Eli’s Super Duper Amazing Animal Quilt

I have a new great nephew named Elijah, (Eli for short).  I just love the babies that are sprouting out in my extended family tree. I now have 3 great nieces and 3 great nephews.  You know I only want more so that I can make more baby quilts for them, right? I’ve decided to name some of these baby quilts after the babies that inspired me and they get the original quilt as a bonus.  So today, it’s Eli’s turn.

Here is Eli’s Super Duper Amazing Animal Quilt:

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And here is a detail of the fox block:

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The quilt pattern and each of the individual animal block patterns are available in my shop

Eli gets the quilt, of course:)

Linking up to a great blog this week: Stitch by Stitch

Had I not had children of my own, I would have never written books for children, nor would I have been capable of doing so.

Roald Dahl

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/roalddahl562488.html#xPoMBZhs7T0WKkrW.99

Moonlight on the Weeping Willow Tree

One mile down the road from my house is a ford. It is a throwback from an earlier age and scares the city drivers. The stream crosses the road and if you want to continue forward, you have to be brave and drive through the water. Most days, I walk to the ford and back for a bit of exercise. Today the autumn weather was glorious and I took this picture of the creek from the ford:

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This week I also designed a new quilt. I like it so much, I want to keep it for myself.  But for now, it is available in the shop along with the pattern, so you can make your own version of  Moonlight on the Weeping Willow Tree:

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In My Best Dreams, I’m Flying

I am afraid of heights. Whenever I look over the edge of a balcony or a cliff I feel an incredible pull, so strong I think it may drag me over the edge. I back up quickly and look away. When I fly in my dreams, there is no downward pull. It is all joy.  I do flips and rolls and soar in the sky.  I like to imagine those dreams are a glimpse of heaven and when these ties are loosened I’ll know for sure.  For today, it is enough to watch the birds, dream and sew.

Here is a new mini quilt and pattern, Sunshine on Little Bird,  available in the shop.

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This post is linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday  

What is a Fussy Folk Quilt?

DSCF4051-003“Fussy” is a quilt term. It is the current vernacular for  “Broderie Perse” which in  french  means  “Persian Embroidery”. All of the different labels are for a way of cutting out fabric that focuses on a motif in the pattern rather than the entire fabric pattern.  So, if you find fabric with cute penguins and seals and you cut out the penguins and sew them on your t-shirt, you are sewing using the fussy cut  technique.  

My newest project, ” Wild Flowers” uses fussy cut flowers and stems to create appliques. Because the background of the quilt has a bold print, I put solid colored background flowers and leaves behind the appliques to help them stand out. The outer petals are rag cut to give texture and life to the flowers. All the appliques are sewn with raw edges to give a relaxed, folk style to the quilt. A red print border with a clipped edge finishes the composition.

The quilt and pattern are available in my shop

Killing Many Birds with One Stone

Have you ever read Cheaper by the Dozen? Not the movie, but the book. I love it because the father, Mr. Gilbreth, was obsessed with efficiency. He had all kinds of crazy schemes to use time better. The kids learned a foreign language from phonograph records played while they were brushing their teeth . He did motion studies on everyday tasks, trying to eliminate unnecessary movements.  Even though the dad was hilariously over the top in his efforts, his way of thinking resonates with me. I am constantly trying to streamline my life, my work, my schedule.

The motto for all my quilt patterns is:
Every step in this quilt was planned to create the most beautiful quilt possible in the most efficient way possible. There are numbered steps and photographs to guide you.

I’m really excited to share my newest patternDSCF3748 with you because it excels in efficiency!  Mr. Gilbreth would have been impressed.

DSCF3752The Radical T-Shirt Quilt is so efficient because the three layers of the quilt, the back, the batting and the top is layered first, then the shirts are placed overtop.

When the shirts are sewn to the quilt, the quilt is also being quilted, saving so much time!  Another efficiency added to the pattern is the binding. The binding is the backing of the quilt folded to the front. This gives a nice finished edge and contrast on the front of the quilt without having to cut and sew binding strips.

As icing on cake, this quilt reuses loved t-shirts and provides a useful way to remember a happy season in your life. This quilt is soooo satisfying!

You can make your own radical T-shirt quilt with the pattern available in my shop, here.

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Love is in the Air!

My favorite time of the week is Sunday afternoon. I jump in the car with a child or two and go to visit my parents. They live a short drive away, but the trip is long enough for all the week’s stress to blow out the open car window.

My parents are getting older, so their lives have slowed down some. It’s enough for them to have dinner and visit and go for a walk. After a busy week, a relaxing afternoon is perfect for the kids and me, too.

This spring,  we have been watching a blooming romance from my parent’s kitchen window. A pair of spry young birds built a nest under the eaves of the sunroom. Back and forth they flew, working and chirping together. Soon, they had a family. The couple shared the responsibilities of feeding their hatchlings and teaching  them to fly. We didn’t see them for a few days and thought they were done. They must have been taking a needed vacation, because now they are back raising a second family together. Ah, love….

Here is a new quilt I finished this week. I named it “Jennifer’s Love” because the fabric designer is Jennifer Paganelli. There are little hearts on the striped border, if you look closely you can see them.

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As usual, the quilt and pattern are available in my shop, Maryland Quilter. Come by and visit!

There’s a Monster at the End of This Blog Post.

Last week I got serious about using up some of my huge inventory of flannel fabric. It had grown out of control. (Don’t you love how I made it sound like I had no responsibility for this. haha) I have one large wall of shelving devoted to flannel fabric and it was bursting at the seams. So last week most of the stash was measured and cut. This week and next will be sewing and listing. Hopefully the completed baby blankets will be swaddling  happy babies in the near future.

Here’s the fabric in nice cut stacks waiting to be made into the most useful, comfy baby blankets ever:

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And here is the monster I promised, handmade for Ms.Duffy’s second grade science class by Evelyn Haney and Mom (me):

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Modern Summer Flowers Quilt

I finished the Summer Flowers Quilt. It seemed like a picture, so I hung it on a wall in Rebecca’s room to take the photo for the pattern. When I designed this quilt, I wanted to make flowers that were  not really flowers but suggested flowers. So the stems don’t quite meet the flower tops. The flower petals are stylized. The stem of one flower extends beyond the central panel and into the border, just to break out from the expected.

Here is the finished quilt:

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How to Grow a Mini Quilt

Last week I spent the entire time designing and sewing mini quilts. It was so much fun because I could explore new ideas without committing to a large project. It also felt very productive because I was able to finish so many quilts in a short time. It was so much fun, I thought I’d do it again this week. But now it feels kinda like that second piece of cake– still good but not as good as I wanted  it to be.

So I couldn’t resist growing my latest  mini quilt.  This one has flowers, because it’s spring and flowers are everywhere. They’ve invaded my subconscious and all my design ideas have flowers in  them. It also has a bee, because all the spring flowers have bees on them.

I’m not finished but here is the bee to tantalize you:

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This  is a detail from another mini quilt I made this week, called “Rebecca and Jake”. I named it after my teenage daughter, Rebecca, because she said it looked like her:

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And how do you grow a mini quilt? You add borders, which I did, and I’ll show you next post how it turned out. As usual, the quilts and patterns are available in my shop:)

 

Missed the Goal on the Mini Quilts

Every week I set goals for my quilting. Usually life intercepts work and I don’t meet them. This week I wanted to make 10 mini quilts but had to settle for 7 and one of those I gave to my daughter.  Not the 7 year old one, she gets spoiled enough. This week my daughter Elizabeth turned 13 so I gave her a little hummingbird quilt because she chose all the fabrics and it turned out better than the original.

Here is the original:

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Here is Elizabeth’s:

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And here are the other mini quilts I made this week:

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Except for Elizabeth’s hummingbird, the other quilts and their patterns are available in the shop:)