one day. The blocks aren't too complicated, and I think with piecing the strips of fabric then cutting it'd be a quick and rewarding project. But... obviously I'm not up for that challenge/commitment. So I made this soon to be doll quilt to satisfy the need to accomplish something today. :) I used about half a fat quarter for the blue/grey, and some of a yard of unbleached muslin. Not too bad. Very rewarding. I'll add a couple more borders and maybe try out that tutorial for piped binding that'd be great.
And... just because they were wearing them... the Ruffle Tops I made for my neices last year. They still fit!! Too bad Allie's doesn't! I made one for myself too... all matching. Amazingness. :)
PS: Yes that is Dairy Dock ice cream (with eyes)... mmm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tutorial: Sewing School (one thing, one week challenge)


Accepting the challenge given by Amy, from Amy's Creative Side.
This week we had my niece Katee in town with us. She's ten and has sewn with me on two or three occasions before. For her recent birthday Wally and I got her all the necessary sewing supplies to get started (minus the sewing machine). While I wanted to give her my old White sewing machine, my sister decided she'd rather Katee use her machine (the same as my old Singer)... since of course if Katee ran into any problems my sis would be much more likely to understand how to fix them. So, with the understanding that when she returned home she could set up her mom's sewing machine on the auxiliary dinning room table, we got to work! Here's a breakdown of what we learned etc.

I'd recommend dueling sewing machines for this project... side by side so that the student can really do it all by themselves. Prior to this week, my niece had completed two projects, both using a sewing machine sewing strait lines only, each time following instructions with an example before each step. Hardly independent sewing, so this was done in the hopes of getting her much more comfortable with sewing without me there with her.

Step 1: Machine parts and function.
  • Machine parts: stitch length, stitch width, backstitch button, bobbin winder, presser foot, needle, feed dogs, bobbin.
  • Machine threading.
  • Bobbin winding and threading.
Step 2: Basic skills. Practiced by sewing a basic 9 patch.
  • Sewing with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  • Pinning seams.
  • Ironing.
  • Chain piecing.
Step 3: First project, simple potholders.

  • Measuring fabric with ruler/pen.
  • Cutting precisely.
  • Pinning (prepared for the "inside out/pillow case/birthing method").
  • Sewing around the outside, keeping needle down at corners to turn fabric.
  • Leaving an opening for turning inside out.
  • Clipping corners.
  • Turning inside out/poking out corners.
  • Top-stitching around entire outside and closing up the opening.
  • Quilting an "X" on the top, through all layers.
Step 3: Taking what we learned to make another similar project.
  • We used this method to make a small needle book for travel. A basic pillowcase method project, with the addition of a loop for hooking onto a bag or purse, and Velcro sewed on using a zig-zag stitch.
Step 4: A more complex project, pieced potholders bound traditionally.
  • Using pre-cut 2" strips to make a log cabin block.
  • Ironing seams to the side
  • Keeping seams even throughout the project.
  • Choosing colors for fabric.
  • Pinning the quilt sandwich.
  • Quilting across in an "X" pattern.
  • Preparing a strip for single fold binding.
  • Sewing the binding strip on the front mitering corners.
  • Hand sewing the binding to the back, mitering corners.

If anyone knows Linda Contreras....

Man... it's looking like I won't even get a refund from As you can see on the link... it's closed down. Ordered the fabric more than a month ago. Have already used the "replacement" fabric I got from (definately use them they're awesome).... the phone numbers I have from BBB have been shut off, no one is responding to emails, and their website is gone. If anyone knows the owner, Linda Contreras tell her I'm pissed at her.

PS- I did contact my post office, and aside from telling me the info I already have from the tracking website, they're useless unless I'm the sender. My best approximation is that my fabric is sitting in a sorting facility about 30 miles from here - in a ripped package. They didn't package it properly?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I didn't really plan on doing this now...

...but apparently Wally stayed logged in to which gave me the option of free shipping on a pre-order of Elizabeth Hartman's new book (to be released this fall). Well I ordered it. :) See I'm sure he'll never even notice. It's like he just bought me the perfect gift, and didn't even have to think about it!
The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker (Stash Books)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DQS9 Progress

I've been making some great progress on my Doll Quilt Swap progect. After waiting for two weeks and then some, for my fabric to arrive (don't order from Fat Quarter World - I'm not even going to link them the prices were enough for me to take a chance... it's been almost a month and still no fabric and still no refund)... I ended up ordering it from in the end... and it came in about three days. Thankfully they'd restocked it! I did get a lot of progress done on it while waiting for the fabric to come in. Here's a picture of all my little squares folded and ironed all perfectly.
I used the tutorial here, which was very helpful. I am, however, sewing the windows open by machine. I'm not much of a hand sewer.
Now with the fabrics in hand, here's my progress photo. Pretty cool. I've got a few of the windows sewn open, and that whole bottom pannel is done and ready. I chose lots of AMH Little Folks fabrics from my stash, and added two pink AMH Good Folks prints, and a couple purples and greens from my stash to round out the "rainbow."
I hope my partner likes it! She said she likes rainbow colors and modern fabrics. That's all I took from her likes, the rest (tons of grey, and AMH loving) comes from me. Now I need to get working on the second one, because I don't think I can part with this unless I make one for myself!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Quilt For Ali (not my Allie)

Yesterday my friend Mary came over to sew, and I got a lot done on the baby quilt for Kayla's baby. I decided to go with the pink option, mostly since the purples that they had at Joann's weren't the same as the solid purple I used for the rest of it. I was really nervous about using all that pink, but after getting started on the quilting I really love it! Here are the pictures:
Here's me actually quilting it. I'm doing free motion "pebbles" which is awesome.

From the back. I nearly ran out of grey thread, and decided to switch out to a bobbin's worth of purple, then change the color each bobbin (I have about 10 shades of purple/pink/fuscha thread that match). So far I'm maybe about 1/4 of the way done, and have used.... 3 1/2 bobbins already. LOL. That's a LOT of thread! I love the bubbly look though.

Close up of the grey/purple quilting on front.

Showing a bit more angle of the quilt.

The computer mock-up of the whole thing (made with - by cropping the floor out of the photo of the center strip... and adding colored blocks).

**Updated two years later to add actual photos of the finished project! lol!**

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A baby quilt.

My friend Kayla from high school, is having her second baby very soon (maybe even as I type this). I love Kayla, and well, I was kinda in my own little world when she had her first baby (just after I got married/moved to a different state), and I hadn't really been sewing much at that point - much less quilting. Well, as DH and I have been trying for our second baby for what seems like forever now it was really real for me when Kayla announced that she was pregnant with her second. I feel the need to make something special for this baby, and it helps too that they'll be calling her Ali, when we call our baby Allie. It doesn't matter to me that I haven't seen Kayla in three years, what matters is what our friendship was for me at a time that I really needed it. We met at a diocesan youth gathering (which one? who knows). Kayla and I were friends, we just were. I don't know, it seems like ages ago though, when she was dating my boyfriend's best friend, and she'd stay overnight at my house to watch Harry Potter (and see invisible spiders on my wall), so we could hang out with the boys the next day. We planned youth gatherings, and painted our feet for an altar cloth (and somehow left paint on her parents' cement). That's important. So the first quilt I'm ever going to actually give away, potentially never to see again, is for Kayla's baby. Now I've just got to finish it!

I decided to actually make a quilt for her baby last week, and decided since she's having a girl, it should be purple (duh). So I've used some quilt blocks I've been working on/playing around with and made a strip of quilt blocks, to be framed up by some solids. Here are my prototypes (thanks to where I cropped the floor out of the photo and added borders of colors...crazy how easy!).

I'm thinking of one of these two colors... and then doing a pebble quilting on it in grey thread. Probably a solid backing too. Gotta decide which color and go buy fabric!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lots of randomness going on.

I recently bought a couple yards of purple fabric to sash this quilt top. I want about a 10" border around the outside, which will make it aprox. toddler bed size. Why is it that I suddenly want to cut into that purple Kona to use on every other project. I know that I bought it specifically for that quilt, and I don't want to have to run to the fabric store when I get the inspiration to actually finish it. But... it's so inticing. I think I need to buy more.
I'd really like to just chop it all up and use it to make more of these blocks. I really enjoy them. Or to make some improv. blocks with tiny square centers and teeny tenny borders etc then huge purple borders than more teeeny borders. How many purple quilts do I need?
I've thought of doing these blocks (above) as the back of the string quilt... but I think they are way cool enough to deserve their own quilt. I've been thinking of making them into a baby quilt for my friend Kayla's new baby (due any day now)... but I've never actually given a quilt away... I'm affraid I'll get too attached. And I don't see Kayla ... ever... so I'd never get to see the quilt again. And, would she take good enough care of it? lol. Silly I know.

On to the discussion about the fabric I ordered two and a half weeks ago that still isn't here! Don't shop at Fat Quarter World... well they're closing up shop anyway. I ordered two yards (one of each of two prints) of AMH good folks fabrics to even out my rainbow assortment for my DQS9 quilt.... I was really expecting the fabric to get in by lets say...last week! I've been tracking the shipping (supposedly 2-6 day shipping that I spent $6 on) and it's been at a sorting facility (aka lost) for more than a week. I'm really hoping that they'll at least refund my shipping cost (since $6 for two yards was rediculous anyway). We'll see. Either way, has restocked those prints and I ordered it from there last week, since I'm tired of waiting with the project on hold. Here's hoping that something will come in today or tomorrow!
Here's my DQS9 progress so far (ok well I've finished ironing the last few squares...) no colors yet in the windows, as my palate depends on how pink/purple the ordered fabrics are in real life. Hopefully some great progress soon! Of course I need to start cutting/ironing more grey squares since I really think I need one of these for myself too!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Doll quilt sisters.

The other day I made two little doll quilts to practice/give this sort of quilting a try. This is the first time I've done a "shaped" quilting pattern... the flowers were an idea from OhFransson made to practice/give this sort of quilting a try. This is the first time I've done a "shaped" quilting pattern... the flowers were an idea from OhFransson they really weren't as challenging as I though they'd be.

I made two of these quilts, one for my sewing room (if the baby doesn't steal it) and one for a friend's toddler.

They're made from two thrifted sheets and some scraps of batting.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm a mutant quilter!

I'm a mutant quilter by emedoodle
Many more t-shirts online at Zazzle

T-shirts for sale!
I'm a mutant quilter shirt
For anyone who has read this post by Rossie and/or taken the Process Pledge, here's a shirt to show your pride. lol. Any ideas to make this shirt better? I was trying to get a line drawing of a sewing machine behind the wording, but I didn't have any available clip art that zazzle would let me make large enough.Also, I thought about adding the Process Pledge image to the sleeve providing that I got permission to do so. Enjoy!