Wednesday, August 24, 2011

{WiP} Wednesday ~ Number 15

WIP Wednesday at Fresly Pieced
(I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for {WiP} Wednesday) 

We had our FRMQG meet-and-sew this past weekend, and I actually got to do a leetle bit of sewing, which is kinda miraculous since I haven't every actually sewn at a sew since we moved here. :)  I give credit to the awesome team of leaders that run this guild with me - they seriously keep my head on straight...and give me the opportunity to sew! I'm so blessed.

Two things I worked on were:

(a) Paper Piecing, with a fabulous tutorial from the lovely Audrey. I made an M. If I had the energy (and the time?) I would like to make a little zipper pouch for the mama I'm giving (b) to. But the shower is this Saturday, and I'm not sure I'll be able to do it in time. (I'm kinda slow).


(b) Zee Baseball Quilt!  I'm not finished with it, but I finished the quilting last night, now I just need to bury the stitches, trim the batting, clean up all the stray threads, fold the back over and "bind" it. Oh, and put a label on it. I haven't the froggiest idea what to put on the label, though. Maybe I'll just put the baby's name and date of birth and my name and the date of the shower? Is that too lame?

What isn't lame, though, is this quilt. The stitches got a little out of hand till I determined that I needed to use my regular automatic stitch function (i.e., not my own, irregular foot at the end of my leg). And let me just tell you, if you attempt this yourself? Unpicking is NOT a joyous occasion. There were a lot of "frickin's" and "frackin's" coming out of my mouth...  But I love it! It isn't perfect, but I like how it turned out, and I'll probably keep the idea in my back pocket for other baseball loving boys getting born.

In my non-meet-and-sew time, I worked a teensy bit on my Fenced In quilt-along I'm doing with my 9 year-old neighbor. We trimmed all her fabric (and by "we", I mean "I" because she couldn't figure out how to run the rotary cutter and not her mouth...), and I gave her the homework of evenly distributing her strips among 30 pieces of cardstock so when it comes time to sew her blocks, we'll be all set. Personally, I've got too many other quilts on the go to stop and work on my Fenced In quilt right now. I'll catch up to her, though.  She's coming over Thursday to get started. Lord help me. :)

And, lastly, I'm binding a quilt for my local Quilts of Valor chapter. The leader and I were the only ones at the August meeting, and we didn't get much accomplished, so I agreed to bring home one of the quilts to (machine - ack!) bind. I'm going to try to use a wavy stitch this time. Maybe my failure has been using a straight stitch... :)

Other than that, I haven't done a thing. I hope you have a great, productive week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

{WiP} Wednesday - my 14th

June 28th was the last time I blogged here. Ugh.

I got WAY over my head trying to finish my Robert Kaufman Kona Solids Challenge quilt (which I finished about 2 hours before the meeting started!), and then we went on vacation, and then we came back and I've just been working, working working on a few projects.

First, here's a picture of my Solids Challenge. It's actually still a WiP, though, because I have to redo the binding. It just didn't turn out like I wanted, and I just can't live with it like it is, so I'm not finished. One of these days I'll actually write a whole blog post about it. :)

Kona Challenge ~ Rainbow Falls (The Falls)

I've also made a few bee blocks. One Christmas set for Libby, and one Confetti block for Traci.

Here are Libby's blocks:
Bee Happy Bee ~ All Libby's Blocks

She asked for one tree block, and said that, if we wanted to do another one, we could do whatever we want. Well, inspiration struck twice! :)  She sent us a bit of Laurie Wisbrun's Santa Boots fabric, and I decided to make a gigantic block of Christmas boots. This was special to me because at Christmas, instead of filling stockings on Christmas Eve, we decorate our rain boots and fill those instead. It's our goofy little tradition, but it's fun. :)  And the other block was inspired by Japanese quilter, Yoshiko Jinzenji. I knew Libby would be cool with it, so I went with it. I tried paper-piecing, and had to throw out the first wasn't worth trying to unpick it! But the second one turned out like I planned. Yay!

Here's Traci's block:
Confetti Block for Traci
The Front Range Modern Quilt Guild is doing a block swap, and we decide which block we want, then each month someone else makes one for us. She gave me all the fabric for it, and then set me free to make a Confetti block. I used Liz's tutorial and went a little crazy with the confetti bits. :) I think Traci likes it, though.

I also finished a little "repurpose" project. Sometime in June, I was given free access to a PILE of home dec fabrics that were donated to a community center in town. I only had a minute, but when I started digging, I found a "scrap" from a satin comforter that I thought would be the perfect size for a little baby blanket. I told the people who run the community center that I would bind it and bring it back to them. I absolutely love how it turned out. And all I had to do was bind it! Although I did add a little brown satin loop on one side and a blue satin loop on the other. Babies love satin, and moms love loops. :)

Satin baby blanket ~ see both sides

When I dropped that off last week, I showed them the first of 5 (yes, five) quilts that I am making for a homeless family at our church. See, August is my month for the do.Good Stitches {Faith} circle, and when I approached my church about a family in need, I was sent to the man who runs the community center. He told me of a homeless family that lives at the community center when they can...otherwise they stay in a "no-tell motel", if ya know what I mean. I have yet to meet the family, but they sound really cool. There are four kids, ages 9, 6, 5 and 3, and the parents work opposite shifts at 7-11 so someone is always home with the kids. As we were talking, I got to thinking that maybe my {Faith} Circle ladies would be willing to step it up a bit and make 4 simple blocks for me rather than 2 complicated blocks, so I said I thought we could make a small quilt for each child. (I sent each bee member a small square of character fabric, one for each child, and asked for simple, two-border blocks). Not too much on my plate, really... 

Then we were talking some more, and I learned that 2 years ago, they had a little baby that died in her sleep. 4 months old. Tragic. I was sitting there feeding goldfish to my two, wondering if that smell belonged to one of mine, or not, as they were telling me the story. And then they showed me her picture, and my heart broke into a million pieces.  This is Emma.

This is Emma

Isn't she gorgeous? Seriously. Every time I look at that picture, even now, I shake my head and think "that could have been Sprout." Her eyes are so bright, and her cheeks so smoochy, and it looks like there was always a smile on her face. The best picture they have of her is a cell phone picture. And they don't even have a wall to hang it on, you know? So, I decided that I could incorporate her picture into each of the quilts using Artist Transfer Paper. And I wanted to embroider her name and dates of birth and death on each one. That proved to be a bit challenging, but in the end, my friend and guild-mate, Jodi, was able to do it for me.  And, y'all? I am SO doggone glad I did it. I'll be honest with you. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of having a picture of a baby that was no longer with us on each of the quilts. "Isn't that a bit morbid?", I thought. "Isn't that going to be a constant reminder to them of what happened?"  But I went with the guidance of the people who know the family best, and did it. And after they were done, and I'd put the first Emma block into the first quilt, I realized that they were right and that I was being small-minded.

{Faith} Circle Tinkerbell Quilt ~ top

This family doesn't have a home. They don't have a mailing address. They don't have a wall or a mantle to put a single picture of Emma on. Me? I've got my wall of family pictures, don't you? And I've got thousands on my computer. They have ONE cell phone picture of her. ONE. This way, at least they'll be able to see her gorgeous little face and remember her fondly instead of being sad that they might be forgetting what she looked like.

And when I showed this to Stacy, the one who knows the family the best, she nearly started to cry. It's only the quilt top, and she was floored. The ladies in the {Faith} Circle really showed that we're the best circle out there. :)  I especially love how we each made blocks independently, but they go together SO well!

I'm finishing up the second quilt top tonight.
{Faith} Circle Tiana Quilt ~ top in strips

I've got two more quilt tops to make for the two boys, but I'm waiting on a few blocks from my bee mates. I plan on backing each of them with minkee so they're soft and warm on these cold Colorado nights.

And, we continued to talk, I realized something very important. Moms often get overlooked when gifts are given. So in a moment of weakness, I decided to make the mom a quilt all on my own. Moms deserve their own quilts, too, you know. :)  I didn't know at the time what I would make for her, but I believed that God would lead me. Shortly thereafter, the Front Range MQG was given our pieces of Jay McCarroll's Habitat fabric for our challenge. And it just clicked! Habitat. For a homeless mom. A habitat is where we live, and they live wherever they can. But she'll (hopefully) take this quilt with her, so she'll always have something lovely for her habitat.

Here is the beginning of that quilt. I'm using these 3 pieces of Habitat with a lovely Eggplant solid to make Joelle Hoverson's Little Bits quilt.

Habitat Challenge Quilt ~ The Plan

But I can't get started on that until I finish a baby quilt I'm working on.  Some friends just had a baby boy, so I conjured up the idea of making a baseball quilt for them using red, white and blue Kona solids, and using a decorative baseball-like stitch from my machine in red thread to quilt it. My plan is to quilt in the ditch around the block lines in blue, and then quilting waves in red just over the white circles so it will look like a baseball.  I've still got to put the top together and then I hope to quilt it at our MQG Sew this weekend. In my head, it's gonna look fabulous! :)
Baseball for Babies ~ The unfinished top

And THAT, my friends, is the short list of what I'm working on. :) 

Hopefully I'll be back next week with some more in-progress pictures. I hope you have a great, productive week!

I'm late for the link-up, but I want to link up to Lee's Freshly Pieced {WiP} Wednesday post.