Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Custom Quilt Layout

Today felt like a big day for a big project.
You'll recall that several months ago I took on a large custom order from a customer who had saved dog kerchiefs for many years.

You can read the original post here.

I've been working on the blocks for this quilt for quite awhile, in between other projects and of course working as a violinist, which has been unusually busy for the past couple of months.

The kerchiefs (which had been given to the dogs at their groomer's) were all different sizes, so I cut them into squares and rectangles and sewed them together.

Today was finally time to clear the decks and lay out the blocks!


There was no way to "test" this pattern beforehand and of course once the kerchiefs were cut and sewn there was no undoing it, so this was definitely a Cross My Fingers And Hope I Like It type of project. But it looks just like I hoped it would!

Now on to sewing the blocks together!

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Finally!  This Accuquilt Go die has been hanging around for awhile, waiting for a little time and inspiration.

Time for a fun set of placemats for my Etsy shop (here)

Typical for me, I used four different fabrics for the cats.

Polka dots seemed perfect for the back.

Like all of my applique projects, the cats were fused to the background fabric, then I sewed a narrow zig-zag stitch around the edges.  After that, the whole placemat was then basted and quilted.

We interrupt this quilting blog for an epic amount of violin playing coming up:


Madame Butterfly is my favorite opera, so I'm so happy to be playing it again with Opera Tampa!

Also this week, with The Florida Orchestra:


Stravinsky: Petrushka (1947)
Rachmaninoff: The Isle of the Dead
Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini
This all Russian program begins with Stravinsky’s Petrushka, the tragic tale of puppets endowed with human vulnerabilities.  Intertwining the themes of life and death, Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead sets a mood of mystery and contemplation. The evening closes with Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous yet tragic tale of love in his symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Keep it Clean

I recently tackled an unusual project, at  least for me:

Real Sewing (!)  With an actual pattern (!!)

I've mentioned before that I'm not, nor have I ever been, a Real Sewer.  I just quilt.

However, a friend at work asked me to help her out with a simple sewing project, and I said I would give it a try.

My friend's dad recently had a stroke, and while he's recovering well, meal time is still a little messy.  And the commercially produced bibs he's been using, while providing adequate coverage, are just plain ugly.
She even showed me one of the bibs he was using-- a depressing, limp thing made of terrycloth. Yikes.
SURELY I could produce something a little snazzier.

Even I can handle a tissue pattern that's just one piece!

I chose a spiffy madras plaid for the front and terry cloth for the back.

Rather than cutting out the front and back pieces at the same time, I cut out the front, sewed it to the back fabric right side down, THEN trimmed the back so all of the edges were even without the struggle of trying to sew both cut pieces together.

It was then turned right side out, ironed, topstitched and quilted.

I chose a brown homespun plaid for the second one.

The finishing touch:  iron-on velcro for the tabs at the top, no sewing needed!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Catching Up

My apologies for the silence around here!  Things are getting busy and the days slip by (I can hear you nodding your head in agreement.)

I've been working on projects both long term and short term.

The newest version of a Quilting Violinist classic, the Bohemian Baby quilt, shown here just before being quilted.

The version preceding this one (see this post) sold to a Facebook friend literally 5 minutes after posting in my Etsy store.  Fastest sale ever!

PEACE & LOVE  Fabrics Group1, Sold by the Half Yard (More is a Continuous Piece)
new bohemian baby fabric!
This latest quilt includes some new Hippie Baby fabrics that I bought on Etsy.  Nice to refresh the collection!

Also, I'm making slow but steady progress on the Going to the Dogs quilt.  (It's a large custom order quilt being constructed out of many years accumulation of dog kerchiefs-- see this post for more details).

 Constructing the yellow blocks will be next!

Quilted Table Runner Green Daffodil

And in anticipation of spring, a table runner
in a fresh daffodil print, currently listed in my Etsy store (here)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tie up all of the loose ends

The end of 2014 brings a sense of closure, both project-wise and emotionally.

I've had a bit of time off from orchestra work after a busy (as usual) holiday season, so I've done a little catching up on small projects.

A fresh supply of eyeglass cases.

These are a great way to use up scraps of fabric and batting (and I have plenty of both).

And the latest version of the Bohemian Baby quilt, with a color scheme of pink, lime green and black and white.

Also, I'm attempting to tie up all of the emotional loose ends from 2014.  Reconciling a year of baby steps, and quantum leaps of faith (see this post ).  I'm hoping for significantly less excitement in 2015.

But I know these things going into the new year:
I can finally say with certainty:  I'm alive again, and it feels great.
In 2015, I am enough.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Going to the Dogs

An unusual custom order has come my way.

A customer wanted to know if I could make a quilt out of dog kerchiefs.  Apparantly, she had saved the kerchiefs her poodles had been given at the groomer's.

She owned a series of 5 poodles over the course of
nearly 20 years.  And every week the poodles
went to the groomer for a bath, and a kerchief.

So she had saved literally 100's of kerchiefs, enough for a queen size quilt.  Almost all of them are cotton or cotton blend, perfectly suitable for quilting.

They had already been washed and dried and stored in bags.
The first thing to do was to sort them by color.  
Next:  find a pattern!

The kerchiefs are all different sizes, and some only roughly approximate of a triangle.  Further trimming down to a standardized size will be necessary, regardless of pattern.

Surely this quilt will EPITOMIZE the spirit of scrap quilting, so this book (which I've owned for awhile, waiting for that perfect scrap project to come along) seemed like a logical place to look for a pattern. 

I think this pattern will be perfect!

 If I make the blocks exactly 2x as large as the pattern the quilt will be queen size.

It will also enable trimming the kerchiefs into a manageable rectangle for easier and more accurage pieceing.

And it's a cool pattern!