Quilts 2009-2012

I've only been quilting for a few years, but have been sewing since I was about 9. My quilting began by accident and has progressed to some pretty fun and more complicated projects. I have a long way to go, but am happy with where I am. Here are some of my projects so far...  and not necessarily in completion order. I'm still hunting for pix of some of my more recent quilts that are hiding in other folders than my stitching projects, so more will be added in time. I hope you enjoy this tour and would love your comments and feeback!

Enlightened Souls (completed 2012)
This quilt started as two separate sets of block kits collected on Quilter's Quest shop hops a year apart. The first year the shops handed out the kimono blocks and the next year the lanterns. I didn't have any idea what I would do with them, so stuck them in a drawer. A couple of years later I was working with my friend Adele, a life coach and somatic counselor, and knew that before my move I had to make her a quilt and these blocks started speaking to me. I added the crane fabric and started playing with the layout. The cranes are completely outlined in gold thread and I did extensive pebbling around the kimonos. It was my most adventurous project in Free Motion Quilting so far and is my favorite quilt that I've made to date. Adele blessed me by visiting me in my new home in Kansas in October 2012, several months after my move cross-country, and brought the quilt to me to share with my guilds and to enter in this year's fair. It will be safely returned to her this fall after its showings.

Quilt of Valor 2012
This collection of red, white and blue blocks was from the 2011 Quilter's March Madness shop hop. At a guild quilting retreat I started assembling the blocks with plans to make a QOV in time for Veteran's Day 2012. At another guild meeting, a trunk show included fun things to do with Marti Michell's Sashing Stars set of rulers, which I bought and used in this quilt. The log cabin block was larger than the others, so I set it on point and surrounded it with patriotic encouragement fabric. The guild had decided to honor veterans from the Vietnam War and, knowing he had never received one, I chose to send it to my brother who served in the Navy for 11 years, including six tours in Vietnam. He was blown away on Christmas morning when he opened it. I'm so grateful I was able to be the one to give him his QOV!

Cindy's Snowflakes (completed 2012)
While the pattern looks much more like stars, it's actually a quick and easy Stack-and-Slash pattern that I quilted with large free motion snowflakes in each of the blocks. A quilting buddy and I got together and brought all of our Christmas fabrics and then did a fat-quarter swap. This quilt included several new-to-me fabrics that were a great addition to my own collection of Christmas fabrics. I figured if my brother got a quilt (the QOV above), his wife should have one too!

Jordyn's Jungle (completed 2012)
This quilt started out in 2003 with a set of embroidered blocks to be put together into a baby quilt for my granddaughter. Well... I moved, several times, ultimately from Kansas to California. The blocks were scattered from Kansas to California in my daughter's sewing box, my stash that had moved cross-country, and in my mom's sewing box in California. It was talked about more than once, but we couldn't find the blocks. Finally, nearly eight years later when I was unpacking from my move back to Kansas in early 2012, the blocks started showing up again! I finished embroidering the remaining blocks, went shopping for the sashing and border fabrics, and started putting it together. My granddaughter got this for her 9th birthday and still loves it even if it was supposed to be a "baby" quilt.

Jacob's Jungle (completed 2012)
When my younger daughter found out she was pregnant, she called me and asked if I would make her baby quilt. I immediately said YES, planning to do better than with Jordyn's that she got at age 9. LOL! So, she picked out the fabric, Sweet Safari Organic from Clothworks. I thought and thought about what I would do with it. I'd ordered a fat-quarter bundle as well as extra yardage of a couple of the prints and coordinating fabrics to use for borders and backing. The large print begged to be fussy cut and framed and that became the quilt! It made me think pretty hard, doing the math to make each row the same height and width despite the varying sizes of the fussy cut blocks and frames. I was excited to have it win the first place blue ribbon at both the 2012 Lyon County Fair and the 2012 Kansas State Fair!

Good Night Moon (completed 2012)
When Jacob was nearly due in early June 2012, his jungle quilt was waiting to go into the fairs, so I purchased a kit with a Goodnight Moon panel and quickly put it together so he would have a homemade Mormor quilt to come from the hospital in. It was fun outlining the elements printed on the panel and doing some simple loops on the rest of the quilt. This one is in the pack-n-play at Mormor's house for nap times every day.

Music Makes My Heart Sing table runner (2012)
I started this table runner and a companion one from the same large stripe in 2011 in a class at the Pittsburg Adult Education Center where I took a quilting and machine embroidery class; however, I didn't finish it until it found a home. I was invited to a friend's 18th annual 39th birthday celebration just after Christmas 2012. Being the head of an extremely musical family, I decided this was the perfect gift for Doug and his family. I quilted it with gold thread in the shape of treble clefs and loops. It now graces their dining room table surrounded by several of the instruments pictured on it.

Halloween Stack-n-Slash (2011)
My nephew and his wife are Halloween nuts! So, for Christmas 2011 their gift was this Halloween stack-n-slash. For the borders, I fussy-cut strips with words and used directional prints to frame it. I quilted each block with free motion spider webs. They love it and have enjoyed curling up in it this winter.

Day of the Dead table runner (2011)
My oldest brother and his wife have a 9 foot dining room table! They also have a permanent Day of the Dead display in a niche off their dining room. For them I made this sugar skull Day of the Dead table runner that spends a great deal of time gracing their extraordinarily long table.

Let Freedom Ring (2011)
 My friend Terry (pictured on the right with me) and I collaborated to make a quilt for our local Elks Lodge Veterans Committee to auction off. Terry made the central flag which includes a log cabin pieced heart in a star in the stars field. I took it from there and added the pinwheels and additional borders and then I free motion quilted it. In the borders I used loops and stars, outlined the pinwheels in the ditch, quilted waves on the flag stripes, and did very detailed feathered hearts and wreaths in the star/heart block. It came out beautiful and by the time all raffle ticket proceeds were collected, we had raised over $1,300 for our veterans committee to help local vets with.

Tie One On for the Troops--QOV for Eric
In March 2011 I was honored to present my first QOV quilt to my ex-husband's step-son Eric. Recently discharged and back in school, he is working hard making a life for himself. I used the National Quilting Day pattern, "Tie One On for the Troops". The mosaic design was fun to do and was the first quilt I did any free-motion quilting on. I took it to a Jill Schumacher workshop at a local shop near my home in California where she taught us about ditch work and then helped me trace and FMQ small yellow awareness ribbons in the border blocks. I've been told Eric loves his quilt and uses it often!

Transformation: Healing the Whole Self
In 2010, as I was completing my BA in Social Ecology at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA, I was in two classes that offered the choice of writing a final paper or doing a creative presentation of our choice. I was inspired by the teachings of the Psychology of Creativity to make something that would represent me. I designed this quilt, using a 9 degree ruler to make the spokes of the mandala out of striped material, making every other one of the opposite orientation to create the zig-zag effect around the circle. I then added the words Mind, Body, Spirit and Divinity in the four corners and Transformation with a machine embroidered needle and thread stitched heart at the center. I presented it in two classes and received an A for both final project grades and later went on to enter it in the county fair where it took a red second place ribbon in wall hangings. It now hangs above my bed where I can see it every day.

Celebrating 80 Years with Pittsburg United Methodist Church
In 2009, my mother's church of nearly 60 years celebrated its 80th anniversary. Knowing that a big celebration was being planned, I felt compelled to put my newly found quilting skills to work to make a wall hanging commemorating the event. I designed it myself and used my Brother embroidery machine to sew the words and United Methodist cross with the flame, and then used machine embroidered quilting designs to quilt it. When the congregation, led by the children, paraded around the church grounds, several of us carried this banner at the head of the line and it now hangs in the narthex to welcome members and visitors on Sunday morning.

Contra Corners Quilt: An Expression of Music and Dance
Before going to Jill Schumacher's quilt camp near Los Angeles, in preparation I put together an Ohio Star sampler of five blocks to use for practice in free motion quilting. At the end of the week I hadn't touched it, doing other whole cloth designs instead, and took it home to put in my UFO pile. When I decided to finish it, the 5 star sampler wasn't big enough to use, so I continued adding blocks until it was big enough to curl up in. I had used several music prints in the blocks and wanted to do something special to finish it off. I looked around online and found a pieced piano keyboard on a blog, copied down the instructions, and went to work. The entire quilt is fully pieced and quilted just like a piano keyboard would look. It's now one of the quilts that Jacob plays on and a favorite for curling up in on cold Kansas winter nights.

Tropical Twirls
Feeling adventurous, when looking around in the Queen B Quilt Shop in Antioch, CA, I found a quilt pattern called "Contra Dance." Well, being an avid fan and participant in the contra dancing community for over ten years, I had to have it! Bernie, the owner of Queen B, helped me pick out fabrics (this was my first quilt that wasn't made of shop hop sampler blocks) and I went home to start piecing. What I didn't know then was that the "straight to the point" pattern was pieced in straight rows and then CUT diagonally into three pieces and then reassembled to make the on-point setting. Wow! CUT a quilt apart after just getting the top sewn together! Were they crazy!?! I did it, sewed it back together, added borders and bound it and it's been a favorite ever since.

Action! Sunflower Dreams
 This is quilt #2, made from shop hop blocks collected in 2006, but not completed and gifted to my older daughter Jeni until 2009. I loved making the blocks, including the applique block in the center with the old movie camera. The only color other than the neutrals was the red center of the log cabin block. I wanted to give it more life, so took that center and used that as my accent color to frame the blocks and for the border. I was stymied when I figured out I had 13 blocks. What in the heck do you do with an odd number of blocks? I looked through book after book on my shelf of quilting books for inspiration and found this setting in a picture. There weren't any instructions--just a picture. So, I studied it long and hard and figured out where the seams were and dove into making it with my blocks. It worked and "Action: Sunflower Dreams" was made a reality with a sunflower quilting motif machine embroidered in each block.

Home Sweet Home
My very first quilt! Made from shop hop blocks, I took these blue, silver and white blocks and made a quilt for my younger daughter, whose living room was decorated in blues and silver. Perfect match! The very first kit I pulled out of the bag when I decided to jump in was the Star in a Star (bottom right) which told me to "make 4 flying geese units". That's all it said. Being a brand new quilter, I had heard of flying geese in quilts but had no idea how to make them. So, I Googled it, found instructions that I could understand, and set to work. And the rest is history. I knew nothing about ditching or quilting on either of my first two quilts, but only quilted a pre-programmed quilting design into the center of each block with my embroidery machine. I also added on the sashing rows the phrases "Home Sweet Home," "Home is where the heart is," and "There's no place like home." Needless to say, Mom needs to reclaim them and do some stabilizing and loving repairs to the well-loved quilts--when the kids aren't looking.

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of my quilting history so far. Along with a few table runners, pillows, and such, I've come a long way from my early days of trying to figure out the instructions in shop hop block kits. And what an incredible journey it has been and continues to be!

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