Thursday, February 25, 2010


I did a lot of research before I made my first quilt - reading books, looking at pictures and magazines.  The first time I laid eyes on a Cathedral Windows quilt, I knew that I wanted one, but geez, it looked like an overwhelming task.  I really didn't think I would ever be able to make one.  But once I got a few quilts under my belt, there was no stopping me!  I started constructing a Cathedral Windows in January of 2009.  Here is a picture of some of the blocks:

My APQ Blogger Buddies have seen these shots before.  By June of 2009 I had this much completed:

I am doing all the work by hand.  The quilt is now wide enough for a queen size bed with a 12-14 inch drop on each side.  I am now working on the length.   Here is what it looks like now:

This is one end.

Here is the other.

This is a shot of the back.  Hope you can see the stitching:

I've run out of the muslin fabric I have been using.  It is unbleached but almost white.  This requires a trip to JoAnne's Fabrics.  I still have plenty of colored squares.  I really like how it is turning out.  Here is a question:  Do you think I should bind it?  Traditionally, a Cathedral Window is not bound but I am worried about the edges "unsewing" themselves just through handling.  What do you think?


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


In my last post, I told you about the Playful Puppies I made for my grandsons and that I had a third puppy transfer for another grand.  Marsha suggested that, if the next grand is a girl, I should do the quilt in pink.  Well, I did this quilt in pink - sort of.

I had an idea for a quilt before I made the first puppy quilt, but it was very nebulous.  I had always liked the Southern Belles embroidery designs.  My idea was to compose (like that word!) a quilt with the Belles embroidered in pink.  I actually gathered quite a few.  But the Belles demanded colors - there was just too much detail to do them all in pink.

Joanne's Fabrics carries a line of embroidery transfer patterns called Aunt Martha's.  A lot of these patterns are day-of-the-week designs and she didn't let me down.  I found the perfect transfers for the quilt - Old-fashioned Southern Belles in just the perfect size.  I did them up all in pink!

I had planned on using the Irish Chain blocks like in the red and white quilts, but the little ladies had other ideas.  They wanted pink and white crazy quilt blocks!  Put on my thinking cap and came up with a method using ribbon and lace to make the blocks look like crazy quilts.  It worked!

The border was an accident.  The original idea was a ribbon border, but a little finagling and a touch of serendipity and I ended up with something completely different (I almost ran out of fabric, too.)  But that worked, too.    Here is how it started:

Here is how it ended up:

So here is the Pink Ladies quilt!

And here is the sweet little girl I made it for.  Her name is Gabrielle (Gabby for short).  She is the daughter of my dear friend, former coworker and adopted son, Luis Torres. 

And here is the pillow sham:

Luis was and is the best friend of my two sons, Luke and Joe. He and my sons grew up together all through elementary school and into high school. Somethimes I wasn't sure just how many sons I had, LOL!  Which then brings me to the quilt I made when Luis got married.   But that's a story for another time!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Alice of  BCQuilter challenged us to write about our first quilts.  Well, I can't write about the first one without including a second.  (The second was actually my 4th quilt.)  You will see why.

I spent about 4 years reading and researching quilting before I ever attempted my first quilt.  Everything I read made quilting seem really complicated and difficult, which really surprised me because I have been a sewer all my life.  Makes me laugh because those of us who learned by sewing clothing think quilting is difficult and those who learned by quilting think making clothing is difficult.  I looked at patterns and blocks, read directions, bought magazines, cutting mats, rotary cutter, pins (already had plenty of fabric), put sampler blocks together, and practiced pressing, but was never motivated (make that confident) enough to attempt a fulll-size quilt.  And then I found a quilt pattern in a little book that combined redwork embroidery and irish chain quilt blocks.

Well, I fell in love with the pattern (still love it) and decided within 5 seconds that I would make that quilt for my grandson, Liam (he's my first grand).  Instead of using the redwork designs from the book, I already had transfers for day of the week puppies (did I mention I love hand embroidery?), so decided to use them.  Cut the fabric, stamped it and started the embroidery.  I embroidered 4 sets of puppies using different shades of red. Found the red and white fabrics, paying careful attention to buy a light, medium and dark (I had never bought fabric that way before) and jumped in with both feet.  Here is the quilt:

That is Liam and my daughter in the picture.   Here is a look at the detail:

I made a pillow sham to match:

Here is Liam with his pillow sham:

But, Liam has a little brother, Warren.  So, of course, you can't make for one and not the other.  So, I found another set of puppies and made the same quilt for Warren.  The fabrics are diffent but the pattern is the same.  Here is Warren's quilt:

This is Warren and my daughter in the picture.  Here is a look at the detail:

Here is the pillow sham:

(I make pillow shams for all my quilts.)   The  two quilts are called "Playful Puppies I" and "Playful Puppies II".    I have a third set of puppy transfers for a future grandson, too, but we won't tell my daughter that - yet (BIG GRIN).