Adventures in the life of a gorram nerd

Archive for the ‘Finished Quilts’ Category

Fleece baby blankets

Taking a posting break from the Stitch-Along …

When I was working at the quilt shop, one of our customers came in with a piece of fleece and some binding ribbon. What they do is to sew the binding ribbon around the edges of the fleece, and boom, baby blanket. It’s the type of blanket that you take to the park and throw on the ground and can be handled more roughly than a baby quilt. It’s also faster than the fringe tie fleece blankets that I sometimes do. I had friends who were having or adopting babies and this seemed like an easy project, so I bought some fleece and got to stitching.

The first is my favorite. It’s for a former student’s daughter. The baby’s room decor is pink zebra stripe. I had so much trouble finding pink zebra stripe… there was lots of regular zebra stripe but no pink. I wandered into a Hancock fabric on a whim and found it on sale! She just had her 2nd baby and I owe them a new blanket.

Fleece baby blanket quilt ribbon binding quick fast baby gift bright pink zebra stripe

Next is for my friend’s foster child. Since he didn’t know if it was going to be a girl or boy, I wanted to go as neutral as possible.

Fleece baby blanket quilt ribbon binding quick fast baby gift black grey gray yellow chic gender neutral

Lastly, this one went to my high school friend for her daughter. And who doesn’t like sock monkeys?

Fleece baby blanket quilt ribbon binding quick fast baby gift red blue sock monkey

I bought about a dozen pieces of fleece from JoAnn’s and found the ribbon wholesale, so my plan is to make a dozen of these and list them on my Etsy site

Quilt show entry

This quilt is a tough one for me to share…

Pinwheel batik two blocks star gradient gradiant fabric Ta-Da Tada triangles thangles

Starting at the beginning… this was a really fun quilt to make. I had some gradient fabrics which I love playing with. There’s only 5-6 fabrics in this quilt, if memory serves. Each fabric is in the same position in each block, so in the bottom left, the red/green pinwheel, the red is from the same piece of fabric as the gold in the gold/pink on the far right. I used Ta-Da triangles, which are fusible web that you iron onto your fabric. Then you sew on designated lines and cut on other lines, and Ta-Da, half square triangles appear. I’ve used most of the trick products for making HSTs, like the Ta-Da’s and Thangles, and I prefer to do them the regular way or the 8-at-a-time way. But I digress. I made this quilt as part of a class and the teacher showed us her 3 pin method to get perfect points and I spent hours getting the pinwheel centers to line up perfectly and I was really proud of the quilt.

This was maybe my 6th-ish quilt top that I made. Since I was really proud and had recently joined the Tucson Quilt Guild and we had our annual show coming up, I decided to enter it in the show. I entered it in the piecing category as well as the Newbie category (for those who have been quilting less than 5 years). I didn’t win either (though the Newbie one was partially because they lost my quilt prior to the voting at the Guild :-/ ……). I received my critique from the judges and for all of the categories, they ranked me as “fair” except for the part about my quilt points, which I was so proud of, when they gave me a “poor”. I was absolutely crushed and ready to give up quilting. It was such an awful feeling. This was also a wedding gift for a friend so I packed off my terrible quilt and mailed it to her (and, of course, she loved it).

I received a lot of positive encouragement from some of my quilt mentors (Lynda at Quilter’s Market pops to mind) which helped get me through it. I learned to look at why I was quilting. I enjoy making my pieces as precise as possible but I don’t really care what other people thinking of my piecing (or I try not to). I do this for fun and to make gifts for people who appreciate them or donation quilts to help people, and I don’t want to spend hours agonizing over a seam (which people do) or anything that I would need to be “good enough” for a quilt judge.

So I share this quilt now since it is a really nice quilt that I’m proud of.

Donation quilts – part deux

Here are some more quilt tops that were donated to gals who make quilts for various charities and support groups in Tucson.

First on the list is Floral Frenzy using the Floral Whimsy fabric line. I fell in love with the blue in the border when we got it into the shop and designed this. The final pattern was a bit less than I was hoping for. I also was never been able to get a true color picture of this quilt. I took about 15 pictures before giving up. The actual fabric is much brighter.

Floral Whimsy bright abstract floral quilt quilts purple pink green

This quilt uses the 2nd line of Wizard of Oz fabrics. I machine appliqued the little pictures in the pink, blue, and yellow squares. I was never enamored with this fabric line because the faces looked kind of creepy. I had that same problem with the I Love Lucy fabric line that came out around then.

Wizard of Oz Glinda Witch Munchkins Oz Yellow brick road Dorothy Ruby Slippers

These two are possibly the first quilt that I designed. I fell in love with the Robert Kaufman Fusion line and bought a yard of the 20 or so that my quilt shop had (and still haven’t used all of them up!). I was going to make a reversible quilt – one side would be the brights and one side would be the pastels. I made the tops and didn’t get any further.

This pattern is for the Potato Chip Quilt, named because “it’s so easy, you can’t just make one”. They were right – I made two.

This is a Row of the Month quilt through a quilt shop. They gave us little accessories to decorate each month – buttons for the snowman’s face, kite tails (which are in the picture), floppy ears for the bunnies, etc.

Row of the Month ROM Block of the Month BOM Seasons Snowmen flags Christmas trees turkey pumpkin apple bunny heart watermelon

Lastly, I procured some of Michael Miller Fairy panels and made this. If you look close enough, you can see the purple and yellow Fusion fabrics to make everything square.

Michael Miller Fairy purple yellow flower fairies quilt top

Baby quilts

These are the last few baby quilts that haven’t been shown yet.

This was made for a friend who is an engineer. We got this fabric at the quilt shop and sold out of it so quickly.

Robot quilt baby cogs blue white blanket

This was for a gal that I worked with at H&R Block. I made 3 quilt tops to try to stay ahead of everyone having babies!

Baby quilt minky duck ducks train trains bear bears blue boy numbers soft quilt

This is a panel that I wisely got for when I quickly needed to put a gift together. I used this to practice my longarm quilting (which doesn’t show up in the picture).

Baby boy quilt minky panel Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme star

10 Shades and Star Gazing BOMs

I have an exciting announcement! I will be doing the graphics for a Block of the Month pattern series!

When I worked at Bella Quiltworks, two of my coworkers, Kathie and Swan (of Swan Amity Studios) designed a Block of the Month (BOM). We were tired of the traditional BOM sampler quilts where you make 12 blocks, maybe add some sashing, and tada, quilt (some examples here). They’re all well and good, but we needed something else. So Swan took some graph paper and designed Sense of Direction and Kathie figured out how in the heck to construct it. I was responsible for doing the computer work and making the graphics for the patterns. Here is my finished Sense of Direction quilt:

Block of the month BOM Stars Flying Geese quilt Bright colors Michael Miller black bouncing balls Snake Pinwheel

For the next year, Team SwaKaCa designed and put together another BOM for the shop named Star in the West. The quilt starts in the top left and then each month a border is added to the quilt. This is from Swan’s website where she sells the completed BOM pattern.

Star in the West quilt Monsoon Sunset Sunsets BOM Block of the Month Southwestern Pinwheel Geometric Flying Geese

For mine, I’m doing it in greys. I love colors and patterned fabric and for the last year or so, I’ve been going through a grey phase as well as a solids phase. It’s been a bit odd, especially for those who know me. I picked out 10 white/grey fabrics and am using the black Moda Grunge fabric (not pictured) for the background. And the quilt’s name is 10 Shades of Grey. Someone suggested it as a joke and it stuck.

Star in the West quilt Monsoon Sunset Sunsets BOM Block of the Month Southwestern Pinwheel Geometric Flying Geese Black White Grey

Since I’m getting ready to work on the new BOM, it seemed a prudent time to finally start on 10 Shades. I spent a few days cutting all of the black background for the whole quilt (benefit of having the whole pattern!) and assembled the “center” star.

Star in the West quilt Monsoon Sunset Sunsets BOM Block of the Month Southwestern Pinwheel Geometric Flying Geese Black White Grey

For the new BOM, I can’t post the pattern since it’s a work in progress and not my property, but it is really awesome. It involves a lot of interlocking stars which is how it got its working title Star Gazing. I will be doing my version in American Brand Solids. They’re made in Seattle and the colors are yummy. Plus was having a December sale and I got them for 25% off – score! I have a few more greens coming, I already own some purples, and the background will be a few shades of grey, but everything is solid.

Star Gazing fabrics

Flamingo Beach

Many moons ago, my LQS had a contest. They had just bought a bunch of flamingo fabric from Clothworks called “Oh So Flamingo”.

Clothworks Oh So Flamingo

The challenge was to use it in a quilt/project. The only requirement was that there had to be one complete flamingo in it. When I did was to get an exacto knife and very carefully cut out each and every flamingo (only one lost part of its leg). I made a beach scene and then glued each of the flamingos into a spot. The sand right by the ocean is a gold ribbon with seashells sewn on. I got scrapbooking stickers to use as accents plus some tree buttons for the mountain. I used DMC Embroidery thread for the road.

Clothworks Oh So Flamingo flamingos Beach art quilt beach scene sidewalk sun tree buttons scrapbook scrapbooking stickers applique embroidery


Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I did have a great time making the quilt. It now lives with my dad in San Diego.

Johns scrap quilt

I made this quilt a few Christmases ago for one of my best friends, John. As a quilter, I accumulate tons of scraps so I found this pattern to use up some of them. Each fabric in the center is unique (and there are 252 of them). I had cut out 252 rectangles and then needed to cut 252 black squares. The day, I received an email from The Quilter’s Market, my favorite LQS, about space in their scrap buster class. This was right when the Accuquilt had come out and so you bring your scraps in a few days prior, they run it through the Accuquilt, and then you show up on class day with scraps ready to sew. I gave them a bunch of Michael Miller black fabric and requested the 2.5″ squares. When I showed up, Lynda, the owner and a friend of mine, said that when the gals were cutting it, they were all shaking their heads and wondering what I was doing (since it was “supposed” to be all different fabrics to use in a scrap quilt). But they of course cut them and I spent the day sewing 252 squares to 252 rectangles. This was also a challenging quilt to assemble because the seams don’t nest but still need to line up, so it took a lot of careful pinning to get everything right.

Scrap quilt Michael Miller black machine applique fusible applique zodiac Libra Aquarius Sagittarius Ox Turtle drama pineapple needle turn applique Bare Bones Theatre

I chose to do a scrap quilt for John because the idea with a scrap quilt is you take the little bits that don’t look like much and may not go together perfectly and turn them into something awesome. And that’s what John did. We did community theatre together and he’d have almost no money in the budget, (what felt like) no support from the theatre company, almost no audience for the first week, just what felt like very little/nothing in general, and then he would turn it into an amazing and wonderful show that besides was great for the audience, it also mattered to the actors and helped them grow as actors and people. And so I felt that a scrap quilt was very appropriate of what he does.

For the borders, I machine appliqued various symbols that were special to John. From the top left, clockwise: Chinese zodiac symbol for the Ox, air element, Libra zodiac symbol, fire element, turtles (because he loves turtles), Aquarius, water, Sagittarius, earth, and finally Bare Bones Theatre. One of his goals is to start Bare Bones, which is a theatre devoted to doing shows without huge expenses in costumes, set, props, lights, etc – just the bare bones. He had sent me some sketches he made for the logo, which I was able to use on the quilt. All were fused onto the quilt with fusible web and then blanket stitched down.


Lastly, he loves the tv show Psych. In most episodes, they hide a pineapple – there’s a pineapple hidden on his quilt. And I even did non-machine, non-fusible, needle turn applique.


Scrap quilt Michael Miller black machine applique fusible applique zodiac Libra Aquarius Sagittarius Turtle drama pineapple