Two Quilts for Two Sisters: warming the heart with hearts and chains

Dear Vi,

Last spring I made two quilts that I haven’t shown you yet, and since it’s getting close to the end of the year, and considering these are the only quilts I finished in 2017, I thought maybe I should get their pictures posted!.

The quilts were made for two adult sisters in my family.

I wanted the two quilts to share common elements while also speaking to the personal tastes of each sister, so I chose a versatile pattern: the Irish Chain with hearts.

The first quilt is made with sweet floral fabrics for a soft, comfortable, old-fashioned feeling.

It is the most basic of the Irish Chain versions: a simple 9-patch alternating with a plain square. Except instead of a plain square, I pieced a heart using the same fabric I’d sewn the 9-patches with.The quilt is finished with a mix of machine and hand quilting.

The center of the hearts are hand quilted, as is the looped row of hearts running along the bottom edge of the quilt.

The 9-patches are done in straight-line quilting, and I practiced my free-motion quilting by making loops and hearts in the borders. I’ve only tried free-motion quilting a couple of times and I really enjoyed it. The stitching isn’t perfect, but neither am I, lol!

The second quilt is a Double Irish Chain in a soft grey neutral palate.

I tried to enlarge this so you can see the print. It’s very sweet, and reminds me of France, for some reason. Perfect, because its new owner is bilingual!

I hand quilted hearts into the plain squares. The chains were done with my walking foot.

The soft, neutral tones in this quilt were a challenge to photograph. I apologize for the poor lighting.

It was a pleasure to make both quilts, and I know they are being enjoyed.

Now I think you’re all caught up, as far as finished quilts go, anyway!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours from me and mine. May you always have a warm quilt to warm you, body and soul. ♥

 

 

Pinwheels for a Baby

Dear Vi,

We’ve all been very excited over the news that Mr. C’s cousin Frank is going to be a grandpa! Well, the baby was due on Valentine’s Day, but she decided to put in her appearance a few days early.

I haven’t gone anywhere near mama or baby yet because I’m still fighting off the after shocks of the flu (sinus infection followed by bronchitis). Some things you just don’t want to share, am I right?

…but I’ve been quietly stitching away in the background in anticipation of the special delivery.

I had so much fun shopping for the fabric. I decided not to use my stash…I wanted something brand new. Don’t you just love these sweet vintage-inspired prints? They go so nicely with the pinwheels, which are themselves a vintage quilt block. In fact, according to one quilt historian, the pieced pinwheel block pattern hails back to 1795, following the invention of the cotton gin!

I put prairie points between the inside & outside borders because babies just love little tags of cloth to explore and fiddle with..

At 35 x 42 inches, it’s perfect for tummy time.

Hand quilted with love for our wee Logan ♥

 

 

A workroom update

Since I put the first draft of the novel aside to simmer for awhile, I’ve been spending my time catching up on a few quilt projects.

I jumped on The Splendid Sampler quilt-along. The patterns for two 6-inch blocks are posted each week. At the end of the year, I will have 100 of the little buggers and one tremendously splendid quilt top!

I’m using mostly Kaffe Fasset scraps. Aren’t they beautiful? 🙂

6 inch

It’s a fabulous learning experience. Each block is different, and each one seems to challenge me in a different way. The designer of today’s block says: “Try new techniques and crafts without judgement.” Excellent advice! Too often we stop ourselves from trying something new because we make a negative judgement about it…or about ourselves…without thinking it through. So what we’ve never done it before? So what it looks difficult? Why not try anyway? What’s the worst that could happen…it’s only thread and cloth, after.

I’ve also made up this little quilt for a soon-to-be-born baby girl. My god-daughter is having a baby!  It’s all washed and crinkly and ready to snuggle the wee bairn. Lea – if you’re reading this, I just realized I don’t have your mailing address! Aaak! Send ASAP, lol!

flat

30×40″…perfect for the car seat or stroller.

roll

I think I like the back better than the front!

back

And then there’s this mess that I’ve been trying to force through my little machine.  I started doing wavy lines and then changed my mind. I want straight lines instead. Good thing I have a skookum seam ripper!quilt 1So that’s it for me. What’s up in your work room?