Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Inspiration

I can trace my interest in sewing straight back to my mom who has been working with needles and cloth for as long as I can remember. She used to sew many of my dresses and outfits when I was little, and we have samples of her cross stitch artistry all around our home. For more than a month she has been working feverishly to finish gifts for friends and family. Watching her pour so much of her love into every piece has reminded me to keep the same balance in my own sewing. I do it because I love it, but I also need to do it to show love to others. A few weeks ago I made Mom the lap quilt you see above; it features a strip pattern primarily using the Ruby line by Bonnie and Camille for Moda Fabrics. She has been giving so much to all of us, and I wanted to give something back to her.

Incidentally, you must check out the darling cross stitch hanging she gave me for my birthday yesterday. I love how she incorporated my new hobby in her design. Is she the best or what? Thanks, Mom!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blogger's Choice

Above is my entry for Quokka Quilts Blogger's Choice Contest. I was taken with the Terrain print by Kate Spain in the lower right hand corner. It reminded my husband and me of Mary Blair's concept art for Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," so I used that theme as a muse while choosing the other fabrics.

Christmas Presents Part 2

It was a happy homemade Christmas this year. I was excited to try my hand at larger lap quilts as gifts for my extended family. The pinwheel quilt was a gift for my brother-in-law and his wife. I loved the simplicity of the fabrics and how they complemented each other, and I appreciate the look of a pinwheel quilt.

My largest quilt yet -- twin/full size -- was a gift for my parents-in-law. I asked my husband for advice on the fabric choice, and we decided to go with Kate Spain's Fandango line which I was able to pick up on Ebay. It has the look of Spanish tile which is a nice match with the decor in their Arizona home. I kept the pattern extremely simple in order to let the fabric shine on its own, and I was amazed at how it really did bear a resemblance to a colorful tile floor. My quilting was also spartan on this piece, so it was almost more along the lines of a duvet than a quilt this time. I'm hoping to try some new quilting techniques on some smaller pieces in the future to see if I can get the hang of more intricate work.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Presents

My second attempt at quilting was a doll quilt and soft blocks -- both Christmas presents for my little nieces. I had seen lots of cute stacked coin patterns online and wanted to do something along those lines using the leftover scraps from my first project. The quilt was originally meant to be quite a bit larger, but it ended up looking more like a small play mat, perfect for dolly instead. The blocks were made following this tutorial at Whipstitch. I was very happy with the results.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You Have to Start Somewhere

A string of events led to the presence of a brand new sewing machine in my house this fall, and that led me to a firm decision: I was going to learn how to sew. Granted, it had been over ten years since I had last tried to master the machine, and even then there hadn't been much mastery involved in the process. Still, I felt that I had a responsibility to take advantage of this opportunity since it had fallen into my lap. After long hours scanning sewing websites online and a few more hours inside the local fabric shop while my long-suffering husband watched the kids, I was ready to tackle my new hobby. The fruit of my first labors was the baby quilt you see below.

It's been a fun ride so far. While I don't always know exactly where I'm going, I sure do enjoy myself. I decided to start this blog as a way to share my journey with those who are interested in coming along for the trip. I figure that all visitors should find something here to encourage them. Newbies like me will see that even someone who hasn't got a clue can make something if they give it a shot. The more experienced can fondly recall their own triumphs over the early learning skirmishes that I may be facing. So everyone leaves happy. If you are looking for perfection in these pages, you will definitely want to leave my blog immediately and visit one of the excellent websites on the right side of the page here. There you will find more inspiration than you can imagine. I look forward to visiting with you in the days ahead...
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