Monday, December 30, 2013

Quilts of 2013

I really am amazed I was able to get anything done this year!  It was a strange year for me.  Just after New Year's, I made the neighborhood quilt from the BMQ guild row robin. I was diagnosed for a spinal tumor in January and had surgery to remove it in February.  I made it back to the sewing room in March (a little) and was back at work after Easter.  I managed to make a wedding quilt, a volunteer gift quilt,and two baby quilts in May and June.  I started a quilt for my granddaughter Saydee and my newest grandchild, her sister Aleena.  I ended up making three quilts for Aleena before I got Saydee's quilt finished.

I spent some of my free time last summer helping my daughter make and quilt a queen sized quilt for her bed.  I finished a quilt for my mother in law to keep her toasty and warm (last year she was without power for a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy).  I attended two great workshops with Malka Dubrowski and Jacquie Gering.  I made a quilt for my older daughter to use with some matching coasters (ha!).

After the baby came, I spent a lot of time babysitting for Saydee so that my daughter and son-in-law could visit the baby at the hospital (she is supposed to come home tomorrow-New Year's Eve!!).

Which brings us full circle after a full year.  May all your New Year's dreams come true!

I added myself to PlayCraft's Year in Review.  Click over to see what everyone accomplished last year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Ornaments

I wanted to add some pictures of ornaments I have made in the past few years (so I don't forget!!).  Hope you are all ready for a wonderful celebration!
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saydee's Big Girl Bed Quilt

 I started this quilt for my granddaughter, Saydee, back in the summertime.  I spotted a smaller version on Pinterest in red and black.  My daughter told me Saydee likes the newer pinker Minnie Mouse so I changed the color scheme.  I drew the Minnies myself (hehe) and just used wonder under to iron them on a handful of the squares.  I zigzagged them on so they will withstand the whirlwind that is my adorable granddaughter.

My very tall son holding the quilt for me.  He wasn't thrilled but he is tall enough!

For the back of the quilt I used a rainbow of colors with the black and white.  This is a super easy block pattern.  Saydee's room is blue so this side matches it a little better (and maybe in the future if she ever repaints!).

I'm afraid I didn't get a very good shot of the quilting.  This is a twin sized quilt so it took some muscle to quilt it in my home machine.  It is a meander of sorts with swirls and curves and m shapes.  In the photos the quilt had already crinkled up from the wash.  Saydee is sleeping under it now and hopefully for many years to come.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Last Elephant Quilt of 2013

I really didn't set out to make three elephant quilts.  I didn't.  But the baby was in the hospital for six weeks.  And we didn't know when she would be able to come home.  My daughter mentioned that she was going to decorate her NICU crib a little to make it cozier and more cheerful for Aleena.  I thought I could make a small wall hanging that would be perky and happy.  Maybe use some washi tape to hang it up.

Then they let her come home!  Happy day!  Well, of course I still had the yet to be finished small wall hanging.  Now what?  hmmmm.....  I added a few more borders and quilted it up to be a little carseat quilt.

I used some kind of fleece as the backing and it is perfect!  Lightweight and warm, they bundled her up in it.  Tada!

We are all adoring her and holding her and passing her around.  As you can probably imagine.


Extra cute little baby, still on oxygen, wearing her sister's bunny ears, wrapped in the little quilt.  

So there it is.  The last elephant quilt I am making in 2013.  And possibly forever.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Play quilt for Aleena

 She's home!

My third grandchild was born in August.  Aleena weighed 4 pounds 2 ounces at birth and had to stay in the NICU for 44 days.  Her parents went every day to hold her and love her.  I went several times but mostly I watched her big sister when I could to help out.  We are so happy she is home with her family now (although she will need heart surgery as soon as she is large enough).  While she was in the NICU was a stressful time on all of us.  So even though I had already made her a quilt, I ended up making a few more (I recognize it was more for me and my stress relief!).  All of the quilts have little elephants on them and have purple, grey, green, and pink, as those are the nursery colors.

Aren't these little elephants cute?

Aleena's Elephant Quilt

Flower quilting detail

Gray with pink polka dots for the back

Thanks for visiting me!  I'll post about the other little quilt I made her in a few days.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Quilt for Baltimore Early Head Start

Our Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild has a partnership with the Baltimore Kennedy Kreiger Early Head Start program.  We sew sleeping outfits, hats, cloth books, bibs, and of course, quilts for them.  At our September meeting, we had 21 quilts to donate (all log cabin variations).  It is quite a diverse collection.  You can see all of them at the BMQG page.

This was my contribution.  I made four large 22" blocks and put them together.  My husband says it doesn't look like a baby quilt.  Sigh.  I like it anyway.

Every once in a while, I think: I know!  I'll do a big circle with my quilting!  I love how that looks!

Then, I start and I remember that I hate doing it!!  I do the middle with the FMQ and that works great.  Then I switch to my walking foot as the circles get bigger and that is where I start thinking I made a big mistake.  It is really hard to turn the corners smoothly!  I end up with little places where it jogs over a bit.  I just want it to look smooth.  And I do realize that most people won't notice it.  But it makes it less fun to do.  Know what I mean?

I used a gray with variagated yellow dots for the backing.  I meant to make it the right size for a full, unpieced backing but of course I got carried away making the front so it is a little bigger.  So I pieced it.  And I like it.  I should just assume I will piece the back.  I seem to do it every time.  And Sometimes I end up liking the back more than the front!

I used many different grays for the binding.

So, these quilts will be on display in the Kennedy Kreiger Institute building starting October 1st.  Then a little baby will get to keep this quilt and enjoy it!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Jacquie Gering is coming to Baltimore!

Jacquie Gering Lecture/Trunk Show

Quilting Modern: Honoring Tradition
Monday, October 21, 6:30 - 7:30 PM, Seminole Sampler, Catonsville
Cost: $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers

Jacquie shares her journey from being a maker, to becoming a quilter, and now a modern quilter, designer and author. Jacquie tells about her Mennonite roots, how her family inspires and influences her work, and shows through her quilts how she has developed her unique voice in modern quilting. Learn what makes a quilt modern from one of the leaders of the modern quilting movement.

Payment can be submitted through
Please note that we are unable to offer refunds for this workshop. However, we will make available a waiting list and you can transfer your class purchase to someone else.

A little about Jacquie Gering

The co-author of Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts (Interweave, 2012), Jacquie is a contributing designer and author for Stitch, Modern Patchwork, Quilter's World and Quilter's Quarterly. Her quilts have been featured in other national and international publications. Jacquie is a leader in the modern quilting movement, serving on the Board of Directors of the National Modern Quilt Guild. She teaches and talks quilting across the country and shares her designs and quilting knowledge on her popular blog, Tallgrass Prairie Studio.
Questions? E-mail:
Thank you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Elephants on Parade!

My lovely daughter is due to have her second baby sometime between now and next Wednesday.  She requested an elephant quilt for the nursery, inspired by a pattern she found on Pinterest by Sew Much Ado.  I made my own little elephant drawing and the rest was easy.  She painted the nursery bright green and she requested the gray, pink, and purple to go with it.  I used all fabrics from my stash, except the Kona white (which I seem to run out of all the time!).

So here is my version:

I did a micro stipple around each elephant and a curvy wave in the white borders.

This is the label on the back.  It is blank because I want to add the baby's name and birthdate (after she is born!).

So if you are counting, that is the second quilt that we worked on and finished this month.  I have high hope for the third one but I go back to work in a few days... we'll see!
Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


My daughter finished a quilt today!
 She made this gorgeous queen sized quilt for her bed.  She actually started it last summer and finished it up this year.  She used a fat quarter pack (I bought it but right now I have no idea what it was edit: it is McKenzie by Dena by Westminster Fabrics) plus some random fabrics we found at the fabric store.  Don't you love the colors?
 Here is my adorable granddaughter on the front...

 And the back (pieced, of course!).  Carolyn even learned how to do a little FMQ.  She used a loop de loop pattern.  Her husband quilted one of the squares, too.  I helped and I did the borders in a pod/vine type design.  

Today she sewed the rest of the binding on and we washed it and dried it to crinkle it up!
Now she wants to make some pillows!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Katy and Ryan's Wedding Quilt

My friend's daughter got married this weekend near Richmond, Virginia.  We went down to Charlottesville on Friday and toured Montpelier, got up Saturday and wandered around Charlottesville.  They were having a farmer's market and they have a nice pedestrian mall with little shops to wander around in. 

Here is my hubby with a bedazzled couch we found 
on our wanderings:

We drove over to Mechanicsville Saturday afternoon for the wedding.  It was lovely and I cried through the whole thing! I made a quilt to give the bride and groom (who I don't know very well-I am good friends with her mom) and I took some pictures of the process along the way.

So, when I think of making a quilt for someone, I make a few sketches and try to imagine what they would like and what I am capable of making (ha!).  In this case, I wasn't sure what the couple would like.  I spent a few days second guessing myself.  I even sewed some squares together, thinking maybe I should try to be more traditional, not everyone likes modern.

But in the end, I went with modern.  I hope they like it.  I hope they love it.  But if they only use it for picnics or throw it in the guest bedroom, I am okay with that.

 Here is the front of the finished quilt.  It is 72 inches by 60 inches. Big enough to snuggle under but not really bed sized.

I went with one of my favorite color schemes: yellow and gray.

 Here is my original sketchbook with the math notations so I could figure out how much fabric to cut.  I settled on a giant improv star.

I cut big pieces of both colors and started sewing.  It took me a few days to get the top done.  About midway through, after I rejected using the totally unrelated squares from above, I figured out the back.  So I pieced that as I was finishing up the front. I chain piece as much as possible.

I lost my design wall when I lost my sewing room (my son moved back home) so here is the quilt on my living room floor.

I actually finished both the top and the back at about the same time, which is a new one for me and quite nice.  It meant that I was ready for the next step.

I did something else out of order (for me) and that is I made the binding next!  I had some wonderful yellow stripes that worked out perfectly-I had just enough!  I made it before the basting and quilting.

After pondering the quilting design, time (or lack of time) won out.  I quilted a meandering loop-de-loop all over the quilt.  Then I popped that already made binding on.  Tada!  Done days ahead of time!  (Also never happens!)

I took the quilt with us on the trip with big ideas of taking great pictures at a historical place but.... of course I left it until the parking lot at the reception!  My nice friends help me take the pictures.  


Best wishes to Katy and Ryan!

My friends Sherry and Paul held the quilt up for me!


Front of the quilt.  I turned the rectangle near the top left into the label.  I quilted their names , the date, and my name there.

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Fresh Poppy Design