Paul’s quilt – Blogger’s Quilt Festival

I am entering Paul’s quilt in a competition: Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  If you would enjoy seeing some real show stopping quilts, head over there and scroll past the prizes.

Amy's Creative Side

The Quilt Stats:

  • Quilt Measurements : 84×84
  • Special Techniques used, if any: improvisational piecing
  • Quilted by… Roberta Brooks
  • Best category: Scrap quilt, bed quilt

Now for a brief history of Paul’s quilt:

Paul is my younger son.  I had already made my older son a quilt for his bed, and I wanted to make one for Paul.  I asked him for input and he mainly had two stipulations: red and black.  He has been going through a black period with his clothes the past few years (not goth, more jazz musician style). Many of the t-shirt panels and much of the grey and black denim are his own outgrown clothes.

It is fun to work for me to work on a “sampler” quilt since I can use so many different ideas and improvise all the way to the end.  I tried to incorporate a lot of different elements that all related back to Paul.  He has only really worn black jeans for the past few years, so those crazy denim blocks were my first ideas.  For a time I thought I might have two or three quilts: one denim, one t-shirt and one pieced blocks, but the color palette was enough to unite the different blocks.

I also love the quilting motif I used – circles with straight lines.  As usual, I did a combination of hand quilting and machine quilt.  I did machine quilt in the ditch on the horizontal lines between rows for extra stability.  I used several different sized plates as templates and then used a white pencil to draw the circles on for a guide for my hand quilting.  I love the landscape effect that evolves from these shapes.  I decided to leave my knots exposed ala Alabama Studio Sewing.  It is difficult to see, but I used embroidery floss, in red, black and grey as well as  metallic thread to create the hand stitching.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t photograph well, but there are multiple sizes of wales of corduroy in the black jean blocks.  It adds a lot of texture. In the upper center, the ripped area is a pocket that I pulled up partially.  I really love dimensional sections like this.

In the upper right corner is a block I call the Christmas cow, a partially completed block that I had from my grandmother.  I try to add a little fabric from the materials I was given when she passed to all my quilts.  The black pin polka dot fabric in the frame is from my Aunt Lou.  I love to add these layers of meaning to my quilts.  It evokes the generational history we all have from the fiber arts.

I love the way the back turned out.  The bottom is musical instruments, then black on black music notes, then dragons, then lobsters on newspaper, finally music on white.  All in all, I think it is one of my best quilts and I am really glad that Paul ended up with it.

busy busy busy

Pastor gave a great sermon last week about leisure.  I hope to apply it to my life shortly.  I’m thinking next week.  This week is crazy busy: super big and complicated 8th grade homework, new mortgage, our first high school tour, extra hours at my second job, special meetings at my first job, and a crazy promise to a boy that I would make him a robe for Halloween.  Actually, the robe is my favorite part of the week.  It is turning out great.  I have high expectations that it will be finished by Halloween and successful as a robe.  So far, everything else is chugging along, too.  Unfortunately, my writing gets the short end of the stick this week, but at least you know still alive and kicking.

no, it’s not elmo

Yes, I am make a garment.  Learning to sew garments better is part of my goal for 2013, but Paul pushed me forward by requesting a bathrobe for Halloween (and hopefully beyond since all of this cost me nearly forty dollars).  So far, I had to run back to the fabric store because I picked up the wrong size of pattern.  Also, I didn’t look closely at the new pattern to see if it was suitable for this fuzzy fabric, but I wasn’t willing to go back to the fabric store a third time.  This is super fuzzy wonderfully soft fabric but it was very difficult to cut and pin.  I hope it is not as difficult to sew.  I have my walking foot ready.  I am nervous because Halloween is only nine days from now and I have a super busy week.  I’m squaring my shoulders for a challenge.


got him

And it only took two trips to the fabric store.  Yes, my boy has gone with me to the fabric store two Sundays in a row and now he wants to sew a bathrobe. Well, technically he wants me to sew him a bathrobe, but he agreed to help.  In any case, he and I are going to the fabric store this weekend.


I was sick with a headache on Friday and still kind of felt out of it yesterday, although I was up and around a little more.  I spent a considerable time sleeping and the rest of the time lying around whining. Time well spent. I know I was out of it because I actually went up and woke up my teenage son at 8:30 am on a Saturday to ask him if I could play his video game.  Luckily it was Paul so I only got punished for that little lapse of judgement for 6-7 hours not the entire day.  Why doesn’t the saying go: “never wake a sleeping teenager without an indefensible reason”?  Somewhat close to “never kick a rattlesnake with bare feet”?

I have high hopes for today.  Paul wants to go back to the fabric store.  He wants to get some colored duct tape.  Any trip to the fabric store is fun for me and I will treat myself to something.  I’m thinking white thread…


September ufo – mending

So these are the two quilts I am mending for my September ufo.  I got these quilts about 15 years ago when my uncle moved away to Hawaii.  He gave me these and many other things he was getting rid of in the move.  These were my favorite things: two quilts from my grandmother.  I did use them for quite a while.

Now this first one is a real utility quilt.  My grandmother still did a nice job of mixing lights and darks.  I have already mended it before so it isn’t too difficult. I usually mend quilt by hand so it does take some time.

The neat thing is that inside this quilt is another worn out quilt used as batting. I think because the inner quilt was quilted there is very little quilting through the whole thing.

Now, this one is a beauty.  It is a double wedding ring done in a very traditional palette.  This one will be much more difficult to mend.  Next week I will take it to the fabric store and get a match of the pink, blue and white.  I think I can manage the scrappy part of the quilt.  I think I will have to trace off the pieces.  I tried picking a pattern off the internet and the size was all wrong.  I may be able to xerox it to the right size or perhaps I will just xerox a section of the quilt itself. All the damage is on the edge, so if it were my own quilt I may consider cutting off the damage. However, it has sentimental value for me so I will try to restore it.

I have a lot of work to do, but it is the perfect time for laying in bed watching tv with a warm quilt draped over my lap for mending.  I’m glad these didn’t come up in the summer.