Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kids Art to Greeting Cards

Does anyone else have a hard time figuring out gift ideas for their parents?!
This year I think I finally hit upon a fabulous idea for our mom!
She is an avid letter writer; as in the handwritten, slow mail variety.
So when I came up with this idea I was feeling pretty smitten with myself. :)

 When the finished product arrived in the mail I was even more happy!
  How can any grandma not like greeting cards made from her grandkid's drawings?!
It's genius, I tell you! :)

Here's what I did:
I took my kids' drawings from the art wall
Scanned them into my computer as a jpeg.img
Did a little editing in Picasa
Uploaded them to Shutterfly
And made them into blank greeting cards for her to use.

All of the pictures were originally 8 x 10 or larger,
but thankfully I didn't encounter any problems with distortion when they were printed.

I had them made on the 4 x 6 sized cards (I think they're actually bigger than that!) which will work perfectly for mom's letters!

In fact I am already thinking about a second series for her... maybe for Mother's Day.

P.S. For the record, Shutterfly has no idea who I am!  I am just a girl trying to make beautiful things for myself and my family.  I have used Shutterfly's services before (for photo books, address labels, and Christmas cards) and have been extremely happy with their products.  

Monday, December 26, 2011

My own Grandma Quilt

Our family is heading south this week to Nebraska to visit family.  Can't wait to get out of town.  One of the things I am taking with me to show off is my Grandma quilt.  M.I.N.E.  After all the other quilts I've made using Grandma's shirts (#s 1-3 and # 4), I finally got mine completed and couldn't be happier. 

Based on this style, I put those HSTs to work and I L.O.V.E. how they turned out.

I sent it to Emily's quilter and she did a beautiful job.  Thank you, Lynn!
It really just makes me so happy. 
Merry Christmas to me.  I wrapped it up and put it under the tree, even though everyone in my family had already seen it.

  • Finished dimensions 57 inches by 67 inches.
  • Cut 1 1/2" strips of red/blue floral for inner border
  • Cut 2" strips of white for outer border
  • Thrifted striped chambray sheet for backing (about $3)
  • Binding made from the red/blue floral fabric Grandma had in her sewing room--the consensus is we think she had plans for it to make a new apron.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Spy a pair of quilts

Emily and I participated in a fabric swap with Sew in Peace the first part of October.  This was the first time that I've done a fabric swap like this.  It was SO MUCH FUN!! 

I ended up with enough squares to make 2 1/2 "I Spy" quilts.  It was great!
Quilt #1
With part of the fabric squares I made a quilt for our 4 yr. old nephew for his Christmas present. (We draw family names).

5" cut blocks
9 blocks across
11 blocks down
3 borders--blue cut 2" strips, white cut 1 1/2" strips, orange cut 3" strips
Thrifted striped sheet for the backing (His favorite color is blue)
Blue from the stash for the binding.

One of the most fun parts for me is that we put together a laminated "I Spy" list for him and sent along with the quilt.  That way he can have his mom and dad help him hunt for items. 

My kids had fun too looking for different items to put on his list before we wrapped it up and sent it off.

Quilt #2
which was more like "I Spy on the fly".

I had more than enough squares to make another quilt and decided my 6 yr. old son could use a bigger blanket than the one he currently loves.  After doing 9 rows by 11 rows I added another row to make it slightly bigger.

He also informed me during this process that his favorite color is red.  I was thinking of an orange backing at first.  Red shouldn't surprise me too much since the only shirt he will wear to church is a red plaid button down.  He has about 4 different red plaid shirts (all very similar looking) but it is the same one every week.

Anyway, I originally thought I would add a larger border on the top and work in the words "I Spy" to his quilt.  I had found the book "Word Play Quilts" by Tonya Ricucci at the library and thought that would be a fun idea to make his quilt a little different.  I started doing it and then it just wasn't doing it for me.  I had already attached part of the border and even though I had enough fabric to make a larger one, laziness and a bit of a time crunch set it in and so I didn't pick it off and just added the wider border at each end.  I wanted to make sure the quilt would be long enough for more than 5 minutes of a growth spurt.

I love the back with the strips inserted--love those pyschedelic frogs.
He also is getting an "I Spy" list to hunt for objects.

5" cut squares
10 rows across
11 rows down
3" cut orange border
3" cut red border
6"cut top and bottom red polka dot border.
Red plaid thrifted sheet for backing and binding.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Harley Twins

My brother-in-law is a Harley guy.  He's owned one since 1989, or so.  
Over the years he's been on countless H.O.G. rides, visited lots of places, and collected many souvenir t-shirts along the way. 

Last year he asked me if I would take all his shirts (he had somewhere in the range of 45!) and turn them into a quilt (or two...).  I agreed on the condition that there was no real time limit for completion.  So, after letting them stew for most of the year, I am happy to show you the finished quilts (with some quick/not-so-pretty pix)! 
Quilt #1 is made with the shirts from most of his rides.

Quilt #2 is made up of his international shirt collection and various others.

 It's must be written somewhere in the laws of Harley ownership, that you can't be a "real" rider/owner without visiting Sturgis at least once in your life.
Here is his ownership certificate... :)
The Beloved Sturgis Shirt

 I found these awesome sheet sets to use as the backing fabric (though I had to add the borders)!!  Seriously worth the money for a project like this.  I think he will love that little touch.

Both quilts are generous twin sized  at 75" by 90".

P.S. My husband earned serious bonus points during this project by ironing the pellon on ALL the shirts for me!!!  It was a huge help, for sure.  He's a keeper! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Self Portraits Quilt

On Monday we're delivering this quilt to my daughter's 3rd grade teacher.
She knows it is coming--it was somewhat of a commissioned project. 
She plans to hang it, as art, in her classroom near her "peace table".
I think she will be more than happy with it.

I know I am pleased with how it turned out. 
(These pics don't do it justice, but the lighting in my house stinks and it was all of 7 degrees outside when we took these.)

A big thanks to all the families who contributed so that I could have Emily's quilter quilt it for us.  She did a fantastic job and included some stars into the stitching (to match the starfish backing).  Much better quilting than I could've done.

Finished dimensions 63" square
Cut 3" sashing/border pieces
Cut 10" blocks for the portraits
Thrifted striped sheet for the binding

This shows the colors much better.

I can't wait 'til Monday.  B. asked me if she could use the quilt until then.  Hmmm.....maybe one time while watching T.V. 

You can go here to get a little bit more info on the quilt and how it all came about.

I'm also including this quote/poem from Loren Eiseley

While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me.  As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea.  When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task.  He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die.  I said to him that I thought he was foolish.  There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach.  One man alone could never make a difference.  He smiled as he picked up the next starfish.  Hurling it far into the sea he said, "It makes a difference for this one."  I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.                                                                                                

 linking up to Fabric Tuesday

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quilt Club Gifts

Today is my quilt club.  My favorite day of every month!
For December we do a little gift exchange.

I was having a hard time deciding what to do/buy until Leslie suggested fabric. Duh!
  So, I raided my stash made each of them a charm square packs.
I didn't want to scare them with my usual color pallet so I went with black and whites.
I figured no one would be too put off  with that combo!  :)

And who knows. maybe it'll be the start of another challenge! (like this and this)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recycling T-Shirts

I've been wanting to recycle our old t-shirts into something useful for awhile now.
Here's what I've rescued from the giveaway pile thus far...

Of course I'm thinking a quilt. 
Haven't decided if I'm going to use ALL the colors in the stack above, or do some editing. 
What do you think?

I'm starting after the first of the year. 
Anyone else want to join me?
If so, start raiding your closets!


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