05 February 2016

Finished things, and not finished things

Contrary to what the silence on the blog implies, I've actually finished a few things.  The projects have been posted on Instagram, but I haven't posted about them here.  The great thing about Instagram is you can share a picture with just a short caption about the subject you're sharing.  The downside is I've become lazy about documenting anything in great depth in this space.  One of my goals this year is to get back to blogging consistently.

Uncle Frank's Shirts was delivered to my parents during our holiday trip to New Orleans.  Despite the unending rain and the unseasonably warm temperatures and humidity, it was good to be back in the New Orleans area for the holidays.  Our last Christmas in there was thirteen years ago.  We moved to California and never made it back for Christmas until this year (thanks to our move to Texas, which put us in driving distance).  I don't have a picture of the finished quilt, but I love how it turned out.  I'll be back in New Orleans in March and hope to snap a photo of it then.

Another project I've completed is a pillow cover  made for a paint chip challenge, hosted by the Mckinney Modern Quilt Guild.  Paint sample cards were cut up and thrown into brown paper bags.  The bags were passed around and we were instructed to draw 3 chips without looking into the bag.  We then had to make a project using mainly the three colors we drew.  I was lucky to draw three colors that I love and which go well together (see bottom center of the picture).  This Wonky Star pillow has been claimed by Kieran, and he insists on having it in his bed every night:

Delectable Mountains was started long ago, with blocks made by members of Love at do. Good Stitches.  It came out of the WIP bin because it is embarrassingly overdue.  I have a machine that is small for quilting comfortably, plus it skips stitches and breaks the top thread like nobody's business, despite any trouble-shooting performed.  This makes the quilting of a quilt my least favorite part of the process.  Outbursts of frustration are usually involved.  However, I will soldier on and make efforts to complete this quilt (because there is another charity quilt that is also long overdue and will be the next sewing project I pick up):

The backing was pieced yesterday afternoon and got an unsolicited stamp of approval from Kieran upon his return home from school.  It's just a couple of fat quarters and some odd-sized cuts of orange and blue prints from my stash sewn together.  However, the 6-year old was impressed, and I'll take the compliment any day.

21 September 2015

Uncle Frank's shirts

My mother came to the States from the Philippines in the early part of the 1960's to study.  Her Uncle Tony (my godfather) was the only member of her family who was already here (at that time), but he traveled a lot.  Frank and his wife Sarah were close friends of Uncle Tony.  They had 3 daughters of their close in age to my mother, and so she was taken under the wing of the Reyes family and became part of their family.

Uncle Frank passed away earlier this year.  My parents were heartbroken, as they were in the Philippines at the time.  Uncle Frank's daughters gifted my dad with a few of his woven shirts, and my parents offered them to my husband, thinking he might wear them.  I quickly stepped in and told Ken to take them because I knew what I wanted to to do with them.  I think I'll add two more rows to make it a little longer (pardon the horrible cell phone picture):

It's harder than you think cutting up the shirts of someone who meant so much to your family and is now gone.  It took a while for me to take the rotary cutter to them.  And it was quite emotional cutting and then piecing them together.  I know they're just shirts, but they're not just shirts.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, I'm pleased to make a quilt for my parents to remember a dear family friend.  There is a sense of urgency for me to complete this quickly because my dad will begin radiation therapy in a couple of weeks.  I'd like him to have a quilt to snuggle under while he rests in his recliner in front of the television.

15 September 2015

Let me esplain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

This little old blog has been collecting dust.  Much has happened since my last post: we took the kids on vacation to several national parks and to a family reunion; my husband and I went to Bavaria and Prague; I ran a half marathon; I went back to work for 4 months then "retired" again because we moved to Texas; more travel after our move to Texas, and the little one started kindergarten.  This left so little time for blogging.

Now that you're caught up, here's a quick rundown on the status of things I was working on and finished, or started and completed since the last post in May:

My "41" quilt, which was my epic Sis Boom fabrics project, which I finished and it lived on my bed until we moved.  It has since been appropriated by Martina for her bed, since she claims it looks better in her room than in mine.  Here it is looking gorgeous on the lawn:

My Delectable Mountains quilt top for do. Good Stitches was pieced together at a retreat in June.  Quilting it is at the top of my sewing list.

My Friendship x and + swap blocks were temporarily lost, then found again, as I was unpacking my sewing paraphernalia after the big move.  Hooray!  I finished all 64 blocks and sent Jennifer her half. Jennifer finished her quilt (see her beautiful work here) while I completed my quilt top.  Pardon the grainy photo... I took it with my iPhone, which got wet when I slipped into a creek on a hiking trip this summer.  It hasn't taken a good photo since.

I participated in *a few* swaps.  It got to the point where my whole family was exasperated that I would start another swap item immediately after finishing one, and my little one was ever on the lookout for a swap package delivery from the postman.  I won't post photos of all of the completed swap projects because they are so numerous, but you can find them on IG (I'm @little_mama_d) if you have the inclination and patience to scroll through my feed.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I designed and made this mini quilt for the #AnnaMariaHornerMiniQuiltSwap on Instagram .  It was terribly hard putting this one in the post.

This mini and zippered pouch were designed and made for the #cottonandsteelminiquiltswap on IG:

This mini was designed (loosely based off of Aunt Rachel's Star quilt block) and made for the IG #rainbowminiquiltswap.  This was the first time I'd used variegated quilting thread.  I will definitely be using it again.

I hope you enjoyed this little recap of my makes over the past year.  Have you participated in any swaps lately?  What is your favorite swap item that you've made?