Friday, August 8, 2014

Malcolm's 13th Birthday Baseball Quilt

For this quilt, I used the wonderfully simple "Turning Twenty...Again" book.  Basically you cut up fat quarters into various-sized squares, an assortment of various sizes of rectangles, and then put the blocks together with an medley of different fabrics.  I had been collecting baseball themed fabric for years, and I supplemented them with some green fabrics from my stash and from the quilt fabric store.  Green is Malcolm's favorite color!  I had some of the focus fabric that is used for the borders and within the blocks on hand, but I located more of it online on Etsy; I was delighted, as then I had enough for the borders.

After the quilt was pieced, quilted,  and bound, I started transferring images of Malcolm that Susan had sent to me onto fabric, using special products that you can run through an ink jet printer.  Once I had all that I wanted, I adhered Wonder Under fusible to them and ironed them on.  I had to reinforce this bond, however, by stitching around each image.  The very hardest job in making this quilt was this stitching!  It was really challenging to wrestle this rather large quilt under my machine, but at least now I know the photos are permanently attached to the quilt.

Why not adhere the photos before quilting?  Well, I didn't want the quilter I hired to quilt OVER any images, fearing they would be obscured.

This quilt will become a wall hanging.  The last step will be to make and attach the sleeve to the back so that it can be hung on some sort of rod.

Below are some of my favorite of the images!
Malcolm with a trophy!  His "travel select" team (The Maroons) won
many of the tournaments they were in this summer.

Here is the team.  Malcolm is the 4th from the left in the front row!

Another photo I love, showing Malcolm in the maroon uniform.
This block in the center of the quilt contains photos of Malcolm with various members
of his family.  Unlike the other images, they are placed around the block and not in the big
square.  That big square in this block contains the "focus fabric," and
I wanted to leave it as it was, without covering it with any of the photographs!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chinese Girls at Play

I've been working on this quilt off and on for a long time!  I made it for my two little great-nieces whose parents are my nephew Kris and his wife Jasmine, whom Kris met in China.  Kris is in the diplomatic corps and the family is currently living in Taiwan.  Eliza and Margaret are the little girls' names--Eliza is three and her baby sister is several months old.  I thought the fabrics with the little girls playing was a perfect choice for two little Chinese/American girls!

This quilt is formal enough looking so that the parents could easily hang it in their living room, if they'd like, or of course, in the girls' room, if they happen to be sharing!

Below are some close-ups of the charming fabrics that I used.  I love it that the fabrics that depict the beautiful girls at play show girls of all ages--some toddlers, slightly older girls, and even some pre-teen or teenaged girls.  The girls are playing with traditional Chinese toys, and they are wearing traditional clothes.  All of the fabrics within the blocks were a group of fabrics sold together.  I bought these fabrics a good long time ago, and I first used them in a quilt for a friend of Susan's who adopted a little girl from China.  I was delighted, though, that I had enough left over to make this quilt for these two little special great-nieces of mine.  I bought the border fabric many years later, and was so glad to find one that echoed the carnations that appear in the quilt in the black background fabrics.  My friend Rita did a beautiful job of quilting it on her long-arm machine, and the pattern she used is a carnation pattern.  The quilt is so busy, however, that you can't see the design though you can see how lovely are the swirls that cover the quilt.  Rita used a dark red thread that is perfect for this quilt!

Each block is composed of two fabrics, divided by a strip of red.  When you put the quilt together, the red strips form a lattice.  I forget the name of the block; it might well have the word "lattice" in it!