Wild Wild West

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The quilt was the western quilt I mentioned in the Just Keep Swimming post a few weeks ago (https://catherinecureton.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/just-keep-swimming/). It is my first applique quilt and the beginning of a new obsession! I didn’t really have to learn applique for a western quilt (because there are about a million western quilts floating around on the internet), but I came across one with an image similar to this and I fell in love! The image needed some tweaking up and the original was way too small to really see much, so I enlisted my artist in residence (Spencer) to help redraw/fix the scene into something more workable for me. Then I followed the usual steps for tracing out pieces onto Wonder under, ironing the scene together and sewing the pieces down. I had some fun with texture by doing the horse and the chaps out of a suede-like fabric and leaving a loose fringe on the chaps. I used free motion quilting to sew the quilt together and get all of the fun texture in the background.

Tada!

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And Bonus! Baby onesies! I think I like these as much as I like the quilt (especially the one with the butt pockets)!

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Just Keep Swimming!

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This project was an experiment to say the least! My Granny wanted baby quilts & onesies to give as gifts to some friends who were having babies and she wanted them to match the nursery themes. One wanted western and the other wanted Nemo (you’ll see the western one later).

I couldn’t find examples of Nemo themed quilts ANYWHERE and embroidering enough Nemo patterns on my machine for a quilt would have been too much of a hassle because of how small the hoop is….so I decided to learn applique! Technically this is my second applique quilt (because I finished the western one first) but I am no expert. I also had no pattern…

What I found is that I LOVE applique! It is so flexible design wise and it is actually pretty easy. To make my pattern I found an image of a finding Nemo fleece blanket that I liked and searched coloring books to find the characters in similar poses. Then I brought the images into Photoshop and re sized/re adjusted to get the scene the way I wanted it. I printed the characters out on the printer at home and pieced them together with tape. Then I used my creative judgement to trace the pieces I needed out onto Wonder under fusible backing. From there it’s a long tutorial on how to applique that I won’t bore you with. Basically the Wonder under makes the fabric into an iron on transfer, so you iron it down then sew around the edges to make it permanent. There is no magical stitch that everyone likes or perfect way to do it. I used black thread and did a satin stitch (very short zig-zag) to make it look like cartoon outlines.

Also, you can’t see it here as well, but I had a lot of fun playing with free motion quilting to add water and other textures to the background

Tada! I would improve a few things for the next round, but I’m not upset with the results at all!

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And bonus! Baby onesies to match!

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Stuffed Love!

Ok…I know….What happened to Mondays? Doesn’t it seem like all my posts start this way? To be fair though, I do have another good excuse! Spencer stripped and rebuilt my computer (at least that’s my understanding of whatever he did). Also…I got a job! It is wonderful! Honey Bee Quilt Shop needed another girl to help out and I needed to get out more, so I started working there part time and I love it!

This last weekend was the Blue Bonnet Shop Hop and Grandma came up to go with me. If you’ve never been on a shop hop (and you love fabric), I highly recommend it. Basically, a group of shops sets aside a special week or weekend to stay open late and offer special prizes and snacks and people come from all over to go from one shop to the next. You get special prizes for making it to all the shops and they have challenges for designing quilt blocks. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I absolutely loved it! I got to finish collecting fabric lines that were hard to find and I learned a lot more about the fabric stores available in my area. Now I know where to go for a certain style of fabric if I’m having a hard time finding it!

At the last shop I found this adorable stuffed owl pattern and decided that it needed to come home with me. There is just something extra special about homemade stuffed animals. The designer is Jennifer Jangles and he is the Okey Dokey Owl (but I call him Hooty). Normally patterns and I don’t get along because I change them too much, but this guy was pretty close to perfect and the pattern was VERY easy to follow (photos and diagrams for every step)!

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This next creature was commissioned by a friend at church to be a door prize for family movie night. They were watching the Princess Bride and wanted an ROUS. This ROUS isn’t quite as terrifying as the real deal, but he does look like one of the Muppets from the season when budget cuts forced them to give up their dental plans (hahaha…bad joke).

I used this pattern http://sewingstars.com/mousepattern.htm blown up in photoshop about 10,000 X and added a mouth (you can’t have a blood thirsty rat without teeth).

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

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March 3rd was the annual Zilker Park Kite Festival in Austin and it inspired me to make my very own kite! I don’t know where I originally got the idea to use fabric and make a patchwork quilt, but this tutorial was very helpful: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-patchwork-fabric-kite/2009/06/29/

I didn’t follow the instructions exactly because I was looking at a few other tutorials at the same time, and I got turned around with all of the different instructions; so, the day of Kite Fest our kite didn’t actually fly! I was very disappointed since I had stayed up so late the night before building it, but I didn’t give up! That night we replaced the spars (rods) with slightly thinner dowels (less dangerous!) and put them on the correct side of the kite (my biggest problem was trying to fly it upside down all day…Hooray for late night tutorial misreads!). I also added pockets for the rods to go in on each corner and modified the way I finished the edges. Then, we made the tail bigger to add some more weight. For those of you wondering, this style of quilting is called crazy quilting or crazy patch. You either start in the middle or on one side and quilt the fabric to the back as you go…very fun!

On Monday I met Spencer at a park near his work on his lunch break and we had a wonderful picnic where we tested the new and improved kite! The weather was perfect and the kite flew amazingly! We let out about 150′ of string to my best guesstimate (based on how long the spool was and how much was left on it)! Unfortunately/ fortunately all we had were phone cameras so we had to go back on Tuesday to fly it again! The weather was much colder Tuesday and the wind was quite a bit stronger; but the kite still flew! And, my amazing garage sale camera lens finally came in handy ($50 for a brand new zoom lens)!

After our picnic I went by the quilt shop to get some fabric and show off, and they loved it so much they’re planning on posting it on their blog! It should be here in a week or so: http://honeybeequiltstore.blogspot.com/

If you’re in Austin and need fabric, Honey Bee is the place to go! They have the best fabric and are super nice! I go in just to visit some days! They also know just about everything about quilting and offer loads of great classes (like my kids sewing camp coming up in June!).

I’m thinking of posting more kites on Etsy, if I can find a good source for kite parts (rods/clips/string). I don’t know that anyone would want an expensive kite body with cheap parts! If you want your own, feel free to message me with requests. And be sure to leave lots of comments!

Here is Spencer at kite fest trying to fix it for me (notice the bars on the front!)

And here are some pictures of the wonderful kite in action!

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And here is me with the kite (on the nice warm day)!

Margie’s Quilt

These photos have been hanging out in my computer for a while now, just waiting for Margie’s birthday! And now that she has turned another year older I finally get to share.

This quilt was created several months before Margie’s birthday, when I found a jelly roll of fabrics in her favorite colors on sale at JoAnn’s. I discretely asked for design advice on a quilt for “somebody else” to make sure she would like the pattern I picked, but never showed her the fabric because it would have been a dead give away …sometimes it’s fun to be devious!

I can’t remember exactly which tutorial I finally went with, but it might have been this on:

http://beesquarefabrics.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-make-zig-zag-quilt-without.html

It was great because I didn’t have to cut or sew any odd angles which meant less fabric waste!

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