Friday, 20 April 2018

Custom Quilts

I love to create my own interpretations of traditional quilts, often in modern, fresh colors. But I also take on custom orders and sometimes that means a client who has very specific ideas and just doesn't have the means to create them on their own.

I have one repeat customer that has challenged me to make interpretations of Disney and childhood characters. These are not something I would make for resale if not for the custom request. 

 These are machine appliqued. The pictures begin as a coloring page and enlarged using a grid method. It's explained much better here than I could do: https://www.art-is-fun.com/grid-method/
Borders are added to complement the embroidered centres. 
 The Lion King started with a digitally printed starburst background piece of fabric in royal blue. The challenge was to make the moon look bright and white without having to resort to adding it via applique.
 Adding letters to make a statement. This can easily be done to add personalization to a baby quilt as well.
 Shading on the nose and eyes done simply with a pencil crayon. I'm not worried about it coming off as this is a wall hanging and not intended to be washed regularly.
Timon was a challenge because he is so small compared to the other characters. His details were added with a fine tipped permanent marker.

The techniques used in these 3 quilts are easily transferred to any pictoral quilt. Quilting enhances whatever you decide to do as you can see the different textures added by the quilting on the Lion King quilt especially.

Custom quilts continue to challenge me with new techniques and new ways to think about how I put a quilt together, from the fabrics to the final quilting. Hope you enjoyed these!

--Ann

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Celtic Knots

Celtic knots have always fascinated me. The way they wind over and under and around without having a beginning or an end.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/579815838/celtic-knot-and-dragonflies-purple-irish
Celtic Knot - FOR SALE here
I've done this knot a few times in green, but I did this one in purple for something different. I had no ideas of how I was going to finish it, but that rarely holds me back from stitching something up!
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/579815838/celtic-knot-and-dragonflies-purple-irish
Borders
At our quilt guild's Christmas party in 2016, we were each given 3 fat quarters with the intent that we were to bring something back for our end of year potluck in June of 2017. Well, that didn't happen and the 3 purple fat quarters stayed on my shelf, waiting for their turn to shine.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/579815838/celtic-knot-and-dragonflies-purple-irish
Quilting
I love smaller projects like this because they let me try some new things and practice some things that I don't really want to do on a larger piece.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/579815838/celtic-knot-and-dragonflies-purple-irish
1",2" and 3" borders
The 3 guild fabrics ended up making a great set of borders around this Celtic knot.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/579815838/celtic-knot-and-dragonflies-purple-irish
Pebble quilting
A little pebble stitching around the centre motif makes the Celtic knot stand out. Simple meandering on the purple dragon fly border. And a spiral on the outer border to echo the design on the fabric.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/579815838/celtic-knot-and-dragonflies-purple-irish
Showing off the back
A plain colored backing fabric shows all the quilting, including the stitch in the ditch straight lines around the borders.




Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Tale of 2 Charm Packs

Fabric manufacturers are doing a great job of finding unique way to market their fabrics. From little 2.5" squares to 10" squares to fat quarters to 1/2 yard bundles, there are lots of ways to get a whole collection of coordinating fabrics without having to buy yardage of each piece.
 One of the fabric designers I love is French General. Their fabrics are rich and have an old world feel to them and I think they'd look very much at home in any heritage home.
I bought a couple charm square packs (5" squares) of their "Madame Rouge" line and pared them up with an off-white tone on tone that I had on my shelf. I wasn't sure that the off-white was a good choice as it seemed too bright, but I like the way it makes the reds and golds pop.
The first quilt I made was a pattern from quilter Carrie Nelson's book "Another Bite of Schnibbles". The pattern had some half square triangles and some quarter square triangles and a sweet pieced border of half square triangles.


And I still had some pieces left from those 2 little packages of charm squares, enough to make this other little quilt in a tradition Flock of Geese pattern.


Quilting was just in the ditch along the seam lines on the larger quilt, and diagonal lines on the smaller one. I still have a couple squares left of the charm packs, but they will just get added to my scrap pile. 

I'm pretty impressed that I was able to put two quilts together with a couple charm packs, a little background fabric and a bit of yardage for binding (This was a solid from a previous French General line of fabrics, not a perfect match, but pretty close!)

---Ann

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Update to A Winter Quilt

Just added borders to this one and it looks great! Now on the hunt for a flannel for the back!
Snowman Double Irish Chain
Do you like this combination of machine embroidery and quilting? I'm looking for more ideas to combine the 2 techniques!

--Ann

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A Winter Quilt

Beautiful machine embroidered snowmen + Scrappy pieced blocks = a unique quilt!
Irish Chain scrappy blocks
There are so many beautiful machine embroidery designs available and it's been such a fun time browsing and looking to see which ones I could use in a quilt. One of the sites I spent a lot of time browsing over the Christmas holidays was Bird Brain Designs. Their designs have just the right amount of primitive and I've always loved redwork.
Embroidered Snowmen
While busy making Christmas items, I cut all my scraps into 2" squares and started sewing them into scrappy blocks for a double Irish chain quilt. When I put them up on the design wall, I had a light bulb moment and decided I could use some embroidered blocks for the centers of the alternating blocks.
Partially laid out
I did run out of embroidery thread just one snowman short of being finished, so I'm not quite finished, but I'm pretty happy with how this is looking. I'll need a great Christmas fabric for a border and this will be a great quilt for Christmas 2018. I'm pretty sure I'll have it done for then!

--Ann

Friday, 5 January 2018

Tea Cozies

Tea is a favorite beverage at our house and we love it when we can brew it in a pot, where the tea leaves have room to expand and give full flavor to the finished product. Trouble is, tea in a pot cools down and by the time I'm ready for cup #2, the tea pot has cooled down! Except when I use a tea cozy. My go-to tea cozy is one that I have from northern Canada made from heavy wool duffle fabric. I've had it for close to 20 years, so it's showing a little wear and tear!
Inuit tea cozy
With a little bit of hand embroidery, I've been making some patchwork quilted tea cozies that I love!
But first, tea. - SOLD
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/519717361/cotton-floral-quilted-tea-cosy-country
Tea, (n) a hug in a cup. - FOR SALE
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/567620135/tea-cozy-blue-and-white-country
but first, tea - FOR SALE

Drink tea. Read books. Be happy. - SOLD

If you are a tea lover like me and don't have a tea cozy yet, isn't it time to get one for yourself? Or would you like to see a tutorial on how to make one for yourself?

---Ann

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

End of 2017

Way back in January I posted a list of Unfinished Objects (UFO's) that were awaiting completion in my sewing room.
12/17 done! Not too bad! Here are some pictures of the finished products! There were many more quilts made throughout 2017 - it was a productive year as I've got more energy than I've had for a long time! 
Little House simple Table Runner - FINISHED

Bow Tie Table Runner - FINISHED

Pink & Violet Star Table Runner - FINISHED

Spring Wallhanging - FINISHED
Tan w/ pink border lab quilt - FINISHED

House Row by Row - FINISHED
Blue jean circle quilt - FINISHED

Race Car Toddler Quilt - FINISHED

Pie Hot pads - FINISHED
Feather & Star Gray & Burgundy - FINISHED
Christmas Tree Skirt - FINISHED
Clearer photo of the tree skirt - FINISHED
I don't seem to have a photo of the Christmas Sampler Quilt, but I'll get one done as soon as I have someone to hold it up for me outside where the light is good, so watch for that to come soon!

And that leaves me with 4 quilts to carry over to my new list for 2018 as I missed the due date for the Proverbs Challenge quilt for my guild!
  1. Fisherman Wallhanging - still in progress
  2. QC2010 Lady Slipper Applique & Sashiko - still in progress
  3. Hexagon Tea Cozy - still in progress
  4. Christmas Bargello Table Runner - still in progress
  5. Proverbs Challenge Quilt - missed due date!

Thanks for stopping by! - Ann