Friday, April 26, 2013

Preparing for Tommy

You know Athena has a brother, right? His name is Tommy. He and his dad will be joining us after the school year ends.

My original plan for his quilt was to copy some zig zags that my friend Mandy made for her boys. I'm not sure why she never posted these on her blog, because they are awesome quilts. In looking for my notes on how to make hers, I ran across a pattern I had been playing with last year and decided to go with it instead. When I was working with it then, I all but abandoned the idea as I couldn't quite figure out how to make it work. Whether it was taking my eyes off it for a while, or an extra year of experience, it clicked with me almost as soon as I opened it.

So, it's with a little bit of apprehension, and a whole lot of excitement, that I present my first original quilt design:

And I did it with no partial seams. It's curious to me that I've only made 3 quilts completely out of solids, and all three have been for this one family. Odd, huh?

Meighan and Athena are settling in nicely. Meighan had a heck of a week her first week - she had to buy a car, get insurance, find a pre-school, buy some new work clothes, get her drivers license, and take the drug test for her new job. Doesn't that just make you tired to think about?

I'll be linking this up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.

Friday, April 12, 2013

In the nick of time

Still warm from the dryer, here's the finished quilt for Athena:

Do you remember my proclamation last fall, the one where I swore I would never quilt a quilt in concentric squares again? My exact words were: "I will not squeeze, push, pull, tug a quilt of any size thru the throat of my machine 2 complete turn per square EVER AGAIN." Well, I did squeeze, push, pull, and tug plenty on this, but it was circles rather than squares. Not sure why I thought that would make a difference. 

I tried repeatedly to come up with any other design, but those flowers just wanted circles around them. They just wouldn't have it any other way. And then I got the idea of more circles in the negative space creating those orange peel-like shapes around the flowers. So, turn the quilt we did. 50 times. I think I was in too much of a rush to notice how unpleasant it was. 

I bound it with leftover fabrics from the front. I just picked the ones that went the best with the colors on the back. 

I really like everything about this quilt, and I can easily see me doing another one someday. Just not in 2 weeks:)

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dear Kona,

Please change the name of the following color from Lagoon to the more descriptive "Water Soluble Pen Blue".

Sincerely Yours,
Wish I could have found the gray pencil

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It's a wonder I function in society

I had it in my mind that Meighan was coming home this Saturday. Maybe because she originally planned to and then changed her mind? Maybe because I'm in a hurry to get her here?

As I thought about Meighan's little three-year-old daughter, Athena, leaving behind her daddy and brother (just for a couple of months while the brother finishes the school year), and the only grandmother and home she's ever known, spending a whole day traveling, and coming to a strange place with strange people, I started wondering if there was anything at all I could do to make the transition easier for her. My first thought was to have my daughter pick out a toy to give her when she gets here, but of course, I also thought of a quilt. I tried for 4 days to talk myself out of the incredible rush of making an entire quilt in about a week, but as I was driving Friday, I remembered this quilt I'd seen on Pinterest. Such a simple quilt as that could be made in a week, couldn't it? It wasn't long before I was in Hobby Lobby gathering a small stack of solids, plus some flannel for the back. Not only is our climate much cooler than she is used to, but they will be sleeping in our den which is cooler than the upstairs. Plus, when it comes to something comforting, you just can't beat a flannel backed quilt! 

So I spent all day Saturday making the background blocks, and making the petals with Wonder Under attached. Then I spent all day Sunday attaching the petals with a machine blanket stitch. Then I spent all day Monday putting the little yellow circles in the center of the flowers, assembling the top, and making the back. (In the interest of simplicity and time, I decided to forgo the stems and leaves you see in the original.) 

Meighan sent me a message Monday morning that said something about Friday, so here I was with a quilt that had to be basted, quilted, and bound and I was going to have one less day to do all that than I was expecting! Plus, since I quilted absolutely all weekend, my house was a disaster, I still had some shopping to do before they got here, and Tuesday - Friday are my work days. Panic was setting in. 

When my husband got home, I mentioned that Meighan was going to be here this Friday at noon and he seemed surprised. He said "I thought she was going to wait until the middle of the month." I said "the 12th?" He said, this Friday isn't the 12th. That required a quick check of my phone to verify, and sure enough, this Friday isn't the 12th. During my extreme relief at having a whole other week to complete my project, I decided to re-read her message to make sure I got the date right. Wanna read it? 

"Plane tickets booked! I'll be leaving here 4/12 at 3:00pm, and arriving in Chattanooga 4/13 at 11:53am."

Not only did I get the week wrong, I got the day wrong as well - she is getting here on a Saturday. And that, ladies, is what happens when I try to process information before taking my ADD meds. 

But you don't care about all that, do you? You want to see the quilt top!

Isn't that adorable! I just love it. I think, especially for such a young child, that I like it even better without the stems and leaves. 

So. The back. It was supposed to have been an ice cream cone print that used a lot of purple only slightly lighter than the purple I intended to bind this with. 

Except I somehow cut it wrong! I bought 2 yards, which was just enough for the 50" x 60" top. I cut a piece big enough to go across the back, and then I was to cut the rest lengthwise and sew them together to add to the bottom. Somehow, I got confused and cut it width of fabric so the resulting strip was about 5" too short. 

Then, and only then, did I remember some great flannel I had picked up on clearance last year. And check this out, it matches better anyway!

They're not super noticeable from any distance, but it even has blue dots as the center of the flowers that go great with the blue in the quilt: 

I managed to cut this one correctly, but will probably change my binding plans since this backing doesn't have any purple. I've already cut purple strips for the binding, but I guess I'll just find another use for those. I somehow cut out extra blocks of every color & white anyway, so maybe they'll go with those. I consider the backing a happy accident because I'm much happier with this backing anyway. 

But this, ladies, is one example of what happens when I quilt after my ADD meds have worn off. I'm telling you, I don't even know how I've come this far in life without them. 

What are you working on this week?

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday, Quilt Story for her Fabric Tuesday, and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Friday. Lots of fun linking parties!