Thiel Quilting Bee – Fabrics

It’s here! It’s here! The family quilt bee fabric is here and It. Is. GORGEOUS!

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Chroma – A Handcrafted Collection, by Alison Glass, for Andover Fabrics, Inc.

The survey results returned with two categories in a tie for most votes: bright colors on a white background, and, one collection that we all work from. I was able to achieve both with Chroma.

My cousin and I divided up a fat quarter bundle amongst our Bee of eight. We took our time to curate really attractive groupings, with each person receiving 3 to 4 colors. We’ll be combining these fabrics with a background of Kona white solid.

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Mom’s fabric grouping and notes (in case she needs to buy more)

The next step is to pick out a block to sew. I’m thinking of something that would balance a lot of white with the colors, so I’m sure to have enough Chroma for all eight blocks. I also want the balance to ensure that the pretty colors POP! Jacob’s Ladder, Ohio Star, Variable Star – all ideas rolling in my head.

What block would you suggest!?

 

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Welcome to my Haunted Gala

Hey friends! I just realized that my Haunted Gala quilt needs a spot on this blog. It was my second quilt, and it took my seven months of 2016 to complete. I’ve been using it all year round. I just love it! The fabrics are mainly Haunted Gala by Eric & Julie Comstock.

Sarah Thomas did the long-arm quilting. I requested a spider web design, and she did it in GLOW IN THE DARK thread. It is so, so, cool. Her dog thinks it’s cool, too. Oh goodness, how we laughed about this picture!! ❤

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But really, let’s get to the good stuff. Here is a close up of the quilting. The thread is Superior Threads NiteLite in pastel green. Spooktacular!

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I bound the quilt in lengths of Candelabra fabric. It’s called Candy Stripe, and it’s by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.

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My son. He loves the quilt, too.

A Quilting Bee For The Whole Family

Imagine coming upon the realization that you have a family of quilters. That happened to me at this summer’s family reunion. My Mother, three Aunts, my cousin Jess, some other cousins wanting to get into the art, plus me. All quilting in our own homes. Isn’t that wonderful?

I talked to Jess that night. We agreed that it would be worth every bit of effort to organize a Family Quilt Bee.

I sent an invitation to all of our family members ~ easy, the email addresses were already in the reunion emails ~ and gave two weeks for responses. I proposed that we make 12″ blocks, trade them amongst the participants, and in the end, each would have what it takes to piece a family made sampler.

There was a super positive reply to the idea. We are eight participants strong, and spread out across three different states between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

To organize details, I turned to Survey Monkey, a free online data collector, and asked my family the following questions:

How many finished 12″ blocks would you like to make?

Do you want the Bee to last six or twelve months?

Which of the following categories do you want the themes to fall in: red white & blue; brightly saturated colors on white background; black and white with one pop of color, or; one designer collection of fabric?

Do you need help picking out a block pattern?

Most of the data has been collected this week. I’ll be sharing the results amongst the family anytime now.

Perhaps the best thing that will come of this – We all have a reason to stay in touch throughout the year. Something positive and cheerful.

Do you have a family of quilters? Find out, and, if you do, I encourage you to organize something similar, so you too, can end up with your own heirloom pieces.

Nursery Room Wall Panel

I saw this book panel for sale and the graphics really appealed to me. Anything that reminds me of my childhood makes me weak in the wallet. I am grateful that a lot of things I had as a kid were hand me downs, so, my tastes actually include a generation before me. Check it out.

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Vintage inspired, yet timeless, right? As cute as it is, turning the panel into a book worried me, because I knew we’d hardly get to look at it. I stared at it in my studio for months, before it hit me – I just liked looking at it. Why not make it so this adorableness can be admired all the time? Thus gave way to the idea to create a wall hanging for a nursery and child’s bedroom, and also, since my kid is getting kind of big, to put it up for sale.

I trimmed the sections, and pieced them back together, omitting the blue book “binding” area. This netted ten rectangles. I decided on a pattern of two by five, in alphabetical order, of course.

To maximize potential, to give babies and adults something to really look at, I chose to challenge my creativity by adding in additional fabrics. What I ended up with is sashing set in a rainbow of coordinating colors. My “vintage rainbow.”  Some of the sashing is done in Art Gallery Fabric denim solids, and the others are from Connecting Threads quilters candy. Here’s the top sheet.

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I lined the piece with batting and made the backside a from a length of {golden yellow and white} chevron pattern. Quilting was all done on my Singer with a walking foot. I really took my time with the quilting. This was an element that I knew families will enjoy looking at, a part of the piece that would set the stage for these ABCs. I won’t lie, I had advice from an experienced friend, and she was right on with her suggestions.

Hand bound in Art Gallery denim, Wicked Sky, the finished piece measures 15″ across and 55″ down. I am very happy with this one. If no one buys it from me, I will be secretly thrilled!

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Sewing for the play kitchen

The folks at Hawthorne Threads send out the nicest weekly emails. I enjoy reading them. Always chock full of great fabric releases, contests, as well as pattern and tutorial links. At the end of 2016, they shared this tutorial for a child’s reversible apron. I knew I had to make it to give to my niece for her third birthday gift, as well as some matching potholders.

For the play kitchen potholders, I sized them to fit just larger than a toddler’s mitten, which turned out to be about 5.5″ square. They are lined with both cotton batting and Insul-Bright, making them really heat protective. They are oh, so, cute. Being functional is nice, I thought, because as she gets older, they might be useful. Perhaps as coasters, or trivets…

In the meantime, I think sewing these up is a perfect addition to any play kitchen.

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Downton Abbey and a long December.

Things have changed a lot since my last post. My beloved grandmother, we called her Goggi, died a few days shy of Thanksgiving. She got to see her log cabin quilt, though. She liked it. I watched her hand touching over the quilting. My plan was to take a photo of her with it; That never happened. The family let me keep it after she passed away, and I think I will always look at it and be like, “I’m sooo glad she actually got to see it finished.”

In her final days and the weeks thereafter, I was on a creative slum. I mean, I didn’t want to make anything. Not even dinner. Christmas was fast approaching and everything I saw reminded me of childhood, eventually taking my thoughts to Goggi. I can’t even recall what I made for Thanksgiving. Sandwiches? Pfft. At least we ate. Right?

Anyways, at this time, a coworker shared with me that World Market was selling Downton Abbey food items. My Mom is a big fan of that show (I am, too), and let’s face it, her Mom had just died, so, I wanted to cheer her up, big time. I bought the items at World Market: Seville Orange Marmelade, Butler’s Pantry Blend tea. Fun cocktail napkins that quote Lady Mary saying, “Drinks before dinner? Wait ’till Carson catches you.” My dear friend Nicole shared with me some of her Andover Fabrics prints from their Downton Abbey Christmas collection, and the most beautiful sturdy fabric basket came to be. Mom loved it!

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I modified the Lillyella sturdy fabric basket pattern, shortening the sides to let those coordinating goodies be seen. The kraft paper stuffing was really nice. It didn’t make a lot of dust, which, with other filler options, was a concern of mine. I think themed baskets are a total win. Find some themed items, find coordinating fabric, and BOOM = perfect gift.

This project was not easy for me. Emotionally, I was all over the place. In the end though, my desire to cheer up my Mom overcame the funk of all things crafty reminding me of Goggi, and ultimately, it got me back in my game.

A long work in progress.

When I was first learning to quilt, the one person I could not wait to talk about it with was my grandma; We call her Goggi. In our family she is, you could say, the Crafty Matriarch. So much so, that years ago, I, to her delight, named my work after her: Lakardia!

I remember that I was on the phone with Goggi, and she was so happy that I was getting into quilting. Perhaps impressed, even. She told me about two matching log cabin quilt tops she made years ago. For whatever reason, I thought she said it was twenty years ago. Now my family is telling me that it was over thirty years ago! That is one long WIP! One quilt was at her apartment, partly completed with evenly scattered knots instead of quilting. The other was with my Aunt. We agreed that it would be great if I could complete this other quilt top.

Spring and summer went by. Goggi’s health was not good, and getting worse. In fact, it got so bad that she was hospitalized, and after the hospital, sent to live in a nursing home. It was during the transition from hospital to nursing home that my Aunt brought the quilt to me. The fabric was shoved into a plastic grocery bag. I didn’t ask anyone how long it had been like this, or where it had been stored. The cotton was stiff, and it oh wow – did it stink! I opened it up and aired it out on my front deck. This is the picture I took:

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Despite the added shadows cast by the setting sun, you can still see there were some very deep wrinkles. It was so stiff and stinky, I was pulling it open, wondering if it was salvageable. So, into the washing machine it went. There was a quilt backing in there as well. It was an equal mess.

The quilt top had some damage, probably rot from the neglect. I needed to find some matching fabric for one of the repairs. After asking friends, looking online, I found what I needed in an old placemat from the thrift store.

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I cut a piece of fabric, glue basted it in, and then secured it all with a slip stitch. Just the tiniest sliver, I doubt anyone will ever see it. repair

The backing fabric was in awful shape, though. It was not going to be possible to make it the quilt’s backside. It would however, be possible to make it into binding. For the backing, I bought a length of 110″ wide muslin. After ironing it all, I packed it up and shipped it off to a long arm quilter – someone I had already been working with – that I knew would give Goggi’s quilt the loving attention it deserved – Sarah Thomas of Sariditty Handmade. Sarah lives in another state, but thanks to USPS Priority Mail, that was no problem at all!

Sarah and I, through a fun flurry of text messages, chose a pale blue 50wt. Aurafil thread (no. 2715), and, using her Handi Quilter, she worked a continuous line, edge to edge pattern called Apple Slices.

These are some of the pictures Sariditty sent to me during the process. The backing, the front, and a close up, respectively:

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Isn’t the quilting marvelous!? I gasped when I unpacked it. Now, I could have quilted it myself, for free, however, I felt my Goggi deserved the beauty of long arm quilting. It was worth every penny. My quilting would have just been straight(ish) lines, and kind of boring, really.

In the time the quilt was at Sariditty, I had turned the original backing fabric into sashing, so that as soon as I got everything together at home, I could begin to trim and bind. I don’t know how other people trim, but I crawl around on the floor on my hands and knees. Then I machine sewed the binding to the front, and slip stitched it around to the back. Then I washed and dried it for a nice (clean) quilted look.

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All in all, the project only took about one month. That means Goggi has been at the nursing home for a whole month now! I brought her the completed quilt this past weekend, and took a few pictures on my way inside. Look at what a bright contrast it is to the institutional look of the place she unfortunately feels is  The Snake Pit.

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I tried so hard to keep it off the ground! I’m just not tall enough, even when standing up a couple of stairs. My son was hiding behind there with me, giggling, while my mom snapped the picture.

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I will always be so happy and proud that I was able to help her see this decades old work in progess to completion. My hope is that she will use it at her new home, and that it will make her happy. My heart is full knowing that she lived to see her work at it’s fullest potential. It turned out prettier than I thought it could be. I love it!

Ashtabula County, Ohio Barn Quilts

Something really cool is going on in Ashtabula County. For those of you unfamiliar, it is the northeasternmost county in the state of Ohio. For years I’ve heard folks refer to it is Ohio’s wine country, but maybe it’s now our barn quilt country!

I photographed the big block below on my vacation last week. (My husband was kind enough to pull the truck over so I could grab the shot!) I didn’t know until now how many others there are out there. Over 70!  A scavenger hunt is now on my list of exciting things to do next summer. Read more about the quilt trail here. So cool! Right!? I bet each property owner is so, so proud to take part in this project.

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Disappearing Nine Patch with Sashing

aka – My Second Quilt

The first quilt I made was such a great experience. As a result of how fun it was to make, my mom and I agreed back in early spring to each embark on our own Halloween quilt. I mean, six months should be enough time, right?

We each found a fabric line and bought a combination of yards, half yards, and charm packs. I chose the Haunted Gala fabric by Eric & Julie Comstock for Moda Fabrics. I also included some Eerie Foggy Night Halloween Reaper, also a Moda fabric.

Mom and I had yet to decide on a pattern, but when my pal Nicole, aka Lillyella, shared with me her wonderful tutorial, we knew that was the way to go. It’s a disappearing nine patch, however her tutorial explains how to add in sashing. Sashing!? What’s sashing? It is evenly cut strips of (in this case, solid) fabric that calms the whole thing down, and, bonus: it also enlarges the piece. Sold!

It’s almost July and I am not even halfway done. So, whether or not six months was enough time…that is a bit of a mystery!

Check out Nicole’s tutorial here.

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first block in my quilt, April 2016

Hello, World. Nice to meet you.

My name is Kate, and I find myself here after a series of teeny, tiny baby steps.

Literally.

I’ve been creative as far back as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son that I also began to grow what would eventually become Lakardia. I started out by making custom ordered friendship bracelets. People loved them, bought them, and they were pretty with all the shiny metal hardware and charms I’d tack on. Knotting bracelets was an enjoyable craft during my pregnancy. However, it was hilariously profitless. I actually spent more money than I made. I doubt if I ever try to sell anything hand crafted again.

After about a year, when having a baby became somewhat less demanding, I picked up the embroidery thread again, this time, sewing free form designs into little denim jackets for my tiny son and our toddler friends. The jackets were darling. I added patches, fabric, paint, buttons. Then, when I had made everyone I could think of a jacket, I thought it was time to actually sew something! Calico Cupboard was offering a beginner’s course in hand piecing. An image above is of the quilt I made from start to finish for my son. A giant feat, as I wasn’t even sure how to load a bobbin into the machine I had been given years prior. I guess you could say I caught the bug, because I haven’t stopped quilting since. It is about five months later and I’m off in full stride. Maybe even getting ahead of myself.

To date, I have been sharing my projects on social media, and a blog seemed the next appropriate step in my path. Working my way toward a website, too, but for now http://www.lakardia.com will take you to Facebook and I hope you’ll check in on me from time to time.

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Cleveland Browns themed set, 2013

Nature Jacket

Hand stitched vine detail to premade Monkey patch, 2016