Friday, June 7, 2013

Projects and Presents

Yesterday Laura and I spent much of the day in the quilt studio, just cutting out project after project. I like doing a lot of cutting at one time because then I can just sit down and sew like a madwoman! Also, I've realized that probably the greatest challenge at starting any new project is deciding which fabrics to use. I'm sure that's why so many people like buying quilt kits--the decision-making is already done for you! And I have to admit that I've gone that route many times myself. It's just easier to do. But yesterday I made decisions, cut fabric and today I was ready to start sewing!

Last week I mentioned my granddaughter, Jennifer who has cerebral palsy. I want to make her a quilt for her upcoming 12th birthday. My son (her dad) said Jennifer would be happy with whatever I made for her. But there are so many things Jenn CAN'T do, that I thought she would enjoy the process of planning and selecting that went into HER quilt. And she has been SO excited about this! When I saw her on Saturday, we went through fabrics and quilt patterns. We looked through the book, "Scrap-Basket Surprises" and the biggest surprise for me was that Jenn liked almost ALL the quilts in it! So I chose three of them and made 4 sample blocks of each and basted them together. This pattern was Scrap-Basket Blues because it was all done in blues in the book. Well, Jennifer likes pinks and purples, so that's what I used.

This one is called "Bali Sea Star" because they made it with batiks in the book. This is also on the cover of the book. This is my favorite and I would love to make myself a quilt with this pattern. It's also the most time-consuming of the three patterns I chose.

This last one is called "Summer Breeze." It was the quickest and easiest to make. I made all the samples fairly scrappy, but I'm going to give Jennifer the choice of just how scrappy she wants it to be, or even if she doesn't want it scrappy at all. I'll be seeing her tomorrow and get her decision of which quilt she wants and how she wants it made and then I can begin the business of creating it for her. Which one would YOU choose, if it were up to you??

These are the blocks that Laura has made. She's getting better and better at sewing decent seams. She even catches herself now when her edges aren't lined up--and so she doesn't have to rip nearly as much!

Today she sewed 16 sets of 2.5-inch strips together to add to the blocks above. We're going to put sashing between the blocks and then add borders to make a twin-size quilt. When it's done, we'll probably donate it to someone in Oklahoma. I don't know if Laura really understood what I was telling her, but she seemed very happy at the idea of giving the quilt she made to someone in need.

For the past couple of months I've been working on a small quilt for a swap. My partner and I decided to make each other wall hangings for the 4th of July. I'll unveil mine once she gets it. Today I got my package from my swap partner. Laura usually opens any packages that come in the mail, even knowing they're not for her. She opens them, sees what's inside, then turns them over to me. Well, when the box came today, there were several wrapped packages inside and one of them was labeled, "Laura"! She was SO excited--she squealed and gave me a big hug and a kiss that I'm sure were really meant for my friend! It really didn't matter what was inside, she was just thrilled that something came for HER!

Laura's package had 2 fat quarters--one of hot air balloons and one of chili peppers (my partner is from New Mexico and these are both symbolic of her state.) Laura and I are still discussing what we'll be making with these, but I think one of them may become a pillow for her room.

These are all the goodies that came in the package--in the back is her beautiful 4th of July quilt and in the front is a cute Valentine's doily she made. There's a kit for making 2 hot pads and several note cards with scenes symbolic of New Mexico. And on the side are Laura's fat quarters. Everything is just wonderful and it was so kind of my friend to include Laura!

It's late tonight and we've got a busy weekend of non-sewing activities ahead of us. But come Monday morning, Laura and I will be back in the quilt studio to...Get More week!


  1. Hi, Laura! Your quilt is so pretty! I love the colors. You surely did a great job in sewing those blocks together. Very nice!
    I agree that choosing colors is difficult--I always seem to get tangled up in using too many prints!! I have begun collecting solids to try to avoid this!! I have to say I would choose the Bali Sea Stars--more work--but oh so pretty! Have fun, hugs, Julierose

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Gwen. Wonderful pictures.
    I love your quilt blocks and strips, Laura. And your new fabric, especially the one with hot air balloons.
    You two have been busy ... getting a lot done!