Thoughts and Prayers

There are many of you who are dealing with Hurricane Florence.  Some of you have had to leave your homes, or you have taken in loved ones to keep them safe.  You are first responders or families of first responders who are working through this horrible storm or you are just neighbors out there trying to help neighbors, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.  I have family, our daughter, her husband and grandchildren who are riding it out in inland NC not sure what she will bring to them and friends who are closer to the coast who have been evacuated.  Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers as the days unfold.  God Bless

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Fabric Designer and Quilt Shop Owner in the Making!!!

About a month ago our daughter sent us a photo of our 5 yr old granddaughter, Caelyn, showing off her first Quilt. (Sorry, I don’t show pictures of her on my business sites as they go out to everyone so I cut off her adorable head.) Her Momma had this piece of fabric and she took her crayons and drew a picture in each of the “blocks”.  She was so proud so GiGi, me, is going quilt it with fabric she picked out for the back and make it into a full-fledged quilt.

A few weeks later we went to visit them and Caelyn asked if I could make a special friend of hers a dress.  Her little friend has major medical issues. She has been through a lot and Caelyn wanted to do something special for her.  I told her it would be difficult to make a dress for a little girl I didn’t know but asked what if we made her a quilt instead?  Caelyn loved that idea, so after she approved my quilt design we went to a fabric store and she picked out a special unicorn fabric and a matching fabric for me to use.  The next day we were all doing things around the house and Caelyn decides to play quilt shop so she colors some white scrap fabric and lays it out with price signs.

It was the cutest thing.  I couldn’t believe she came up with this after only 1 visit to a fabric shop. I see myself working for my granddaughter in a quilt shop some day, I would love that.  Time will tell.

Do you have a little quilter in the making?  Do you have ideas for teaching children to quilt?  Would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.  When I finish her quilt I will show you how it looks.

Have a great week. Happy Memories, Trish

The Final Details of My Uniform Quilt

Hope you are all doing great.  For some of you school has started and for some of you there is still a few weeks left of summer. I have had a busy summer with lots of fun, travel and lots of work.  We were finally able to do the quilting and the last details of the uniform quilt I have been working on and I was really happy with the results.

The quilting was time-consuming as we had to do “cut outs” to get around the thicker areas of the uniforms.  As I tell my students and anyone who will listen you can use pretty much anything in a quilt, but if you are going to have it quilted you need to talk to the person quilting it to know if they will be able to deal with the extra thick areas.  I have a Gammill Statler Stitcher and we are able to stop and start the stitching in certain areas so it doesn’t go over bulky areas.  Sometimes no matter how much bulk you remove from a garment it still is too thick for a quilting needle to go over it.  Many of these garments were thick wool which made it difficult to get some areas flat enough. I removed the patches and chevrons from the uniforms so we didn’t have to go around them which made the quilting a bit easier.

Once we got the quilting done I had to sew the patches and chevrons I took off back on.  In order to do this and not totally kill my fingers I used a curved needle and a round thimble.  It worked great. Any thimble will do. The object is to protect your fingers as you’re pushing the needle through the thick patches and material.

These pictures show the sleeve quilted with the chevron in place and the curved needle with round thimble. Here are a few photos of the sleeves with the chevrons sewn on,This is a picture of an army uniform with the patches.  Some I took off and some I kept on.After all the patches were replaced I had some extra patches and epaulets the client had given me so I designed the label to accommodate what was left.  It is a large label but since the quilt is king size there was no problem having a label that big.  I did apply some SoftFuse to the back of the label to hold it more securely than just doing the stitching around the side.Here is the final quilt.  The client loved it which makes all the hard work worth it.

This quilt is an example of how you don’t have to cut all your uniforms up in order to put them in a quilt. I love how you see each uniform as it was not just in pieces.   Hope these pictures and tips give you some ideas for your own uniform quilts.

I would love to see pictures of the quilts you have all made and are working on. Please feel free to share.

Until next time, Happy Quilting and Happy Memories, Trish

Making Memory Quilts With Large Pieces.

Over the last months I have been working on a memory quilt for a client that contains West Point and Regular Army uniforms.  I decided to keep the uniforms intact as much as possible so you can see what they looked like.

This is the heavy black parka.  I removed the hood and the sleeves and took out the zipper and pockets. The is the dress gray coat that I removed the sleeves and zipper.  I kept the collar intact – just debulked it.

I took one of the sleeves from the dress gray and made a block out of it.

This is the summer India uniform. As with the dress gray I removed the sleeves and debulked the collar. I also removed all the buttons and stitched down the epaulets.

The full dress uniform I removed the sleeves and kept both of them for blocks.  I debulked the collar as shown in previous post.

The dress gray sleeves were attached without the gold rank as it is too thick to quilt through. They will be added via hand stitching after the quilting is done.

There were two Army BDU’s, one a shirt and one a jacket.  I used both of them, removing sleeves and stitching down pockets.  I choose not to remove these patches but to quilt around them.  You may want to remove them, do the quilting and then sew them back on afterwards.

I was given a pair of pants from the India uniform and the Dress Gray.  I cut them up and made two of this block set.   This is the quilt top put together and ready to quilt!! This kind of quilt shows how you don’t have to cut everything up into pieces. You can keep things whole, just like you do in other memory quilts.  Spread your wings and try different things. It makes for very special and individual quilts.

Happy Memories, Trish

Baby, Oh Baby

Hope you all had a great and safe 4th of July.  We spent the day and night with friends in St. Augustine.  It was great and the fireworks downtown were wonderful.  I have been busy on two quilts.  One is a baby quilt for a friends granddaughter.  They like butterflies and I found a really cute fabric by Susybee for Hamil Textiles.  I designed a simple quilt that would accentuate the fabric but also have a little whimsy to it with a pin wheel block.  I gave the client the choice between having all the pin wheels the same color and they would pick the color or mixing it up.  She chose mixing up the pin wheels.  I am so glad they did, I love all the different colors.  I picked a dark and a light of each color on the quilt and then mixed them up in the quilt.  The mom doesn’t like purple but likes turquoise so I made sure the purple/blue color in the quilt went more to the blue in the pin wheels and made the inner border turquoise.I love working with my clients to give them the quilts they want for their loved ones. Most of my quilts are memory quilts but sometimes I get to make quilts that will be the foundation of many memories to come.  Those are really special too.

Are you working on anything this summer or are you taking a break?  I love seeing all the things people do so please share your projects with us so we can be inspired.

Have a great week.  Trish

 

Debulking a Collar

We had a wonderful few weeks of celebrating our son’s wedding and our 40th anniversary and now I am getting back into work again.  I have been working on a quilt using West Point Uniforms. No matter how many of these I do it still amazes me how many layers of stabilizer are used in these things.  I wanted to show you how I did the collar so you see how you sometimes have to take things apart to debulk them and then sew them back together. This is the collar before debulking.

After I have removed the facing fabric you can see there are four layers of stabilizer in this collar several of them are fairly thick.  It is no wonder it stands up so stiff and straight.

In this instance when I took out the stitching that was holding down the stabilizer I also was undoing the black cording that decorates the lower front of the collar. When these kinds of things occur I make sure I take good pictures as I go so I can put the item back together again looking the way it is suppose to.This is the collar minus all the extra layers.

This is the front of the collar showing the cording now loose.

When you get the collar placed the way you want and resewn you can then reapply the black cording the way it is suppose to be. You can see that I use my open toe foot so I can see the cording and needle really well to sew it on.

Don’t be afraid to take a lot of pictures as you are taking things apart so that you will have an easier time putting them back together again.  I would rather delete photos not used than to waste time trying to remember and figure out how something had been before ripping it apart.

Hope this gives you some more “behind the scenes” information on how I do things and makes it easier for you to do your quilts.

Take care and have a wonderful, safe 4th of July weekend.

Trish

 

 

Scrappy Clothes Quilt

This is a crazy time of year with all the end of school functions, graduations, and vacations. This last few weeks I have been finishing quilts for clients before we head north to Syracuse and Utica, New York for our son’s wedding next week. We are so excited and are busy getting all our stuff together for the trip and the big day.  I thought since I had shown you how i fussy cut some of the blocks for my clients quilts that I would show you the end product. The clothes I was given were from the clients Mom and Dad so there were an equal amount of bright colors and bold patterns from Mom to offset the more subdued colors and patterns of Dad.  The end result made for a really colorful scrappy quilt.

Hope you are enjoying all the end of school activities and have some really neat things planned for the summer.  I know I do.

Happy Memories, Trish

Happy Memorial Day!!!

On this Memorial Day weekend I would like to say thank you to all the men and women of our armed forces and their Gold Star families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  Without their selfless acts we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have. As you are off having fun at the beach, lakes and parks please do not take those freedoms for granted, someone gave their life and someone lost a loved one to give them to you.

God Bless Our Military and their Families Now and Always.

Memory Quilting Online Classes Available!!!!

Memory Quilting is so much more than t-shirts. I am so happy and proud to announce that my online Memory Quilting Series of classes with The Quilting Company are now available online.  These classes, five in total, are geared toward your specific memory quilting needs.  Are you making a quilt with Ties?  Then check out my tie class.  Have a pile of children’s clothes that you don’t know what to do with?  Take my children’s clothes class.  There is something for everyone. In each class you will learn the techniques and supplies you need to take your clothes items and make them into quilts.  I will explain how to make decisions on what will work and what won’t in your quilts.  I will discuss what stabilizers are best and give you lots of other tips to help make creating your quilts a breeze.

Go to The Quilting Company at www.quiltingcompany.com and look for the following class covers to find your way into the wonderful world of memory quilting.

Check out all my classes for lots of techniques and tips on all the things you can do to make your memory quilts extra special.

If you have any questions about the classes feel free to contact me here or via email at quilter@happymemoriesquilts.com.

Happy Memories

Fussy Cutting Shirts With Difficult Designs

I am working on a project for a client that is a combination of the Mom’s/Grandma’s and Dad’s/Grandpa’s clothes.  They want four quilts that are the same design and they wanted squares as that is what Mom/Grandma liked the best.  I felt the squares needed to be big enough to show off the designs in the clothes. Many of the shirts had large patterns and some had only a few repeats in each shirt which made it a challenge to get four blocks out of them that were close to the same.  The block we decided on was a 10″ finished Uneven Nine Patch.  The center block was a 5 1/2″ cut which worked out perfect as I could use my 5 1/2″ All Squared Up Tee’s template to fussy cut the center blocks for the squares.

When you are using clothes for quilts sometimes you can just cut them up just like you would regular fabric.  I was able to do that with many of the shirts in this project but some of them needed special treatment. I am going to go through some of the blocks here for you to give you an idea of what my thought process was when I was cutting the blocks out.  Since I was in design mode not teaching mode I didn’t think of taking pictures of the shirts before cutting so please forgive the lack of before and after photos. OOP’s :-).   I am sure you will get the idea without them.

I had several men’s Hawaiian style shirts that had patterns with large elements that were spread out across the whole shirt.  When you have a design like this you want to pick the element that will pop the memory of the shirt the most and use that in the block.  In the case of the shirt below the little scooters were a focal point in the shirt so I needed to use them so the memory of the shirt would come forward when looking at the block. Using my 5 1/2″ Template I fussy cut 4 squares making sure the scooter was in the block.

Below is the final block.

Using the same 5 1/2″ template I cut the other shirts. For this one I made sure the flowers were in the center square and leaves and part of the volcano were in the corner blocks. This shirt had a row of the pink building across the front and back.  Using the template I was able to cut 4 different portions of the building so it was included in all the center blocks. I cut the leaves that were on the rest of the shirt to make the four corner blocks.On these next blocks I made sure that each block included a portion of the overall design.  I tried to make sure the center block was a major design that reflected the shirt.  The corners took in any other portions of the shirt I felt needed to be included to reflect the whole shirt design such as design elements or other colors.   The shirt cut for the block below was mostly the geometric black but it had large pops of the red with some orange.  For this block I made sure I got the red in the large block and then made sure each 10″ block also got a pop of the orange in it to reflect the overall design of the shirt.

The shirt that gave us the block below had all the different purples as well as the lime green and blues.  I made sure when I cut the pieces for the blocks that it represented all the different colors in the shirt.When designing quilt blocks using all these different designs it just takes a little bit of thought to make a quilt that will bring back all the fond memories your clients have of the person wearing them.  When they see the quilt block they don’t just see the block but a picture of their loved one wearing the item.  This technique can be used with any item such as dresses, skirts, coats etc.

Don’t forget to pull out my small All Squared Up Tee’s Templates for these projects. They really make fussy cutting the blocks a breeze.

Happy Memories, Trish