Friday, November 28, 2008

Applique Hearts

So I saw a little snippet of a picture on an ad in a quilt magazine (wow, LOTS of prepositional phrases there) of a quilt kind of like this. Now, I am still on a fabric fast (although, thanks to Jill I was able to break that fast with no injury to my bank account), so for this quilt I just dug into my stash. I had some Shangri-La (by Moda) and some Anticipation (old Sandy Gervais for Moda) that matched perfectly. I also used a piece of pale pink flannel that I had left over from making somebody pajamas a number of Christmases ago and a couple of red fat quarters from Joann's. Don't know who made them. Probably going to regret that because of the fading factor, but I always remember that in hindsight. The squares are 15 1/2 inches cut. I just freehanded the heart on a piece of 12x12 chipboard that was the front cover to a paper pack. I did the large one, and then cut the smaller one out of the middle of the larger one, so I only had to use one template for both. I just machine appliqued them -- little zigzag. There are actually 12 squares altogether, so 3x4, and then I will put sashing in between and a couple of borders to make it into a throw-size quilt. I'll give finished dimensions when it's . . . well, finished. This is a fast, simple quilt. I typically do such complex quilts that they never get done (see my lengthy current projects list), so I'm trying to change that.
Now, on this quilt I did trim the hearts out of the backs of the large hearts and used some of them to cut out the smaller hearts. The rest of the small hearts that I didn't do on the front I am saving to applique onto the back of the quilt. It just seemed like such a lot of fabric (and fabric that I LOVE, too!) to waste in layering. I know you're supposed to trim out the back on applique, but I'm so random with when I do and don't. This time I did.
This is my favorite one, I think. Enough contrast, but mostly subtle blending. I just love it!

Blue and Yellow Ragged Squares

I saw this quilt on Amanda Jean's website and knew I had to make one. I always find it odd that I am drawn to yellow and blue quilts, because individually I am not fond of those colors. I certainly can't WEAR either of them without looking washed out. I'm a red/green/pink/brown kind of girl. I think I have made three or four yellow and blue quilts including this one, though, so on some level I resonate to it. Plus, I just love the ragged look.
I just used stuff from my stash. I have way too much, and I have got to cut it down. However, I'm not as good as Jill. I'll find a way to use it before I give it away. I'm such a packrat! Anyway, this quilt is nice, because it goes together quickly, and it uses up a lot of fabric. I didn't trim out the back on these, because I wanted the extra weight. I used some fabric from my stash that I got back when I first started and didn't know better. Some of it is really thin, so the triple layers are good for that. Plus, if these colors fade at different rates, it really doesn't matter that much, because I have so many different shades of blue. Anyway, I am loving this quilt, and I can't wait to snuggle under it. Of course, it has to get shoved aside a little while I finish stuff for Christmas. Only 27 days left, so said my Facebook page.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


So, on my family blog I published a post about how thankful I am for all the great things in my life. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because I truly believe in being thankful. We can always find something to complain about, and that's often easier than flipping it and finding something to be thankful for. My top five things I am thankful for (that I put on my other blog) are my family, my temporal blessings (food, clothing, shelter, transportation), the Gospel, my piano, and my sewing machine. Those last two might seem somewhat trivial, but I get great joy out of both of them. And I think Heavenly Father is pleased when we use our talents. He gave them to us for a reason.
So on an even more trivial note, on Monday the mail carrier brought me two packages. One was the Christmas present from my husband's grandparents. His grandpa makes toys every year and sends them to all 40 of his grandchildren -- yes, 40. That's a lot of wooden trains, let me tell you. The second package was from my sister-in-law, Jill. Apparently she had brutalized her stash recently, and the carnage was sent to me. I am definitely thankful for that.
One of the yellow pieces has already gone into the back of one of my quilts to make it a wee bit wider. There's a blue, red, and khaki stripe that is going to bind my star quilt. The two red/blue plaid pieces are going into my Smoky Mountains Stars quilt for my sixth child's bed. A couple of the greens are going in a green and brown quilt that I have been planning and now can execute. I also plan to make a Happy Hour quilt with all of those great boy prints.
So, I am thankful for Jill's generosity. I think I might have cried just a little when I opened the box and saw all that great fabric. I think my husband might have cried a little too, but perhaps not for the same reason.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Death comes softly . . . and frequently

So, I'm sure all -- both, technically -- of you who read my blog were wondering if I died or something. I'm here to answer that no, no I did not. However, my computer did -- a little at a time. First, we had a no screens week around here. I could only check my email for work and send it back. No TV (not such a sacrifice), no blogging (huge sacrifice!), no reading other people's blogs (ginormous sacrifice). The next week on Tuesday night we had a major electrical storm which fried our modem. I have a surge protector on the plug, but that doesn't stop the current from traveling through the phone line. This is the second modem we have had fried on this computer. My husband bought a new one ($10 internal piece) which he installed himself, but that wasn't until Thursday. Then the weekend happened, and then the monitor died. Oh, yes, completely dead. Everything is black. For a while it did this little thing where part of the screen would start to show up, but the whole thing never did. Anyway, on Saturday we got a new monitor ($100 -- terrible resolution, but it'll do for now). So now here I am again. I'll tell you, though, during all that time of no blogging, I was able to work on some new projects which I will show you as soon as I photograph them! I finished some quilt tops and put together a bunch of backs (had to piece things, because I'm on a fabric fast right now -- not allowed to buy ANY!). I also started a whole bunch of new quilts -- I'm not kidding, a BUNCH! I blame Amanda Jean and her fabulous website. I'll get some quilt pics up soon, but for now, though, I'll just leave you with a picture of a box of cards I donated to the school auction basket (Holiday themed basket for my daughter's class).