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.”
Christmas is here, and I can finally make a post about one quilt in particular. I couldn’t make a peep about it anywhere on any of my social media outlets because the friend it was for was privy to all of them.
While visiting over the summer, a friend joked after seeing my other Star Wars silhouette quilts that I should make one with Darth Vader in the corridor – the scene in both Rogue One at the end and in Star Wars: A New Hope at the beginning. A little while later, his sweet bride sent me a picture, asking about getting it made into a twin-sized quilt in the style I’d done with the others.
Well I LOVED the idea of all that red fabric, and I liked how it turned out as a background pattern for sure. The silhouette was very simple, especially compared to the Rey and Kylo Ren quilt I’ve done a couple of times before. I stuck with my usual style of using crepe back satin for the light saber. I’ll forever love that fabric.
The biggest surprise with this quilt was it was my first time using wool batting. I’d heard of it before, but that was about it. And let’s face it – I live in Georgia. We don’t need wool blankets except for on a handful of days at best. I was surprised at how light it was. In fact, I halfway wondered if it wasn’t actually polyester. I did some research and tried out the “burn test” on a small patch. Sure enough, it burned and singed instead of melted, so it was the real deal.
I made the quilt and then got really scared at the idea of washing this thing. I have sinned against wool in the past, and I was nervous about repeating that mistake. I finally decided I would rather wash it and take my chances with me first before sending it off to my friends. So I washed it on the coldest, shortest, gentlest cycle my washing machine had to offer, and then I hung it out on my back deck to dry. I’m proud to say that there were no casualties in the making of this quilt – cotton, wool, or otherwise.