Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gone, but not forgotten

Twelve years ago when my middle son was 2 I made a simple quilt for him to drag around and cuddle with. At the time he would spend some time with me in my sewing room in the basement and he chose the fabrics and colors for his quilt. The theme was frogs and it took just a few fat quarters and some luscious batiks to construct. Blues, greens and purples, his favorite colors were used. I hand embroidered his nickname and a small frog on the back. It quickly became his favorite quilt, even though it was the most simple one he owned. He took it on car rides, to hotels, camping trips and over to friends homes. It was a cuddle blanket, a super hero cape, a picnic mat and occasionally the ocean floor. We washed the dirt out of it too many times to count and even though the edges slowly frayed and colors slightly faded it still remained his special quilt.

As he got older and it wasn't 'cool' to carry his blanket around, he would only do so discreetly. He would carefully stow it in his bag and then tuck it into the sides of a couch or behind a cushion or pillow when he was away from home. Around the age of nine when we were on a family road trip he managed to hide his blanket a little too well and it was missed on our final pack up. Somehow we didn't notice until it was too late and despite several calls and emails it was never found or returned.

Ironically I have few photos of this little quilt. I was never particualarily proud of the quilt as it was rushed and not as squared up as I like. At the time I was pregnant with my last babies and busy working on their layette. The photo I do have was taken years later and unintentionally. I was taking pictures of some other quilts when my son suggested I photograph his as well. It was already pretty worn and used but there it is.

So now, after a few years, we have decided to make a new quilt together. It will be a large lap size that he can use on TV nights or in his room on his bed. Of course it will be in batiks and we'll use lots of blues and greens mingled with some yellow and orange hues. He wants it to remind him of the ocean and the sky during a sunset. He has designed his own pattern too; and has stuck to a simple but interesting design that will show off the batiks but not cut them too small. Here is a photo of some of the fabrics we'll be using. To this we are going to add some gorgeous hoffman patterns I have (not too many) but enough to make it pop. This should be fun .... I will post photos as we start stitching our quilt squares! The best part is we will be doing this together we'll always have this memory to cherish.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Katie Baby Quilt

This is a small quilt I stitched up a couple of months ago for a friend who had a baby. The squares are from the Katie Jump Rope collection which is one of my favorite sets. I do find that many of the designer collections are so busy that they look best offset with neutral tones. It was so simple and from start to finish took less than 6 hours. (of course with breaks and stretches and chocolate in between). Probably less if I didn't handstitch the binding. I really love these small projects. They are so quick and gratifying.
The snow is finally melting away and now we just have big mounds of ice everywhere! There still aren't many parking spots and sidewalks are non existent. Lots of rain and a wind warning so I hope we don't lose power again. The last one caused serious issues with the router and it took me a long time to figure out what had gone wrong. Thankfully it was fixable; it's amazing how much we use the Internet for.
Best wishes and lots of happy stitches!

Monday, January 5, 2009


We have spent the day taking down Christmas decorations inside. Still can't get to the lights outside so they'll have to stay up until the thaw. Sent the boys out to shovel the driveway and instead they had fun burying their little brothers. You can see how much snow we have and how little space there is to pile it up.

I did manage to get a simple gift for my niece completed. Hopefully she'll like it! It's a chenille blanket with 'Jane's butterflies on the other side. I have also made a little jumper and hat to match; I'll get pictures of that up soon.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

a little dream...

Okay, so it's still snowing and i must be going just a wee bit insane. We have friends coming for dinner tonight and forunately they'll be able to walk down.

I have been wondering (dreaming) about this new thing for quilters coming out. The Husquavarna 18/8 machine, a quilt frame and a neat thing called a Qbot. I have seen all the pretty pictures and it looks so fun. I am sure I don't have the money or the room for it but a girl can dream can't she? Does anyone know what these will be selling for in Canada? Has anyone played with one? What did you think? Does anyone else want one like me? I know it's not a longarm but how does it compare to one?

Friday, January 2, 2009

More Snow...more time to sew...

The snow just won't stop. It was a beautiful day and I did manage a slow hike with a good friend and the use of some 'yaktracks'. It's pretty icy on the trails and there are many deep sections. It takes twice the time to do the normal hike with the dogs. They seem to love it though and romp on and off of the high drifts. Best to enjoy it now, we are due for the usual rain in a couple of days and everything will be grey and slushy.

Here is another quilt recently finished. This one is for me and the first one I have ever made for myself. I made it during a retreat and it was a mystery. All we were told was to pick four fabrics with two in a light value and two in a dark value. We did get to do all the precutting beforehand, which made the actual sewing go so much faster. I am not really a rose person but this fabric from Japanese manufacturer Lecien called Antique Rose was really appealing.

This quilt was also my first longarm quilted and it turned out fantastic. It was done by a lovely lady in Saskatchewan called Monika. She is so talented. I don't think I will ever struggle with a quilt on my machine again :o). (at least not the big ones) Monika has a shop on Etsy where she sells her own quilts and also offers information about her longarm service www.Quiltlover.etsy.com. Have a peek, she is fantastic!

I am readying another quilt to send to her shortly. Ironically it is also a floral theme. It's huge though - 82" x 82". I am so glad it won't be quilted by me!

Here are two pics of that quilt before I send it out. (still debating the backing fabric)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year...

Happy New Year to all! More snow last night! I can't remember this much snow (except for last year but that wasn't as much as this year). I feel like I am living in the most northern part of BC. The west coast of BC rarely has weather like this and yet here we are; with more to come in the following week. I must admit I feel like a house-hostage. Much sewing is being done and it's fun to be a domestic diva, but I really miss a simple walk on the trails--the snow, although doable is making that a bit treacherous!

I refinished the binding on my youngest DS's quilts. These were made five years ago when they were just small guys. The binding I used was an inexpensive flannel and I regretted it. I pulled it all off and reattached a cotton Clothworks binding from Laurel Burch. Oh my, it's so vibrant and lovely and of fabulous quality. These quilts have been so well used and loved and the binding makes them look brand new! It's all flannel (great quality) on the front and I used a wide cotton fabric for the back. I still love these bright and funky kids fabrics, but my children are too old for these now! I may have to put together some kits for my Etsy store. I still have some of the fabrics and they would be so cheery to work with now.

Here is one... and the other...

and two shy guys with their quilts...

and finally the backing (which I love) It launders so well - and has really added support to these quilts.

... oh well, time to go shovel....

Happy 2009!