Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Remember, Owl Always Love You

More of Aunt Marjory's quilts:

You may recall that my cute little Aunt is on a quest to make quilts for her granddaughters.  I've become her quilt-coach (enabler, lol!).  First it was a couple of owl quilts, then bears, and now elephants!  

She found a design that she liked, and like any brand new quilter, was totally fearless about the making of it.  "We can do that, can't we?" The pattern uses a two-fabric applique' technique, where the fabrics are layered, and the design is cut out, giving a kind of mosaic/stained glass effect.  

The granddaughters selected colors, and we made a couple of treks to the fabric store where Aunt Marjory is making new friends.  Since the pattern only makes a 24" x 36" quilt and she wanted 60" x 72" lap quilts, we had to make some adjustments.

I borrowed an overhead projector from the local 4-H office, pinned the fabrics to the wall, then projected the pattern over the fabric, adjusted to the size we needed, then and traced it with chalk and handed it off to Uncle Jack, our designated "cutter-outer".

Once I had the background stitched together with a border, I had to perform a little tricky reverse-applique' to get the same look as the original pattern so that it appeared that the design was growing out of the borders.  Then the only task was to lay out the pieces and glue them in place, ready to "Appli-quilt" on the longarm. That 505 spray adhesive works perfectly.

Aunt Marjory wanted to keep her theme of "Owl always love you" for these quilts, so we added a mini owl in the tree (don't know if there are owls in sub-Saharan deserts of Africa, but it works!) and she had me quilt "Remember, owl always love you" in the quilt.  You know, because elephants always remember.

So two more down, three to go, for the granddaughters, that is.  She's thinking about a dragon, unicorn or Pegasus next.  You know how it is ~ once you catch the bug, you just can't quit! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bear in Mind, Owl Always Love You

It's never to late to start quilting.

My sweet Aunt Marjory, now 84 years young, has decided to make a quilt for all nine of her
granddaughters.  Last year, she and Uncle Jack enlisted my help to make two quilts which she named "Owl Always Love You" (<< click to see that story).

It ha been a delightful process.  We've just finished two new quilts with the theme, "Bear In Mind I Love You", because a couple of the granddaughters love bears. I began by sketching a rough design in EQ just for an idea and to estimate fabric requirements.  Aunt Margie gave suggestions and picked colors, then we headed to the fabric shop!

My Aunt just loves looking at all the colors on the bolts and choosing the fabrics, while Uncle Jack heads to the couch with a little gift bag for the man-shopper filled with snacks and an Outdoor Life magazine.  He wakes up just in time to bring out the credit card.

We began by preparing the quilt background.  Aunt Marjory starched all the large pieces of fabric and drew out a skyline of the hillside from her hometown in Archer, Idaho.  Uncle Jack cut it out for her and we used a gluestick to position it on the sky fabric.  Auntie M used the blanket stitch to sew down the hillside.  Her Parkinson's disease causes her hands to shake a bit, but that really doesn't get in the way of putting the fabric through the sewing machine.

I began piecing the bear claw blocks, trimmed out any double layers on the background, squared it up, then we laid out the quilt to decide where all the applique' pieces get to live.  

For this quilt, Uncle Jack cut out all the flowers on my AccuQuilt die cutter (Rose of Sharon die).   Aunt Marjory's technique of "improv applique'" worked well with her hillside, so we did the same with the trees and bushes, making a rough outline with chalk on the fabric and handing it off to Uncle Jack, the designated "cutter-outer".  He does really well cutting left-handed with right-handed scissors... I should get him a new pair.  If the fabrics are starched super-stiff, that helps too.

On this quilt, I decided to "appli-quilt'":  that is, combine the applique' and quilting process at the same time, saving hours at the sewing machine.  So we fused and/or glued the pieces into place (all raw-edge), and I took it to my longarm quilting machine.  We used Cuddlesoft plush fur for the backing so it's a warm-hug-of-a-quilt.  At the last minute, Aunt Marjory decided to include an owl in the tree so she could keep her theme going of "Owl Always Love You".

Then she drew out a little bluebird of happiness to sit in the aspens.

The bear sits in a little patch of flowers.

We used Cuddle plush fur for the backing, and you can see some examples of "appli-quilt" stitches.

"Bear In Mind, Owl Always Love You" 54" x 68" Lap quilt
Now all that's left is the quilt label!  And lucky for me, I found a way to share this story right on the label - with a StoryPatch!  I'll be able to generate a QR code at storypatches.com and attach the link to this blog post.  I can even make another code and attach a recording of Aunt Marjory and Uncle Jack with a message to the granddaughter who receives the quilt!  These little codes can be scanned with a smart phone and bring up any video, picture, recording, blog post, website - anything with a digital signature or URL link!  All you need is a QR reader app for your mobile device:  www.stkr.it.

I've had it in my mind to make a quilt of my own using a "Three Bears" theme, after finding an old tape recording of my Mother and then 6-year-old sister telling a silly adaptation of the story back in 1982.  It's a pretty funny little version of the three bears which makes me giggle, but my Mom has been gone for 17 years now, so it sometimes brings a tear to my eye as well.

To incorporate the Three Bears story in this one-bear quilt, I lined the bear's arms to become pockets, then top-stitched in position after the quilting was complete so they can hold finger puppets of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  We ordered a couple sets of the finger puppets from Amazon.com and they are on their way, so the paper cutouts will do for pictures.

This week, the senior living center where my aunt and uncle reside hosted a little quilt show.  And Aunt Marjory got to experience her first "Sew &Tell".  You know what that feels like!  After all the ooohs and aaahs, I think she's hooked!   Meanwhile, we've already started on the next couple of quilts... elephants!

These quilts are treasures in many ways.  I cherish the time I get to spend creating and laughing with Aunt Marjory and Uncle Jack; they treasure their granddaughters who in turn will treasure the quilts made by their grandparents' hands.

"Bear in Mind, Owl Always Love You" quilt made by  made by Marjory & Jack Wilcock and Deonn Stott 10-2016
I treasure the ability to hear my mother's story-telling voice whenever I wish, with the push of a little button on my iphone.  And someday, maybe my future grandchildren will consider it a treasure too.  That's what quilting is all about.  And by the way, Aunt Marjory, Uncle Jack: Owl always love the both of you!

Want to listen to the three bears story?  Download the www.stkr.it app on your smart phone, scan the code, then push the Play button.  "Goldie, come back!  You didn't finish my porridge!"

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Road to Heber Valley, Utah! "Road Home" Row-Along

Hello, and welcome to my stop along the "Road Home" Row-Along Blog Tour!

I'm happy to join 40 other wonderful quiltmakers and bloggers to give a little glimpse of our "Road Home" and share free patterns on this hop.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The "Road Home" Row-Along Blog Hop

Let's take a virtual trip around the world!

Hey, it has been awhile since I jumped on the bandwagon to participate in a blog hop, and I'm super-excited to be part of this one!  Marian@SeamsToBeSew and Amy@SewIncrediblyCrazy have put together this hop, organizing 40 busy quilters from around the globe who have designed quilt rows that depict their home, homeland, or wherever their heart longs to be.

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