Tag Archives: friends

Feathers and stars.

I realize I say this a lot, but this quilt is one of my most favorites.  For real.

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My friend Nathan commissioned this for his girlfriend before they moved to Colorado and as soon as he asked, I knew what I wanted to do.  I sat at Hoots Roller Bar and drew it on some receipt tape.

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It’s both the most planned and unplanned quilt I’ve ever made.  It looks largely improvised but was almost completely measured out.

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My stash is lacking in purples but I grabbed what I had and pieced some stars, some with log cabin centers.

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I made some feathers based on Anna Maria Horner’s pattern, some striped and some solid, and then using contractor’s paper, I drew out arcs and foundation pieced them to the paper.  It was nowhere near perfect but it worked!

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I backed it in some feather scraps and other purples and a striped vintage sheet.

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I quilted it in a looping pattern with white thread and gave it a scrappy binding.

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While I was photographing this quilt behind the funeral home next to my studio, a momma fox and her 6 little ones were watching me!  I tried to snap a picture but I couldn’t get close enough.

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I miss my friends now that they’ve moved away but I’m glad they have a little piece of Winston with them!

Last year in books.

I am a part of a book club with 10 or so other friends, and 2014 was our second year together.

At the beginning of each year we all nominate 4 books, we each get one shoe-in (although everyone has absolute veto power), then we discuss and vote on the rest.  Each month a different member is the host; they feed us and we drink and have lively conversations.

I spent 4 years reading almost nothing but classics, with a special affinity for Russian literature.  This group has made me read books I never would otherwise and I love that!

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My thoughts, in the order in which we read them:

“Pale Fire” by Vladimir Nabakov — N/A — I did not make it very far into this book.  It felt a little tedious at the time, though I’d love to still read it one of these days.

“The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer — ★☆☆☆☆ —  This book was anything but interesting.  It partly hinges on the idea that one of the main characters is “the funny one” but she is not, which makes the rest of it kind of fall apart.

“A Super Sad True Love Story” by Gary Shteyngart — ★★★☆☆ — I kept waiting for this book to get super sad, and it never really does.  But in the meantime, it’s an amusing and interesting idea of the future, including the over-saturation of technology and obsession with beauty and youth.

“Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood — ★★★★☆ —  I loved this book.  It’s the first of the MaddAddam trilogy, which I quickly read all of.  It’s an interesting and strangely beautiful idea of the future including the propagation of diseases to assist natural selection.

“Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky — ★☆☆☆☆ —  This book was so boring.  It seems like it wouldn’t be so difficult to write about history in a compelling way (Jared Diamond and Erik Larson do it very well!) but this book definitely did not.

“The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri — N/A —  I didn’t read this book; it was just one of those months.  But it’s still waiting for me on my bedside table!

“Who Fears Death” by Nnedi Okorafor — ★★★★★ — This was my second favorite book of the year. I didn’t finish it in time for that month’s meeting, so parts of the ending were spoiled for me but I plowed through it soon afterwards and loved it.

“The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P” by Adele Waldman — ★★★☆☆ —  This book was entertaining but didn’t have a lot of depth.  Well, it delved into the mind of a man in his playboy prime but in a way that, as a girl, was very disheartening.

“The Witches of Eastwick” by John Updike — ★★☆☆☆ — I didn’t totally finish this book because I got so bored, but made it far enough through to judge it.

“A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor — N/A — I didn’t read this either, even though it was a short story and would have taken no time at all.  I bought it in an anthology with all of her short stories and I hope to read them soon.

“Battling Boy” by Paul Pope — ★★☆☆☆ — We have read graphic novels in December for the last two years.  I find myself reading through them so quickly that I hardly pay attention to the illustration, which is the best part of the book.

“Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent — ★★★★★ — This was my favorite book of the year, hands down.  Though it’s a fairly bleak story set in northern Iceland in the 1820s, Hannah’s writing style is so smooth and lyrical, it was hard to put it down. I have had a fascination with Iceland for a long time and I very much want to visit.

We are starting off this year with another Margaret Atwood novel called “The Handmaid’s Tale.”  At our next meeting we will be deciding on books for the rest of the year and welcoming a couple new members.  Do you have any recommendations?

I love keeping track of books on Goodreads.  Find me there and be my friend!

The cutest gift.

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A few months ago, the fiance of an acquaintance came to me and said that she wanted to buy him a quilt for their wedding.  We talked colors (burnt orange, brown, dark green, and cream), patterns (triangles and squares), and sizes (queen) and I quickly got to work.

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A couple weeks later, he came to me saying he really wanted to get her a quilt for their wedding.  I debated it for a while and wasn’t sure I’d have the time but ultimately, decided it was the cutest thing that they wanted to do that for each other and I had to do it.

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He wanted a throw quilt in their wedding colors, pink, mint, and navy, and we decided on a log cabin block to symbolize them starting to build a home and a life together.

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I based his quilt off of this photo I found on Flickr using Sew Mama Sew’s method for making 8 HST at a time, used peppered cotton in Coffee for the border, backed it in one of my favorite vintage sheets (the plaid) and some various green and brown fabrics, long arm quilted it in a maple leaf pattern with copper thread, and bound it in one of the prints from the back.

Hers is based off of the Clouds In The Sky duvet from Modern Log Cabin Quilting.  I used another of my favorite sheets for the backing, long arm quilted it with pale mint thread in a swirly pattern called Denali, and bound it in a Cloud 9 print.

They are getting married this weekend but gifted the quilts, kept a secret for so long, last night and I think they were both pleasantly surprised!

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I embroidered labels for both of them using the M&M design our friend Emily Poe-Crawford designed for their wedding invitations and their wedding date.

It was such a wonderful project to work on and I hope they love these quilts for a very long time to come.

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Congratulations Meghan and Marshall!

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I’m here! I’m here!

Whew, I did not mean to take 6 weeks off. But I will admit, it was a nice break. Now I’m back to show you some things I’ve been working on.

IMG_1852This quilt is for my dear friend Holly and it took me 4 YEARS TO MAKE. It didn’t have to take that long, and it shouldn’t have, but thank you so much to Holly for her patience!

IMG_1854When most people think of t-shirt quilts, they imagine the shirt designs cut into blocks to be showcased and maybe surrounded by quilting cottons (like this one a did awhile back). So when I received Holly’s box of her old hardcore shirts, I got to work cutting them out, into all different sizes. Then we actually talked about what she was envisioning, which turned out to involve the shirts being cut apart and used in traditional quilt blocks.

IMG_1856The change of direction really threw me off and it became something I frustratingly picked up for a few hours every few months. I had gone to a local quilt shop where I knew they teach a shirt quilt class to ask about interfacing and they sold me something really thick and expensive that turned out to be pretty terrible. Through some internet research I found French Fuse and then a trip to JoAnn’s turned up something similar and really cheap.

IMG_1861I finally decided on making mostly stars. Since the shirts had been cut to different sizes, I couldn’t just make the same block multiple times so each one took different math and fabric pairings and there were a lot of partial seams.  It was also hard because I couldn’t iron directly on most of the shirt designs so pressing became more complicated. Yet,  s l o w l y  but surely, everything came together.

IMG_1859I also owe many thanks to Cait for all her cheer leading! I long arm quilted it in a sort of angled meander with grey thread, it’s backed in a vintage sheet and the 108″ wide crosshatches from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics, machine bound in scraps, and labeled.

IMG_1862Thanks again Holly for still being my friend through this ordeal! I hope you love it and use it forever. xoxo

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Pillows for far away friends.

Two pairs of friends moved away in the last couple months and I wanted to make gifts for the both of them.IMG_1494 Jess and Ryan left North Carolina for Portland, Oregon (a place I’d love to join them one day!) so I made them a pillow from 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars, a combination of North Carolina star and an Oregon star in blues and greens from my stash.

IMG_1016I outline quilted parts of it in light grey thread

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and backed it in a cute umbrella print I got from a friend with an exposed zipper. It fits an 18″ pillow form.

IMG_1018Sam and Amanda, whom I also made this quilt for, left us for Grand Rapids, Michigan so I made them a star from, as you probably guessed, part North Carolina and Michigan.IMG_1486IMG_1487The print on the border of the front, from Pat Bravo’s Indie line or Art Gallery Fabrics, is one I used in Amanda’s quilt so I pulled colors from there and mimicked the design in the quilting, too.IMG_1492

It’s backed in a Joel Dewberry print, has an exposed zipper, and fits a 16″ pillow form.

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These are both in their new homes and I hope they will be loved very much!

I love making these stars so much.  I think it might be time to make myself a pillow with them!  Or maybe a small quilt of all the places I’ve lived.

Group effort.

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Amy, a good friend of mine that goes to my church is about to have a baby any day now and I thought it’d be nice for all the girls in our small group to get together and make her a quilt.  We all had varying levels of sewing knowledge but they did awesome and it was so fun to work on something like that together.

Baby Wauford back

I took a couple quilt patterns to the group and they decided on a granny square quilt.  I knew Amy liked Lotta Jansdotter and I happened to have a jelly roll of her first line so I pulled some coordinating solids and we went to work.

Baby Wauford detail

Baby Wauford back detail

The backing is the rest of the jelly roll strips and some Glimma prints I bought at The Little General.  I quilted it with a scripture and though you can’t read the white thread very well, I love how it turned out.  It reads, “every good and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow of change james one seventeen”, written in cursive and sewn over twice.  (I drew it on paper to see how it would fit, drew lines across the quilt every 6 inches in chalk, roughly wrote the words, and then went for it.)

Baby Wauford label It’s bound in a yellow stripe from Glimma (I’m really getting the hang of this machine binding thing!) and I free-motion sewed a label.  We gave it to her at her baby shower a couple weeks ago and she was so pleased.  (Amy and her husband are also the owners of this quilt, btw.) I can’t wait to meet the little one and snuggle it in this quilt!

Gifts for friends.

My friends Austin and Erin, the people who graciously let me live with them last year after a break up, recently bought a house so I made them this mini quilt.

Pfeiffers Pfeiffers I pieced the tiny houses from scraps, raw edge appliqued a key in one block, quilted it in a boxy meander with their name in one corner, backed it in a vintage sheet with my label, and bound it in white with a couple scraps.

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Congratulations on the new home, dear friends!

My long time friend Tara got married recently so I made her a little wall hanging.HST heart

Her bridesmaids dresses were yellow so I pulled a few yellows and greys, drew up the plan, and put this together in a day.

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I have been inspired by Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations lately, her simple patchwork, her straight line quilting, her mini quilts.  This is the first time I’ve quilted something this heavily and I love it.  I can’t imagine quilting a large quilt like this but it was great for this little lady.HST heart

I backed it in a yellow floral I’ve had for a long time and bound it in more yellow with a tiny bit of heath in black. I’m really happy with it and hope they are too.

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Congratulations Tara and Jeremy!

I made this pillow a while ago but never blogged about it.  It is now my friend Lindsay‘s and I made it to thank her for her kindness and friendship.

Feather pillow I used Anna Maria Horner’s feather bed quilt block and her Field Study fabric scraps, surrounded them with FreeSpirit light jade, added an exposed zipper, bound it, and left it behind as a little surprise.

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Thanks for being awesome, Lindsay!

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I’m sorry I’ve been so absent recently.

Many things have contributed to it… I no longer have a nice camera and taking pictures with my phone just isn’t the same, my studio has no air conditioning so with the 100 degree weather lately it’s been pretty miserable to work in (especially on quilts!), I have no internet at my new house (a virtual tour will come soon, I just painted my bedroom today and I love it) so the time I have to post here is slim, and to top it off, my lack of deadlines has lead to a lack of motivation.  Argh…

June’s Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts project was due two days ago and I still haven’t finished it.  I have sewn most of it, just not the snap tape, so I have yet to photograph it.  We have yet another quilt to do this month but it has minimal piecing so hopefully it won’t take too long.

My friend Dan and I are going to the seashore tomorrow and I can’t wait.  We are going to Wilmington, NC to see a band play, swim (bought a new bathing suit today that I love!), go on a scouting mission, and maybe get tattooed?  It’s going to be so fun.

So, when I get back, I’ll write a real post.  For real.

xoxo

LMP+QG April challenge: Peanut the Elephant

My friend Cait and I are making a project every month from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.  You can see past projects here.

Originally Cait and I were going to make the Summer Breeze picnic quilt but as the days wore on and neither of us had chosen fabric for it, we decided to trade with May and made Peanut the Elephant.

These instructions were especially frustrating and while I felt like I as winging it a lot of the time, she came together in about 3 hours and I love her.  As did my friend Rose.  She is half of the band Vandaveer who played here on Saturday.  She came into town earlier in the day and stopped by the studio while I was working on this little girl and fell in love. So, of course, I had to give it to her.  After she left I embroidered Rose’s name on this girl’s haunches and gifted it later that night.  I hope she is well loved!

I made her from fabric I’d had in my stash for a very long time and a Denyse Schmidt print.  I really like that the trunk is gathered at the end.  I don’t like that I used nearly a whole bag of stuffing and she still wasn’t stuffed enough.  I only sewed on the dark part of the eyes and gave her some eyelashes.  She is awfully cute!

Not only Rose but three other people fell in love and asked if I could make them one.  Looks like a have more small stuffed elephants in my future!  Be sure to check out Cait’s lovely wee one.

Next month’s project: Summer Breeze picnic quilt.  I picked out the patterned fabrics, I just have to decide on the background.

For Silas.

I am all about spreading the quilting love.  When my friend Ashley mentioned that she had a quilt all cut out but that she didn’t really know what to do next, I really wanted to sew with her and see if I could give her some guidance.  That, combined with a mutual friend from church that is having a baby in May, we decided to make a baby quilt together.I was inspired by Handmade by Alissa’s Queen Baby Quilt but we made ours with log cabin blocks.  I grabbed my scrap bins of blue, green, brown, and grey/black and we went for it, making two each.  We then surrounded it in Kona cotton in slate (love that color!) and I threw together a back and quilted it in straight lines that walk around the blocks.I thought that simple would be easy but as it turns out, all that negative space was hard to deal with!  The basting had to be redone a couple of times and shhhh… there’s still a few puckers and shifts in it.  But a good run through the washer and dryer does wonders!Erin and her husband Austin are excited to welcome their baby Silas in just a couple weeks.  I met them through my friend and coworker Philip, and now we all go to church together (occasionally) and are in a small group.  They are so very, very graciously letting me live with them right now in a time of transition.

I don’t always get very personal on my blog but things in my life have changed a lot in the last few months.  I ended a long term relationship and am learning a lot about myself.  I’ve been surrounded by wonderful friends and I am especially thankful for Austin and Erin’s support, their prayers, and all their encouragement.

So back to the quilt, Ashley and I finally gave it to them at a picnic this week and it was received with many squeals, hugs, and thanks.  It was just the reaction we were hoping for.

The front, as I mentioned, is scraps set in Kona cotton in slate.  It’s backed with more scraps and a geometric print I bought at JoAnns a couple years ago, which coincidentally, Erin made curtains out of at the house!  I quilted each block with a square spiral in different color thread and echo quilted the blocks with walking lines in a pale blue/grey thread, it’s bound in Amy Butler’s oxford stripe from the Belle collection, and simply labeled.

I can’t wait to show off pictures of their little guy bundled up in this quilt!