Friday, January 30, 2009

Preemie Quilts

These three little preemie quilts began as leftover pieces from a baby quilt I made for my great niece 3 years ago. It was a 'blended quilt', meaning the colors flow together, as in many antique quilts, particularly florals, instead of having vivid separating lines or blocks. I've made several and really enjoy the process. It makes the eyes study the quilt to sort of figure out what is going on.
I first put them on my design wall, playing with the order of the fabrics (there really is an order to them if you look closely).
After sewing the blocks together, I cut off the outside triangles to square the quilt. Now I have more scraps to sew together!! I added a small border around the blocks and finally had three ready to be quilted.
I put them side by side on my longarm machine and freemotioned quilted each of them separately. One had hearts all over it, another feathers meandering all around and the third had feathers following the design of the blocks.
I decided to machine stitch the binding on one of them and here is a little illustration. You sew the binding to the back of the quilt instead of the top. Press the binding flat from the back. Turn the quilt over and press the binding to the front of the quilt.
I use clips to hold the binding in place all the way around and then it is ready for the stitching. I use a decorative stitch on my sewing machine, sewing from the top of the quilt.
Here is the finished binding! Works very well!!
Here are a couple of the finished quilts, ready to be taken to the guild and delivered to Newton County Hospital for the tiny preemies. The quilts are 21" square. The parents are given the quilts when their babies go home, or if they do not make it, they still get to keep the tiny quilts.
This is one of the charity projects of the Cotton Boll Quilter's Guild in Covington, Georgia.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Final Product

As I shared a few days ago, I was creating a new quilt. It was for a special little great nephew to be born any day now. I did not want to spoil the surprise when they received it so I held off on my post. The pattern was from the Quilt Sampler magazine which featured a quilt from Intown Quilters - local in my area. I was only using the pattern, and was color coordinating it with the baby's room.
Here I have my fabrics that I pulled mostly from my stash, except the stripe on top and the contemporary sqaures on the bottom, plus one other cool circle fabric. I cut them up into lots of little pieces, beginning with a 10.5" square of each and then put them together to my liking.
Next I placed them on my design board in a pleasing manner as I went, which totally shifted by the time the final quilt was done.
And, here it is - totally finished with a soft multi-colored minkee backing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Create (Art and Quilts)

As I wondered what would be a good word for art and creativity inspiration as suggested by Kristin Steiner and Susan Edmonson of Believe in Yourself Retreat, I at first thought it might be complete, finish, or even potential, as I have a box full of UFOs that need to be dealt with. However as I began making the first quilt that I have ‘created’ in such a long time yesterday, a quilt for Baby Leatherman, a great nephew, I knew a word to inspire me was CREATE!
I received a new magazine from Patsi recently on Where Women Create, and it is so inspiring to see the places where they create to the shops they have opened to help other women create. I began to think about it and realized that I had been missing the magical moments of creating my own quilts.
I truly love to have an inspiration, be it from a fabric, a quilt, a picture or just out of the blue. Often it is a culmination of these. With Baby Leatherman’s quilt, I got the color scheme, which was the same as for Tye. Of course the quilt had to be different yet with similar colors, and because of the blocks on the wall in his room, I was drawn to a quilt by Intown Quilters on the front of the Quilt Sampler magazine a year or two ago. Easy to make (I think) yet very graphic with the squares.
I was at A Scarlet Thread Quilt Shop with some friends a few weeks ago and a fabric with a contemporary feel and squares caught my eye. I bought a small piece, went home and pulled 30+ fabrics to go with it from my stash. . . .in my mind, it is perfect. Plus I found a minkee backing on sale that day which had the perfect colors - blues and greens.
Yesterday, Monday, January 5, 2009, I began the process . . . . which I love. . . my laundry is done, my errands have been run, there is food in the fridge and pantry, I have finally even caught up for the first time since June with my quilting for others. It is quiet and I have this beautiful stack of fabric in front of me, all waiting to be cut into 10 ½" squares. I begin pressing the fabrics, layering them to cut, admiring each one or deciding it won’t fit. I cut my squares - 6 at a time - then slice off the sides for this contemporary log cabin quilt. What fun!
Today, all my pieces are cut for the blocks and I am ready to begin sewing them together. Yes, CREATE, is going to be a word to inspire me in my art this year! It is just too much fun!