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Posts tagged ‘celebration quilts’

Let’s Play Catch Up – It Has Been Way Too Long

This post is going to have a lot of different types of projects.  It has been so long since I’ve posted and many projects have come and gone.  Let’s rewind the clock back to August 2014.  I’m getting ready to send my one and only sweet daughter off to college and emotions are running high.  One of our co-workers was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier.  We wanted to make her a comforting quilt to get her through the hard days ahead with surgery and treatments.  We made simple blocks with a place in the center for everyone in our company to sign well-wishes and prayers to her.  Here’s the quilt and a few close ups.

Pat Signature Quilt

Pat Signature Quilt Close UPPat Signature Quilt Border Close UP


Second project, before my daughter went off to college, she wanted to make a rug for her new dorm room to match her comforter set.  We went to our local Goodwill store and bought up a bunch of t-shirts.  She cut them into strips and rolled them up in balls.  Then she took three colors at a time and braided the rug.  My job was to sew together the braided rows into a circular rug.  It turned out really cute and she used it her first year of college in her dorm room.  Here’s the photo!

Abby Dorm Rug


Fast forward to the fall season.  My daughter and I had started a Halloween quilt together many years and due to crazy schedules, it got put on the shelf.  After she went to college, I wanted to finish it for her dorm bed for Halloween.  It was emotional dragging it back out, but I’m glad I did.  She enjoyed it during the Halloween season.  I also made a Halloween pillowcase/sham to go with it.

Halloween pillowcaseHalloween Quilt Close UPAbby Halloween Quilt

Another fun Halloween project was this machine embroidery free-standing lace coffin.  Lots of pieces, but way fun to put together and even more fun to decorate with!  This design was from OESD!

Free Standing Lace Coffin

For our annual Fall Fest meeting, I finished a quilt top of the raffle blocks I’d won at a previous full chapter meeting (I think it was the previous Spring Fest).  I may have already posted some of those blocks, but here’s the finished top.  It is on my “UFO to do List” that I plan on finishing this year.  I just need to decide if it needs a border to pull it all together and we’re off.

Raffle Block Close Up Raffle Block quilt

Prior to our Fall Fest our chapter got together to make pillowcases for charity (the chapter hosting the above Fall Fest event asked for these).  Our chapter made all these great pillowcases.  They took little time to make and were so much fun.  Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to get with your quilting friends and sew, sew, sew!

My pillowcases My pillowcases 2 Moonlighters Pillowcases More Moonlighters pillowcases

OK, enough for this time.  I’ll start up next time with the Christmas projects of that year.  Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…




Bernina Quilt Frame – First Attempt at Free Motion Quilting

I wanted to share this experience with you (especially you fellow Bernina Quilt Frame & Quilt Motion users) before the experience faded from my too busy memory these days.  Up until this point, I have only used the Quilt Motion software to do quilting on the quilt frame.  I wanted to try my hand at free-motion quilting.

A couple of months ago, a friend and co-worker hosted a weekend quilt retreat at her home.  I was only able to go for a few hours on Saturday, but it was so much fun.  I had never been to an event like this.  The best part was seeing what everybody was working on and sharing experiences.  I used the date to piece two quilts.  The first was the Sweet Sixteen quilt for my niece that I’ve already posted about.  The second one was a baby nine-patch quilt.  I thought it would be perfect practice for the frame.  I was going to donate the quilt, but am not 100% sure what I’m going to do with it now.  Don’t get me wrong, I was happy with how it turned out (well eventually that is).  Let me post a photo of the finished quilt now so you can see it wasn’t a total disaster.

Ladybug Baby Quilt

Ladybug Baby Quilt

OK, to get on with the saga.  After looking at my notes and remembering how to load the quilt on the frame, I was ready to get started.  First choice was do I used the handles and no Quilt Motion using my 830’s BSR foot, or use Quilt Motion software to direct my machine quilting.  I decided on the BSR method, but that was short-lived because I couldn’t get the machine to go without the foot pedal (I did eventually remember/figure that out).  I hooked up all the cables and had the machine threaded before putting it on the frame (that is very important to the story).  I used the built-in stitch regulation in the Quilt Motion software.  It took a little bit of getting used to how to quilt using the handles and the overall “flow” of my stitches.  I was pretty happy with how the first row looked.  Then I rolled up the quilt for row two and noticed a very nasty looking back to my quilt.  The front thread was looping to the back and it was really messy.  Since I was going to donate this quilt, I started thinking that it might just turn into a practice piece and I kept going.  I decided to play with the tension and finished row two.  It looked even worse on the back than row one.

I put the project on hold until I could talk to some of the ladies at my dealership.  I even took some cell phone shots of the back of my quilt to show what it was doing.  I got a lot of good advice, but in looking at the photos the consensus was that the thread wasn’t properly threaded through the upper tension disc.  Yikes, if that was all the problem was…but I digress.

The next HUGE task was to rip out the stitching that had already been done.  I wasn’t ready to sacrifice the quilt as a test and wanted to be able to use it when finished.  That took a few hours.  When I got the courage to “start over”.  I completely unthreaded the machine both top and bobbin and threaded the machine again.  My biggest lesson from this quilt was don’t thread the machine, then take down the steps to the quilt frame.  Even though reaching all the parts to thread is difficult I need to wait and thread the quilt once it is on the frame and ready to go.  Yes, that was the problem.  The machine stitched beautifully after that.  I used the BSR and completely unhooked the machine from the Quilt Motion board on the frame.  It took a while to get used to “driving” the handles, but by the end of the quilt I felt pretty good about it.  Here’s a close up of the block.  I tried to enhance the stitching so you could see it is pretty even.  My free-motion is almost exclusively made up of squiggles.

Ladybug Block Close Up

Ladybug Block Close Up

I learned a lot of things with this quilt.  Most of them simple, back to basic things like be very careful when threading the machine.  I used a King Tut thread for the top and a Gutermann cotton in the bobbin.  Still not sure where this quilt will end up, but I’m happy with the finished project and learned a lot of lessons.

I almost forgot another “lesson learned”.  When I got down to the last row…yikes…I realized the batting was going to be about 5 inches too short.  Ugh, I had to think on this one for a while.  What I must have done was rotated the batting 90 degrees when I loaded it onto the frame.  I just ended up laying a piece the right size up against the short end and quilted over it.  It worked fine and there wasn’t a lump or “empty” space.  Whew, another crisis averted.  Next time I will make sure and measure and mark which direction the batting goes when it isn’t obvious.

Next project for the frame is a T-Shirt quilt I made in a Quilt University class last month.  I have always wanted to try one and really enjoyed this class.  The quilt turned out really nicely and my mom wants to enter it into the festival quilt show in June.  I need to get started soon.  I finished piecing the backing today and have everything about ready to put on the frame.  I need to plan the quilting first.  The blocks are 15″ so I can’t do them all in one pass.  I’m going to try and break it up and find a neat design to use.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting,


Sweet Sixteen Quilt

My only niece turned Sweet Sixteen back in October.  She has a beach theme to her room, so I wanted to make her a special wall hanging quilt to celebrate the milestone birthday.  I had my brother photograph her wall color and a few accent pieces in her room so I could make sure the quilt fit the decor.  I found a design pack of machine embroidery applique designs with a beach and seashell theme.  Unfortunately, I forgot the company name I got the designs from…they are buried somewhere here in my sewing room/home office.  There were five designs, so I alternated them with seashell fabric blocks.  Here’s the finished quilt.

Seashell Sweet Sixteen Quilt

Seashell Sweet Sixteen Quilt

It was a lot of fun sewing this quilt and I hope she gets enjoyment out of it for many years.  I did ditch quilting around the blocks and free motion in the sashing and border with a coordinating thread.  Here’s a block close up of the quilt.

Seashell Block Close Up

Seashell Block Close Up

I really, really want to get a quilt on the Bernina quilt frame, and that will be my next task once my 830 gets home from its annual cleaning and service.  I am getting a huge pile of quilt tops that are awaiting the frame.  I really need to get busy.

My Bernina dealer mentioned to me there will be an upgrade to the Quilt Motion software coming out soon.  Unfortunately she didn’t have a lot of information, but I will share that when I hear.  I believe there is a training session for the dealers in April.  Can’t wait to see what they come out with. I would love, love to be able to take embroidery designs from the Bernina software and export them to Quilt Motion to use as designs for quilts.

I hope to share with you my newest venture.  I took an on-line t-shirt quilt class from Quilt University.  If you have never taken one of their on-line classes, they are very informative and a lot of fun.  You get to go at your own pace and post photos to a class gallery and have an on-line discussion/chat with the instructor and other class attendees. I highly recommend it.  They have classes of all types and skill levels.  My t-shirt quilt turned out very nicely and, it is so large I could only finish it on the quilt frame.

Until next time…happy sewing & quilting!


Another Quilt Motion Bernina 830 Quilt Frame Project – Baby Quilt

Baby quilts are the most fun projects and fit perfectly on the Bernina quilt frame.  This project was a panel quilt, so I just divided the whole panel into rows of the same “block” size and did a pantograph for each row alternating patterns.  This quilt was for my daughter’s music teacher who had his first child late summer of 2011.  The panel had divisions like block-sizes, so it was easy to determine row height and block width.

Here’s the first photo of the quilt.

Baby Panel Quilt

Full Baby Panel Quilt

Here is a close up.  The pattern is a continuous line ducky pattern for one row and hearts intertwined for the alternating row.

Baby Quilt Block Close Up

Baby Quilt Block Close Up

I used my favorite King Tut thread for the project.  I had only a few breakage issues and no mechanical issues with this quilt.  A definite positive experience, and I was very happy with how the quilt turned out.

Here is a close up of the back of the quilt so you can see more details of the ducky and heart block patterns I used.

As a bonus gift to the parents, I made this cute “Future Saxophone Player” bib for the new baby.  These custom bibs are a big hit with new parents.  Bibs are really easy to embroider on.  It just takes some embroidery software and the right designs & lettering options to create a unique and personal gift for the new baby and parents.   Since the bibs are terry cloth, I used a water soluble stabilizer on top of the bib so the design didn’t sink in.  I used a soft cut away stabilizer on the back and Isacord & Mettler embroidery thread.

Future Sax Player Bib

Future Sax Player Bib

I have had a hard time sitting down and getting these projects posted, so I apologize for that.  With the holidays behind us and a brand New Year, I hope to get caught up on sharing my projects and successes & failures with you.

Until next time, happy sewing and quilting…


Round Two – 50th Anniversary Quilt

My In-laws’ anniversary is one week away and I almost have the quilt finished.  I just need to create and attach the story label for the back of the quilt.  I found their wedding invitation and am trying to find just the right photo to go with it.  All I have though are photos of the bride and I want to include both of them…I’ll keep looking…not giving up yet.’

This quilt has a definite Celtic theme for my mother-in-law.  It was fun picking out the embroidery designs and stitching them out.  Each quilt is a learning experience and this one was no exception.  I haven’t done an embroidery quilt in so long, I forgot some of the “rules”.  My blocks had some puckering which I think is from making the hoop too tight.  I need hooping lessons 🙂  Yes, I’ve been to many classes and seminars but I think I need a one-on-one, hands on lesson.  The quilting is free-motion with my Bernina BSR…the wonderful 830 was my machine of choice for this project.  It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to give it to them very soon.

Here it is!

Smith 50th Anniversary Quilt - September 2010

It is a little hard to see the detail in the squares, but you get the overall picture.  The center block is a wreath of interlocked wedding rings with their names & wedding date on it.

Until next time…happy sewing & quilting!

50th Anniversary Cake Quilt Unveiled

Well the quilt has been unveiled at the anniversary gathering.  This was such a fun quilt to make.  I found the pattern a while back at the Birch Creek Quilts website.  I thought this would be the perfect quilt for an anniversary.  You can also adapt the “topper” for birthdays, graduation, babies, just about anything.  There are also templates of numbers so you can customize for that special event.  The pattern is called “Celebrations” it also comes with a fabric permanent pen so people can sign the quilt.


I found some crystals to embellish the layers with to add some extra sparkle to the quilt.

Mom & Dad 50th Anniversary Quilt

Mom & Dad 50th Anniversary Quilt

My dad likes yellow and my mom likes flowers so I tried to incorporate both into the theme.  My daughter picked out the basket weave fabric for the cake stand.  I really had fun making this quilt, but quilting around all the cake layers was a little tedious.

I wanted to make a special label, so I created a custom one from some software I have and did a “story label”.  I wanted to commemorate the wedding day of my parents those 50 years ago.  I found a nice photo of them from a couple years back to add to the photo.

Mom & Dad Anniversary Quilt Label

Mom & Dad - Their Story

What a fun quilt.  Now it is time to start the process all over for my in-laws who celebrate their 50th in September.  Ready, set, go!  I hope to post some of my machine embroidery projects next or share my wonderful Bernina equipment.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting.