Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mini Quilt Swap

I am so excited!!!  I signed up for my first swap.  It is a mini quilt swap with Jenn at Jelly Bean Stitches.  Check it out.  She has issued herself a personal challenge to swap mini quilts with someone in all 50 US states and as many countries as possible.  Jenn already had someone representing Florida, but luckily for me, Montana was still available.  Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?  Thanks.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From Photo to Fabric

I took this picture of sunflowers several summers ago in Montana.  I love the simplicity of the arrangement with the sun shining from behind.  My mom is to blame for my obsession with wildflowers.  Originally, I took photographs of wildflowers only when she asked me to on the occasion that her point and shoot camera could not focus in on a particular subject.  After a while, I soon began to see the beauty of the wildflowers and found I couldn't get enough.  Our hikes took longer and longer as we did more photographing than hiking.

Today I tried to reproduce that photograph in a quilt.  I have been planning and researching and mulling over this project for years.  My original and easiest idea was to print the photograph on those prepared fabric sheets.  I have used them before but am not fond on the stiffness of the "fabric".  So I went a different and more time consuming route.   I roughly traced the sunflowers onto tracing paper and placed the paper on the fabrics I chose for the background.  I would have liked this to be a larger size quilt, but this is the biggest size photo paper I have on hand.

Here it is with just a few of the sunflower fabrics placed on the foundation.  I really wasn't sure what I was doing at this point, but I just kept going.  I was determined this would not end up in the trash like yesterday's project.

Shown below is the final placement of fabrics.  I am quite pleased with the result.  Especially considering this is my first attempt at this type of project.  The next step is to "thread paint" details onto the quilt to show movement, shading and dimension.  I am intimidated by that step but excited as well.  This type of project has been on my list of things to do for quite some time, and I am so thrilled that I finally got this far.  The possibilities are endless .... especially with the quantity of pictures I take ;-)))

I would love to know your thoughts on this.  Also, do y'all have any pointers, suggestions, experiences, etc. regarding printing on fabric?  I have researched this and all I can find is to either use the prepared fabric sheets, prepare your own sheets or have your design custom printed which I would not mind but the only places I have found are very expensive and require a huge minimum yardage.  I look forward to hearing what you have to say on this subject.


Monday, September 28, 2009


After not quilting at all over the weekend, I spent most of today working on a paper piecing pattern of a cowboy boot.  I do not like paper piecing.  I am sure it is because I don't know what I am doing.  So after a few hours and several mess ups, I threw in the towel (and my fabric in the scraps pile).

I wanted to feel like I accomplished something today, so I spent some time cutting fabric for several projects.  I cut quite a few strips of batiks, diamond shapes for my daughter's quilts, hexagons for a Montana quilt project and squares for a scrap project.

This was not exactly how I had my sewing day planned, but at least I spent a few hours in my "office".


Friday, September 25, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football?!

There will be no quilting for me this weekend.  We are hitting the road tonight and driving to Tallahassee.  We have tickets to the FSU/USF football game.  Go Seminoles!!!!  The last game I went to was last year's Seminole/Gator game which did not end happily for us.  Below is a picture of my two youngest Allyson and Eric.  The game was ugly as was the weather.  I am hoping for  better results this time around.  You never know.  We were huge underdogs last weekend and look what happened.  We smoked BYU.  (I hope I am not offending any Gator or Cougar fans .....  I just get excited about Seminole football.)  Plus, my husband and I (well, actually just my husband....but I get to tag along) were invited to sit in the President's Box.  Those have got to be great seats, right?

Here is a picture of Allyson with Max modeling her FSU apron.  She made this with her Granny during my mom's last visit.  See .... there is a tie in to sewing!!!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!  I'll be back Sunday.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trying something new

I love quilted postcards, and I finally made one.  I had a certain idea in mind until I discovered Selvage Postcards at Hills Creek Quilter.  (You can find a tutorial on her blog.)  When I saw these selvage postcards, I knew I had to try and quilt one myself.

I like that this project allows me to use fabric that normally would sit in my scrap basket.  I am all about recycling.  I know I have a problem with throwing away fabric scraps, but I was still surprised at how many selvage strips I found.  And, of course, now I look at my fabric stash a whole new way....eyeing the selvages!!!

The tutorial directions are clear and easy to follow.  Basically, I fused, trimmed, added a label, stitched around the card, and Voila!!!

Instead of making the back a Postcard, I wrote a personal note to my friend since I plan to hand deliver rather than mail.

I only had time to make one, but I plan on making a bunch more.  The only problem I had was with my machine's satin stitching around the edges.  I didn't have the proper sewing foot, and the fabric was all over the place.  I am giving this to my friend tomorrow, so I don't have time to play around with it.  I'll just have to perfect the technique next time.  Hopefully.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quilting for Charity

This is the latest quilt top made for Project Linus. The fabric is a cowboy theme I picked up in Montana. I think it is pretty cute. I hope the recipient thinks so too.

Below are some blocks for the next Project Linus quilt. This one is a bit more colorful. I think it is cheery. Anytime I see bright novelty prints I think of using them for a Project Linus block.

My new goal is to make at least one quilt a month for Project Linus. So far I've been able to stick with it. I would also like to make blocks for Quilts of Valor and have purchased fabric for this purpose. Just need to get started.

I would love to hear what charitable organizations you are involved with. Please leave me any information you have regarding these groups. You can visit Project Linus at for information on their organization. (Sorry, haven't learned how to do the links yet on the blog.)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Color Blind

First of all, let me say, THANK YOU to those of you who posted comments on my first ever blog post. I never imagined such a response on day one. Your kind words made my day!!!! The drawback to discovering this new blog world is that I spend WAY too much time browsing and reading these hidden treasures. I have come across so many amazing quilt related blogs, and I know there are more that I have yet to discover.

The above picture shows strips of batik fabrics I am working with relating to a quilt for my stepfather. He is color blind and can only see blues and yellows. This project has been harder than I thought. I am not sure I like the way it is coming together. All the fabrics have been purchased and cut - 34 different 1/3 yard- for a Boardwalk pattern by Laura Heine, so I am sort of stuck with it. I will continue to work on it, and depending on how it turns out, I may decide it is not gift worthy. I am thinking a Plan B may be in order.

The above quilt is shown here for my ten-year-old daughter Ally. When I proudly showed her my blog page (I had kept it a secret from everyone until the first post), she pouted and said, "Where is my quilt? Why isn't my quilt shown in the picture? That's not very nice!" I tried to explain the concept of pixels and having to crop the picture to fit the banner, but she was not satisfied with my answer. So, here is a picture of one of her quilts.

Monday, September 21, 2009

First Time

I have to say it is a little nerve racking trying to decide what to post for the first time ever on my new blog. The only experience up to this point is my family's webpage which was designed for out of state grandparents who wanted to keep up with the grandkids and for close family friends who would follow us on our Montana adventures. This is definitely a new arena for me. I guess there is nothing to do but jump right in.

This quilt was another first. This was the first quilt I made that did not follow a set pattern. I made this for my oldest son's high school graduation. Some of the blocks have a nine patch pattern alternating with a muslin square which allowed friends and family to handwrite personal messages. These blocks were alternated with fabric blocks of preprinted quotes. I love this quilt!!! So many people worked to make this quilt special by including their special thoughts for Alex. I only wish my photographs had turned out better.

I ended up with more handwritten blocks than planned, so I put these on the back. Also on the back is a cut out from my son's favorite (and worn out) Bob Marley t-shirt. I had confiscated it one day doing laundry because it had become so ragged looking, and I couldn't stand seeing him wear it that way. When he saw it on the back of the quilt, he said "Oh, so that's where my shirt went!"

I am excited about this new blog of mine and hope it will inspire and motivate me to be more creative and productive in my quilting. I have been so inspired by other blogs that I have discovered during my browsing that I decided to start my own. I hope you enjoy the posts and please let me know that you stopped by and what you think. Have a great day!!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Under Construction

Just started a new blog called Rene' Creates. Please pardon the dust as construction begins.