Adventures in the life of a gorram nerd

Posts tagged ‘Applique’

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

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

Finished Tetris quilt

Okay, I swear, last Tetris quilt post! I realized that I never posted the completely finished quilted and bound picture:

Tetris quilt Tetrino Rainbow Shit Happens Nintendo Video Game Mario 3-D 3D block

A few close ups of the quilting. I went with a basic curve to mimic the dropping pieces.

SpriteStitch was kind enough to feature me on their blog.

The quilt is already in Tucson (where the recipient is). I’m delivering it to her next week when I’ll be in town for Thanksgiving. I’m so excited!

Completed UFOs in the mail

This weekend I was able to get 3 quilts in the mail! I’m currently working through about 40 finished quilt top UFOs (Unfinished Fabric Object)… Even though I had a longarm for years, I am awful at quilting quilts. Starting last May or so, I vowed to get these quilts finished and delivered. All of the tops have been quilted or given away (it counts as finishing), so now I’m just binding and adding a label.

The first one is one of my oldest UFOs. Back when I was working for this company, Inphonite, circa 2009, I made this quilt for the boss’ daughter:

Critter fabric raccoon squirrel butterfly kid quilt bright fabric

At the same time, I started on a quilt for the boss’ son. I left the job maybe 6 months later, but I always planned on finishing the quilt and getting it to them. Fast forward 4-5 years and I have finally accomplished this goal! This is one of the first quilts that I designed (you can tell my early work because it’s always significantly longer than it is wide). I hand appliqued his name in the center and added two quotes in permanent ink.

Next is one of my first Twister quilts. This uses the Country Schoolhouse Twister tool with 10″ squares (the biggest size Twister tool they (currently) make). When I was working at a quilt shop, we had so many beautiful Asian fabrics with the gorgeous gold on them, so I made this. Then while I was teaching a twister class, someone saw my quilt and wanted to make the same one so she bought all the same Asian fabrics right then and there.

This is a wedding gift to a former student who I think has only been married for 2 years, so it’s not thaaaat late.

Last one uses the Butterfly Carnival line of fabric. It came into the shop and I had to have some. I made giant churn dash blocks, cut them into quarters, and rotated them for this quilt. This is going to my former roommate’s mom. She and I are facebook friends and when she saw this she said she really liked it, so here’s hoping she meant she liked it enough to give it a home. With the leftover pieces, I made a little top which did get donated awhile ago.

Tetris – applique letters (pt 2)

Continuing from Tuesday’s post… at that point, I had cut out all of the letters with the fusible web on the back. Up next is to position them on the quilt and then iron them. And once they are ironed, they can’t be moved, so it’s definitely important to make sure you like where they are. Originally I wasn’t planning on having the “P” offset, but I bumped the quilt, and I liked how it looked, so I left it there.

Tetris applique letters 5

After the letters are ironed, I go around the edges and blanket stitch them. If you don’t do that, they’re more likely to fray and corners might come up and you may not want to machine wash the quilt, so for me it’s worth the time to stitch the edges so that I know the letters will stay on there. And of course the threads get trimmed so the letters look nicer.

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible webTetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

From the back:

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

Once I blanket stitched all of the letters, I trim up the piece to size (I do a bigger background piece than I need since the heavy stitching can distort the piece a little). And here it is with the rest of the top section. Below the “ENS”, you can see a little of the distortion (the piece no longer sits perfectly flat) but once it’s sewn to the bottom section, it won’t be an issue.

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

Tetris – applique letters (pt 1)

Moving onto the top of the Tetris quilt, it’s going to say “shit happens”. To do this, I’m going to cut out the letters with fusible web and glue/sew them onto the black background.

To start with, I get fusible web (meaning both sides are meltable glue) and section it off into 4″ squares, so my letters will be consistent.

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

Each square is cut out and then each letter is drawn into the square. The important thing here is for each letter to be the mirror of itself. The fusible will be on the back of the letter, so it and the sketch, need to be reversed. I also want to keep each leg and such of the letter as uniform as possible.

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

Once the 11 letters are made, then I put these onto the white (letter) fabric and lightly iron it to stick the fusible onto the wrong side of the fabric. The layout and orientation of the letters doesn’t matter here, but sorry to any OCD people.

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

Once the fabric cools, I cut out each letter and, voila, I have letters ready to fuse. Next, I will lay them out on the black background piece, peel of the backs, and iron, and later stitch, them down.

Tetris quilt shit happens white letters machine applique fusible web

Alice in Wonderland – costumes

A few years ago I stage managed Alice in Wonderland. I also made the costumes for the white rabbit, the knights, and the playing cards. The white rabbit and playing cards had the heart with a crown on the back of their costumes. The knights had the knights on both sides. The base was muslin. I used fusible web to attach the appliques. I wasn’t able to stitch on the red fabric because it frayed too much (even with the fusible), so I told the actors to be super careful with their costumes and re-ironed anything that fell off.

For the playing cards, we had 3 actors: 2 short gals and 1 tall guy, hence the amusing difference in costume size. One night, they were in a rush and screwed up the costumes, so the guy had one that barely came to his waist and one of the girls was almost tripping in hers.