Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunshine & Shadows - Another Baby Quilt

My sister-in-law, Jan, has wanted to be a grandmother almost as long as I have known her. This past year, she finally got her wish, twice. Not only that, there is another one on the way. Both of her grandchildren are girls. I thought I'd throw together a quilt for her with some material that I had just laying around the house. So now when the granddaughters visit, she can throw this on the floor and put them on it. Yeah, right. My guess is that she is going to stick in on the wall and it will NEVER have a child on it!

Here's the plan that I drew out. I like to plan things out before I begin. I've often wanted to make a Sunshine & Shadows pattern. I imagined this as a rose, surrounded with leaves and rose buds in the corners. I must say that I'm pleased with the result.

With this pattern, there is a short-cut that is very handy. Cut the fabric into strips, sew them together, then you can cut strips of the repeating patterns.

Here's the green strips sewn together before being cut. I was very careful to iron the seams all open. This cuts down on the bulk.

Here you can see the seams easier, on the back of course.

Here I've laid out strips of the pink and green to see how they look.

Here's filling in more of the center.

I used the dark green as the binding. I think it framed everything quite nicely.

I actually quilted this quilt using my sewing machine at home. I just followed the gutters (seams).
Although I didn't take any pictures of the back of the quilt, it is a solid dark green. I told Jan to use this quilt with the granddaughters. If they look like they are going to behave, place them on the front, it they look like they're going to spit up (or worse), flip it over and put them on the back.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

China - The Country, not Dishes

The Quilt travelled a good long distance to visit the country of China. It was a fascinating trip; filled with beautiful sites and places.

Temple of Heaven
The ancient emperors came here to pray for a good harvest and peace.

Mao's Tomb
The body of Mao Zedong is on display in this tomb. We heard that perhaps it is now only a plastic replica and that the actual body has been moved to a safe location.

Tiananmen Gate
Tiananmen Gate - Gate of Heavenly Peace - is decorated with a portrait of Mao. The gate is on the northern end of Tiananmen Square and marks the beginning of the Forbidden City.

Great Wall of China Badaling

The Great Wall lived up to all expectations. It was absolutely amazing. The Quilt had heard that the wall could be seen from space, but this is only a myth, it can not be seen from space nor the moon. 

At the Great Wall, the Quilt climbed to the highest section in order to have this portrait taken with the Chinese Flag. The Large star is for the communist party, the other four stand for the four classes of people: Peasants, workers, bourgeoisie and businessmen

Water Cube
Beijing National Aquatics Center
This was one of the most exciting things to see, the inside of the Water Cube where Michael Phelps won all his gold medals. The texture of the building was very photogenic.

Bird's Nest
Beijing National Stadium
The Bird's Nest was a bit of a disappointment, don't know what we were expecting, but it didn't live up to the hype quite the way that the Water Cube did.

View of the Oriental Pearl Tower from the Bund
外灘 东方明珠塔
Shanghai was a wonderful city. The view of Pudong from the Bund was great, especially at night when everything was all lit up. The Bund was also quite nice at night all lit up.

Overall, the quilt was quite impressed with its visit to China, it was grateful that it didn't have to eat!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quilt visits Door County, WI

Two weeks after visiting Vegas, the quilt decided to take a more sedate trip with a visit to Door County, Wisconsin. The trip included great hikes at White Fish Dunes State Park and the grounds of the Chanticleer Guest House.
Beach at White Fish Dunes

The Hike at White Fish Dunes begins along the beach. The quilt loves this hike because of the variety of eco-systems.
The pine forest

The deciduous forest

Birch trees on the back of the Chanticleer property

Quilt visits Las Vegas and Environs

This past July, the quilt made a trip to Nevada to see Las Vegas and the surrounding area.
The quilt feels welcomed

While it wasn't completely sure whether Vegas was to its liking, the quilt absolutely loved the surrounding area; visiting Red Rock Canyon a couple of times and making it up to the Valley of Fire. Of course, what visit to the area would be complete without a visit to Lake Mead?

The Rock that gives the name

New art visits pre-historic art
Hoover Dam from above (Lake Mead)

Sunday, July 8, 2012


January into February, the quilt visited Fiji. I have waited to make this posting to give myself time to have some distance from the trip and put it into a better perspective.  I will say nothing negative.
I can sum up Fiji in 3 words..... Rain..... Rain...... and Rain.  This first photo sums up the vacation perfectly.

Rain in the pool

The quilt seemed to be a little shy this trip. So I feel that I must supplement the quilt photos with a couple of birds. Forgive me.
Collared Lory

Multi-colored Fruit Dove

Tropical islands with lots of rain have lots of waterfalls.

The International Date Line passes through the island of Taveuni. Here I have one foot in today and one in tomorrow, or was that one foot in today and one in yesterday???

Orange Dove

Friday, January 20, 2012

Christmas Table Runner

For the family Christmas grab bag I thought I'd make a quilted table runner. We have a $25 limit and I figured that I'd be able to make something nice, and stay just over the budget. I settled on a Blooming 9-Patch (a pattern that I had always called Bleeding 9-patch) in Christmas colors. The patches are set on point and the colors from the solid blocks appear to bleed into the adjoining 9-patch blocks. The binding done in the matching forest green batik.

The top turned out beautifully. It seemed too special to use as a grab bag gift, but alas, that was the plan. I went to the quilting store to have it quilted and found the perfect pattern: Holly Leaves and Berries. In my excitement, I neglected to inquire as to the price. Imagine my surprise when the quilting alone (without factoring in cost of fabric, time, etc) cost almost four times the grab bag budget limit. I will say that the quilting is absolutely beautiful.

The sticker shock soon wore off and I realized that instead of a grab bag gift, I was holding a potential family heirloom. I remember a sunny spring morning. We had grabbed some pastries from Panera Bread and gone to my brother's house. Inside, the dining room windows were open wide; outside, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and all you could see was green ... the rustic dining table made us feel as if were were eating patisseries in France. That table is where this runner belongs. The decision made, it would become my sister-in-law's Christmas gift.

On the back, in a lower corner, I did something I usually don't do... I initialed and dated the piece. MLP 2011 Christmas.

I had to postpone making this post until Laura received her gift. I hope she likes it and that it graces her Christmas table for years to come.