Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Harry Potter Quilts and Pillows

While we were in Canmore, AB, Canada, last spring, I bought a panel with the four house crests of Hogwarts, the Harry Potter boarding school. I thought I would make pillows or wallhangings. When I showed them to our "Harry Potter" grandson, he requested a quilt. Since he has bunkbeds, that meant two quilts. I made pillows from the other two crests.

First is the Slytherin pillow. Both pillows are quilted with a walking foot and cross-hatch stitching with black 50-weight Aurifil thread.

I added some meaningful script to each item but it is rather hidden - black thread writing on black fabric. A motto for Slytherin could be "Do what is necessary" - you might be able to see it here on the top of the pillow..

A couple of Slytherin traits are resourceful and intellegent. Maybe you can read the intelligent.

This is the  Ravenclaw pillow. 

The motto could be "Do what is wise".

A couple of Ravenclaw traits are clever and creative.

The back of both pillows are the same. This is the same fabric as the backing on the quilts. The covers are easily removable for laundering.

The first quilt is the Gryffindor quilt. It's 70" by 90".

The quilts were rather labor intensive. You can read a little about the process here. I designed the quilts but I didn't think about how I was going to add the black stripes. It worked out though so I'm happy! I used a walking foot and black 28-weight Aurifil thread. It was fun using a heavier thread - you can see it - and my Juki sewed great with it.

I used black 50-weight Aurifil thread (a thinner thread) for crosshatching the crest.

I added a Gryffindor motto above the crest: "Do what is right".


Below the crest are some traits of Gryffindors: brave, loyal, smart.


The backing is the same black grunge stars as the pillows.

The Hufflepuff quilt is also 70" by 90".

I used 28-weight #2600 Dove (gray) to quilt this in the same manner as the Gryffindor quilt.

I used black 50-weight Aurifil thread (a thinner thread) for crosshatching the crest.

The backing is the same black grunge stars as the pillows and the Hufflepuff quilt.

A Hufflepuff motto might be "Do what is nice".

Some Hufflepuff traits are kind, loyal and honest.



Grandson G likes everything so it was well worth my efforts.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I Scream You Scream

Any day spent sewing, is a good day!

I Scream You Scream is finished. I began this quilt in February by making the ice cream cones. and I finished piecing the top at a spring retreat in March. Now I finally have it quilted and the binding is on.


This 62" square quilt has Dream Cotton Batting. I used Aurifil 50-weight thread. The cones are appliquéd with #2325 beige; the ice cream is appliquéd and the front is quilted with #2600 Dove (a light gray); the back is quilted with #2265 red. I'm learning more about thread weights so I'll be trying some different threads in the near future.

I echo stitched the ice cream and cone and then I stippled around them. I free-motion quilted a large swirl in each pinwheel square.

I free-motioned quilted a back and forth squiggle in the inside white border and the outside orange border. I think you can see it more in the white border. In the middle border, I free-motioned ice cream cones - you can see them more in the white triangles. I did a squiggle in the orange dot near the corners.

The backing is a bright red and orange and the binding is an orange waterspot fabric.

This donation quilt is the first one in the pile for our next trip to the Children's Hospital.

I'm making progress on the Hufflepuff quilt. This is half of the strips I have done with the gray strip added. 

I'm hoping to have the quilt together by Tuesday or Wednesday. Then I can begin cutting it apart to add the gray strips in the opposite direction.

Friday, September 13, 2019

A fun day!

For it is in giving that we receive
― St. Francis of Assisi


Yesterday we had an errand in Madison, Wisconsin, so we decided to also drop by American Family Children's Hospital (aka UW Children's Hospital).

I had 21 quilts to drop off.

As we came in the door, the one valet parking guy asked if we needed a wagon - we'll have to do that next time.

The lady at the desk where we donated the quilts was excited to see us. Another lady passed by and had to admire and touch a few.

I always enjoy stopping by and leaving quilts off at the hospital - it high on my list of fun things to do!

The Harry Potter quilts are coming along. The Gryffindor one is pinned!



And I decided to try drying honey. It's been in the dehydrator for 3 1/2 days and is drying but very slowly. Patience!



Our youngest son is a beekeeper and has LOTS of honey this year. A little bit of it had a high moisture content so it won't keep like regular honey. I took a couple of pounds and am attempting to dry it and make it into honey powder.

At least dehydrating things don't require much of my attention so I still have time to quilt!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2019

On Thursday, my friend Sandy and I went to the Wisconsin Quilt Expo 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. Oh, the people! We arrived 17 minutes after the doors opened and felt lucky to get a parking space. The place was mobbed with thousands of quilters! I was so happy and grateful that Sandy had bought our tickets ahead of time - one less line.

We worked our way through the crowds all morning and also through lunch. At 1:00, we attended Lori Kennedy's lecture. Although I'd never met Lori, I've followed her blog for years. I was greeted as a long lost friend. She is so warm and friendly.

Sandy and I both enjoyed Lori's class and learned some new things about free motion quilting. There is always more to learn! We attempted more shopping in the afternoon and both left with minimal purchases. I did get the ruler foot for my Juki but it was next to impossible to get photos of anything. Overall it was a fun day!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Making Harry Potter Quilts

I am making two Harry Potter themed quilts. The twin-size quilts are for a bunkbed. The first one is a Gryffindor quilt with scarlet and gold. I designed the quilts to have a crest in the middle surrounded by squares of color. I found the crests at Sugar Pine Company in Canmore, AB, CAN, in May. 

I decided the squares should be set on a diagonal. Here is one of the 26 strips for the first quilt.


Each square will have a small strip of black in both directions. I decided to do the addition of the black when I could add the black to an entire scarlet/gold strip at a time. So I cut each strip down the middle

and added a 1" piece of black that will finish at 1/2".

After adding the strip, I pressed the seam open.

Then I needed to match the pieces (there is LOTS of pinning),


pressed to set the seam (there is LOTS of pressing),

and pressed to open the seams (there really is LOTS of pressing).

This is the last strip for the first quilt!

Some strips are sewn together.

Just a few have the black going in the second direction - I have a long ways to go. When the black strips are all added, I will add the crest to the center of the quilt. I'm hoping this all goes as planned.

Using the same design, I've started the second quilt, the Hufflepuff one, with black and yellow fabric. The yellow can be anywhere from light yellow to gold. I'm using the same gold in both quilts. Instead of black strips, this one will have 1/2" gray strips. 

Every so often, I just want to do some free-motion quilting so I'm keeping this quilt under the needle of the Juki. I try to spend a little time each day working on it.

We are getting thunderstorms this morning - a perfect day to be quilting!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Reverse Churn Dash is finished

I seem to spend most of my time in the kitchen these days but I did get the Reverse Churn Dash finished.

I quilted this on my new Juki with a meandering (large stippling) stitch. I love sewing on the Juki partly because I can easily see what I have already sewn.
The quilt has been laundered so I'm not sure you can see the quilting.

I used #2600 light gray 50-weight Aurifil thread to quilt this 50" by 60" donation quilt.


I began this quilt in May. I thought it would be a neat way to use some scraps. I also used leftover pieces of binding to make a scrappy binding. I finished the quilt top at a recent retreat and friends were checking out all of the scraps - some child may easily play Eye Spy with this one.

The backing fabric came from The Quilter's Fix in Sheridan Wyoming. It's very bright and cheerful. I really don't see the pattern in the back until I look at a picture of it.

I am slowly quilting another quilt and I also have a couple of quilts that I am slowly cutting and sewing. In another week, I should be done working with produce so then I will have a lot more time to quilt!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Catching up and a finish

Where does the time go? I've really been busy with freezing and drying zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, ... and I've been busy with the Cricut. Here is Ray's new shirt that he designed.

We hung the sign that we bought in Virginia on our porch.

I finished a quilt! This is the quilt made from the African Wax Prints - I finished the top at the last retreat. I bought the collection of fabrics at Crimson Tate in Indianapolis last April.

The backing is some fabric that Ray picked out at Seams Sew Easy in Fairfield, Ohio in July.

This donation quilt has Dream Cotton batting and is 52" by 66". I used a walking foot and quilted this with straight lines. I used light gray #2600 50-weight Aurifil thread. I used my new machine!
close up of laundered quilt
I've really wanted a new sewing machine for quilting but I don't have the space for a long arm and I can't stand up for hours at a time. I considered a sit down long arm but again that would need quite a bit of space.

After years, make that 11 years of looking, reading, talking with people, researching, I finally purchased a Haruka, the Juki TL-18 QVP. This is a mid-arm machine and I love it. My understanding is that haruka is Japanese for beyond. So far is is beyond my expectations!

I am just finishing my first free-motion quilt on the Juki and will show it to you when the quilt is done. In the meantime, I'll be getting more produce this week so I'll be back in the kitchen.

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