Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wee Wander Quilt

Well, hello and welcome back! Indeed, let me welcome myself back to this little blog.  The thing is, I haven't had as much time for quilting in the past two years, and I haven't felt much motivation to blog. But I do feel that "keeping up" with the quilting community inspires me to keep sewing. It feeds my creativity and my motivation.  

So sharing a blog post or two every now and then will hopefully keep me connected to my quilting (and other) friends and keep me motivated and on track in my quilting goals.  Also, I just like to have pictures of my quilts in one spot. That's here. There are a few quilts that I made last year that I was in such a hurry to gift that I didn't even photograph them.  Now, that makes me sad!  At the time, I didn't think that I cared too much. But it turns out, I do.  So here's to better documentation of my quilts!

As it turns out, this is my THIRD quilt out of these "Wee Wander" by Sarah Jane fabrics.  The other two were baby quilts (seen here) that were given to a friend and sister-in-law for their new babies.  But this one is for MY baby!  Actually, it's for my oldest baby, Elyse, for her ninth birthday.

The pattern is called "Red Velvet" by Camille Roskelley, and gee did I wish I had a bigger design wall when planning this quilt. My sweet husband was a dear to put up with it sitting (in dozens of pieces) on the bedroom floor for what turned into two weeks!

We're always told not to play favorites, but heck - this print (above) is mine!  The girl reminds me of how I used to collect fireflies as a child, and now, she reminds me of how my daughter currently does.   She looks like us!

So many of these prints are really lovely and perfect for my daughter. She loves the outdoors and especially loves horses, so I love that particular theme in this fabric line.  I also love how the prints used for negative space still had images in them, like the girls feeding the birds.

A last little touch that I think is sweet is the addition of this "P.S. I love you" tag.  I have a miserable track record when it comes to labeling my quilts, but this was a super cute find at a local quilt shop, and I've enjoyed adding them to quilts lately.

And of course, a huge "shout out" to Anne who quilted this with her signature "meander". Thanks, friend!

Up next... my third "Posy" quilt.  Can't wait to share that one.  See you back here soon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Not much to show...

... for not posting on this little blog for over a year! Oh dear! I have really let blogging fall by the wayside, and to be honest, quilting, too! It's been so sad. But I have missed archiving my work in this space.  I have shared some of my makings on Instagram and Facebook, but it's just not the same.  Every now and then I will come back to this space and look at old quilts that I made and be thrilled all over again with some of the things I've done but forgotten about!

So I'm going to try to post every now and then just to keep a record of what I've been sewing.

First up... I don't have a good picture of this finished quilt, but you get the idea: half square triangles of Cotton + Steel.  This was a charity quilt for a good friend of mine.

Next up: this quilt went our friend, Gracie.  She one of Charlotte's best friends and good helpers, too! When she turned 16 earlier this year, it was time to whip up a quilt for her.  I used a jelly roll of Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter and a Camille Roskelley pattern. I love how it turned out, and I think she did too!  ;)

After Gracie's quilt came another quick quilt from pre-cuts and another Camillle Roskelley pattern. This one was a surprise for a quilt-loving friend at church.

Now this little pillow was done just a week or two ago.  I'm still working on a quilt for my youngest, Marian.  I'm trying to make a quilt for each of my four kiddos on their even-numbered birthdays.  Marian was turning four earlier this month, but alas - her quilt is still in the making.  But these little economy blocks came to the rescue.  I did a handful of them back when it was the trend, but didn't make enough for a quilt before I got distracted moved along to something else. But don't they look so cute as a pillow?  They were a quick fix to my little, gift problem as I finish up her quilt.

Now I've saved the best for last... this is my third "Wee Wander" quilt and what I think is my best quilt ever! It was surely the most complicated pattern that I have ever done.  And I just love this fabric so much. These colors are not quite true to life as this picture was taken with my phone, but maybe one day I'll get this quilt in a proper photo shoot.  It's really worth it!

Despite the small photo, it really is a fairly large quilt (for me, at least). The pattern is called "Red Velvet" by Camille Roskelley (again!) and it finishes at 64x73 inches.  My friend, Anne, graciously quilted it for me nearly a year ago! But I kept it a secret from my eldest, Elyse, till her ninth birthday party last week. (No, not an even-numbered year for her, but the quilt was ready, so why not? In fact, maybe it's a year late.  I doubt she got one last year...)

So that is all for now.  If you are still reading, after all this time, and now all the way to the end, you  might be wondering - "But what about Charlotte?!" She is doing so very well. She has been off of chemo for over two years now, and her subsequent MRIs still show "stable disease." That's the short version, and hopefully I'll do a longer post on her soon.  Soon! ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A "Made in Cherry" Made with Posy

Dear Little Posy Quilt,

How I love thee.  

You took forever to make.

But keeping all your fussy cut images upright made sewing each square one by one well worth it.

I love your strawberry backing...

...and how you crinkled up so softly after the wash.

You were even so easy to quilt.  

Last but not least, I love your photo bomber, too.

Your quilter

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Happy Go Lucky" Hourglasses

 I finished this quilt maybe two months ago now... just trying to catch up on my blogging.  :)  

I paired a few fat-eighth cuts of Bonnie & Camille's "Happy Go Lucky" fabrics with some solids that I had on hand.  Then I dug into my scrap bin for the piano keys border.

I just love how it turned out!  Really: this is one of my top three favorite quilts.

I did the backing with another piece of "Briar Rose" that I had on hand. I'm just not sure I can get enough of those mama bees knitting!

This was a gift for Baby Lucy whom I know from church. Her mother is a dear who appreciates handmade goods and once upon a time called my quilts "Rad."  Yup... that's how you get on the fast track to a handmade quilt in my book.  

"Rad" + new baby = I'll whip you up a quilt in no time.  ;)

Friday, May 1, 2015

May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month

In the past, I have already begun begging people for charitable donations by this time of year.  I decided to take a break from it this year, with the exception of today's one little blitz.

Last weekend, we attended the annual fundraising event for Duke's Brain Tumor Center.  They do a fabulous job at this institution, and it was our fourth year in attendance.  So these sweet pictures are from that event (and were taken by my friend, Kellie).

Charlotte insisted on giving a kiss to her brain tumor buddy, Layla.

This coming weekend, we will be attending for the second time a fundraiser in the form of a motorcycle ride to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Funding the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) is so important to me because while the NCI currently gives a mere 4% of their budget to pediatric research, the PBTF supports research that is both pediatric and brain tumor specific.

Charlotte has been living with brain cancer for four years now - the entirety of her life.  It is difficult to explain her situation when the question, "How is she doing?" arises.  She is doing GREAT in day to day life.  She is full of joy and is as silly as can be.  Charlotte giggles all. day. long.  She has a very high quality of life.  She is greatly loved.  But regarding the long-term issue of her cancer, Charlotte currently has progressive disease; the cancer has metastasized and spread since we had to stop chemo last September.  However, our hands are tied when it comes to treatment options.  Because the primary tumor is on her brainstem, it will never be able to be removed.  She has already completed courses of three chemo drugs and has been rejected from being eligible for another three.  There are very few drugs left to try.  None of them will be a "cure." At best, future therapies might buy her some more time, while hopefully maintaining a reasonably high quality of life.

Won't you please consider giving generously so that we can translate research into better therapies for our kids?  We need more options and fewer toxicities.

Click here to donate today.  And a huge THANK YOU for doing so.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Sherbert Pips Quilt

Marian's birthday was back in November.

This pretty quilt was finished only a few months later.

I took two charm packs of Aneela Hoey's "Sherbert Pips" line and did a little "disappearing nine-patch" pattern.

Then I added some Kona Ash sashing and a border of Sarah Jane's hopscotch print.

So quick and easy!

And then I sent it off to my quilter for a little "meander" goodness.  (Don't you just love that girl on the swing?)

The backing got a little interesting as I tried to use up every charm and not purchase new fabric, all at once!

Marian might be the littlest person in my home, but she's my biggest quilt lover.  This quilt is no exception.

In other news, I celebrated a birthday earlier this week.  I don't really like cake - unless it's made out strips of binding and sitting atop a pretty, little dresden plate! Such a charming little gift, wouldn't you say?

(Linking up to Finish it up Friday.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Charlotte's Birthday Quilt

This is the quilt that I made for Charlotte's birthday.  Only, poor dear, when Charlotte unwrapped the quilt, it still had the clover clips attached and the binding only half done!  Oh, I'm terrible with deadlines...

(And nevermind the outdated pictures.  Spring is in full, glorious swing here in North Carolina. I meant to post these pictures right away when I took them in late February, but life gets in the way, you know?)

Anyhow, this quilt got started back in September when I spotted the Heather Ross "Itsy Bitsy Spider" fabric for the first time.  I'm such a fan of Heather Ross, but am also so new to quilting that some of these older fabric lines are "news to me." And Charlotte is a fan of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (she was singing it just this morning, in fact), so of course I just had to buy a fat quarter or two of this sweet fabric.

And then I threw in a bunch of coordinating fabrics.  See "Posy" below.  I cannot get enough of this sweetness!  (I'm making another Posy quilt now using Fielke's "Made in Cherry" pattern; it's divine, if I do say so myself.)

Back to the quilt at hand, though: more Heather Ross fabric in the form of Briar Rose strawberries.  A favorite of mine... sigh.

Anne gave me these trees as a little scrap probably two years ago now! I am proud to have made a place for it here.

Here's the backing: two different DS quilts fabrics from JoAnn's.

I love the backing.

I also love the quilting.  Logan did this for me yet again.  I love how it crinkles after it's been washed.

One thing I don't love is the gray (Kona Shale) that I used.  I should have gone with Kona Ash.  Oh well: that's one reason I love quilting - I'm always learning.

See the snowflakes on the quilt?  Oh, it was not lost on me that the morning I wake up to a six-inch snowfall, instead of wrapping my kids up in quilts to keep them warm, I toss the quilts out on top of the snow to take frivolous pictures!  The quilts came back inside wet and useless.  Ridiculous.

Here's my youngest.  At age 2, this is the most snow Marian has ever seen.  She loved it.

And I love this last picture.  Clearly, Marian has been studying and practicing her impressions of Marion Cotillard.  While my Marian might want to step up her fashion game, the glance and smile over her shoulder aren't bad, eh?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Quilt Auction Housekeeping

Gee, I wish I could say that I made this stunning, little beauty.  But it was a gift from my sweet friend, Anne.  Isn't it fantastic, and aren't I just the luckiest gal alive to be the recipient?  And if you can believe it, the husband even approved it to be hung on the wall.  A first!  Even he must love it.  Anyhow, just wanted to put that picture up as a teaser to more boring matters at hand...

Quilt Auction.  It's usually this time of year that I am receiving quilts from all over the country, photographing them, and writing up posts to advertise. Unfortunately, while I do love to raise funds toward pediatric brain cancer research, I am unable to do the auction this year.  My day-to-day life finds me super-busy with four little kiddos at home and the homeschooling that they require.  So I have decided to take this year off.

I have been given two quilts, however, that were unsolicited by me but donated by sweet ladies who want to help.  I plan to do a "mini-auction" for these two quilts this spring.  Please contact me ASAP if you have a quilt that you had been planning to donate but haven't yet let me know.  I would be happy to auction a few more quilts in addition to the two that I currently have, but I just cannot swing an auction of 20+ quilts this year.

I hope to be able to do a larger auction again in 2016.  (Oh, it really is so much fun, isn't it?!)  Thank you for your understanding and support of our cause.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Celebrating Charlotte's Birthday

It happened a month ago now, but Charlotte turned four years old!  I can hardly believe it; it's almost too good to be true. Our family and friends alike marvel at Charlotte's life. I know that many pray for a "healing miracle" for Charlotte; truly, I marvel at the miracle that she is already.  Yes, she has a terrible cancer.  But for now, she also has breath in her lungs and joy in heart.  Darn it all if I don't love this kid to bits and pieces!

Alright, let me show you the pictures from her party.  First, I should explain that our family doesn't really "do" birthday parties.  Invite the grandparents, order a pizza and bake a little cake, and that's about all the hubbub our kids usually get. Three months ago, things got a little c-c-crazy when I bought some streamers for Elyse and Marian's joint birthday.  ;)

So you'll believe me when I say that we truly felt like a celebration was in order this year when we hosted 25 people in our home!  I suppose that six of those twenty five already occupy the home day in, day out, but still... that many people felt like a big deal to me.  We had both sets of grandparents come from Virginia, my sister, Shannon, flew in from New York City, and then local friends, too (including nurse-friends from Duke and Charlotte's oncologist with his wife).

Enough rambling. Here are some pictures.  First up, we did "Charlotte games."  Charlotte's arms have been paralyzed by her tumor, but no worries: she is quite adept with her feet.  It was important to my husband and me that the kids play games in the same manner as Charlotte.  So the first game we played was coloring with toes.

Next up: stacking blocks with feet.  We didn't get a very good picture of Charlotte doing this, but really: she is a pro!  I wish I had her abs of steel.  She doesn't even support herself with her arms (as you see Henry doing in the picture below), yet I have seen build a tower at least seven blocks high!  She amazes me.

My husband named the final game "The Rump Race."  When Charlotte is not in her wheelchair, she scoots across the floor on her bottom.  So we lined the kids up at one of the room, and they had to scoot on their bottoms all the way to the other end.  Here's Charlotte leading the pack:

After the games, we ate a little bit.  (But I will spare you pictures of us stuffing our faces.  Phew!)  Then presents.  Charlotte has such thoughtful friends and family members.  :)  My gift to her was a new quilt (imagine that), but I'm still working on taking some good pictures of it.  I'll share that quilt in a later post.  

Candles and cake!   These next two pictures are just absolutely priceless in my mind.

And Charlotte just had to keep Barney for herself...

This next picture of Marian?  I die.  If she isn't just the cutest little thing I ever did see...

I just love this picture.  These are my kids and Tracy's kids.  They are like cousins; they just love each other so much.

And here is Charlotte with "her" Dr. G. (She'll say, "When do we go to Duke and see my Dr. G?"  Isn't that so cute?  Stop being so possessive, Charlotte! He does have other patients, you know...)

One last photo: the birthday girl flying across the floor in the great little scooter her Papa bought for her.  

This was truly one of the happiest days of my life.  It was so special to me to have these particular people in our home: the ones who love Charlotte most and know all that she has been up against and has been through to get this far.  And while Charlotte has quite the spunky personality out of the house, she is even more vivacious in her own home where she is most comfortable and at ease.  So I just loved having our friends and family see that side of her, too.  I truly felt as though my heart might burst for joy all throughout the party.  It was so much fun and so very special to me.

If you're still reading this far... thanks!  :)  And a million thanks, as always, to my sweet friend, Kellie, who acted like my personal photographer and took all these great pictures.