Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Finally, Wednesday's Wanderings Completed

Tonight I will be unveiling my Wednesday's Wanderings quilt for the first time, during my visit to the Moorestown Area Quilters in Mt Laurel, NJ.   
It is finally complete with sashing, borders and binding.
 It was a year long journey, chronicling my wanderings in 2012.
It is a great memory jogger for me about how wonderful the year was.  I am amazed by how busy I was and how many places I visited.
There are only borders to the top and bottom. I thought that was all that was needed.
 I used fusible machine applique to add the words.
In the background, I used chicken scratch stitching that I did by hand. 
 It's a little blurry in the photo.
I wish I could have found the time to repeat a similar documentation of my year for 2013.
Maybe next year.
2012, it was a very good year!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Collaborative Party Quilting

I know I shared some photos yesterday of the day I have been waiting for to share the love.  It was the day where I could show my love for my DIL and how grateful I am that she is carrying my grandson. This will be my first grandchild.  I have been sewing for weeks getting ready for the baby shower and that explains my lack of quilting blog posts.  I feel like I have been vamping, but I didn't want to show too much because I wanted Olivia to have some surprises. 
Now that I have had some time to rest and recoup I can share a few more details. 3 of Olivia's friends, my other DIL and I made the shower together. It was a book theme and we asked for children's books instead of a card.  It was the start of quite a library.   I took responsibility for the party favors and I volunteered to do a "craft" instead of playing baby shower games. 
Can you tell that games are not my thing?
Party favors using Mother Goose themed fabric made with a little help from my friends
The craft - I wanted to make a collaborative quilt with everyone's participation for the new baby. This meant that all the guests were to create a block and then sign it.  So I had to come up with a theme.  Several danced through my brain.  Olivia's sister actually came up with the one I used - FISH!  My son loves to fish and had many fish tanks growing up. 
This would acknowledge his presence in the process!
I designed fish body parts that were interchangeable so each fish would be unique. 

 Think Mr. Potato Head.
I prepped a bunch of different fabric to be fusible, cut them out, removed the release paper and organized them by body type.
I made a sample and  a direction list for the guests to follow.  I wanted it to be fun, friendly and fool-proof. A few of the women were my quilting friends and they were great helpers.   It turned out that it was not that hard to get everyone to participate and I heard very little whining.
 Creativity was in the air.  
I had labels to be filled out for each block.  I wanted the signature to stand out instead of blending into the background. Although I have used Pigma pens for years, I think they are a little hard for non-quilters to use for writing on fabric.  There just isn't a good flow.  So I did some experimentation, which included a trip through the washing machine and dryer and settled on using Gel pens.  Heat setting with a dry iron made them permanent.  The writing flows smoothly and they come in a bunch of colors.
I provided some fabric for practicing and had lots of extra labels for any mistakes.  I left the release paper on for stability while writing.

As the blocks went up on my design wall, excitement grew.  Each fish was cuter than the next. 

 And I even saw some of the women rearranging the blocks. That made me feel good.
And most importantly, the mother to be just loved it
and created her own block with her hubby, my son. 
I can't wait to start blanket stitching these fishy blocks. I have 2 months to finish before the arrival of Baby Lynch and machine applique is one of my favorite things to do. It's certainly  a lot more fun than playing baby shower games.
In the next few days, I'll share some of my gifts that I made, with some tutorials. 
 Then I'll get back to my quilts.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Baby Shower

Here's a quick overview of today's baby shower for my DIL, Olivia.  I wanted to share some photos, but am pretty exhausted after spending 4 weeks working up to this day. I'll share more photos as the days go by, but suffice it to say that the weather co-operated and my DIL that is usually the one doing for others, was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from her friends, our family and my friends.
You deserve it!! 

And Baby Makes Three

We were so lucky that it was a beautiful day.

Dining "al fresco"

Milk and cookies!

Opening gifts.  Thank you everyone.

Drinks with a label

Loren, ME, Olivia
Seasonal bibs, by Auntie Hattie!
Tag pillow from Kelly
 I didn't get a photo of all the handmade gifts, but there were others,
including knitted hats and even booties.  I overheard one of  Olivia's friends saying that she wished her Mom had quilters as friends!  That made me giggle to myself.
And Bailey chooses June to cuddle with.

Exhaustion prevails.  Tomorrow I will share more.
Good night.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Holland, From The Seat of My Bike

The Quilt Show received so much positive feedback about their armchair travel series last year, they decided to do it again this summer. During a casual conversation, upon finding out that I had just done a Bike & Barge trip, one of the producers asked me if I had taken any photos.  Photos??? How about 575 photos? And who's trip did they decide to start the series with???
MOI! (says Miss Piggy)
Click on the link at the bottom of the photo
 and see Holland from the seat of my bicycle, via The Quilt Show blog.
I would highly recommend it.