Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Modern Quilt Guild Challenge No. 1

Here's my entry for The Modern Quilt Guild's Challenge No. 1.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.  My intention for this quilt is to hang it in the dining room with a pair of spurs from Harold's collection, a cowboy print we picked up at an art walk, and a copy of a newspaper advertisement from when my great grandfather sold off cattle and machinery from their farm to move back to Iowa.  I think these few pieces have a common thread that would make a nice dining decor and make us smile from time to time. 

Vrooman Ranch - Inspiration

My inspiration comes from a photograph I took on the ranch of my husband’s grandfather, Harold, the day of his funeral. The barn depicted in the quilt is a simplified hybrid visualization combining the way the ranch looks today with stories and photos from Harold’s life. A 360 degree image taken from that photo’s vantage point would show the muddy fields, the small ranch house, a windmill, fencing, and cattle. The one thing I left out was the cold sadness of the day; instead I choose to illustrate warmer times.

Vrooman Ranch - Quilt

I also plan to enter this quilt into JoAnn's Quilt Your Colors Contest.  Because of the rules for that contest, I have left out the ranch logo you see on the barn in the photograph.  I do intend to add the logo after the contests are over and there is no copyright infringement issues.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope each of you are able to spend the day with lots of good food and family.  We'll be heading to Jason's dad's house for the festivities this year.  Hopefully, that translates into lots of snuggles with the newest nephew.  :)

Are you heading out tomorrow morning with all the crazies?  Jason and I did our pre-shopping last night.  We went and looked at a few items we were considering and ruled out going to JoAnn & Target.  Those are always our most time consuming stops.  I think we may sleep in on Black Friday!  What?! 

Anyway... enjoy your day.  Eat lots of yummy stuff and remember the things you have to be thankful for. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Quilted on a Long Arm!

How cool is that?!  I got to quilt on a long arm!

My mom and I took the long arm certification class at A Quilting Place in Omaha yesterday.  It was lots of fun.  We were 2 of 5 students in the class.  We each recieved a set of zippers for loading a quilt onto the machines.  Then we each got to pick out a panel to quilt a baby quilt for practice. 

So why did we take this class?  Well, you can take this 6 hour class to learn how to use the machines and then can bring in your quilts from home and rent the machines by the hour.  Jackie will also quilt them for you if you'd like, but how much fun is that?  I had a blast learning how to use the machines and am excited to try it again on some of my own projects. 

Want to see a few photos?  Okay!

Here's my mom quilting her quilt.  Notice the knee-bend, Dad.  (He says to bend your knees for just about everything.  Going ice skating?  Bend your knees!  Going skiiing?  Bend your knees?  Painting a wall?  Bend your knees!  Eating breakfast?  Bend your knees!  Okay, maybe not those last two were an exaggeration, but not by much!)
Mom on long arm.

This is the panel she chose.
Mom's Quilt

Aren't the chicks fun? 
Mom's Quilt - Close up

Here's a photo my mom snapped of me quilting. 
Jess quilting.

Here's the quilt I chose.  It's a Daisy Kingdom panel.  Remember Daisy Kingdom?  Isn't the girl bear with the cape sweet?
Jess's Quilt

Here's a close up of the quilting I did.  We used a panto (I think that's probably slang for pantograph, but I'm not sure.).  That means that I used a laser to trace a pattern that was printed on a big sheet of paper and laid out on a shelf on the machine. 
Jess's Quilt - Close Up

I think you can see the quilting a little better on the back.  See how nice my curves are?  That's good!  The batting is a little lofty, thus the kind of wrinkled look you see. 
Jess's Quilt - Back Quilting

I had a lot of fun learning how to use these machines.  Hopefully I'll hear back pretty soon on a few quilts I'm supposed to be doing for Fabri-Quilt.  If I get them done soon enough, I'll be able to take them up to use the longarm.  It's so much easier to use a long arm for quilting than to do it on my little babylock.  I think they come out so much smoother, too!  I can't wait to get to play on these machines again soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last Wednesday I started a giveaway.  There were only 10 entries, so your odds were pretty good in winning. 

Urban Garden Scraps

I used the random number generator to pick a winner. 

Random Number

The winner of this contest is comment #5: Spooky! 

Spooky, I'm not able to get your email off of your username and don't know what your real name is to find you on facebook.  Please contact me with your mailing address so I can send the scraps out to you.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

KCMQG Holiday Swap 2010

At the KCMQG November meeting last Thursday, we had a Holiday Swap.  The rules were you had to bring a "fabric infused" holiday item.  It didn't matter what holiday you chose and it had to be wrapped.

Trick or Treat  Full Front

I made a mini quilt I titled "Trick? or Treat?" It measures 12"x36" and is all machine quilted by me.
Trick or Treat ers

See the little people? They are debating whether there will be a treat waiting for them at this spooky house on top of the giant hill. They're a little scared and think it's probably not a treat, but a trick. It must be a trick waiting because who in their right mind will walk up this really steep hill to a scary house? What do you think? Trick? or Treat?

Oh, and just in case you can't tell, they're in costume.  That's a fairy, a princess, and a devil. 

Trick or Treat Full Back

This the back.  Cute fabric, eh?  I got it for 75% off at Hancock's.  Sweet!

Trick or Treat Label

Here's the label I made for the  back.  Can you tell it's a tombstone?

Shea, the KCMQG Vice President and writer of the blog, Empty Bobbins ended up with it.  I ended up bringing home the gift that Shea brought.  It's this cute little bunting that says Ho Ho Ho. 


I have it taped to the walls of my studio in the corner above my ironing board.  I think it might end up on the fireplace when we get a little bit closer to Christmas. 

Thanks, Shea!  I really love this little thing!  It is adorable and I can't wait to hang it up somewhere where everyone can enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy birthday, Dad! Let's celebrate with a giveaway!

Happy birthday, Dad!  I love you!

Aren't my parents cute?  I think so.  :)

So, because it's my dad's birthday today, we're going to do a giveaway.  Here's what I'm going to give to one lucky reader:

Urban Garden Scraps

These are all the scraps leftover from the "Gifts from the Garden" Quilt I made for Fabri-Quilt a while ago.  All of these scraps are from the Urban Garden fabric line.  Together they just about fill a gallon-sized ziploc bag.  You remember this quilt right?
Gifts from the Garden - Front

They are some really pretty fabrics. Here's a close-up shot of a block I made just in case you don't believe me.

Gifts from the Garden - Block

So, you want the scraps?  I knew you did!  Here's how to enter:

1.  Since all the fabric came from Fabri-Quilt, I thought we should involve their website.  Go visit their website and find one fabric line that you really like.  It can be from either Fabri-Quilt or Paintbrush Studios.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me which line you like the best, why, and what you would make with it. 

2.  Want a second chance to win?  Write a post about this giveaway on your own blog.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me where to find it.

3.  Find me on facebook.  Come back here and leave me a comment saying that you "liked" me.  :)

4.  Tweet a link to my giveaway.  Guess the next step... Leave another comment!

Okay, so giveaway is going to be open for a week.  I'll draw a winner using the random number generator on Wednesday, November 17th.  Leave one comment per entry by 8:00 am C.S.T. to be entered.  If you combine each entry, it only counts as one.  Good luck!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Most Sincere Christmas.

Have you seen what Lizzy House has been up to lately?  She's orchestrating a trade for Christmas.  I think it's a really cool idea!  She's calling it:

The deal is this: we all have stuff we don't want or need.  Why not trade with someone else for something you can give as a gift?  You could trade some vintage Pyrex for fabric to make a doll for your niece.  You could trade fabric for yarn to knit your mom a sweater.  The possibilities are endless. 

Cool idea, eh?  Check out the flickr group to see what this is all about.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blocks for Jaime

Jaime wanted us to use our thinking caps for last month's project in the KC Scrappy Bee.  She gave each of us several scraps left over from her garment making projects.  The only thing I added from my stash was the solid brown I used as the background for both blocks. 

Pair of Blocks for Jaime

Jaime requested we include circles in our blocks.  I used the six-minute circle technique to make my circles.  It's a really fun method to do and is pretty easy, too!
Jaime's Block A

Jaime's Block B

Hope you like them Jaime!  I had fun making them!

Can't wait to get started on Hannah's block for next month!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sewbot's Favorites - November 6, 2010

sewbot's favorites

This week my favorite thing is trips to Omaha.  On our last trip, I convinced my parents and Jason to go down to the park on Sunday morning and get donuts.  It's kind of a Sunday tradition.  Jason had never been, though.  It was time he got to participate. 

Another yearly tradition is photos by the planters at the park.  Here's some of this year's photos.

My Mom, Dad, Spencer, & Chloe. 

J+J Horizontal
Jason and I.

J+J Vertical
I couldn't decide which of these two photos to share with you, so I went with both. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lasagna Spirals

This is a new favorite recipe in our house.  I saw them make it on The Early Show and went to their website for the recipe.
Lasagna Spirals 1

The last time I made these, I split the batch in two.  One to make now and one to freeze.  I just leave the cheese off the top on the one I freeze and add it before putting it into the oven. 
Lasagna Spirals 2

Do you see all that yummy goodness?  You should try this recipe.  It's delicious.  :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

KC Scrappy Bee

Septebmer was Paula's month in the KC Scrappy Bee.  Yes, I'm turning in the October blocks tonight, but just pretend I'm on top of things and this is all new and hip.

So, Paula gave us this awesome bluebird fabric and wanted wonky eight-pointed stars. 

Paula gave us the address to this tutorial.  Super easy to follow and they worked up really quickly!  I made these two blocks for her just a few hours before the hand off.

Blocks on the Line

Blue Block

Orange block

I think they turned out pretty cute! I just love the bluebird fabric that we started with. I can't wait to see the quilt that Paula puts together!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

City News

My mom and I got to participate in Cherri House's class at Harper's a few weeks back.  The quilt we worked on is called "City News". 

Here's the fabrics my mom used for her quilt.
Mom's Selection

Here's the fabrics I chose for my quilt.
My Selection

Isn't this pretty?  It's all the squares for my quilt stacked up in the right order.
Fabric Squares

The class was a lot of fun to participate in.  I think it will be a while before I get to finish this though...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

KCMQG October Meeting

The KCMQG meeting was about a month ago... a really long time I know.  I took a few photos there of some of the charity quilts for the St. Luke's NICU project we've been working on.  Here the photos I shot:





Remember the blocks I did a while ago for this project?  Well, this is the quilt they ended up in.  Cute, don't ya think?

Cherri House quilts

Cherri House spoke at last month's meeting.  These are the quilts she brough to share with us.  See Cherri in the red at the back of the photo?  She was fun to listen to.

So, that's my wrap-up of last month's guild meeting.  Always fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oliver's Fox

This quilt was a commissioned project for my good friend, Michael.  Michael's sister, Nicola is expecting her second son, Oliver.  Oliver's middle name will be Fox.  How cool is that?

Michael's only requests for this quilt were to have it grey to match the baby's room and it should have something with a fox.  Pretty simple, right?  Here's the final product:


This is made from mostly Kona Solids.  The only color that is not a Kona is the light tan, which is a Quilter's Solid from Joann.  I couldn't find another tan I liked in the Kona, thus the switch in fabric lines.

Front Quilting

See the great texture that came from the quilting?  Here's my theory on how I that happens...
  1. I prewash my fabrics.  
  2. I do not shrink my batting before sandwiching the quilt.  
  3. I quilt fairly densely.
  4. I wash and dry.  This allows the batting to shrink slightly, which allows the fabric to bunch nicely.   

Here's the back.  I used a solid black flannel and pieced it with a solid grey flannel.  The thread is a dark grey.  I think it's pretty cool the way it give a texture on the solid colors.

Back quilting

See the texture?


Here's the label I did on the quilt.  I forgot to photograph it after I put the title on, though.  Oops!  At the top it now says Oliver's Fox.

So, that's it.  That's Oliver's Fox.  I'll be putting the free pattern up *hopefully* pretty soon.  Watch my Free Patterns section!