Monday, September 28, 2015

Getting Back on Track

I was de-railed on a project over the weekend... but now I am back on track and I have moved on to a special quilt that I get the honor of making for a current Air Force Academy Cadet and will be including a shirt with all of the names of the "Class of 2017".  This is, by far, the coolest shirt I have ever had the privilege of including in a quilt!  

I've gotten all of the shirts trimmed down and backed with fusible interfacing but I am waiting for two more to arrive... hmmmm... what to do to next?

I dug out my collection of shirts that have been stored in a variety of places... some in the sewing room closet, some in the basement dresser... and I started trimming.  I started with approximately two drawers FULL of shirts (folded and packed in tightly)...  Here are the leftover scraps...

And here are the various collections...

I have Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avs, CU, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Trinidad State and...

an assortment of Chicago professional athletic teams.

I can think of several family members that might appreciate this quilt on a cold winter night while watching one of the games!

I also came across this in our personal collection of shirts from vacations and other various favorite shirts we just can't let go of...

A blast from the past!

But until I am ready to actually start each of these different quilts, you be can be sure that I will be shopping the second-hand and thrift shops for more shirts to be included.

Be sure to watch for them!

See what other quilters are talking about at:  Quilter Blogs

Friday, September 25, 2015

It's All In The Math...

I am designing a wall hanging that is to be an anniversary gift from a customer. In my previous post... Rested and Refreshed I shared my plan to include a smaller version of my Pieces of My Heart block that was included in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Vol. 8 in 2013.

I wanted the finished block to be a 9" block rather than a 12" block.  No problem... Simply reduce the cutting dimensions by 25%.  

Well, not quite.  My first attempt ended up not even square!

It is 8-1/4 x 9-1/4... What!?!?

Ok, so it is all in the math.  You have to take the finished size of the piece (not the cutting size) multiply it by 75% and then add 1/2" for seam allowances. **Sigh**

Attempt #2...

Much better!  So the solution is all in the math!

And as a bonus... Here is a sneak peek at my wedding ring block! 

It still needs to have some stitching on it to finish it, but I am pleased!

I'll be in my sewing room this weekend continuing work on this project... Happy weekend!

See what other quilters are doing on Quilter Blogs

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rested and Refreshed!

It has been a good change... The deadline was met, the quilts delivered and then I took a few days off!

I have worked on a few small projects.  Bibs for stuffed animals with all the vital statistics for a baby - name, date of birth, weight and length...

They turned out super cute!  What do you think?

Oh, and I shortened some jeans for my Sweetie.  Yes, I do actually do something other than quilt!

I am preparing to begin a wall hanging that will be an anniversary gift.  It is really quite funny how this project came to be...

My husband is a gunsmith and working on a gun for a customer.  The customer had been looking on our web-site (Nolan Quality Customs).  On our home page there is a small button marked "Melva's Corner".  He inquired about getting a custom quilt... "I am giving your husband some business, so I figured I would get you busy too."

I received a rough sketch of what he was looking for... (aren't his artistic skills stellar?)

I will be piecing a few blocks, but I have a feeling there will be lots of applique. At least is only a wall hanging...  I'll be pulling out my Cricut and using some fancy die-cut letters for the writing.  

I am planning on using my Pieces of My Heart block to anchor the four corners (but in a 9" block rather than the original 12" block). And I think I will be creating some sort of intertwined rings block...

Stay tuned!  

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Defining Moments in Life

So many times it takes a tragic event to put life into perspective... For the past several weeks I have been busy working on four very special quilts. Quilts that are in memory of a wonderful woman that was taken from this world at far too young of an age.  Tracy, who battled MS for years, lost her battle four years ago at just 38 years old.  She left behind a family that misses her terribly.  Her smile could light up a room.  And she was a fighter.

"Knock me down and I will get back up...
You do not have the power to dictate my life...
You will not be allowed to take my spirit because I will not give it to you...
My smile is more powerful than anything you have...
You will never tear me down...
just let me be..." 
Tracy Kay Weimer Valdez

These quilts are for her four daughters from their Mimi. 

Each quilt includes a photo block of their beautiful Mom

I was in the midst of finishing one of these quilts when we got a phone call telling us that the house owned by some special friends was on fire. We made a few phone calls urgently requesting prayer for them and headed over to support them.  

One simply feels helpless in such a situation... there really was nothing we could do to stop the fire or to assist the firefighters... All we could do was pray.  We prayed for the safety of the firefighters, we prayed that there would be minimal damage to the main level of the house, we prayed, and we prayed and then we prayed some more.

The attitude of the home owners was amazing.  They were grateful that they were out safely (with their little dog)...  grateful that they had the presence of mind to grab their fire safe that held all of their valuable papers and photo cds... grateful that the tenants that lived in the upper apartments were not home at the time and were safe.

As I watched the fire and as I watched them, I was impressed and astounded by their common sense and practical frame of mind.  I was impressed, too, by their faith.  They took care of business... and in the days following they continue to "take care of business".  They view the fire as a small "road block" and continue on walking with the Lord and trusting in Him to see what unfolds.

I'm not sure that I was quite so excited about the road block that we faced a few years ago when we chose to start Nolan Quality Customs, but I do recall that we were able to "just do the next right thing" while walking in faith.

Defining moments in life... the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or the loss of personal property... there are many ways to respond. 

For the four young women that miss their Momma, I am sure there has not been a day that has gone by that they have not thought of her smile and her love... Now they will have a special keepsake that will wrap they in love and prayers and keep her close to them and to help them face any future road blocks they may face in faith.