Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Finish: Quilts for Pulse

I haven't found the words to describe the Quilts for Pulse project, the impact it has had on our community, our guild, myself, and I am not sure I ever will.  The QFP top that was started at our annual Gruber's retreat has now been quilted and photographed, so it's about time I at least blogged about that.

Nine of us made the retreat this year; each of us made an oversized heart block from Happy Zombie's Love Quilt pattern.  

We each selected a color; you know I don't even remember for sure which color I chose ;-)

Lovely Mary!
 Mary, of course, selected turquoise blue!

Coming up with the block layout was a group effort and was not taken lightly...sure wish I had input from eight others all the time!

Love these girls!!!
The quilt top was finished in July at our retreat.   It sat patiently waiting to be quilted while I helped with other aspects of the QFP project.  Due to the overwhelming generosity of the worldwide community, our Orlando Modern Quilt Guild set about making quilt tops from the incredible number of heart blocks sent in, quilting and binding those tops, photographing each completed quilt, distributing quilts to those affected by the Pulse tragedy,  and writing thank you notes.

As for the quilting, I quilted various patterns in the heart blocks and the phrase "love is love is love" in the negative space.  I didn't mark the letters or lines, preferring to quilt organically as if I were writing those words.  I have messy handwriting ;-)))

Serendipity has been a common theme when discussing QFP with my guild friends.  (One day I hope someone writes all about that.)  When it came to the binding, I was in a hurry and grabbed from my leftover binding collection.  While stitching the binding to the front, I realized the fabric was all from Amy Butler's LOVE fabric collection!  During our Gruber retreat photo with the quilt, Stephanie and I realized we were both wearing our Glamp Stitchalot t-shirts designed by Monica aka Happy Zombie (not planned).  The backing is Amanda Jean's Good Neighbor's fabric line.  Serendipitous, indeed!

photo by Paula Kennedy Photography
Our heart quilt was finished (just) in time to be professionally photographed (thank you Paula Kennedy!) for QuiltCon's Quilt For Pulse exhibit.  After the photo shoot the quilt was gifted to a 911 operator who had to listen to and transcribe all the horrific emergency phone calls from that terrible night.

Our quit label

Quilty friends definitely do rock!  I am so grateful to my retreat friends for helping make this quilt for someone in need and so appreciative of the generosity of the worldwide quilting community that made it possible for the OrlandoMQG to deliver almost 1,800 quilts.

If you will be in Savannah next week for QuiltCon, please stop by the QuiltsforPulse exhibit and see photos of all the quilts made and donated.  There is an official meet up at the exhibit Saturday at 12:30, but at least one member from our guild will be there during all hours of the show.  
Hope I get the chance to say Hi! and Thank You!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Safety First!

Take it from me, you can't be too careful when it comes to using your rotary cutter!  

"Keep your hand elevated, Rene'!"
Even though I practice good habits, always closing my rotary cutter immediately after each "pass" and keeping my fingers away from the edge of the ruler, somehow my rotary cutter managed to jump over the ruler and slice my finger.  It was not a pretty sight.  Of course, I had just changed the blade that morning so it was super sharp.  The incident happened during a guild workshop, and my friends took really good care of me!  That trusty blue painters tape can also be used to wrap bandages ;-)))  Forget bandaids....keep painters tape and gauze in your Sew Together Bag!!!

Four stitches and a finger guard and I am good to go.
For now I am staying away from sharp instruments; not to mention it's difficult to hold a ruler steady with a finger guard on your index finger.

 I find that I can play with Legos though! 

Before slicing my finger in class, I did manage to make a block or two.  
It was a great workshop!

Happy (and safe) stitching,

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Friday Finish: Circle Play Needle Case

Last week I enjoyed a lovely wool appliqué workshop with Sue Spargo.  She was teaching in nearby Stuart, and several Orlando Modern Quilt Guild members signed up to take her Circle Play Needle Case (which is my finish for this week) class.  It was amazing to get away for a day with friends, and I needed that!
Sue's WIP....obviously not mine ;-)))
The class was hosted by Red Thread Studio and held at Ground Floor Farm.  The weather could not have cooperated any better for such a venue.  The class was held inside (in case you were wondering), but the view to the farm itself was right outside the glass doors where we enjoyed a delicious al fresco lunch.

Sue is an amazing teacher!  Eight different stitches were taught, and Sue spent time with each student making sure we all got it.  I have done some embroidery before, but this was my first time stitching on wool.  I would also say half of the stitches she taught were new to me.

You guessed it...this is MY WIP.
Obligatory group photo
As Sue says, you can keep going, stitching and stitching and stitching....  I found myself doing just that.  You have to call a halt at some point though, right?! 

Here is my finished needle case.  My little case could certainly benefit from a few more stitches, but I am pleased to have a finish.  Not to mention, I can now find my needles!  

Surely I am not the only one that uses a headlamp for hand sewing.
 I changed up the binding from what was in my kit and added a bit of embroidery to the spine.

I am enjoying my hand sewing projects so much that I have neglected my sewing machine.  Finding balance is not my strong suit ;-)))

Ending this post with another lovely Sue Spargo artwork!
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  Hope you had a productive week!
Thanks for stopping by.  Happy stitching,

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Finish: 50 Shades ... quilt

Happy Friday!!  Thank you everyone for the warm "Welcome Back" to blogging this week.
I have a recent finish to share, even though it isn't from this week.    This idea for my friend's 50th birthday quilt has been floating in my brain for quite a while now.  The quilt pattern is from Sunday Morning Quilts, and I used 50 (not 48, 49, or 51) different low volume fabrics and sprinkled in some bright, cheerful, and meaningful (to our friendship) prints.

Some of my favorite prints represent our girls' trip to NYC, dinner club, Halloween and Christmas spent together, shopping, happy hour, and our accounting backgrounds.  

I was able to try out quite a few quilting designs on my longarm as I quilted a different design in each row.  Phrases such as "Fabulous Fifty", "Five Perfect Tens", "Happy 50th Birthday" and "peace love and happiness" were quilted in as well as "friendship", "family", "50", "fifty", and "love".

The quilt was backed in a pretty Kaffe Fasset wide back print.  It seemed appropriate to use a print from Amanda Jean's Good Neighbors fabric line for the binding.  I did run short and pieced in a gray text fabric to make up the difference.

It's good to blog again, and it's an excellent feeling to have a quilt finish.  Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilt's finish it up Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Happy stitching,

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hitting the Reset Button

Well, I am WAY out of practice with blogging, and I am WAY behind on posting what's been going on in my world, but here I am ready to hit the reset button and began again...

Instead of starting with getting everyone (is anyone still out here reading?!) caught up on the last six months, let me tell you about one of my favorite ongoing projects at the moment.

I call these Happy Flower Blocks.  I love making them and have turned quite a few into pincushions, but I am now saving them all for a throw size quilt.  

A while back I made a hexie flower for Eleni and loved how Jodi stitched them all onto background squares.   I really enjoyed making that hexie block, but I am not a big fan of stitching all the hexies together.   Later I ran across this block on Amy Sinibaldi's Instagram feed and knew that was the EPP block I wanted to use.  I could not find reference to this block anywhere else, so I started calling it the Happy Flower Block.

 Stitching these blocks make me happy.  It's nice to just sit, slow down, and stitch for a bit.  Having a project that I can work on and hang out with my family is a bonus.

Sometimes I'll just sit and whip up a bunch of hexies, other times I will sew the four hexies onto the black square until I have a few, but my favorite part is stitching the flower onto the background square.  

I now have 28 blocks made for my throw quilt....only a hundred or so more to go!

If you are still here, please leave a comment and say hi!  I sure have missed being here.  Thanks and happy stitching,

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Quilts for Pulse

  We flew to Spain Friday/Saturday to spend two weeks with Eric as he finishes his year of teaching in Mora.  Our first morning waking up in Spain was to the news of mass casualties at an Orlando nightclub.  Later we were to learn that 49 people were murdered.  You've probably read all the news reports and know (more than I being out of the country) what I am talking about.

 I don't know whether it's been a good or bad thing that I have not been exposed to constant news developments on the attack.  I DO know how helpless I feel at the moment being so far away.  I ALSO KNOW that quilters are once again coming together to show their love and support of others!
 Our OrlandoMQG President and many, many others have worked tirelessly to formulate a plan to deliver quilts to the survivors, loved ones of the victims, and first responders.  The goal is huge, but so is the love of quilters.  

There isn't anything I can do at the moment (not even sew a block) other than help spread the word, share the links and thank those who are already sewing their hearts (pun intended) out! 

So here are a few links with information on helping the #QuiltsForPulse project:

The blocks should be mailed by August 15 and quilts by September 15.  Please add the #QuiltsforPulse to your photos on Instagram and if you want to smile, browse that hashtag and see how many people are already involved in making blocks and quilts as well as companies donating quilt supplies.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who is helping this project. Love does win!
Happy stitching,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Finish: Swap Pouch

Popping in to share the wide open zip pouch I made for my Glamp Stitchalot partner.  I used Noodlehead's free tutorial and made the medium size pouch.  

Leftover flying geese parts in favorite prints and low volume background paired with essex linen make up the top, and I cut into my Carolyn Friedlander Carkai prints for the bottom and the lining.

I will do just about anything to avoid using interfacing, so I quilted the outside panels of the bag before assembling to give it some substance.  

I also made my partner a thread catcher using Crazy Mom Quilts pattern and opted for the quilted version.  I love the notebook paper fabric that I recently found at my LQS in the bargain bin.

Both items were stuffed with lots of goodies, and my partner seemed happy which makes me happy!  Each time I participate in a swap, I say it will be my last ;-))

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts.  I'll pop back in later with all the fun details on Glamp.  Until then, have a fantastic weekend!