Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aloha Quilt

I call this quilt the Aloha Quilt because of the wild floral patterns in the fabric and bright colors. The backing is a natural muslin fabric that is also the color of sand with little speckles in it.

It's a log cabin quilt with a four patch for the center of each block. I began by cutting a bunch of strips and squares, uncertain of how I might arrange them but I'm pleased with the final result. It's bright and cheery and had contrasting colors that a baby girl might enjoy. The fabrics are mainly from designers Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett and Michael Miller. I used the remaining squares of fabric for the binding, sewing them into a long strip and then sewing the binding on. This is one thing I will never do again! Every two inches where I tried to shove the bulky fabric (quilt top, batting, backing, two layers of binding plus seams) under my sewing machine's foot I had a difficult time, but live and learn! It looks beautiful and used up my extra fabric scraps. There are two whites in the quilt , one in the border and a different one in the log cabin blocks, since my fabric diet is still in effect until I reduce my fabric stash to a more reasonable size. I turned the blocks a quarter turn each so they appear random, but in an orderly way. I free motion quilted it in a simple meandering pattern, the one I'm most comfortable with.

I made it for a little girl who hasn't yet been born, Joslin Rosalie will be her name. I hope she likes it and gets years of use out of it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Family Tree a Thanksgiving Gift

As oral tradition becomes a lost art, I think family trees become more and more important. There are times in one's life when the only way to go forward is to first go backwards, return to one's origins. I think it is powerful to see where you've come from, the long line of those who have come before you, each contributing some role towards making your unique life possible. I like the organic form of the tree as well to portray the family lines.

This is my Thanksgiving gift to my family - our family tree. The children appear as apples resting on the tree's roots. They are the "apples of my eye", and in our house it's true that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". I can look at the tree and trace my daughter's love for crossword puzzles, reading, and word games and our uncanny knack for finding four-leaf clovers in a field.

Each frame is 10 x 20 because nothing else seemed quite large enough to read without squinting and standing directly in front of it.

His side of the family tree...

...and her side of the family tree.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby texture block

Like most babies, William loves exploring new textures and sounds. After he became obsessed with the crinkly texture of a cellophane wrapper, I decided it was time to make him a safe crinkly toy. I used some of my Katie Jump Rope scraps to make a 5" square. I added different colored and textured ribbons to the corners. Some sides are quilted for additional texture and some are not. Two sides have layers of cellophane stitched in between the batting and fabric but not completely (ie, seam to seam) so that it can still be machine washed, but not dried. There's a bell in the middle - probably his favorite part, since he's often found shaking it by the ribbons to hear the bell ring.

We've been taking it along for car rides and giving it to him to play with on the floor at tummy time. So simple it was made in an afternoon with things on hand and he loves it!