Bookcase Wall Quilt

A friend from church approached me about making a quilt for the church retreat in October.  When I heard that the theme was “Connecting Through Stories”, I just knew which quilt design I wanted to do.  I’d had my eye on a bookcase quilt for ages and wanted to give it a try, so I used this as an opportunity to finally make one.

I started by cutting my scraps into various strips of width and length.  I did stick to fabrics that I felt someone would be able to write on and be easily visible.  Of course, every once in a while I threw in a darker color for balance.

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Then I sewed those scraps into large pieces of white muslin and trimmed them all to be about 12.5″ long.  From there, I sewed the “books” into blocks of roughly 12.5″ square.

Bookshelf scraps
Scraps for a bookshelf quilt

I also used some of the particularly smaller “books” to make stacks.

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The hard part came when I knew I needed to make about four books that leaned.  I did this by attaching white fabric all the way around and then using my grid to skew the cut, making sure to leave .25″ of white at the corners so that my book didn’t look like it was sinking into the shelf.

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From there I made my “shelf”.

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I did find a nice wood grain fabric at JoAnn’s, and I used it for the shelf.  The wood grain fabric was pretty pricey, though, so I went with a more cost-effective brown fabric for the back since it would be in a wall anyway.

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I decided to only quilt on the wood grain fabric since the shelves and books needed to be open for signatures, but I do think I’ll go back and quilt those sections at least a little before all is said and done.

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I did have one large brown block in the center of the shelves.  This actually isn’t a book but rather a frame.  My idea was to take a group picture of everyone at the retreat, print it on fabric, and then make it look like a photograph on the shelf.

The last step was to add a hanging sleeve. I can’t wait for everyone to see it at the retreat!

Related blogs and posts:

The Making of the Bookshelf Quilt: Planning Stage

Bookshelf Quilt

 

 

 

Guitar Quilt

This quilt was given today.  I’ve been sitting on it since earlier this month, and I couldn’t make a peep about it since it was for a friend who was also connected with me via social media.  She’s a youth minister, and I was asked to make a quilt in celebration of her 15 years of service at our church.

I thought about several options concerning the design, but we all knew it would be for signing in the end.  So this meant it would need a lot of light colors or at least a good sized section.

I remembered I had a picture in my Pinterest quilt section that I’d been wanting to try.  It wouldn’t take anything to do a different instrument!  And what does every self-respecting youth minster play?  The guitar, of course!  I loved the blog entry that went along with it.

The original inspiration. 

I also had a rainbow jelly roll I’d purchased while on vacation with friends in Mississippi.  I’d been waiting on just the right project to come along, and this one seemed perfect!

The urge is to think that you can simply cut out the fabric and flip it, but that would have the wrong side of the fabric and the seams sticking out.  I had to make two identical columns of rainbows and cut out a guitar shape from each.  The cool part is that in doing this I automatically had two quilt tops prepped!

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I couldn’t get to my projector at work, so I got creative and taped a bunch of card stock together, traced half of my own guitar, folded the paper in half, and cut out a full sized guitar! I did it this way to ensure symmetry. I am keeping the template as it looks neat and will, no doubt, come in useful for later projects.

The side with the white half of the guitar is made using reverse applique, and the other side is using traditional applique.

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The quilting inside the guitar needed to be extra special.  There’s a song that is sung at a lot of the youth events, and it was stuck in my head almost the entire time I was making the top.  So it seemed a no-brainer that the first verse of that song would be quilted into the white part of the guitar.  The song is “The Servant Song”, and I quilted the following in cursive, “won’t you let me be your servant. Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.”  And although I’m a literature teacher, I had to forego the punctuation.  It hurt a little.

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For the rainbow side where no one would sign, I really wanted to do some type of vine or tendril look.  I did a faint tendril on the white side as well because it needed some type of quilting to ensure it was sturdy.

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After that, I did my usual wrap around binding technique and used rainbow thread.  The final step was to add a hanging sleeve.

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We presented it to her this morning and hung it up at the reception for everyone to sign.

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Related blogs and posts:

The original blog post for my inspiration

A Quilted Palette Cleanser 

The Year of the Quilt, 2013. April’s Guitars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rey and BB8 Wall Quilt

This is the wall quilt I was working on in tandem with the Luke’s Last Sunset quilts.  Both are from the same roll of fabric.

This one was pretty straight-forward as far as technique goes.  I didn’t end up using any gold thread or satin like I have in previous ones.

I did change out the thread as the colors changed, though.  So that was fun.

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Related posts and blogs:

What’s Next for Rey?

Han Solo, Rey, and the Importance of Nobody

Read These 50 Star Wars Puns, You Must

Made by Runi BB8 Dress

Luke’s Last Sunset Wall Quilt

Due to the popularity of the Star Wars quilts, I started thinking about what other silhouettes I wanted to do.  It turned out I still had a couple of Star Wars ones I wanted to try out before moving on to other images.

I wanted to do the Rey and BB8 silhouette from The Force Awakens first, but I ended up working on another one in tandem after seeing a picture a friend bought online of Luke’s Last Sunset from The Last Jedi.  I remembered choking up in the theater when I saw this shot, and the symbolism was NOT lost on me.  So I looked online and found this screenshot.

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I traced it as best I could and then got to cutting up my orange, maroon, and dark purple fabric into strips.  For the original Star Wars quilts, I used 3.5″ strips because I was aiming for a twin-sized quilt.  For this one, a friend suggested I go smaller, and I agreed, considering this was going to be a wall quilt.  Much smaller.  I ended up going with 2.5″ strips and was pleased.

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I knew I’d cut a lot, and after rolling it all up and making the strips, I ended up with enough strips to make SIX wall quilts.  So I decided I would make two of the Luke quilts and two of the Rey and BB8 quilts.

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They were arranged and sewn together.  Next step was to cut out the silhouette.  I opted to use gold crepe back satin for the suns to give them extra luster and make them stand out against the orange fabric.  I even ended up running some gold thread over the suns as well.

 

 

I liked the way the final results look.  Happy with this one.  The final step was to add a hanging sleeve.

Related Blogs and Posts:

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Related Posts and Blogs:

Mentors, Mirroring & Failure: When Star Wars Grew Up

Luke’s Greatest Moments

 

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 

 

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’