Stems – A Mini Sampler

Hello all!

I’m excited to share my flimsy finish for November’s AYOS quilt.

It is best described as a Stems Mini Sampler.  I have worked in three of Fig Tree Quilts newest mini patterns.  I put in links to Fig Tree Quilts shop site for each pattern if you want a quick way to buy one for yourself.

 

Here is a picture of the original pattern design by Fig Tree Quilts:

Stems Pattern

 

Now, here’s mine.  I used a partial charm pack each of Best.Day.Ever. and Fancy.

First – let’s start with the Mini Stems !

Stems Stems

Here is a Mini Lollipop !

 

Stems Sun

 

And finally – Mini Painted Ladies !

Stems Butterflies

 

And then put them all together!

Stems AYOS Center

This center part came out around 30″x31″.  The green grass fabric really looks like grass texture up close.  I didn’t pre-test it for colorfast – fingers crossed!

Also, when I started off – I wasn’t thinking that I was going to grow it this much.  I had opened up a jelly roll of Kona White for the background and I couldn’t (easily) find a matching white when I got to the expansion areas for the sun and butterflies.  So – I made do!  I think the quilting design I have in mind will help hide the seam lines, and it will be backed with white batting – not a dark green quilt underneath.

I had everything for this quilt (except the coordinating butterfly backing which I got half off from Hancocks of Paducah) in my stash.  Here is what I came across for my border fabric which was PERFECT.  One yard each of these two pieces from Swirly Girls for Michael Miller.  Probably got it on a Flash Sale from FQS :

Stems Border Fabric

 

I finished the last border around 1:00 am this morning.  I should have laid this out on a white bedsheet, but it was really late and I was really tired.  The green surround is the bedspread quilt.

Stems Mini Done

 

Finished quilt size is now around 50″x51″.  And it is already earmarked as a Christmas present for my granddaughter who was born in May of this year.  I see it as a great interactive play mat for now and hopefully it gets washed a lot and becomes a super soft snuggle blanket later.

I’m really happy how it turned out.

 

Have you done your Mini Stems yet?  Can’t wait to see you in the parade!  Hop over to Sinta and Sherri’s blogs on December 1st to see all the wonderful garden quilts – I bet there will be a lot of participation this month!

 

Enjoy the weekend!

Jennifer

Stems Quilt – A History

This month, the AYOS project went rogue and selected a mini pattern from Fig Tree Quilts.  I am an official Fig Tree Quilts groupie and have hoards of fabric yardage that is really being wasted in my stash boxes.  And quilt kits.  And patterns.  And nail polish to match the fabric (I don’t even wear nail polish).  And Aurifil thread kits to match the fabric … which I bought two so that I might actually open one of them some day.

So, when the ladies hosting Another Year of Schnibbles (and a little bit more) announced November’s pattern was to be the mini “STEMS” … I was certain to participate.

I made the full size, traditional STEMS quilt in 2011 using the Strawberry Fields collection (also by Fig Tree Quilts).  It was the first quilt I made since my two quilts in college and it jump started me back into quilting again.

I made it as a friendship and support quilt for my longtime friend and college roommate, Valerie.

Valerie had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she lives and teaches high school students in another state.  Valerie and I are the type of friends that will always be friends even if we don’t talk on the phone but once a year or more.  Thanks to Facebook, we have the sharing of family photos and stay in touch.  She will always be my best friend when I recall my time at Texas A&M, but I’ve known her since 7th grade.

ANYwho… when I heard about the diagnosis, I wanted to give her something extra special so she would know I was thinking about her.  I knew it would be a quilt.  And it would be the STEMS quilt pattern by Fig Tree Quilts.  I hired Diana Johnson to do the longarm quilting on it (she quilts a lot for Joanna Figueroa).

This was the year before I started this blog, so I have never shared these pictures with you before.  Here goes…

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Lots of pictures…

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You know the colors are much brighter and more beautiful than I’m showing … right?  Darn cell phone camera.

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I just love this Strawberry Fields collection – don’t you?  I have a fat quarter bundle that will stay perfectly intact…

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Didn’t Diana do a wonderful job, as always?  I had no experience in hiring longarm quilters, so I asked Joanna if she would share Diana’s contact information and she happily obliged.  Diana does quilt for other people, it turns out!  :)  Or at least she did this for me in 2011.

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So… now that you have seen my big Stems quilt … I am ready to show you my AYOS mini stems quilt for November.  See you soon!

All my best,

Jennifer

2014 Quilt Show Pictures

PICTURE HEAVY POST

I know you have probably seen pictures from the quilt show by now on a few or more other blog sites.  Certainly more professional than my own, but perhaps you will see something new here anyway.

I had gone primarily for the Red & White exhibit and although I live in Houston, I have only been to the show twice since we moved here over 4 years ago.  I don’t remember the huge display of quilts from my first trip.  There were 25 rows of quilts (based on the banners hanging down from the rafters) and at least 100 or more in each row??  Maybe??  It took several hours to walk through it all.  When I was done, my friend and I were pooped and we didn’t even go through the merchant booths.

Next year, I’m buying the weekend pass and going to it all for sure.  Just wish I knew how to get into the trade weekend that is blogged about so wonderfully.

Here are some of the red and white quilts on display from the center attraction area:

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Houston-20141102-00913

Houston-20141102-00908

Houston-20141102-00910

Houston-20141102-00912

Beautiful – yes?  Then there were many mini/wall hanging size quilts that were so impressive:

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Houston-20141102-00917

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I left there so wanting to get right on my Univ of Houston quilt and see it take shape (colors are red/white/navy).

Then, we moved along the rows and there was a section just for animal themes.  I had to take a snap of these artistic quilts:

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Now, to be sure – there were lots of beautiful quilts.  Applique, trapunto, thread painting, piecework, 3-D and layered effects, etc…  But I found myself so pleasantly surprised when I came upon a special exhibit area for Australian artists.  I found myself seeing quilts I had in books and magazines but you can’t believe how wonderful they are in person and close up.

The three main quilters, if I remember correctly were Di Ford, Michelle Yeo and another one (Carolyn someone?)…

O.M.G. … they were stunning.

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Now, I’m going to get back to my ironing board and sewing machine and try not to think about how much I would love to slow stitch one of those masterpieces… maybe in my retirement years.

Hope all is well with you!  Have a restful weekend.

All my best,

Jennifer

Something Quick for Thursday

I really want to show you pictures from my weekend outing …

Quilt Festival Doors

But it takes forever for me to download stuff off my cell phone to a computer.  I will hope to do that this weekend.  I so thoroughly enjoyed myself at the International Quilt Festival.

Not much time today, but I did take about 30 seconds to go to Fig Tree’s website and click-click-click … download the new mini Stems pattern for our November AYOS project:

Stems Pattern

I think I could get this done in a couple of nights after the kids are asleep.  Are you joing in this month?

I’ll share my large STEMS quilt next time and a little history behind it.  It was gifted to a very dear, longtime friend.

See you soon!

Jennifer

(P.S.  – please know that I really am thrilled to get your comments, even if I don’t get a response back out to you.  They make me smile!)

Around the World Blog Hop

Oh. My. Gosh.  I am so tardy in this post.  I would not blame my predecessor at all if there was severe disappointment in her soul.

Earlier this month, Dawn at First Light Designs asked if I would like to participate in the Around the World Blog hop.  I had happily agreed and thought it was an honor that she had asked.  Then things fell apart and my time on the blog, and fun stuff in general, was severely limited and I wanted this post to have some thought involved.

So – here it is.  The blog hop involves a series of questions and answers.  I hope you enjoy!

Question 1:  What am I working on?

Like you, I have many WIPs (works in process) and some that have graduated into UFOs.  Right now, I am wanting to stay up with the monthly sew along hosted by Sinta and Sherri called AYOS (Another Year of Schnibbles).  I can’t recall which year we are on, but the second installment for this year is due today and I have the main part of that quilt done.  I haven’t quite decided on the border treatment yet.  I’m leaning towards some appliqued flowers in the style of Kim Diehl.

Harvey Pattern - AYOS Oct 2014

Harvey Pattern – AYOS Oct 2014

After this quilt top, I plan to return to the Reach for the Stars progressive quilt, published over the last seven editions of Quilters Newsletter.  It is designed by Terri Krysan and I have tried to be faithful to the color scheme, but I have used many different collections of neutral fabrics for my own top.

RFTS Spread 2

After I get rolling on this one again, I have about 7 completed and quilted tops that desperately need binding.

Question 2:  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a difficult one for me, because I am very inspired by what I see around me on other blogs or magazines/patterns.  I haven’t been the type to change up designs and I have yet to do my own pattern, outside of a log cabin variation a long time ago.  I copy what I like and perhaps just change the fabric choices at times.

Question 3:  Why do I create what I do?

Deep down, I love the idea that I am creating something from scratch.  Yes, we are all taking perfectly good yardage of fabric and then cutting it all up and sewing it all back together again.  I get that.  But the result is something that is, thankfully, considered by most as a treasured result when you have a quilt.

I am partial to bed size or large throw size quilts.  I love seeing the mini quilts and wall hangings, but I don’t have that many walls or table tops to adorn with quilts.  I want to snuggle under quilts and interact with them daily.

My most favorite reason for making a quilt is to celebrate an event or friendship.  Having my two kids were such excellent excuses to put together some of my favorite quilts so far.  Friends that have gotten married, bought their first house or had their first grandchildren are also up there on my list.

 

SWOON quilt made for the marriage of a friend in 2013 (names and date embroidery in the center block).  Beautiful baptist fan quilting done by LiMa Sews:

Swoon Quilted 1

Question 4:  How does my creative process work?

I see it, I like it, I buy fabric and pattern.  I love kits.  I usually start with the body of the quilt and utilize my creativity with the fabric choices – trying to bring in some similar collections to make it a bit more scrappy.

I love borders.  And most patterns aren’t big enough to make a good drop off the edge of the beds (usually queen size is my preference).  So I try to look at the theme of the patterns to come up with a good coordinating border design that will look as though it was intended.  Which it was …  by me!  (See Swoon quilt above – I wanted it to be a good King Size so I added the tumbler block border).

Here’s an example of another AYOS project that was meant to be a wall hanging, but I made it large enough to be at least a couch throw:

 

CLOVER – Original Pattern completed

Clover Flimsy

CLOVER – with additional borders added and quilted:

photo 7

So – there you have it!

I don’t have a specific person/blog to send you to directly from me, but there are many of my favorite bloggers that have participated already in this Around the World Blog Hop, that I thought it would be great to give you the list and links of those I could easily track down in 30 minutes or less.  Please visit their post and learn more about what makes them tick and their unique styles.

Dawn from First Light Designs

Amy from Nana Company

Sherri from A Quilting Life

Judi from Green Fairy Quilts

Carrie from La Vie En Rosie (Miss Rosie’s Quilts)

 

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with some Halloween pictures on the next post.

Jennifer

Another Day More Please!

I am a day overdue already to post my answers for the “Around the World Blog Hop”.  Indicative of my nature, I am late.  And I need another day more to pull it together.

While you sit patiently for the clock to turn, I’ll give you a glimpse of a new purchase that I made and now need to decide on how to use:

Crazy for Red Precuts

I fell for the Midwinter Red collection by the same ladies (Minick & Simpson) last year.  This is going to mix in with my leftovers and I plan to do another red/cream quilt – but this time with a touch of navy blue.  Why?  Because I want to celebrate the University of Houston and the fact that my husband is an alumni, along with my father.  And we live next door to the main campus.

Go Cougars!!

I also bought a new PDF pattern from “A Quilting Life” creator Sherri McConnell (follow this hyperlink to her blog post where she tells you more about all of her latest patterns)…

Potluck Pattern

I’m thinking that maybe the two new purchases can work together – what do you think?

And finally, a little sneak at this month’s AYOS quilt project … Harvey

Harvey Center

I got the middle basket area done this weekend.  And I just received the background fabric for the remainder of the quilt yesterday, so I hope the rest goes together quickly.

 

I will leave the other updates and pics until my next post when I will answer some questions about my love for this art.

 

Thanks for the patience and I’ll see you soon!

Jennifer

Works in Progress

Oh my… it is Friday again.  It has been one tough week at work.  I’m not sure I have mentioned it, but I had joined a gym a couple of months ago and was going at lunch three times a week.  This week, I cancelled all my training sessions and I can really tell.  No excuses next week.  Back at it again and forget how busy work is – that one hour makes a bigger difference.

This month, the AYOS (and a little bit more) monthly selection is “HARVEY”.  It is a bed size quilt pattern using charm squares and a background of your choosing.

Harvey Pattern Cover

I wouldn’t have jumped into it this month because of all the other crazy stuff going on – but I had the perfect leftovers from my MODA LOVE quilt top.

Moda Love Round 3

All of those leftover HST squares made from the larger 9″ square sizes are just right for trimming down into smaller HST blocks for HARVEY.  Plus I have a ton of charm squares left in the variety of American Jane collections that need a good home.

SO… I went ahead and started down the path…

Harvey WIP

It’s just a start and we’ll see how far I can get by Halloween.  Each of my leftover HSTs gave me two smaller HSTs for Harvey and one even smaller HST for another future project (or embellishment ideas on these two quilts).

Another project that is pending is my Reach for the Stars quilt.  I have the last two regular blocks left to make and then all the setting pieces and border.  My problem is that I keep finding fabric that I really want to have in the quilt, so I keep collecting it – but I now have enough black/white/neutral fabric to make at least two more!

RFTS Project

I LOVE this small black button on cream print that I just got from Rossville Quilts this week (Aster by Williamsburg for Windham Fabrics).  I got a few other fat quarters in the same collection.  I also ordered another Palm Court panel which is my focus fabric for the quilt.  I wanted to have total choice when I got down to those last few blocks.

I MAY have also ordered a few half yard cuts of Smokey Quartz Gentle Flowers by Quilt Gate Fabrics when it was on the FLASH SALE by Fat Quarter Shop (55% off!!).  I don’t have it in yet, so I’m not sure how well it will match up.  I think it will be great though.  Like I said – I am loving collecting the fabrics for this quilt that I’m almost done with!  LOL!!

Finally, for today at least, I’ll share my other project underway.  It is doing SOMETHING with my stash boxes.  We recently disposed of my sons mattress set and gave him our guest bed mattress set.  That was also my design bed in my sewing room.

I had been slowly filling up every nook and cranny in the guest room with my boxes from fabric purchases.  They went under the bed, in the closet, around the walls, under the ironing board, under the cutting table, etc…  Here are some pics this morning of them in their full glory:

Stash Room 4

 

The door chest/armoire above is filled on top with precuts and the drawers have extra yardage I bought in a store closing clearance sale.

 

Stash Room 3

Oooo … I forgot I had that Vintage Modern quilt kit (see below pic) …  And I love those kits that come in the collectors tin lunch boxes.  I have at least four of those.  No wait ..six at least.  I had bought two others that are in the other closet.

Stash Room 2 Stash Room 1

My husband thinks I need an intervention.  I just need some good organization.

And this is just the stuff I’ve collected since I moved here.  I have another closet upstairs (and maybe a few drawers) filled with my initial stash collection that I don’t even look at.  I’m not sure what to do with this, but I wanted to grab a few pictures today because I will be doing something before the new bed arrives later this month.

I feel that I have purged and gone to confessional now.  Thank you!

Have a wonderful weekend with family, friends or just some good alone time.  Whatever makes you happy!

Jennifer