Gateway to Paradise Quilt Finished

My best friend (also named Mary) and I worked together on this quilt for her sister, Debra. We started it almost two years ago cutting the colorful fabric from a jelly roll that I think I bought from Craftsy and recently got it finished and in the mail to her sister. It feels good to get this old UFO done! It was one of my 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals.

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Linking up to Sew Can She: Show Off Saturday.

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Slinky’s Friends

My niece, Mary Frances, has a wonderful dachshund named Slinky. One of her friends gave him the nickname of The Ambassador of Joy, and it totally fits him! I purchased Elizabeth Hartman’s Dogs in Sweaters pattern earlier this year and a few months ago decided that the lap quilt would be the perfect Christmas gift for Mary Frances (and Slinky!) this year. This is one of my 2017 Qtr 4 Finish-A-Long Goals.

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I gave Michael at ThreadBear free rein with the long-arm quilting, and I could not be more pleased with how this quilt turned out. (And a big shout-out to my brother, Bill, and sister-in-law, Sharon, for paying this custom quilting!) Below are some close-up shots. Just look at how the different directions of the straight-line quilting accentuate the dog’s face and body! Each dog’s sweater has a different quilting motif, and this top dog has snowflakes quilted on his sweater. The quilting in the negative space around him is reminiscent of dog bones.

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Dog # 2 has flames on his sweater and is surrounded by clouds.

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The third dog, also known as The Smart Dog, with appliqued glasses, has chess pieces  quilted on his sweater, and the quilting around him looks like scientific symbols. This guy is my absolute favorite!

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And the last dog who is in the middle of different sized pebbles has a couple cats quilted on his sweater. Slinky lives with two cats and would love to be better friends with them if they would let him!

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Here’s a photo of the cats on the back:

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Both Mary Frances and Slinky are fans of quilts. Below are a couple of pics with Slinky snuggling in quilts. The first one is him with the Morning Coffee and Cream Quilt that I made for my sister.

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And here he is all cuddled up with the Fashion and Food Quilt that I made for Mary Frances in 2015.

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Feel free to check out more photos of Slinky on his Instagram The Slinky Chronicles.

Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation: Needle and Thread ThursdayBusy Hands Quilts: Finished or Not Friday, and Crazy Mom Quilts: Finish It Up Friday.

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Back and Forth Christmas Quilt Finished

I have a happy finish to share today! When my friend, Sarah Goer, released her Back and Forth Baby Quilt Pattern in October, I knew immediately that it would make a great Christmas bed runner for me (and my cats!). I love decorating for Christmas which now extends into my bedroom. I found Sarah’s instructions to be clear, especially regarding the partial seams which were easy to do. And the graphic design of this pattern is so awesome with large scale prints, especially my red snow leopards!

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I love the grey snowflake fabric that I found on Etsy along with the Moda Jol Reindeer fabric that I used as the quilt backing. Since I decided not to put a label on this quilt and also chose to hand-stitch the binding, it is completely reversible!

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It is probably obvious from the photo below that the Christmas palette I am most drawn to is the red/aqua with neutrals, though I do have a touch of green in my llama pillow. And equally obvious is that I like animal fabrics!

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Linking up another time to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

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Bow Tie Quilt Finished

This is the hardest post I have ever written. Some of my closest quilting friends know that my beloved sister died unexpectedly in August, but I haven’t shared this sad news on my blog until now. My sister, Jacqueline, who I called Jackie, and I were very close, though not geographically as we lived almost 2000 miles apart. She was my biggest supporter in so many ways including my quilting and blogging, and she commented on many of my blog posts.

During a visit to Michigan in June of 2016, Jackie pulled out a bow tie quilt top that had been completed by our mother in the 1990s. Our mother, Cleo, who died in 1997, was a gifted quilter. Unfortunately, when my mom was alive, I wanted nothing to do with quilting and literally groaned every time we went to another fabric store. Jackie asked me to finish the quilt for her but told me there was no big rush as she knew I had several other quilt projects I was working on, and she had planned to pay for the longarm quilting. I brought the quilt top back with me when I visited my sister in June 2017, so we could strategize together on how she wanted it finished. I wanted to give the finished quilt to Jackie for Christmas this year. I wrote about this quilt top as one of my 2017 3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long Goals which I rolled over to 2017 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long Goals.

Jackie had planned to place the folded up quilt on the bench at the end of her bed, and I think she probably imagined pulling up the quilt on occasion to snuggle underneath when taking a nap. I decided to go ahead and finish the quilt for my brother-in-law who greatly misses my sister who was his wife of 52 years. My brother and sister-in-law generously offered to pay for the quilting of this bow tie quilt which measures 66 inches wide by 90 inches long. The original quilt top was 48” x 72” but Jackie requested that I sew on asymmetrical borders of six inches on one short and long side and twelve inches on the other long and short side using the grey grunge fabric that we both loved.

My original plan was to use four extra blocks on a pieced quilt back, but I decided to make it simpler for myself and put the blocks away to use in another project down the road. I used 108” wide fabric for the quilt back and called it good.

I’m pretty sure both my mom and sister are very pleased with this finished bow tie quilt.

Linking up to Cooking Up Quilts: Main Crush Monday.

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December ‘17 OMG

I decided this morning to choose a different Dec ‘17 One Monthly Goal (see below about what I was going to work on). I have decided that I can’t live with the machine binding I did on my cat quilt which is going to be a Christmas gift for a friend in town, so I started ripping it out this morning and am going to hand sew it down. Like other quilters, ripping out seams is NOT my favorite task, but I used the wrong sewing machine to sew down this binding. My Juki would have handled it just fine, but I had a limited supply of the “right” color thread and did not want to chance winding a bobbin for my Juki and running out of thread. So I opted to use my little Brother machine (which handles piecing just fine but really cannot do any heavy lifting) because I had a bobbin with the right color thread already wound for the Brother machine. Lesson learned!!! On a positive note, I really like the pick-up sticks quilting that Michael of ThreadBear did on this cat quilt.

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What I was going to choose as this month’s OMG was to finish my Wayward Transparency quilt top made with Kona Aqua, Sage, and Emerald solids. (See rather dark work in progress pic below). This Quilt-Along is being hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl who designed the beautiful pattern. I have until January 11th to finish my small lap quilt top and join the Finishes Linky party, so maybe this will be my Jan ‘18 goal.

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Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Dec ‘17 OMG.

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November ‘17 OMG Finish

I am so grateful to Patty at Elm Street Quilts for hosting One Monthly Goal this year. So far I’ve been able to meet all my monthly goals, and I’ve used these goals to push me a little. For my November ‘17 One Monthly Goal, I set a goal to get five pillows quilted and finished, and I was able to do so along with plenty of other sewing/quilting this month. Because these pillows are Christmas gifts, I definitely would have gotten them done at least by mid-December, but getting them done earlier takes some stress off of me which is important during the crazy holiday season. Below are the five finished pillows:

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I basted these pillows with a glue stick which worked really well for these small projects, and I loved not having to baste outside as I do with spray glue. For more information about this basting technique, see Kat & Cat Quilt’s How to Baste a Quilt with a Glue Stick post.

Linking up to Elm Street Quilts: Nov ‘17 OMG Finishes.

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Pillows Galore–OMG Nov ’17

My One Monthly Goal for November ’17 is to finish five pillow covers. The first two are very simple Christmas pillows featuring Michael Miller’s Llama Navidad fabrics:

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Next is a Hazel Hedgehog pillow I will make from the block below and may add some appliquéd glasses.

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For a cat-loving boy in my life, I will turn this paper-pieced stretching cat block made from one of Quilt Art Design’s patterns into a pillow cover:

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The final pillow will be made from the roadrunner block below:

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I will quilt all of these pillows very simply, most likely with organic wavy lines or straight line quilting.

Linking up to  Elm Street Quilts: Nov ’17 OMG.

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