Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I posted recently on a music quilt that I made to be raffled in a friend's fundraiser....a friend who's battling cancer. I've decided to enter this quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side

Amy's Creative Side
This is a very special quilt. It was made for Peter.....well, a fundraiser for Peter.  Peter is battling cancer....Stage IV cancer....of the head and neck. This is the same kind of cancer that I battled five years ago. 

I think it was on the very same day that I decided to make a quilt for his raffle that I opened up one of my old Fons & Porter magazines to find a quilt that I had bookmarked as one I wanted to make one day. The quilt was called Beautiful Voices, using the Beautiful Voices collection by Gail Kessler for Andover Fabrics. Some of the fabrics were no longer available. Fortunately, I was able to find the piano keys fabric and the off white musical note fabric. Then my husband went to the fabric store with me to pick out the rest, as this was special to him, too --- he and Peter have been very good friends for 30+ years. 

I quilted this myself on my Husqvarna/Viking Scandinavia 300 using a walking foot, using stitch in the ditch on most of the quilt and wavy lines (using a Truflex II Flexible Curve because I don't have enough experience with free motion quilting) on the black sections, and outlining most of the keys on the piano section.  I also tried my hand at machine applique on the center treble clef. I machine sewed the binding on the front and hand sewed it on the back. 
I used over 300 pins because of all the different sections and the 54" panels.  Crazy!!!
I was really happy with the way it turned out, and loved how it looked blowing in the breeze (my hubby is the magic behind the quilt there). 

Finished size: 62" x 76"
Special Techniques: Machine Piecing, Stitch in the Ditch, Machine Applique, Triflex II Flexible Curve
Quilted by: Lisa Nielsen a.k.a. Lisa Lisa (that's me!)
Category: Home Machine Quilted

My New Blogging Life

I believe my blogging life may have just changed forever!! You see, I've been blogging on our home computer - a Mac Mini which is hooked up to our TV - since I started blogging earlier this year. This meant that I had to blog when my husband wasn't watching TV. Which also meant that I needed to be in the mood to blog when he wasn't watching TV. Those two things didn't always happen at the same time. I tried using an app for my iPad, and that was okay, but I did have some issues with it. So.....I ended up in spiraling down in the frequency of my blog posts :( 

After whining for many months to my husband (who works at HP) about wanting a MacBook Air (since I already had an iPhone and an iPad), I weighed the pros and cons, and weighed them again and again. And I continued to get irritated at my iPad crashing multiple times per minute - Yes, I said per minute - I decided to go with an HP Envy Spectre XT.  WHAT???  Yep, that's quite a name, isn't it? It's a sleek, brushed aluminum, thin, light, and absolutely gorgeous little machine!!! Don't you think? 

I've been having so much fun playing with it! I'm super excited to learn how to make my pics look awesome with Photoshop! I've already learned how to move photos from my iPhone to my laptop, which I didn't think was possible! Lovin' my Saturday morning. And lovin' my hubby for ordering this for me! <3 font="font" nbsp="nbsp">

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Dresden Table Runner

After our recent trip to California, I decided I wanted to come home and make a little something for our house.....a little something Halloweeny (or is that Halloweenie?) So I decided to throw together a little runner for the table in our entry way using my EZ Dresden ruler. If you haven't tried one of these little babies out, you really should! The link above is to a video tutorial on the Missouri Star Quilt Company's website that shows how to use the ruler. I LUV MSQC's videos!!! You can find them on their website or YouTube.  There's even an app!!! Oh, and they even have a Daily Deal where you can get some awesome deals on some pretty awesome stuff! Wait a minute.....Wasn't I talking about Dresdens???

That was quite a little advertisement for Missouri Star Quilt Company, wasn't it? No, I was not paid for that advertisement....that's just how much I love them. 

Anyway.....I just lined up enough of them until it was the length I wanted, sandwiched it, put on a binding, and voila!  So easy! 

I went a little nuts and started chain piecing and ironing some more to make into a Dresden plate wall hanging.

But then I started on something else, something more important, something that's a surprise! More on that later....hopefully not too much later, though :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Musical Quilt

Musical Quilt......Kinda like musical chairs, but this story is just about one quilt that I went round and round and round with. I followed the pattern to the T but I kept having trouble. It's a bit of a long story...keep reading if you're interested. Don't worry, I don't include all the details :)

The story begins when a friend of ours (one of my husband's very best friends since high school - that was a very long time ago!) was diagnosed with Stage IV head and neck cancer, the very same cancer that I was diagnosed with in 2007, except mine was Stage I.  This friend is self-employed producer/director and does not have insurance, so had put off going to the doctor until it got to the point where he was having trouble swallowing.  After he was diagnosed, a friend of his decided to put together a benefit concert, with a request for donations for a raffle, to help cover his expenses. Of course, I offered to make a quilt.  That very day, I happened upon one of my old Fons & Porter magazines with a music quilt in it. How perfect is that? 

Update 6/13/16:  Fons & Porter Easy Quilts Spring 2010 issue can be purchased here

I was having trouble finding the fabric locally, so ordered the fabric that was still available directly from the fabric company (Andover), and they even sent me a freebie Flower Doodle charm pack! My husband was very involved in the making of this quilt, and we spent quite a bit of time at the fabric shop, picking out just the right fabrics.  I won't get into all the detail of the issues involved with this quilt. I just can't bring myself to relive it -- JUST KIDDING!).  It really wasn't that bad.  I was just stressing out because it was a quilt that someone was paying for, and I wanted it to be almost perfect.  Besides the issues with long spans of lengthwise fabric strips (6 inches x 54 inches), I was also doing machine applique of a treble clef as the focus of the quilt right smack dab in the middle.  Talk about some stress!!!  Thanks to my wonderful husband, who could stand back and see where the problems were, and do some calculating for me (I hate that part of quilting!), we got it all figured out. I love that guy! 

We drove down to California the day before the concert, stayed the night in a hotel (we're not even gonna talk about that), and I was still picking off loose threads the day of the concert.  I received a lot of compliments on the quilt, even from some very experienced quilters that I know. So that made me feel a little better. I was so excited that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law won the quilt, so it gets to stay in the family and I might get to see it every once in awhile! :)

Our friend is still right in the middle of his fight. He's going through another round of chemotherapy, and is halfway through radiation. If you pray, please pray for him. If you would rather send good thoughts instead, those are appreciated, too :)

So.....that's why it's been awhile since I've blogged. So glad to be blogging again....I have so much to share! 

Here are a few of the pics taken throughout this quilt journey. 

I used over 300 pins in this quilt! Ugh! 

Stitch in the Ditch. I'm not really sure why I've seen this listed as a beginner's stitch. I think it takes a lot of time and concentration. I do love it, though, since I don't know how to do free motion quilting yet.

The finished quilt. My husband is actually holding this up, but I don't see him anywhere in this pic. Freaky!  I don't prewash my fabrics, so was a little nervous about those dark colors running. That would've been awful! Thank goodness for Shout Color Catchers! I threw in 3 of those babies just to be safe!

Here's Giacomo (my schnoodle) up on my sewing table. He's so jealous of my quilts and always wants to be on my lap. This time he went straight from my lap up on the table. Silly guy!