Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Quilts in Review

I made lots of quilts this year.  This is actually the first year that I feel like I've taken off and really started to challenge and stretch my quilting abilities.

2013 all started with the first quilt I ever machine-quilted.

I challenged myself with a quilt pieced and quilted entirely by hand.

I made a quilt using regular straight lines.

I assembled a scrappy quilt using charm squares for the first time.

I surprised even myself with this superhero quilt.

I joined my first quilt-a-long.

I overcame my fear of cutting through a difficult piecing project to create something greater.

I allowed the backing fabric to dictate the quilting and had fun hand-appliqueing on top of it.

I used my Dresden tool for the first time.

I fell in love with plus quilts and design walls.

I experimented with creating half-square triangles.

I fell in love with triangle quilts.

I learned how to paper-piece.

I learned how to use every last scrap of a fabric collection to create a fun wall-hanging.

I persevered through a difficult project and finished it.

I made my largest quilt to date, which just happened to be a Texas quilt of course.

I can't wait to see what 2014 brings!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Texas Threads

"The Threads of Texas are upon you!"

I finished the binding on the longhorn quilt for my brother during the drive down to Austin, TX.   My brother was very surprised by his gift and we had a lot of fun walking around the University of Texas taking pictures of it.  I also took some pictures of the quilt on his property to add some variety.  This post is picture heavy...so enjoy!

I outlined the longhorn on the outside and the inside.  I used straight-line quilting throughout the whole quilt, but I stopped when I got to the outline of the longhorn to emphasize it.

This is the front of the quilt, showing the quilting of the UT on the back of the quilt.  I used the same technique as I did on the longhorn and it adds a nice touch to the quilt.

Here is the back of the quilt.

Just like the longhorn, I quilted around the outside and the inside of the UT.

If you look closely, you can see the longhorn from the front of the quilt on the back.  The pattern of the fabric makes it hard to see it, but I still like the way the quilting turned out.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Patriotic Quilt Done!!!

My mother's patriotic quilt is FINALLY done!  This quilt was started over 2 years ago and I've really struggled to get this one done.  Let's just say that I was 3/4 of the way through the quilting when I was forced to undo all the quilting and replace the backing fabric with better quality fabric.  It was disheartening to say the least.  I also intended to have a more elaborate quilting pattern on the quilt, but ended up making it more simplistic to help encourage me to continue even after replacing the backing fabric.  I finished hand-stitching the binding on Monday evening and took pictures Tuesday morning.  It was definitely a labor of love and I'm glad that I can finally present this quilt to my parents for Christmas.

This quilt is a large lap quilt and could almost fit a twin bed, which means my parents can cuddle under it together without having to fight for covers.  :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Plans don't always work out

I had this big idea to take the scraps from the top of my mother's patriotic quilt and create a scrappy flag on the back, as I mentioned I was going to do on this post.  To make a long story short, it didn't quite work out the way I had planned.  A lot of it had to do with some of the fabric that I was trying to use.  I had purchased the fabric years ago before I knew any better and quickly realized how cheap and horrible it actually was.  I ended up tossing aside the horrible fabric and went and bought some Kona Navy to finish up the project.  I also decided to keep the flag separate and create a wall hanging instead.  My mother isn't one for flashy quilt backs anyway.  So, without further adieu, here is my mother's wall hanging.

There are 5 stars represent my mother's 5 grand kids.   I used up every last piece of this fabric collection and I'm truly please with the results.

For the quilting, I used a wavy stitch setting on my Bernina.  It's just a additional touch to the flag to help give it some movement. 

My mother's patriotic quilt has about an hour worth of work left on it and then I will be finished with it.  I promise to show it off when it's done. 

My brother's quilt is quilted and all I lack is burying my threads from the quilting and putting the binding on.  I hope to have that done in the next couple of days.  I have a nice 12-hour drive to look forward to for the holidays and I plan on hand-stitching the binding down to help pass the time.

I hope all your holiday projects are coming to a close as well.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Spreading a little Christmas Cheer

This year I hand-made some Christmas ornaments for teacher gifts, ornament exchange gifts, co-worker gifts, etc.  It was an easy project and the results are cute.  I pieced and machine-quilted these together.  Instead of binding them, I left the rough edges.  I think it adds to the charm.

Here are the backs of the ornaments. 

I've also been working on two quilts that will be Christmas gifts for family members.  Remember the Patriotic Quilt that I'm making for my mother?  Well, I'm hand stitching the binding and then I will be DONE!  Woohoo!!!

I also started a quilt for my brother.  I just finished hand-appliqueing everything down and I will be ready to start quilting this evening when I get home from work.  It's crunch time!

To give you an idea of the size of this thing, the longhorn image is as wide as my dining table (48 in.), which is the table it's laying across in this picture.

I still haven't completely decided on the quilting for this one, but I've got at least 7 hours to figure it out before I need to start.  No problem...

My brother and I are both graduates from the University of Texas (Hook'em Horns!) and I thought this would be a fun and unique gift just for him.  He might need to share this quilt while I'm visiting because I have a feeling it's going to hurt a little bit to give this one away.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A New Friend

I have a dear old friend who has taught me a lot in the past few years.  She was also my grandmother's dear old friend and we became kindred spirits from the beginning.  We have spent many hours together creating some beautiful things and it's been an honor to have her in my life. 

I've also made a new friend recently.  We've spent some time getting acquainted this weekend while working on my mother's patriotic quilt and I think she is going to be a welcome addition to our little club. 

Her character is solid and the talents she brings are undeniably beneficial to our relationship.

She even has some wonderful accessories that she's offered to share.

We've rearranged our space a bit so everyone has a place where they will be most comfortable.  

I truly believe this relationship is the beginning of something magical.

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