Monday, April 6, 2015

Quilted First Communion Banner

A few months ago, my friend Tori asked me to do something special for her son, Lochlan. We've known them since preschool. He is eight and will be having his first communion coming up, and she asked me if it was possible to make a quilted first communion banner.  I said, "Sure!" not knowing anything about said banners as although I'm Christian, I wasn't raised Catholic. My husband, who grew up in the Catholic faith, didn't remember having a banner so some googling was in order. :)  

I learned from Tori that it had to include his name, and the rest she left up to me.  It was slightly stressful, b/c with the creative license left all up to me, (and not knowing anything about the banners prior) I really wanted Tori and her family, and especially Mr. Lochlan to like it! Luckily, there are tons of pics on Pinterest and online.

But.. nearly all, if not all, of the ones I saw were made of felt, and each parish has its own set of rules re: size, who makes it, etc. Some required the children to make them, some required them all to be on one uniform color and size of felt, etc.  

So after finding out all of the specifics, the only rule at their parish being the size, I set out to figure out how to piece Lochlan's name into a 19 x 30-ish banner..

..and what else to put on it.  I settled on the challis and bread, which I had noticed was on a lot of the ones I saw online.

At first I tried to draw out a loaf of bread, which looked hilarious, not something you want your banner to be. ;) So that kind of morphed into the wafer-ish/round bread that I had noticed on some of the online pics. 

Then I drew up a stained glass window-y cross.

I used saturated and dark colors b/c Lochlan's not a "light blue" or pastel color-type kid.  In preschool, most of his pictures were dark colors, and by that I mean black.  He went through the black crayons in preschool like it was nobody's business.  And he's always been a heavy colorer.  You know, the kind of kid who smashes that crayon onto the page when he's coloring.

I sent what I had drawn out to his mom and she showed him, and they both gave the thumbs up, and the rest is history.  It took about a weekend to put together from start to finish and I just used fabric and scraps I had already.

The back is very "Lochlan", too with black chevrons, and I used some thick black ribbon, and inserted a thin dowel into the top binding pocket so it hangs straight when he carries it.

The best part is that his mom got a little teary when she saw it, and loved it, and Lochlan loves it too. 

Here's a pic of our boys when they were in preschool together with their other two friends.  I can't believe they are eight now! That's Loch on the right in the red.

Their friend in the blue superhero suit moved away that year, and here are the boys saying goodbye to each other. Their foursome became a threesome that day, and when they erupted into a spontaneous group hug, I think all of us moms nearly cried. AHHH, where has the time gone!!! 

Thanks for asking me to be a part of Loch's special day, Tori!!


p.s. for Patti's comment below (I couldn't answer via email, there was no return email address) I'm so sorry, I was not implying that Catholics aren't Christians.  I was just saying that although I am Christian, I wasn't raised as a Catholic so had no knowledge of the traditions that go with first communion.  So a LOT of googling and research was done. :) I will reword it a little, so it's more clear.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pin Cushion Palooza

I've been meaning to share about these for a while. But instead have been sewing like a mad woman. I will soon have not one, but TWO quilts to share! :)  But until then, I'd like to ask for your feedback on something special..

I've been making pin cushions. Not for myself, and not something I planned on necessarily, but after my MIL passed away, we found a box in the garage labeled "pin cushion project".  I remembered her telling me about this "UFO" box that was somewhere up in the garage.

She had collected objects from thrifting, estate saling, etc. (one of her favorite pastimes) and had planned to make pin cushions with them, but had never done it. A project she'd meant to start but never did. So when I saw all the cute things she'd collected, I decided to finish her "UFO" for her.  

And now I think what I want to do with them is finish them all and then have a sale, and donate all the proceeds to the Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Fund at the Stanford Cancer Center in her honor.  

Would any of you be interested in one, or know of someone who would?  

Would the best way be to list them on Etsy, or to have an instagram sale?  I've seen people having destash sales, etc. over there where the first person to leave their paypal address claims an item.  Do you think people would buy them?  I guess I'm concerned that I'll end up with 30 homeless pin cushions. 

These are the ones I have done so far.  (I've trimmed them with my hub's grandmother's vintage ricrac.) They have turned out really cute.  They are not super over-stuffed b/c they have walnut shells in them and it's hard to get that puffy full result with walnut shells. (She even had two bags of crushed walnut shells in her box!)

The piggie with some Joel Dewberry fabric..

The piggie's baby with some Riley Blake dots.. she's very tiny, that's a pencil in front of her..

This little British Airways Royal Dalton espresso cup with some Union Jacks..

"the bird"..

..and this seashell with some Lucy's Crab Shack fabric..

What should I charge?  Do you think $10 + 2.50 shipping would be too much?  If the shipping was more, I'd just pay it out of my own pocket, and 100% of the $$ would go to pancreatic cancer research at Stanford.  I don't want to charge too much but at the same time I want to make some money to donate in her honor. Her absence is felt every day, and I think she'd be ecstatic to know her project was completed and to know that they were used to pay it forward in some small way. Pancreatic cancer is an ugly beast.

If you have any feedback as to the best way to go about selling them, feel free to leave me a comment. I've never done any kind of online sale before.


linking up:  Make it Pretty Monday

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Quilt Shop Alert!

I love to find new quilt shops! And share them.  So here are some pics and a virtual tour to battle your midweek and/or winter blahs. ;)

This last week, I got the happiest email! It was from a quilt shop in the Atlanta metro area called A Scarlet Thread. Karen (called Cookie at the shop b/c three Karens work there) wanted to order some Mod GeoCruiser patterns to have in stock for their upcoming shop hop. :) She said that they can't keep it in stock, which is the best compliment ever! 

She sent me a picture of their shop sample. Red is my favorite color, and I have a thing for dots. :) I love it!

I'm always excited to find out where cool shops are in case I'm ever traveling in the area, and I figured you might like to know, too. So I asked Cookie to send me some pics. :)  She was so kind, she send me these photos plus a little about the shop.

It's called A Scarlet Thread and is (so conveniently) located about 30 minutes south of Atlanta, right off of I-75 in McDonough, GA.

The shop name is actually a Bible reference as they are a Christian company and they've been in business for nine years. (that's forever in quilt years!) :) 

 They are the largest quilt shop in Georgia, and occupy one whole side of a strip mall. (what?! where?!) OK, now I really want to go. They carry a large variety of Moda, Michael Miller, and Riley Blake, along with others so it sounds like they have something for everyone.  I wish this pic was scratch and sniff.  I can almost smell the fabric.

They also sell Baby Lock and Bernina, and do machine service and repairs.  And offer a wide choice of classes.  It's actually probably a good thing I don't live nearby, b/c I'm thinking I might go broke if I did. :)

Cookie is a retired school teacher who started working there part time and is now the full time shop manager, and wanted me to invite anyone who's ever in or around Atlanta, or passing through on the way to Florida..(Disney travelers?).. to stop by, b/c you will be driving right past their shop.  

So if you've ever been on that never ending road trip to Disney World and suddenly you caught a whiff of fabric, only to dismiss it as fatigue or delirium, you weren't imagining it -- the fabric was really there. Calling out to you. :)  Next time, you'll know to stop.

Balm for your road weary soul... Just be sure to time your drive right so you're passing through during business hours. What a bummer if it was closed.

And since there are three Karens who work there, just walk in and say "Hi, Karen!" and someone is bound to answer you. :)

Oh I reallllly want to visit A Scarlet Thread now!  Thanks for the pics, Cookie!!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

My New Obsession: Trash to Treasure Blocks

Earlier this month, I found out my block had been accepted into the May issue of Quiltmaker 100 Blocks.  I'm so excited!  This time I wanted to try to make something up to send in for the gallery, using my block.  So I made four of the blocks and turned them into a small quilt.. ..and wound up with lots of scraps in the floor under my machine. (along with the ones that were already there.) :)

 I hate to throw any of them away so I thought I'd try to make a block. 

The Trash to Treasure Block was born.

I cut a 6" square of white, and just started sewing the scrap pieces to the outer edges of it. If the pieces were too small, I sewed them together with other smaller pieces until I had a piece big enough to apply. When I had enough of a scrap edge, I trimmed it down to an 8-ish inch square (no matter the size, just make sure it's square). But if your trimmed block ends up being smaller than that, just make up for it in the border.  Just put a wide enough border on to trim it to 9.5" square in the end.  So all the blocks will end up about 9" finished. 

But before putting on the border, I sliced it into quarters, turned the outside corners to the inside and sewed it back together. To form a sort of wonky improv 8-ish inch cross. 

Apply the border, and trim to 9.5" .. It was so much fun I made two. :) I ran out of yellow dots so I used some yellow gingham. Even the borders will end up scrappy.

You can see that the second one wasn't exactly the same size. The cross section was smaller. But the border makes up for it.  I like that kind of irregular look since the crosses are improv-y. One of my goals this year is to make one of these blocks every time I clean enough scraps from the floor until I have a whole Trash to Treasure quilt. An entire quilt made from little pieces destined for the trash bin. 

I had fun using the leftover scraps from my small quilt (that may or may not return to me with a great big rejection notice-ha!) Most of the scraps were fabrics I had used in the blocks or border, and some from the binding. But some of the others had just been languishing in the floor for an embarrassing amount of time.  Woops. I am MESSY. :)

If you try a Trash to Treasure block, tag me, I'd love to see!

Happy Weekend! Have a great week!

linking up: Let's Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, WOW-WIP on Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, whip it up wednesday, Needle&Thread Thursday