Posts Tagged ‘quilt’

A Quilt for Malcolm

In Quilts on March 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm

This is the quilt I had hoped to finish before Malcolm was born in September 2014. Then, I was certain it would be finished in time to be wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. 2 months later, I finally quilted the last stitch.

Thankfully, Malcom neither understands nor cares that the quilt was 5 months late. He is mighty impressed about his toes though.

This quilt was made not just by me. Two other talented women helped.

The quilt was started by my neighbor’s mother, Janet Hunter. It was the last quilt she has cross-stitched. She passed away before she could finish it. My neighbor was unable to throw it out. Knowing how much I loved to sew, she gave it to me.

It took me some time before I decided how I wanted to complete it. After a few minutes of trying to cross-stitch, I knew I wouldn’t be doing that! Yet, I wanted to keep the original design of a moon. One day when I was digging through unfinished projects, I spotted the quilt next to a torn shirt of Dan’s. It looked like the perfect moon.

After appliqueing the moon and hat, I added another layer of batting and a back fabric.

Then, my favorite part began: hand quilting. It took me several months to quilt all the layers together.

I couldn’t be happier with the final result.

To always remember how and why I made the quilt, I had Judi of JDK Wallets make a quilt label by hand. She outdid herself by adding the cute touches of the moon, boy and stars.

Though I already picked out the fabric for my next quilt, I am going to take a small knitting design break. After I submit my latest design to a magazine, I will pull the ironing board off the wall and set to work.

Packing Away a Quilt

In Crafts, Quilts on November 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm

It has been two months since I have posted on this blog and with good reason. At first, it was a happy reason. Then, it wasn’t.

Because I always have some sort of sewing or knitting project going on, it is fitting that this story revolves around a quilt.

This quilt was given to me by my neighbor. Her mother made cross-stitch quilts for every child and grandchild she had. This was her final quilt. She only had time to do the border and the mobile before she was called home. My neighbor, not having a crafty bone in her body but unable to just throw it out, gave it to me with the hopes that I would finish it for my child.

I truly tried to finish it in the way that it was intended by cross stitching the moon, but I gave up quickly. Cross stitching is not for me. I take my hat off to those who follow the tiny diagrams and truly love the process.

After failing to complete it, I stuffed the quilt back in the bag and hid it in my sewing room. Two months ago when I found out I was expecting our 2nd child, I pulled the quilt back out, determined to finish it. Elly owns 3 handmade quilts from me. Surely, my next child was deserving of the same love that I pour into each of the quilts I make.

Halfway through the hand appliqueing process, the dream went away. It started with just some innocent spotting.  Then, the pain started. It worked itself into a frenzy until a rush of blood occurred. Finally, the gestational sac was passed and our child was no more. It was all so horribly simple.

Unable to even look at the quilt, I packed it up in the bag that I had carried it around in. The needle is still threaded and slipped in the fabric waiting for a happier day.

To keep my mind and my hands busy, I turned my attention to Christmas. Oh, how I love Christmas. In a few short days, the shopping was almost done. Sewing projects are being worked on. Crafts are being made. Slowly, I am finding peace.

Happiness was never truly lost. It is impossible to be unhappy when you have an Elly.


We were at Target in this picture. It is difficult for Elly to keep her superhero costume wearing to just home or Halloween; it is too stifling.

The Quilt is Finished!

In Quilts on August 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

I finished it one day before we left for Jodi’s and Matt’s wedding in San Francisco.

There were moments I wasn’t sure I would finish it at all.

The marathon quilting that occurred during the last week took a toll on my fingers. Not even the quilter’s callous could save them. They throbbed and even bled. A little bit of blood dripped onto the quilt in my haste. One finger has still not healed a week later. Yet, it was worth it.

It is not your typical wedding quilt, but a traditional wedding quilt didn’t seem right for Jodi and Matt. So, I went a bit retro on the front.

and a bit modern on the back.

a close up of all the quilting

Pictures were shot in my neighbor’s backyard on Friday before I stuffed it in our luggage. Thankfully, the airline did not lose our luggage.

Even though gifts are rarely opened at weddings, I insisted that the newlywed couple open the quilt. I was dying to see their reaction. Happily, they both loved it.

One Circle Quilted

In Quilts on July 23, 2013 at 8:19 am

All 24 sections of the Dresden plate as well as the flowers surrounding the fisherman have been quilted.

Rather than transfer a quilting design and following it, I used the fabric as my guide. Any motif that looked simple enough to follow was outlined in black quilting stitches.

The Dresden plate

Close up of fisherman

In order to accomplish all this quilting, I drug this quilt all over Pottstown. It has been worked on at McDonalds, my neighbor’s house, MOMS club activities and local playgrounds. Basically, any spare moment has been spent quilting.

3 more circles to go. Expect to see the quilt if you see me.

Hand Quilting while Elly Slept

In Quilts on July 1, 2013 at 6:00 am

Every night after Elly went to sleep and every morning before she woke up, I snuck in a little quilting.

(Elly cuddling with her younger cousin). 

The 14″ hoop I bought from Amazon was just perfect for snapping around a section of the quilt and popping it onto my lap.

The stitches are not tiny and perfect.

It was difficult getting the needle to sail through the typical 3 layers of a quilt plus the extra layer of the Dresden plate applique. I could only load 3 stitches at a time.

Each piece of the Dresden plate is quilted differently. Some pieces have almost no quilting as the fabric seemed too busy so I just quilted along the joining seam. Other pieces had a simply motif in the fabric that I quilted around the outline of.

Other pieces had a repeating diagonal running through the fabric that I happily followed.

Though I had originally planned to quilt each piece of the Dresden plate the same with a 1/4″ outline inside the stitching seam, it was more fun to base the quilting design on the fabric.

As before, quilting by hand was a joy. I just might start quilting more often than my current once-a-year pace.

Not Enough Fabric

In Quilts on April 22, 2013 at 6:00 am

Actually, it depends on who you ask as to whether or not I have enough fabric.

Elly will tell you that I have the perfect amount of fabric.

It is just the right amount to snuggle in with 2 baby dolls.

It is not the right amount to back the Dresden quilt with. When I bought the fabric, I based it off the fact that the squares to which the Dresden plates would be appliqued to were to be 25″. Yet, I bought extra fabric to cut the squares out of. There was enough to make 26.5″ squares. Since bigger is better, I cut the maximum square allowed out. It never occurred to me that the backing fabric would not be enough to cover the backside of the enlarged quilt.

But, all is not lost. Plan B was concocted last night. It involves piecing the back together out of the backing fabric, the sashing fabric and some grey fabric I had in my stash. It might even look better than Plan A when finished.

Here’s hoping.

Quilt Blocks on the Floor

In Quilts on April 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

Typically, I would stack my quilt blocks on a table, but these quilt blocks are gigantic. They measure 26.5 inches square. It is far easier to piece them together on the floor.

Dan is not a fan. He has been sick and has graciously relegated himself to the guest bed so as not to get the rest of us sick. Thus, he has had to weave his way around the blocks to get in and out of bed.

Hopefully, I can finish pinning the sashing to the quilt blocks in the next day or so. Then at least they will be off the floor.

The plus side of the gigantic quilt blocks is that it will be quicker to piece the quilt top together, since there are fewer pieces to sew. Which in turns means that I can hurry up and get to the part I love: hand quilting.

A Quilt for Me

In Quilts on March 18, 2013 at 6:00 am

Every single quilt I have ever made has been given away as a gift, mostly to expectant moms or to my own daughter.

This time, I am keeping a quilt for me. It is to hang in our bedroom once Dan nails a short board to our wall.

The quilt started as a cloth calendar that I purchased because I loved the picture.

Not needing a calendar of 1978, I cut the calendar section off and went about saving the picture. Two borders that highlighted the blue and orange color scheme of the picture, which happens to be the color scheme of our bedroom, were added.

Then, I hand quilted around the trees, clouds and shrubs. I learned that a good needle and a good leather thimble are worth their weight in gold.

Finally, I added a black border to make it blend in with the rest of the pictures hanging on our walls. The end result looks like this.

I sewed velcro on the back of the quilt as that is how the quilt will be adhered to the board on the bedroom wall.


Though Dan has never been a fan of the bright orange accents I like to add around our bedroom, he does like this quilt, which is a good thing because I’m giddy to see it hanging in our bedroom.

Beginnings of a Dresden Plate Quilt

In Quilts on March 6, 2013 at 6:00 am

I love to quilt, but I hate to cut the fabric all up only to have to piece it all back together again. Plus, I have learned that I hate being relegated to my sewing room. I would rather be hanging out with my daughter, husband and dog.

So, when I ran across Dresden plates already pieced together, I bought them.

The fabrics are kitschy and fun.

Yet, the center fabric looked boring. So, I removed it.

From my stash, I found some fabric labeled “River Qui” on it. Though it doesn’t necessarily match the transportation theme of the Dresden plate, it is still fun.

Repairing a Quilt by Hand

In Quilts on February 4, 2013 at 6:00 am

(Machine embroidered quilt label purchased from CannStitch)

As mentioned in my last post, the Sue Bonnet quilt has been repaired with two days to spare. To do so, the entire top row of Sue Bonnet girls was cut off. Out of the 4 girls, only two could be saved. The saved appliques now adorn a matching pillow.

Rather than rip out all the quilting stitches, I cut around the Sue Bonnet appliques, leaving the batting and backing attached. Then, I bound the edges with bias tape. Finally, I attached the Sue Bonnet mini quilts to a remnant of machine quilted fabric with a simple running stitch. For good measure, I quilted around the Sue Bonnets dresses to make sure the appliques stayed in place.

The pillow was made in the regular fashion though I did insert a zipper first. I am after all giving this to a 3-year-old who will almost certainly get it dirty. Being able to just wash the pillow cover will make my job easier in the laundry room.

The quilt was much easier to fix. The hardest part was picking out a fabric to bind the edges with. At first, I was going to use yellow, but I couldn’t get an exact match to the original yellow. In the end, I chose a vintage looking fabric that complemented the flowery fabrics used in the doll’s dresses. The fabric is also similar to the pillow fabric without it being too matchy matchy.

Cutting the top line of Sue Bonnet girls did make the quilt too short for Elly’s twin size bed, but I’m OK with that.

The original quilting did require a touch up here and there where the stitches had fallen out. Reworking the stitches reminded me how much I enjoy quilting by hand. I already have my next 3 quilts planned in my head.


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