Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nikki's Memory Quilt

It's 6:40am Mountain time and the back to Nikki's quilt is COMPLETE!  Yay!  That's means once I add maybe just a couple of appliqué pieces on the front and perhaps some words of memory as well, it will be time to quilt.  This is the first time I have been extremely particular with the interfacing and after quite a bit of research, I picked out Pellon SF101.  It was definitely more expensive than I am used to but it is a fantastic product.  I feel very good that the T-shirts in the backing are secure.  Before I put this under my Sweet Sixteen, I will be sure to  make a small sandwich with fabrics from the top and back.  It may be a little tricky adjusting the tension with cotton on the top and knit on the back.  (Check out my previous posts for pics of the quilt top)  A very simple motif is what I am planning for the quilting so as not to stress the top fabrics too much.  Perhaps simple flowers in an all-over design?  Or swirls?  Hearts?  The front pieces seem to indicate Linda enjoyed flowers  I am staying away from back-tracking on this quilt.  Am I excited?  Of course!  This is awesome!  And I think Nikki will be very happy.

Have a great Saturday!  I will be headed over to Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing  this morning to teach my free motion quilting class.  Be blessed and filled with the love and life of Jesus!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Shadow Box Quilt

Thrilled with my shadow box quilt!  As I wait for Joann's to open so I can buy more interfacing for Nikki's Memory Quilt (See my prior posts to learn about Nikki's quilt),  I am piecing the backing for my shadow box.  This is Sooooooo neat AND easy.  I used green scraps I wanted to move out but still liked and it turned out fantastic! One of my students did it in appropriate colors for a Veteran's quilt.  This is a project from 2014 so I am looking forward to a finish for 2015.

Perhaps some type of unique wreath in the center of each block?  Some sporadic modern quilting?  Just not sure.  I usually get ideas while doing the sandwiching.

Tomorrow is my final session for my four part series of basic free motion quilting down at Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing.  So sad!  But I start another class Thursday; this one will be an afternoon class. I am also looking forward to my second Fantastic Feathers class in February.   Yay!

Have a super dee duper Friday and and awesome weekend.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nikki's Memory Quilt

I am SOOOOOOO excited.  The backing on Nikki's quilt is going together nicely.  It's always tough figuring things out as you go and not working from a pattern or a known amount of fabric.  I put the two themed T-shirts together as a panel and then surrounded them with the light knit border.  Take a look:

A dark blue outer border will hopefully go on tomorrow.  I should have JUST ENOUGH fabric to go all the way around.  And that will finish the backing.  I think Nikki will like it.

On another note, I did not have enough fabric to complete the binding on my Garden Party quilt (see earlier post) and could not find anything to match at the local quilt store, so believe it or not, I received an email yesterday from Craft Town Fabrics who had the fabric on sale YESTERDAY ONLY for 50%.  Could not believe it!  God is good!  So it's on the way and I should have it early  next week.  We'll get a second 2015 finish done yet!

Have a super evening!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nikki's Memory Quilt

Nikki's beautiful memory of her mother, Linda, is now preserved in her quilt top.  But I have several more fabrics to use in the backing.  They were all cut up last night while our family was watching the Australian Open tennis tournament (the female Americans were fabulous).  The remaining fabrics are primarily knit in fashion.  Here are the solid colors:

There was also this gorgeous knit:

On the front of that gorgeous top there was this glitter stud embellishment:
I may have to save this as a possible for adding to the quilt top.  I could appliqué it and then work around the appliqué when I quilt.

There were also these two themed prints:

I will definitely use the entire print of each of these on the back.  So the blocks may not actually be square.  I may have to work around Mickey and make him the center of the back.

Linda's simplicity definitely abounds in the selection of her clothing colors:  navy blue and gray.  Simplicity is good.  I believe we would all be less stressed with more simplicity in our lives.

So later today I plan to visit our friend Joann for some interfacing.  I did some researching last night and Pellon SF101 seems to be the favorite among t-shirt quilters.  It is so important that the back holds it shape and the knits do not move when free motion quilting begins.  

In closing, I was reading the book of Proverbs in my quiet moments this morning.  Specifically Proverbs 5 and 6.  In Chapter 6, verses 16-19, I was reminded of how righteous God is and how much I fall short.  That chapter also reminded me how my tongue quite often gets in the way and causes difficulty in my life and the lives of others.  God's desire is for a pure heart and an undefiled tongue.  Praise God for redemption through Jesus for without him I would truly be without hope.  Although God's desire is for me to continue to draw close to Him, he covers my failures with the blood of Jesus and sees them no more.  He promises that as I submit to Him, He will cause me to walk in His ways.  Unfortunately, he drives out my enemies little by little but that's where we get to learn dependence on Him alone, moment by moment.  Pretty heavy stuff.

May each of you have a most blessed and glorious day as we give thanks in EVERYTHING.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nikki's Memory Quilt

Nikki's quilt top in memory of her mother is finished!  It turned out beautifully.

The top is all cotton. The rail fence is made from blouses her mother, Linda, wore.  The small border is the only part that is not from clothing (see prior posts for the full story).  I cut some jelly roll strips in half and used them to separate the main body of the quilt from the blue jean top border.  I think it needed that.  So the quilt finished at approximately 49x73 (a good size lap quilt).

Now, although the quilt top is done, I may make a couple of additions to it.  Nikki is considering having me write something in free motion on the border.  And, I just ordered a Sizzix Big Shot which should be here any day.  I may use it to add some flowers or a bird, or something like that to the quilt.  There were three tops Nikki included in a bag of clothes that were tops she remembered her mother wearing the most.  They were knits and I did not want to include them with the cottons on top.  So I may use some stabilizer and put them as the extra designs on the quilt top.

It is simple, yet beautiful, just like Linda.

Next, the backing..............

Monday, January 26, 2015

G'day mate!  Yes, we are tennis enthusiasts here in Wyoming and have indeed been viewing the Australian Open.  Yesterday day was Australia Day (comparable to our Fourth of July) and the costumes were quite comical.  The tennis has been magnificent.

So this morning I had a bee in my bonnet and planned with all my might to finish my garden party quilt.  Hurray!  Hurrah!  I did!  Just finished taking photos so I decided to make a post.  Some register markings still need to be removed and the binding needs to be put on so it is not yet a complete finish, but that should arrive by weekend.  Once I get the binding sewed on the top, it will be time to get back to Nikki's quilt while hand sewing the binding in the evening.  Think it may just get thrown in the washer for the markings to get taken out.  Yay!

So here it is:

My previous post shows the quilting design on the flowers.  The bordered half-flowers were quilted with a feathered wreath and the last border was back to the hearts. It almost gives the appearance of being three-dimensional because of the heart quilting in the sashings.

The back:

I love it!  So thrilled!  This was a no-brainer for the piecing (other than the half-flower border)  but I think the quilting has made it.  I am just about up to my next challenge.  Perhaps my first tutorial: the flower design in the center of each block?  Is anyone interested?

Have a great week and be encouraged:  God is in control!  Be anxious for nothing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I did a little more work this morning on my unfinished Garden Party quilt.  Flowers and hearts!  Two of my three most favorite free motion quilting designs.

The hearts will go in the sashing and borders all around the quilt.  That will take a little time so it may be a while before we see this quilt posted again.  In the meantime, I will also be doing some more piecing of Nikki's quilt and hopefully show the finished middle section of the quilt by the weekend.

So why do so many women love hearts and flowers?  I think it's because God, in the beginning of creation, gave us such a nurturing heart, a heart of love.  So we love to nurture and care for our children, our family!  Most women LOVE to receive flowers on February 15th!  

Unfortunately, sin darkened the heart of all mankind, resulting in many unfortunate conditions in the world today and a true love that is hard to find.  But with the redeeming power of God, we can have a new heart that again loves to love and nurture.  A love that is only received through an intimate relationship with a living, righteous and Holy God. 

How beautiful is that?!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My husband and I both get up early in the morning (5:15am) to have some quiet time.  Today, these are some scriptures I read as I finish up the book of Psalm:

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I life up my soul to You.
                                                         Psalm 143:8

Thank you Lord, for the quiet moments in the morning when I can thank you for the breath of life, for another day of living, for the creation you have made and for another day of knowing that You are in control of EVERYTHING.  Please show me how to use my time wisely, what I should do, and how I might reach out in love to those you put in my paths.  

Yes, I am one of those avid quilters who mean well but have LOTS of unfinished projects.  I have been inspired by many bloggers and am working hard to complete several of my UFOs.  Most of the time I get in the middle of something and then someone needs a quilt completed so I put my project down and then can't seem to get back to it.  This is one of them:

It is the Garden Party tutorial from MSQC and is made using charm packs from Audra's Iris Garden.  It is so very simple and yet I love the color coordination.  It will be perfect for spring.  

I got the idea for quilting the blocks from a motif I saw on a Robert Kaufman fabric used in a table runner I was quilting for a client.  I put it in to a quilting design and expanded it for these blocks.  I really, really like the motif.  It's perfect.

Here is a look at the back:

I am using So Fine on the front in a very light purple.  It is blending in with all the colors.  And an olive green Premo Soft by Fil-Tec for the back to blend in the with the daisies.  

The sashing and border will be a surprise!

Hope to get the blocks for Nikki's quilt done this afternoon!

Monday, January 19, 2015

First finish of 2015

What an absolutely fantastic day.  I am Soooooooo blessed! I love my family so much!

We headed to the mountains early this morning to take my soon to be adult son for his first snowboarding lesson.  He has practiced nearby but nothing formal. While my awesome son was snowboarding, hubby and I went back in to town to toodle around.  And of course.....I hit the quilt stores.  It was a most relaxing day.  While driving, I was able to complete the binding on my first finish for 2015!!!!  Yay!  My snowman table runner!

After much quandary, I decided to put a a snowflake stencil in the light blue areas but it did not show up much at all.  So I thread painted inside the stencil.  I like the way it turned out.  The whole runner was designed to be somewhat primitive.  And for us, I can use it into March.  Actually, we can get snow in June.  But I won't talk about that :)

This week will find me teaching my first class over at Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing on using the Bernina Stitch Regulator.  I am still finishing preparation for teaching that class.  So I hope to get back to Nikki's quilt by the end of the week.  And maybe another finish for 2015!  

Have a marvelous week all!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Memory Quilt

Today was the second class of my four-part free motion quilting class down at Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing.  I had a blast.  It is so fun to see women enjoy the art and feel like they are succeeding.  Then I went to the end of a retreat some friends were having and took some hand work along to see if I could complete my first finish of 2015.  Well.....not yet.  But soon!

I got to sew with a wonderful quilting friend last night.  My husband cannot understand how I can have to go to bed by 9pm during the week but can all of a sudden stay up past midnight sewing and visiting and feel wonderful.  Men!  They just don't understand!

So last night I was able to get more blocks completed for Nikki's quilt.  I have a total of 24 complete but should be able to get about 40 total.  So 16 more to go.  That will make the center of the quilt approximately 40 x 64.  While finishing up the blocks I am pondering what to do for a border.  I would like to see the final quilt be about 50 x 70:  a good lap size.  The preliminary plan is to use the knits in the bag Nikki sent along with a few more from the box.  There is a beautiful blue jean shirt that would look lovely.  It would be nice to complete the top with no stabilizer.  

I think I like this traditional layout better than the first one I shared.  I would love your input if you have any other ideas.  

In my conversation with Nikki, I learned she was very close to her mother, Linda.

Do they have the same chin or what???  Like mother like daughter.  :)


I also learned Linda and her husband have five daughters.  The baby shown in the first picture of Linda from a prior post is Nikki's baby, one of Linda's five grandchildren.  

And, surprise, Linda, your heritage will continue even further as Nikki is now carrying grand baby number six!

I believe Linda would join me in praying that all of her children and grandchildren would grow to be mighty arrows in the Kingdom of God.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Memory Quilt

When Nikki called to let me know her mother's clothing was on the way to Wyoming, she could not emphasize enough that everything was very simple and plain:  a LOT of blues.  The colors in this quilt top seem to exemplify the heart of Linda:   simple, calm and soothing.

And yet, she was very beautiful indeed:

yet simple:

I stated at the end of my last post that there is a happy ending to this story.  You see, though much heartache and pain was endured as the result of mankind's desire to rule his own life (sin), Linda is in the presence of the Almighty God and Creator of the Universe because of her faith in a resurrected Savior (Jesus).  I cannot imagine the beauty of what she knows now and the reality of being with the God she served and now worships constantly.  But God gave man a heart and the ability for emotions.  And with that heart, we are able to love the family in which we are born and the friends we are given and mourn their loss.  And that's a beautiful thing because without the ability to love we could not even begin to understand God or how to truly love for God IS love.  

So as we continue this journey, we can rejoice in the memories of Linda's life, using them as a reminder to future generations of her faithfulness to God.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Memory Quilt

As it does all of us, life found me busy for almost a week now.  The first of the year is always quite consuming with dismantling Christmas and getting a fresh clean house.

The new year also found me teaching my first free motion quilting class at Blakeman's for 2015.  I cannot believe it has been one whole year since I started teaching.  My basic four-part class has reached enough participants to include an advanced class AND a feathers class.  Teaching has been the catalyst to help me through the seasons of life.  My son turns 18 soon and no longer requires much of my attention and that is quite an adjustment.  As long as dinner is ready at the appropriate times, I'm ok (ha ha).  God always meets our needs and I truly love teaching and seeing ladies succeed.  Not to mention, free motion work is a blast!

So we return now to Nikki and her very special quilt.  Strips have been cut from the four cotton blouses sent.  These were part of the clothing in which Nikki remembers her mother the most.  Since nothing else appealed to me, I will probably go with the simple rail fence quilt.

And now, meet Linda:

Linda lost her life to colon cancer on December 20, 2013. The following is a note written by one of her daughters:
She touched many lives while she was here on Earth. She had a very special way about her. She was a simple, fun woman who was often worry-free and could light up any room by just walking into it. Being a lover and a giver made her so happy. She lived for her family and never expected anything, though deserved everything. She was an inspiration to many people and showed how life should be lived. She lived her life with a purpose and if it wasn't for her final six months here with us, you would never know she even had cancer because she masked it well with her infectious smile. 

How we can all learn from Linda:  living life with a purpose, being a lover and a giver and expecting nothing.  Sounds like the way Christ lived while here on earth.  Though this situation is sad and caused much heartache, many of us have gone through the death of loved ones.  The joyous side of Linda's story is that there is a happy ending.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Memory Quilt

Follow me along on a journey with a woman and her family I do not know.  Follow with me through the difficulties of life, a fight for life and an entrance into eternity.  Giving of ourselves to become involved in the lives of other people is not always an easy thing but as I read through the Bible, especially the new testament, it is all about people and the giving of ourselves.  There are hurting hearts all around us and God calls us to love, support and help the creations he has made and knew before they were in their mother's womb.  Sometimes we become so involved in our own desire for accomplishment and pleasure that it is hard to find time to help others.  So join me as I share parts of the story of a brave woman and the memory her daughter  has asked me to create.

In the fall of 2014 I received a text message from an extended family member asking if I might be interested in completing a quilt for a friend of hers.  I responded that I would consider the task based on the reason presented.  My family member has been the recipient of several quilts I have made and thought the task would be one to try.  When Nikki called to talk to me about the project, she quickly shared a little of the story of her mother with whom she was very close and who passed away within the year after a bout with cancer.  Her desire was to receive a quilt made from the clothes her mother had possessed; a way to remember her always and pass that remembrance on to future family members.  Could I say no?  No way!  The gift God has given is made to share and share it will be.  As I make a quilt for Nikki, join me in the process; I will even consider suggestions!  And while we travel, let's learn a little about the story of this precious family God made and perhaps He will teach us a few lessons of life.

I received a box in the mail in October of 2014.  It was from Nikki and was filled with blouses  owned by her mother.  A special bag was sitting on top.  Nikki explained that the blouses in the bag were those she remember her mother wearing the most.  So from these clothes I plan to make the quilt top.

Three of the blouses are cotton and cotton/polyester the other three are knit.  At first I though to add regular fabric to make the quilt but have since decided to try to stick only with the clothing sent.  So after much consideration, I think I have decided to go with a simple rail fence block.  There are two  darker blue prints, a light blue print and a pale yellow print.  

Before deciding for sure, I will begin the  most daunting and difficult task:  cutting the blouses into strips to determine how much fabric I have to actually assemble the main portion of the quilt top and whether I need to delve into the box for other fabrics.  Join me for my next post shortly and learn more of Nikki, her family and the mother who raised her.  And feel free to comment and make suggestions.  I would love your help.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby Eva got a work out today as I tried her out for the first time on a rolled hem and made two sets of 8 napkins each.  It sure got messy but the napkins turned out beautiful!

I used MaxiLock stretch thread and the finished product was totally professional!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:5&6

This was expected to be, and indeed has turned out to be, a very busy week.  No time to quilt today but I have had a great time talking with fellow quilters.  I have been busy making telephone calls to my students for my first free motion quilting class of 2015.  It will be so exciting to start the year teaching.  This will be my second year teaching classes and I am thrilled!  It is so fulfilling to see quilters succeed and to help them get there.  And.....Friday is the first Quilt Club of the year down at our local sewing store:  Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing in Cheyenne.  I moderate that group and we have an awesome time eating, sharing and learning together for an hour once a month.  Finally, and probably the one that makes me depend on that scripture the most, I will be teaching my first Bernina User Class this week.  So exciting, but the first time is always the most difficult.  But God is faithful and will direct my paths as I acknowledge Him.  It is awesome to see all that God is doing and to be able to enjoy the wonderful people He puts in to our lives.  Maybe some sewing tomorrow.......  :)  

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years and family took priority over posting blogs but here is my newest member of my quilting and sewing machine family:

Baby Eva

WoW!  She is incredible.  I used her to make each of my machine covers and it was fantastic.  So there is my family.  Now, welcome to my world of free motion machine quilting.  After a busy Christmas, I am resting just a little and started working on this table runner:

The pattern was a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company but I put the snowmen upside down!  Am I real or what.  We have definitely ALL fallen short of the glory of God.  I still love it and just finished quilting the blue surrounding the snowmen.

After much quandary and changing of the mind, I went with very simple snowflakes all around the border.  I hope to do a snowflake stencil in the light blue and I have no idea what in the middle plaid blue.  Any suggestions?

I love the primitive look of my snowman table runner.