Sunday, April 1, 2018

My Aunt Sam and Her Absolute Love of Baseball

I thought for sure I posted the quilt I made for my Aunt Sam. I'm embarrassed to know that I did not. :(

Aunt Sam lived most of her life in CA and WA state. After a full life of traveling, her husband passed on and my Mom and Uncle went to get her in CA to bring her back to NY.

I was in touch with my Aunt Sam every once in awhile but did not really know who she was until recent years. She stayed with my mom until she fell down multiple times and my mom could not help her anymore. :(

The family agreed to have her stay in Amsterdam where the care was much more than we could give.  She has been there for more than a year. My Mom visits multiple times a week and I go to see her as much as I can.

The one thing I admire and am in awe of about Aunt Sam is her past, and still current, knowledge of sports; especially baseball and golf.

She loved her LA Dodgers. From her home state, the Brooklyn Dodgers moved west and she could be a historian for the team.

I wanted Aunt Sam to have a keepsake to always remind her of her love of baseball, so I made her this quilt. A simple striped number which included multiple generic baseball fabrics, her LA Dodgers fabric and a Snoopy baseball fabric I found. She immediately understood the significance of the Snoopy fabric.

With each quilt I make, I try to find a fabric that will have special meaning for the recipient.
I wanted to keep the design of the quilt simple but interesting. I liked the idea of the stripes, which was one I saw on Pinterest.

I decided to Monogram a baseball on the quilt so everyone would know it was hers. 

Turns out the monogram didn't mean anything because this quilt was lifted within a year of her having received it.

I wish you could have seen her face when she opened the quilt. She loved and cherished it. 
Lessons Learned:
1. Make something from the heart for a special person. You will feel joy and inspiration for doing something kind for them.

Have you ever made something for someone special? I'd love to hear what you have done. Leave comments below.

PS. With the help of a special friend, I made a second quilt for Aunt Sam after the first one was stolen. She was so thoughtful and proud, she would not allow me to leave it with her at the living center.  I have it at my home and will always cherish what it meant to her and to me.

Check out Charlie's bandana! I gave this 2nd quilt to Aunt Sam around the time the LA Dodgers were in the world series in 2017. Charlie and I were so hoping they would win for Sam.

Lost in Love is Found by Another

A friend and colleague of mine noticed the first Lost in Love quilt I made on Facebook.  She came into my classroom the next day to ask if I could make one for her.  The quilt was for her mom, who is a beauty in the picture.
My excitement got the best of me and I said sure without fully knowing if I could find the fabric.  She said there was no hurry (which was music to my ears, since my APPR observation was coming up) so that made me feel better. However, I would not take advantage her gesture of time. I set a goal to get this quilt done by March 29. I started it on March 5.

After scouring Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, I was able to get what I needed to make the quilt for her. Whew! Thank goodness for online shops.

I recently upgraded from a Cricut Explorer 2 to a Cricut Maker after seeing its capabilities of cutting fabric and many other materials. It was perfect for cutting the hearts needed for these two quilts. On this quilt, I used the Heat and Bond Lite which turned out much better than the previous quilt.

Charlie loves to help with everything around the house. He squeezes his way in whether it's in my sewing room or in the kitchen. 
The first Lost in Love quilt I made, the directions indicated you should create the panel of blocks first. On this second one, I decided to iron on the hearts to each block, applique, and then add the sashing to create the front panel. 

After creating the blocks, I added the sashing and the borders to create the quilt top. I liked this method much better than the first time around. 

And here is Charlie again wanting to help out. He does a great job. Especially after a nice bath and blow dry!

And the quilting begins. I love my Bernina machine with the BSR quilting foot. I consider myself to still be in the learning stage, but with every quilt, I'm getting better.

Here comes the binding. So many people have shared they do not like this part of the quilt. I must be odd because right now, this is my favorite part(other than the pattern and fabric).  

Clips make it much easier than pins.


Before passing it on to my friend, I washed the quilt and dried it. This will give it that soft and fluffy feeling a quilt should have. I always get a bit nervous when washing red fabric, especially when they are mixed with white. Even though I prewash before, I'm scared the red will bleed. For each quilt when I wash them, I always throw in a color catcher sheet.
The sheet on the left is the one that went in the washer. The one on the right went in the dryer. Not a trace of pink on the white of the quilt. :)

I also give one to the quilt recipient so they can use it when they first wash the quilt.

Lessons Learned:
1. I enjoyed putting this quilt together much more so than the first.
2. Heat and Bond Light is much better for use on this type of quilt.
3. Always use a color catcher sheet when washing and drying the
4. There was not that much difference between this quilt and the
    first. The first took a little longer to make, the second a little big

                                         A Keeper for Me         

 One for a Friend
I hope you find that lost quilt you purchased years ago and give it life. You might just be surprised by how much you enjoy making it.

This quilt is partying with

Friday, March 30, 2018

Lost in Love is Lost and Found

I downloaded this free pattern about 4 years ago and purchased the fabric to make the quilt a little while later. I placed the pattern and the fabric in the "to do" basket and it was promptly forgotten. It was just recently, Jan. 2018,  I decided to get it out of my old stash and make this quilt for Valentines Day. I didn't make the deadline for the sweetheart day, but I did finish it a few days afterward. It was lost for years, then found to be a cherished creation by me and a special friend.

The pattern and fabric are from  Riley Blake. His website has many free quilt patterns.  The fabric, designed by Jen Allyson, reminds me of years past and the modern love of fabric. This was a quilt I knew I wanted to keep for myself.

The name itself implies romance. Forget the roses that die within a week. What better way to spend Valentine's day wrapped up in this lovely quilt?  A quilt that will last years and years and can be passed down for generations. 
I'm not that great a picking out fabrics ( well let's say I'm a fan of not reinventing the wheel) so I was thrilled when I found a fat quarter bundle of coordinating fabrics for this quilt. 

I'm also not a fan of small squares and strips. You will rarely see me build a quilt of charm squares or smaller because I just don't like them.  I love big blocks, what can I say? 

Because I'm determined to make this quilt, I will follow the instructions to the tee. Yuck... too small for me. 
It's going together anyway, piece by piece. 

This is the finished base panel. 

Next is the preparation for each of the hearts to go in the white squares. On this original quilt, I used ultra heat and bond for each heart.

My Cricut Maker cut the hearts perfectly. Charlie even loved them.

Once the hearts were fused to each square, I used a blanket stitch to anchor each heart. 

The finished panel.
The border was added, the backing created, sandwiched with the batting, pinned and quilted.

The binding was next. I really love to bind quilts. I use a wave stitch to adhere the binding around the quilt.
Clips make it easy to adhere the binding.

Love this backing. I learned to make original and creative backings from the quilting gurus I follow on the internet and  Pinterest.
On some quilts, I will make a special label, but not all. This one gets the embroidered label.Someday, one of my family members will get this quilt. I hope they love it as much as I do.
One of the reasons this fabric caught  my eye is the snowflake pattern on the red fabric.
Here in upstate NY, Valentine's day is sometimes a cold and snowy day. This quilt is just perfect in every way as a valentine's gift for someone special. 

Lessons Learned:
1. If there is fabric you like and a pattern for the fabric, purchase it as soon as you can or it will be tedious to find the fabric available in the future to make the quilt.
2. Ultra Heat and Bond is to stiff for a quilt like this. On the next one, I'll use Heat and Bond Lite.
3. Because I'm not a fan of small pieces, I felt like I didn't take the necessary time and care on this quilt to perfectly match the seams. If I ever have to create a small piece quilt, I will pay more attention to matching the seams.

Do you have a favorite quilt? I'd love to see some pictures. Feel free to leave some love and pictures in the comments below.

Happy Valentine's Day almost 2 months late.