Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Memory Pillow: from Toddler Dresses

You might remember that I was given a beautiful array of toddler dresses from a mom who wanted a pillow made for her bed. A pillow isn't very big. So to make something little that showed the material from all 7 dresses in an interesting way - had me stuck for a bit.

I looked at endless pictures of cushions (I think I would now get top marks in any cushion quiz!) and finally decided to make a simple flower cushion.

Not too much or too little focus on any one material I hope. (If you remember I still need fabric left over for a kids quilt. )

I stuck all the smaller bits of fabric left over from the deconstruction of the dresses to white felt using a strong fusible. I cut out the petals and sewed them in circles - lots of circles!  The petals even show case the lace and other cute details from the dresses.

The vibrant leaves are made from the green velvet collars of one of the red tartan dresses. (I really really try to minimize any waste from any of the clothes I work with.)

Because there were two red tartan dresses I used some of the tartan to make the back. The smocking of one as the center of the back with some spiral paisley free motion patterns around it. 

Almost reversible but I think the front is much prettier.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Memory Pillows: Friendship Pillows

This is a tale about four sisters who recently left -  
their friends, school & town quite sad and bereft.
Made from cloth that their friends all wrote upon
with bright colored sharpies (they really wrote a ton.)
I took the cloth and quilted each letter, each picture, each word.
It took quite a time - my vision is now blurred!
Four purpley pillows being sent through the mail
carrying the oodles and oodles of love they exhale.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Memorial Quilt: Firefighters Family

I was given a large amount of material for these quilts. These quilts are made for two 5 year old twin boys whose father (a firefighter) passed away.

In the basket of materials I was given were t-shirts, mens white vests, bandanas, football jerseys, sports shorts - a whole lot of materials that you would perhaps never dream would go so well together into a quilt. I mixed all the different materials together in their color groups and they look amazing.

The family requested a large bold patriotic design and for the quilts to be similar.

(The quilt design is adapted from the Stars & Strips pattern found on McCalls Quilting.

The entire quilt from the front to the back to the binding is made from the clothing. The project did take me a longer longer than I had planned. But I think it was utterly worth it. The firefighter was an owner in a local bar - so the back of the quilts are styled in the way that you might find signs and registration plates tacked on a sports bar wall. Scattered - but with a purpose. A large proportion of the backs are made from his bandanas - cut into quarters and sewn on point.

Various badges and emblems from the t-shirts are also sewn to the front of the quilts. 


Also - my favorite part of the quilts is the denim horseshoes - taken from the pockets of his jeans.

The stars and stripes section of the quilt fit perfectly on a queen sized bed. 

The biggest shocker for me with the project is how I quilted the quilts. No fancy quilting. Just simple in the ditch.

And of course some matching pillows which have his football jersey number on the back.

And while I enjoyed taking these quilts for a photo shoot at my local fire station with some not too shabby firemen - I have to admit that I got rather teary when I was sewing on the labels for these quilts. A wonderful family man - a man who saved and protected - lost all too soon. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My First Portrait Quilt - in progress.

I have wanted to make a portrait quilt for a long time now - but how to go about it? I have books - but it has seemed totally intimating. But thanks to Luke for guiding me through the initial steps look what I have made - I'll show you how it all came together.

Here is the photo I wanted to use. 
I know it is blurry and it is an old photo - from June of 2012 but I love it. I love the look on Bunny #1's face & I love the movement in her hair.

Guess what Bunny #1's favorite color is .....

I love how the hair is starting to come together.

And here it is finished (above) but I just was not happy with the eyes. The left one pops but the right one seems lost.

So I went off the grid and started to experiment - adjusting the eyes ....

... and I finally finished on this version of things. I'm so pleased with it. You can see how big it is too - it is lying on a 24 x 36" cutting mat. A HUGE thank you to Luke for showing me how he constructs portraits - it was more than helpful to be walked through the process in person.

Now I just have to make the back for this quilt which I intend to make out of her old pajamas .... yes I've kept them all waiting to find the perfect project for them (I don't know how my husband puts up with me!!!)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Memory Quilt: Toddler Dresses

How lucky am I to be working with these pretty dresses!!

Such cute details on each one. 

Urm - someone stole my camera .... (Bunny #3)

How to include all these lovely details in the project!

I have already begun to start the process of deconstructing these dresses and my eldest said "Why are you cutting these up - they are too pretty to be cut up." And I have to sort of agree with her - yet I intend to do them justice!

The ticket is for cushion for the mom's bed & a quilt for the youngest girl of 4. I have many many ideas. Stay tuned to see what becomes of these.