“Paisleys, Pearls, and Peach Blossoms”–Hoffman Challenge 2009

Well, I got it done. At 2 am Tuesday morning. And then nine hours later stood in a UPS store paying entirely too much to rush the quilt to Colorado before the Friday deadline.

This year’s challenge fabric was a beautiful cream, green, and brown paisley design with pearlescent highlights. I had the circle design in my head for months, but couldn’t get the original design to work out. The second tack I tried was a Tiffany brooch with pearls and green sapphires, but that one didn’t work either. Finally, about 3 weeks ago, this one fell into place.

I was going to machine quilt it, with my lovely new Fabu-Motion. However, the learning curve was a bit steeper than I expected, so I was forced to hand-quilt it as usual. I used my “whipping” stitch (from Quilt and Embellish in One Step!) on the background paisleys (I got it out of Quilting Makes the Quilt, which I picked up at a library booksale for under a dollar) and the brown vine design on the flowered border (notice the pearl accents).

The green paisley print is the challenge fabric that I hand-dyed. It’s folded in a fan design, then echo quilted at 1/2″ intervals. I’d like to add some beading to that section at some point, but I ran out of time to do it.

Now that the quilt is finished and I can focus on other things, my daughter is clamoring for my attention…like making quilts out of clay 🙂

Office Reboot

A few weeks ago I walked into our office/sewing room and just stood there, completely at a loss where to start cleaning/organizing/attacking the mess it had become.

So I sent out an SOS to my mother, who excels at this reorganization sort of thing, and last week we redid the room.

This is a built-in desk we made. My DH had been begging for more table space (for more space in general–previously he was the one stuck in the corner), so the section that juts out into the room is now his, as is the computer by the door. I rather like being in the corner, so that is now my computer space.

Right beside my writing space is my quilting corner. My really high quality fabrics are displayed on the shelves, my medium quality (Nice Jo-Ann’s and Hancocks) are tucked in the corner next to it, and my low quality (Wal-Mart) stuff is hidden in the cabinets above the craft armoire.

Even my fat quarters have a nice little home now!

I found this huge computer table at a garage sale for $10. My sewing machine fits oh-so-nicely on the drop-down keyboard tray, giving me an almost flush sewing surface, and the additional 3 feet of table space to the left of the machine will be lovely when doing larger quilts. All my other sewing fabrics are in those boxes above the window.

And I even have a design wall (almost a 5′ x 7′)!

The only drawback is this whole deal is that we lost a bit of storage space, but what we have now is so much more useful and accessible. I love it! (Thanks Mom!)

Another UFO Completed–Baby Quilt

“In Susie’s Garden”
April 2009

I’ve had this top pieced and sitting on my quilting frame since the first week of January. Only the fact that we were heading up to New York to see my in-laws, and my darling little niece, lit the fire under me to get the whole shebang finished. I actually finished it around 1:30 a.m., only hours before my sis-in-law and little Susie showed up at Grandma’s house.

This was my first foray into fusible/raw-edge applique, and I think I really like it. The main drawback is trying to get a needle through the fusible web can be a real killer on the fingers (I keep forgetting to ask my dad for a pair of hemostats).

Here are a few close-ups:
The apron and pantaloons are made of a cute white eyelet fabric I’d bought to make pants for my daughter (before deciding that sheer white fabric probably wasn’t the best choice for a very active and messy little girl), and the basket can actually hold things.

Since Susan means lily, I chose those flowers to grace Susie’s garden. The fabric was perfect. But it was this section of the quilt that held me back so long–those stems and leaves were a real pain in the boohickey to do (not to mention the stamens–I had bandaged fingertips by the time I’d finished).

And since she’s a little brown-eyed Susan, I had to include a couple of those lovely flowers up at the top of the quilt.

Hopefully I’ll have some time later on this week to post on my first experience as a quilt show vendor, and joining the local quilt guild, and some thoughts on quilt patterns.