Tag Archives: handwork

Come See Me at the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique!

Come see me this weekend at the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique! I will be shutting down the etsy shop  and opening an in-person booth on Saturday, November 7th 2015 from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Admission and parking are free at the middle school location in Ventura, CA. Bring cash or check to buy handmade art from me. Boutique benefits the local no-kill animal shelter.

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Here’s the details for the Purrs and Paws Holiday Boutique.

  • November 7th, 2015. 8:30am-3:00pm
  • Balboa Middle School – 247 S. Hill Rd., Ventura, CA 93003
  • Benefits the Humane Society of Ventura County, a no-kill shelter
  • Meet Megan. Buy stuff with cash or check. Hugs included! 🙂
  • Over 30 other vendors.

This is sure to be a fun event. I’ve been busy the past few weeks making some new things. Here are some of them. (For sale in the shop until Friday, then whatever doesn’t sell will be relisted after this weekend.) More are available at my booth that have yet to be photographed.

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I hope to see you there!

Teal Mini Quilt Blog Hop: Ovarian Cancer Awareness

12107159_10207273810744087_3802108283043761333_nWelcome! I’m the last stop on this year’s teal mini quilt blog hop. Yay caboose! This swap, hosted by Beth of EvaPaige Quilt Designs, raised $2,000 and awareness for ovarian cancer. The quilts in this post were exchanged between me and my new friend Sarah. Here’s the quilt she made me. It’s double sided!

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Sarah lost her mother to Ovarian Cancer. She has a Pinterest Board dedicated to awareness for this specific disease. I encourage you to check it out. The biggest predictor of successful treatment is early detection and there’s no medical tool that catches it in the earliest stages. Pay attention to your body women of the world! If you feel like there’s something amiss get it checked out. My survivor friend Trisha’s here today in part because she was paying attention and became her own advocate.

Ready to see what I made? I had a back injury while I was making this quilt so it’s 100% hand sewn. I started with some teal yo-yo’s and a contrasting orange batik background fabric. It needed s’more circles but I wanted the teal to be the star so I chose brown. After playing with the placement for a bit I appliqued those yo-yo’s upside down onto the fabric. They’re dimensional and a bit poufy which is fun.

auditioning threads teal quilt

I wanted the thread to stand out a little so you could see the quilting but not too much. So I auditioned them like so. It’s helpful to unwind a bit of thread to see what the strand looks like against the piece. The red’s too bright on the spool but just perfect this way and it’s what I ended up choosing to quilt with.

glue basting teal quiltDouble-fold binding is my jam but it was going to be a pain to sew on entirely by hand so I decided to fold the back over onto the front instead. Usually I’d use a gazillion pins to hold it in place but I saw a cool new thing on Sam Hunter’s Back to School Blog Hop. It’s glue basting and it’s pretty amazing. I learned on the tutorial from purpledaisyquilting in minutes. All you need is Elmer’s glue and a hot iron. I found these cute fine-tipped ones at the dollar store. Score!

final press teal quiltfinished teal quiltHere’s a nice close-up I took while doing the final pressing and the finished quilt. There’s no right side up; It can be hung vertically or horizontally. Can you see the concentric circles quilting? No? How ’bout in this pic Sarah took upon receiving it? It got a little smushed in the mail but this is a much better angle to show off my handiwork. Pretty cool.

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Check out these links for the other artists in this blog hop and mark your calendars for August 2016 to participate in next year’s swap. Sign-up via Facebook.

October 12th Tweety Loves Quilting and One Quilting Circle

October 13th Susan Brehm and Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc

October 14th Teachpany and Bobbin’s Lullaby

October 15th Splitting Stitches and Purple Leaf Quilts

October 16th Blue Ribbon Sewing and quiltartbymegan <— you are here!

Baby Tortuga, Honu, Schildkrote and More.

This week’s blog post will be an update of the various things I’ve been working on while recovering from being sick. (Yay antibiotics!)

I’ve been doing a lot of handwork on the couch with my kitty keeping me company. Her name is Loki. We call her Loki Bear because when she’s really excited that you’ve come in the room she stands up on her hind-legs so you can reach her head easier and give her love… which looks like a circus bear trick. The living room, open first room, hallway, and kitchen aren’t completely cat-safe yet. There are lots of hidey-holes and dangerous things to get into. So the cats, in general, spend all of their time in the master suite. Loki Bear is the exception. She’s learned that she can be out here as long as she stays on the couch. Smart girl.
happy loki snuggles

Remember the summer camp quilts for the turtle and turkey clans that I’m working on? Here are some of my previous posts on the topic: Turtles, Turkeys, Wolves and Bears Oh My!The Turkeys are Here and Like a Herd of Turtles.

This week I’ve been doing some hand-embroidery for the turtle quilt. One thing that I admire about Crystal Lake Camps is the emphasis on diversity. Every summer there are international campers and counselors. During the years that I was a camper I befriended people from Mexico, Russia, and Germany. Since then it’s become even more multi-national. In honor of this, I researched how to write the word “turtle” in many languages. These blocks will become part of the turtles clan quilt for the lodge. Here are the completed ones I have so far. Many more to come!

turtle in many languages

I also sewed the buttons onto these and other card holders that will be added to my etsy shop tonight. Isn’t the baby rattle fabric cute?! They’d be perfect for baby-shower gift cards to help pay for… diapers! Isn’t that what most parents use those gift cards for?

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As always, I do custom orders! If you’d like some gift card holders for a special occasion please let me know. Fabrics can be for every occasion. I can make ’em individually and in bulk as well.

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I Have Helpers, Don’t You?

Doesn’t it feel good to finish something? This time, I had a lot of help. Here are my helpers, in chronological order.

  • My own desire to make a quilt for my first biological niece. (I married into a family with babies, so technically this isn’t the first time I’ll be Aunt Megan.)
  • My Aunt suggesting that we paint the letters of my sister’s baby’s name during her shower weekend… which didn’t work out because the parents were keeping that a secret until she was born.
  • The flash of creativity that gave me the idea to make a signature quilt. We would write our guesses for the baby girl’s name on fabric and I’d make it into a quilt.
  • All of the family members who came together to celebrate my sister in January of this year… and also happened to sign blocks for the baby’s quilt.
  • A deadline. Yup, I’ve had this quilt in the works since January… and by “in the works” I mostly mean sitting in a drawer being ignored. I get to spend this Thanksgiving with my family and deliver the finished quilt in person. That is, if I finish it in time.
  • My online quilting group. We call ourselves Snowflakes. I posted photographs of the quilt and said that I was basting it… which gave me accountability and made me actually do it.
  • A dear friend who invited me over to sew with her on Saturday. I borrowed her marking pen and quilted the whole thing in one sitting. Straight-line quilting is much less boring to do when you’re across from a chatty friend.
  • My Hulu shows. I enjoy hand-stitching the binding on quilts late at night with the TV on. Unfortunately, late night TV isn’t something I enjoy watching but there’s always “Bones” and “Once Upon a Time” in my queue.

So here I am putting the last few stitches on the binding. I’ll add a label tomorrow and toss it in the wash to minimize the amount of cat hair I’m giving away. And TA-DA! Done.

Binding Mary

Note to Self: Make New Friends

Does anybody else write notes to themselves? My sewing machine has making the ker-thunk noise that indicates the needle is bent or dull for (embarrassingly) a few days now. So after my sewing session last night, I wrote myself a nice little note. See, it’s hard to make myself get up and go find the container in the closet where I stashed the needles until I find a more permanent place for them after I’ve sat down to sew. So I just don’t, and deal with the ker-thunk. But this note reminded me before I was ready to begin, so check! Needle has been changed and the machine is purrring along nicely.

Dude.

My friend Melissa has become local, since I moved to her area. Last night she invited me to check out her guild and generously even offered me a ride there and back. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.

So, new experiences are scary. I’m a member of what used-to-be my local guild still, and make the trek back there every few months to participate and catch up with my friends. So the guild thing wasn’t scary, but the room full of people that I don’t know and want to is. So I put on my big-girl panties and introduced myself around. After I was emotionally exhausted from putting myself out there (with mostly positive results) I saddled up next to Melissa at her table in the back and pulled out some handwork.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. People started coming up to me. They wanted to see what I was doing and it was a great conversation starter. Plus, this particular handwork project, my crazy hexagons, is uniquely mine. It showcases my skills and preferences, and is something I’m passionate about. It’s easier to talk about something I’m passionate about than attempt small-talk with strangers.

Hexies in Progress

 

The results of the evening speak for themselves. I joined the guild. Also, I have multiple invitations from potential new-friends to sit with them next month. And I’ve been asked to bring some quilts for show-and-share… which I’m sure will just lead to more conversations and companionship. Love it.

Photo Finish

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I finished this table runner early this morning. (12:15am early.) It’s machine pieced and hand quilted. Yay, another one complete! This will probably either go in my etsy shop or be sold at a craft fair. Want it? Make an offer.

In other news, this new house finally feels like home. Why? I unpacked my sewing machine today. I refused to take my machine out of its case while we were staying at the motel. An adult mini-tantrum for sure, but I stuck to handwork. After three months of storage, the whirrrr of its motor is comforting. Plus now I get to work on little Mary’s baby quilt!

On A Good Day

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Here’s my newest completed piece, “On A Good Day.” It measures 48×12 inches and was sewn entirely by hand. It’s pieced, appliqued, embroidered, couched and quilted. Texture, value and repetition were important to me when in the design stages.

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This quilt began as a challenge in a quilting group. Each artist is making a piece of this size using the same red fabric. The quilts can then both be displayed as a group and stand individually. I think I’m the first one completely finished, but I’ll let you know if these ever go to a show or exhibit.

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I leave you with a photo of my fuzzy helper, Milo. He likes to lay on my pillow and hug my arm while I’m doing handwork. Very cute.

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It’s a Good Day to Meet Baby Mary

My emotions are still swirling all around inside me, so I’m sure I’ll be blogging more about this  event in upcoming posts… but it’s time to announce that my sister gave birth to a healthy baby girl yesterday, April 2nd. Welcome, little Mary.

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It wasn’t a long waiting game. Dad called me around 4am to say that he’s in the airport on the way to the birth. (He snagged a plane in St. Louis in time to get to Boston for all the action.)  Even so, I jumped every time the phone rang, all day long, hoping for another update. So I spent the day calming myself with some handwork. It’s not a great photograph but here’s what I’ve been working on.


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This piece is called, “On a Good Day”. And today was a good day.

Estey’s Quilt – See it Here!

Ta-da! Here they are, the long awaited photographs of “Estey’s Quilt.” Isn’t it cool? This is both my latest finish and the first of the portrait quilts I’ve made.

It started with a quilt show where I saw some beautiful applique quilts of a tiger’s face. Those quilts had been made from a pattern. My friend knew the perfect book when I mentioned that I’d like to learn how to make quilts like that, but from my own photographs, and to draft my own pattern. Here’s the link to that book on Amazon. It’s Faces and Places by Charlotte Warr Anderson. http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Places-Print-Demand-Edition/dp/1571200002/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1347682166&sr=8-3&keywords=charlotte+warr+anderson. She teaches how to use the shapes and shadows from actual photographs in quilts. Her method is reverse applique by hand. So that’s what I did for this first one. It is also hand quilted entirely by hand… which is why it took so long to make.
I found that I enjoyed this project so much that I wanted to make more… so I experimented with fusible webbing and machine quilting to streamline the process.
So there you have it, the whats and hows. But what are really special to me about this quilt are the whys. See, Estey is my little sister. We’ve pretty much had an up-and-down relationship from day one… when I threw a tantrum that “my baby” wasn’t named Jesus. (She was due around Christmastime, and I was nearly four years old.) Recently I’ve been putting a lot of effort into remembering the good times, and appreciating the woman she is today. That’s what I was focusing on with every hand stitch. The photograph this quilt is based on was taken when she was a toddler, struggling to get out of the stroller at Grandma’s house.
My baby sister is now married and expecting a child of her own. I feel like I’m not articulating this well right now, but I feel even more connected with and happy for her because of the time I put into this project. Plus it’ll be a great happy-expectations gift when I get it in the mail.

UFOs A-plenty

How many UFOs do you have? No, not the space ships, I mean unfinished objects. Mine are mostly sewing projects and I’m sure I have at least 30, though I haven’t done an exact count recently. This week I’ve been hopping from thing to thing, not quite satisfied to sit down with just one.

Please forgive my lack of photos this time. I took them… and moved the camera away from its cord… and promptly forgot where that cord is? I know, it’s where I left it. Wherever that is. So just use your imagination for this one and I’ll get back to photos on the next post.

Here are some of the UFOs I’ve been working on this week:

  •  A one block log cabin quilt with Asian prints.
  • Decorating my work apron. We’re required to wear one, but can trick it out however we want to. I’m adding pockets, making it shorter, and decorating it with some of my crumb quilting goodness. Yes, I’ll show you guys a picture soon.
  • Binding some place mats for the senior center.
  • Hand quilting “Estey’s Quilt”… It’s almost ready to show you guys! I spent several hours working on this at a car show. Thankfully, my husband recommended bringing along some handwork. I’m so glad he did because it would have been beyond boring for me without it!
  • Planning out a birthday present for my baby brother. He’s turning 14. I know, not really a baby anymore but he’s still my baby.
  • Making a red/blue/purple/black string quilt
  • Playing around with improvisational piecing
  • Pulling fabrics and otherwise planning a portrait quilt based on a wedding photograph
  • And, of course, working on the 4 subjects piece I wrote about in my last blog post.

Whew! I don’t know why I’ve been project-hopping like this but I’ll just go with it for now, especially since I don’t have any big deadlines coming up quickly. I’ll just enjoy dabbling in everything.