Friday, November 15, 2013

Bags and Bee and BOM

Thanks to 31 of you who entered my giveaway for a copy of  Modern Baby Quilts. Number 31, was the winner - Sherry, who's a member of the Des Moines MQG. Congratulations, Sherry!

Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child? It's a shoebox-filling project to collect and send boxes of small gifts to children in other countries. Our church is supporting the effort, even sending 14 people from our church to help process boxes in Atlanta. We took two empty boxes for filling.

We could choose to fill boxes for a boy or girl, in one of three age ranges. We picked the 5 to 9 year-old group, one box for a boy and one box for a girl.

We've been told that book bags are a much-needed item, so it was fun to make these two with fabric from my stash. I adapted this tutorial, making small modifications to make sewing even faster.

For the boy, some essentials (bar soap, washcloths, toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, pencils and an eraser) and a couple just-for-fun things.

Likewise, for the girl. It's satisfying to help just a little bit, and know that we'll have helped put a smile on a child's face. We saw the video of what it's like when the boxes are distributed. It just makes you feel warm and squishy inside.

For the Mid-Century Modern Bee, our November Queen Bee, René requested four triangles to sew into a Spider Web block. Here's the tutorial we used. The only difference is that René doesn't want us to sew together the triangles. That's so she can mix them up once she receives pieces from all 12 of us.

These were a mess to make, but oh-so-much-fun! I pulled out several of my small pieces bins to press and cut strips 1" to 2" wide.

I could sew spider web blocks for hours... and probably still not make much of a dent in my scraps. René will be getting eight triangles from me. One of them includes this bit of flamingo. I guess that fabric has become sort of my identification, as I've included it in several bee blocks. 

Keeping up with the Bay Area Modern BOM, along with a few quilters from our Central Florida MQG, I made this 12-1/2" Pixel Strips block. It was easy to sew.

Lately, I've been adding to my fabric stash, for ease in sewing when the moods strikes, or so I rationalize it. I also now own a Quick Curve ruler, and can't wait to make the quilt that's in my head. That is, after finishing the Riley Blake Challenge, a Project Linus quilt, a new quilt design for students in my beginner quilting class, and a couple Christmas gifts! I bet your quilting list is as long as mine. Make me feel better and say, "Yes, my list is long too, Linda!"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Giveaway

My Swiss house guest is gone, and I miss the good times we shared, playing together every day. And now it's time to return to the sewing room.

Do you need to make a quilt for a baby? Or make a quilt that's a little larger, for a young child? Then, have I got the quilting book for you!

My quilter-friend Carla of Lollyquiltz and I know Shea Henderson of EmptyBobbinSewing who has a quilt design in Modern Baby. I was sent the book and asked to make a quilt from it - such an honor to be asked! It just so happens I need a boy quilt for another grandson who's due January 6.

So besides Shea's quilt in the book, there are also designs by:
Audrie Bidwell - BlueisBleu
Carolyn Friedlander - CarolynFriedlander
Melissa Corry - HappyQuiltingMelissa
Jen Eskridge - ReannaLilyDesigns
Sarah Flynn - FairyFaceDesigns
Dana Boldsyard - OldRedBarnCo
Amy Smart - Diary of a Quilter
Carrie Bloomston - SuchitySuch
Jake Finch - MamaMakesQuilts
Victoria Findlay Wolfe - BumbleBeans
Lindsey Rhodes - LRStitched
and Pippa Eccles Armbrester - PippaPatchwork

Yep a whole lotta talent, and a whole lotta patterns in one book!
back cover
If you'd like to see more of what's inside Modern Baby, look here at the Martingale site.

The design I chose to make is "Square Dance," by Lindsey Rhodes. I didn't exactly follow her layout though because I wanted to use this Robert Kaufman "Friendly Seas" print as the center focus of each shape. 

It was easy enough to refigure what amount of fabric I'd need to make the substitute. My pencilled notes are on the lower left side of the page. 

All the solid colors came from my stash, so I only needed to coordinate them with colors in the print.

Making the top was a piece of cake! Instructions were clearly written, and it was easy to sew.

It seems like I whipped this up in no time at all!

So far, the Square Dance quilt top measures 43" X 59-1/2" - a nice size for a baby growing to toddler. Lindsey's finished quilt is cross-hatched, but when I get to it, I'll be doing something different.

I give Modern Baby a big thumbs up for the variety of designs it includes, some of which I wouldn't hesitate to make in other colors to hang on a wall in my own home!

If you're in the US, and you'd like to win the book Modern Baby, leave a comment for a chance.

This giveaway is now closed.

Fractured Hexagons by Jen Eskridge

For a second chance at the book, visit Carla at Lollyquiltz to see her take on the Modern Baby "Fractured Hexagons" quilt, and then comment to enter her giveaway too!

Sorry, due to shipping costs, these giveaways are open only to residents of the US.

This giveaway is now closed.

Both our giveaways are open through Thursday, November 14.  Linda

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Randomness and "Edith Week"

Here's a picture of a couple visitors to a Christian camp in Kinshuko, Iwate, Japan. A group of us made 101 quilts that were delivered to the camp for use on camp beds. The photo my friend sent just happens to include, in the background, two of the quilts I made! They're obviously not on beds, but I'm tickled to see they're being appreciated.

The green quilt on the left is all about my favorite Bible verse - the one from which I chose my blog name - with Psalm 92:12-13 hand-embroidered around a palm tree. "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, planted in the house of the Lord."

The quilt on the right centers on the church logo (Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines, Iowa) hand-stitched in Sashiko. It's great to see these quilts in their environment.

My nephew was thoughtful to take a picture of his new baby girl, Reese, wrapped in the hexagon quilt I made for her. Looks like big brother, Tripp, is getting along well.

With Edith visiting from Switzerland, it's been a jam-packed "Edith Week." We've been on the go - most places by golf cart! 

Thankfully, she's been amenable to accompanying me to several commitments. One of those was the Lifelong Learning College Expo, an annual outdoor event to introduce the winter term catalog and give folks a chance to meet instructors. For five hours I sat at my First Time Quiltmaking table and happily answered questions from a steady stream of interested women. Afterward, we learned this was the largest turnout ever for the LLC Expo. The College even ran out of catalogs and had to send someone to get more!

It was really fun to talk to everyone who came past the table, but the best part was pointing out this.

We're cover girls! The photo I submitted from my first class of First Time Quiltmaking students was selected for the cover of the winter term catalog! Several of those students came by to say how excited they were, and I couldn't be happier. Now I'm really glad I admonished them to smile! I told them we were gunning to be cover girls, and it happened!

Edith has settled into our household like she's been here before, even though she's never visited me in Florida, and it's been five years since we've seen one another. Hogan is certainly comfortable with her, and likes the extra attention.

At an all day meeting of Bradenton Quilters, a chapter of Quilting Guild of The Villages, Edith shared  how she creates unique fabric for bags and wall hangings using scraps, threads, couched yarn, ribbon and other embellishments. Everyone was really receptive to her demonstration. 

Edith lives in a city not far from Steckborn, where Bernina sewing machines are built, and owns several models herself. So she had no difficulties figuring out what to do on my Bernina Aurora 440. In fact, she made it do things I've never done before! 

One particular item really intrigued everyone. This Bernina circular embroidery attachment that works on nearly any brand sewing machine, creating circular designs using only a sewing machine's decorative stitches. 

Confession here: I purchased this attachment when I visited Edith in Switzerland, in 2002... and I've never used it! But Edith did. Isn't this fabric pretty? It was made simply with scrap fabrics, quilted, and then embellished with decorative stitches in a variety of thread colors. This will make such a neat bag.
Edith's piece
I had a go with with good results too. With 180 decorative stitch options on my Bernina 440, (and the attachment works on my old Bernina 830 too!) I will definitely be using it again. 
my piece
As you can see, everyone at Bradenton Quilters was interested in her creativity. 

After learning how to create fabric, we taught everyone how to turn it into The Edith Bag. Here's where to find the tutorial

Check out Edith's blog post here, for her impressions of her day with Bradenton Quilters.
Edith and me
Other than this sewing day, not much is happening in my sewing room. But, in a couple evenings I've managed to make some blocks...

... and get them sewn together. 

Check back Monday to see more and take your chance at a giveaway!

As for me... well, in the vein of sticking with celebrating "Edith Week," we're off to spend a day at the beach before she heads back home! Linda 


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