Lulu Collage Quilt – part two

In a couple of weeks, Lulu will be hanging out with the longarm lady getting some custom quilting work! But first a little progress report. Lulu, the collage elephant (pattern by Laura Heine), went from having lots of fabric pieces pinned to her … to taking the fused backing paper off all the pieces, and repositioning the pieces back on the quilt. The backs of the pieces are tacky enough to stay put until the final fuse over the entire elephant shape. Next, I cut around the elephant shape. I was now ready to fuse Lulu to my background fabric. But there was a little snag.

I had purchased the background fabric for Lulu at the fabric store where I took the class. Big mistake on my part. I was in a hurry and didn’t really think it through. Lulu was left behind on her board in the workroom and I just wandered around looking for … whatever!

Thank goodness for quilting peeps! I recently dragged Lulu for a little “show and tell” to the Prayer Quilt Ministry at our church. Before fusing Lulu to the background, I wanted to audition her with the background fabric. Right away I could see by the many frowny faces that the white backing I had picked wasn’t doing Lulu justice. Yeah … I had those thoughts but didn’t trust my gut. I went back to the drawing board and found this bright yellow batik! Quilting disaster averted! After some serious ironing of the batik fabric, I positioned Lulu on the backing fabric. I applied the fabric fuse around all the outside edges and pressed with a product called FabricFuse by thermoweb. It is a quick bonding fabric adhesive which dries in four to six hours. I’m certain most quilting shops/craft stores sell something like this product.

I’ve also have chosen a purple batik for the backing and a Kaffe Fassett fabric for the binding! In a couple of weeks, I will post the finished quilt!

A pixelated heart quilt for Baby Frantz


This past weekend I attended a baby shower for my lovely daughter-in-law in Michigan. Still pinching myself Ricky and Kate are going to be parents. It will be our third little bundle of joy … and Kate’s parent’s first grandbaby. So much to celebrate!

I brought along with me a baby quilt that has been in the works for a spell. My carry-on bag contained the baby quilt and a wool coat for me. Not used to cold weather in March, but I did bring the “Texas sun” with me! Kate’s baby colors are sea foam green/teal, with white and gray. Kate and I collaborated on the design several months ago. I sent her quilt pattern possibilities from one of my favorite blogs … Diary of a Quilter. I’ve subscribed to Amy’s blog for some time and really like her style. She made her pixelated heart in two sizes … one very large and the other a tad smaller. I just reduced the size of the square blocks down to three inches to get the size quilt I was looking for.

The quilt has a total of 285 three-inch blocks … 70 of them a variety of sea foam green/teals and 215 a variety of whites for a scrappy look. The size of the quilt is 37.5″ by 47.5″ … 15 squares by 19 squares … and the perfect size for some future tummy time. I couldn’t find a suitable gray for the quilt and just decided to leave it out rather than not be happy with the result. This little girl will be receiving lots more quilts during her lifetime so there are lots more chances to get it perfect.

The quilt was machine-quilted with a butterfly pantograph by A Needle and Thread in Old Town Spring. And my awesome friend and fellow quilter, Sally, embroidered the patch on the back.

Next up … progress on that elephant collage quilt! It is going to be awesome! I’m so glad I auditioned the background fabric for Lulu with some friends. Disaster averted!

A collage quilting class!

Several years ago I purchased a quilt pattern at the International Quilt Festival for a collage quilt by Laura Heine of Fiberworks. I’ve never made a collage quilt in my life but absolutely LOVED this quilt! The quilt’s name is Lulu the elephant and the sample quilt was a sassy hot pink elephant. I had to have it!

When I noticed Painted Pony ‘n Quilts in La Porte was offering a collage quilting class, I jumped right on it. The class was taught by the awesome Jo Lynn O’Neil. She teaches and runs a quilt retreat house west of Fort Worth named Rock House Retreat in Santo, Texas. Her rooster collage quilt is named Doodle-Doo Rooster and is fabulous! Two long, creative days were spent in a classroom. I was one of a dozen ladies laboring over our creations. The technique is nothing like I expected. In a peanut shell, large pieces of all kinds of fabric are fused and then cut out into smaller pieces. Karen K Buckley makes awesome scissors for precisely cutting these pieces. The smaller fused pieces are pinned down on the quilt pattern. After the pieces are where you like them, the fusible paper is removed and placed a little more permanently onto the pattern. Heck, it is a little more complicated than that but you kinda get how to get started. No sewing machine involved until the quilt is actually quilted.

I was the only one making the elephant and it was, of course, the largest pattern. You know me … go big or go home! We had two ladies making the pincushion and two creating the Cora the owl. The two ladies working on Purrfect Cat had two completely different takes on their creations and both turned out amazing! The dress form (entitled “Perfect Form”) was made entirely with Victorian fabric and stunning. I was sorry I didn’t take more photos of The Guardian Angel (made with narrow little strips) and The Dress collage quilts. Both were turning out awesome!

My Lulu the Elephant all started with her floppy ears. Nearly all my fabric is Kaffe Fassett with some Tula Pink. Personally, I didn’t know where to start. But I had these large pieces of elephant ear fabric cut out. I guess the teacher could see my hesitation on where to begin. Jo Lynn picked up the elephant ear fabric pieces and placed them where they now reside. I was up and running! I took Lulu home probably with most of the fabric pieces placed. Now I am working on getting the fusible off all the pinned pieces. I was amazed how quickly this kind of quilt comes together. In about a week, I should be able to take it to be machine quilted!

Below is a taste on how Lulu is progressing!

A look back – 2017 quilting projects


2017 wasn’t a banner year for completing quilt projects. I count only two quilts that were actually completed! That means binding sewn down and patch on the back! One was a charity quilt donated to the Village Learning Center, the day center my Mimi attends. A lovely lady named Clare won it in their silent auction. I always love it when someone is excited to have one of my quilts. Hildy won the charity quilt last year for the Village and reminds me whenever I see her how much she enjoys it.

The other quilt completed was the 2015 Row-by-Row quilt which was a lot of fun. Eight rows make an official row-by-row quilt which is a very LONG quilt. It is the reason I put three rows on the back. That way the quilt fits perfect hung in my quilt room. I worked on the rows whenever there was a little extra time between the month-by-month mailings and finally sent it off for quilting. I actually have all my rows for 2016 still in their little plastic pouches untouched. As for 2017, I also have all my eight rows and actually worked on a few of them. I’ll let you peek at them later.

I believe it was that block-of-the-month Quilter’s Patch quilt through Fat Quarter Shop that ate my lunch this year. But as a result of the monthly project, I also grew and stretched as a quilter. The things you can do by manipulating fabric. Who knew? The top is now complete and pictured above. I did not make the large borders and switched a couple of the flowers around by accident. This quilt will be added to my meager supply of seasonal quilts that I hang around the house. I’ve been wanting a spring quilt in my quilt menagerie for some time. This quilt is it! Please excuse the wrinkle-ness of the quilt top photo. I was running off to take it to the long-arm lady and realized I didn’t have a photo. Whenever it is finished later this year, you will be the first to see it up close and personal! It is going to be awesome!

2018 is going to be fun!

So what is up for 2018? Want a little peek? Working on another baby quilt! Due in May, my lovely daughter-in-law, Kate, and son, Ricky, are having a little bundle of joy. It’s a GIRL. Kate and I collaborated and I think we have a winning baby quilt in the wings.

I am also taking a collage class at Painted Pony in mid-February. Can’t wait. I’ve had this Elephant quilt pattern named “Lulu” for about two years and could probably figure it out myself. But then this class popped up and I thought, let’s do it! My only dilemma … I’m torn whether to make the elephant hot pinks and greens, or use my stash of colorful Kaffe Fassett fabrics and go wild. Any suggestions?

Martha’s Quilters honor Fr. Borski with quilt on his 50th anniversary as a priest


St. Martha Catholic Church officially celebrated the 50th anniversary of Fr. Chester Borski’s priesthood on December 21, with a Mass of Thanksgiving. He was ordained 50 years earlier, in 1967, at the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome. Happily for us, Fr. Borski has shepherded his flock at St. Martha for the past 17 years.

When word got out there were special events being planned this year, one of Martha’s Quilters’ members, our “fabric whisperer” Noreen, spearheaded an ambitious quilt project for the anniversary celebration. Yes … Martha’s Quilters would make Father Borski a quilt. This project took seven months to complete. The other members of our prayer quilt ministry carried our workload while this project was being created. This insured all the needs for quilts for sick parishioners were filled.

It was decided that a “friendship quilt” was most appropriate, one with signatures of his friends and parishioners. A team of people began collecting the signatures and well-wishes on small rectangles of fabric. One of our members, Angela, and parishioner, Lourdes, were a tremendous help in collecting signatures. Fr. TJ helped with some of the clergy. Noreen even wrote Pope Francis a very nice letter to see if he would sign a block. Alas, a signed block was not meant to be. However, the Pope did send a letter and lovely rosary.

One of my personal favorite signature blocks reads: “We never got to go bear hunting.”

After the multitude of signature blocks were gathered, Noreen sewed colorful pieces of fabric around each signature blocks. She then stitched the blocks together into a quilt top. The quilt has approximately 300 blocks which represent well-wishes from individuals, families and church groups, such as ACTS. We estimate this quilt represents one thousand people who have been touched by Fr. Borski.

The design of the quilt block and layout was something Noreen hadn’t seen before. While on a trip to the Holy Land earlier this year, she found a tile design on the floor of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. No kidding … this is the only other place Noreen had ever seen this design she would turn into a quilt block. Yes … the Holy Spirit had a hand in the design of the quilt. During the quilt top construction, Noreen also added prayers and scripture verses.

After all the blocks were stitched together, 12 members of Martha’s Quilters worked to finish the quilt. They basted the quilt, Sally and Clara machine-quilted it, and Sally added borders. I had the privilege of machine-sewing the binding. Then the binding was sewn down by many hands, the pocket was embroidered, and finally, the hanging sleeve was made and sewn on. The quilt was displayed in the church narthex during the Fr. Borski’s Mass of Thanksgiving.

On December 13, the week before his Mass of Thanksgiving, our little group of quilters presented the anniversary quilt to Fr. Borski in the parish office. Little did we know the heavenly significance of this date. Fr. Borski told us it was his mother, Lucy’s birthday, and also her patron saint, St. Lucy’s feast day. He told us that his mother was a quilter late-in-life and one of her projects was to make each of her children a quilt. Since Father was a priest, he urged his mother to first make all his other many siblings their quilts. His mother died before she could make that last quilt. Fr. Borski never got his quilt … that is … until his late mother’s birthday this year. I feel certain his mother was smiling down on the group assembled that day.

Quilter’s Patch – November fence and blocks together


The November fence block with heart-shaped garden gate is finished! OK … so I know it is December … but only by a few days. Did I mention December is my favorite month of the year from a blog perspective? It’s the snow falling across the blog. I love that WordPress adds the snow in December!

The fence was an easy and fast block to piece! November’s block-of-the-month assignment also included several butterfly blocks, but I am not using them in the quilt top. I had so much time on my hands after the fence was finished, I put all the flower blocks together. Just for fun, I switched the order on two of the flower blocks. I’ll post a completed quilt top once the border is on. Decided to use a plain narrow border as this quilt will be hung. I anticipate the dimensions will be around 65″ by 65″. Can’t wait for this one to be machine quilted!

Quilter’s Patch – October block finished!

October’s Quilter’s Block-of-the-Month is finally history … two weeks late! There was only one oversized Sunflower block this month using Dresden units with points. A little bit of machine-piecing for the stems and leaves … and a little bit of applique for the sunflower blooms. This block was actually fun.

On to the November block. I’m skipping the Butterfly blocks that is a part of this month. Not putting them in the quilt. They would make this quilt much larger than I wanted. My plan is to make this quilt smaller than the original size of 75″ by 78-1/2″. The Fence Block is my last one before putting the blocks together with narrow borders.