Sunday, September 6, 2009

I am an Aunt!

On Friday at 5:25 Lily Vienne Lemmons was born making me an aunt for the first time. She was 9lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches long. She has a full head of hair and really long toes. She is soooo pretty. I got to hold her for over an hour at the hospital yesterday. Here are some pictures that Chris took while we were there.

Lily and Aunt Melissa

LIly and Aunt Melissa

Lily and Aunt Melissa

Monday, August 17, 2009

What I've been working on

A couple weeks ago I scored 14 yards of brown twill for $6/yard on-line. I bought this fabric to slipcover our two old, mismatched, thrift and gift couches. The couches were seriously due for some new looks. Last night I finished (almost) the first slipcover.

Front of the newly slipcovered couch

Back of the slipcover
I started with the biggest couch. It has a lot of curves and was pretty complicated, but I am very happy with the outcome. I wanted the slipcover to truly be a SLIP cover, as in it can be taken off. With all of the curves, this was not very easy. It meant that there had to be at least one seam that could open up and close again, preferably with out the aid of a seamripper and needle and thread. I ended up only having one recloseable seam and it is fastened with neodymnium magnets. They work wonderfully.

Magnetic closure

There was one slight problem though. Right above that seam do you see the serger threads hanging out? That is where I somehow ended up with both sides being too short. There wasn't enough fabric on either side to cover the raw edges and tuck into the crack. I am going to have to sew some of the scraps onto those edges whenever I decide that I have the energy and motivation to take the cover off and put it back on again inside out, pin up all the edges, and hem the whole thing. That is not right now.

Hey, did you notice how crisp and square and firm that cushion looks? And that it is only one cushion? The old cushions were definitely showing their age, even through the slipcover, so I took advangtage of a 40% off sale at Hancocks and bought two new sheets of foam. Both couches are getting new cushions. Ahh, it is soooo much more comfortable.

The next slipcover should be much easier. There isn't a single curve on the other couch at all. And it is significantly smaller in every dimension. Maybe tomorrow night...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August Blocks for Quilt 12 Together

Yesterday I got the fabric for the first month of the bee that I am hosting called "Quilt 12 Together." All of the ladies are from the Ravelry Quilters Knitting group except my MIL.

August is Dawn's month and she sent out a lot of fabric. She divided her chosen fabrics into blue bundles and gold/brown bundles. I got a brown one.

Dawn's fabrics

She told us pretty much anything we did would be great, but that she liked stars, pinwheels, irish chains, nine-patches, and strippy blocks, and even more.

I picked up on the star/pinwheel and irish chain idea and remembered having seen this block on Ravelry for a recent block swap they did. This pattern makes a 9 inch block and Dawn wanted 12 inch blocks so I modified it just a little bit, making the center block an uneven 9 patch and the corner blocks have 4 block instead of 3. This is what I came up with. I threw in a little bit of yellow I had leftover from Emerald's quilt.

Block 1 for Dawn

I still had a lot of fabric left so I made a strippy block. I think it is fun.

Block 2 for Dawn

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Piece of Work August

Today I received the August shipment of fabrics for the quilting bee A Piece of Work - A from Kaylynne.

Aren't they so pretty? Deep red/pink, yellow, green, orange, and brown. So rich.

APOWA Kaylynn's August Fabric

She asked for wonky log cabin blocks and this is what I came up with. She encouraged us to add fabrics from our stash. I added the brown and tan print, the green in the corner, and the orange swirls. This was a lot of fun!

Block for Kaylynne APOW-A

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Orange and Blue, Yellow and Green

Jonn's quilt has been delivered.

Big Smile

Big Smile

Here are some detail shots of the border.


The KEDT-TV Challenge was a academic decathlon type event held by the local tv station in which the various local school competed. John was on his school's team. You can watch episodes here and here.


NOSB stands for National Oceanic Science Bowl, another academic event John participated in.


I couldn't find a machine embroidery design for National Honor Society, but luckily, John had an extra patch. I fused and satin stitched that to one of the blocks.

Quilting detail

Quilting detail on back

On John's quilt I did "vertical" lines in blue and orange through the center. I made no attempt to keep the lines straight or non-intersecting. It was fast, but it could have used some more lines. Maybe, I don't know. I was afraid I was going to mess it up if I did any more.

Quilting detail

On the border, I stippled in white including five pointed stars every now and then. This was a fun change from regular stippling.

Julia and Marnie threw a baby shower for Emerald yesterday at Julia's house. It was Abilene friends and the ladies from church.


She got a nice pile of presents, including lots of wipes.

Front of the quilt

I gave her this quilt. This is the Mod Sampler quilt by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson. I completed the whole quilt in three days. I will probably make more of these. The blocks are really simple, yet striking.

Pink Layette included

With this handknit layette inside. This is the Matinee Coat by Debbie Bliss, Feather and Fan Bonnet, and Saartje's Booties. I used Sandes Garn Mandarin Petit for this project. This is a really nice cotton fingering weight yarn. I would definitely use it again.

Looking at the back

The quilt is 55x65 so it will make a good playtime quilt and can be used even after the baby gets bigger.

quilting detail

I free-handed vines of flowers and leaves all over the quilt, using Sulky variegated rayon thread. That thread comes on really small spools. I completely used two spools and still had 1/4 of the quilt left to go!


I "wrapped" the present by folding the layette inside the quilt, folding back top layer to show the label and tying with a big yellow ribbon. The label says "Made by Aunt Melissa for her very first niece. July 23rd, 2009.

Doesn't Emerald look so cute?

Those sandwhiches on the croissants are mimicing ones that we buy from Tuscany's. They are sliced turkey, cream cheese, and cranberry sauce with walnuts on a croissant. Very yummy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

John's Quilt

I finished John's quilt on Monday and have been waiting to post about it until I could go get pictures taken of it. Well, I kept forgetting and then I was going to do it and it started raining and then I was working on the quilt for Eric and Emerald's baby... you get the picture. Today, I bundled up both quits, took them over to ACU to take pictures, get John's quilt all laid out, grab the camera....and the batteries are dead. Go figure. Anyway, currently the batteries are charging and I will go take pictures in the morning. The baby shower is at 1 tomorrow and I am supposed to be there at noon and John is showing up around 3, so tomorrow morning is my last chance to get pictures taken.

Here is what I have so far:

Johner's fabrics

John wanted blue and orange for his quilt. Normally this is not a color combination I would choose, but it was fun to work with and I feel it came out well. I picked up some of these fabrics throughout the last year while I was working on Melody's quilt. Those were the basketball, net, and soccer prints. The blue with gold swirls is leftover from Harmon's quilt. Apparently, I had been planning on making the borders on Harmon's quilt out of that fabric because after making his quilt and a knitting bag for a swap there was still 2 yards left. After using it in John's quilt in the blocks and for the binding it is down to about 1/2 of a yard. It's a good thing I like this fabric.

quilting 008

The pattern I used is called Indian Summer and I found it in the November 2003 issue of Quilter magazine. In the pattern all of the stars are supposed to spin the same direction. After I started piecing the second set of stars I decided to make them spin the opposite direction. This created the cool rectangles of the black and white prints. This is actually the first quilt I have made that had sashing and cornerstones. It adds a bit of work, but it sure does look nice.

I accidentally made this quilt a full size. I had been planning on making it an extra-long twin, with 35 blocks, but for some reason when I started cutting I had it in my head that I needed 48 blocks, so it has an extra row and column of blocks.

John's Quilt

On Harmon's quilt I had embroidered sports and graduation designs in the centers of the blocks. On John's I embroidered sports and academic designs around the border. I had hoped to be able to cut long strips and mark where all the embroidery should be, but that ended up being to complicated to pre-plan, so I cut out 6 inch squares to embroider. After the embroidery was done I squared them up to 5.5 inches. The machine embroidery can cause some pulling and shrinkage. Then I played with the layout. I had been planning on putting one design centered next to each of the blocks. However, that didn't work for centering the name patch at the top of the quilt, so I ended up centering the embroideries on the sashings and corners. This worked out really well. I will have more pics of the embroidery along with explanations of their significance.

Free-pieced name

On the back I used free-pieced letters to spell out Johner Mac. Because the quilt ended up larger than planned I didn't have nearly enough of the great backing fabric I had purchased. I had nightmares trying to get the back big enough. Originally, I made two strips of disappearing nine patch blocks and put the name strip between them, but the back still wasn't long enough, so I put 4 inch strips of white on the bottom and top of the name strip and then used white to fill in the top of the back. This is more how I was planning on it looking anyway. I really like it now. I kept the other strip of disappearing nine patches. I am sure that they will be used sometime. I am thinking it would make for a quick baby blanket for a boy.

Anyway, there should be more pictures tomorrow or Sunday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My quilt!

My quilt, originally uploaded by knitterleigh.

I have been working a lot on John's quilt, but I took a bit of time out to play with mine for a while. Here are the first four blocks. The blue is cut from extra pillowcases we bought when we bought new sheets to go on the new mattress. This quilt will be 100" on each side. This pattern is called Spiderweb. I had seen these showing up online on various blogs and I thought this would be the perfect quilt for our room. The walls are a light blue with white trim and we have black furniture with silver accents. I can't wait to get this quilt on the bed in there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hi again

It's been almost a year since I updated this, but it is time for me to be more diligent with posting here.

After finishing Harmon's quilt last year, Melody and I went shopping for fabric for a quilt for her. Since this quilt was to commemorate her graduation from nursing school, she got a king size quilt. She found a beautiful toile remnant at Hancock fabrics and we bought the whole piece. Then we picked some more rose, gold, and green fabrics to go with the toile. We picked a quilt pattern that would allow me to highlight the toile. All of those pieces were fussy cut.

I had this whole thing pieced, sandwiched, and pinned and even some of the quilting done by her graduation in December, but once I had missed that deadline, this got pushed to the end of my priority list. I had a friend's wedding veil that I needed to have finished by her wedding in June and didn't have time to work on both projects. The veil is done, and the wedding is over with a very pleased bride. More info on that later. I finally had time to get back to Melody's quilt. I pulled it out and cleaned up my sewing room with the help of Carolyn and got to work again. Even quilting almost all day every day, it took me a little over a week to finish the quilting and binding. This is one huge quilt! I even changed the border quilting pattern from what I had originally had planned to this beautiful feathered leaf pattern that was in the newest issue of Quiltmaker.

Carolyn and I took it over to the Jacob's Dream garden at ACU to take some pictures. Unfortunately in the course of taking these pictures, I tripped over a rock and dropped the camera to its death. It took a few more pictures that have some blurry spots and then refused to work any more. This was a brand new camera. I really liked it and the great pictures it would take with hardly any effort on my part. Hopefully I will be able to replace it in the near future. Until then I am back to the old camera that I hate.

I took the quilt to Melody on Sunday and she loves it. I don't actually have any pictures of her with it, but here are some of my cat Emma with the quilt. Emma is very sad that this quilt is gone. She had claimed it as hers.