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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gift: Quilt from Kids Clothes

My daughter finishes kindergarten this summer. Next year she starts 1st grade. Proper school! How can she be so grown up??

We collected one piece of clothing from each child from the class. After deconstructing the clothes and ironing anything that needed to be onto stablizer. I then slashed & sewed and slashed and sewed (3 times I think) before cutting the 'splats' into squares. The t-shirts were making me smile before I began sewing the squares together - some of them were really fun.

I chose a combination of spirals, pebbles and square greek keys for the top. This simple combination kept me deliriously happy through out the quilting process. 

I made two pillows with the left over squares for the assistant teachers in the class. I don't think they are as successful as the quilt but they are bright, jolly & heartfelt none the less!

This is one quilt I would really rather keep than give away!

The quilt was bound with one blue t-shirt from the clothes supplied to me and I made the cutest little label too (from their class silly photo - because I like a bit of silly!) That's my beautiful beautiful little girl in pink in the front!

Parents and teacher seemed happy with the finished product!

Wishing you all a wonderful, safe and sunny summer holidays with your family.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kids Art Quilt: Tie-Dye Fabric

After finding a Ricky Tims Convergence Quilts book I thought it would be fun to do Tie-Dye with the kids and then turn the fabric into some quilts.

We used Tulips One-Step Tie-Dye Kit with 12 different colors in it. It was extremely simple to use and very little mess for dying with small children. I would highly recommend the product.

We used all the dye up. The instructions said we should leave the dye to set for 6hrs ... so we did - I wondered if it would allow the colors to bleed too much - but they didn't. 

We had a little bit of dye left so my eldest had fun squirting the leftovers onto two strips of fabric. 

The other great thing about the Tulip Kit was that is came with lots of different pattern ideas. 

We played with explosions, crosses, stripes, swirls and bulls-eye designs. 

We were too shy with the dye on the larger pieces of fabric. They look cool but I worry there is too much white on them for our 'convergence' quilt plan. 

We also took the opportunity to make some tie-dye t-shirts for Father's day that everyone wore proudly!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend too!

Our other kiddy led fabric projects have included:
Kids Art Quilt - Spin Art (WIP)
Kids Art Quilt - Sharpie Art Quilt
Kids Art Quilt - Fabric Building Blocks
Kids Art Quilt - Sun Painting (WIP)
Kids Art Quilt - Bess Beetle
Kids Art Gallery Quilt

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Karen McTavish

If I think of all the people I have met in the past year who have inspired me to try new things or who have shown me a new way of doing something or who have just cheered me on along my free motion journey - it really makes me feel a bit fuzzy. In the past year I met two people whom I think so highly of that I felt honored just to be in the same room as them. And the amazing people I have met through the wonderful guild I am a part of (NYC Metro Mod Quilt Guild) I have met so many wonderful and super talented people who I deeply admire for their work and vision.

Back in August last year I met the really fun & charming Luke Haynes. And in February of this year I traveled to Wisconsin (in heaps of snow) to meet the amazing Karen McTavish. Karen is one of the reasons I got a longarm. I had seen a video of her McTavishing and her movements and designs were so fluid and gorgeous that I thought 'that is what I want to do'.
Wisconsin was really REALLY cold this February (-32F!).

T-shirt at the airport spoke the truth .....

The glowing wood stove was blissful!!

Meeting Karen was so strange. I was way more excited to meet this lady than if the young John Travolta arrived on my doorstep.

We went over McTavishing (I've been doing it all wrong!) We went over Victorian Feathers (I was doing that right) we talked about where I want to go with my quilting, competing (eek!), we watched TV together while she taught me how to trim trapunto and she fed me and opened up her home to me for two days while her son tried to imitate my English accent.

Karen has coined this injury sustained by trimming trapunto 'trapunto thumb'. 


I learnt her love of all things skulls. Her quilting on this piece is SO beautiful.

I was both in love with and terrified of this big boy - an English Mastif - the biggest dog I've ever met who was a total softy but had just a 'slightly' intimidating woof.

 We played with hundreds of stencils (i.e. I threw them everywhere ...)

 .... and Karen guided me through designing my first whole cloth.


It was seriously wonderful 2 days!

I feel blessed to be meeting so many wonderful people whose inspiration, work and kind words help me push myself just a little bit further with every project.

Karen has recently opened up her new quilting studio in Duluth where you can rent a longarm or take classes from her. If you can go and visit her do!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Memorial Quilt: Double Wedding Ring

The double wedding ring quilt pattern dates back to the fourth century. I have read that it has Germanic routes and came to the US sometime in the 17th century.

A very good friend of mine lost her father in law suddenly and while her husband was in Germany for the funeral he collected some clothes for a memorial quilt.

This quilt is made from mens outdoor coats, jackets and trousers.

The quilt fits perfectly on a queen sized bed. I reduced the Simpli-EZ Double Wedding Ring pattern to 6 rings x 6 rings and added a border.

I don't know if the photographs really do this quilt justice. The quilting is very traditional feathers in each center and melon. Feather swags frame the scalloped border. Overall I think it is a very traditional classic quilt. All my quilting is done freehand without stencils.  

There was a light blue cotton shirt given too but not matter how much I tried (and I tried!) I was unable to get the bright light blue to blend/work with the other fabrics so I put some of the shirt fabric on the back of the quilt.


Talking of backs ...

... I have a small obsession with the back of this quilt. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gift: Kids Art Quilt

I can't believe it is that time of the year again - my two smallest bunnies have finished their year at nursery school and it was time to think about teacher appreciation gifts again. (On a small Mummy note I am struggling with how fast these little people grow up and how I long to have more - oh dear husband of mine are you reading this???)

I have wanted to make a little art gallery quilt for a longtime now and this was the perfect opportunity. (I find giving gifts is a great way to try out a new idea!) Each child's parent in the class gave me their favorite piece of art work - we have had some really great/fun art work come home this year.

I scanned each piece of art work and enlarged them so they were all of a similar size. I printed the artwork onto a yard of fabric using Spoonflower. I added a simple 'frame' to each picture as well as the artists name.

I wanted the background fabric to look like wallpaper as though the art was hanging on a wall. I tried very hard to get the seam to match perfectly so you can't see the seam. Can you see the seam? (and yes I was quietly proud of this moment in my sewing history.)

Part of what I love most about these gifts is the labels. I took the class photo and made it into a label. I use printable paper and our home printer to make the labels - you heat set the ink with an iron (it does fade a little with washing) but it does the job well. 

I did some very simple quilting on the quilt. Double loop the loops on the background and a little bit of quilting on the art.  You can see the detail of the quilting much clearer from the back.

Another year has dashed past. Thank you to all the teachers out there that bring joy, laughter and learning to our little bunnies on a daily basis.


If you remember for the past two years we have made hand print pillows that were mighty cute too - you can check those out here Teacher Appreciation Hand Print Pillows (2014) & Teacher Appreciation Hand Print Pillows (2013).

I have another teacher appreciation quilt in the works - its a really great quilt so stay tuned I will be able to share that with you soon too.