Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Marine T-Shirt Quilts -- UPDATE

Sorry for the delay, but.....Here they are!

Quilt #1:
Marine T-shirt Quilt #1

This middle one is the one his dad's class designed and printed for him.
Some cool shirts!

Marine T-shirt Quilt #1 -- the back
(Jubilee in Red by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics Inc)

Marine T-shirt Quilt #1

It was very hard to photograph this one because it was so large (king size).  

I presented this quilt to my friend about a month ago, and he loves it.  I have made quilts and given them as gifts before.  But the look of pure joy and appreciation on his face when he saw this quilt for the first time (remember I was keeping it a secret) will forever be imprinted in my brain.  He posted photos of it on facebook and his mom wrote "A beautiful and touching work of art! A masterpiece."  Aww, that's so sweet.  I am so touched!

Quilt #2:
Marine T-shirt Quilt #2 -- the back

Marine T-shirt Quilt #2

This second quilt was a bit more manageable to both sew together and photograph.  I think he will use this one often.  I love the use of his actual cammies for the borders. 

When presenting this one recently, I was again surprised by how genuinely appreciative he was for this gift.  He commented how he really liked the back fabric.  After he posted the photos of this one, his mom wrote "You are one very fortunate Marine who has a friend who can create such a treasured work of art...".  WOW!  I am in awe that these quilts are being referred to as art.  As sewists and quilters, we love doing what we do, but forget sometimes that the items we create are in fact works of art.  

These quilts were definitely labors of love and a very rewarding experience.  I am so thankful to my friend for entrusting me with the care of his memories.  Special thanks to him for his service, sacrifice and valor in the United States Marine Corps.  

Now off to work on those WIPs for Christmas gifts.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you will follow along with me on my journey. 



Friday, November 15, 2013

Just Beachie

I took a class at my LQS, Pennington Quilt Works, in the spring for Scrappy Trip Around the World.  I love this method!

This is my finished quilt!

I modified the "pattern" slightly as I made my borders larger.  The colors remind me of the beach.  I took it with me to the Jersey shore this fall to take some photos.  It was hard to take the photos with the wind and being by myself, but they turned out OK.

Then a few weeks ago I bribed my nephew into helping me at a local park.

You can see the different fabrics better in this photo.

This one is a Christmas gift for a friend.  I am working on two others in different colors to give as gifts for next year.

Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marine T-Shirt Quilt No2

As you know from my previous post, I have been working tirelessly on some t-shirt quilts for a Retired Marine.  There was originally suppose to be one king size quilt.  HOWEVER, there were so many t-shirts, that I had to make a second one for him.  

All the prep work of the t-shirts on this one -- cutting, ironing and interfacing (Pellon #931TD Fusible Midweight--  was done in preparation for the first quilt; BONUS!   So all I had to do was lay them out, trim and sew; then add the border.  I have to admit, this one was actually a bit harder to layout than the first and I really struggled with the border.  

After much deliberation...this past weekend, the second quilt top was completed!

Shhh... Jim has not seen this one either and I want it to be a complete surprise!  Hehe! ;)

The borders are from his actual Marine fatigues.  

There is actually a really tiny "USMC" printed in the fabric design throughout.  Pretty cool, ay?

The top measures 75x92.  

The back is Uncle Sam Stars Patchwork in Red from Fabric.com.  I thought this was appropriate since the marine colors are red & gold, and I thought the stars felt very patriotic.

Now, it's in the talented hands of longarmer, Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting.  I so cannot wait to see this quilt finished in a few weeks.  

I am now on the hunt for some great places to photograph both quilts when they are completed in a few weeks.  Any suggestions?  

Stay tuned for more updates!



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Marine T-Shirt Quilt

It's been awhile, but I have been very busy working on a very important set of quilts.  Full disclosure this is a long post.  

A high school friend reached out to me via facebook (gotta love social media!) about doing a T-Shirt quilt for him.   Jim is a retired Marine Veteran who joined the Marine's shortly after graduating high school and served our country in conflicts from the first Desert Storm all the way up through The War on Terror.  

How could I say no! I feel so honored and sew blessed that he has entrusted ME with these special memories.

When we spoke, he said he had a lot of T-shirts (and some sweatshirts).  

He wasn't kidding!  

Good thing he wants a king size quilt.  He also gave me his fatigues, which I was very determined to deconstruct and incorporate.

I then began the task of cutting out the logos -- fronts, backs and sleeves (over a period of several weeks).  As I touched several of the shirts, I could just "feel" the sense of honor that each of these shirts represented; some of happy events and others in memory of those who lost their lives serving our country.  

After 17 hours (really!) of ironing out the wrinkles and applying 30+ yards of Pellon #931TD Fusible Midweight (interfacing) to each of the cut outs, I was ready to begin playing with the layout.  This is the fun, but long, part.  After the first few layout attempts I realized that this was going to be more than one quilt. EEK!  

I also deconstructed his fatigues, carrying them with me traveling as my "waiting work". 

There was a ton of fabric to be used.  

Those who know me personally know that I hate to waste fabric.  Hehe!

In addition, there was one shirt that I just couldn't see being placed in a quilt.  Someone made it for him with glittered fabric bubble paint (?).  Nicely done, but it was too rough for a quilt.  So I decided to make a pillow.  The back is pieced together with the sleeves from the lining of his jacket.  It's very soft and smooth. 

I love it!  Don't you? 

I met with Jim to give him the pillow, which he loved, and go through the logos again to select those that were the most important and that he would want highlighted or centered in the quilts.  I was surprised to find out that there was one that his dad's class designed and made for him while he was deployed.  How cool is that!

I spent the next few weeks of "free" time playing with the layout until I found one that was "just right".  I took a few photos, so I'd know how to put it together, and then it was off to piecing his memories together.   I even used his fatigues for filler and included several name plates from them.

Several weeks later... TAADAH! 

Shhh...cause Jim hasn't seen it yet and he wants to be surprised when it's finished.  But I had to share, I am sew excited and pleased with how it came out.

The finished quilt top is 97" x 104" -- the biggest I have ever done.  I got the backing, Jubilee in Red by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics Inc, from from my LQS, Pennington Quilt Works, that I found in the sale room.  I finished the bolt and purchased all 12+ yards for 50% off.  Score! Whoohoo! 

It's now in the talented hands of longarmer, Karen Thompson of Poppy Court Quilting.  I cannot wait to see it finished.

Stay tuned for an update on the finished quilt,  and more on the second quilt too.



Monday, September 9, 2013

"All Business" Medallion

I've had this pattern in my head for some time and finally got to scribble it on paper a few weeks ago.  Then I drew it out on graph paper to play with measurements; yes math time!

It's pretty easy.  

I'm going to use this for my SURMA Medallion, but one could use it for a pillow front OR make several to create a quilt.   I'm working on sketching out a few quilt ideas along with some additional fabric measurements to go with them, but that will be a different quilt.  

The medallion will travel to 9 other amazing quilters who will each add a border and I will receive a finished quilt top sometime next summer.  These ladies are SUPER talented, so I am very excited to have something that they all worked on.

Picked the fabric from my stash and then sewed the block together in less than an hour.

TaDa!  It's complete.  The medallion and a small journal are in the mail to the next person.

I'm really excited to see what these amazing ladies create.

I hope you will continue to follow me for more updates on the Medallion's progression and other project posts to come.



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fun Weekend -- Fabric included!

I traveled this weekend to visit a friend that I haven't seen in 30+ years.  We were friends from kindergarten through high school.  

On my way out I stopped at several fabric shops; had to break up the 3 hour drive.  Haha!

I stopped at...

Wooden Bridge Drygoods which had a ton of fabrics - mix of both modern and traditional - and several 108".  The prices were GREAT.  Found a cool bee fabric there too that I plan to make a duffle with.  
I will definitely go back!  

The Quilted Crow which was small, but the staff were extremely friendly and the fabric was current.  

Fabrics Galore which had volumes of fabric!  It was late in the day and I had already spent my budget, but I will definitely go back. 

I totally restrained myself.  LOL!

Then it was off to camping on the Susquehanna River.  

It was so great to see my friend, Dawn.  I loved meeting all her great friends.  What a really fun group!  

I also got to see her dad, too.  I have a lot of fond memories of my days hang out at the bike shop and all the trips I took with them.

It was fun to reminisce about our "younger" years.

Bon fires, card games, and lots of laughter!

I promised her it wouldn't be another 30 years before we get together again.  

My drive back on Sunday was long through several mountain rain storms.  

So to break up the drive and give my legs a stretch, I stopped at IKEA

Found this great fabric for $1.99/yd.  WhooHoo!!  Great back for a future quilt.    I also picked up a great cart to organize all my sewing stuff.  Love that it's on wheels!

Although there was a lot of driving, it was a really fun weekend!  I can't wait to get sewing with my purchases, but that will have to wait for now.



Monday, August 19, 2013

Princeton Girl

This is my inaugural post into the blogging world.  

I am Feeling Sew Blessed to have supportive friends and family.  A very special thanks to all my blogging friends for their encouragement. 

A little bit about me...I am a self taught sewer and quilter.  I have been sewing since I was in high school (let's just say a long time ago).  I have only been quilting on and off for about 13 years.  I got into quilting when my son was little thanks to my dear friend Vicki. 

I recently got the "quilting bug" last fall after sending my son off to college.  In November 2012, I attended a fabulous class at Pennington Quilt Works taught by one of my favorite modern quilters, Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio and Craft Nectar.  I then began accumulating a stash and started making quilts.  

I love to design, pick out the fabrics and sew the quilt tops.  I generally send my quilts out to a long armer, usually to Diana at Twin Oaks Machine Quilting who does a great job.  I have not yet mastered more than straight line machine quilting on my personal machine, but I'm getting there. 

For my first post, I wanted to show you a special quilt I recently made for a very special young lady, my cousin Addy.  Although Addy is only 10 and lives in Kentucky, she has high aspirations of going to college at Princeton University.  Hence, her quilt name of "Princeton Girl".   


I thought it was only fitting to photograph it on the Princeton University campus. 

I made this quilt with 4.5 inch squares of scraps (I had lying around) laid out in a pattern that was pleasing to me.  I sewed 9 blocks together, and then sewed each 9 block to make the top.  Note: I sew all my seams open; I find it lays flatter and is easier to machine quilt.  I then added an extra row at the top and on one side to make it the completed size desired, approx 53"x72"; a generous napping quilt.  

The back is an old Timeless Treasure fabric I had in my stash that pulled in the yellows, purples and pinks from the front blocks. 

I then quilted with straight line stitches on my Viking Lily with Aurifil 50wt in a light purple (2510?) 

I then bound it with a kelly green I used in one of the front blocks.  It framed it out nicely.

I think it came out great.  Don't you?

I can't wait to show you more.  I hope you'll continue to follow me on my quilting and sewing adventures.