Picnic Tea Party top finished

I finished the quilt top yesterday and it’s ADORABLE!  Perfect size for a picnic blanket.  I’ll be using a polyester batting to keep it lightweight and also fluffy.  Great for using like a regular blanket without getting too hot.

I used different FQ collections by Free Spirit as well as one solid.  They all look so well together I knew they had to be in a single quilt. There are 25 White House Steps Blocks, 12″ x 12″.  The pattern is from McCall’s Quilting and Quick Quilts 2012 ebook.

The backing is a batik in various shades of grass green with a fern print all over it, and the binding will be a solid brown.

I’m really proud of the results because it shows how much I’ve improved.  All the corners meet perfectly!  I pressed the seams open on the blocks, but pressed to one side when connecting the blocks and rows.

My husband is mildly terrified of all the prints, but the quilt isn’t for him.  I’ll be selling it on my Etsy shop when it’s done.

I also basted I Dream of Elephants yesterday and have started on the hand-quilting.  I won’t have it done by laundry day this week, but it’ll definitely be finished next week.  I’ll then immediately start on Picnic Tea Party.  This one shouldn’t take nearly as long because I’ll just be following the lines of each block for the quilting.

If I had the money I’d take this to a long-arm quilter or a quilting shop to have it done by machine.  Save me some time so I can move on to the next project.  Alas, I shall have to hand-quilt it instead.  I have a dark bright variegated thread for this, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.

As for my next project, it’s a Star Wars quilt.  My dream is to have Mark Hamill purchase it.  For those uneducated in Star Wars, he plays Luke Skywalker.  He’s also the voice actor for the Joker in various Batman games and cartoon series.  Oh, and he was the kidnapped professor in Kingsmen.

Sparkling Lullaby Finished!

Yesterday afternoon I finished Sparkly Lullaby, today it was washed, and now I have it listed on Etsy.  I ship internationally!

I got two rows mixed up, and only realized it after I finished the top.  I had no desire to remove the borders the sashing, etc.  Besides, it’s no less adorable.

The thread is a variegated pastel from yellow to pink to blue and matches the colors in the quilt.  The quilt is machine quilted, but the quilting is done by hand.  The backing was a lucky find; I couldn’t have found something more perfect.

45.5 inches x 59.5 inches, great size for a baby quilt to a lap quilt.  The batting is 100% cotton and will definitely keep you warm at night.

The pattern is from Curious Cat in Fons and Porter’s Easy Quilts, Summer 2013 issue, page 75.

Sparkly Lullaby hand-quilting

I’ve started the long process of hand-quilting Sparkly Lullaby.  It’ll be at least a week before it’s finished.  I’ve tried machine quilting and free-motion quilting as well as quilt-while-you-go, but I just…can’t really get into it.  Plus I have very little space in my sewing room for that.  If I had a larger desk and more space I’d likely be all about it, but for now it’s done by hand.

I’m using a variegated thread.  It’s a BEAUTIFUL pastel thread I got on my recent trip to Joann Fabrics, and so far it’s holding up.  No breaking, tangling, or anything.  I use Thread Magic to keep the thread moving smooth, and that may have something to do with it.

As for why I’m using a variegated thread…well, there’s so many colors to choose from, and I don’t wanna use just one.  Switching threads its annoying.  Plus this thread is so pretty!

I’ll post the quilt on Etsy when it’s finished.  Hopefully it sells as fast as the last one!

Sparkly Lullaby sandwich

It felt like a game of Twister, but I got it done.  Sparkly Lullaby had now been made a quilt sandwich and the lap frame is in place.

The bright beautiful floral?  That’s the backing.  I matches the sparkly stripes PERFECTLY!

I also added a wide white border around the quilt to give it a bit more body and bring out the colors.

My goal is to have this finished by next Thursday so it can be washed and posted on Etsy by next weekend.

Two Quilts Nearly Finished!

I forgot to take a photograph of I Dream of Elephants when I finished the quilt top.  So here you go!  Yesterday I purchased the backing for it, which took forever to find btw.  I wanted a nice gender-neutral backing with elephants on it.  No such luck.  I purchased a geometric grey and white fabric.  The pattern on the backing will be what I use as my guid for hand-quilting.

All I need to do with Sparkly Lullaby is add another border.  I’m thinking of using white because it’s a calmer quilt, and the the white will bring out all the other colors.  The backing is an intense floral that perfectly matches the colors on the top.

I purchased variegated thread for the hand-quilting on both these quilts.  I don’t want to use just one color, and variegated is SO MUCH FUN!

Oh, and yes, I’m still working on a third quilt top.  It’s Picnic Tea Party, a log cabin pattern that looks a bit like a scrap quilt.  I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to find a green and brown backing so the person who buys the quilt won’t feel guilty about grass stains.  Alas, no such luck.  I found something near to what I wanted, but it was end-of-bolt pieces.  I’ll use the scraps from top for the backing unless one of the other two quilts sells before then.  I’ll use the money at a different shop to find the fabric I’m looking for.  Plus by that time the top will be finished and finding border and backing will be easier.

I’ve asked my followers on Tumblr and deviantArt which of these two quilts they want to see finished first.  So far Sparkly Lullaby is in the lead.  Which one would you like to see done first?

A little something

One thing I make sure I’m very aware of when I’m making something is my mood.  If I’m in a bad mood, be it grumpy or angry, I won’t create anything other than paintings, drawings, and writing.  Those are a safer way of getting rid of the negative energy without passing it on to someone else.

When I make a quilt or jewelry I want the person wearing them to be at ease, calm, confident, happy, and relaxed.  I want them to feel better.  If I’m not feeling well when I make these things it gets built into the creation.  That’s not okay at all ever.  I’ve received a few comments from those who have purchased my wares that they feel better when they wear them or the items nearby.  Their anxiety drops, they feel more relaxed, etc.  That’s what I want them to feel.

My paintings are meant to show a feeling, and make the viewer feel it as well.  Not like a curse, but more like a connection between people, an understanding.  That’s important.  I don’t want my work to simply be pleasing to the eye, but I want the viewer to feel something.

The stories I write I choose carefully.  Poetry flows easily for me, but is rarely shared.  Often it’s very dark, broken, fractured.  That tends to be how I feel when I write poetry.

Today I was in a sour mood for awhile because I had failed at something I was trying.  I became frustrated, angry, and disappointed.  So I left my sewing room, not wanting that feeling to be in there.  I got on my computer and played a game.

I contacted a quilter on FreeCycle because she’s looking for fabric of any kind so she can have something to do.  She and her daughter picked up the fabric within an hour of my contacting her.  The way she reacted to my frustration and how grateful she was for receiving pre-cut fabric completely changed my mood.

Immediately after she left I started on the next quilt because I was happy.  My failure wasn’t failure at all.  It was a learning experience, and it resulted in my meeting another quilter.  She mentioned she had only a few patterns and was always looking for more.  I told her about using Google, but she’s nearly 80 years old and rather terrified of the Internet.  Her daughter asked that I email her instead with a list of websites with free patterns.

Now the new quilt I’m working on is being created with joy, ease, and happiness.  I want the person who buys this to feel these things.  I want them to wrap themselves up in the quilt when they need to feel better, and immediately after doing so they smile.  It may be a small smile, but it’s a better moment than what they had before.  That’s important to me.

So, fellow creators, keep in mind how you’re feeling when you make things.  It gets put into your creations, and you don’t want the negative feeling to be there.  Believe me when I say it can be felt, and it lingers for a long time after the wearer removes it (be it jewelry, a scarf, garments, a blanket, etc).