It’s a wrap; or unwrapped, depends on how you look at it…

You remember when I first bought all this Marcia Derse fabric, at the Grand Rapids AQS quilt show?

Marsha Derse fabric

I recently finished putting it together as a quilt.

Hand Stitched binding

And finally gifted it, to our first-born daughter, Krystal, and her husband, Dustin.

Krystal loves her new quilt

I think she liked it! She loves color.

Blue Underground Studios

And this one has lots of color and texture.

Thick and Thin quilt

Texture is the spice of life, you know. You knew that, right?

I also made pillow shams, complete with invisible zippers, that I completely forgot to take pictures of. This quilting in secret, for gift giving, is for the birds…

Next time I go, to visit them, I’ll get a picture. And you know I’ll be going because I need to see this little grandbaby who is growing up way too fast. All ready.


Marcia Derse fabric

“Thick and Thin”
100″ x 110″
inspired by Blue Underground Studios pattern
for Krystal and Dustin
Christmas 2013
machine pieced, machine quilted
Quilter’s Dream Request, cotton batting

And for all you quilters, I just want to share the latest blog post from my favorite quilt charity, Margaret’s Hope Chest. The work they do, with postpartum depression particularly, really tugs at my heart. If you find yourself looking for a new charity to work with, this one is doing some much needed work. Keep them in mind. They will be grateful. ;)

Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday
Show Off Friday
A Stitch in Time
Finish it up Friday
TGIFF
Beauty Observed

Posted in 2013 completes, A Sttitch in Time, Charity Quilt, Crazy Mom Friday Finishes, Design, fabric, Family, Finish it Up Fridays, Gifts, Linkys, machine quilting, Quilting, Sewing, Show it off Friday, TGIFF, video | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

What I’m working on…

as I look out my window…

Grand Rapids, MIand the forecast isn’t looking any better, any time soon.

Forecast

So I am piecing quilt tops. My plan was to use up a bunch of these really old scraps. This is starting to sound like an annual theme to me. I’ve focussed on using up mauves with Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend and then pastels with Sweet Strings. This time the focus was on purples but it looks like I actually pulled a lot of blues, too. It feels like Time Traveling because many/most of these date back to the 1980s and have been seen in dozens of quilts and even some clothes! This is lap quilt sized coming in at 60″ x 72″.

Scrappy Trip Around the WorldAnd as long as I have all this fabric scattered about… I decided to play with 1 1/2″ finished squares and some 3″ finished half squared triangle blocks. I know this is a classic quilt pattern, I just can’t remember its name. Do you know?

Scrappy quilt

So that’s what I’m doing, while I’m suffering from cabin fever, how about you???

Fabric Tuesday

WIP

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Hand Stitching

Watching the series House of Cards while hand stitching a binding. Loving the first season of this series starring Kevin Spacey. It sucked us in from the beginning. And since we no longer subscribe to Netflix, I wonder how delayed season 2 will be coming to the rest of us…

Hand Stitched binding

I wish I understood why some quilters insist on sewing bindings on by machine. I do think a hand stitched one holds up just as well and looks 1000 times better. I do a slip stitch and about every 10 stitches, 3-4 inches, I add a knot and continue on. I don’t cut the thread, I just start to take the stitch, then wrap the thread two or three times around the needle, then pull the stitch on through and continue on. I’ve never had a binding come loose. Ever.

Tell me I am not alone here. 4 hours of TV time, book on tape, music listening… and a big, a really big quilt binding is done.

Also working on piecing some fabric for another project. And I should do some pick up clean up around here. Looks worse than a pigsty.

Piecing fabric

What are you working on this week?
Fabric Tuesday
WIP

Posted in fabric, Fabric Tuesday, hand quilting, Linkys, Quilting, WIP | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thank you. Thank you very much!

I don’t know what to say… But I am feeling the love this morning.

Every time the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival rolls around I tell myself I won’t enter again. I put too much stress on myself and I don’t like that feeling. Then I enter. Again. And you, my friends, must like what I am doing otherwise I wouldn’t keep winning :)

Take a Hike quilt by Sewfrench

“Take a Hike”
Art quilt category
October, 2013
10″ x 13″
A Sewfrench original
Machine Quilted by myself
Batiks, printed fabric, synthetic netting, cotton batting
Knife edge binding

More information about the making of this quilt can be found here.

"Take a Hike" quilt inspiration by Sewfrench

The festival was full of so many creative and inspirational quilts. I am continually amazed at how everyone challenges themselves just a little more, each year. It just gets better and better! Winning, after seeing the competition, means more than I can say.

I have to throw out an especially big thank you to Beyond the Reef for sponsoring the Art Quilt category. I had never heard of them until this festival. What a fun little niche they have. And guess whose fabric they carry?? One of my very favorites, Marcia Derse! I may have won a prize package from them but I suspect they will be the real winners. Cha-Ching!!

I also have to thank Tawni, owner of Interquilten, my local, Up North, quilt shop. If not for her class offerings and wonderful instructing, I might never have attempted this. (And it definitely wouldn’t have turned out so realistic!)

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Now go check out all the winners!

Posted in 2013 completes, Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Celebrate, Design, fabric, festival, machine quilting, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Rain, rain it’s okay to stay….

I have so much to do today….

I have more to do than I can bother taking the time to make a list to get done…. Drizzly rainy days will guarantee I stay in and get “something” done….

Machine quilting done on this one, attaching the binding, by machine, so I have something to stitch on, in front of the television, tonight. I’m sure I talked about this at some point, but I can’t seem to find when I bought the fabric or when I put it together, but it has been pin basted for a long time. Finally have a need to finish it.

Granny Square quilt by Sewfrench

Got this charm square top put together and ready for quilting. These pieces came from the Shades of Gray swap that happened last year. I was tired of wracking my brain over what to do with them and just went for it. There will always be more gray, and I am tired of saving this for “someday”.

Gray pieced top by Sewfrench

That’s all I can say about what I’m working on. It’s that time of year you know…. :)

Listening to the Audio version of The Story of Edward Sawtelle by David Wroblewski and thoroughly enjoying it as I work away… This is such a classic, bestselling book, I can’t believe the Kindle version is SO cheap! I got the audio version from the library ;)

Linking up with:

Fabric Tuesday
WIP
You can also enter, for your chance to win, a Baby Lock Melody sewing machine, here, at the BQF!

Posted in Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Christmas, fabric, Quilting, Reading, Sewing, swap, WIP | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

“Take a Hike” quilt

A couple of summer ago, after seeing some of Ann Lovelace’s art quilts, at art fairs, I became fascinated with her style of Landscape quilts. How realistic these fabric scraps could represent a place so familiar is mind-blowing.

So way back when, when I realized a class with a similar, but different, style of Landscape quilts was being held at a quilting shop, near me, Interquilten in Interlochen, MI, to be exact, quickly signed my youngest daughter, and I, up.

We were asked to bring in a landscape photograph. After sifting through many, many pictures, I settled on this one I had taken earlier in the season.

Benzie County, Michigan, "Take a Hike" quilt inspiration by Sewfrench

This picture is a favorite view taken as you hike up in to the woods, above our cottage, a very familiar place, to our family.

We were also asked to bring in batik scraps in colors similar to our photograph. No problem there, I seem to collect batik! These need to be true batiks, the color needs to go though and through, not be printed on like so many imitations, are.

Batik fabrics

And a rotary cutter, with a fresh blade, to cut the batik into crumbs. Tiny crumbs. The tiniest of crumbs would would be using to “paint” our pictures.

Batik crumbs

After taking us outside, helping us to see that trees don’t float in the air, but how they relate to their surroundings, we set about cutting and layering the colored scraps into a picture. Along the way, I added birch trees carefully cut from fabric. I also cut out other trees from random, non-tree fabrics.

This was then overlaid with more crumbs and finally with a piece of black netting and pinned together with a thousand pins. We were then instructed to free motion machine quilt it.

This is when the problem arose. If you know me very well, you know I am not much of a machine quilter, so this project lingered on for a really long time. Then, in August when I saw how impressive Ann’s winning quilt was at Art Prize, I finally pulled my unfinished piece out and went to work finishing it.

I am so glad I did! I learned so much making this and having finally finished it, I would consider attempting another one, some day….. It really is fun to see a photograph come to life as a quilt!

Take a Hike landscape quilt by Sewfrench

Side by side…

Landscape quilt by Sewfrench

This will be my second entry, in the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival 2013, Art Quilt Category.

Take a Hike quilt by Sewfrench

“Take a Hike”
Art quilt category
October, 2013
10″ x 13″
A Sewfrench original
Machine Quilted by myself
Batiks, printed fabric, synthetic netting, cotton batting
Knife edge binding

My other entry is in the Baby quilt category and can be seen here.

If you scroll towards the bottom of the main Bloggers’ Quilt Festival page, you will see quick links for the rest of the entries here.

Also linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday
A Stitch in Time
Finish it Up Friday
TGIFF

Previous Festival favorites:
Flower Garden ~ Fall 2009
Mosaic Tiles ~ Spring 2011
Shoot For the Moon ~ Fall 2011
Bubble Quilt ~ Spring 2012
Out of This World ~ Fall 2012
Thousand Pyramids~ Spring 2013
Head Over Heels in Love ~ Baby quilt ~ Fall 2013

As mentioned above, one of Ann’s pieces recently took away the Grand Prize at Art Prize 2013. To have a quilter win such a huge, international, art show, representing over 1500 pieces of various art forms is amazing. It just goes to show that quilting is finally being recognized as an art, not just a layer to keep you warm. And that she is from our neck of the woods and often uses Michigan scenes, in her art, is a bonus!

Fall-BQF-Button-e1380294012428

Needle and Thread Thursday

Posted in 2013 completes, A Sttitch in Time, Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Cottage, Crafting, Crazy Mom Friday Finishes, Fabric Tuesday, Finishes, Landscape, Linkys, Quilting, Sewing, TGIFF | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

What’s your latest favorite quilt?

This is again the fabulous time of year, I get so excited, I can hardly stand it. Tied to the computer, inspired and uplifted with so many beauties to start the ideas swirling faster than my brain can handle.

It is Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Week!  Where bloggers share a quilt that they would like to share.  It’s such fun to look at all the fabulous quilts being made, all around the world.  Very much the camaraderie of creative people! Everyone willing to share a comment and a compliment. Quilters are very generous that way.

This year I want to share the quilt I finished up on the way to the birth of my newest grand baby, Amelia Jean. It is my latest and so far my most favorite of the year.

Last Christmas Eve, while sitting around opening gifts, our daughter and her husband presented each of us with a Christmas card and a personal note in each. Mine said:

DSC_0220I knew it. I just knew it! It was a very special gift that brought on tears, as you can well imagine, especially with this being their first child.

We had a wonderful time seeing the Lion King, and it is interesting that the last quilt I created for this daughter, was in 2007. I called it The Circle of Life. How about that?!

The real gift came another 8 months later.

Heart quiltIsn’t she just the most precious thing???

You know I have to show off baby Amelia before you get caught up in the actual quilt! Isn’t she the sweetest, most alert baby, at just a day old???

Okay, back to the quilt I’m sharing today. I call it Head Over Heels in Love. For obvious reasons. :) For those who haven’t already read the rest of the story, and where you will find more pictures, check them out here, where I originally shared this quilt made with my Liberty of London tana charms. I knew I was saving them for a very special quilt, I just didn’t know it how special!

charm quilt by Sewfrench

“Head Over Heels in Love” *
Baby quilt category
August 21, 2012
36″ x 36″
A Sewfrench original
Machine pieced by myself
Hand Quilted by myself
(because everyone deserves a hand-quilted quilt)
Liberty of London Tana Lawn
Michael Miller Cotton Couture
Quilter’s Dream cotton batting

Tutorial here.

Be careful with your voting, it looks like you vote above your pick, this year. Or maybe it has now changed to clicking on the heart within the photo.

Vote for your favorite Baby Quilt here.

View my Art Quilt, “Take a Hike” here.
Vote for your favorite Art quilt here.

One vote per category. One vote per IP address/ wired vs. wireless…. device, I believe.

So many more quilts to see, pour yourself a drink, grab a snack and have some fun! Maybe I’ll run into you there, in the comment sections, for sure!

Fall-BQF-Button-e1380294012428

Previous Festival favorites:
Flower Garden ~ Fall 2009
Mosaic Tiles ~ Spring 2011
Shoot For the Moon ~ Fall 2011
Bubble Quilt ~ Spring 2012
Out of This World ~ Fall 2012
Thousand Pyramids ~ Spring 2013
Take A Hike ~ Art quilt ~ Fall 2013

Posted in 2013 completes, Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Design, fabric, Family, Finishes, hand quilting, Liberty of London charm swap, Linkys, Quilting, Sewing, Tutorial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments