Wine Quilts

I’ve made a couple of wine-themed quilts in addition to a coffee-themed quilt.  They’re fun.  The first one I made was really and truly a whim.  I was sitting at my sewing area and saw two fabrics that made me think of wine.  One was some label-print fabric meant to mimic the old wine bottle labels.  I’d bought too much of it for a different project, and it had been folded up for a couple of years with nothing in mind.  The second fabric was a textured purple fabric from a completely different project – a t-shirt quilt.  But they looked so pretty next to one another that I dropped whatever I was working on and began making squares.  I loved the contrast!

A couple of days later I went out to JoAnns because I remembered they had wine-themed fabric.  I found one I liked and gave the quilt top a small border around the edges to tie together the front and back.  The fabric has the phrase “Like wine I get better with age.”  I thought it was particularly cute. I used a close stipple with variegated purple thread to quilt it together.

Normally I use the fold-over method for my binding, but this one needed a more traditional one, so I kept up the purple fabric for this purpose.

 

This quilt was bought on my Etsy store for a wife’s birthday!

I have a second wine quilt for sale on my Etsy store right now.  Like the first one, the second was made on a bit of a whim.  I was speaking with a client at JoAnns, and we were standing beside one of the fabric bins that hold all of their jelly rolls.  I looked over and spied a wine-themed jelly roll, and I thought it was pretty cute.  So I decided to grab a couple and see what I could make.

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At first I had planned on making a rail fence design, and that’s why I originally had cut the stripes and sewn them together in blocks.  But I realized it wasn’t going to look like what I had envisioned, so I stepped back and decided to make a more modern design.  I went back and forth on whether to use black stripes in between the rows or wine-colored fabric.  I polled my ever-patient husband, and we both agreed that the black made a better frame and helped the different colors from the fabric stand out.  I did a rotating pattern and liked the staggering design that came out as a result.

For the backing on this one, the colors were different from the backing on the first quilt, so I chose a wine-glass themed flannel instead.

Just like the first one, I used a close stipple and maroon thread to quilt it together.  Then I put on the black binding and was all set.

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Wine themed quilt made from two jelly rolls.

 

Related posts and blogs:

Red wine chocolate ganache

The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club

Baby Clothes Memory Quilt

This was a Christmas present commission I received as a result of the Lilburn Daze craft fair.  The client met me and had a huge bag of baby clothes.  Then she said what I consider music to my ears, “I trust you.”  She was letting me have complete artistic freedom!  I had several ideas for baby clothes, but there were factors that helped narrow it down to this style.

For starters, some of the clothes had already been cut, and they were different sizes, so making a basic quilt with the same square shape was most likely out.  The sheer number of clothes would probably have been a factor as well.  I noticed that several of the clothes needed to feature the front or had a cute pattern, and those would need to be in a spot that featured them.  So in the end, I followed the same route as I did with the Artist’s Memory Quilt.  I divided the clothes up into differing colors or themes; there were so many of the blue and red that they made two squares.

When you have a lot of fabrics and a small space to put them, then crazy quilt style is the way to go.  I was still a big fan of the shadowbox style, and I knew it would help make the blocks look extra cool.  I somehow managed to work in all of the clothes from that huge, full bag of baby clothes.

The last request the client had was the have the phrase “You and me against the world” somewhere on the quilt.  The things is…shadowboxes are tricky, and their illusion of being 3-D relies on nothing else being around the block.  So having the words somewhere highly visible would ruin the 3-D aspect.  So I decided to have the phrase worked in via a more subtle way.  I wrote the phrase in while quilting between two of the rows.  I just wrote it in cursive, so the phrase is there and the shadowboxes are in full effect.

A simple textured blue for the backing and binding brings everything together!

Related Posts and Blogs:

Make a Baby Onesie Quilt

Baby Quilts from Daddy’s Shirts

 

Runner T-shirt Quilt

This commission came as the result of one of my craft fair shows.  It was fun because the colors were not the conventional ones I was used to, but I loved loved loved them!

Instead of my traditional sashing style, I used the alternating frames look and let the harvest orange and eggplant purple frames play off one another.  The backing was the neat brocade print with a darker orange design on top of a lighter orange.  In my head I was referring to it as “pumpkin spice” orange.  As I went on and kept seeing the colors together I began to like them more and more.  I remember debating with my client for a long time in the store over the different color combinations, and I remembering saying something along the lines of “if you want to play it safe, then go for blue.”  But we both kept coming back to the orange and purple combo, and I was eager to start.

One thing that made this quilt more challenging was the runner bibs element.  The client had read somewhere that sewing them was possible, but I wasn’t so sure.  I noticed that one had foam on the back and several had stickers on the front.  I kept imagining how my machine would act when it hit that foam and how the stickers would act once the quilt was washed.  Neither scenario was good.  In the end, she took me up on my suggestion to scan the bibs and then applique them into a block.  She had so many that we used up two blocks to make it all work out. It helped when we realized we didn’t need the sponsors section of the bibs and I could crop them out.  In the end, the bibs were only slightly smaller than the original ones, and she had her original ones back – unharmed.

In the end it was the color combo that had me so excited for this particular quilt, and I still think it’s one of the best and boldest combos I’ve seen.

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I scanned running bibs and incorporated them into the bottom two corners of the quilt.

Related blogs and posts:

Runner’s T-shirt Quilt

Am I a Runner?

So You Want to be a Runner

Quilted History

 

Mariner’s Compass Wall Quilt

 

When we moved into our new house, I noticed at once that the nice, big living area lent itself to a nice, big echo. And I thought to myself that, alas, I would simply HAVE to make a wall quilt for our new home.  Such a burden…right?

I did realize that if I was hanging it up in the main area that it would need to be something that I wouldn’t mind seeing everyday and that I was particularly proud of.  Well, that can only be one pattern of course – the mariner’s compass!

Like many of my quilts I make, I tried to make this one out of fabric I already had on hand.  Luckily for me, I had bought some blue and gold themed fabric at the same quilt store where I’d gone to look at mid-arm quilting machines.  I don’t often buy fabric without a project already in mind, but this was too pretty to pass up.  And it was the last of the bundles as far as I could see.  The only fabric I bought after that was the fabric for the borders.

I like to use the Mariner’s Compass Stars guide by Carol Doak.  Paper piecing can be difficult when you start out, but I’d already made a king-size quilt for my husband using this same pattern.  So I’d had practice aplenty.

I’ll admit that this pattern, a paper-pieced mariner’s compass, is just about the one pattern I refuse to do on commission.  If you aren’t familiar with it, then let me explain.  For paper piecing you actually sew the fabric onto paper, and then you tear the paper off after each wedge is done.  To make one block you need to make eight wedges!  So yes, it’s very time-consuming.  But boy the results are stunning!

By the way, the Quest Quilts image I use on a lot of things is another Doak star.

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I am eye-balling a possible ready-made quilt at some point using one of these star patterns, but I haven’t fully decided yet.  Stay tuned folks!

Related blogs and posts:

Mariner’s Compass Quilt

A Round Mariner’s Compass Baby Quilt

Paper Piecing 

 

Rainbow Bargello Quilt

Would you like to know a secret?  You see the rainbow quilt that’s at the top of every page?  It’s for sale.  It’s been on my Etsy shop for a while, and it gets a lot of attention at my craft fairs.  But no one has stepped up to take it home.  Here it is. It has sold!!

I’ve always considered bargello quilts to be particularly impressive.  Seriously, they’re like a fabric kaleidoscope!  I had also considered them out of my league, so you’ll imagine my surprise when I found a nice tutorial at the Lets Quilt Something blog that made them not look scary at all!  In fact, the tutorial helped me make the decision to finally give it a go.

I wasn’t using a jelly roll (pre-cut fabric strips), though.  I had so much fabric in my stash that I couldn’t justify it – although I did have to go out and grab some orange fabric before everything was said and done.

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After cutting and joining strips for forever, I followed the tutorial exactly as described.  It worked beautifully!  (I won’t say without hitches, but those weren’t the fault of the tutorial.)  I had so many little strips of fabric that I had to use my cork board and pin them up in order.

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I finally saw the top starting to come together, and I really liked what I was seeing.  Once the top was completed, I was at a loss on how to quilt it.  I did NOT want the quilting to take away from the top design, so I knew early on I’d probably have to switch out thread and such.  But unlike some of my other projects, I swapped out the thread in both the top and in the bobbin.  This would make for a colorful design both front and back.

The quilting design came from a sort of challenge from my sister.  She was with me at my second craft fair and commented on how I had no other quilting designs except for stipples and loops.  She asked if I was capable of anything else.  Well, I decided this quilt would be there I showed her what else I could do.  I quilted FLAMES!

 

It took forever.

It’s by far one of my favorite quilts, and I even entered it into my church’s talent show in the craft talents section.  Several times I’ve thought about just keeping it for myself, but I’ve kept it up for sale for some reason.  I’m hoping someone else can see how much work went into it and can appreciate it for what it is.  I do plan on making another one in the future, but I’ll probably cheat and just use a jelly roll next time.

Lesson learned – long live the bargello quilt!

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My rainbow bargello quilt!

Related Blogs and Posts:

Quilted three fabric bargello

Autumn Bargello

Bargello Video Tutorial

Handbell Choir Director Wall Quilt

After I completed the pipe organ quilt, I was approached about making a quilt for the handbell choir director.  I looked around for a while and then figured out a really fun idea after seeing this clip-art image.

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I realized I could use batik fabric and make the stained glass look more realistic.  I would use my beloved crepe back satin to make the bell.  The question was how.  There were too many colors to try a reverse applique, and I didn’t think piecing them together like I do in paper-piecing would look like the slightly imperfect leading of stained glass.  In the end, I realized that I couldn’t do much else than piece it together like a puzzle and applique it onto the white fabric.  Since it would be a wall quilt, I knew it wouldn’t take a beating like some of the other quilts I make.

So first, I picked out the fabric.  It’s one of the few times I have bought fat quarters. I also had some blue batik on hand at home from a previous graduation quilt.

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I used a projector to trace the clip-art onto paper at the proper size, and then I traced the image onto the fusible interfacing.  This explains why the image is reversed from the original clip-art.

In order to keep the piecing straight, I had to number them and take pictures for reference.  Then I cut the pieces out and ironed them onto the different colors, mostly at random. There were so many pieces that I had to put my husband to work helping me.  He was thrilled….

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Then I reassembled the pieces and ironed them down.

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From here, I began the tedious task of using the close-set zigzag stitch between all the piecing to recreate a “leading” look like there is in stained glass windows. Then I used some leftover black binding from a previous project and made the window outline.

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At this point I was ready to quilt.  I used a black backing and black thread on my bobbin with a white top thread.  I did a normal stipple in the white area.  I thought long and hard about how to handle the window part.  I didn’t want anything taking away from the stained glass look or the bell.  In the end, I played it safe and did a simple straight stitch over the black leading between the batik fabrics.  Then I used a dull gold/yellow thread I had to give the bell curves and add depth to it.

The last thing I did was add a sleeve.

So there you have it – from clip-art to quilt!

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Related Blogs and Posts:

handbell happy!

Advanced Quartet Rocks the Handbells

Handbell ringers want to pass on ‘dying art’

Cheerleader T-Shirt Quilt

This won’t be the last t-shirt quilt you all see.  They are sort of my bread and butter.  I do more t-shirt quilt commissions than I do anything else, and they help out with a lot around here. Graduation season is picking up, and I’m starting to see inquiries and am getting orders.  I’ve completed two already and am meeting someone for a 3rd.

In honor of graduation season coming upon us (a time that is often busier than Christmas for me), I’m doing a post on one of the senior quilts I made last year.  This one was interesting because the school colors were black and silver.  You would think this makes for a boring or “ugly” combination.  But I realized as we looked through the fabric that it was also a combination that was hard to get wrong. In fact, it made for a nice contrast to the shirts!

 

So I’ll show you guys a bit of my process.  For starters, I make a draft. This was for a basic layout – no sashing or borders.  The name was about the only frill.  I’ve gotten rather good at drafting layouts far more complicated on Microsoft Word.

Ariel Layout

I use fusible interfacing to make sure that jersey knit stays put.  It’s stretchy and likes to bunch up without a stabilizer. The shirts themselves were quick since I wasn’t doing a border.  There was one spot open, and I made a quick 9-patch to match the backing.  This is a great example of why I tell folks not to stress about how many shirts I’ll need.  I usually tell them to send me what they want included, and I’ll try to figure out a way to make them all fit.

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This one was made of the senior’s cheerleading shirts.  There were plenty to be had and a generous amount of glitter! I liked the traces of pink in the shirts; they “popped” once they were placed beside the black and silver school colors.

 

 

For the backing, my client chose an “oil slick” design that was a nice and playful balance for the black and silver school colors.  I used the same fabric in the front 9-patch as well as the letters of the name.

This particular quilt was pretty fun to make!

Related blogs and posts:

Rosebud’s Quilts: Another t-shirt quilt

Rock & Roll Marathon T-Shirt Quilt

Quilts in Common: T-shirt quilt for graduation