A Customer Quilt


Ms. G., my longest running customer, was at it again! Just when I think she is finished making quilts for her family and friends she creates yet another one. Her quilts are always so imaginative, so creative.

The specimen she presented recently was made for a young man with many interests. As you will see from the photos he enjoys zombies, Minecraft, the Greenbay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, among other things. She even added a tie and a hand-made block created by the young man.

Ms. G and I put a lot of thought into the thread colors and stitch patterns. Our plan was to choose colors that would blend well with the fabrics and stitch patterns that would accentuate her artistic design. I think we met both of our goals. The quilt measures 72″x 57″. Take a look.

Grams-Brennan
Ms. G’s Quilt for Mr. B.
Grams-Brennan-Back
Ms. G’s Quilt for Mr. B. (Back)

Well, what do you think?

I’m very happy that you were able to stop by to see Ms. G’s latest masterpiece. Thank you Ms. G. for allowing me to work with another one of your projects.

Talk with you soon!

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My Teacup


Block Magazine

I was once a subscriber to Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Block magazine. The magazines I received are still resting on the reclaimed cabinet in my office. Shown below are some of them.

Block-Magazine
Some of the Block magazines that I own

I’ve spent many hours browsing the pages of each one of those books. On the back covers I wrote the names of the quilts I might oneway like to make.

Back-of-Block-Magazine
Back of Block Magazine

One of the many quilts I fell in love with was the Teacup quilt, published in the Fall Vol 1 Issue 5 magazine. As you can see by the above photo it was one of the projects I listed on the back cover.

Teacup Quilt Pattern
The Block magazine that has the Teacup pattern

Let’s Make It!

Having fallen in love with the Teacup pattern I set-out to make one for myself. After browsing the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s website I chose a grouping of fabrics to purchase for my project. Buying the fabric, for me, is always the easy part. Finding the time to make it is what’s hard.

I had the fabrics for the quilt sitting in a tub for more than a year. Last summer, on one of my sewing retreats, I finally was able to get started. The quilt was a fun and easy quilt to assemble. Unfortunately the pattern has an error. It wasn’t until I had all of the blocks made that I discovered it.

A Pattern Error!

As I laid out the blocks to decide on their placement I realized I only had half of the blocks the quilt pattern called for. Being puzzled by this revelation I went back to the book to figure out where I went wrong. As I studied the pattern I realized that the quantity of fabric called for in the pattern was incorrect. The pattern listed only one package of 10 1/2″ squares (aka layer cake). In order to make the correct number of blocks I should have purchased two packages.

Letter to the Company

I contacted the company to point out the error.  They thanked me for the information and credited my account for $5. I guess the $5.00 was supposed to make me feel better. $5.00 was not going to make it possible for my quilt to ever be the size I was anticipating.

No Longer Available!!!

Since I waited so long to actually start making the quilt the fabrics had since gone out of print and were no longer available. On top of that I had purchased enough fabric to make the quilt backing to the correct size. Obviously I can use the extra fabric on another project, but that’s not the point. Had I known that my quilt would be much smaller I obviously wouldn’t have purchased as much. Thus, their $5.00 compensation paled in comparison to my level of disappointment and the amount of money spent on this quilt.

MSQC’s Pattern Corrections

Missouri Star Quilt Company publishes a list of pattern corrections for its subscriber to refer to. As of today the error that I found is not listed on that Missouri Star Quilt Company’s pattern correction list. I’m disappointed that my revelation has not been shared on their website. If you decide to make the quilt yourself make sure to adjust the amount of fabric that you purchase. Otherwise you too will be disappointed.

Ok, enough about my disappointment! Let’s get back to my very pretty quilt.

Moving On

In December of 2017 I was able to finally find time to finish my Teacup quilt. Using a straight-line geometric pattern, swirls, a paisley design and white thread I quilted my Teacup project on my longarm machine. Here’s how my sweet little quilt looks now.

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My Teacup Quilt Top
Teacup-Closeup-of-Quilting
A closeup of the geometric meandering
Teacup-Another-Closeup
A closeup of the binding, and border quilting
Teacup-Backing
The back of my Teacup Quilt

Conclusion

Throwing aside the disappointments associated with my experience, I must say that this darling little project sits very high on my list of favorite quilts. I am so pleased to have it in my arsenal of finished quilts. 🙂

Thank You so much for visiting with me today. I look forward to our next encounter.

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Note: At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I was once a subscriber to the Block magazine. My experience with one of their patterns and the company’s failure to correct the issue had nothing to do with cancelling my subscription. I made the decision to stop receiving the magazine because I felt I had more than enough ideas for possible quilts to make in the future; let alone finding the time to make them all. I’ve also found improv quilting to be my preferred avenue to follow. I’m not saying I would never make a pattern quilt again; it’s just not as likely as it once was.

Mom’s Stars and Stripes Table Quilt


The Stars and Stripes Table Quilt was assembled from 25 blocks, nine of which are stars. Surrounding the outer perimeter is a narrow red border. Protecting the back is a scrappy, pieced backing created from leftover fabrics. This smashing little specimen is the fifth of five quilts I received from my Mom. The first was Pam’s Nine Patch, the second one was the American Flag Picnic Throw, the third was the Harvest Melody Quilt and the fourth was the French Cottage Garden Quilt.

This was one of the easiest quilts to assemble. My Mom had most of the segments already stitched. My main job was to piece the blocks together to form the quilt top. Having so little to do made this one a breeze to work with. To jazz up the quilt I used leftover fabrics to piece together a scrappy quilt back.

To finish it off I quilted this project using a variety of stitch patterns. In the outside border I stitched a continuous, single row of swirls reaching all the way around the entire perimeter

Stars-and-Stripes-Border
Stars and Stripes Border Quilting

Within the body of the quilt is a roaming series of geometric shapes.

Stars-and-Stripes-Table-Quilt-Closeup
Stars and Stripes Table Quilt Quilting
Stars-and-Stripes-Table-Quilt-Quilting-in-Star
Stars and Stripes Table Quilt Quilting

These shapes help to accentuate and unify the quilt’s design.

Stars-and-Stripes-Table-Quilt
Stars and Stripes Table Quilt

I just love the overall appearance and outcome of this table quilt. From the energetic visual impact of the quilt itself to the uniquely created scrappy backing

Stars-and-Stripes-Table-Quilt-Backing
Stars and Stripes Table Quilt Backing

this quilt shines with interest. As you can tell I just love this quilt.

Well, that’s the last of my Mom’s quilts. I’ve taken the time to show her each one of them. Her reaction was, not surprisingly, one of joy. Unfortunately she doesn’t remember starting all of them but that’s the way it goes. I only hope that I can be as alert and active as she is if I reach that age.

Here’s a collage of all five quilts.

Thank you for sharing your time with me! I always look forward to our visits.

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Mom’s French Cottage Garden


French Cottage Garden Pattern
French Cottage Garden Pattern

My Mom has been purging items from her home for a while now. Among those items were five unfinished Quilts. This quilt was one of the five. To get started with the project I familiarized myself with the pattern’s design, and instructions then worked to get my bearings on which steps were left to complete. From there it was just a matter of time before the bag of parts were assembled into a quilt top.

The quilt, as designed by the author, was supposed to have two borders. I made the decision to only use one. I quilted the body of the French Cottage Garden by echoing around the half-square triangles.

French-Cottage-Garden-Quilt-Top
French Cottage Garden Quilt Top

In the border I stitched a continuous line of improv triangles to carry through the quilt’s theme.

French-Cottage-Garden-Closeup
French Cottage Garden Closeup

The backing of the quilt is a soft green fabric with a floral design.

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French Cottage Garden Back of Quilt

This last photo makes it easier to identify my stitch patterns. With this quilt finished I have only one more to reveal. That quilt shall have it’s day very soon.

Thank you so much for sharing your time. I look forward to our next visit!

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I Present Art Quilt # 33: Bits and Pieces


Handbloom Batik Scraps

From A Bag of Scraps

From a bag of scraps to a finished item this project has had quite a ride. The top, all by itself, is gorgeous. I just love the soft feel of the fabrics as my fingers lightly stroke their surface. The visual impact of the colors is equally as pleasing. Their varied hues entertain my eyes with an explosive pallet of color.

With three of my senses already engaged, how could this quilt get any better? The answer just has to be quilting! Being the creator of the quilt means I am in-tune with every fiber and every inch of its surface. This connection gives me an advantage when it comes to finishing it. From day one my mind was day dreaming about how I would quilt it. For Bits and Pieces it seemed only natural to compliment its design with straight-lines and geometric shapes.

A Tour

Lets take a look at my Bits and Pieces to see how it turned out.

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Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

I think you will, agree after seeing the above photo, that this is a warm and earthy art piece.

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Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33, Closeup # 1

There are so many of my favorite colors represented in the above photo. The bright orange and gold the calming blue and lively green. All of them work together to create a grouping that will continuously draw your eye from one area to another.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 2
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #2

This photo was taken  just slightly east of the previous one. The black and white floral fabric is another of my favorites. I like how the author used only two colors to create this striking, organically flowing design. My love for the fabric can be evidenced by its repetitious placement throughout my piece.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 3
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup # 3

Many of the blocks within Bits and Pieces morphed drastically from their original versions. The two blocks on the right are great examples. Unfortunately since I failed to document their journey I can’t prove it to you. You will just have to believe me.

AQ # 33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 4
Art Quilt # 33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #4

The area captured in this photo can be found north of the previous snapshots. In the bottom left corner is my reformulated log cabin block. I spoke about the block in more than one of my previous posts. Finding a design that the block and I could agree with was a lengthy process. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. This final version is spectacular.

The other blocks in this photo went through their own versions of reincarnation. They too are far more interesting now than their original versions.

AQ #33-Bits and Pieces-Closeup 5
Art Quilt # 33, Bits and Pieces, Closeup #5

I love all of the blocks in Bits and Pieces…but if I had to choose a favorite or two, I would nominate these two for that honor. I just adore the bright orange alongside the cooling mist of the blue in the adjacent block. The blue adds pizzazz with it’s bursting white images. Strutting through it’s center is a section of my original strip-pieced fabric.

Bits and Pieces_Stitched Together
Bits and Pieces Stripped Pieced Fabric

The orange block, with it’s unevenly pieced borders, sports an interestingly pieced center section. Smack-dab in the center of the block is another section of my strip-pieced fabric.

AQ #33-Bits and Pieces-Backing
Art Quilt #33, Bits and Pieces, Backing with its artful quilting

The back of a quilt is not typically something that would draw our focus. From a longarm quilters perspective it’s often the best place to observe our work. With this quilt the solid color allows the abstract stitching to take center stage; there are no patterned fabrics to distract from the design. I’m quite pleased with the reflection I see in my stitching. From this photo can you see that my quilting was just as earthy as the fabrics I aimed to accentuate.

Privilege

I had so much fun photographing this quilt. The fabrics are just so rich and inviting. I know I went way overboard with the quantity of photos that I took. Because I kept my shutter rolling it was so hard narrowing down the number of photos to share. I know that I have only scratched the surface of the possible angles I could have taken. Thankfully, I’m so very proud to have Bits and Pieces hanging in my entryway where I can see it everyday. Anytime I want to get a closeup all I have to do is pause and allow my eyes to take in the beauty of my Bits and Pieces.

A Slow Rendition

Well, there you have it; the finale of my story about Bits and Pieces. It has taken quite a while to get us to this point. Well-thought-out art develops slowly and so too should the telling of its story. There is no need to hurry along. Hasty renditions loose sight of the many important details and as a result the reader looses touch with the impact the author desires to portray.

Handloom Batik Strips
Handloom Batik Fabrics

Enriched Experience

I have been so enriched by the journey Bits and Pieces and I have taken. My exposure to the world of improv art has been enriched through this adventure. Having successfully created another art piece, the experience has fanned the flames that fuel my desire to continue on this path. I hope one day to share my enthusiasm for this piece with the owner of Handloom Batiks. She is ultimately the spark that is responsible for the birth of Bits and Pieces. Without her fabrics my piece would not be as rich in texture and interest.

Woohoo! What a Ride!:)

Your Participation Means A Lot

I hope you have enjoyed following along! I love sharing my time with you and receiving your comments. Thank You for being a faithful follower!

For those that just joined in or those that would like to relive my quilt’s journey I have provided links below to the posts that have woven this story. Please enjoy!

Bits and Pieces, Art Quilt # 33

Bits and Pieces: Part Two

Bits and Pieces Part Three

Bits and Pieces Part Four

Bits and Pieces Part Five

Bits and Pieces Part Six

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