Monday, June 18, 2012

Baby Love...

I have been sooooo busy since November, I can't even begin to write about all that I have been up to, simply suffice it to say that I am glad to be back in blog land. I have simplified my online presence and eliminated my website - it just wasn't paying for itself and I am not a web designer, so for me it was cripplingly difficult to keep up with. Now all Quilty Indulgence traffic forwards to this blog, and that is very manageable for me. So, here I am. Slowly I will migrate the free patterns, etc., that used to live on the website onto this blog,.. but that's another day....

The first thing I want to post are photos from my latest, most wonderful project: Adrian's, "Welcome to our World" gift. My sister-in-law is expecting her first child and we are extremely excited about this new addition to our family. Right after she and her husband announced the addition to their family, I discovered Malka Dubrawsky. I think it was fate. When I saw her book, Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration, my knees buckled. I immediately bought the book. Then the entire line of her fabric, A Stitch In Color by Malka Dubrawsky for Moda. It was so inspiring. I knew as I held the fabric in my hands that this was the seed for Adrian's gift.... First came the quilt above - it is made entirely of charms from the line. I made the charms into half square triangles, and created the quilt. I played around with the layout and decided I liked what you see above. I quilted it myself. That really made me happy. Here is the back of the quilt....
Then I made a bag for the quilt to go into....
Then I made an elastic band to keep the quilt tidy in the bag when they travel....
Then I made bibs from the left over charms....
Then I made burp cloths out of yummy quilter's flannel.... (and I can't understand why they are posting sideways and I refuse to spend one more second trying to straighten this rebel photo out...)
Then I made a tag to hang from the bag...
And here's the back of the tag....  then I bought some toys to go in the bag... OK, so you get the drift here.  I hope it gives you ideas regarding baby gifts to make for your wee ones.  As you can see, this was very simple.  I literally designed it as I went along, tote bag included, and look how marvelous it turned out.  Sometimes it really is the simple things.... 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rainbow Wrap - A Wonderful Scrappy Gift

Again, keeping to the Scrappy Theme, I just completed the wrap you see above and I found it to be one of the most wonderful projects I have tackled in quite some time.  It's called The Rainbow Wrap by the Rag Merchant.  I can't find a website for the company, but found numerous vendors selling this, and other, wonderful patterns by this company.  If anyone out there knows Jill Abeloe Meade or anyone connected with her company, the Rag Merchant, point me in the direction of that website.  I want to do more of her creations - they are gorgeous.   Below is a cover shot of the pattern. 
OK, back to the wrap.  Seriously, I am going to find it impossible to give this away.  I saw this wrap on the shoulders of a vendor at the Jacksonville Quilt Fest in October.  This vendor wasn't selling the pattern - she was simply keeping warm.  If you've ever been to the Jacksonville Quilt Fest you are nodding in understanding right now - that place is air conditioned so well you could store meat there with no concerns of it going bad.  I digress, but it's true.  OK, back to the wrap - I was struck by its beauty and once I realized that it was made entirely from scraps strips of batiks, I squealed like a pig!  This wrap is gorgeous.  It feels as good on you as it looks.  Last night after I finished mine I wrapped it around my shoulders while I worked on some paperwork and it was positively cozy.  Not too heavy, but just right and oh, so soft.  I immediately realized that this wrap would be wonderful on a car trip, airplane ride, or even in a movie theater.  As you will see, this wrap is not only gorgeous, it's incredibly versatile. 

Worth mentioning is that this wrap is extremely easy and fun to make.  It took longer to sort and cut the strips than it did to sew it up.  As stated on the pattern, "The frayed edge wrap is constructed of narrow strips of bright cotton fabric and it's trimmed with bias binding.  For best results use fabrics that look good on both sides like the batik fabrics..."  While constructing this, you get to use all those fancy stitches on your machine that we can never think of what to use them for.  If your machine is limited in decorative stitches, no worries, the pattern shows you how to use just a straight stitch that will make it just as lovely!  It's so fun to make and wouldn't this make the perfect gift?  To give you ideas for color choices, I found some photos of finished wraps online and I also included the one I saw at Jacksonville.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Also worth noting is that the wrap finishes 18 inches wide and it is light enough to fold in half and use as a regular scarf if you need a traditional scarf in cold climates.      

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scrappy Lil Twisters

My newest obsession (like I need one) is the Primitive Pinwheels tool from Primitive Gatherings.  This one uses 3.5 inch square scraps of fabric and my goodness are the possibilities endless!  I finished my first one and immediately bought a stand to hang it in.   Now I have made different ones for different seasons and holidays.
Above is my favorite Christmas wall hanging - it was designed by The Gathering Room and is called Twisted Christmas (beware - their webpage loads as slow as molasses - so be patient).  The pattern calls for 5 inch squares, but you can easily substitute 3.5 inch squares like I did above and get the same exact design, just smaller.  So it would fit in the hanger, I left off the borders.  I became so addicted to the Christmas wreaths, I made three different sizes.  One using the 5 inch squares, one using the 3.5 inch squares, and the even smaller one using the 2.5 inch squares.  Again ... made from scraps, quick and easy (three hours, start to finish!), and most important - FUN!  Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Scrappy Christmas Idea for that Dog in Your Life

Recently I had need of a doggie gift for my son's new dog and I was at a complete loss as to what I should make.  He already had a dog bed, which was my first choice, so I decided to make a blanket for his cage.  I dug into my flannel stash, and this is what I came up with - a flannel rag quilt.  Instead of using a little square of batting in each square, I simply used a piece of scrap flannel.  Look what a beautiful "bloom" I got from doing that.  So, I was cutting three layers of flannel instead of the typical two layers.  I was thrilled with the end result! 
Obviously, my daughter-in-law liked it as well, because I recently noticed it in a cell phone photo of my grandson.  I wonder if the dogs ever got a chance to lay on it.... hmmmm. 
Either way, it sure turned out to be one cozy quilt.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How About a Scrappy Christmas?

There's still time to make some spectacular scrappy Christmas gifts!  I just completed a few gifts that were very fast and very inexpensive.  I already had everything I needed to make these projects, so other than my time, they were free and during these not so great economic times, what could be better?
Above and below is my newest creation for new mommies - the play mat quilt. The one that is sashed with white fabric was made for my newest Granddaughter, Nora.  My daughter loves it because it's only about 40" x 40" and very easy to grab, throw down for a quick diaper change, or to lay across the couch when Princess Nora is propped up in the corner of the couch where she "holds court".  It truly is a very versatile quilt and because it's not very fancy, there is no fear of ruining it with use.  It's made to be used!  Utilitarian in nature, it really doesn't look it if you pick striking fabrics.   
 In fact, my daughter liked it so much I made a "boys" version for her to give to her friend when she has her baby boy.  That one is shown above and is sashed with lime green.
Here is a close up of the label and the simple quilting I used.  Oh, and below you see a gratuitous shot of Nora, happy as can be, giggling on her quilt.  Isn't she a cutie pie??
The quilts are made from 5" squares.  I didn't use charm packs as I wanted to use up scraps.  It takes 49 -  5" squares.  The sashing is 1.5" strips that when finished give you 1" sashing.  Once complete, I quilt it myself using a decorative "soft" zig-zag stitch on my Janome and away I go.  What could be easier? 

And from previous blog posts, here are great inspirations made entirely from scraps, that I think go nicely with the play mat.

Of course, I had to make a quilted scrappy bib, using my Quilty Indulgence Toddle Bib pattern...  It really does wash like iron and last just as long... I made the bib using 3" squares with 1 inch sashing. 
There are more yo-yo toys to come... I am becoming obsessed....

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet the Teddy Bears

This past January I decided that I was going to learn something new and take a Teddy Bear class from the Master, Francy Gordon of Bears: Plain and Francy.  I am very lucky because she lives locally and teaches out of a local quilt shop, Country Quilts and Bears.  When I started the class I knew I was going to be making three Bears.  One for each of our three grandchildren.  Funny thing is that shortly after I choose the fabric and mohair to make the three bears, I got a call from my oldest Granddaughter, Madelyn.  She called to tell me we were going to have another grandbaby.   I was going to need four bears! 
What you see above is the first three Bears.  They are sitting on the lap of Francy's biggest bear, Boo Boo.  From left to right they are Isabella, Rory, and Olivia.  I picked the name for each bear based on the grandchild it was going to go to.  In naming the bears I used the last name in the list their parents had before they picked the official name for each grandchild.  Does that make sense?  Lucy was supposed to be Olivia - when she was born her parents named her Lucy instead.  Lucy's bear is now called Olivia. 
 Here is Hazel with her quilt.  I couldn't very well give them a teddy bear without a custom quilt to go with it, now could I?  Hazel went to Nora.  Nora is our youngest grandchild.
 Here is Olivia.  She went to Lucy.  Lucy is nearly three years old already.  How can that be?
 This is Rory.  He went to my only Grandson, Jackson.  He, just like his owner, is cute as a button! 
Here is Isabella.  She went to Madelyn, my oldest grandchild.  This was the first time I made a square in a square quilt.  I will buy that ruler if I do it again...

I can honestly say that I have never been more proud of anything I have made before.  These bears are spectacular - when you take a class from Francy, you really leave with a wonderful product.  She is one of the best teachers I have ever had.  These bears are heirlooms.  They are made from real mohair and are absolutely wonderful to hug, cuddle and play with, as well as to just admire.  If you are ever in the Tampa Bay area, give Francy a call and see when her next class is.  Making a bear with her is truly a wonderful experience!  If you don't want to make a bear yourself, she sells her creations on her website.  She also does a great deal of custom work for clients.  You can take to her that old fur your relative left for you and have her make it into a teddy bear.  Check out her website - it's fun to see her bears!   

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jacksonville Quilt Fest - Fun Fun Fun!

Quilty Indulgence Quilted Toddler Bib
Here in my lovely state of Florida we have a wonderful quilt show called Quilt Fest of Jacksonville.  It is put on by seven amazing guilds who who come together as a group, calling themselves "Seven Sisters" for the purpose of this show.  And what a show this is!  I was in awe of the beautiful quilts on display as well as the 70+ vendor booths.  Wow!  It was row after row of quilter eye candy and goodies!  I met many wonderful people and I spoke to several about my Quilted Toddler Bib pattern.  Everyone loved the design I put onto the bib and I promised to post the source for the design and the bib here on my blog.  The pumpkin is a free machine embroidery pattern from Sew Swell Embroidery Designs (scroll down - it's in the fifth row) and let me tell you, the quality of their work is amazing.  I love their work!  The font was one that came installed on my machine.  I believe it's called Kidz.  There - that's the source list for the whole project.  Now all I have left to do today is unpack, do the laundry, catch up on paperwork, vacuum, empty the dishwasher, dust, sort through the mail, do more laundry, change the sheets, sweep, and get groceries.  Yeah, a relaxing Sunday for sure....