What I Made on Monday

Yes, this is about a newly finished quilt, but first I wanted to show you my Mayday tree.  It's astounding to me that it worked out to have a finished quilt, good lighting, and a blooming tree all on the same day!  Spring has finally arrived here in the far north land of dog sleds and reindeer!

This quilt is heavily inspired by the lovely work of others.  I saw a quilt by Nettie of A Quilt is Nice, and knew immediately that I was going to make something similar to manage my overflowing scraps.

Of course, it ended up looking completely different, but that's a good thing, right?

This is one of those quilts that are just so fun to make.

Each strip of color is about 13" tall,  so the finished quilt is around 45"x50".  This is a great size for a toddler, since it's slightly larger than most of the baby quilts I make.

On a last minute impulse, I bound it with this Dr. Suess black and white stripe.  I was worried that it would overpower the quilt, but I like it now.  In fact, when I asked my husband what he thought, he said he liked the black and white border.

For the quilting, I did a big circle design.  This is another thing that I've been seeing and loving on other quilts, and just had to get it out of my system!  I somehow thought that this type of quilting would be hard to get right, but I think it ended up being so easy!  I started out by drawing the design for the first few rows and using my free motion quilting foot, and then used the guide on my walking foot to work out from there.

Random Piecing

These first two blocks were made for the month of May in the do.Good Stitches quilt bee.  Mary asked for scraptastic blocks, and since I love this type of piecing, I couldn't wait to start!  I made them entirely from my scrap bin, just sewing small pieces together to make one larger block.

Of course, when I happened to read her instructions over once again (AFTER I had made my blocks) I notice that she mentioned they should be crazy quilt inspired.  Now, mine are more straight lines.  I have a real problem with enthusiastically ignoring instructions, but I hope these will look ok with the finished quilt.

These next two were for Charlie in the Fresh Modern Bee.  He gave us lots of room to do whatever we liked.   Hmmm... that's kind of tough.  He mentioned curves, so I  practiced some more wavy piecing on the first one.

And then since the need to make some cross blocks is still in my system, I made this one.  Ok, I still might have to make a whole quilt like this yet!

Finished Basket Quilt!!

Just a note:  I published this post yesterday, because I couldn't wait to show it to you!  Then Blogger went and lost it for me and although I was sweating for a bit, it's now been restored.  Only problem is, all your lovely comments seem to have disappeared (unless of course they come wandering back as well)

I'm linking up to the Blogger's Quilt Festival, so follow this link to check out all the other great quilts!

Now back to the original post:

As of today, this is the item that I would grab and run with if our house were on fire (once the kids and hubby were safe, of course!)  Do you ever do this little exercise in your mind?  It's really just a question of what's so important to you that you can't replace?  I think a lot of people say it's their photo albums, but I don't have any of those.

The fact is that I often come up empty when I think of this. It's a good little reminder to me that every ITEM can be replaced.  But people, and the memories you have of them, are a one time deal and you can't go to Walmart for new ones.

Actually, there are a few pieces of furniture that are special to me, and as far as value, I'd be smartest to take my sewing machine!  But realistically, I'm not going to be hauling them around, so I think I'll settle for this quilt!

I can't believe my timing on this one!  I wanted to show it to you today, but I think I'll link up to Blogger's Quilt Festival tomorrow and join all the fun.  For once my complete lack of planning is working in my favor!  How could my favorite quilt of the year (so far!)  be completed TWO days before the beginning of this fun online quilt show?!

Anyways, on to the quilt.  I decided long ago that I was going to do simple straight line quilting on this one.  I toyed with the idea of doing fun designs in free motion around each basket, but I decided the design was busy enough, and I really wanted to add a simple, modern element to this crazy, busy, happy quilt.

I used alternating colors of yellow, pink, and orange thread to quilt it.  You don't notice this unless you look real close, but it's a fun bit of added interest.

Just a note about these blocks:  I know I've gushed about them before, but they are the most.fun.ever. to make.  I'd love to show you how to make them, but I used the directions straight from Gwen Marstons Liberated Quiltmaking #2.  I'm also on a personal mission to make sure this book finds itself in the hands of every quilter!  So go on and buy it, and then make yourself a few of these blocks.  I'm sure you won't be dissapointed!

I don't use borders that often on my quilts, but I decided this one needed a border.  In some ways, this quilt was a study in values for me.  Most of the basket background are medium to light tones (with a few darks just to confuse us) and the baskets are mainly medium to dark.  Since this quilt is made from a huge assortment of colors, this value placing helps the baskets to stand out.

I decided I wanted to border this quilt with dark values, but since I wanted to stay with the scrappy feel I went with strips in darker values.  I wasn't completely sure about this while I was making it, but now I'm happy with it.

I bound it in this Nicey Jane pink stripe.  I would have preferred something dark, like a bright raspberry red, but I wanted it to look nice with the backing, which is a deliciously faded vintage linen (ok, it's an old bed sheet :)  but vintage linen sounds better!

Yes, you may gasp in terror that I would ruin this quilt with a well used kid's sheet!  But I actually was questioning whether this quilt top was special enough for this Strawberry Shortcake yumminess!  I've been hoarding this sheet for a long time, because I love it and it's extremely soft.  I thought of it right away when I was deciding on backing for this quilt.  I was concerned that it would look washed out compared with the brilliant baskets, but it was the perfect size so I decided to go with it.

And yes, it is very soft and snuggly...

So, I won't ask you if you read all my ramblings about this quilt, but if you did, thanks for listening.  And if you make a basket quilt yourself, please send me a link.  I'd love to see it!

Block Mish Mash

I wanted to say "Thanks" to QuiltStory for featuring my quilt today.  Problem was I didn't have any new projects to show you.  Although there are a few in the quilting stage, I seem to work in fits or bursts, or whatever you wanna call it!

But then I realized I hadn't shown any of my recent quilt blocks I've made for quilting bees.  This one above was made for Lynne in the Fresh Modern Bee.  She asked for anything with freehand curves.  Although it was my first time with this technique, I found it amazingly simple.  I was sure the block would be wavy and rumpled, but everything lay flat with just a bit of ironing.  Tutorial here.  Try it on a small block.  It's fun!

The other two are for the do.Good Stitches bee and I can't wait to see them in their finished quilts.


Today is the day that my interview is featured over on EllisonLaneQuilts  Frankly, I'm slightly nervous!  Jennifer sent me the questions awhile back, and I had a lot of fun talking about myself in regards to quilting (I mean, who doesn't?!)

But suddenly this morning,  I'm realizing that what I wrote is sitting there for all to see.  I've forgotten what I wrote, and haven't had the courage to go back and read it yet!

So I think I'd better put a little disclaimer here.  After the discussions going around in quilty blogging world, I feel somewhat intimidated by the fact that someone might take something I say in the wrong way.  So, here goes:  No matter how I may sound, I don't think I'm a snob.  My life is not perfect, I've just chosen to keep it light and happy here, and ummm.... what else....  Oh ya, most of all I don't want to make any new quilter discouraged by the fact that they have such a long ways to go.

In fact, one of the things that makes me most happy and excited?  That's when someone new to sewing, begins to show an interest in quilting or sewing!  I'm not exaggerating when I say that!  Now it may be partly because each enthused seamstress means one less person who thinks I'm crazy!

Enough rambling!  If you're interested, click on over to EllisonLaneQuilts.  There's a giveaway going on too!