December 30, 2013

2013, In Retrospect

I asked my self recently, "How did I survive 2013?" What a year, and I am glad it is coming to a close. Through the ups and downs of this year my creative space and the time I spent quilting was a source of peaceful escape. Making a quilt was, at times, the only thing I felt like I had control over. I find that creating quilts is predictable (in a good way) which is something life in general, at times, just can't offer. So to sit down and sew or spend time cutting and piecing became a welcome space where there were no surprises. My creative space became a place where I could take a deep breath and decompress. 

 These are the quilts that got me through:

A Custom 1980s themed Plus Plus Quilt

A Scottie Value Diamond Quilt

 a custom project to make 50 Porcelain Doll Carriers

  Southern Vintage Star Quilt


The Up Up and Away Quilt

 Two Whole Cloth Quilts-

And a...
 (I just realized that I am finishing the year the way I started it by making another)
...1980s/Star Wars quilt
This was also a big year for the business side of my quilts, which I feel extremely fortunate to say. Many quilts sold and two were donated to auctions in order to help organizations raise money. I am overjoyed to think of my quilts in other peoples' homes and my original idea still remains that quilts are useful, beautiful art and life is way better under a quilt. 

Happy New Year and Happy Quilting!

December 20, 2013

3 Projects In Progress

That's right,  three projects! Sounds provocative doesn't it? Here's the next part - each project is going at a snail's pace. Um, yeah not so intriguing now is it. There's nothing about snails that "brings sexy back." Well, each project is exciting and demands my focused attention, as they always do. It's just the season, the holiday season, that slows things down. It's also me and my desire to slow down and be with my family more; to just sit on the couch and provide hugs, sessions of thumb war, read books and help with puzzles. This has been quite a year. Unlike any year I have ever lived through. This year has changed me for the better by presenting me with unbelievable challenges. I like to think I rose to the occasion each time a challenge came by working through it, day by day and sometimes hour by hour. My quilting and creative flow was a spring of relief and here are the projects that will finish up this year....

(I love making these) A Star Wars quilt, c'mon that's bitchen!

My family's Peppermint Quilt, basted, not quilted yet, maybe before Christmas though, fingers crossed.

...and last, a baby quilt for Sofia - look out world, she's a fighter - who joined us on December 14th.

 From my family to yours, may peace and warmth be ever present for you this season. Happy Quilting!

November 21, 2013

Peppermint Quilt top

If you were to ask me about quilts, I would insist we brew a pot of tea and chat. I have SO much to say. Quilting represents so much for me - artistic expression, a way to relax, a journey of self discovery, buttery fabric-play, and a way to be around beauty. A finished quilt is a beautiful thing. So beautiful in fact I want to stand on my roof and scream out, "Quilts are beautiful! I want to make everyone a quilt!" I really feel like I found something extraordinary and I want to share it with everyone. 

I have been making quilts for others and quilts to share for some time now. I watch the faces of my family look longinly as one lovely quilt after another is made...and sent away, bound for someone else's home. Well, I am keeping this one! This one is for us. My family. It's a peppermint quilt because they are so sweet ;)

Kids, don't lick it.

November 11, 2013

Whole Cloth Quilts

I'm still not sure if making a whole cloth quilt is cheating. While making these I often wondered, am I quilting? Or am I cheating? There is no cutting and piecing which are the two foundations of quilting. But after the basting was done on these two, and the quilting was in its early stages, I started to feel like I was on track - making quilts not taking the low road.

So let's talk whole cloth quilts - the first thing I noticed is how very large print fabrics are perfect for these. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with this large print from Moda's line Chirp Chirp by Momo. If I were to cut this fabric up and piece it into a quilt, it would completely lose its charm. I would need to use very large blocks to say the least. But used as a whole cloth, the beautiful meadow-scape image stays intact. I just love the natural feel of this fabric, the wide open space and perspective of looking into the distance makes me feel like I'm on vacation. I have always wanted to try quilting in a spiral and I thought it would make a nice pattern for this quilt. I think it compliments the flow of the fabric very nicely.

The next whole cloth quilt is made from Indian Summer by Sarah Watson for Art Gallery Fabric. It is fabric on a smaller scale, but still offers a darling scene, this one of tee pees and igloos together. I won't sugar coat it, I just thought this fabric was really cute and thought it would make a sweet quilt if left in one piece. The quilting pattern is one of my favorites, vertical lood-di-loops.This is the third time I have used this free motion pattern. I find it to be a simple and effective free motion pattern that can cover a quilt without being too dense or taking forever.


The only down side to making whole cloth quilts is the size limitation. Since fabric is about 44 inches wide, your quilt can't be any wider than that. It's a nice size for a child's bed or crib and even as a small sofa throw. I found that two yards of fabric can make a whole cloth quilt that measures ~ 44 wide x 50 long, with two feet of fabric left over for the stash.

I am glad I tried whole cloth quilting. I will definitely be making more of them in the future. These two are in my Etsy shop.

For now though, back to my roots. Back to the cutting table! Happy Quilting!

October 29, 2013

Off To Auction!

Today  I dropped of my "Up Up and AWAY" quilt at The Boyer Children's Clinic. It is headed for their 2013 Inspiring Journeys Auction and I couldn't be happier. I packaged it in a gift bag, with crisp white tissue. Since quilts are a little tough to display without hanging them on a clothesline, I supplied some flyers that describe the quilt's features, dimensions, and shows some full scale color photos.

This is how I described this quilt on the flyer: The vision for the Up Up and AWAY quilt is to inspire feelings of lightness, transcended upwards, with wings free to fly. This quilt captures the unlimited capability to succeed that we all posses.

October 11, 2013

Up Up and AWAY!

Oh I love this quilt! One thing I consciously try to do with my quilts is capture a feeling or a theme. Up Up and AWAY is a quilt that (I hope) makes you feel light, transcended upwards, with wings free to fly.

 ::The fabrics that make up the flying geese design are::
Orange scallop - Dear Stella "Piper" in orange
Rainbow feathers -  Studio Bee "Beloved" Robert Kaufman fabric co.
Turquoise criss-cross - Bella Woven in turquoise by Lotta Jansdotter
Bright yellow - from DS Quilts collection for Fabric Traditions.

::The above are bordered by Kona White and Kona Baby Blue::

::And on the back::
Bridges on white - Waterfront Park by Violet Craft
Orange chevron - Riley Blake
Turquoise lines: Glimma in jade by Lotta Jansdotter

And the back -

And more pictures of the front - 

And the binding :: Kona Royal Blue

I have a story to share that ties into the destiny of this quilt. This quilt will not be posted in my Etsy shop, oh no. This quilt is bound for a different kind of fantastic journey. 

When my daughter was small, before she turned two, she suffered from intense meltdowns whenever any loud sound was near. The sound of a crowded restaurant, a big gathering of people, or a baby crying would immediately set her off.  The way she would cry and shutdown was more than just a normal cry session. And these weren't tantrums, she wasn't trying to change outcome of a situation, or get her way. She was in a state of terror and she would cry with her eyes closed in a non-communicative state, and we couldn't figure out how to help her. 

A dear family member asked me, during one such meltdown at a boisterous Christmas family gathering, if we had had her "tested." Of course I didn't know what she meant. As soon as we returned home, I Googled it and sat there in shock as information about sensory disorders and autism were listed before me. I had so many questions and so much shock and sadness at that moment. Our family member referred me to the Boyer Children's Clinic in Seattle. It's a saving place for families with kids who fit into the spectrum of sensory delays and neuromuscular disorders. My daughter was tested and diagnosed with a "sound sensitivity." We qualified for Boyer's  free developmental preschool program in which kids are taught individually and strategically, based on their specific needs. I also received free weekly counseling sessions, which were a huge blessing. 

My daughter went to preschool at Boyer Children's twice a week until she turned 3. We didn't pay a dime. I received so much guidance and direction from the teaching staff and assistants. I learned ways to help her and calm her.  She enjoyed making friends, feeling confident, and having an engaging preschool environment to enjoy. I am so proud to say that this past September she started Kindergarten at our neighborhood public school. She is doing great!

The Boyer Children's Clinic gave our family something incredible - a clearing of relief and support during a time that was suffocating, confusing, and exhausting. The staff at Boyer reached out their hands to us and we grabbed on tight and they saved us. I have always wanted to say thank you to this remarkable organization. I have always wanted to donate a quilt to their annual auction. I am so excited to say, this is the time! And this is the quilt! And from the bottom of my heart, with every ounce of my soul, Thank You!

<3 Happy Quilting!

October 5, 2013

The Creative Side

Holy lack of blog posts Batman! Has it been a month since I have been here? Alas, yes. I find this operation, this quilting/blogging/facebbok-ing/Etsy shop-ing operation, to be two-fold: there's the creative side which includes designing, sewing, and general extreme fabric merriment, and then there's the tech side which involves writing, photographing, uploading, and posting. Sometimes one of the two sides dominates, and during September my creative side took over. That is, in a good way, a very good way. I have so many incredibly exciting things to share that I have to a) restrain myself and b) pace myself.  So this post is a peek at what's been going on creatively (shhhh, it's my favorite side of the whole operation).

 Can you feel the creativity? More on each of these creations in the days to come, but now, more sewing. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.