MAKING QUILTS FROM THE IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD

Have you ever had an idea for a quilt that was so totally different than what you see normally in the quilt world? The idea just rattles around in your head and you can’t get away from it? But you think it is embarrassing to even consider something so different from “normal” quilts. Stop thinking that. Quilting should be fun, and making quilts from the ideas in your head can be so satisfying.

I am going to share three very different quilts from my quilt scrapbooks because I want you to make the quilts that make you happy. We are all unique creations, and it should not be surprising that we have ideas for unique quilts.

Before we start, put away the angering, sad, and depressing thoughts about the current events in our country. We are taking a break and just going to have fun for a few minutes.

Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Queen’s Crown #1 Mini Quilt

Making quilts from the ideas in your head - Queen's Crown #1

See here about this fun, hand quilted mini quilt that is embellished with beads.

Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Welsh Beauty Whole Cloth Quilt

When I mentioned making this whole cloth quilt to a few ladies in the local quilt guild, they gave me either blank looks or were verbally negative. The kindest comment asked me why I would “want to quilt silk fabric, and use itchy wool batting? And something about extremely sore fingers. I continued on with my plan for this beautiful quilt.

MAKING QUILTS FROM THE IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD - WELSH BEAUTY WHOLE CLOTH QUILT

Welsh Beauty is posted on my old blog here, see for details.

Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Maxine Strikes Again (reversible quilt)

My mom-in-law really, really likes Maxine (you know, the really sarcastic old woman comic strip). When I found both the Christmas and regular fabric versions, I had the wild idea to make a reversible quilt.

MAKING QUILTS FROM THE IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD

This is probably pretty tame compared to my “normal” outside the box quilt ideas, but it was fun. Coordinating fabrics from my stash. A little math to make them the right size.

Reverse side of the Maxine Strikes Again quilt.
Here is more info about this quilt.

The Christmas side I made 2″ bigger all the way around than the regular print side. This was so I could do self-binding.

advice to you

Go ahead and make quilts from the ideas in your head. If you have an idea for a quilt, follow your heart and mind, and just make it. So what if the quilt is not how you imagined it. If it truly is not what you want when it is done, gift it to someone else in your family or community.

But it may turn out better than you ever thought. Just think what a satisfying finished quilt you would have missed if you had not made it. Follow your ideas.

Enjoy your quilting journey.

Clip Art - make today amazing

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS (hand quilted)

GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS – The last time grandma and I went fabric shopping together, she told me that I didn’t have to buy scraps (I was buying 1/4 yd. pieces of Christmas fabric) because she had plenty and would be glad to share.

"Grandma Came For Christmas" hanging on a fence.
Photo taken in 1998 before the county fair.

I pieced the center 16 Log Cabin blocks in 1988 while living in West Germany. The red center block is 2.5″ and the logs are 1.5″ in width when cut. I used green and red scraps with muslin. I put them away because I wasn’t sure what to actually make with them.

At some point, I added two borders around the center blocks, with the red border being 3″ cut and the cream muslin border being 4.5″ cut.

On one of my trips back home, Grandma and I went fabric shopping – many of those 1/4 yard pieces got put into the piano key border which is 10″ wide (cut). The final outside border was from Grandma’s fabric collection and is 6.5″ cut.

I would piece on it, then put it away for several years (1988 – 1997). Grandma never saw the completed top or quilt since she died in 1996. I hand quilted this in 1997. The binding is also hand finished.

Finished size is 80″ x 80″.

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - the hand quilting.
Some of the hand quilting. Location was front of SCPL, Sullivan, IN

In 1998 this quilt got a blue ribbon at the county fair. Here are the comments from the judges:

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - judges comments.

Grandma was a huge part of my life growing up. She encouraged me to quilt and be anything I wanted. She insisted on good grades in school and finishing high school because she only was able to complete up through 10th grade. I miss her still. Her wisdom and compassion are something that are missing in our current world.

“Grandma Came for Christmas” is brought out every year at Christmas to be displayed, cuddled in, and talked about. It is a great way to remember a super important person in my life.

Quilters, your quilts can have a story or be in memory of some important person in your life. Quilts can have funny or sad stories. Don’t forget to pass the stories on with the quilts.

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - the colors are still as bring in 2019 as in 1998.
The colors are still as bright in Dec. 2019 as they were in 1998. Location of photo was at front of SCPL, Sullivan, IN

Another log cabin quilt I made:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/purple-without-apology-log-cabin.html

More Christmas quilts I made:

https://indianaquilter40.com/a-road-trip-and-beautiful-quilts

QUEEN ANNE’S STAR WHOLE CLOTH QUILT (hand quilted)

I love to hand quilt. However, but I am choosy about which ones I spend the time on to hand quilt. I found the pre-marked top and had to quilt it knowing this quilt, Queen Anne’s Star Whole Cloth quilt, would be worth the many hours to complete.

Blue hand quilted Queen Anne's Star Whole Cloth quilt.

The finished size is 92″ x 100″.

Queen Anne’s Star Whole Cloth quilt has a medium blue linen top, wool batting, and the pre-printed muslin back. I put the pre-marked side up in the quilt frame so I can see the design to do the hand quilting. This one only has 5 spools of quilting thread in it, unlike the Welsh Beauty (https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2009/09/welsh-beauty-wholecloth-quilt.html) which had 7+.

Package label for Queen Anne Star whole cloth quilt.
Packaging with pre-printed top

I used Hobbs wool batting (http://www.hobbsbatting.com/products/hobbs-tuscany-batting/hobbs-tuscany-100-wool-batting/ ) for this quilt and it was so easy to stitch. This batting still has the lanolin in it, and even with the extra weight of the linen it quilted so easy.

Binding is the same blue linen as the top (2.5″ strips). I folded the strip in half and ironed. It was then sewed down by machine on one side and finished by hand on the other. I also hand cross stitched tag gives my initials, place, date (2009) and sewed it to the muslin back at a corner.

I have a quilt frame that is in the living room (wonderfully cozy in winter as the wood stove is in the same room). My kids were teenagers before they realized that a quilt frame is not standard living room furniture – it had always just been part of their life.

Quilted feathers on Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt.
Feathers from blue linen side.
Muslin side that was pre-marked for Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt.
This side was pre-marked – beautiful design.
White muslin side of Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt showing hand quilting stitches.
More of the hand quilted design
Quilted feathers in Queen Anne's Star Whole Cloth quilt.
Quilted feathers
Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt hanging over laundry line.
Looks and feels wonderful.

I love the look and texture of hand quilting. Just as good is a beautiful and useful finished quilt.

Another whole cloth project that I did:

https://indianaquilter40.com/queens-crown-1/

QUEEN’S CROWN #1 (Small quilt with beads – hand quilted)

Most of us don’t think of embellishing quilts with beads is very practical. But I really wanted to try my hand at beading for embellishment with hand quilting. This pre-printed square was the perfect choice for this experiment. It is the Queen’s Crown #1 (small quilt with beads – hand quilted). I would later make another mini quilt using the same technique.

Queen's Crown #1 - Small quilt with beads.  Green solid with gold beads.
Front side. The beads really embellish the hand quilting.

Supplies:

  • One pre-printed 18″ block from  https://www.quiltingstencils.com/ 
  • 22″ piece of muslin for backing
  • Batting to fit (I used a leftover piece)
  • Glass beads in your choice of color (I used gold/yellow)
  • Quilting thread (I used dark green color)
  • Binding fabric (I used dark green cotton)

I found that thread basting this very closely in a bright thread that would not blend in to the background was easier than safety or straight pins.  It was easier to roll the fabric up in my hand then to use a hoop or small frame. Start the quilting in the center and work on it in quarters. I used shorter lengths of quilting thread (about 15″) than normal because it was easy to get the thread caught in the beads that were already quilted on.  

QUEEN'S CROWN #1 (Small quilt with beads - hand quilted)
Reverse. Notice how even the stitching is…..even where the beads are.

The beads are quilted on – every time the needle came up through the top, I put a bead on the needle tip and I then completed that quilting stitch. Time consuming, but makes for a beautiful finished project. The texture as I run my hand across the top is a mix of soft and hard.

The binding is solid green that matches the front of the small quilt.

When I completed the small quilt, I washed it by hand and laid it between two dark towels to dry flat.

Queen’s Crown #1 small quilt has been part of my Christmas decorating for many years.

Lesson learned –

Don’t be afraid to try something different in quilting. I get many, many compliments on this mini quilt. However, it appears to be unique to me and that is just fine.

CELTIC KNOT PILLOWS (hand quilted and embellished with beads)

Mixing large quilts with smaller projects is fun and allows me to have several projects going at the same time. I intended to only make one of these Celtic pillows, but somehow a single project morphed into two separate projects. They started with the purchase of some historical looking metallic trim that I hand sewed small white beads within the design. The hand quilting and embellished trim really made for a one of a kind item.

The navy blue fabric was silk and made for easy hand quilting. I drew the design with a white chalk pencil using a stencil. The I carefully machine sewed the trim to the fabric – I had to be careful to go slowly so I did not catch on the beads. I finished the back using the envelope method (see below) and off this one went to an auction.

Navy blue silk pillow with beaded trip and quilted Celtic knot.
Complete and ready to go to the auction !

The burgundy pillow was also silk fabric and again hand quilted so easily. This one was a gift for a local woman who helped me sew some clothing (in my opinion, complicated compared to quilting). The method was the same for both pillows.

Burgandy silk pillow with beaded trim and hand quilted Celtic knot.

The pillows were sewn together and finished with the envelope method. See: https://www.domesticimperfection.com/how-to-make-envelope-closure-pillow/.

These two pillows were made during 2000 – 2001.

The finished size was 18″ square.