Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two Crows Quilt

As I have mentioned before, I like birds. I see all kinds of birds in the field behind our yard, hawks, an eagle from time to time, flocks of brewer's black birds, robins, the stupid woodpecker that likes to hang out all winter above my front porch and poop all over it, magpies, and black crows. I really rather like crows. I know they have a scary omen of death reputation, but that is just from the fact that they are carrion birds. I don't care about that, lots of animals and birds eat things we humans find disgusting. Besides crows are smarty pants, they are so smart they have to make up games to keep from getting too bored.

I was designing a Fall wall hanging and found a design I liked better online called One Crow. This quilt actually has a pattern so feel free to buy it at Country Threads for only $7.00. I have a hard time following patterns, I'm always looking for different ways to do things. If you look at the example for the pattern, you'll see it has a log cabin block background, where I was too lazy that day and just used easy nine patch squares. I also left out the second border and black strips at the top and bottom of the center design. The appliques are almost identical to the pattern, except I used two rather than one crow.

I used cotton fabrics from my stash for all but the black fabrics. The crows are made from the reverse side of shiny black polyester.

 The second crow got a little warped from the flame I used to melt the edge threads.

I didn't bother with fusible webbing on the appliques, I just pinned them down and stitched around them. The black in the border is a rayon I originally bought to make into a work skirt. The orange fabrics have been sitting around for years waiting for me to make a Fall quilt, so I'm glad I finally got to use them.

The finished quilt is 29.5 x 35 inches

Next time: my first prize winning quilt.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Super Girly Quilt

Our house does not have a basement because of the high water table in our neighborhood. I still think of our ground level as a basement, because we keep it kind of dark and it is cold year round. Three months ago I realized I use Alan's flannel quilt a lot more than he does, mostly because I spend more time downstairs. This worked out fine of course, but I decided that is was time to make a quilt for me. One could argue that most of the quilts I've shown on this blog were for me, which is true, but they are for the wall, not for use.

I told a friend at work that I decided to make a flannel snuggle quilt for me, she asked if it would be a University of Utah quilt since I made a BYU quilt for Alan. (I think it was sweet of Alan to fall in love with me even though I attended his biggest rival's school.) I laughed at the idea because I made Alan the BYU quilt because he loves BYU football. I'm not going to make a U of U quilt because I just don't care. I did have a great experience there, but I'm done. Well, as soon as my loan is paid off later this year, I'll be done for good. ( I just want to interject here how I think it is hilarious how the PAC 12 thought they could tell U of U fans that they are no longer rivals with BYU, but with a team in the same conference. As if a rivalry can be dictated. Rivalries are emotionally driven, it isn't a cold, calculated decision. Alan spends a lot of time on a BYU sports chat board and it gets trolled by U of U fans all the time so clearly the rivalry isn't over.) Anyway, I decided to make a quilt I would actually want.

I went to Jo Ann's on an extremely busy sale day (not on purpose) but I found a whole bolt of a cute brown paisley flannel for $20 so I stood in that really long line and bought it. I came up with the design a few weeks later and bought more flannel to flesh out the design.

I made sure to add lots of birds and hearts,

with doves for peace,

and love.

I added my favorite flowers:
magnolia for creativity,

iris for spirituality,

daisy for friendship,

and rose for love and family.

 I added a floral wreath and a tree just because they make me happy.

The finished quilt is 60 x 67 inches

I chose the colors to be deliberately girly. I don't really have a favorite color anymore, but I have always liked pink and green together. The flannels I used are all good quality except for the white. The white appliques started fraying right away and I fear, will disintegrate after the first wash. I took lots of pictures, in case the quilt looks well loved a little too soon. I may take some steps to preserve it, but nothing too drastic since I make quilts to be used up and worn out. If I wear this one out, I'll have an excuse to make a new one.

Next time: Pumpkins, Crows, and an applique pattern ( I mean it this time).

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Football Love Quilt

The man I love, loves football. I mean really loves football. He fortunately doesn't love all football, just Brigham Young University football. I have learned a lot about the sport since we've been together. I just didn't care before, in fact I found it boring. Lets face it, the teams kick the ball, spend a few seconds running around, then stop reset, hike, spend a few seconds moving, stop reset, and so forth. All the stopping and starting always felt pointless and couldn't hold my attention long enough to catch my interest. Alan spent some time tutoring me on plays and terminology when I explained I didn't even know what a "down" was. I do understand more about football games now and can even watch a whole game without rolling my eyes. I still don't love watching televised games, but I really do enjoy attending live games with Alan. Fortunately Alan is well versed enough he can give me my own personalized running commentary (when he isn't yelling at the refs) where he explains what is happening on the field. ( I never can understand the announcers at live games, echo, echo, echo.)

When we were engaged, I didn't have any money to spend on a Christmas present for Alan. He really loves technology related gifts, but those all cost money. I had some blue fabric, but only scraps. I designed a quilt big enough to wrap around two people to keep warm at a football game. I didn't have a lot of free time either, since our engagement was all of two and a half months and Christmas was three weeks before our wedding. I managed to finish the quilt top in time to wrap for Christmas.

 I didn't actually stitch the quilt with a batting and a back until the next November. I got a fancy Grace quilting frame (which I had never even seen anyone use before) with our tax refund. I assembled it myself, but I had a mental block on how to get a quilt on the frame so it sat there for six months before I finally enlisted Alan's help to get the thing started. I needed his help for about five minutes before it all clicked and I was able to proceed. The football quilt was the first to get stitched on my frame.


There are five different blue fabrics used on this quilt since I had to scrounge to find enough non girly fabric. the four large rectangles and the Y are a waffle knit, the light blue center is flannel, and the white is all from an old bed sheet. I used fusible webbing to place the lettering around the sides and football corner detail. I didn't use it on the Y, I just pinned it down and stitched around it old school style. I was able to afford new fabric by the time I got around to the quilting, so I bought a nice navy flannel for the back of the quilt. I quilted it with navy blue crochet thread. I thought of it as a compromise between tying the quilt with yarn and quilting with thread. I also thought the crochet thread might be easier to use than quilting thread. (It was actually quite difficult to pull through the fabric layers, but it made for an interesting look.)


When I photographed the quilt it was already a couple years old and had been laundered multiple times. The colors are holding up well, but it does look slightly warped and pretty wrinkly. This is from mixing knits with woven fabrics and because the white fabric had been laundered so many times before use that it didn't shrink at all, where the other fabrics shrank a little ( and yes I did pre wash them this time.)

The finished quilt is 66 x 66 inches

Next time: a snuggle flannel quilt of my own.