Author Archives: heARTs Creations

Scrappy Batik

There are seven bins full of batiks in my studio, one of which is scraps. From the book “Scrap=Basket Bounty”, I chose the Snippets pattern to make use of the scraps. The cuts are 1 1/2″ squares and 1 1/2″ by varying lengths. There are 80 blocks with 16 pieces in each – in all 1,280 pieces! Here is the first round of piecing:

Then another. Chain sewing makes for quick work, but I’ll admit to getting bored part way through and switched to another project.

Finally, there were blocks to put on the design wall:

Finally, a flimsy complete with border! Now, hanging in a closet, it’s waiting its turn to head off to the long arm quilter. And that scrap bin? Yup, it’s still full!

This past spring, this is where I’ve spent most of my time. Lack of rain has been challenging, but it definitely remains my happy place. I have learned to embrace the shade and make the most of what sun the garden does get.

A Graduation Pillow

My brothers’ eldest grandchild, my great niece, just graduated high school. She is one very smart, athletic and talented young lady. I wanted to send her something special for a graduation gift. My friend Laurie had made her daughter (and many others) a pillow with the school logo. What a great idea!

She is going to attend the University of Buffalo and the logo is a blue bull. I enlarged the bull to the size I needed and found the perfect blue to use. I spray basted it onto a medium gray.

I then stabilized on the wrong side of the piece I was appliqueing.

Lots of buttonhole stitching which went surprisingly quick! A backing and binding and off in the mail it went!

And here she is! It got a bit crushed in the box, but that will be an easy fix. I hope she enjoys her pillow and has a great college experience. It’s unfortunate I won’t be able to attend her big celebration party, but will certainly be there in spirit!

Another Group Effort

At the April retreat, participants put together this simple block.

One of the retreaters suggested I put the blocks together this way so as to not have to match seams. Great idea!

I found this layout boring, so I decided to have some fun with slashing the blocks.

Four of the slashed blocks made this cool design:

Here are all the blocks put together. Note that there is a secondary design.

It now needed something more and it wasn’t wide enough. Back into my bin of donated fabrics to add two side borders.

A Hospice flimsy – yeah! It is now hanging in my “flimsy” closet waiting in line behind the others to be quilted. My goal is to have them all done by the end of summer. Bonus: there are enough blocks left to make a second quilt from these blocks!

“Duck” Baby Quilt

At my last quilt retreat I pieced, quilted and bound another 36″ square baby quilt from a variety of scraps. It was fun and fast, but I just knew it wasn’t finished. There were so many different prints, I wanted to add something to “calm” it down. At first I thought I’d do a kitty applique, but then I came across a cute duck in one of my bins. I think it gives the quilt a focus and a cuteness.

I continue to back all of my donation quilts with soft and cuddly fleece.

There are now four (4) baby quilts all headed to the local Community Pregnancy Center. Just couldn’t resist lining them all up for a colorful outdoor shot!

2 More Baby Quilts

Sometimes doing an easy little quilt feeds my soul. I sorted through my box of 3 1/2” squares, sorted out a pile blues and a pile of greens, and sewed away! I brought the blues to a retreat, sewed them together the first evening, backed it the next morning, quilted and did the binding. What a great way to begin a retreat!

The green squares were put together at home on a day none f my current projects were appealing to me. Again, sewn, quilted and bound. Bam! Done!

Both will be donated to the local Community Pregnancy Center.

A Special Quilt

In January, I finished a special quilt top for a very special person. In March it made its way to the long arm quilter then back home to be bound. It was an absolute delight to finally gift this quilt in April for its intended recipient. This gentleman has an extensive book collection is why I chose the bookshelf quilt.

He does have a cat, so one sits on one of the shelves. The coffee mug has the first initial of his name, and the brass nameplate says “Chef”, which is his profession. A scattering of books has a “title.” For some, I used a selvedge, others just a narrow strip of print fabric.

The backing is an Anna Maria Horner fabric that I just happened to have in my stash – Score! It could not have been more perfect!

And here he is with his personal quilt! My hope is that this quilt gives him as much joy as it has given me.

A Few More Ornaments

Spring is in hyper overdrive here in the Piedmont, yet here I am continuing to work on Christmas ornaments! I’ve done several more of the Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments and am still very much enjoying the process.

The Goose-A-Laying and her egg. The “nest” design was so clever and the egg was a fun simple one to make.

The pattern suggests several color choices for each ornament. I loved how dramatic the black for the swan is.

Maid-a-Milking. I “cheated” a bit and ordered the prepainted beads for the heads. They were so reasonable and I just knew I would frustrate myself to no end trying to paint them myself! The people ornaments are definitely more challenging than the birds and less intuitive. Fortunately, the directions are excellent and I read and reread them.

The Drummer! He was the most challenging to date, but still fun. I continue to be in awe of the designer’s attention to detail like the cuffs on the sleeves and although not seen in this picture, there is a pom pom on the top of the hat!

Just a few more to go! I have all the pieces traced and have also chosen all the felt. I’m also still committed to doing a second set. Looks like I’ll have the first set ready for this Christmas!

Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels

Everywhere! Last week I wasn’t much in the mood to sew. When I went into my sewing closet, I followed a squirrel and emptied most of the fabric and some other goodies out! Sorting and folding for several hours. I now have this basket of goodies to cut into scraps. Some day soon I’ll get out my studio cutter and reduce the pile to squares and strips.

The closet looks so good now. I could not bring myself to take a before pick. Such a coward!

Not all my fabric, just yardage and batting scraps.
Packaged batting and a few more scraps.

And as often the case with a project like this, there was a bonus. I found a large piece of the gray shiny ironing board cover fabric. My handy wall board cover was getting quite picked looking. I sewed a new cover and after adding another layer of thin batting, there is now a nice new shiny cover! I prefer this type of covering – it holds the heat well and can be washed off if there’s starch residue. And, I love this little board. It has a tile at the end for placing the hot iron (hubby’s idea as he made this for me) and it folds down on the wall when done.

Then, on Friday (which just happened to be my birthday – yes, happy April Fool) we went to the city of Greensboro, an hour and a half from here. Visited a sewing machine store I’d done business with in the past and I purchased a Pfaff Passport 3.0. I have the 2.0 and use it as my retreat machine. A backup machine is always a good idea, but a couple of years ago I sold my Featherweight and have been without one. I have borrowed my sons little Janome, but that gets to be a pain for both of us. The 3.0 is almost identical to the 2.0 with just a couple of new features. Now the two will go with me when I travel.

All in all, the squirrels were all welcome. Maybe now I’ll get some sewing done! Thank you daughter for the lovely flowers.

Scrappy Trees

Some time ago I saw a posting for a quilt called “Arboretum” by Springleaf Studios. I really loved it and having a ridiculous bin full of Kaffe scraps, I decided to do it. Here it is about two years later and I am finally tackling this project. I pulled out all my pretty flowery Kaffe prints. For the trunks and branches I chose Aboriginal Dots and Millefore prints.

Pairing the fabrics was not as easy as it might seem. I auditioned more than one trunk fabric with each print and looked at it through my camera with the mono filter. It’s amazing that to the naked eye it looks as though a pairing might work, but with the mono filter, you can see the contrast vs. blending.

To the naked eye, the fabric on the right looked fine, but above you can see that it blends. The pairings took quite a while and then there was all the cutting. I now have a project box full of seedlings.

There are about 10 blocks completed. They are not a quick sew – it’s not like they can be chain pieced. Before squaring them up, I threw a few up on the design wall and have decided I like them. The trunk on one is a bit off so I’ll have to fix that but at least it’s an easy fix.

And now that spring has truly marched into the Piedmont, there is so much to rejoice about in the yard. The daffodils are now gone, but we have a red bud in bloom and so much is sprouting out of the ground. Below is a Hosta which I think if I had stayed up all night I would have been able to see it grow. And the post of Hosta? Ha! That’s what one has to do when the outdoor cats love to sun bathe in the large flower pots!

One for Spring

Melee the quilt is finished! I have, however, changed the name to “Vibrance” which is much more positive. This was made from blocks I had put away for some time. The blocks were cut up in varying shapes and sizes and put on the design wall with a minimal plan.

The center of this quilt was definitely planned.
The two ends of the quilt had the full triangles as a border.

It was back from the long arm quilter last week and I couldn’t wait to add the binding. Yes, there were extra “corners,” but they were easy. This quilt definitely has the colors and vibrance of spring. And I have been SO craving spring!

After auditioning several solid fabrics, I chose this bright blue for binding- it accentuates some of the colors of the quilt. The few extras of the blocks are on the back so no leftovers. A real win! The polka dot backing fabric adds to the fun of the quilt.

This quilt is going to live in my living room for a while. It will be a bright spot until the real Spring arrives. Do you have a favorite season? Do you display quilts that reflect that season?