Friday, April 21, 2017

Challenge Accepted

So a friend called me a few weeks ago asking if I might be able to "enlarge" an existing twin-sized quilt so that it would fit on a queen-sized bed.

Challenge accepted!

I simply thought, "easy, peasy".  Find some coordinating fabric and add 18" on each side.  

And then I got the quilt in my hands. **sigh**  

The first thing I noticed was that it had been hand-quilted.  

Problem #1... I would have to charge an arm and a leg to hand quilt this.  

I pulled out my owner's manual for my Babylock and discovered that it has a stitch that looks as though it is hand stitched.  Game on!

I then started the search for some fabric.  I am about 5 years behind the times to be able to locate the blender/marbled green that at one time was everywhere.

I did some on-line shopping and found a large print green gingham that would coordinate with the existing gingham backing.  

But the other green that I found was to "emerald-y".  

**sigh** Okay, that will simply go into my stash for a future boy quilt using some of the frog fabric that I received in the gifted stash several months ago...

I then did what I probably should have done in the first place... I headed to my "local quilt shop" - I say that tongue-in-cheek because it is really just the Wal-mart fabric department... I selected a nice forest green that will work great.

My next challenge was the batting... My "go-to" batting is a fusible 80-20 blend, but the quilter had used a polyester batting.  This meant that I would need to use spray basting... **sigh** It is just a stinky messy process that gums up my needle.  

After removing the binding I realized that this quilt had probably been washed (and therefor the new fabric would need to pre-washed/shrunk).  After measuring and cutting the fabric to the length needed, into the washing machine it went.  And then the dryer.  It was then that I realized the fabric shrank 4+ inches! Ugh! **sigh** (again...) Okay, so now there will be a seam...

I attached the front and back fabric on the sides of the quilt that needed the "expansion" - just as you would for a "quilt-as-you-go" process.  I then inserted the batting, (sure wish I had taken pictures along the way... ooops!) spray basted them and then pin basted to make sure that everything stayed in place.  

I repeated the serpentine diamonds from the border of the quilt in the enlargement...

And then stitched in flying geese so that it would match the flying geese crayon section of the quilt.

The original binding had been a forest green, but with so much green it really seemed to need a pop of color... I had the perfect gold/yellow for the binding that matched the gold/yellow in the border around the apple center.

Despite the challenges and road-blocks that I faced, I over came and pleased with the finished, and now larger, quilt!  It could have been so easy to have told my customer that it just wasn't possible once I saw the quilt.  

It is projects just like this one that make me a better and well-rounded quilter.  Thanks Debi for thinking of me - and trusting me - to modify this special quilt. Not only challenge accepted... Challenge overcome!

Have you ever had to modify a quilt?  
Is there a different approach you would have tried?

With a little bit of thought and time (patience) you can always be successful... Don't get discouraged.  Don't give up.  You will be glad in the end... Guaranteed!

Happy Quilting,


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Emma's First Year

A baby's first year goes by so quickly!  You wait for months for the new addition to the family to arrive for months and then in what seems to be just the blink of an eye you are celebrating a first birthday.

This was true for my own children and it is true for my children's children.  Emma Noelle is 2-1/2 years old and I wonder, almost daily, where has the time gone???  My little "Sweet Tater" is a spunky little girl - has been been from day one - and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Her Momma was so diligent in making sure pictures were taken each month and on holidays.  Digital cameras make it so easy!  I wish that I had been a little better about photographs... but developing film in the late 80's and early 90's could get a little pricey and there was never a guarantee that the photos would be clear and capture the moment... ah, but I digress.  This is really all about Emma...

After gathering up all the little shirts, outfits, hospital hat and blanket I decided that circles would the primary shape of the quilt.

A few of the items weren't quite circles, but an oval shape would be acceptable...  

So, there is a picture that coordinates with each item...

First up the blanket from the hospital was used as the background blocks that I appliqued the circles to.

"Welcome to the world, Emma Noelle"

She is known as my "Sweet Tater" because her momma wanted sweet potato fries towards the end of her long labor.

Just a few days old her Mom stated...

"Way too much cuteness out of this girl at 330am"
 Just look at that little smirk! Isn't this hat the cutest???
With Big Brother, Tyshan...
"Cutest Sister Ever!"

"One month old!"

"Can't believe our big girl is one month old today! How is that even possible?"

Taking a nap before her first Bronco Game with Dad

"This beauty is 2 months old today! We can't believe how fast she's growing up." 

This was a shameless plug by Grandpa and Grandma and our business, Nolan Quality Customs.  

"Emma has it right! "Life IS too short to shoot an ugly gun!"

Emma's getting into the Halloween spirit!

"3 months old! Getting bigger and more beautiful every day."

Baby Girl is 3 Months old today! I can't believe how fast she's growing. She amazes me daily. Big Girl.  Gorgeous."

"Happy Thanksgiving from our littlest turkey"

"My pretty girl is 4 months old today. Can't believe how fast the past few months have gone. Every day is a new adventure!"

"Emma's first Christmas.  She's a beauty."  

"Emma can't believe it either.... this girl is 5 months old today! We can't believe how fast the time has passed and how she grows and changes daily! Smart, beautiful, and happy as can be... what more can a parent ask for?"

"Celebrating this girls half birthday today!  How is it possible that she is 6 months old already?  Mom's not ready for you to be big yet, bug!" 

"Happy Valentines Day from our little love bug!"

"This can't be possible..... the Love Bug is7 months old today! 

Time is flying, and miss Emma is growing way too fast. 
She is Beautiful, Smart, and Happy...
what more can a parent ask for?"

"I know she's wearing green, but I pinched her cheeks anyway!  Happy St Patty's day!"

"8 months old today, and let me tell you... she's got a mind of her own!  This is the only way my little stinker would let me take a decent picture."

"Our beauty is 9 months old today. That's 3/4 of a year! And I still cant get over how adorable she is. We make awesome kids."

"10 months old today!  Emma has 6 teeth (2 bottom, 4 top), stands fairly well on her own and has taken a couple steps!!  She's also ornery as heck, so don't let that sweet smile fool you! 😉"

"This gorgeous girl has been bringing smiles and laughter to our family for 11 Months! Hard to believe that we only have one more month until she turns one. She's growing up so fast!!!" 

"Our big girl is one!"

I have certainly enjoyed the trip down memory lane.  And I am pretty certain that Emma's Mom & Dad will too.  

Last weekend we had the joy of spending time with Emma (and her little sister, Maggie)... so here are the most recent pictures... 

Have you made a memory quilt for a baby?
What tips, techniques or ideas would incorporate into the quilt?

This is actually my second first year quilt... the other one turned out good, but not what my customer was really expecting - you can read about it here.  I think this one will be much better received.

Oh, and don't forget the label!  I used a few of the embroidery alphabet patterns available on my Babylock.  It isn't perfect... the thread broke as it was moving from the E to the m and I didn't get it lined up perfectly, but it isn't bad.  I'm pretty sure that my Sweet Tater won't mind. 

Enjoy the time you have with the young ones in your life... make memories with them... before you know it they will be all growed up.



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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Beginning of Another Happily Ever After

This past weekend we were blessed to celebrate the marriage of our youngest daughter, Rebecca, to a wonderful young man, David Anderson.

If you read the post about the wedding quilt, you know that they met on-line two years ago.

I was touched when Beck showed me a picture of a wedding dress that she wanted and asked me if I would mind modifying my wedding gown from 1985 to look like it.

I stated, "well, I'm not going to wear it again.  I'll do my very best to make it all you want it to be."

We got busy taking off the sleeves as well as the lace and ribbon at the neck line...

She was a beautiful bride...  Of course, I am heavily biased!  

I should add that the bouquet is a button bouquet made by a friend.  It had lots of vintage buttons as well as some special vintage pins that came from Great-grandparents and a very special hand-painted pendant (painted by my Grandmother for my Mother-in-law)

If interested in a button bouquet, please leave me a comment with your e-mail address and I can put you in touch with the amazing creator.

But the most beautiful thing was watching the newly married couple look deep into each others eyes and see the love that they have for each other...

And just look at the joy they expressed as they made their grand entrance!

I present to you Mr. & Mrs. Anderson!


May they be blessed with many years of happiness together.

Now that the celebration is over and the dress has been dropped off for cleaning in preparation for storage, I need to get back into my studio and get busy with the next project.

Happy Happily Ever After,


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Friday, April 7, 2017

Love is...

For Rebecca and David ~

Love is patient...
     Love is kind...
          It always protects...
               Always trusts.....
                    Always hopes...
                         Love never fails.

The wedding quilt is done!!!

They can choose which direction they want to use it...

A bit of info on the couple - 

David is 27 years old and grew up in Pueblo West with his parents, Jeff and Karen, and his older sister, Crystal. David works at Accusystems in Pueblo as a Director of Software Development. David enjoys mountain biking on the weekend, working to fix things around the house, and eating the goodies that Rebecca makes. 


Rebecca is 27 years old and grew up in Trinidad with her parents, Dave and Melva, and her older sister, Heather. Rebecca works at Parkview Medical Center at the Outpatient Rehab as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Rebecca enjoys what David refers to as her "old lady hobbies" which include: baking, knitting, cross stitch, and reading. 

David and Rebecca met online. David invited Rebecca over for lunch and made chicken quesadillas. They enjoy hiking and going for walks as well as enjoying watching T.V. and movies. They have 2 dogs, Sugar and Toby.

This quilt has a very modern feel (something I don't really do a lot of) but the quilt seemed to naturally progress as I pulled fabric... I did incorporate a couple of more traditional touches into the quilt...

I used my To have and To Hold block (included in volume 14 of Quiltmaker's 100 blocks) as the label...

And I used free motion quilting "script" to write in a portion of 1 Corinthians 13 on the black strip in the middle of the quilt.  This scripture is one that they often recall as a favorite...

So, as your vows are said and you become husband and wife, may you always keep the truth of God's love in your hearts and remember that if you love as God loves...

Love never fails!

Blessings from Mom and Dad