Thursday, April 24, 2014

WIP: Kids Art Quilt: Turning Your Kids Paintings into Unique Fabric

Here is my 5 year old's first fabric line. We couldn't be more excited!!

The fabric is printed using Spoonflower.

Here is the original painting - all the fabrics are from this one painting. 

I scanned the painting and imported it into iPhoto. I changed the tint, contrast etc to make a pink & blue version of the painting. Then I uploaded the 3 different files to Spoonflower. 

You can see here how changing the repeat of the fabric and the design size can change the look of the fabric. 

The first thing I did when the fabric arrived was to wash it. It was a tad stiff from the printing process. I washed the fabric in a little synthrapol on a standard warm wash - I also added a little fabric softener. This certainly helped to soften the cotton quite a lot. I'm looking forward to sewing with it - but at the same time terrified of cutting into it!!

Spoonflower is really easy to use. I'm so excited by the potential of all the kids art projects being turned into wonderful unique fabrics. I still can't believe one painting made all these different fabrics.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Longarm Quilting Services

It seems that I have inadvertently started a Longarm Quilting service! I got Freddie to help me with the charity I am trying to set up 'Quilting A Memory' - so that I could quilt my memorial and memory quilts in an easier, more effective way and to a better quality.

It is true that Freddie lives in my bedroom. It is true that we are now deeply in love.

So I have decided to post some information about the cost of my longarm quilting services in the sidebar - and if you feel moved to do so - please contact me and I would love to quilt for you. 50% of all quilting costs go to Quilting A Memory. Quilting A Memory is a charity that provides free quilting services to the families of fallen/lost service men & women - making memorial & memory quilts filled with love from their clothes and or uniforms.

So to celebrate posting this - here is a quilt I just finished for a client Maria Gualdoni. Maria was so pleased with the the result of this quilt - she proudly showed it off at a recent guild meeting - which I have to admit felt really good.  I hope you enjoy the quilting eye candy that follows.

And some back quilt candy. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kids Art Quilt: Fabric Building Blocks

This quilt has been finished for a while but I was trying to find a hanging solution for my larger quilts to make photographing them a little easier. (I should of used more quilt hangers but I only had 3 picture hooks at this time.)

This was such a fun quilt to make. I loved that I didn't have to do any designing and my two girls laid it all out for me. To learn about how they designed this quilt you can read more here.

I quilted all the buildings with various straight lines in different directions.

I quilted the 'sky' or negative sky space at least in a pattern I thought might be original - but then I discovered the wonderful and very talented LuAnn Kessi.

The sun is pieced from lots of little bits of orange scraps.

My favorite bit of the quilt is the quilting showing the flight path of the airplane. 

The cars are lightly quilted and I tried to make different textures for the road surface. A miniature square stippling and an edge to edge free hand lines with some bumps & stones in places.

They have both had their birthdays recently and they are now 5 & 3. Do they realize what an amazing job they did with this design for their age? 

Here is my middle bunny looking like she is doing a very professional and through job of inspecting my tension.

I truly love this quilt.


Our other kid painted fabric projects have included:
Kids Art Quilt - Spin Art (WIP)
Kids Art Quilt - Sharpie Art Quilt
Kids Art Quilt - Fabric Building Blocks

Technical Info:
Batting: Hobbs 100% Wool Heirloom Batting & Quilters Dream 100% Cotton Batting (together)
Backing Fabric: Climbing Vine 108" Sage
Top: Scraps from scrap bin & Essential Dotty Waves 108" Wide
Binding: Scraps from scrap bin
Thread: SoFine!#50 by Superior &; Fil-Tec Monofilament thread in bobbin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kids Art Quilt: Sharpie Art Quilt

This is an easy project to do with your little ones. You could make a simple quilt or jazz it up with free motion quilting, embroidery add notions etc. We went with something down the middle of these options.

What you will need:

White fabric squares
Sharpie Permanent Markers - we went with a set of 80's Glam sharpies
Extra fabric for borders, binding & backing
Quilt batting (appropriate size for however big your quilt becomes)

It is as simple as this.

- Ask your little artist to draw on the squares.
- Sew together as desired.
- Quilt, adorn, decorate as desired.
- Show your proud little artist.
NOTE: The sharpies will not wash out when you wash the quilt - but they might bleed a little - we found the light blue to bleed the most. I did prewash our drawn squares before sewing the quilt together - but I think this would be optional - I just tend to wash everything before working with it.

I actually quilted this on Bernie - I did what I guess must almost be thread painting (perhaps thread scribbling?) over the drawn lines and then I added some basic quilting in and around the drawn panels. The great thing about this sort of project is that it doesn't matter how good (or bad) your additions to the blanket it - your little one will love their first art quilt.

Lets take a closer look at some of that art work.

Jack & the Beanstalk

A Pirate on a ship


Our teepee

Princess & the Pea

Rapunzel (beautiful isn't she!)

A sad moon

What struck me most as I rushed to finish this up was how much Bunny #1's art has improved in just 6 months. Sadly the completion of her art quilt got thoroughly & rudely interrupted by the arrival of Freddie my longarm. Her drawings now are so much more mature & detailed - only one thing for it ... another art quilt??


Our other kid painted fabric projects have included:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Quick Quilt

The church contacted me to let me know there was a baptism coming up for 7 year old boy. Thinking that a 7 year old boy would not appreciate a playmat - I decided to make  a quick Twin sized quilt to welcome him into the church community.

The front of the quilt is very simple. Soft deep blue flannel with his name appliqued on the front in a bright green fabric. The quilt has a contrasting orange cotton binding.

I quilted the quilt with a simple swirly pattern. Putting together the quilt (not including the binding) took only 5 hours. And for someone who usually spends a great deal of time & effort on quilts I felt nervous that the result would be lacking. 

Although simple this quilt feels gorgeous - the wool batting, flannel & light quilting design gives is a warm yet very flexible feel. I hope the little chap will enjoy wrapping himself in it.

The bit I am really pleased with though is the back. I pieced the back out of colorful fabric from my stash. The wonderful thing about Freddie is that the quilt leaders have measurements marked along them - which enabled me to get the backing totally lined up - the strips came out perfectly horizontal. The colors remind me of lego somewhat.

I have been asking a lot of people about their opinion on patchwork seams and if they should be pressed open/flat or pressed to one side. There seems to be some debate about this regarding this in the quilting world. But I have decided that pressing your seams open on the backing does make a huge difference. Just look how flat & cleanly that backing sits - even with such light quilting. Delicious!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Diary of a Longarm: Month 3 - Black & White Blindness

I've working with another of Andrea's quilt tops. I was excited about this quilt because Andrea said she was over it and didn't like it anymore. All I saw was lovely white negative space and I was hopeful I could do something that might make her love this piece of work again.

I really enjoyed quilting the white areas. I learnt a lot during the quilting process. Things I should do again and things I should not.

The black areas were problematic. I found the black thread more than hard to see on the black fabrics. It was like I was quilting blind.

I practiced (sadly a bit blindly) lots of ideas I have wanted to try. Some of them I liked a lot and I will be using again in the future. Even after the quilt has been finished I feel like the quilting in these black areas is invisible and lost. I need to find another solution for black areas in future. If you have any insights or ideas I would love to hear from you.

A huge thank you to Andrea again for letting me practice and learn on her quilt tops!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quilt Hanging Solution

My husband humors my quilting quite well and how much it takes over our home. Fabric is everywhere in heaps. Snipped threads trail after me around the house like I'm Hansel & Gretel. My 12ft longarm currently lives in our bedroom (on his side of the bed!)

When I try and take photographs of my quilts I have recently found myself constructing more and more bizarre and dangerous ways to get high enough to be able to take a picture of them flat on the floor. Worried that I might end my existance by falling off a tower of stacked furniture - splat onto the quilt below. I've been trying to come up with a way that I can hang my quilts up to take pictures of them - without having to put a hanging sleeve on the back of every quilt and without wrecking the house anymore in order to preserve my marriage!

So I was looking for a way to hang quilts that was semi permenant, does not mark the walls, does not require death defying feats that even circus contortionists and jugglers would be proud of. I have been thinking about this solution for about some 6 months now - determined to find the ideal solution.  Here is what I have come up with.

These are wooden Quilt Hangers (packet of 2) that I found on ebay.  These quilt hangers hang on a nail or screw that you can put into the wall. (They come with screws & drywall anchors.) You can see the YouTube video here. They measure 3" high by 1" wide - but they are surprisingly sturdy. They come in a variety of colors - they look attractive AND they do not mark your finished quilt.

We have picture rails in our house - so I purchased some white picture rail hooks and hooked them into the hole where your nail or screw might go.

And voila - I was able to hang my quilt, take pictures - without making a single hole or mark in or on the wall & without stitching a hanging sleeve in. The kids had a riot running behind the quilt and back out again - so they really held the quilt well.

I am so thrilled to have discovered this solution. I really hope it helps someone else too.

Here would be my suggested number of hangers for common quilt sizes. Note: 1 packet comes with 2 hangers. I would put at least 1 hanger to every 30" or less. Small - 2 hangers, Baby or Crib - 3 hangers, Twin or Full - 4 hangers, Queen or King - 5 or 6 hangers.

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