Barbara’s Gift

I don’t know if I’ve said enough about my friend Barbara.

She is the Carrie to my Samantha.

The Louise to my Thelma.

The Laverne to my Shirley.

Barbara always reminds me how special I am.

So over Christmas break, I opted to spend 50 hours of my life making her a quilt to show her how special she is to me.

 

It turned out HEAVENLY.

It’s a checkerboard pattern of nine patch squares and hourglass squares made from Tilda’s Bird Pond fabric.

It’s framed with a narrow border of off-white embossed fabric and then framed with a wide border of fabric by Elizabeths Studio called Hummingbird Bouquet.

The whole quilt is machine pieced, long arm quilted and hand bound.

I love it.

And I think Barbara does too:

 

I’m not going to lie.

There were a few tears (mostly Barbara’s) and a few declarations of undying friendship (mostly mine).

Couldn’t love this lady more.

Happy quilt, Barbara!

I love you!

The Gift of Love

Sorry my posts have been late.

I’ve had a hard time getting back into the swing of things after taking a break from the blog for eighteen days.

And now, instead of men and sex on the brain, I have crafting on the brain.

So I want to introduce you to my next project.

The Spruced Goose.

It’s a traditional Goose in a Pond square surrounded by purple batik stars.

I happen to love it and though I’m not 100% positive who I’m making it for, I have a good idea of who I might give it to.

I love that it uses a prismatic rainbow of batik fabrics.

And the purple and white star sashing that ties it all together is beautiful using this selection of purple floral batiks.

The surprising thing about this quilt is that it uses 10-inch layer cake squares (10” x 10”) instead of fat quarters (18” x 20-22”).

I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to slowly work on this quilt one square at a time.

I can’t binge quilt anymore but I can piece this puppy together one little bit at a time.

To give you an idea of costs, I’ve spent $138.53 on the fabric for the top of the quilt.

I estimate it’ll cost $100 for batting and fabric backing and $150 to quilt.

So $390 in total for a quilt, isn’t bad.

It’s definitely a gift of love.

Glorious Holidays

I had eighteen days off over the holidays.

You may wonder, what does a person do with almost three whole weeks off?

Well, the answer is I SLEPT.

I slept A LOT.

I also visited friends during the holidays.

I played Cards Against Humanity and I laughed until I need my pants (but just a little).

What can I say, I’ve given birth three times and my sphincter just isn’t what it used to be.

Sigh.

I also spent a lot of time watching NCIS.

I’m up to season 8 in a 16 season TV series.

Sadly, I didn’t get to see The Swede.

But this is the way things go when you live 5,327 miles apart.

I did EXACTLY what I said and I binge watched TV while quilting.

And guess what?

I made THIS!

I spent some good quality time with my boys before I said goodbye to my oldest son as he left for Army boot camp in Missouri.

My youngest son got his driver’s license.

I sat naked in a hot tub and soaked under the stars.

Sure, I was alone but oh, well.

That’s someone else’s loss 😉

It was a GLORIOUS holiday and one I will treasure forever.

Binge Quilt for the Holidays

It’s been a while since I quilted.

It’s not that I lost interest, it’s just that my free time is so limited and I tend to lose steam when I can’t quilt for hours on end, so I felt it best not to start a new project.

But with 18 days off for the holidays, I had the time to work on a quilt.

Instead of working with my own pattern (I considered making a Storm At Sea quilt), I opted to use one by Konda Luckau from McCall’s Quilting Spring 2013.

This time I kept track of my hours while quilting and I can tell you with certainty that this quilt is a 48 hour quilt.

It’s a gift for Barbara.

The inner alternating hourglass and 9-patch squares consist of Bird Pond fabrics by Tilda Fabrics.

The outer frame is made from a beautiful hummingbird, butterfly, and floral print called Hummingbird Bouquet by Elizabeths Studio.

In case Barbara didn’t already know that I love her and cherish our friendship, now she knows.

More QUILTS!

Oh dear.

I’ve gone a little bonkers and bought myself eleven quilt patterns.

No worries, they were about $3 each, so I didn’t break the bank.

They were instant downloads though so I immediately got to look at the directions and plan out my quilts.

First things first, even though Good Fortune won the poll for my upcoming quilt, I’ve decided to go with Birdpond.

Why?

Because there’s not a smidge of pink in Good Fortune and I’m making this quilt for Barbara who LOVES pink.

Also, I think the pattern just makes more sense with the swatches from Birdpond.

And once I see something I can’t unsee it.

Sure, I could make the quilt with Good Fortune but I’d forever be lamenting that there was no pink in it.

I find it rather appropriate that the fabric collection is titled “Birdpond” and the main fabric I am using has hummingbirds on it.

Serendipity!

So it’s settled.

Barbara’s quilt will be made with Birdpond.

Don’t fret about Good Fortune, though.

Ironically, I already have the fabric and I intend to make this zig zag quilt from them:

Also?

I fell in love with another quilt, one made with batik fabrics the color of the rainbow.

I love it so much I needed to get the pattern.

All the fabric costs $75 on Amazon, so it’s a relatively inexpensive quilt as far as ingredients go.

I’ve decided if The Swede and his daughter don’t come to California this holiday break, I will spend my time quilting and binge watching old episodes of NCIS.

Pajamas all day.

Here’s hoping I don’t actually get a single stitch completed on my quilting projects.

I’d rather be with my Swedes.

 

Design input needed

Help me make a quilt.

I’m working on a new quilt after taking a year off from quilting and I’m a bit rusty.

Can you help me by voting for your favorite combination?

I can pair my floral fabric with Tilda’s Birdpond fabrics:

Or I can pair it with Kate Spain’s Good Fortune:

Which one do you prefer?

Tilda’s Birdpond or Kate Spain’s Good Fortune?

Help a gal out here. . .

Luck

I am working on a new quilt.

It’s been a while since I broke out my rotary cutter, cutting board and sewing machine and made something beautiful.

This quilt is called “Bed of Roses.”

It’s absolutely gorgeous, and relatively simple to make.

As is usually the case, the free pattern I have makes a lap quilt and I want to make a QUEEN size quilt.

Usually, I don’t follow patterns.

I make up my own.

Like this wonderful airplane quilt I made for my nephew.

I actually sold the design to a quilt shop in exchange for free long arm quilting.

Although I can do the calculations to size the quilt up, I broke down and actually bought the full size pattern so that I could save myself the trouble of ALL THOSE CALCULATIONS.

Now, the fun part begins – FABRIC SELECTION!

I need 30 fat quarters to create the quilt and it’s gonna be a lot of fun picking out the colors I want.

The trick to making I good quilt, in my opinion, is finding a good cornerstone fabric to work with.

The colors and patterns in that fabric lay the foundation for the rest of the quilt.

I’ve selected these fabrics:

Lots of colors to work with.

Lots of patterns to work with.

And, of course, a simply gorgeous design.

Wish me luck!

I’m a quilter

I am a quilter.

I have no idea WHERE the desire to quilt comes from.

I’m not a particularly PATIENT person.

I don’t think of myself as terribly ARTISTIC.

And yet, I quilt.

I’ve made upwards of 30 – 40 quilts so far.

I’ve given all of them away as gifts to friends, families, and ex-boyfriends.

The things I do when I’m in love.

Oy!

Anyway, as it turns out, quilting may be in my DNA.

The Norwegians have a long tradition of quilting.

And I discovered that the lodge I’m trying to join has a history of quilting:

I’m hoping, should they ever respond to my request to join, that this will work in my favor.

I’m a quilter AND a little bit Norwegian.

Check out some of my quilts (sorry for the bad lighting):

My Homeless Quilt Finds a Home

It may come as a surprise to many of you that I am a quilter.

Yes, even I have domestic tendencies.

And I’m not a casual quilter.

No.

I’ve made about 40 – 50 quilts for family and friends over the years.

For a few years now I’ve had my “Homeless Quilt” – so called because I made it and had no one to give it to.

It’s a safari style quilt, with lots of orange, brown, and black.

It also had lots of texture:  faux suede, leather, and cotton blends.

I heart it!

This past week was Tejas’ birthday and I finally realized who I’d made the quilt for.

HIM!

So I gifted him this HUGE king size quilt – 120″ x 120″.

And you  know what?  I think he LOVED IT!

Artistic Abilities

Groupon is determined to make me take a painting class.

Clearly, they have not received the memo re: my artistic skills.

No matter how hard I try to paint or draw, everything turns out looking like a kindergartner drew it.

I find this ironic, because my beautiful birthmother (below) is an AMAZING artist and can draw and paint absolutely anything to perfection.

I guess it skipped a generation.

What am I good at as far as art goes?

Well…. I can quilt up a storm (samples below) and have probably completed at least 40 quilts for my family and friends.

q1 q2
q3 q4
q5 q6
q7 q8

 

That’s about it.

Oh yeah, I can sing too.

Does that count as art?

In any case, I’m still looking for activities to do, that don’t involve a paint brush and canvas.

Here’s a list of what I’d like to do:

  • Attend the Elton John concert
  • Go great white shark diving
  • Go camping
  • Go fishing
  • Go boating
  • Go sailing (doing this on 6/14/14)
  • Learn to surf
  • Fly an airplane (again)
  • Learn to make beer
  • Take a go go dance class at Sedusa Studios
  • See Jim Gaffigan perform
  • Go to the theater
  • See an opera live
  • Go rafting with friends, drink beer 🙂
  • Play ball at the batting cages
  • Take a mixology class
  • Take a Barre 3 class (under the high recommendation of my friend Christina)
  • Go to a Giants game
  • See the 49ers play in the new Levi’s Stadium

Any other ideas?  Share them with me at michelle@unblunder.com or comment below.