Lutheran Quilt – Southeastern Synod

I was approached by my neighbor with a commission idea for making a quilt for a retiring bishop in the Lutheran Southeastern Synod (this includes the area of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Each congregation was asked to send in 1/2 a yard of quilting fabric.  I decided to make the states look like a crazy quilt with each of the fabrics represented on the state somewhere. I’m in love with how it turned out!

Here’s the original image.


We also picked out his favorite verse, and I quilted it into the large open white area.


The real doozy was that globe shape in the middle.  I was surprised that it took me way longer to do than expected.


Since some of the fabrics were more prominent than others on the state shapes, I went in and made sure each fabric was represented well on the back.


Overall, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  I think the good bishop is, too.


Asian-themed Girly Quilt

This quilt is 100% made from fabric, thread, and batting I had on hand.  One quiet Friday night I came across some cutesy Asian-themed fabric from a previous project, and I decided to make something of it with the goal of using only fabric I had on hand.  I had a secondary goal of completing the top that very night.

The fabric was cute, but it didn’t lend itself well to being simply cut into regular squares.  The little girl images would have been halved or missing parts.  So I cut as many whole ones out as I could, resulting in just six squares – much less than I thought.  But that was alright because I had plenty of colors to accentuate, and I had planned on having a good deal of white fabric as the background.

The piecing of this little top was akin to putting together a puzzle, but I eventually did it.  I was happy to use up some of my fabric stash as well as create a cute and whimsical top.  I already had a feeling what I was going to do with the top if it came out as I hoped.

When I first designed it, I only had the main part with the white background, and I was…whelmed.  I just didn’t love it, and I wasn’t used to that.  I posted a picture on a quilting group, asking for advice, and everyone pretty much said the same thing – a border.  Well, I had pink and yellow aplenty still at this point, so I decided on two colors to ensure everything was tied together nicely.  And the group was right!  Once I added the borders it did look better.

The backing was the same story as the original Asian fabric – I bought way too much for a different project.  In fact, I had so much of it that it sufficed for a backing!  That meant I had at least four yards of lime green fabric lying around.  Yeek!  I was glad for a chance to put it to use.

I ended up going with a variegated pink thread for the quilting.

In the end, I was glad I added the borders, and I had a quilt I was fairly proud of.  I ended up donating it to my children’s preschool’s silent auction.  I did get a chance to see it back in January at a birthday party, and the mother told me it was holding up very well.

Related blogs and posts:

Red and gold Asian-style quilt

Sashed Half Hexagon Quilt in Asian Fabrics

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.


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.


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….


Then I reassembled the pieces and ironed them down.


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.


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!


Related Blogs and Posts:

handbell happy!

Advanced Quartet Rocks the Handbells

Handbell ringers want to pass on ‘dying art’

Pipe Organ Quilt

When I found out our beloved organist and music director was retiring, I immediately tried to figure out how to honor him with a quilt.  I did some searching around and landed on this jewel from the Soar Above blog.  It was perfect! I simplified it in some ways and lightened up the fabric because I wanted members to be able to write messages to him.  This also meant mostly quilting in the ditch.

I have a BA in music, so the details on this were very important to me.  I went that mile and made sure the keyboard was accurate in regards to the key placement.    I also got our lead choir member to help, and together we took pictures of his organ setup, including his actual hymnals, his clock, glasses, duster, and his shoes.  I printed those pictures out on fabric and appliqued them onto the organ setup.

On his last Sunday, I presented it to him in front of the church, and his reaction is one that I’m mighty proud to have on film.

I used more blue on the back (in case it was needed for more messages) as well as basic music fabric.  It was hard to find music fabric that wasn’t cutesy, but I did!  I like the contrast of the differing wood panels.

hymns and clock
The keyboard is accurate!






Related posts:

Hayman Tam’s Photography Blog

Awa on the Road


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