Thursday, December 26, 2013

Grandpa's Memory Quilt

Here is one of the quilts from my work in progress post.

This quilt is very special. It was made for my mother-in-law's mother, who lost her husband earlier this year. After the funeral my MIL gathered up around 10-15 shirts that belonged to her dad and brought them to me. I used 9 different shirts and 6 coordinating fabrics to create this quilt for her mom. It took longer than expected but I finished it up in time and it arrived on Grandma's doorstep a few days before Christmas.
That's my MIL on the right
The shirts can be seen in the middle of the star and it's outer points (the blue and purple in the photo below). The coordinating fabric is seen in the 'V' part (the grey in the photo below).
Close up of the middle block containing a piece of Grandpa's handkerchief

The quilt tag
This was the largest quilt I ever made at just below 83" square. I knew from the beginning I would use a long arm quilter just for the sheer size of this quilt. Abby of Latimer Lane quilted this up for me. I had a hard time picking out a pattern that didn't overpower the shirts, I wanted them to be center stage. She helped me choose the loops and swirls pattern, and I absolutely love it.

A great view of the quilting

The best part is that Grandma loves it. I've gotten several phone calls from my MIL, apparently it's all she talks about! The absolute highlight of her Christmas. This just makes my heart happy. I'm so glad she likes it and I hope it brings her lots of comfort in the years to come.

To see more photos (including close ups of each block) click here

Quilt Specifics:
Pattern: Snow Blossoms by Lella Boutique (purchase here)
Fabric: Mix of cotton button-down shirts and 100% cotton quilting fabric
Quilting: Loops and swirls by Abby Latimer

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Works in Progress

I've been working on two quilts for the past few months. I'll share their complete stories when they are finished but I wanted to share some photos of them in progress.

First up is a quilt for my husband's grandmother. I'm using the Snow Blossoms pattern from Lella Boutique for this one. I got all nine blocks cut and the individual squares sewn, just need to put it all together.

Next up is my winter quilt. This is the very first quilt that I'm making all for myself (every quilt I've made thus far has been for gifts). I'm using the Suburbs pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew in the throw size. So far I got the top 6 houses done and I'm working on the remaining 38 (I made a few extra to piece the back).

I do have a deadline for these quilts (hopefully by the end of next month!) so I've been working as much as I can on getting them pieced, which isn't a whole lot of time when you have a 3 year old. :) Looking forward to sharing my progress with you.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Quilt for Lauren

I recently finished up a quilt for my niece. Actually, it's been finished since the baby shower back in April but I've been working on embroidering the quilt tag since she was born in July. It was touch and go at times, I would get tired or frustrated and have to put it away for a bit, but it turned out so well. I'm so happy, even if it did mean using my seam ripper a few times. :) I finished it up last week and gave it to her on my birthday. Who says you can't give gifts on your birthday? :)

The fabrics are a huge mix of designers and prints. They came from both my sister-in-law and myself, and the colors coordinate with the nursery perfectly. Her nursery colors are aqua, coral, and grey with a little yellow, green and pink thrown in.

My inspiration | source
It took while to find the right quilt pattern. I was considering doing a chevron pattern because the nursery has chevrons in it but I wanted something simple. Wasn't too keen on dealing with triangles and all that. ;) So when I saw this baby quilt from Red Pepper Quilts (above) I had my eureka moment. I particularly loved the quilting she did, it just made the whole thing.

I decided to copy that design but omit the solids simply because I love a patchwork quilt. You'll notice that I fussy cut a few rectangles featuring little girls. I got a fat quarter each of Posy by Aneela Hoey and Children at Play by Sarah Jane. I just loved the little girls and I wanted to include a few of the scenes.

I backed it with a soft green flannel that I got from Joann's. I definitely wanted a solid back to highlight the quilting and I thought flannel was a nice soft material for little toes and fingers. I used one layer of cotton batting because we live in the desert and I didn't want it to be too warm. The binding fabric also came from Joann's, can't remember the designer but it's in their premium quilting cotton section. I just love all the colors in this plaid, brings it all together nicely.

I have a secret to share with you, I didn't quilt it in one continuous line. I know I know, but let me explain. I must have started and ripped out 3-4 tries before I had to give up and walk away for a bit. Try as I might (even with guides and marks on the fabric) I could not get the corners to line up nicely in the quilting. So I cheated. I sewed all the vertical lines first, tied them off and buried the tails. Then I sewed all the horizontal lines, tied them off and buried the tails. The result? Near perfect corners every time.  I actually planned on mimicking the quilting from Red Pepper but I was so fed up with it by the time I finished that I left it as is. I think the simpler quilting worked out well.

When it came time to machine sew on the binding I had trouble again. I could not get a nice looking straight stitch to save me. So I switched to a decorative stitch and used my walking foot. Turned out great!

I was able to get at least one good photo of this sweet girl on the quilt. She's quite the wiggler! You can see the quilting a bit better too. Hard to believe she's already over 3 months old, time sure flies! :)

This quilt has been entered into the baby quilt category at Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Baby Dresses

I've been sewing, I promise. A lot of it has been non-fun sewing (mending, repairs, etc) but for the fun stuff, some of it was not photographed. Bad on my part but I did take photos of the things I've been making my new niece. Here's two dresses I made for her, although I don't know if she will wear them before the warm weather ends.

I used the following tutorials:
Pink ice cream dress: See Kate Sew Easy Baby Dress
Cherry and gingham dress: Shwin&Shwin Summer Breeze Dress

All of the fabrics came from Joann's, the pink ice cream is from the Little Lissette collection and cherries and red gingham were found in the Keepsake Calico section (the huge wall of fabric by color).

For the pink dress I followed the directions exactly. I cut up the scraps to make bias tape for the raw edges and added the tag before sewing the bodice to the skirt. I didn't think about it until afterwards, but I could've done french seams on the skirt. I just zigzagged the edges to prevent fraying.

For the cherry and gingham I followed the directions for the bodice but added the gingham to the bottom to lengthen it. I did french seams on the skirt and used scraps for bias tape on the bodice to cover raw edges. I forgot to add a tag, so I wrote on the bias tape with a permanent fabric pen. For the hem I treated the gingham like bias tape, sewed it first to the wrong side and then stitched it on the front. The bow was made by folding two rectangles of gingham in half and sewing the edges to make a tube (I sewed at an angle on one end to get the points) then turning inside out. I made another smaller tube for the middle part. I stitched the longer pieces to the bodice with my machine but I hand stitched the middle part since I didn't want any stitches visible on the outside. Hope that makes sense. The buttons and buttonholes were done by machine, my first time using this function!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New beginnings

No you're not on the wrong blog, things did get changed around here. I figured it is a new year and it's time for a new beginning. I changed up the look and the name, as well as updated a few of the pages.

I changed the name from 'Craftyness is Lovelyness' to Grace & Love for two reasons:
  1. The original name was more of a placeholder than anything else. I couldn't think of anything else (talk about lack of creativity!) and I always figured I could change it later.
  2. A lot has changed since I first started this blog. The most important change has been my soul's salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Since then I've come to realize that it is through Him and only Him that I am able to do anything else on this earth.  I wanted to recognize Him and give Him all the glory for my creative endeavors.

So there you have it. Hope you enjoy the new-ness around here. :)