Hurricane Sandy bonus post

I’m stuck at home because of Hurricane Sandy so I decided to write an extra post with small projects:

I made this for my former coworker E’s baby boy.  I’d bought a kit from Keepsake Quilting.  It’s a panel with jungle animals.  I quilted an outline around the elephant’s head by hand.  (You can tell by looking at the rather messy stitches on the back.)

The front of the baby quilt

A close up of the elephant, which I quilted around

The back of the quilt

You can see the outline of the elephant, which I’d done in green thread.  I’m sorry I don’t have better pictures of it.  Anyway, buying a kit makes things so simple – just two panels sewn together and then the quilting left.

I also made a pillow when M, a friend from college, got married.  I used squares made of two triangles.  There are four patches (made of four two-triangle squares) that form yellow or red diamonds in the center.  The rest of the patches alternate blue and black triangles.  The patches with the diamonds also alternate blue and black triangles on the edges of the diamonds.

The front of the pillow

Another shot

The back uses stripes of black, red, blue, and yellow, incorporating fabrics that also appeared on the front.

The back of the pillow

You’ll notice that the fabrics are what quilting fabric stores call “Oriental.”  I like to buy the Asian-inspired fabrics, because they’re just so pretty.  They form a large portion of my whole collection.  The effect on the front is really lovely, isn’t it?  I should replicate it and make one for myself.  I don’t remember if I made this pattern myself or if I found it somewhere – the wedding was several years ago.  The pillow isn’t quilted.  I never quilt pillows I make and rarely bother to embroider them.

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Christmas mantle runner

Apologies for the week-late post.  I am not always good about keeping with our self-imposed schedule.

This week I’m posting about an old project, a runner.  I made this for Mama and Papa S a couple of years ago.  Mama S asked for a Christmas runner for their mantle after I’d made them a regular runner.  I chose the pattern and the colors.  The top has a center strip of gold fabrics with blocks of four triangles on either side.  The back is made of solids blocks alternative with squares made of two rectangles.  I used lots of “Christmas” fabrics, pointsettas and holly and gold scrolls.

The top of the runner

close ups of the front

(Forgive the formatting issues – sometimes wordpress thwarts me.)

I believe the runner is 60 inches long by 20 inches wide – give or take.  Those were the approximate dimensions needed to amply cover my parents’ mantle.

I quilted a rectangle in green inside of the center strip (in the gold fabrics) and I also quilted approx. a quarter inch outside of the gold strips:

Here are close ups of the back:

Christmas is still a couple of months away, so the runner won’t make it’s appearance just yet. My parents have three or four pieces I’ve made for them on display in the house, and Mama S switches this runner out with the everyday mantle runner.  I’ve yet to post about that one – I’ll make that my next post.  Also, as Christmas nears – and then passes – I should have more recent projects to post about.  I don’t like to feature presents until after the recipients have them, but I’ve got several things in the works for the holidays.

Anlichan’s birthday present

Here, finally, is the much-promised post with Anlichan’s birthday present:

I was inspired, oddly enough, by the carvings on the ends of the pews in my church.  (What is odder, perhaps, is that this is the second of her birthday presents in a row that has been inspired by my church.) Each pew is carved on the end with a circle inset with a cross.  I thought the design would make a pretty decoration.  I can’t find a picture of the pews but this is the design:

Anlichan’s favorite color is blue.  I chose two of my prettiest blue fabrics for her.  I took a dinner plate and I traced a circle into each fabric.  I cut the piece that would serve as the inner segments into four quarters.  I was planning to make my present square, not round, so the outer pieces weren’t going to have curved outer edges.  I cut a square around the circle that I’d traced on the other fabric, for the outer segments, creating four corner pieces with right angles, with the curve forming the concave third side.  I am not sure this description is at all clear, but the blue segment in the picture below is what I mean.

I pinned the inner quarters and the corner pieces together along the curved edges.  I pinned very carefully (and excessively), and I was pleased that they came out well.  (I was a bit worried, it being a present and all.)  I was careful to match up the inner points of the curves.  I’ve read somewhere that people mark the inner points on the wrong side of the fabric or cut little slits to make them easier to match up.  I’ll confess that I eyeballed it, but carefully.

I cut extra strips of the outer fabric and sewed them between the four quarters to create my cross.

I cut a square from a third blue fabric for the back and sewed the pieces together, right sides together, leaving a small space to turn it right side out.  Then I sewed the hole up and started the hand quilting.  I picked a coordinating pink thread and I used a cable stitch to outline the four quarter pieces.

It’s not a very functional present – purely decorative. 🙂

Like Anlichan’s present, this post is quite overdue.  She forgave me, luckily, and in the future I shall try harder to keep my posts more punctual.