Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rainbow Cherry Star

I have two recent finishes.

Ada's Plus Quilt (just posted today)
Mackenzie Love

Making an I-Spy quilt playing with color has been something I've thought about since I started collecting I-spy charms.  After seeing two quilts (Flying Blind Cherry Star and B. Yazoo's I-Spy Version)  made using Sarah Fielke's Made in Cherry Pattern, I decided to go for it.  Of course, this is adding to my WIPs.  I have another top secret I-Spy quilt still in its infant stages using I-Spy labels from Crafterhours.  I'll not share that until I have something more substantial to show, but if you are into I-Spy and Spoonflower, Crafterhours is a place you should visit, just sayin'.

Onto the quilt.

There are 220 charms in this top, no repeats. I did this in one day.  The large square in the middle (100 charms) is one piece, and each triangle is a piece.  I'm thinking of using Kona Med gray for the background pieces.  I used 4 inch charms.  My collection of I Spys included 4 and 5 inch charms.  Lucky for me because I used the 5 inch charms to make the HSTs required for the color division.  The kids already love the quilt. It is destined for Willa, the curly headed kid at the top of the picture.  You'll notice a lack of orange.  I have several hundred I Spy charms, but not enough for orange to have its place in this quilt.  If I ever run an I-Spy swap, I'll suggest people look for orange fabric. 

Works still in progress.

Spiderweb quilt- this one is over a year old now. I did work on it this week in that I sorted through my fabric and sorted out some strips to be used in the quilt.  This was a bee quilt.  I also inspected the blocks and had to take out a couple that just aren't big enough to be used.  I've also decided not to make this a queen quilt.  I'm going to make a few more blocks and call it done. 

Houndstooth tubes- I don't think I've ever shared this one on the blog, but it is a WIP for my husband.  It's pretty cool, so I'll have to get back on that one one day soon.

Love you to the Moon- a word quilt.  

Shot cottons wonky log cabin quilt- another neglected WIP.  All the blocks are made.  It needs to be sashed and quilted.

Rainbow Diamond- I need to get on this one or I'll be paying shipping to Japan as my friends are moving duty stations.  Note to self- find out when

Scrappy Bentos- This was a swap block.  I love how it is coming together.  I might keep this quilt for myself!

4x5 bee blocks- Another bee quilt.  It's going to be a birthday present for my little brother.  I need to sash the blocks and think about what I'll use as the backing, and how to quilt. 

Willa's Birthday Quilt- will need to be bound when it returns.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy 6th Birthday Ada (Plus Quilt)

I've had two big finishes recently.  Mackenzie's D-Love Quilt, and Ada's Plus Quilt. Ada's birthday was on the 11th, and let me tell you, I cut it close.  Truthfully, Willa is still waiting on her birthday quilt.  The top is done and is being quilted by Angela ( <3 ). In order to get this one done on time, I carried the quilt with me and stitched on the binding whenever I had a free minute.   I decided to bind it in RK's Quilter's Linen.  I love it!  I got warnings that the red, and perhaps the pink would bleed, so I doubled up on the color catchers.  As promised, when I took the quilt out of the washer, the color catcher was bled upon.  I pulled it out of the dryer on the eve of her birthday.    

In addition to the SJ fabrics there are some Moda Crossweaves and Pezzy prints.  I'm still heart broken that the crossweaves are being phased out of production.  They are great solids!  I love texture and rich vibrant colors, and the crossweaves have both.  I used some of the Jewel prints from Lizzy House.  They make great "almost solids" and are perfect for a color quilt like this.  There is a LouLou Thi in there.  The hugs and kisses are very much like the Jewel prints.  All the dots are Michael Miller.  

I have no idea how big it is, but here is the front. I cut the charms into 4 inch squares instead of 4.5 inch squares most plus quilts utilize.  So mine is a bit smaller than most. I used smaller cuts in order to have some left over from the FQs I used to be used for the pieced strip down the back.  And as someone who has OCD (and not just the kind that people claim to have when they are picky clean about their house) using whole numbered cuts makes me feel better. 

On second thought, using the balloon print on the back was a little busy, but I love that little red-headed girl. Ada sends balloons to her twin in heaven pretty often, so I had to use it!  I love this print so much I've often thought about getting a tat of it.

I also scoured etsy to find a seller who had the fabric in order to make Ada her birthday shirt.  Each of my children have gotten a customized shirt for each of his or her birthday.  One day I'll make a t-shirt quilt out of all of them.  This is the 1st time I've customized the shirt to their birthday quilt.  Of course, this is only the 2nd year they've gotten birthday quilts. Willa has a love affair with poodles at the moment, so I could only have gotten her a poodle shirt.

 I have no idea how big the quilt is.  But some other details are as follows:  I quilted it with Auriful white 2024 I think.  You can't really tell from the finished picture, but the quilting is 1/4 inch from each vertical and horizontal seam.  I do have an Instagram of the in progress quilting.

Quilting. Do not disturb.

Ada is my last quilt in Sarah Jane's Children at play quilt.  Her new fabric collection is just as cute.  I can already see that I'll have to force myself to work on my sewing skills to make some dresses from the new fabrics, but as someone who isn't a huge nautical fan, I don't see any quilts coming from it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mackenzie Love (Quilted in Memory of Aleah)

Thanks to the gang-buster lightening quick humming of sewing machines across America, Mackenzie's D-Love quilt will go out in tomorrow's mail.


There is a special little girl in Valdosta, GA that is very near and dear to the heart of my mother.  She is her best friend's granddaughter.  Her best friend became a grandmother to triplets 6 months old before my mother became the grandmother to twins.  While I've never met Mackenzie, the love that my mother and her best friend have for her is contagious.  Also, as someone who was the mother to a child with special needs, I can empathize with what her mother is experiencing.  I was dejected when I learned that Mackenzie had entered hospice.  I knew then that it wasn't a coincidence that I'd been placed in the heal circle at do.good stitches- a group making quilts specifically for people in hospice. Nicke does an excellent job of explaining our mission on her blog:
the HEAL circle will make quilts that will be donated to hospice patients and their families.
now, i understand that the role of hospice is comfort care and not healing but i hope the quilts we donate will help heal the hearts of the families.
When I started quilting, I had it in my mind to participate in such charity bees.  My Ada and Aleah had both been given quilts while in the NICU, from local groups, and from groups like Project Linus.  5 years after her death, I still appreciate the quilts that Aleah received in the NICU and PICU, so I know from personal experience that they can help heal, if only to prove that the journey isn't a lonely one.  After all the meals have been delivered, after all the cards have been received, after all the flowers have died, a quilt can serve as a lasting reminder that the life and death of someone important to you was important to someone else- even if that person is a complete stranger.

These "strangers" involved in the making of this quilt are:


I put out the call on the do good stitches, and also asked if the ladies of my Ba{m}S group if they'd like to be involved.  The response was overwhelming, especially since I asked for the blocks to be made in the week.  I added a few extra days for mailing.  It took me about two weeks to get the top put together and backing made, and to quilt it.  I'll admit that I did attach the binding by machine, partly for expediency, partly for ease. For shame!    The quilt top is made of thirty 12" blocks.


The top ended up being so big that I struggled with the back.  I'd planned to use 2 pieces of fabric that I had in my stash, but oops, it was a bit short, so I made 5 more 10" blocks to be placed in a strip down the back.    Some of the blocks had linen in them ( <3 ) so I used the opportunity to put some more linen in it!  Even with that additional piece, the fabric on the back was pretty close, but I got it quilted.


I love me some straight line quilting. My eyes just light up when I see quilts that have been straight line quilted, not in the ditch, but in some fashion that compliments the quilt.  The quilting for this quilt were inspired by some of the blocks.  The ones made by Kelligh have a lot of geometric overtones in them, particularly a rhombus- or maybe more trapezoidial.  Either way, I wanted to work that shape into the quilting, so I did a diagonal double through the quilt, and then quilted either side of the middle seams.  I'm pleased with the overall look of the quilt, and I am more than happy to send this off in the mail.  I do wish just a little bit that I had quilted the diagonal lines from bottom to top instead of top to bottom.  Does that make sense?  I like the look of the quilting on the back, and wish it were on the front.  Minor thing- but there ya go.

I'm so proud of the ladies in my bee, and seriously, did I mention this was the quickest turn around on bee blocks, (?) that I've decided to enter this quilt in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival  to hopefully be considered for the category of bee quilts.

As I mentioned, this quilt was made specifically for Mackenzie, but also for me.  I'm able to pay forward some of the kindness I received during the life and death of my Aleah.  For that reason, it is also special to me.  I hope to one day see a picture of Mackenzie with it.  I learned that women all over the world are more than happy to share parts of themselves with people whom they've never met before.  If you aren't a member of do.good.stitches- go- and get on that list to be placed into a group.  There is a link to the form on the linky in the sentence before this one. 

Getting Mackenzie this quilt before she leaves this earth to go and play with my Aleah was a top priority in my life, and I am so happy to have gotten it done.  Perhaps it is with more pride than I should have.  I'll confess, I don't cry much since Aleah died.  Not a lot of things compare to the ache in your heart once you've said goodbye to a part of you that you wanted so badly to keep.  The parents of children with special needs are often short-changed, because society can't imagine raising a child with special needs.  Death almost seems like a relief to them, whether people mean to imply it or not.  Now, I believe that my Aleah is in heaven right this very minute, and while that gives me hope, her death has never given me any sort of relief, and I would pluck her out of the sky right now if I had the opportunity.  I wouldn't make her "normal", but would love her with the unconditional love a mother shows a child- exactly how she was.  

Making this quilt has allowed me to heal a little, because I've cried a few tears in the process. I'm so sad that another mother with a child with special needs will go through this journey, and that people, will probably say things to her that should be left unsaid.   I hope this quilt comforts her, and that she knows that she isn't alone.  My heart aches for LaShaun like it hasn't for anyone in awhile.  I've avoided that ache simply by putting up a wall and just not looking over it. These things have just all worked together.  Mackenzie is so important to my mother that I just can't choose to not see it.  Having had been placed in the heal circle at do.good, I had, at my fingertips, a group of women who could help me get it done.  It was making the choice to get it done that was the hard part.  A simple email to Nicke solved that problem for me.  It was put into motion.  I learned while making this quilt that it is never too late to move forward.  If you are anything like me, quilting is a very personal time in which you get to do a lot of thinking, not about dinner tomorrow, or what a pig says, how a silent e works, who poked who first, or where someones night night might be, but that "selfish" sort of thinking you can't drown out with a boob tube or a book.  I knew that while making this quilt, I'd be doing that sort of thinking that I've avoided before. I got mad at people all over again.  I got over some things, just because it's time to let it go.  I shed some tears y'all.  It was very liberating.  That's why this quilt is special to me.  To all the ladies who've shed some tears with me, thank you so much for being a part of this process with me. Thank you. It has truly been an honor. 

Amy's Creative Side