Monday, July 29, 2013


My family was all together last week for the first time in three years. It was pure craziness with nine of the eleven grandchildren ages six and under. It was fun to see my siblings and their growing families. There are five of us, and we are spread across the country. It's rare to all land in the same place for a few days.

Unfortunately, I neglected to take any photos of people and will have to steal pictures from my family. Although, my siblings and I did take a photography field trip one evening to the lake and took some fun sunset pictures. Every time I take a photography field trip I'm reminded that I need to do this more often.

Our summer is beginning to wrap up. This family trip was our last big adventure for the summer. We have a couple weeks of swimming lessons. We'll fit in another trip to the zoo and the dinosaur museum. I'm sure the first day of school will arrive before I know it. It's bitter sweet to send the kiddos back to school. I made a conscious decision this summer to blog less. I'm not saying we had some amazing, fabulous summer because of it, but I do know they got more mom-time than they would if I were constantly worried about my next post. It was good for us, but I've missed it. I look forward to having a bit of downtime again while they are in school, but am a little bit scared about sending my oldest off to first-grade. What a change it will be to have her gone all day. It's crazy to see them growing up so fast. I'm hoping to make the most of the next few weeks before we head back into the structured school days.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Plaid Quilt--Finished!

I finished quilting this guy just in time. I was able to give it to my SIL for my nephew while their family was in town. He is two so he'll definitely have to grow into it. It finished around 70" x 90". 

Originally I planned to do some fancy fmq, but in the end decided to echo the design with random straight lines. Much easier, and I like the results. I think it works better with the quilt design.

Here are my nephews' quilts together. The fabrics are all the same colors, although different light in the photos makes the oranges look quiet different. The plaid quilt has truer colors. I finished the big brother's quilt last year.

I designed the plaid quilt such that I could make a smaller size as well. I'm thinking of doing a throw in the same design sometime soon and even writing up a pattern once my kiddos are back in school. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Roadwork Quilt--Finished!

All you need in life are Duplos and some toy least according to my four-year-old son.

A couple months ago the hubs and I decided to get a king-size bed. The problem was we couldn't decide what to do with our old queen mattress set that was still in great condition. Our kids' bedrooms are small. There was no way it would fit in the room our girls share. If we were to put it in our son's room, it would take up most of the room and his play space. We finally decided to do that and get rid of his toddler bed. Then I started formulating an idea. I decided to make him a quilt that would create additional play space on top of his bed now that much of the floor space was gone. Pretty soon I was sketching and creating what is now the Roadwork Quilt.

Although the overall idea of the quilt is juvenile, I didn't want the quilt to look cutesy. I wanted it to have a more realistic and mature look. The majority of the fabrics are from Laura Gunn's fantastic fabric collection--Edges. The roads are made with fabric from a different line, only because her black from this line wasn't in stock. This quilt is seven blocks by eight blocks (12" finished) with the finished size at 84" x 96". I designed the quilt in Photoshop using five basic blocks. It makes me think of an old computer game I used to play called Pipedream.

I wanted to keep the design very simple. At first I considered trying to piece houses and buildings, but decided to leave that part up to my little guy and let him build his city buildings with his Duplos. I just wanted to create a very basic map for him to play on.

I also kept the embellishments very simple. The dashed lines are pieces I hand-cut from heat transfer vinyl (t-shirt vinyl) purchased from Expressions Vinyl. The signs were cut from the same material using my Silhouette machine with shapes purchased from their online shop. I had a lot of fun with the various signs. Again, keeping it simple, I only used about eight different signs that I scattered throughout the quilt. These signs are two or three layers of vinyl ironed on top of each other to create the sign. They essentially melt into each other as they fuse to the fabric. I debated quite a bit on the dashed lines. Technically they should be yellow considering these are two-lane roads, but I really liked the bright contrast from the white. I also debated doing some solid lines for no-passing zones, but in the end decided to keep it simple.

I wanted the quilting to be very minimal so that it didn't interfere at all with the design. I used a large stipple design on the roads. On the green background I used a variegated green thread and a wavy design to somewhat mimic grass.

The back is a king size sheet. I have had tension problems when quilting with sheets in the past, but using a top-stitch needle while quilting makes a huge difference.

I pushed myself this past weekend to finish this quilt and stayed up too late a couple nights. It makes me happy that my little guy loves it and was so excited when I finished his "roads". It's already been tested and approved.