Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Special Recovery Quilt

Here is my most recent quilt creation. My youngest brother Luke had congestive heart failure from a defective aortic valve and a damaged mitral valve. He has had to go through a lot of pain through the surgery and recovery, and I wanted to do something heartfelt to show I loved him while he got through this recovery period of at least six weeks. And so the Recovery Quilt idea came to me. My 6-year old daughter has been learning some basic sewing, and did the embroidered message in the middle as an added touch of love.
I love this inverted squares quilt pattern, and have been excited to make one since I saw a picture of a similar quilt. I asked my brother his favorite colors (red, blue, and green,) and I went shopping for masculine fabrics. The ones I found were quite linear, and I am excited how it all went together.
I quilted concentric squares around each block. I think it is harder (or maybe just tedious?) to quilt straight lines! I can whip out some free-motion whirly designs much quicker :) But this looks nice and it turned out alright.
I really liked how the back turned out. I love the strip of little squares as a top and bottom border. That all came about because I accidentally miscounted the length the backing needed to be. But what a happy accident, it turned out cute!
The stitching also looks great on the back.
And the verdict? My brother really likes the quilt (yea!) He uses it to snuggle with and try to stay warm enough during this recovery time. Just my little gesture of warmth and love!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Christmas Creations

I had a fuel of creative sewing frenzy at the beginning of November, and I planned more projects than I had time to make before Christmas! But at least I was able to make special items for my mom, my mother in law, and my nieces. I just love looking at other people's creative ideas, it sparks my creative process and gets the gears turning.
When I went to Utah in October last year, my family took a day trip to the wonderful little place Gardner Village. I love the quilt shop Pine Needles there, and what a host of ideas I gathered on my visit! My mom especially loved a pillow that looked similar to this harvest one I made her. I knew she was busy with work, so I wanted to have something special for her as a surprise. It turned out pretty cute!
My mother in law's birthday happens to fall right after Thanksgiving, so I decided to make her a special quilted Christmas table runner. Thanks again to ideas from Pine Needles, I fell in love with a Christmas applique quilt done in this same line of fabric, called "Figgy Pudding" by Moda. Because of the woodsy feel of the prints, I decided to do an applique tree table runner. I thought I would make one for me too, but once I saw how much I loved the end result, I decided to make an entire quilt with three separate applique panels. Needless to say, I will finish that for next Christmas! But the whole thing turned out delightfully.I had hopes that I could make a special pillow for each of my nieces and nephews for Christmas using the embroidery feature on my machine. (Which I had not even tried out until November!) So a project was born to use the feature: personalized pillows. I didn't make it to my nephews' however. But the nieces' pillows turned out darling!
I love the little trees and birdies fabric, and I am a sucker for stripes and flowers. I embellished the pillows with a quilted double flower, piping trim, and a pleated ruffle.For this next one, my little niece Emi has a pink and black room. I found some pink and black flowers and stripes (like I said earlier, gotta love flowers and stripes!) and I found a darling fabric flower embellishment that I wanted to try here. The ric-rac edging and trim also turned out very cute. I am quite happy with the flower, and would love to make some for my daughter now!
My leftover projects I had better get started on now if I want them done for next Christmas!