Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dolly Quilt completed!

You can see our Cardigan Corgi's and Cavalier's on the other side of the fence.
Tada! Here is the Dolly Quilt. 
She was made to compete in the Handmaids Challenge from Joy Studio. I love the She Who Sews line designed by Janet Wecker Frisch. It's creative and so much fun! 

I used a pastel variegated thread for quilting in the blocks. 

I could not find the table that goes around my machine. I think I wasted a couple of hours looking for it. It is under my nose - I just can't see it today. Oh well, I managed anyway using more decorative stitches. Not as detailed maybe but Dolly isn't fussing :) 

Completing her means I am eligible to win a lovely prize package. The great news, you can win a prize too! 3 people (not in the competition) will be chosen at random. You can enter to win a "She Who Sews" panel by going to Joy Studio and leaving a comment. 
Wahoo! We all love prizes.   

Dolly interrupted and continuing ...

What was I thinking when I said I wanted to finish the next day?!? Ack!

The minute I have a plan, God sends me down a side path, LOL. I received a message that there were 2 feral cats in the local shelter that needed picked up. We live in a rural area and have outbuildings that attract mice and rats. I NEED cats to help me keep the population in control. In exchange, I have a kitty condo in the far barn. It's 10 by 20 ft or so, with houses stuffed with hay for warmth in the winter. We put out dry food and water daily and even have a litter box so they can potty indoors when the weather is bad. They are protected from dogs and wild animals with a high door but they can come and go as they please. It's a decent gig for a wild or semi wild cat.

And yes, I do have them spayed or neutered before they go out to the barns.

Since it is Memorial Day weekend, the spay clinic is closed until Tuesday which means I had to break out cages for the fur balls. They are not friends yet, so they each have an extra large cage with food and litter box until Tuesday. Its work to clean each day but worth it to save them from being euthanized. Once they recover sufficiently from surgery, they can join our other cats in the barn. These kitties are both black - one shorthair, one longhair. We already have a gorgeous part Siamese that is completely wild - do not touch! The other is a black and white shorthair that likes petting and loves hunting. She is quite skilled and usually has a body or several each day for us. These black cats will add a sneaky factor to the nightly hunting forays.

I did get the backing pieced for the dolly quilt from a yard of burgundy paisley and some solid black. The binding will be solid black, as it will edge the yellow ruler fabric. I just love the black against the yellow. The quilt is measuring about 48 1/2 inches square. Big enough for a toddler to snuggle under on cool nights watching tv.

I laid out the backing, batting and top and proceeded to frustrate myself endlessly. I don't have a utility table set up, so I was using my nice dining room table. Argh. To avoid scratching the finish, I put my cardboard pattern laying board underneath. I couldn't really attach the backing to it or the table. So I pinned. Found the wrinkles, Unpinned and repinned. I will have a sewing room eventually and life will be easier. Until then I make do with what I have :)

Once I was mostly satisfied, I stitched in the ditch around all the blocks to secure my quilt sandwich. I do not plan on any other quilting on the ruler fabric so I went ahead and bound the quilt. I could let it go as it is but I want to do some free motion quilting around the dollies. Its good practice and will look nice.

I machine quilted my binding with a decorative 'asterick' stitch. I love decorative stitches and this looks so cute to me. Have you been fortunate to see the She Who Sews fabrics up close? I love the detail! The ruler markings are sharp and consistent. The pincushion fabric is vivid red with shading, pins and even stray threads in the design. I love them!

A peek at the backing

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!! I want to thank all military persons and their families for their sacrifices for my freedom. I appreciate all you do!  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dolly Quilt Top

Happy May!! What have you been sewing? Or has life and spring swept you up? I've been on a happy whirlwind with prom, my oldest daughters wedding, two younger kids wrapping up their first year of college, graduation is this week, it's endless!

The weather was gorgeous for the wedding. 

I have been sewing. I stitched 3 vests with neck ties for my daughter and son in law. I feel like I have altered, hemmed and added straps to a million formals but I'm sure it's a few less.

Click to go to 

Today I assembled a cute little quilt top with Janet Wecker Frisch's She Who Sews line of fabrics. It's part of the Handmaids Challenge. The first 30 people to agree to the guidelines and respond to the posting, were sent 2 random fat quarters of She Who Sews fabrics. You should have seen me sprint to respond, LOL. I LOVE this line of fabrics!


 I received a fat quarter of the peachy doll fabric and another fat quarter of the white ruler fabric.


I needed two more of the fabrics per the guidelines and went to the two local quilt shops (20 minute drive) and found the yellow ruler and the pincushion fabric. With the family on a roller coaster of activities, I didn't have time for the hour plus drive to the city to search those quilt shops. This is the negative side of sewing in a rural area. 

On a side note - Are our red pincushions tomatoes? If they are, why does it look like they have a strawberry hanging off of them? Does anybody else wonder about this stuff?

I was hugely disappointed that the local shops did not have more of the She Who Sews line. I really wanted some of the coordinating floral fabrics. I had an idea but it hinged on the florals. I am considering shopping online to buy the florals and stitch up my idea. For now though, I needed to create something for the challenge. 

As I pondered my bad luck and the beautifully detailed peach fabric I decided to make a dolly quilt. Something primitive. A dolly like a very young girl might make and enjoy, with or without her mother's help. I drew a simple pattern mimicking the doll on the fabric. Then drew a few dresses because little girls love to dress their dollies. 

I have to say this fabric is excellent. The weave is tight and firm enough to make it easy to work. The colors are deep. I really, really like it. It's fabulous quality. 

Here is my doll block. Its a simple cut and applique. I considered using black as a background so the peach would pop more but a young girl wouldn't be using black, so I stuck with a neutral tan. Even after stepping back, the doll is clear. I did a satin stitch all around the doll. 


The dresses were kept simple with the style of our young girl creator. More satin stitching. 

This is what I get for leaning over to take a picture. I promise the dress is NOT this wonky. 

The quilt is a simple 9 block design - 3 by 3 blocks. The center block is a dolly in a dress. 

Another bad angle. I was rushing pics so I could cook dinner. The story of my life, LOL. 
I used the yellow ruler as sashing and the pincushion as corner stone blocks. I love the vibrant colors. I took the flimsy picture outside on my clothesline. I had to bring clothes in anyway, LOL. The wind was blowing hard, so the quilt is leaning :)

The Oklahoma wind sure pushes my quilt top back, LOL. 

Tomorrow I will work on basting, then quilting. I want this dolly quilt done before Memorial Day weekend. I'm crossing my fingers that nothing explodes in my face. Have a great day!!