29 March, 2009

Project Improv Blocks

Just under the wire...

I finally got my Project Improv blocks out to Jacquie.  Oh look, more circles!  I did enjoy the colour combo and may have to do something with this again soon.  Hmm, I know a baby or two on the way.

27 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 7

While the bird quilt may be the favourite of many, including me, this quilt has my favourite colour combo of this series of doll quilts.  Black, white, and pale blue.  It is modern and fresh. It is crisp and bright without being too bold.

Are your surprised, there are circles?  

For the quilting on this one I did straight lines in the same blue as the circles.  One line, however, has that circle stitch.  I felt it needed a bit of something different, just a little bit.

Now, I know a little girl with a birthday coming up.  And then there is the new nephew who is still waiting for his quilt.

25 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 6

The last of the doll quilts are finished and are ready to ship today.  Phew... That took a lot longer than I hoped for.

This one is my attempt at a traditional quilt.  Pieced blocks in an old pattern (Churn Dash) count as traditional, right?  Of course I couldn't pick traditional colours.  I've had the border fabrics for years and this seemed like a good time to use them.  Such a vibrant quilt!

I simply stippled this one.  To be honest, I was tired the day I had to quilt it and couldn't motivate myself to try anything else.  I know I shouldn't beat myself up about it because it looks good.  Besides, there is nothing wrong with stippling.  Sometimes it is the right thing to do.  I let the quilt tell me what it needs.  Yes, I'm serious about that.  Some designs beg for certain quilting techniques.  In this case, though, I didn't even ask the quilt.  I just told it that it was going to be stippled whether it liked it or not.  I think it is happy.

20 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 5

Remember this quilt?  I had some blocks left over after I played with the layout.  When the order came in for the doll quilts I pulled them out, made a few more and put together this simple, yet bold creation.  What a different feel, even though all the blocks are the same.  A true testament to improvisation.

These doll quilts don't ask for fancy quilting.  Or maybe it's just me being lazy?  Either way, this was another simple quilting design.  Because I don't like to stipple when there are so many seams to go over I merely went in the ditch on the diagonal.  This seemed too simple and quite boring, so I added the wavy line for a different texture.  I would definitely use this idea again no matter the size of the quilt.

Don't you love the backing fabric?  It is too good not use.  It is from the older line by Moda - Peas and Carrots, designed by Sandy Klop.  I need to get to the store and buy a bunch more.  I just used the orange as well - but that's a different quilt (coming soon).

18 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 4

Now, find me a little girl - or a grown woman - who wouldn't love this quilt.  I am thinking of adapting it to at least a lap size or even bed size.  A whole flock of appliqued birds on a modern, bold background?  Hmm, I already have a collection of pinks and browns set aside for another idea...

The quilting really makes this design.  The pattern is simply that of my quilted interpretation of tree branches.  Swooping and curving across the quilt, the branches support the bird and add some flow to the design.  And boy was it fast!

I have to give credit where credit is due.  We have pretty rockin'  Friday nights in this house. Hubby was watching TV and I was quilting a few feet away in our messy dining room.  I threw the fabric that has the small birds in it and a pad of paper his way, with the instructions, er... command, to draw me a larger version.  First shot and he got it bang on.  I probably should have put his name on the label.

Another label, another skinny binding, and another quilt for the order completed.

16 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 3

Simple, modern, and bright.

A pile of scraps and this multi-coloured sale fabric brought this quilt into being.  I pieced together the scraps into a roughly square shaped block.  Once trimmed I bordered it asymetrically with the white fabric.  Very fast, very simple.  It is an idea that could be easily adapted to a much larger quilt and I am tempted to try it, maybe ending up with a result much like this?
I kept the simple thing going with wavy lines in a variegated thread.  Nothing too fancy on a doll quilt.
The back of this one is a stripe that I bought at the same time as the front white.  I have tonnes of it left, so you may see it more than once!

13 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 2

How is this for an improv piece?  

I started with a pile of fabric and scraps that I thought would go together.  Of course, I couldn't resist adding a circle, and then another (can you see it?)  This one isn't photographing well, but I assure you, it's cute.  This one is for the daughter of dear friends, a little girl who is essentially a big sister to my girls.  Her birthday was a month ago.  She has the busy social life of a 7 year old, so I haven't even seen her since her birthday.  Just a belated treat.

There is a mix of old and new fabrics in this one.  More Amy Butler...  And some fabric that has also been seen more than a handful of quilts produced on the dining room table.

I stole my quilting idea from one of the fabrics, the pale pink with black outlined flowers and dots.  A few lines to anchor the batting and a scattering of flowers.  It isn't perfect, but I imagine that this one will get some rough love.  It will more than stand up to Clare's love, and hopefully her sister's!
Rather than make big labels for these doll quilts I decided to make tags.  Each tag has my name and "Naps" on one side. (More on "Naps" later).  The other side has washing instructions. Every other quilt I've given away has gone to people I know, so I can verbally pass on washing instructions.  These doll quilts are almost all going to strangers, so I had to include the instructions in an easy format - love generously, wash and dry gently.

She just couldn't resist getting her hands on it...

11 March, 2009

Doll Quilt Show and Tell 1

There has been enough whining and pining for better days on this blog.  Let's get back to some quilts, shall we?

This is the first of 7 doll quilts I am wrapping up.  Six of these are for a special order, and one for a precious little friend.  With the order the request was made for 4 modern, 2 traditional quilts.  I think this one could qualify as either.  It is a rail fence design, but I made the middle section larger than the two side ones.

Isn't that middle bar fantastic?  I'm not supposed to be buying fabric, but I fell in love and bought it in three colour ways.  This one is my favourite.

With such a busy design I went for a simple loopy swirl to quilt it.  Nothing fancy, nothing distracting.

All of the doll quilts have simple backs, no piecing on something so small.  I sadly let go of this favourite Amy Butler for the back of this one.  It's been used on more than three quilts I've made, plus one that was made for The Monster.  It's time to move on.

Over the next week or so I will share all of the doll quilts, and hopefully a few other finished pieces (if Hubby will hold up the quilts in the freezing ass cold for me).

07 March, 2009

Bright Days Ahead

Sorry about that.  I didn't mean to take such a break.  I've been plugging away on a few projects, but none have really been going anywhere.  My doll quilts are almost all done and ready for shipping.  Project Improv is slowly moving forward.  And all has been put aside to get that baby quilt done. Life has taken some unexpected twists and turns lately.  Some great (a pipsqueak of a nephew) and some not so great (hospital visits and such).

The good thing about such times is the opportunity for reflection.  Actually, the motivation to force yourself to regroup.  That's the same thing, right?  Sure, life is crazy and will only get more so in the coming months.  It's a perfect time to launch a new career!

I've decided to make a good and honest woman out of myself.  With quilting, that is.  I'm putting together some class notes and a few pitches and I'm going to get out there and try and convince someone to hire me to teach.  I've been thinking about it for over a year, but haven't had the nerve or the commitment to do it.  But with the return to work looming and the prospect of a few more years at a job that no longer excites me I decided I had to do something. I still have to go back to the desk job, but with Hubby's support I'm taking the plunge, and the time sacrifice, to launch this new path.  To be honest, I'm quite giddy about it.  If only the girls would coordinate their nap schedules a bit better so I can get more work done!

Any tips from you pros? Any notes from the dedicated class goer?