Sunday, December 11, 2011

Make you bounce, rock, roll and skate Don't underrate how I operate

It's door-decorating time at the office again.  Last year we went all out but unfortunately not this year as we went supply-shopping way too late as there was very little left in the stores for maxxing our crafty capabilities.  We modified the Webster mascot a bit from this:

to an action figure who has been clearly enjoying ice time so much that s/he lost weight!

Happy holidays to all Gorlocks everywhere!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Riddle me this, my brother, can you handle it? Your style to my style, you can't hold a candle to it

This quilt was made for a baby who is the new little brother to 3 older sisters.  His mother loved frogs when she was a child and apparently the frog fascination hasn't alleviated over time.  She decorated the nursery in an amphibian theme.

Not a terribly exciting back:  remaining frog print and planet motif.  But both sides are bright and cheerful to help counteract the dreariness of a Massachusetts winter. The family lives in freezing-cold Massachusetts so this was given to them just in time before the nasty weather comes.

As usual, this baby quilt was machine-pieced and machine-quilted.  Baby quilts are meant to be used by babies and need to be durable to stand up to repeated washings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This means huge compared to very small You look a little chilly, can I get you a shawl?

I don't crochet or knit but I had to share this.  My mother's friend has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer after 10 years of remission.  My church has a prayer shawl ministry where the chicks with sticks parishioners make hand-crafted afghans and shawls while saying prayers for the sick. I received a shawl back in my chemo days and found it very comforting.  The shawl pictured below was given by my mother to her coworker. The fiber that was used was very soft and lightweight.

One thing I personally found to be very helpful after the surgeries was a mastectomy pillow.  This is just a small pillow that the patient puts between her arm and her torso.  It does make the patient feel much better.  Apparently cardiac patients also find this to be helpful in removing the achiness.

The patchwork is all cotton and the other is flannel so she can flip it to the smooth side if she is feeling hot and to the fuzzy side if she has chills.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Für Elise

A textile lover in action! She is exploring the flip side.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lex Vegas Love

This quilt was made for a Washington and Lee General who married a Keydet from the Virginia Military Institute.  VMI and W&L are both located in Lexington and happen to share a wall between the two campuses.  VMI graduated 2 weeks before Washington and Lee so they were married during the in-between week.
For the fabric selection, I was very excited to find some leftover Christmas Angel fabric in my stash as well as a dark carnation print with maroon background and the allover big pinkish carnation motif. Because the girl is a W&L Pi Phi, the wine fabric with the strands of pearls is very apropos. Some of those female Generals wear pearls even when they are working out. The print with the tiny hearts worked for a wedding quilt without making it cloyingly sweet.
The design is an arrow design that I found at Quilters's Cache. Pi Beta Phi's colors are wine and silver blue so I used 16 different dark reds and 16 different greys and blues. For the fabric selection, I was very excited to find some leftover Christmas Angel fabric as well as a dark carnation print with maroon background and the allover big pinkish carnation motif. Because the girl is a W&L Pi Phi, the wine fabric with the strands of pearls is very apropos. Some of those female Generals wear pearls even when they are working out. The print with the tiny hearts worked for a wedding quilt without making it cloyingly sweet.

In the big silver blue open spaces I quilted the W&L trident

and the VMI Spider.  Every other area was heavily stippled.

How many Virginia college students does it take to change a light bulb?

VMI students: One Rat to actually change the bulb, one upperclassman toy yell at him for not doing it fast enough, one to yell at him for not using the proper wattage, and one to send him up to the Rat DisciplinaryCommittee for letting the bulb burn out in the first place.

Washington and Lee students: Four, one to change the bulb, and three to write up a complaint to the board of directors stating that they couldhave gone to a better school if they had wanted to.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane, you got clout Other DJs, he'll put your head out

In between our epic week of two not-so-disastrous natural disasters, I completed a quilt for a young man who is bound for George Mason University.  This Tarragon consists of 20 tshirts in a 4 x 5 grid. A blue batik was chosen for the sashing and borders.

Like his older brother, this newly-graduated senior was very involved in high school. He was in DECA and is an excellent athlete.  He is also an avid sports fan. One of his uniforms that was provided was a mesh vest worn over a black tshirt. Both layers were imprinted with the team name on the right breast and if you look closely you can see the team name through the little airholes.

We went a bit different for the backing this time.  3 Robert Kaufman coordinates were pieced together to make a very unique design.

I love these prints, especially the referee print with the little grey dots that look like the breathing holes in real ref shirts.

Go Patriots!

Monday, July 11, 2011

So I synthesize sounds as I patch my brain Insane mind games move quick like flames

This Lavender lapsize quilt was made for a recent college graduate who is going to be working in an underserved community.  As you can see, the design is the same as this baby quilt.

What makes this quilt different is that it is actually not a quilt but a quillow.  Instead appliquing a sleeve on the back, I sewed a large quilted square (about 1/3 of the width of the quilt) instead.

 If the quilt is folded in thirds along the length and then in fourths, you can turn the pocket inside out and you then have a pillow.


Hence the hybridized word quillow!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm the lyrical, mathematical genius Splashing like lime juice, you've never seen this

This Fennel quilt was made for a high school graduate whose academic fortes are math and science. Her name begins with an M so the arrangement of the shirts somewhat reflects the initial.

Lots of high school and church related activities made for a nice bright quilt. Some of the shirts were hand-painted by the recipient. The carrot block looked a bit plain so the actual carrot was quilted with orange thread.

The back was somewhat wild.  The recipient's school's colors are orange and blue and the recipient's favorite color is lime green.  So lots of brights in those shades and others were incorporated for the backing. The bottom right square is green M&M fabric, again reflecting the recipient's given name initial.

Good luck M on all your future endeavors!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

They say I'm a Kappa, womanly and true...but wait a minute, I'll ask my mom to see what I can do!

What to do with shirts you can't bear to give away even though you haven't worn them in literally decades? Make a fullsize fennel quilt of course! Lots of sweatshirts, sweatpants, hoodies, a Province Meeting totebag, even some cross-stitched images went into this full-sized quilt.

This t-shirt quilt is made for an old, ancient alumna. :) She was initiated into the Delta Xi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Carnegie Mellon University.  Note her homage to the Carnegie Mellon Tartans with her plaid letters on the left block that has been cut off.  The block that is centered in the picture is from a cross-stitch pattern booklet that was in print in the late 80s.

The sashing fabric is a mostly blue iris design but there are plenty of pink flowers and green leaves to provide a bit more visual interest.

The blocks above were not from normal t-shirts.  The blue section is from printed boxers and the hawaiian print was a surgical scrub.  The gold key below the white Kappa was a random embroidered applique that I unearthed in my quilt studio.

This shirt was from Spring Carnival. The booth and buggy events were very competitive. We always had a couple of sisters who were majoring in architecture or art which ensured our booths and shirts always looked great.

As usual, this was all machine-pieced and machine-quilted.  All the cross-stitching was by hand.    This grid of 5 x 6 shirts is really for a full-sized bed but works well as a topper on a queen.  It is an excellent size for a college twin bed that has been lofted with cement blocks as it is sufficiently wide enough to hide all the suitcases, refrigerator, and other stuff stored under the typical student's bed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We've got our own hospital, the U of the G. It's no question, life's been good to me.

This Hyssop/Handwork project was different than my usual commission as it took me back to my first love of hand-embroidery.  Back in the days of the dinosaurs, my kindergarten teacher taught all of us (girls AND boys (traditional roles were just beginning to be blurred) how to do basic embroidery stitches, I am guessing to improve our fine  motor skills. We used burlap and acrylic knitting wool.  Somewhere in my parents' attic, there may be even be an ancient remnant of my first stitching endeavor.

In any case, I moved onto needlepoint and crewelwork at age 9 and actually won an EGA award at the local level when I was in elementary school. In junior high, I put down the needle and focused on academics until I was out of college.  Once I was an Army officer's wife with a little one in tow, I started to stitch again.  Cross-stitch and quilting were very popular pasttimes at Ft Knox but needlepoint? not so much.  So my neighbor Melissa taught me how to cross-stitch and my other neighbor Laurel taught me traditional hand -piecing and quilting.  I was a handquilter as opposed to using my machine for quilting as my machine couldn't handle it.  Once I bought the Bernina, that changed. I still love handwork but just don't have as much time so I do a lot more by machine.

So when this commission arose, I jumped at it.  Apparently there is a formal group of retired doctors who had privileges at Georgetown University Hospital.  Now that they are retired and their wives want them out of the house (kidding!), they regularly meet for lunch.  They call themselves the Georgetown Romeos which stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out.

Oscar Mann (the intended recipient) has been spearheading the group for years but is now stepping down.  In appreciation for his work as coordinator, the Romeos all signed a tablecloth that is apparently an actual linen from the restaurant where they have met for decades.   They started signing the tablecloth before I saw the project, otherwise I would have suggested methods to improve the symmetry.

I think this is such a nice gift for someone who has everything! I have only met one of the members but if they are even half as delightful as he is, then this is definitely a fun-loving group.  The contact was a Notre Dame alumnus who graduated in the same class with Regis Philbin

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I've got billions and billions of rhymes to flex 'Cause I've got more rhymes than Carl Richards got turtlenecks

This quilt was made for the retiring Regional Director of Webster University-National Capital Region.  Dr. Richards worked for Webster for nearly 20 years, expanding the one campus at then-Bolling AFB to four locations in the National Capital Region.  Webster-NCR is composed of 4 campuses to include the regional hub at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Fort Belvoir, the Bureau of Naval Medicine and Surgery, and Joint Base Andrews.  

The 3 branches of service are memorialized by the nautical signal flags that spell out CARL RICHARDS, the airplane fabric used in two flag blocks, and the Army BDU fabric used as sashing.  The BDU fabric is part of a uniform from an employee’s spouse.  The digital ACUs are from a former coordinator  who also serves in the National Guard. Carl is an avid skier, so snowflake motifs are utilized as well. The R fabric was chosen as it is the first letter of his surname. These can be seen in the H block at the bottom of the complete quilt.


The yellow with the light blue scrolls is the same fabric as used in the window treatments at the Fort Belvoir office.  Dr. Richards is a known coffee aficionado and an oenophile, so 2 coffee designs and a wine print were incorporated as well.   

Webster’s main campus is in St. Louis, so Cardinals fabric was incorporated. Additionally, Baltimore Oriole fabric was used to represent Maryland, Dr. Richards’ home. The cherry blossoms represent the District of Columbia, and the gold coin motif was chosen as a symbol of the financial success of Webster-NCR under Dr. Richard's reign. The bright blue fabric with large lettering is repurposed from Webster tote bags as is the central square.The center of the quilt depicts the Webster Gorlock, mascot of the University. I hand-tinted the image before quilting it.

We will miss Carl greatly as he steps away from Webster World and embarks on his new ventures.  Best of luck to him.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

T with an H with a ETA

An updated picture of the Theta pillow now beautifully monogrammed with the new member's initials:

I think she'll love it!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And Naugels, Isaac Newton, and Scientific E.Z. Ben Franklin with the kite, gettin' over with the key

This family has Monmouth Duo AND Kite&Key links in it.  The grandmother is a Kappa Kappa Gamma ΚΚΓ, the mom and 2 aunts are all members of Pi Beta Phi ΠΒΦ, and the granddaughter is a new member of Kappa Alpha Theta ΚΑΘ.  Apparently the grandmother's sisters are also Thetas so it's just one happy Panhellenic family!

The young woman is a soon-to-be initiate of Kappa Alpha Theta's Iota chapter at Cornell.  Her pillow was made from a tone-on-tone black striped home dec fabric.  Like always, the letters were skewed towards the top so that there is enough room for a monogram.They of course were centered left and right. The gold fabric has little dots of black and white. I used a variegated gold thread for all the applique work to add some visual interest.

Unlike the other pillows that I have designed that incorporate the school's logo, the customer wanted this pillow to be All Theta.  So on the reverse side, I appliqued a somewhat whimsical kite in flight.

The family has a great sense of humor.  Apparently when the youngest of the 2nd generation followed her 2 sisters into Pi Phi, their Kappa mom sent a bouquet of blue irises (the KKG flower).  This time they are giving the new initiate a pillow that has both owls and arrows on it before they give her the "real" pillow.

I love this fabric.  It is such a simple graphic in black and white and looks stunning IRL!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Brownstones, water towers, trees, skyscrapers Writers, prize fighters and Wall Street traders

This quilt was made for the first child of 2 Manhattanites.  The dad is an investment broker (St. Mark's and Hamilton alum) and the mom is a Blue Devil grad and professional actress.  The little girl was born in the winter but I wanted to make something cheerful and bright to counter the grey that permeates NYC in the cold, dark months.

So I found NON-Eastery bunny fabric and matched it with coordinating colors of yellow, blue, pink, and green.  Very girly and fun! I used a strip-piecing method to put it together and then quilted with multiple colors of threads.

The back is interesting enough to post a picture as well. I had a little bit left of the strips and added motifs of butterfly, frog, fruit, and another rabbit. Like all quilts that I make, I added a hanging sleeve in case the recipients want to display it on the wall.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Always

This quilt was commissioned for yet another Webster employee who was departing for greener pastures.  Actually she was going to Georgia which was just fine with her as it was closer to her extended family.  Once again, the Webster Gorlock is front and center.  The recipient loves the color purple so I made sure that was incorporated in the border.  She also is a big fan of angels so luckily I just happened to have some angel-motif fabric in my stash and said fabric also had touches of purple.

The quilt was machine-pieced and machine-quilted.  The recipient lives by the quote in the title of this post.  She has it on memo pads, a framed calligraphy, a quilted messenger bag (haha, guess who designed THAT! :) ).

I had a chance to share an office with the recipient (an SC State alumna!) for awhile.   She was a lovely, lovely lady, a true pleasure to work with (yes, I know that is a dangling participle at the end of the sentence).  Her husband was always so polite when he dropped by or called and her little guy was darling as could be. I will always remember that she specifically got a flu shot when my immune system was compromised due to the chemo and radiation.    I didn't ask her to do so.  She just always went above and beyond in caring for others, whether it was a student, a young soldier's wife,  or even her crazy co-worker.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bim! Bam! Hot damn! We're the girls of Delta Gam!

Fabulous Client, Part Deux*

The twin of the boy who received the UMD/Kappa Alpha pillow this Christmas is also attending a Maryland college. This young lady attends Salisbury University and is a proud sister of Delta Gamma.

The Salisbury University logo incorporates their mascot and the letters S and U in a very skinny font. The mascot is a seagull which is very logical as Salisbury is on the Eastern Shore very close to the Atlantic Ocean. Their colors are maroon and gold.

Delta Gamma (ΔΓ) is a woman's fraternity founded in 1873. They have a mascot called the Hannah Doll which looks somewhat like Raggedy Ann. Their badge is an anchor and their colors are bronze and pale pink and blue.
I was able to find some blue fabric that had anchor motifs in the right size for the letters so I was thrilled. The recipient apparently is a big fan of hot pink so I kicked it up a notch for the background. Surprisingly the maroon of the SU didn't clash too badly with the hot pink.

* Thank you very much for arranging to meet me at Talbot's Outlet. For any MidAtlantic ladies reading this, the Talbot's Outlet in Fairfax County, VA is well worth the drive: Fabulous deals for the high-quality merchandise for which Talbot's is known.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sweating like sardines in a flophouse fraternity

Gotta love a repeat client! :) Back in 2009, the wonderful customer ordered 4 custom-made pillows for her 3 sons and the girlfriend of the oldest boy. This year she wanted them for her college-aged niece and nephew who happen to be twins. They were made for Christmas 2010. I'm just slow on the uptick regarding this blogging stuff.

So first things first, the boy is a member of the Kappa Alpha Order at the University of Maryland. I looked around but couldn't find Terrapin fabric (but did spot plenty of UVA and Hokie motifs) on my side of the Potomac. So the client chose the pattern fabric to be a plaid that incorporated the black, red, white , and yellow of the University of Maryland logo.

Kappa Alpha Order's colors are crimson and old gold. For once the college colors and the fraternity colors were the same!

The same plaid was used for piping, the outline of the Maryland M and the main fabric of the greek letters. I did both regular and reverse-applique for the M and regular applique for the KA.

This pillow cover was made with a zipper and pillow insert so it could be cleaned easily. My client has a wonderful monogrammer in her town who took care of the machine embroidery.

Factoid of the day: There is a statue of Jim Henson (Class of 1960) chatting with Kermit the Frog on the College Park campus. As a former Sesame Street fan back in the day, I think that's great!