Friday, December 24, 2010

Two bears, eight quilts, and five purses...

That's right.  Two bears, eight quilts, and five purses are my craft competition submissions:

It still looks like the bear is wearing a pink helmet instead of a bonnet--I think it's because of the way its ears are underneath the hat.

Anyway, I have finished my submissions, wrapped them, and am off to upstate NY to see my family and have our craft competition.

The purses were a cinch to make, and they were pretty fast to sew together.  They seem cute and handy.

I am about to head out, but wanted to wish you all happy holidays!   Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Apron Quilt

My mother is crazy about two things....  Aprons and she loves vintage buttons.  So, the backing of the quilt is pictured above, and I think they look just like red, pink, blue and green buttons!  I think she'll get a kick out of it.

The front of the quilt has her other favorite thing:

Lots of aprons!  I cannot even begin to describe how much work this one was, so I am just going to let the pictures do the talking.  Here are a bunch:

And a few close-ups of individual blocks:

I could go on and on.  This quilt made me the most frustrated, and I even managed to pin the binding onto the front of the quilt, then sew it 3/4 of the way around the quilt before I realized my mistake (and it was after a long day of quilting, so I just went with it, made sure to be super careful sewing the binding onto the back, and it actually came out perfectly anyway!  So, my laziness actually paid off!).

Ok, one more picture before I start wrapping....

I think my mother will get a kick out of it.....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here Are All of the Quilts I Made.... This Year

I just finished my quilt photo-shoot, which was kind of difficult since I am home alone and don't have a helper to hold them up, but I piled-up pillows on the couch and snapped a few shots there, and also took a bunch from my sun-filled bedroom (and on clean bed linens!).

It's going to be hard wrapping these up, and giving them away.  Each one took so many hours to put together, from the cutting of fabric, to sewing up the quilt tops, picking a backing (and sewing it together), compiling the quilt layers, basting them, quilting them, then picking a binding and sewing it on--so many steps, and so much time, and I love each finished quilt so much.  I just hope my family members love them as much as I do.

Anyway, the grand reveal!

I made two baby quilts, one for my six-month old niece, and the other for my sister, who is expecting a little baby girl in April.  The first quilt is for the six-month old, and I like it a lot....

The second one, I am afraid it is too busy, but maybe it's fine?  I free-motion quilted it, so you might notice the wavy lines. 

The next one is for my youngest sister, who just moved into a new apartment (and her first apartment).  She seemed to have a pretty modern style (which totally surprised me, since I still think of her as an 8-year old, whose favorite colors are bright pink and purple).  So, I am hoping she likes this quilt.  I went with zig zags, since it seems maybe more modern than a traditional square-patterned quilt?  I used It's a Hoot (2 charm packs), used a brown polka-dot fabric from It's a Hoot for the binding, and used a pink dot on the back, from Breakfast at Tiffany's:

And here is one more, with the sun beaming down on it:

The next one, I just love sooooo much.  Must I give it away?  It's made out of Moda's Lollipop--2 charm packs, plus I made about 80 extra 5 inch squares using fabrics from the Lollipop line that I liked the most--more monkey fabric, fish, some of the luscious yellow, and the green lollipops.  On the back, I used lots of monkey fabric, but also threw-in my leftover fish and blue monkeys.  For the binding, I used "Mingle," which I think is by Robert Kaufman.  They're just creamy dots on brown fabric, but I love them so much (and considered it a huge splurge to use up some of my Mingle stash on this quilt, but I do love it so dearly).

Here it is:

Isn't it lovely (if I do say so myself).  Ahh.  The back:

And, here is a close-up of the border, love the Mingle Dots binding!

And, the quilt being drenched by the sun:

Ok, moving along.  How about one that's Christmas-themed for my sister who loves Christmas.  A lot....

I used 2 charm packs of Moda's 12 Days of Christmas, cut-up about 80 white 5 inch squares to alternate with the charm pack squares, and then I used a fabric from 12 Days for the backing, and used a green polka dot for the binding (the green polka dot was in my stash, seemed to work).

My next two quilts are for my mother and my mother-in-law.  I used the cutest kitchen fabrics (I already blogged on them and showed some close-ups a few posts ago), so here are some shots of the finished quilts.  They are nearly identical, but I did swap-out some fabrics and made a few changes to the second one:

The next one, I made out of 2 charm packs of Bliss, but then I wanted to add some blocks, but didn't really want to go with white (as I had originally planned).  Turned out, some leftover Breakfast at Tiffany's fabric went really well with Bliss--the pink polka dot.  I also cut blocks from some Bliss yardage I bought--some blue and red checkered flowers, and, here it is:

It's funny.  When I was making it, and was laying out all the blocks, I really wasn't sure if I liked the color combination.  Now, I love it!  The first picture of this post is another one of this quilt.

Ok, so I think we are down to my last one.  The grand finale.  And, I am going to save it for a post all unto itself.  I worked too hard, and went too crazy to just throw it in on the bottom of this one.  So, please come back and visit my blog to see the quilt that I think is the best of the bunch.

Hope you enjoyed all of the pictures! 

Knitted Teddy Bears

A few years ago, I started knitting teddy bears.  They take such a long time to make, but the result is often a very cute, cuddly little fellow.

Well, this year, for my family's craft competition, I have made 2 teddy bears.  I just finished them, and wanted to show you what they look like.  The first one I finished is wearing a knitted sweater that has buttons on the back, so you can actually remove this sweater (or if my sister who is getting this as a gift wants, she can make other outfits for it and dress it up).

The other bear was made for another sister of mine, who is 5 months pregnant with a baby girl.  So, I made a very sleepy little baby bear with a pink bonnet (although every time I look at it, I think it looks like a helmet--what do you think?).

Here she is sitting up:

Ok, now I better buckle-down and finish quilting.  Boy do I have a quilt post coming-up for you!

Picture Updates to Come

(random picture of one of my favorite blocks--toasters!)

I feel bad--no updates for a few days, but I have been so in the thick of things.  Quilting around the clock!  I have just about 8 quilts done--I have one left to bind, and then I made labels to sew onto them.  Some of the quilts I love so very much I am not sure if I can give them away.   Really.  But, hopefully my siblings, mother and mother-in-law will really use them, find comfort with them, and keep warm all winter long with them.  So, here's to hoping!

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season.  I usually listen to holiday music while I am quilting (it keeps me company).  My favorites right now are the old-fashioned songs here and also the classical holiday music here (there's a tab called "Special" and that's where the streaming holiday music can be found).

Ok, better stop blogging and start sewing!  I also have some knitted teddy bears, from my own pattern, that I need to finish-up and will share with you later today!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Must. Keep. Quilting

I have been quilting this whole morning, and this is what I have to show for it.....

A quilted and squared-off 12-block quilt (now I understand why giving someone a quilt is the greatest gift you could possibly give--it takes FOREVER to complete one, and after that kind of labor of love, only really special people deserve the product of your efforts).

Then, I matched some backings with quilt tops....

I almost took off a finger (see the gear on the right--the black knobby thing--well, it's not my friend right now).

And I discovered an awesome trick when basting a quilt so your fingers aren't screaming in pain from having to pin all of those pins....  Use a flathead screwdriver....

Insert the pin...

Then use the flathead screwdriver to brace the pin as it comes through the fabric and use the flathead to help you clasp the pin.  I am sure someone has thought of this before, but it was a great moment for me when I figured this out....

Back to work.  I have that basted Lollipop quilt with my name on it.

Happy Saturday!