Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Very First Quilt

My Very First Quilt!!

No one in my family (that I have met) has ever made a quilt.  I had a grandmother who sewed clothing; but no one that quilted.

Back in the 90's, the Walmart in our area had a huge fabric section in the back of the store.  They had lots of space to showcase their fabrics.  There were tables that would each exhibit different fabrics.  But what caught my eye was the way they would stack the fabric on the table.  They really knew how to market their fabric.  You could just "see" a quilt; and I was a novice.  How I loved to walk by the fabric department:).   I would walk by and think, "I want to make a quilt one day".

One day as I walked by, there was a table that had NFL fabrics on them.  Now, my brother is one of those fans that is fanatically dedicated to his team.   His team is the Dallas Cowboys.  On this table, on the top of the pile of fabrics, was about three different types of Dallas Cowboy fabric.  I stood looking at them for awhile and decided I wanted to make a quilt for my brother, but I did not know how.

One of the sales ladies came by and asked if I needed any help.  I explained my dilemma; and she assured   me that all quilts did not have to be complicated,   I could make this first quilt very simple by making 12" blocks.

So, I bought all three fabrics and decided to make my first quilt.

I went home with my purchase and cut out my first squares with scissors.  I dug out my grandmother's old Singer sewing machine, and went to work.  Needless to say, the squares weren't "square", the seams were not straight, but I managed to get the quilt together.

I decided I would put everything together and turn it inside out.  I worked that out okay but then I decided to top quilt it by stitching in the ditch.  (I now know you should quilt it first).  Needless to say, the back did not look too good.  However, I was proud that I managed to get it all together by myself.

When I gave the quilt to my brother he LOVED it!  He actually still has the quilt!

Needless to say, this started something big.  I now know how to use a rotary cutter and cutting mat.  I haven't graduated to the cutting machines yet; but I plan to in the future.  I have updated my machine to a Janome that I absolutely love:) And I now own a lot of rulers!

I still love to buy fabric and have a rather large stash.  My husband said it would be best if I got a drug habit; he thinks it would be cheaper:)!  However, I would not be as happy.

I have come a long way since that first quilt, and the feeling I get every time I complete one just keeps me looking forward to the next one.

What kind of memories do you have of your first quilt, and what got you started?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Graduation Quilt

I absolutely love making a quilt for someone special:)

Graduation is such a happy time for the graduate.  They are off to college to learn new and exciting things and begin a new phase of their life.  They have stars in their eyes of how wonderful life will be; thinking they have all the answers to life's questions.

My daughter graduated in June of 2012.  Maybe it was harder when she graduated because she was the youngest.  I am not sure.  All I knew was my baby girl was graduating, and I was scared to death!

Amber was a very sick baby.  There were times I wouldn't sleep but a few hours each day because she was so sick.  As she got older, she became stronger.  By the age of four, she was running behind her older brother on the football field when he would have practice.  A few years later, she started playing sports herself.

As the years went on I found myself keeping all of her team t-shirts.  She was very active in church so I kept those t-shirts as well.  When my mom came down with breast cancer, she started walking with my mom every year in the Relay for Life.  So I kept those t-shirts also.

As graduation got closer, I pulled out those old t-shirts and decided I would make Amber a graduation quilt.  What more could a girl want, right?

Amber has always been very colorful.  She has always worn two different color of socks:)  Not sure why, this was just what she did.  So I knew this quilt would have to be different from any other quilt that I had made.  It had to be unique, just like her.

So I started by cutting all of the sayings off of the t-shirts and cutting them in ways that would showcase the integrity of the quotes.  I used a woven cotton fusible interfacing to keep the shirt from stretching.  Then I started looking at fabrics.

I must have bought at least 25 fat quarters.  I just picked out fabrics that I knew Amber would like.  I used Etsy to purchase some iron on patches, and then I started.

I also used Printed Treasures to make some of the appliques.  There were certain phrases I wanted to put on the quilt.  So I made the appliques in Word and printed them on the Printed Treasures, then appliqued them to the squares.

I picked up one fat quarter and just started laying out the pieces of t-shirts to see what should go where.  It was amazing how everything just seemed to blend; just like my sweet little girl:)  I took a picture of each square so you can get an idea of how it was pieced together.

The first row:

Second Row:

Third row:

Fourth Row:

Fifth Row

I was totally out of my comfort zone with this:)  I appliqued all of the designs on to the squares.  I did have fun exploring the new stitches on my Janome machine.  I think I tried all of them at least once.  

Some of the sports appliques were vinyl.  I had a hard time with the vinyl shifting while I was trying to applique.  One thing that seemed to work was taking a scrap piece of fabric and laying to the right side of the needle but under the walking foot.  

After I got the squares done, I made sure all measured 16" wide.  I then had to make the choice of what color to do the borders in.  I decided on the hot pink.  Once the borders were on the squares, I sewed them all together to make this very special quilt.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Table Centerpieces For Crafters

Every year I strive to have the best Project Linus Appreciation Dinner I can possibly pull of without spending too much money:)  I mull over making a great presentation, and who will be the guest speaker.  But the biggest problem I have every year is decorating.  How do you decorate on a small budget?

I wanted the tables to be decorated in a way that promoted our  hobby.  So I started googling everything I could think of.   I googled fabric centerpieces, centerpieces made of fabric, centerpiece ideas with fabric, etc.  I stretched my imagination to the point of exhaustion:)

I decided I would go with the old tried and true blue vinyl tablecloth with a burlap table runner.  I bought my burlap from Joanne Fabrics with a coupon and cut it into strips.  The I sewed abut an inch around the edges and then pulled the strings up to the sewing point to"fringe" the edges.

I got the cutest cotton doilies from AC Moore to put in the center of the table.  

Now for the masterpiece of all masterpieces!

I bought basked from Michael's when they were on sale at 50% off.  I used them to showplace things that every crafter has in her craft room.  

Vinyl tablecloth - $1.00
Burlap table runner - $1.99
Lace Doily - $ .62
Cute Basket - $5.00

Putting a smile on everyone's face - Priceless!