William the Orange

July 27, 2007 at 10:45 am | Posted in plush, Sewing/Crafts | 17 Comments

My friend Lara, who’s Dutch, had a baby Tuesday!* I wanted to make the new arrival a little gift.

This is William the Orange. He’s named after William of Orange. The House of Orange is the royal family of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

William the Orange

*That exclamation point was originally a period, but then I remembered that episode of Seinfeld about punctuating a note about a new baby and changed it. Changed IT!

Blueberry Πr2 & boating

July 24, 2007 at 11:43 pm | Posted in charity, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts | 13 Comments

Eireann‘s mother survived a recent aneurysm and stroke. That’s the good news. The bad news is that her medical insurance will not cover her care and rehabilitation due to a pre-existing condition.

Crafters the world ’round are donating handmade goods to help defray the family’s mounting expenses. The items will be auctioned on eBay beginning August 19th. Eireann’s named the auction one in ten, after the odds that a patient will survive medical conditions like her mom’s.

After reading about the auction on Tania‘s blog last Friday, I volunteered to contribute a quilt. Then I found out that photos of the contributions were due this Wednesday. Oops. I sewed up a storm this weekend and completed the quilt with a day to spare. Totally unlike me! But here it is, the 4-day quilt:

Blueberry Πr2 detail

It’s the same design as the Strawberry-Rhubarb Πr2 quilt I made for Maitreya in the first round of the Doll Quilt Swap.

Blueberry Πr2

Lapis blue is Eireann’s mom’s favorite color. I was fortunate enough to have all the fabric I needed on hand. The blue-on-white print on the back? Blueberries. It was meant to be.

I matched the heck out of that plaid binding. Can you see the 5 joints? No? Good :o)

Blueberry Πr2 back

For those of you who caught that I called it a 4-day quilt when there were actually 5 days between Friday and today, here’s the reason: we’ve had quite a run of perfect summer weather here in Chicagoland, so Ryan and I joined our friends on a little fishing outing in a local forest preserve over the weekend. Our friends rented a rowboat.

rowboat

We prefer a canoe. I didn’t even get a fishing license. I enjoy just paddling around instead. Much less messy. Here’s a photo I took of him with all of his gear. Can you tell he loooooves to fish? I think he might have as much fishing equipment as I do sewing/quilting gear.

Ryan in the back of the canoe

What a great day. An even better day for the fish, since we failed to catch any at all.

A day late and a dollar short

July 13, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps | 25 Comments

Yesterday, fellow Doll Quilt Swapper Kathy and I had an all-afternoon-and-evening push to complete our quilts for DQSII. I’m happy to report that, one day past the sending deadline for the early wave of swappers, I’ve finished hand-quilting and binding Peachy Keen. It’s on its way to a far, far away country and a lady I hope likes it very much.

Peachy Keen

As I mentioned before, the design for the quilt came from Denyse Schmidt’sWhat a Bunch of Squares.”

I named it “Peachy Keen because it reminded me of these:

Its final dimensions were 19-1/2″ wide X 23-3/4″ long.

peachy keen detail

I found hand-quilting it to be quite enjoyable. I love the way hand sewing really demands that you slow down and focus on the project – the stitch, even – at hand. I felt successful with even two good (okay, passable) stitches in a row and immersed myself in the process, rather than rushing through every seam. “Done” is a delight, but “doing” was just as much so with this!

peachy keen back

I have a few blocks that didn’t make it into the quilt. I want to include them in Denyse Schmidt Sampler. And hand-quilt it, of course.

Now, WHOSE bright idea was it

July 10, 2007 at 10:45 am | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, swaps, WIP | 14 Comments

to have some of the swappers send some of their doll quilts early? And to set the Draconian deadline of the twelfth?!?!

…oh, wait…that was me. Sigh.

It seemed like such a good idea to have some people send quilts early. And then it seemed like a good idea for me to be one of the early people to set a good example, since I suggested it. And to challenge myself, just as I had recommended in the DQSII guidelines. So I decided to try hand quilting.

Oh, help! I mean, I don’t think any more tips or instructions will help because I took a lesson at the local quilt shop and got some really great advice from other, much better quilters. I just hope I can get it all done by Thursday.

Here’s part of it:

Doll quilt hand quilting WIP

(It’s not sitting flat in the photo.) I hope my partner isn’t some sort of hand-quilting connoisseur! My stitching is 1) humungous, 2) crooked, and 3) uneven. But it’s not from lack of trying!

I guess if there’s a bright side, it’s that the Denyse Schmidt-style quilt that I’m working on is intentionally wonky-looking, so The Perfect Stitching wouldn’t be appropriate for this piece, anyway, right? Right?!

Thank goodness!!

[edit: I’ve had a change of heart and decided to embrace my wacky quilting stitches. See the next post!]

She’s a peach!

July 5, 2007 at 11:26 am | Posted in Doll Quilt Swap, Quilting, Sewing/Crafts, WIP | 9 Comments

Oh, hi, are you still there? We’ve been busy cramming our summer into the last couple of weeks, it seems, with an RV trip to OH with some of the family and 2 festivals and concerts, and a baseball game tonight. Whew! I’d like to say that it’ll be quieter now and I’ll be able to blog more frequently, but you know how summer activities stack up!

Peachy Keen quilt for DQSII

On the Doll Quilt Swap II front, here’s my quilt in progress, named “Peachy Keen.” The pieced top is now marked and ready for hand quilting. I don’t know how ready *I* am for hand-quilting, but I’ll give it the old college try.

Of course, it took me 5 years to finish college :oD I figure since I graduated from high school a year early, it all evened out.

The photo on the right is the back of the quilt with the “label” info on the long light-colored strip. I’ll let you know how the quilting turns out. I’ve been practicing, and have gotten great advice from Amy and Marisa. I’ll be channeling them both as I go.

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