A real doll quilt ...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lily's doll quilt
Last week I shared a quilt that I made for my friend Julie who had a little boy on the way.  He arrived safe and sound in the wee hours Saturday morning.  This is for his big sis Lily ... for her dolls.

Test quilt
It is also a 'test quilt' for me.  I created a simple pattern to use up some of my solid scraps.  I might be a bit ambitious, as I intend to make a queen size quilt out of them for the cabin.  Which means I will need to cut about 1,380 pieces.
360 down ... only 1,020 to go ;-)
I also tried some straight-line quilting without any guides.
Back with alternating width between quilting lines
I like them on the doll quilt, but would likely struggle on my little machine to carry this off on a large quilt, let alone a queen size one ... so will have to figure out the quilting at a later point.

Quite happy with the effect with the 3-piece blocks and looking forward to some additional scrap cutting so I can get started on the bigger version.  A couple of learnings ... including to pay attention to my patterns, as I ended up with two of the same pieces side by side ... but figure Lily won't notice ;-).

Will get this packaged up and over to them sometime next week.

Great weekend here in the Pacific Northwest ... hope it was also a happy one for all you.  On this Memorial Day in the US, remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have our freedom.  

All the best

Envelope Quilt tutorial

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I've made this quilt twice now:

And have been asked several times for the tutorial ... so here it is:

Update ... the brown in the to quilt is Kona Coffee by Robert Kaufman (thanks for asking GoneAussieQuilter).

The quilt by the numbers:
The quilt is based on 5" squares, turned into half-square triangles (HSTs), which make 8" blocks.

You will want to start with a variety of prints and one solid color.

Each block is made from two solid 5" squares and 2 print 5" squares (the same print).

In the brown quilt above, all 4 prints were the same in each block.  In the white quilt, the HSTs that comprise the base of the envelope were the same print, and the reversed out HST (or the top of the envelope) was made from a different print.  Up to you on which you prefer.

As each block is comprised of 4 squares (2 print and 2 solid), you can calculate how many squares, and therefore how much fabric you will need, by simply counting the number of blocks you intend to use and multiply that number by 2.

Example:  A quilt that is 6 blocks wide x 8 blocks tall would be 48 blocks in total (and yield a quilt ~48" x 64").  Doing the math, you would need 48 x 2 = 96 print squares and 48 x 2 = 96 solid squares.

Making the blocks:
First ... chain stitching the squares to make half-square triangles:

Mark the squares from corner to corner (I choose to mark the solids)
Sandwich it with the print square (right sides together) and then stitch 1/4" on either side of the line
Your square will look like this 
I chain stitch a number of these squares together, clip and then chain stitch again in the other direction.  This saves a lot of time in the creation of the blocks.
Cut down the line (between the two stitched lines) 
Press the seams open and arrange the 4 HST like this
Sew together at seams to create this block
Each finished block measures 8.5" and is comprised of 2 print squares and 2 solid squares.

As you can see from my two quilts at the beginning of this post, I laid them out so the 'top of the envelope' points one direction in one row and the in the other direction for the next row.

Here's a couple of different options:

Top of envelope left to right, varied by row

All envelop tops pointing to the left
Alternating envelope top by column
As you can see, there are a variety of different patterns that you can make.  Mine are most symmetrical because ... well ... that's me.  But you could also use a random pattern as well.
My newest version -- putting all the envelop tops in the same direction
Let me know if you have any questions.

Hope my US & UK friends are having a great long weekend.  I am looking forward to getting a little running in.

All the best

Question for my knitting friends

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thanks everyone!  I have forwarded your thoughts on and I know that she is very appreciative!

Trying to help out a friend ... she's going through chemotherapy right now ... stuck at home, bored and feeling a general lack of accomplishment.  She wants to return to knitting, something that she has enjoyed doing in the past.  She can't go into stores (concerns about picking up germs from others), so I am looking for some on-line resources that she can use for yarn and needles.

Can anyone recommend some online resources that I can share with her?


Strip quilt for a little boy ...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

He's almost here ... 2 weeks to go!  My friend "J" is SO close to delivering a little boy and the excitement in their house is contagious!!

Quilt front
So a little strip quilt was in order!

I made my first strip quilt with some of these fabrics for little "D" two years ago ... and his mom reports it is now his go-to blanket and dragged everywhere he goes ... nothing excites a quilter more than that now does it ?!?!?
Quilt back
I put a little salmon color into this one with the Lizzy House Red letter days ... and I adore the color composition!  In fact, took the quilt down to my LQS this afternoon, to pick up some new prints that are similar to what I used in this quilt.
I also mitered the corners for the first time!  They aren't perfect, but I finally tackled something that I have a bit nervous about trying!  
Quilt by the numbers:
37" x 48"
Front:  9 prints and a little Kona Ash Gray solid, in 18 strips
Back:  Chocolate Kona with some pieced prints
Binding:  Kona Ash Gray
Quilting:  Tight meandering with a light gray 100% cotton thread

Now I've got to make a little doll quilt for their 4-year old daughter before I deliver this next week.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

All the best

Birthday banner for a 2-year-old

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IMG_8735 by Shiners view
Birthday banner
My friend saw this birthday banner that I made to celebrate my husband's birthday back in March and commissioned me to make one for her two-year-old's birthday.

Since I had used this tutorial that someone else had put together, I didn't feel right selling it, so it was MY present to little "D". I also had some of the great hedge hog material that I had won in a drawing from Stephanie over at Loft Creations last year -- but don't have kids to use it on -- so it helped me clean out my stash a little bit too!

We were out of town and didn't get to attend the big event, but the banner was a hit and now she says ...

... she has 3 more commissions if I am interested ;-).

All the best

Bloggers Quilt Festival ... Already???

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wow ... it has definitely been a busy year ... the Bloggers Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side is back!


While I have been busy ... I haven't been quilting quite as much as I would have liked to ... so my entry this year is a quilt I designed and made back in the spring of 2010.

Corner Block Quilt
I designed the pattern for this quilt and called it the Corner Block Quilt.  I also created my first tutorial and shared the instructions on how to make it here.

What I like most about this quilt is how creative you can be with 4 solids and a print!

I also enjoyed creating a special quilt for a good friend.
Mostly, I miss the creativity of quilting ... and after looking through so many of the Blogger Quilt Festival quilts last night ... I actually started on a new one tonight!

Enjoy the show!
All the best

Share the love ...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

There are some lovely people out there in blog land who are working to lend a hand to raise money for those that have suffered so greatly in Japan ... yes, now that the nuclear melt down is not in the media daily, it can be easy to forget the massive suffering that is going on over there ...

One of my favorite bloggers has put a fabulous quilt up for grabs ... and I would encourage you to do two things today ...
  1. head on over to a site that is going to continue to provide help and hope to the people of Japan AND THEN ...
  2. head on over to Alison's blog and let her know ... for a chance at winning a beautiful quilt ... and a jelly roll thrown in for good measure ... 

Spread the word ... and you get more chances!

Don't know who to donate too?  Here's a Google search page that can help get you started!  Big or small ... ALL donations help and can make a difference to those who have already suffered so much.

Thanks ... and a Happy Mother's Day to all of you mom's out there!

Last non-quilting post ...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

... for a while!

For those of you who have been following my non-quilting adventures ... this past weekend was my BIG race!

John and I spent the weekend in beautiful Vancouver, BC which was home to a Canuck's hockey play-off game and the Vancouver Marathon ...

Nope ... neither of us ran the marathon ...

My story first, because his is SO much better ... humble beginnings ... I started running in 2010 for the first time in my life!  I made some progress in the summer, but didn't get serious until I found "Couch to 10K" in the fall and started my real training.  I figured out how to turn a 13-week program into a 6-month one ... and even ran 30 miles whilst on vacation in Europe in April (now that's a great way to see a new city!).  So trained I definitely was ...

John's race was to start exactly one hour before mine ... he was running the 1/2 marathon with a goal of 1 hour and 55 minutes and I was running the 8K with a 55 minutes goal ... which meant that since we had started 1 hour apart ... the competition was on ... who would cross the finish line first ...

Long story short, I was just over 7K when his text arrived ... he won!

I persevered and finished 21 seconds over my goal and placing me at #22 out of 47 women in my age group ... as a brand new runner ... I WILL TAKE THAT ...

My husband, however, at the ripe young age of 67, ran it in 1:51.36 ... which is over 8 minutes better than his best time ever.  That placed him #3 out of 40 in his age group, and placed him in the top 20% of ALL 1/2 marathon runners in Vancouver that day ... absolutely amazing and TOTALLY motivating!

I am so happy with the weekend ... in the process of learning how to run, I lost 17 pounds and have really focused on making sure I am eating a far more healthful diet ... I am equally proud of my man ... he did a GREAT job ...

Promise ... back to quilting for the next post!

All the best
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