Thursday

Quilted Bathroom Baskets

I had a client request to take a leftover piece of curtain that was part of a bathroom remake and turn it into a quilted basket to sit on the back of a toilet. The client has one of my little teacher baskets I made a few years back and wanted this one to resemble that basket only sized large enough to go in that special behind-the-toilet space. The fabric is a polyester blend that would not hold up well as a basket so its a good thing it was to be quilted. To help make it even more durable I picked up some matching twill to line the basket. The twill definitely added another layer of stand-up-ability to the basket.

I measured the back of our toilet to get some idea of dimension however, considering the size of the scrap piece, I would be limited in what I could do. The scrap piece was about 13" wide and 40" long. So I squared it up to be 12.5" x 20" to get it to the right length.  There were two pieces of scrap 3" wide by 40" so I used some of that for the handles. After I completed the basket, I had enough left over to make a smaller, taller quilted basket to match. I thought it would be a nice to roll up some hand towels, put them in the basket and place it on a bathroom sink. Or just throw your junk in it under the sink.
Quilted Basket
After the project was done all that was left was some 3" wide scraps. I think I used up the fabric wisely. I hope the client likes her basket and the little extra to go along with it.

Wednesday

What's on the design board?

The month of March was pretty amazing. Between a craft show, quilt show, and some sew days with both my church group and the Quilts for Kids group, I don't know how I got any sewing done of my own. Plus my brother and his family came to town over their spring break so we spent two days hanging out with them and enjoying their company.  All that plus I have a memorial t-shirt quilt in the works for a client and another small client project to complete this week. And my sister wants a lesson in how to can vegetables so I will have to plan that as well.

I can't say it has been easy. My spine surgeries are letting me know how hard I've been working and reminding me that I need to slow down. Some days the pain is so severe I am pretty medicated by the time I go to bed but I find that the more I try to be productive, the less depressed about my condition I become. It really is a trade off....feeling good physically and mentally at the same time is something I have not been able to achieve but at least I have a group of people who strongly support my efforts and are always ready to help me out. My family is incredible.

Stereo Pattern - Jaybird QuiltsEnough with the pity party, it's time to start another month of sewing. On the design board today I have a Quilts for Kids project in the works. During our last sew day I found a large chunk of white fabric and I decided that I would keep making modern kid's quilts until the white ran out. I started this one based on a photo from Pinterest - no pattern or instructions, just a caption on the photo that said it used charm squares. So I cut 5-inch squares of prints in half, sewed them to half square triangles of the white then rearranged them and sewed them back together to make the blocks. Easy enough. 

I also started a quilt using a Summersville layer cake that I have had in my stash for a few years and Jaybird Quilts' pattern, Stereo. I took out some low volume text fabric from my stash to start putting the quilt together. The rows are completed and I've started to sew them together but I have many rows to go so they are piled on top of each other since there's just not enough room on the design board. Still don't know what to do with that paper-pieced shoe block. Hopefully inspiration will come around in the near future.

I think I should take some time out from sewing and do my taxes soon!

Monday

Modern Quilt Block - Harley Museum

My Milwaukee Modern Quilt Club has decided to enter a quilt in QuiltCon this year. As a group we decided to take some of our famous Milwaukee landmarks and make them into modern quilt blocks. Each person who wanted to participate chose a landmark to transform into a block. Some of the blocks in the quilt include the Allen-Bradley clock tower, the gas light on top of the WE Energies building, Hank the Milwaukee Brewer's mascot dog, the Hoan Bridge, the Calatrava wings...I could go on an on. I chose the Harley-Davidson museum.
Using a professional photographer's image of the museum campus from the view of the canal, I cut out paper pieces until I got the parts of the buildings scaled just right. There are these orange water towers that stand on each end of the campus and I felt it was important to make sure they were in the block. To give the block a totally modern feel, I chose to take out the trees. I wanted as little applique in the block as possible for a more crisp and fresh look. 

We had a specific color palette to use so the entire quilt with have a consistent look and feel so that is why the color of the grass is an unusual shade of green. Besides the color palette our rules were few, just make it modern and make it in increments of 4-inches. My block is 24 x 8. I can't wait to see this quilt come together over the next month.
Milwaukee Modern Quilt Club

Thursday

International Quilt Festival - Chicago

Quilts on DisplayToday a group of us from the Quilts for Kids Milwaukee chapter attended the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. It was really fun to go with a group of women who love quilting as much as I do.

We perused the display quilts and took photos of our favorites. I made a collage of the ones that I liked the most. I do love the Dear Jane quilts although I'm not so sure I would make one myself. Obviously if I did, it would have to be from fresh modern fabrics.

The quilts were all beautiful and I was amazed at the number of them on display. There were so many they took up half of the Rosemont's main hall.

Half the fun of the quilt show is the shopping. There were quilt shops from all over the country and this was a great place to pick up a few things from those far away shops. I also saw a demo of a fabric marker that was easy to use; the marks went away with a swipe of a hot iron. I could not resist that purchase. I picked up a few fat quarters that were on special and added to my black/white (low volume) collection. I also found a cute pattern I've never seen before. I was happy to find that happy medium between not spending too much money and coming home with some cool finds.

It was great to attend with a group of women. I usually take my husband along for the company but this time he was off the hook. Funny thing when I got home was that I couldn't tell if he was disappointed that I had a good time without dragging him along or disappointed. I'm sure he will get another opportunity to tag along with me to a quilt show, until then, I'd like to thank the QfK ladies for making this a fun day!


Wednesday

100 Quilts Donated!

This morning we dropped off 100 quilts over at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.  One of our Quilts for Kids chapter members lives near Rhinelander and doesn't get down here to the Milwaukee area often and since she was coming to town, it only made sense to schedule this drop off during a time where she could participate. So we went out for a nice breakfast then headed over to the hospital with a truck full of quilts. 
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Volunteer
The staff at the hospital are always very happy to see us and we unloaded all of our quilts, chatted for a while then headed out for an afternoon of prepping more fabric to make more quilts. This is definitely a labor of love for all of our volunteers and I am happy to be a part of such a fun organization.

Sunday

Before Pinterest

I love my bulletin board. It's so old I've repainted it at least 4 times. It's become a place to put those little things I'm not ready to throw away and every once in a while I actually have to refer to the board for things like repeat customer discounts on business cards and my zipper color chart. I've pinned up quilt ideas torn from catalogs and magazines, cute pins and buttons and whatever can be stuck with a tack.  It occurred to me that this was Pinterest before Pinterest! Sometimes it's nice to go back in time.

Friday

Zipper Purse

I have a little purse I purchased at Macy's a few years back and I just love it. It's compact with a nice zipper closure to ensure all the contents don't fall out.  I use it when I take my granddaughters to places like the children's museum and the zoo. It is just the right size for a cell phone, sunglasses, keys and some cash.

I decided to 'copy' the bag and created this little cutie based on the measurements of the store-bought one.  The only difference is that I put extra pockets on the outside of my homemade version. That way I can keep things I want to get at quickly in the pockets without having to take the time to zip/unzip the bag.

I really love how it turned out so I made a bunch for my craft fair tomorrow. Hopefully I can sell a few or at least get some feedback on them from my customers.

Thursday

Quilted Easter Baskets

I found this nice tutorial for an Easter basket and I just had to try it out. After making two baskets, I decided to shrink the size down. I took 2 inches off pretty much all the way around and really liked the results. The originals are very nice, but I really wanted them smaller just because I had smaller pieces of Easter fabric to use up. In fact, I ended up sewing two pieces of fabric together to make a wide enough piece for one of the baskets.

I like the way my smaller ones turned out however, I think I will make a bunch in both sizes. I'm certain my granddaughters will want one for themselves as well as my daughter and sister! The original tutorial can be found here.

Sunday

What's on the design board?

Over the last few weeks I have been voraciously sewing quilt tops for Quilts for Kids. I've made 3 tops that are ready for quilting and this one makes 4. The fabrics are from a sample collection so I did my best to use the almost fat quarter sized pieces of fabrics to make something cohesive.  It's not very large but I do love the butterflies, bees, apples and flowers found in the little prints. It needs to be a bit bigger but I only have small chunks of the fabrics left so I will have to get creative to figure out how to add some substantial borders to it.

I also have my completed paper pieced block up on the board as a reminder to do something with it. I'm not sure what, but hopefully it will inspire me to make something out of it. It is too cute to go unnoticed.

Saturday

Big Hero Skirt

My granddaughter, Avery loves the movie Big Hero 6. Yesterday I happened to stop at the fabric store to buy some quilt batting and I just had to peruse the sale fabric. Lo and behold, I see this cut Big Hero 6 fabric and it is 40% off! Plus with a military discount it was going to be pretty cheap so I bought a yard. Not that I knew what I was going to do with it.

This morning I decided to make Avery a skirt. I looked at a few tutorials that I've used in the past from other bloggers but they didn't scream make me. So I took the features I liked from each pattern and designed my own.  I really wanted to incorporate multiple colors from the fabric and I think my pattern fit the bill.


Monday

Aviatrix Medallion - WIP

I've been in a creative glut. I've been wanting to start a new project for a very long time and I just haven't been inspired. That is one of the reasons I went to a quilt show yesterday; I was aching for a new project. And there it was...a completed Aviatrix Medallion quilt. And those gorgeous bundles just stacked there on the table.

I already had the pattern but not the ambition to pick out the fabrics so when I saw this bundle I knew I had to have it. Everything was in one neat stack ready to go.

I've never worked with all solids before so this will be new and I am totally looking forward to getting started. Finally! Inspiration is here!

Saturday

Winter Quilt Show - 2015

I attended the Winter Quilt Show today at the Washington County Fairgrounds. It's only 42 miles from my house, not a bad drive even if it were snowing. Although luckily, it was neither snowing or below zero today. The quilt show was buzzing with more excitement than I've seen at other shows. I think it had something to do with people having cabin fever and finally being able to get out of the house. Or maybe it had to do with the great vendors and their great sale prices on fabrics. I certainly did my share of shopping today.

The quilts on display were gorgeous. I took a few photos with my cell phone so the quality isn't so great and I don't like making people stop when I'm taking photos so I was sort of taking them on the move.