The Tale of Three Baby Quilts….

I am so happy that I have actually managed to  complete 2 paper pieced blocks

for January, 2018.

This is the last block in last year’s “Baby Animals” BOM from Janeen, over at

Quilt Art Designs. It is a paper pieced block and it takes a bit of time picking out

fabrics for the block and  then piecing it together.

Here is the Elephant block and I really like this one. I must stress how much fun

this is but it is quite challenging choosing the fabrics. This is my second BOM so I

am getting a bit quicker picking the fabrics. I still stress over the fabric choices but

when that is done, the fun begins. If you like puzzles,  you will like paper piecing;

it is quite addictive because I want to get all the pieces stitched so I can see what the

final block will look like. It also helps to be organized with all your fabrics. I have

ziploc bags labelled with numbers and put the corresponding fabrics in each bag.

So  much easier than sorting through fabrics every time you are looking for

a specific fabric. Just find the bag and start sewing.

This is Evelyn’s Christmas quilt for a lucky someone. She found the bird fabrics first

and then chose the other fabrics from there.

It is always interesting to hear how people design their quilts.

Evelyn chose a medium colored  brown polyester thread for the top and the

backing. Holly leaves are stitched all over the top.

The backing is a nice red to complement the front of the quilt.

Evelyn also made a Baby quilt for a new baby that is coming. Once

again, Evelyn  had some extra squares laying around and decided to

use the colored fabrics to create this baby quilt.

What a great colorful quilt! Swirls were quilted all over the top.  A white

polyester thread was used for the top and a light green polyester thread for

the backing.

I love the multi colored backing of this quilt.

 

Another baby quilt for a special baby that has probably been  born by now. It is really cute.

The fabrics in this quilt reminds me of a modern quilt.

Baby Quilt

Here is an overall view of the quilt.  A white polyester thread was used for the top

and the backing. A loose loopy design was stitched onto the top.

This design really stitches out quickly and is fairly close together so it holds the

quilt together well for all that upcoming washing.

The Backing

This post has been all about Baby Quilts. Can you guess who this quilt is for as well?

Yup, another baby.

I had a customer who made this quilt but in a different colorway. I really liked the pattern

so I made one for a young couple, at my  Church, who were having their first baby.

This particular couple really likes  black and white so it was easy  picking fabrics and

colors for the quilt.

I used a white polyester thread for the top and the backing.

I stitched straight lines and blocks all over the quilt. It really stitches

out quickly too.

I really like the stitching all over the backing too. It was fun to do.It is nice to

be able to work on something for yourself once in a while.

Laura made this T-Shirt quilt for her husband for Christmas;  she managed to save

alot of his T-shirts for the quilt.

A fusible interfacing was ironed onto the shirts so that they wouldn’t stretch or move

during the quilting  process. This extra step really does help to keep the knit t-shirts from

moving around.

Each T-shirt was then cut down to size. In each block, I stitched around the motifs or

picture. The background areas were left solid with no stitching in it. I used a smoky

monofilament thread for all this stitching and a black Bottom Line thread for the backing.

In the sashing, I used an orange polyester So Fine thread  to stitch in flames . I

looked online for flames that I liked. The flames that I did choose were copyright free

images and it helped that I modified the flames while I was quilting.

T-Shirt Quilt

Here is the whole quilt; it is really quite large and heavy due to the fabric used on the back of

the quilt.

Laura chose a linen type fabric on the back of the quilt. I used a grey polyester thread

for the back of the quilt too. You can really see the flames on the back of the quilt too.

Here is the overall backing of the quilt. Hope you enjoyed the show and have a great week.

Check out the Needle and Thread Network.

 

I am still here…

My husband was on vacation and I decided that I would like to be on vacation

with him so I took 2 weeks off. Before I left for vacation, I had posted about

an elephant wallhanging that Mary had completed. Here are the before and

after photos.

Elephant before stitching\

This is what the elephant looks like when I get him. He looks like a blank canvas to me.

I really didn’t know what I was going to stitch onto this beautiful creature. So, I scanned the

Web and looked at what others had done. But I like to do my own thing and kept looking

for ideas.

Background

The background fabric is great and Mary just wanted me to stitch over all the ovals.

That was pretty easy and why fight the print on the fabric? So, this area was covered

but what about the rest of the elephant?

The trunk

I love libraries and off I went one evening, with no thought about elephants at all. When

I got there, I decided to pick up some books on elephants.  Maybe I could get some ideas

from pictures in the books. It was worth a try.

The tusk

After looking at several books, I decided that I would try to imitate all the wrinkles

on a real elephant but the lines would have to be simplified or I would be quilting

for the next several months.

Another tusk

I started with the ears and quilted in wiggly lines to replicate all the lines in the outer

perimeter of  the ears. Then I moved onto his tail, that was the easy part. Just make

it look like hair. Next I quilted his body beside the trunk; again simple lines to outline

the curves of his body.

The trunk was kept for last because I really didn’t know how I would tackle making  it

looked curved while being on a flat  2D surface. I had even gone the extra step of adding in

an additional layer of wool batting so that it would “puff” up like trapunto. I quilted in

all the lines with only the quilt top on the frame. Then I off loaded it and cut off all

the extra batting on the backing.

Right side of the elephant

Then I reloaded  the whole thing again, only this time with the batting and

the backing. Everything was working out fine until I got to the trunk. All the stitching  without a

stabilizer had caused the fabric to pucker up. I was not happy at all. Panic was beginning to set in

but I kept going.

Half of the reveal

I decided to stitch around the grey sections in the trunk and liked that but the unstitched

area was really “puffing” up and I knew I couldn’t stop there. So I tried stitching all the

way across the trunk, in a slightly curved line and then stopped to access the situation.

To my surprise, I actually liked the look of it and knew it would make the “puffy” areas

more flat. Ahhh! Now I could relax and finish the trunk.  The stresses of a  longarmer-ha!

The inside of the ears needed some stitching but I didn’t want to attract any more

attention to them so I merely outlined the piecing in monofilament thread.

The completed elephant

Lastly, I tried to imitate the lines on the legs and made them somewhat curvy. I

thought that more curvy lines on the tusks would clash with the lines on the

trunk so I stitched in long straight lines. It helps to emphasize how strong the

tusks are, in my mind anyways.

And that is the story of how I completed and lived through completing this

beautiful elephant for Mary. What is quite funny too is that I also picked up

a book by Anthony Lawrence called “The Elephant Whisperer.” It is a true

story of how he adopted an herd of elephants and managed to help

them forgive humans who hurt them. It is an easy read, check it out.

I also learned about his Conservation efforts in South Africa, his homeland

and of his conservation area called “Thula Thula.”  Visiting this place may

have to go on my bucket list now. Funny how quilting can lead to something

totally different. I had great fun learning about elephants and Thula Thula

through this quilt. Thanks Mary.

The backing

Mary loves Tula Pink and here is some of her fabric for the backing.

A close up of the backing fabric. It does a great job of hiding all the stops

and starts.

Mary also made this quilt. “La Pascallia” is the name of it. All of the piecing is

done by hand. It is definitely a work of love and art.

Here are some close ups of the fabrics Mary used and fussy cut to make each

circle unique.

The quilt was actually quite heavy when Mary brought it to me so Mary

had decided not to use batting in the middle. That was a really good choice

because it helped to lighten the weight of the finished quilted piece.

Flannel was used as the batting and it also helped to keep the

quilted piece from becoming too wavy. I think that the traditional

batting would have made the piece puffy in areas and that would

have detracted from the beauty of all that hand piecing.

Mary also wanted minimal quilting on the top  and I ended up

using a monofilament thread all of the quilt. It blends well with all

the colors of the top and you don’t have to keep changing threads

to match the colors on the top.

I stitched a small wiggly line all around each of the seams. This holds the

top together and doesn’t interfere with all the fussy cutting piecing either.

Great idea Mary!

More Tula Pink fabric

Mary also had some more Tula Pink fabric; again it helps to hide all the

stops and starts used in the quilting.

A close up of the background fabric.

Dara’s Quilt

Dara made this beauty for a special girl getting married. There is alot of time

put into this quilt in the way of machine embroidery.

Each block has either a moose or bear in the center that was machine embroidered.

You might think that this takes no time at all but it does. You have to center each block,

hoop it, add stabilizer and then keep an eye on the machine as it stitches it out.

The bear is pretty cool too. There certainly is ALOT of piecing on this quilt as well.

Good job Dara! Maple Leaves were the design of choice and a dark brown polyester

thread was used for the top and the backing.

The backing works great with the front too.

Jeanettte brought in this quilt. Again, alot of piecing. Because I don’t get

to piece much anymore, I am always amazed at how  patient quilters are

when putting together a quilt top.

Oak leaves were the design chosen and a light brown polyester thread

was  used for the top and the backing.

The border

This shows the piecing in the border area, I love it! Pieced borders add

so much more interest to the quilt top, in my opinion.

The backing was a light color and shows off the stitching perfectly.

Keep in mind what type and color of backing you want to use when

making a quilt. Do you want to hide all the stitching or do you want

it to be seen for the world to see? Mention that you your longarmer

and I am sure that they will help you with this.

Anne made this table runner for Canada’s 150th Birthday. She bought it

as a kit and it is gorgeous! The batiks are really striking.

I know that a Canadian designer  created this piece but can’t think of her

name. If you do know, just let me know and I will add it later. I stitched

around the central leaf with monofilament thread and then added

some clouds in the sky. It didn’t need much stitching as the

Canadian Geese and central design are beautiful.

 

Hope you enjoyed the show and don’t smile too much.

The kids might think that you are happy that they are back in

school-yipee!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Network, check it out.

 

 

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

I hope that your special someone gave you a card or some

chocolate this week. Mind did-yeah!! If not, at least the

days are beginning to look a little brighter and longer.

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Speaking of Valentine’s Day, here is a pink quilt that Eleanor is in love

with. And who can resist the cats? Eleanor was wondering what

color to use for her binding and her friend came up with this

clever idea. Why not use the left over pink and black fabric as

the binding?

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So, she made the binding in two different colors: black

and pink. She sewed the black binding onto the white section of

the quilt but didn’t sew it all down due to the fact that

she wouldn’t be able to guess where the pink binding and

the black would meet. Are you confused yet?

I will try to say it in a different way. She  partially sewed the

black binding down onto the white corner. She left about

a 5’6 inch extra, to make joining easier later on.

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Eleanor’s cool binding method

Then, she sewed down the pink binding =partially. She left the ends open

and  about 5-6 inches longer so that she could join them at the exact spot

where the black  corner and white border met. She marked that spot on

her binding and then sewed them together. Notice that the binding is

sewn straight across and not on an angle, again easier to execute.

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It looks so perfect and fantastic. Thought you might want to try that one out.

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Susan made this adorable “African Queens” quilt. Pinterest is a source

of inspiration for Susan and I love to see how she tweeks the patterns

she likes, to  make it her own.

 

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Lovely batiks were used for the Queens’ dresses and  head coverings.

Susan just wanted the Queen’s to be outlined, as it was a shame to

cover them up with stitching. Let their outfits shine through.

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The offset border has an African feel to it as well.

I used a clear monofilament thread for the top and a dark

So Fine Brown thread for the back.

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Pieced backings are great and what better way to use up all the

blocks left over.

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A close up of the backing.

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Linda’s Quilt

Linda made this darling pieced quilt. I can’t imagine the hours spent

making all those blocks.

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A close up of the blocks in this quilt.

I used a light cream polyester thread for the top and navy blue

polyester thread for the backing.

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The backing is really a navy blue but it looks more grey here than blue.

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A panto called “Brocade” was stitched all across the top of the quilt.

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I also managed to complete block #2, in the “Baby Animals”

BOM through Quilt Art Designs. Janeen is very talented when it comes to

paper piecing.

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The back of the block says it all. Lots of tearing and shredding to be

done later on. I enjoy paper piecing as it feels like a fabric puzzle to me.

Check out the Canadian site Needle and Thread Network.

Have a great week.

 

I can’t believe it!

I can’t believe that January is almost over! Where did this month

go? While I am wondering where January went, here are some

of my completed customers’ quilts.

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Cathy made this quilt for her son. Wow! I hope he likes it;  if he

doesn’t, I will take it.

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A flannel moose

This whole quilt is flannel. It is going to be really

warm and snuggly.

And I love the moose, how Canadian is that?

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The border print is so much fun as well and fits the

theme of the quilt perfectly.

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Here are what some of the other blocks look like. Because

of Canada’s 150th birthday this year, I am already

seeing lots of Canadiana quilts coming in.

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The backing of the quilt, flannel, of course.  Cathy

chose “Maple Leaves” for the overall design for this

quilt. And a dark brown polyester thread was chosen for

the top and the backing.

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My color choices for the BOM.

I decided to join a BOM, over at Quilt Art Designs. Janeen

is designing paper piecing patterns depicting baby animals.

One look at her site made me fall in love with her patterns and

my daughter has already told me that she wants the completed

quilt.

The colors above are the fabrics I chose for the 1st block.

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My new labelling system

I had a brain storm and came up with the idea of putting

all my fabrics in  ziploc bags. I numbered the bags so I

would be able to pick which color I needed quickly.

So far, it has worked like a charm and I can put

all the fabrics away, by color, pretty quickly as well.

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Here you can see that the grey is in bag # 10.

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When the pieces are all sewn together, I usually trim

off the excess fabric and place them in a larger bag

for all the completed pieces.

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When all the pieces are completed, I can start sewing

it altogether. I love paper piecing because it reminds me

of doing puzzles, only with fabric. While I am sewing

all the pieces together, I can’t wait to see what the

finished product will look like.

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Here is block # 1- a Koala Bear. He is sleeping in the branches

in a tree somewhere. I think he is really cute.

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I can’t believe that I also managed to quilt one of my own

quilts!! Yeah!! There was a twinge of guilt while I was

quilting but I got over it quickly.

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The idea for this wallhanging came from a picture I

found on the Internet. I know there is alot of concern

about copyright but I am not going to sell the  pattern

I made, nor the finished product, so I think I am ok.

I love the colors and the lines in this piece.

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Some of the fabrics in this wallhanging were painted by

moi. It was so much fun that I think I have to do it again.

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More close up of the quilting on the wallhanging. I

used a glue stick to fold down the edges of the roofs.

When I was quilting it, I didn’t like the thickness  of

the roof fabrics so I will not be using glue next time.

It did gum up my needle a little as well so that won’t

be happening again.

Have a great week and check out

Needle and Thread Network.

My coral reef…

I have been fortunate enough to be able to complete the 9

blocks for my Oceans BOM. And I am really surprised

that I managed to complete these blocks so soon.

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The nine paper pieced blocks came from Janeen,

over at Quilt Art Designs and  the patterns were

free. Instead of adding sashing between the blocks,

I wanted to make some gradations and this is how

it turned out.

What do you think?

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I really like the tuna fish. The Manta Ray needs some

gills embroidered onto his underside.

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My Red Octopus isn’t quite red enough but I will

chalk that up to artistic license.

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I think the Dolphins are so cute and adorable. I chose

a different color for the background in each of the blocks.

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I have been debating what else I can do with this completed

top. My brain is on overload today with all the ideas

swimming around dealing with coral reefs. I really

want to add some more tuna fish, jellyfish, coral and

other things. I was online checking out some ideas when

I ran across this website.

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Sayuris World is a website you need to check out.

Aren’t the jellyfish so cool?

This lady is really creative!! She uses felted items to create

this whole scene. Wow!!

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I really like the Message in the Bottle block. The message

actually looks like writing on it.

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Baby Quilt

Besides finishing up some of my own things, I also

quilted this baby quilt for a customer.

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“Splat” is the name of the overall design. I used a soft

grey Glide thread on the top and a light white polyester

thread on the backing.

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This backing is minky. I must warn you to be careful not to

stretch the minky too much. I quilted a baby panel and

used minky on the backing and I threw it out after I

was done. The quit wouldn’t lay flat because the minky

had stretched too much.

Remember, just be careful when you are using it.

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This is Kay’s quilt for her husband. He is a brick layer

so she wanted to make a quilt depicting this idea.

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I think she hit the nail on the head and did a superb job.

She wanted the bricks to be outlined; I used a monofilament

thread for the SID work. In the 2 outer borders, I used 2

different purples and stitched in straight lines that offset

one another. Again,  the straight lines reminds me of bricks.

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The backing of the quilt. I used a cream polyester thread

for the backing.

Hope you have a great week. Just remember, spring

is almost here.

Are you kidding me?

At the beginning of the year, I decided that I wanted to follow my own

ideas and create my own quilts, or at least finish projects hanging around

from last year. I did start off the year well but it seems that I am adding

more projects onto my ever increasing list.

At Guild, this past week, Mary,my friend, mentioned a free online

challenge called “The 365 Challenge.” When I checked

out the site, this is what I saw.

“Are you kidding me?” was my response.

But Mary’s enthusiasm and encouragement prevailed. She mentioned

that it only took 5- 10 minutes to complete each 3″ block. How could

I resist? Do you ever find yourself in this boat?

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Well, I started the challenge and to be quite honest, it is fun. And

it really does only take 5-10 minutes to complete each block. The

hardest part about the whole thing is picking out the fabric for each

block.

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Here are my 29 blocks completed for this month. I am hoping to

have gradated colors going around the whole quilt. For the month

of January, I have picked dark blues. There are lots of color

combinations on their website, so you can pick what colors you

like. You should check it out.

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This is a glimpse of just how small these blocks really are. It seems

that each day, the difficulty increases.

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Again, the total number of blocks, at the end of the year will be

365. And the completed quilt will measure 90″ x 90″.

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Darlene’s ” Friends Of Baltimore”

Darlene saw Kerry’s, “Friends of Baltimore” Quilt and decided that

she would like me to quilt hers as well. It arrived at my house a

few weeks ago, so I have been diligently working on the SID work

ever since.

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Today, I finished the ditch work and am  moving onto filling

in all the background areas. This is always an exciting part for me

as the fun can now begin. I love working on the background fills.

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Darlene is quite the appliquer. I can’t even find the stitches that

are holding the applique  pieces down. These quilts really are an honor

and privilege for me to work on. I am amazed that people actually

have that much patience to create one of these masterpieces.

Personally, I think that these quilts are not quilts but actually

works of art.

What do you think?

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Switching gears, before Christmas, I was asked to create this cut

baby quilt. The print has monkeys all over it.

A swirl panto was chosen for the quilting design and this

shows up beautifully on the backing.

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The backing

The backing is comprised of grey minky fabric.

I worked on a purple quilt before with purple minky on the

backing and the purple minky migrated to the front of the

quilt. It actually came up through the stitches. So, be careful

when you use this on the backing of your quilts.

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A close up of the stitching. Also, be careful with how you load minky

onto your quilting frame. In one direction, the minky is really

stretchy. And in the other direction, it isn’t.  Ask me how I know?

I made a baby quilt and the minky on the backing stretched horribly.

When I took it off the frame, it had bunched up in some areas. Needless

to say, I was not happy at all. And I ditched the quilt. Some lucky person

will now have the job of picking out all those stitches.

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And lastly, this one of the last blocks that I completed

from the Oceans BOM from last year. I am trying hard

to keep on track but some days, I think to myself “Are

you kidding me?”  Maybe,just maybe I have bit off more

than I can chew.  At least, I am not bored.

Have a great week!

Keeping on track…

Even though it is only the second week into the new year, I am still

on track with my resolution to work on-and complete- some of my

own personal projects.

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I have 3 Advent Calendars on the frame right now. You could say

that I am either really late or really early; it depends on which way you

look at it.

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This is the center of the Advent Calendars. They are  pretty cute and stitch

up really quickly. I am getting ready for Christmas, 2016. Please, don’t send

me any hate mail for that last comment. The panels were purchased at

Fabricland and  several borders were  added  to enlarge the panel.

Besides completing these 3 projects, I have actually found time work on

my Monarch wallhanging.

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Monarch wing

The wing is broken up into 2 sections and I used some fusible webbing

to cut and paste the pieces onto the black wing. I actually found a dead

Monarch and kept it in a plastic bag for a few years. I copied the

Monarch and enlarged it for the shape of the wings.  My kids think

I am crazy; sometimes, I think I am too.

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Now, I just have to decide what color for the background. I am hoping to

have it on the frame by the end of the week.

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This octopus has been waiting for several months to be put together.

I don’t like some of the fabrics I picked-the purple-but it is

staying that way.  The block is paper pieced and is part of a BOM,2015,

from Quilt Art Designs.  I only have 1 more block to complete and

then I can put the quilt together.

I do have an idea of how to put the 9 blocks together but hopefully, the

picture I have in my mind, will look good in reality.

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Dale is quite the quick quilter. Here is another quilt that she has

completed. She wasn’t sure of what type of stitching but I thought

that the piecing spoke of a modern quilt.

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The backing

We can’t forget the backing of the quilt. I used a polyester thread

for both the top and the bottom of the quilt.

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Eva was in a recycling mood when she completed this quilt for

grandson.  The fabric came from a friend who was getting rid of

some fabric and Eva stitched it together. What a great

idea!! Free fabric and a completed quilt.

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Here is a funky backing .

I hope that you are finding time to work on and complete some

of your own projects. It feels so good to actually complete

some of your own things.

Have a great week.