Thursday, April 30, 2015

Re-Creating a Quilt

A friend of mine asked me to re-make a treasured quilt that has been on her bed since the 1980's.  It is starting to fall apart and rather than try to repair it (which I would not attempt myself) she asked me to try to recreate it!

I decided to take on the challenge!  Here is a picture of her quilt.  It is a two block quilt and one of the blocks is an easy Courthouse Steps block.

This is the other block.  They are both 12 inches finished, so it wasn't too hard figuring out the dimensions and drafting out the pattern.  It wasn't even hard sewing the blocks together.  This block has some hand appliqué however and that is what I am beginning to work on now.

This block shows the fabric she picked for the new quilt.  There are 24 of these blocks so I have 192 petals to appliqué and 24 centers.  My plan was to use the starch method and prepare the petals to be appliquéd on by hand.  After playing around with this method for a couple of hours yesterday, I decided it is just not for me!  I'm going back to my trusty back-basting method and hoping that works just fine.  I'm in the process now of drawing the petals and centers on the back of each block.  This will be a nice portable project for summer!

The original quilt shows the center as matching the rest of the block (as in the photo above) - there are only three fabrics in the whole quilt.  However she sent me a couple of yards of this other blue fabric that she likes as well so I tried it out in the center.

Which do you like best??  Please comment :)

The Courthouse Steps blocks were easy and are all done!

Back to tracing on the back of these blocks!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Lego Americana

We ran across this Lego Americana exhibit at the Park Meadows mall in Denver!  I LOVE Legos - I think they're the greatest most creative toy ever made for kids.  I wish I'd thought of the idea!  My kids grew up on Legos and of all the toys that have come and gone through the years, we still have ALL of the Legos.  Savin' em for the grandkids :)

Mount Rushmore in Legos - how cool is that?

 A shopping mall!

When my youngest son was about 7 or 8, he and I got to go to Legoland in San Diego.  It was AWESOME!  I've never seen anything like it.  He was into the Lego Mindstorm robot building at the time, so spent a lot of time in there.  We did ride a roller coaster that we had to pedal.  I thought it was cool but he said it was "pathetic". I guess he was a little too old for that ride :)
 Look at the details of this Justice Building!!!!

We even had a Lego Fairy at our house.  If the kids left a pile of Legos outside their bedroom door at night, the Lego Fairy would come and build something really cool for them to find the next morning.  Sometimes the poor old Lego Fairy was exhausted after a long day at work and would climb the stairs to find a pile of Legos sitting outside a bedroom door.  He would patiently make something really awesome before going to bed.  (Notice I said "he" not "she"!)

The Lincoln Memorial!  Look, you can see Lincoln in there!

When Old Lego Fairy retired, older son became Lego Fairy for younger son.  I wonder if they will carry on the tradition with their kids??  I hope so :)

My husband looks very "presidential" standing in front of the Lego Capitol Building.  I wanted to show about how big these displays are.  We normally don't dress up to go to the mall but he had a meeting to attend :)

The Liberty Bell - crack and all....

My girls played Legos too.  They could create whole worlds with their Legos.  I love Duplos too - might as well get them started early!

The Washington Memorial!  The next two pictures are of the White House, and finally the Statue of Liberty.  It almost felt like we'd taken a trip to Washington D.C.!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Molded Leaf Bowls

At our last Little Bits Miniature Quilt group meeting, Sherida showed her leaf bowl and it was a huge hit!  Now, at the next meeting, she will be teaching many in the group how to make one.  I can hardly wait to see them - each one will be unique!

Eleanor showed off a fantastic quilt that she finished!

Bobbi brought her adorable little Janome sewing machine to work on a project.  It's pretty amazing that it's so small and still gets the sewing job done!

June showed a table runner that she had completed as a gift for some friends.  Show and Tell is the best!  Always inspirational :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

POTC Fabric

I found some great fabric online at Keepsake Quilters which was designed for Patchwork of the Crosses.  It includes a lot of stripes and border-looking prints that should make great designs in that block!  I can hardly wait to try it out!
Speaking of Patchwork of the Crosses, Sheila emailed me the other day about a movie "From Time to Time" with Maggie Smith in it.  She said in the opening scene Maggie Smith's character is working on a POTC quilt.  First of all, good eye Sheila for catching that!  I had watch the movie of course and I found out that it was based on a
book by none other than Lucy M. Boston who made the original POTC quilt!  Apparently she was an author as well as a quilter and wrote many books.  The book this movie is based on is called "The Chimneys of Green Knowe".  So I found it very fitting that the POTC quilt top showed up a couple of times in that movie :)

I also ordered some zoo animal fabric from Superior Threads.  My grandchild is going to have a zoo animal themed nursery so I have to be prepared :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inspired by Spring

Here are some photos taken the last few weeks as Spring has made its way back to this side of the world.

Most of the photos were taken by my daughter Megan.  The two desert  hiking pictures were taken by my husband.

Maybe the pictures themselves or the colors will inspire a new quilt!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


I made a baby quilt for a friend's daughter recently. She wanted navy, orange and gray.  I think she saw something at Pottery Barn Kids so I am a little worried this might not meet her expectations but I hope she likes it anyway.  It is snuggly and soft.

I have made many, many baby quilts for gifts over the years and I have decided that the best ones are the ones I just make, without trying to follow too closely to what someone else wants or expects.  A couple of years ago I had planned to make a baby quilt for a girl at church.  I had fabric and a pattern and a plan.  Then she asked me to make her a quilt (before I got that one done) and specified what she wanted.  I went and bought different fabric, found a different pattern and made the quilt to her specifications.  It turned out fine, but I ended up making the other baby quilt (my original idea) for another girl and I thought it turned out way cuter!
 I read a fantastic article that is making its way around the internet called "Quiltonomics: The Real Cost of Quilts" by Jennifer Moore.  You can read the whole article here:

In this article she talks about why most quilters do not sell their quilts.  She tells of a man, who goes by the moniker Molli Sparkles, who wrote an article about placing value on quilts.  "Making the simplest baby quilt he possibly could – when accounting for materials, labor, and a 10 percent profit margin (after all, most companies factor in profit!) – the value equaled $225 USD. This was an extremely basic quilt with simple blocks, no design fee (he usually factors in a design fee for the concept and color selection), and faster machine binding."

The article said that Suzy Williams of Suzy's Quilts sells handmade baby quilts starting at $200 going up to $325. Sara Lawson hit the nail on the head when she stated, “I think the general public just doesn’t realize what the cost of materials to make a quilt is, and they also have no idea how long it takes."
In a YouTube video with Marianne Fons of Fons & Porter fame called "So, Do You Sell Your Quilts" - Marianne Fons does not recommend that quilters sell their quilts.
And Jennifer Moore says it all with, "Speaking of making quilts – existing quilters love to see new quilters taking up the craft and encouraging them. Most I talked to would be happier teaching a friend to make their own quilt, rather than making and selling one themselves."
It's a very interesting article!  I encourage you to read it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Table Topper

My friend Michelle, who made the adorable card table playhouses for her grandchildren, made this great card table topper for the family whose kids are too old for the playhouse.  You can see in the picture below the light background fabric is playing cards!  So fun and she did a beautiful job! It will be a fun topper to play family games on.

Our family LOVES to play board games!  Some of our favorites are Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Acquire, Ricochet Robots, Cartegena, Apples to Apples and many more.  What are your favorites??

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Busy Daughter

My daughter has been busy crafting and quilting!  Hurray for her!  Here are a few of the things she's working on:

She is taking a stained glass class, which is a gift from her husband for her birthday.  She is quite enjoying it and it looks like her project is turning out beautifully.  It almost looks like a quilt pattern!  It would be a beautiful center of a medallion quilt.

She made a flannel rag baby quilt.  She really liked the fact that when it was all sewn together she was "done" and didn't have to then quilt it!

She is working on a baby mobile for her baby.  She drew all of the animal patterns herself!  I'm so impressed!  She went through my wool stash and picked out some pretty wools and has been stitching away.  I can hardly wait to see it all finished - it's going to be so cute :)

Megan LOVED monkey stuffed animals when she was growing up, so a couple of years ago I bought this monkey quilt kit to save for her baby.  This is the kit where you're supposed to cut the stuffed animal in half and sew the little blanket in between, but I've never been able to make myself cut the stuffed animal in half....  My friend Lori did and I've posted pictures of several she's made and they are really cute, I just haven't been able to make myself do it.
Anyway, Megan took the kit home and made it!  Like me, she couldn't cut the poor little monkey in half either, so in the photo here and the one below you can see that she just attached the blanket to the monkey's back and left him intact. Great idea!  I approve :)

I love this orange.  The colors orange and lime green are just so appealing to me :)  Very happy colors.

Megan's sister-in-law is expecting twin boys this next month.  She crocheted booties and hats for them!

I better get busy so I can try to get half as much done!  I love seeing all she's working on.  I gave my other daughter a sewing machine lesson when she was here a month ago and she has some ideas of cute things to make too.  She's busy moving right now though :)