Thursday, February 23, 2017

Double the Pleasure

Blogging has taken a backseat  
since arriving in TX for the winter.
There has been a lot going on in Blogland,
and I have to admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed.
It overcomes me every so often,
 as I'd like to be able to make everything I see,
But I know I can't.
So, I plug along and do my own thing.
And the sewing machine has been humming!

Almost as soon as I arrived,
Crafty Daughter asked for Twins' Quilts for her first college roomie.
Twins at age 40; I can't imagine!
But being her first successful pregnancy,
we wanted to make it special for her.

We had lots of fun working together to plan and make
these quilts.  Sewing for my daughter is one of my many delights.

The little word 'lamb' is part of her last name,
and will be the theme of the nursery.

Grey, white, and beige comprise her color scheme.
Can you tell that the little lamb in the lower picture is purple?
I think it's hard to tell. 

I used a darker gray solid,
a lighter gray pin dot,
and white for the gingham look.
The sheep's heads and legs
are leftover batting.
What fun it was
to make these quilts!
They finished up
at 40" x 50".

Sadly, the baby shower that was to be held this weekend
was cancelled, as the little mother had to be
hospitalized for high blood pressure.
The doctors are hoping she can hang in there
for 3 or 4 more weeks.


Recently, I had the pleasure of quilting alongside an old friend.
We worked on her scrappy blocks, so I prepped, and she sewed.
She was a little miffed at how much I used pins,
declaring that I've been doing this for so long,
why do I need to?
This sparked quite a conversation about:

talent vs. skill,
patience vs. speed,
developing good habits vs. making do,
and having focus,
as well as an understanding of good practices.

Not all fabrics are the same.
They don't all play well together
without proper preparation and consideration of the next step.
There is so much to pay attention to
from how you press and handle your fabrics,
to being sure to square up as you go along.
Pinning is somewhere in the middle!

What one good habit would you encourage?

Enjoy your day!


Christine B said...

Hope all is well now with your daughter.... it must have been fun designing and making the quilts! Christine x

Sandra :) said...

The good habit I harp on frequently (just ask my 2 neighbour/aquafit/sewy friends, who don't need to be harped at any more ... at least, not while they're sewing with ME!) is PRESS PRESS PRESS. My iron is on the entire time I'm in the sewing room, and I use it every step of the way (which is probably why I kill my irons within a few months, even if they're $100 irons *sigh*).

The quilts are BEYOND adorable! The appliques are sweet as pie (sweet as lambs? :D) and I *love* gingham quilts - that's a project I've wanted to do for a while. I had Kona picked out and in a shopping cart a few years ago for a gingham quilt, but the price for USPS postage to Canada skyrocketed right then and I never did order the fabrics, lol.

Linda Reeder said...

I just finished my very first actual quilt. It will probably be my last. I'll stick to smaller projects from now on, I think. but it was a fun project. though not as expertly done as yours.
You do wonderful work. Proper prep makes a difference.

Maria said...

Like you I just want to sew everything I see and then I procrastinate... LOL..

Oh Karen those " Lambie " quilt for the twins are gorgeous!

Hmmm! Must say I have many bad habits but I'm learning now to use pins more often, never too late ah! Even at 68.....

Simone de Klerk said...

Beautiful twin quilts! Hope mother-to-be is doing well!
And no real advise from me. I never really enjoyed making scrappy blocks. But using many differen fabrics would kind of make me think to wash them first. And I always thought that good ironing does magic.
Have a happy weekend! Xox

Cheryl said...

Beautiful baby quilts! Very fun design and I love the appliqué.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Hoping Mom and Babies a safe delivery. Those are adorable quilts. I love the thought behind including "lamb." At first I thought the background was really BIG gingham. I love how you created that look with your fabric choices. Happy Sewing!

Louise said...

What a fun idea to make lambs the theme for someone with "lamb" in their name! Your baby quilts are just so adorable, and it's very clever to use batting for the woolly parts of the lambs :)

The habit that works well for me (and that trips me up if I get lazy with it) is to lay my blocks back on the design surface after I sew each part of the row or column. As the groups of blocks get longer and longer, it's just too easy to start losing track of where they go next. I try to be consistent about working left to right, top to bottom, but sometimes that's tricky, like when setting blocks on point.

Heidi said...

Those quilts are adorable! Hopefully the babes can hold out a while longer:)
I want to participate in everything I see and have really put my foot down this year. Several times, I printed info, nearly caving, but I am sticking with my ufo's so far so good. It is so very hard to be good!!

Lin said...

Lovely baby quilts and so good to hear from you. Acuracy in cutting in fact just acuracy would be my thing to pay attention to. xx

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Those quilts are so cute. And I love the nursery theme and how it originated. Twins at 40...Omgosh that takes fortitude. Since I am making my first quilt, I certainly have no advice about habits. I do know THIS...measure twice before you cut, lol.
xx, Carol

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I do hope the mom can hang on for 3 or 4 more weeks - twins at 40 will not be a walk in the park - talk about sleep depredation
blog land can be overwhelming at times, so many things to make -- you see something and want to make it and more and more until it seems like you are planning more in your mind then you are making.

Just Ramblin' said...

Love, love your little lamb quilts. What a sweet thing you and you daughter are doing for her friend. Hope she can hang in there for a few more weeks. I had to laugh when I read about you pinning everything. I do that too just because, as you stated, not all fabrics play out the same. It's a habit I can't seem to break, or perhaps I just don't want to.

Anonymous said...

The quilts are adorable. I hope all goes well for the new mom and her twins. I think the one good habit I would encourage is focus. I have to keep reminding myself to keep

Needled Mom said...

Those little lamb quilts are just precious and such a delightful gift.

I am an obsessive pinner. Guess it comes from my garment making years. I guess my biggest point to stress would be accurate cutting and an accurate 1/4" seam allowance. Things fit much better once those are conquered.

Fiona said...

those quilts are just lovely..... I hope the mother to be keeps well for a bit longer. Yes, I find blogland overwhelming every now and then and I just zip through posts.
I often pin a lot - especially for longer seams where a bit of stretching takes place - and also when I want to take more care lining up points (not that I am very successful in that one).... I think it pays off especially on borders to avoid wavy ones

Sheila said...

Karen , the quilts are just adorable, I love them ! I sure hope the mom will be able to go full term or at least close to it. I like to pin too especially if it is a long seam , better safe than sorry as I hate frog stitching . I also like to take that extra time to square up , it makes all the difference .

Sondra said...

SO cute, I know she will love those little lamb quilts...and all the best to the new arrivals when they get here...twins at 40? Pass the Gin n Tonic!
Good habits, for me is to do whatever makes one happy, if pinning makes it good then by all means...I do believe some fabrics are harder to work with so it depends. I saw a lady recently on Sewing With Nancy who not only pins but uses safety pins and she closes them too!

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Oh as a mother of now grown up twins , good luck to your daughters friend ! High blood pressure , leading to preeclampsia has plagued me ever since . The quilts are absolutely gorgeous , right down to the backing and the labels

Sandra Walker said...

First of all I LOVE LOVE LOVE your sheep quilts! I am sending warm hugs to the little mother-to-be that she hangs in for a few more weeks. Second sewing with a daughter, YES! Sadly it has only happened a couple of times, and that was when my kids were 15 years ago ha. Third, what you said about sewing with an old friend makes me think of the whole intolerance/acceptance of differences issues that I think are at the core of the angst in the world right now. Who cares if you pin but she doesn't? Who cares if one likes rotary cutters, the other scissors? Who cares if one likes bright colours the other darker, traditional? Who cares if one presses to the dark side or open? As long as it doesn't hurt another, then it's okay! And then, PEOPLE CHANGE! Maybe one used to pin a lot; now one doesn't feel the need to. Life lesson here right?!

Ann said...

How fun to make twin quilts. Love the little lambs and I could easily see the second was purple. Sending good wishes for a successful delivery as late as possible.
The habit I try to develop is finishing what I start. Corollary is taking longer on each and trying to be more selective about the starts. Ha!

Barb said...

What would it be like to sew with a daughter, lucky you and the quilts are fabulous.

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Oh Karen, the baby quilts are lovely, you are clever to theme them as Lamb quilts, and yes, the second quilt does look purple. Alas my daughter has no interest in sewing, although she is very creative in other ways including making metal jewellery and ceramics.
Many great tips for new quilters have been included and I agree with all of them, but what I would say is get into the habit of cleaning your machine regularly and changing the needle, and ALWAYS put the guard on the rotary cutter, no I don't know from experience, but I have heard of nasty accidents. I have the ergonomic one with the automatic guard.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

These are adorable quilts. I hope your friend is okay and that the twins won't arrive early.

Createology said...

Oh Karen you and your daughter created the most adorable "Twin Lamb" Quilts. I do hope mother and twins are doing well. Being busy is a good thing, however I understand the overwhelmed feeling that can happen. One step at a time for me. I agree with Press, Press, Press and I purchased Best Press for super results. The best tip I ever learned...Sew the seam, Press the seam and then Press the seam open!
Best to you dear. <3

JanineMarie said...

What a neat idea to use part their last name as the theme for their nursery. And you and your daughter's contribution is delightful. I hope all goes well and that those little ones can stay where they "belong" for a few more weeks. I agree with you that blogland can be overwhelming at times. I see so many quilt alongs that look like fun, and I am tempted, but I always have my own projects going, and so I content myself with seeing what everyone else is doing.

Anthea said...

You're so right about the online world... there is always so much crafty stuff to tempt us, encourage us & inspire us... I used to find myself overwhelmed with it too, but these days I seem to have found what I love to do & I just go with that... although a look at some new designs is always fun!

As for a good habit - definitely adequate pressing, & making sure to be at correct size at each stage of sewing. It's much easier to fix one seam or one small unit, rather than having to unpick a whole quilt block!

Tish Stemple said...

Those little lambs are adorable! I'm sure the mother to be will love them. I am a stickler for pinning. I may not always square things up when I should, but I always pin my seams.

Allie-oops Designs said...

ADORABLE little lamb quilts - perfect for a nursery!!! Love them!!!

Pinning - sigh. As little as possible, I'm afraid - but perfect piecing is NOT on my bucket list. If it doesn't fit, I slice it off, lol. If you want accuracy though, it's a must!

Lesley said...

Those little lamb quilts are adorable! Just precious. For some reason, I am not receivng your blog posts on my feed anymore so added you to bloglovin...that way I won't miss your posts. You always have so many beautiful projects to inspire me!

FlourishingPalms said...

The babies who will receive these quilts are so-o fortunate! You two did such a nice job with them. Now I'm hoping mom is doing a "nice job" of bringing those babies into the world. I have so much sewing and quilting info to impart with others that I can't narrow down to one thing other than to say: "Make what you love." Quiltmaking has to be fulfilling, or else why bother to take the time and effort to create? And yes, there's a big difference between skill and talent. One of the QuiltCon lectures included this topic. We must get in the habit of admiring and appreciating another quilter's skill. They likely were not born with the ability to create as they do, but rather learned it through making mistakes!