I’d seen this really fun fabric in the Halloween fabric section at JoAnn’s. It has a soft green background and features retro pinup girls with a slight twist…they’re zombies! It was hilarious to me! However, it was also some of the more expensive quilt fabric I’d seen, especially for JoAnn’s. Well getting close to Halloween, most of that seasonal fabric went on sale, and at 60% off it finally was at a price I didn’t mind paying for it.
I decided to work in a soft light pink and a bright hot pink as a nod to fun “girly” colors and lipstick shades. Since all the figures were different sizes and scales, I knew I’d have to do something that allowed for plenty of variation and didn’t rely on straight lines.
At first, I just focused on the blocks, getting the figure outlined with plenty of space to play around in. The smaller squares came as a result of the fabric’s price. It was so pricey that I knew I didn’t want to waste any, so I started cutting out smaller images from the spaces between where I’d cut the original girls: faces, manicured hands, sassy shoes, and a brain burger were all isolated.
I liked the idea of bold black lines separating all the images. I was thinking of some of those older shows and how they would have thick black lines around the words or on the poster itself. Something like The Creature from the Black Lagoon or Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.
The result of all that black trim was a retro cinema feel with the smaller pieces actually looking like film strip!
I went in to this quilt with only a vague idea of what I wanted, and I am so thrilled with how the end result looks. I love it when a quilt helps design itself and surprises me.
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.
This bargello quilt was made for an artist friend who is expecting a little girl at the end of the summer. We’re all super excited for her, and I couldn’t wait to begin working on this.
The pattern is based off of the same bargello pattern I used earlier. I joked that changing the colors out might result in a northern lights effect. When I found out my friend was going for a stream-lined, Swedish decor for the nursery, I thought it might be a good time to try it. Not only that, but she likes to do encaustic paintings!
I found a jelly roll at JoAnn’s that had various blues with a touch of light green. Some of the fabrics in it had a shimmer, so I thought it was perfect. I ended up needing three of them to complete this quilt.
I sewed the stripes together like the pattern said, and then I pinned them up. The only thing I changed for this quilt is that I went up and down a 1/2″ between stripes instead of a 1/4″. I knew I needed the curves to be clear and more drastic than the ones I’d had in the rainbow version.
Here’s the finished top.
And here’s the video of my friend opening up the finished product. The back is gray with a slight gold shimmer. The nursery, as far as I understand, will have some gold accents, so I wanted to tie it in as best I could.
A while back I received a request to finish a quilt someone’s neighbor had begun years ago. It was a Harley Davidson quilt.
“The shirts are already cut!” he told me. Normally I brace myself when I hear that because it means more work for me. Folks cut the shirts without stabilizer or with no consistent size. But this fella’s neighbor had done her homework! The shirts were stabilized and mostly consistently cut.
He wanted a different type of border than I’d used in the past, but I could see how’d they’d done it easily enough. The original t-shirt quilt he’d seen was in a museum in Florida.
And typical me…it was raining, so I didn’t get a finished picture.
Here are a couple of in-progress ones. You get the idea.
This quilt commission has the fastest turn-around time to date – 3 days! A cousin messaged me about making a small quilt for her son’s school fundraiser. Luckily, I had all the colors already on hand: navy blue, red, and white. And I even had the blue flannel backing already as well!
I placed class pictures, the school logo, and the mascot in the center four squares.
The kids are supposed to sign in the outer four white blocks.
This little lap quilt is finally finished. I had to keep putting it on hold because of other projects coming in. I found some of the fabric at a neat fabric store that mostly has odd sizes and remnants. Another section of the fabric was purchased after Thanksgiving at one of the big JoAnn’s sales. I’m happy that all three fabrics meshed together. The big symbols were part of a panel. The periodic table fabric was a remnant. And, of course, the science geek fabric was the most plentiful.
I decided to go with a medium blue flannel fabric for the backing, and I hoped it would compliment the front well. My other option was navy blue, but I think this flannel worked out pretty well. It brings out some of the lighter blue in the front.
This one will go up for sale at the spring craft shows first, and then I’ll put it online if it doesn’t sell at those.
For the most part, my quilting hobby is fun, especially the t-shirt quilt commissions. I love the look on someone’s face (usually a sneaky mom who smuggled shirts to me) when they see those shirts made into a quilt their senior will take to college. But sometimes the quilt commissions can take a more somber tone. Sometimes I’m tasked with a commission to make a memory quilt from clothes from a loved one that has passed on. I’ve made memory quilts from clothes of both deceased younger and older folks, and it’s a profound task, preserving memories of someone else’s loved one.
My first t-shirt quilts were from my father’s clothes, and they showed me the healing power of a memory quilt. My father died unexpectedly, and I had a lot of anger mixed in with my grief. It was an anger that I didn’t know what to do with, and I felt powerless to confront. And then my grandmother told me I’d be making four t-shirt quilts for myself, her, and my two other sisters. And it was in the making of these that I found a degree of peace and finally felt like I could say goodbye. Clothes are probably the hardest part of a loved one to reliquish. We remember what they looked like in them, which ones they favored, and they even smell like that person for a long time afterwards.
I was nervous when I made a memory quilt for someone outside of my own family. It was for a young man who had passed away from cancer. I remember gulping a bit as I finished up the design process and was ready to make those initial cuts into the shirts. Again, the idea of preserving those memories for someone else is daunting. So I prayed. I placed my hand on the bags of clothes and prayed for guidance, peace for the grieving family, and the ability to do that person’s memory justice. Whenever I have a quilt that has a similar back story, I take the time to pray beforehand, asking for the same guidance.
I thought I would share that prayer with you all in case you find yourself faced with a similar challenge. Feel free to use, adjust, or change as needed.
“Heavenly Father, I pray your guidance as I make this quilt. Please guide my hands that I may do justice to this person’s memory. May this quilt bring their family comfort in their grief and remind them of more joyful times. In your name I pray, amen.”