Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Gifts Quilt

Today I'm back and I'm sharing a quilt that was a long time in the finishing....

I made the top as a shop sample last year. I didn't have it back until after Christmas, so there wasn't a big rush in finishing it.   I had it quilted over the summer and the it sat and sat. And sat and waited to be bound.

And finally, when the snow came an it was December and we still had no other Christmas decorations up, I decided it was time to just get it done. Now we can theoretically snuggle under it and watch all the Christmas movies. (Which we always say we will do, but never really do).

I'm not super into vintage anything, but for some reason I loooooved both the Cosmo Cricket line and the backing. And the Mr. at my house loooooooves anything Christmas, so it's already one of his favorites.


Fabric: The top is entirely from Cosmo Cricket's "Dear Mr. Claus" 2012 Christmas line. (Well, except the binding which is a Moda Bella Solids White).
            The backing is some awesome flannel that has the appearance of being pieced and has a bunch of gorgeous vintage images all meshed together. (Sorry, I don't know the manufacturer or designer of it).

Pattern:  It is from the free pattern Moda released with the line. I'm not a big pattern follower, so this doesn't really look like much of what I have done recently. But I love it anyway.

Size: 58" x 71"

Quilted: Snowflakes Motif (in cream on the top and a sage-y green on the back)

Friday, September 13, 2013

His and Hers. Quilts for my Grandad and Nana

So last spring when I was visiting my mom, we got into a sewing frenzy and had so much fun digging through her stash! She has a bit of everything. From girly to masculine, primitive to modern, bright to lower contrast (or volume for the trendy types). You could seriously make a quilt for just about anyone with her fabrics and I'm blessed to have access to it.

While stash diving, I was so inspired by two very different sets of fabric.

One looked like a life spent with horses. There were denim-y blues, tans and creams and was filled with designs that reminded me of barb wire fences, the American flag's stars, and good old pearl snap shirts with Wranglers or Levis (your choice).

One set was gorgeous light blues and buttery yellows and several shades of the prettiest pinks. It had flowers of many sizes and pin dots and stripes.

These fabrics, to me, represented two very important people: my Nana and my Grandad. Because they are married to each other (!) and have been for over 70 years (what an amazing legacy is that?), we used the same basic design to represent the sameness that comes from being a couple. But we wanted to acknowledge that they are still individuals with their own preferences and personalities, so the fabrics and the quilting are different.

His is quilted with cowboy motifs of horses and stars and guns.

Hers is quilted with gorgeous roses.  

I delivered these while I was home visiting a few weeks back, as early birthday presents, so hopefully they've both opened them already!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Quilt For Comfort

Last month, I called my Mom, like I do almost every morning. I just called to check in and say hi and see what she had going on that day. Only, that morning, when she answered, she said she would need to call back later, because she was at the hospital with some very good family friends.

When she called back, she told me that our good friend was hospitalized. That he had been re-diagnosed with cancer and that he wasn't well enough that day for his second treatment of his second round of chemo.

I was driving when she called and immediately knew I wanted to make him a quilt that he could take to his chemotherapy treatments, so he wouldn't get cold. I stopped by a local fabric shop, and after sending a few photos to my mom, I purchased a few manly FQs and headed home with a plan. I combined the fabrics with some from my stash and settled on a very simple, but bright and cheery squares quilt.

I cut it the same day. Pieced it the following and started tying it soon after that.  I pieced some long white panels for the backing, so that their Sunday School class could write encouraging messages and prayers and notes to him on the back.  Less than a week after my mom told me about our friend's cancer, the quilt was tied, bound and fedex-ed back home.

The same evening that the quilt began its journey home, our friend went to his heavenly home, too.

I was heartbroken when I found out, but really hoped in my heart that it would bring his family some comfort. I honestly wasn't sure if it would be hurtful or helpful in their time of grief, but I was still glad I made it and that it was on its way to my Mom.

The quilt arrived the day before his funeral. She called his wife to let her know about it and his wife was so touched by it that she said she wanted it to be with the other things he loved on the alter during his service. {I'm completely choked up writing this}.  They displayed it during the service on Friday and on Sunday their Sunday School class started writing notes to and about him in those large signature panels.

Although this quilt won't bring our friend comfort and warmth during chemotherapy, I pray that it does bring comfort and joy about him and his amazing life to the heart of his wife.


Started and finished: May 2013

8 1/2" finished squares, tied with a navy pearl cotton thread.

Fabrics: Mostly a combination of Simply Color by V and Co., Simple Marks Summer by Malka Dombrowsky, and Fresh by Wyndham, but with a few prints from Stof, too, I believe.

Backing: Fresh by Wyndham with solid white and other 8 1/2" finished squares.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Humanity Contained" A Quilt for Me!

Shortly after QuiltCon I got on a sewing spree and made a ton of (okay, like 5) quilt tops all using the same method.

At that time, I didn't know that deconstructed 9-patch blocks existed, but I sewed a bunch of charm squares together and cut them apart ever other row and then unpicked seams going the other direction and created what I now know is called a deconstructed 9-patch block. After the first top, when I used the unpicking method, I figured out that I could  actually just sew 9-patch blocks together and just cut those apart. I had so much fun doing it that I kept making more of them. And I just love them!

But I actually have only completely finished one of the tops (thus, far) and here it is:

One of the tops (that isn't finished yet) was made with the Asbury prints by Thomas Knauer. I started calling it Joy Contained, because the 9-patch blocks were all contained between the sashings and borders, but the colors are so dang pretty and joyful, that it just fit.

In this version, the bright joyful prints from Comma, like the asterisks and atoms and polka dots in bright yellow and orange and green, reminded me of everything good and "bright" (as in smart) and thoughtful about humans... But the greys and blacks, coupled with the blacks I used in sashing and border, darkened the whole quilt and the News print, reminded me of socialism  and communism  and Orwell's1984 and a world where everything is numbered and humanity is controlled by the government. So, combining all of those thoughts, I jokingly started referring to this version of my (not-so-clever) deconstructed 9-patch as Humanity Contained.  And now, that is its name.

Also, the name inspired use of the old-school jail-like-black-and-white-stripe on the back and the news print as a portion of the binding... like a bar code for the quilt so it can be accounted for.

I think my quilt guild thought I was crazy when I presented it and explained all of this at Show and Tell, but everything reminds me of something else so I shared anyway.


     Block fabric and middle border: Comma Layer Cake
     Sashing and first black border: An old black strip from Debbie Mumm
     Outer border: An old Jinny Beyer print
     Binding: Moda Bella Solid in Black and Comma News in White
     Backing: Something cool from my mom's stash mixed with a white and black stripe that resembles a jail print and Comma News in Black.

Blocks: Deconstructed 9-Patch with Sashing

Started: March 2013
Finished: May 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Un-quilting (mostly)

Linking up again with Freshly Pieced.

 So I didn't make as much progress on as many WIPs last week as I wanted to, but I did successfully turn one WIP into a Finish!! It is the cutest little bright baby boy quilt

I also started the quilting on this little pretty, but am now, unfortunately, in the process of ripping it out.

The backing puckered! So thanks to the advice of IG and my mom, I'm going to re-baste it and try again. I thought I had it as taught as I needed, but apparently not.  See the damage:

Yikes! At least I can rip it out while sitting on the couch watching old One Tree Hill episodes.
Hopefully I'll have more progress on my x and plus blocks by next week! And maybe have another finish or brand new WIP to report as well.

Thanks for checking in! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Any Way You Go :: A Little Man Baby Quilt for Jude

So in the vein of sewing baby quilts for old roommates, I bring you a new baby quilt story: version 3.

This one is for a former roomie who is a bright and wonderful woman! She is full of life and joy and I totally missed her wedding last May (and neglected to send a gift, too). Tacky me.  I know.  I'm totally embarrassed about that, but I really want to make it up to her.... so I wanted to sew a special quilt for her first baby, a little boy who should be here on or before next Saturday.

I'm so pleased that I actually finished this before he arrived. Now, I just hope it gets TO him, via the USPS, before he is born.  I started it Super Bowl Sunday. I had the top pieced the next morning. Had it basted and was quilting it the next Tuesday. I attempted FMQ for the first time (on a real quilt on it). My stippling was decent. My long loops were OK, too. But I got stumped after that, so the top sat in my closet, haunting me when I dug in my stash, for the next four weeks. Finally, a week or so ago, I pulled it out, ripped out the old quilting, and started quilting it from the back, simply following the chevron lines.

It is not perfect. Not even close. But I absolutely love it and how bright it turned out.  I really hope my friend and her first little one love it, too.


Pattern: Quick Triangles Baby Quilt Tutorial from Lindsay Sews (this is an awesome tutorial, with a TON of layout options. Not too mention that it is super speedy because the blocks are large.

Fabrics: A collection of bright prints from my stash with a large yellow and white chevron print for the back.

Quilting: By me, straight lines following the chevron backing.

Finished: April 13, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday: My first WIP link up

So for the first time, I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

I have a few too many projects going right now, so I'm making myself finish several before I start any more (not counting the x and plus quilt I started today by making my very first block).

This is a little mini quilt top that I need to quilt and bind and at the bottom of it is a picture of my first x and plus block. Loved making that block, so it is no wonder that it is such a big trend on Instagram and Flickr.

This baby quilt needs nine more quilting lines. My goal is to finish it tomorrow, because that mama will be induced a week from Friday. I am planning to bind it by machine (first timer here) and write the label. These are big steps for the sake of speed. I've only ever hand bound (hello, good movie watching time and I love handwork) and hand embroidered labels (because I don't like the look of written labels). But for the sake of expediency and because this quilt will not be an heirloom by any means, I'm just gonna forsake my normal routine and get a move on. #finishit2013 right?

Oh, and this is actually the back that you can see. I'll post a picture of the top when I get finish! 
The next WIP is a way late baby quilt that needs to be quilted. This is a terrible picture of the top (colors are off) but I'm super excited about this one because my friend has no idea that it is coming and she waited a REALLY long time and through a very hard journey to get her sweet baby boy.  She did her nursery in a vintage circus theme, so I think Petite Odile by French General will compliment the little Big Top Nursery really well.

The color is much better in this picture below. It also shows the border detail that you can't see above.

I've got a few more projects going on, and I actually have some tops at the quilter, too, because the Lord knows I just can't do it all. Maybe by Friday I'll have some finishes and then I can show up here again next week with all new WIPs. (Except the x and plus blocks will not be finished or even close).

Have a great, and productive, week!


Oh, and p.s. you can follow me on bloglovin' now!

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Baby Quilt: "Annie's Cheer"

Last summer I made a quilt for the 1st birthday of a daughter of one of my absolute favorite friends. I still wasn't quilting much when little Annie was born, but I was a year later, so I figured that was as good of an opportunity as any to make a quilt.

Annie's mom is one of the brightest and cheeriest people I know. She is a real joy to be around and I laugh more with her than with almost anyone else. I wanted to represent Annie's mom, Kelley, in the quilt for her precious girl, so I knew I need rich girly colors and a bright white to make them pop!

This is the quilt that I call: Annie's Cheer!


It turned out even better than I hoped that it would. It really reminded me of Kelley and her sweet family, so I hope little Annie treasures it for years. Also, my husband loved this quilt and pattern, so maybe I'll use it again someday if he ever has  a little girl. (*wink, wink*)

Fabric: All of the squares are Boutique by Chez Moi  which I had in my stash and I thought were absolutely perfect. The white was a just a bright white solid.

Pattern: "All Framed Up"  from the Moda Bake Shop and only made a few slight variations.

Backing: I backed it in the green and white polka dot from Bonnie and Camille's line "Vintage Modern"

Binding: I used a bubble gum pink solid.

Quilting: One of my favorite LQShops long armed it for me in a loopy pattern white a pretty pink thread.

Completed: July 2012 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tag-a-long with bloglovin'!

 <a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

So by now you have probably heard that Google Reader is shutting down and therefore, you won't be able to follow my blog that way.

The good news is there are other options!

One is bloglovin and you can follow me by clicking on the little bloglovin' followers button on the side of the page.... then you will be re-directed to bloglovin' and can either sign up or just sign up to follow.


You can tag-a-long by email  by entering it into the little widget on the side that is under the title "Tag-a-long by Email" Then latest words from Sage Sews will appear in your inbox shortly after I post.

Your choice! And both are really a lot easier than I realized! So don't be intimidated... Just SIGN UP!


Monday, March 11, 2013

QuiltCon 2013: Denyse Schmidt Lecture and Quilts

Well, I'm finally back with another QuiltCon 2013 post. I promised to show photos of her quilts and a few tidbits from her lecture, so without further ado...
my favorite quilts from the Denyse Schmidt exhibit at QuiltCon.

The Straight and Narrow #2.
Cotton, linen. 2011. Courtesy Ralph Pucci International.

(The Straight and Narrow #2, detail of fabrics and quilting)


4 Crosses, steel.
Cotton, designed 2008, produced 2013.


Glasshouse Shelves.
 Cotton. Designed 2008, produced 2013.


Roots, ginger. 
Cotton. 1998. Collection of Wendy Marquardt.


Hope as the Anchor of the Soul #2.
Mount Lebanon Series New.
New and vintage cotton and linen. 2010. Collection of Greg Couch.


String Theory, red, from the Denyse Schmidt for Sarita Handa Collection.
Cotton, 2005.


Pretty Square, fog, from the Denyse Schmidt for Sarita Handa Collection. 
Cotton, 2004-2005.


Courthouse Steps. 
Cotton, 2009. 

Hope you enjoyed seeing these.
If you have a chance to see them in person, go! They are wonderful.

And if you can ever listen to Denyse speak, go! She's wonderful and hilarious.
Some highlights from her lecture:

She began her quilting journey when she moved to a new place (New Jersey I believe) to live with a boyfriend and needed to make friends. 

She took a stone carving class and for one assignment she carved the saying:
"My Mother Said Nothing Is Ever Written In Stone."

She created a font for text and showed us pictures of it being used on the backs of semi trailers (which she loves to take pictures of and look at because they are of similar size to quilts). One of those trailers was for a fish company with the slogan: Meat Without Feet!

Lastly, she said she designs and plans quilts for beds. So every quilt is designed to look good when draped over a bed. 


Friday, March 1, 2013

QuiltCon 2013: Lectures

While we were at QuiltCon, we attended a number of lectures.
Some of the highlights were:

Yoshiko Jinzenji was the first lecture we went to and Wow! Yoshiko's quilts are stunning in person and she is adorable. She spoke very quickly and showed us so much about her process and many of her quilts. To say they are a work of art is putting it lightly.

Angela Walters: was a crowd favorite for good reason. She was full of jokes and information about how she quilts and why she got started. It was really fun to hear her talk about blending thread, getting bored at the machine, and how her husband's grandfather got her started sewing and quilting.

Here is some of her free motion quilting up close. No picture of her because she moved around a lot and all of them are very blurry! 

David Butler, the designer of Parson Gray, was probably my favorite of all the lectures, which is saying a LOT considering the all-star line up. One of the main things he said that struck me was about how to create a "feeling" in a photograph. He said "exaggerate so it isn't dull. Add 20% to everything you shoot."  He also said "It will always have your voice on it if it is something you love.

I didn't get any good pictures while David was talking, because we were too far back, BUT I did get a picture with him afterwards. Since I love both of his fabric lines, I was thrilled!

Amy Butler  showed her color design process. It was fascinating to see how she takes inspiration from 100s of photographs, and uses paint chips and markers to come up with several different color palettes for her fabric lines.

Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr showed a ton of slides of their quilts. They talked about how hard it has been for them to feel recognized as "quilters" in a world that is only starting to embrace modern quilting. Their story was interesting and their quilts, as expected, were wonderful.

This is a blurry picture, but they were very cute with each other. Unfortunately, it is all I've got. 

Denyse Schmidt was the keynote speaker. She was wonderful and I'll be back tomorrow with a post about some of those details! So check back in.