Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Henry Glass & Company Desire to Inspire Challenge

Desire to Inspire Challenge

Back in early October, I was thrilled to receive an email from Henry Glass & Company informing me that I was selected to participate in the Desire to Inspire Challenge. In November, I received the most wonderful package filled with these beautiful fabrics:

These lovely fabrics are from:
Birds 'n Bees by Shelly Comiskey of Simply Shelly Designs

I decided to take the main panel of collection and frame it with the other fabrics. (I purposely put the birdhouses upside-down on the left side just for fun)

As I was pinning layers together for quilting, my new 8 month old puppy George found my quilting very interesting and he had to come and check everything out.

Precious on the other hand didn't really care much about what I was working on. She has seen me work on many projects through the 11 years that we have had her as a part of our family.

George really was interested and had to smell everything.

I caught him nibbling on a safety pin trying to take it away with him. Too adorable for words.

I decided to try something I have never done before and take advantage of the cute panels and experiment with quilting by outlining and enhancing the pictures.

Here is the backside of a birdhouse panel.

And the front side.

Here is the completed quilt. Since I received 2 full panels, I selected each individual picture and placed them in the 10" border.

With the remaining fabric, I made these zippered bags.

Thank you, Henry Glass & Co, Inc., for allowing me the privilege of playing with your wonderful fabrics!

And thank you, George for leaving your chew toy on the floor. :)

Happy Creating, people!

Lavonna ZWB

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Quilting in The Modern World

I have stepped in to a world of quilting that I never have managed to step foot in before - the Modern Quilt.

I have always been a "traditional" quilter and lover of any quilt that is scrappy. Crazy Quilts have been my favorite for it seems like forever. I love being able to make something beautiful out of bits and pieces that have been "thrown away" sew to speak (pun intended) .

Since I recently finished the last of the quilts for my kids/step-kids, I have decided to branch out to making quilts for my nieces and nephews who have gotten married. I don't know if there is a limit on making wedding quilts and delivering them, It has been a little over 2 years since the first nephew was married. Instead of a wedding "gift", can I call it a "in celebration of your wedding" quilt?

I decided to challenge myself by branching out into the "Modern Quilt" design. Something that I have NEVER done before. I chose to make a quilt using my nephew's and his wife's favorite colors from their wedding - teal and kelly green. They chose to do such a beautiful thing as a part of their ceremony - they took colored sand and poured it into another container to represent their union. I was so touched by this beautiful display of their love for each other that I decided I needed to represent that in fabric.

Months ago, I began setting aside fabrics in the shade of green from turquoise to dark green and many colors in between. I made the decision to use 2 1/2" strips.

I looked at many modern quilt designs and decided that I needed to choose something "manly" as this was for my nephew and wife. I finalized on creating a mainly white quilt with 2 sections of color.

One section resembling a stack of coins and the other a strong pillar of color.

I chose to quilt it in a simple all-over meandering stitch.

I enjoyed creating this so much that I am contemplating creating another one just for me.

I look forward to hearing how the "not-so-newly-wed-anymore's" like it.

Now on to the NEXT "in celebration of your wedding" quilt that I need to get done...

Friday, August 14, 2015

For the Monkey Boy

My latest finish is one that was supposed to be finished for Christmas 2013, but had to continually be delayed due to my condition. I am happy to say that as of today, "Monkey Wrench" is finally completed!

I made this for my 16 year-old step-son whom has been called "Monkey Boy" by his father ever since he was little. I make him flannel monkey pajama bottoms every Christmas since his father and I have been married.

The Monkey Wrench or Churn Dash pattern has been on my Quilt Pattern Bucket List for quite some time, so I simply had to make it for the Monkey Boy. It is made with scrap fabrics because that is who I am - a scrap quilter!

I quilted it with an outline (stitch in the ditch) and an additional echo quilting on the inside of the pattern and sashing. The background is simply a meandering stipple stitch.

The border is made up of 2" x 4" rectangles alternating with white squares. 

The corners have a small Monkey Wrench block.

I am happy to have this finished and now I can move on to the next project!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Living with Dysautonomia and Sewing Solutions to Continue On

I feel as though I have been through a storm and am recovering from PTLD (Post Traumatic Life Disorder).

The past few months have been filled with a very long and emotional journey which as of today could finally be wrapped up and put away. I now choose to face the next journey life has to offer with new energy and a bright outlook, for I refuse to let the difficulties and disappointments of life get me down.

I just came back last from a little mini-vacation with my husband where we spent some beautiful peaceful time on an island in the Puget Sound area. This was the view from the backyard.

We were able to relax and fill our days with whatever we wanted. We visited museums, enjoyed the variety of spectacular views that the countryside had to offer, shared some delicious meals, relaxed some more and I sewed as my husband read to me from a book we are reading together. Yes, my husband reads to me. Really romantic in my view. We both enjoy the process.


I wanted to share some of the projects I have been working on, but first, I must share the back story: I have been sewing a lot by hand lately to help with some complications I have been having neurologically as of late. The past couple of years, I have been having to deal with a rather complex health issue, all complications of my genetic heart condition. I do not have heart disease, in fact my heart is "healthy" and to quote my cardiologist, my arteries are "clean as a whistle". The problem is electronic, and because of my heart choosing to beat to its own drummer so to speak, my nervous system is overloaded and causing problems with all of the areas of my body that are controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The umbrella term is Dysautonomia, meaning "a rare disorder of the autonomic nervous system". I can lose my ability to think clearly and become very lethargic, stumble when I walk or lose my balance, have tremors in my hands or not be able to use my hands all together, have "twitches" in my diaphragm causing me to not be able to breathe, seizures, digestive issues, muscle control... the list goes on and on.

Last Summer, we went from Doctor to Doctor searching for solutions to help me to be able to simply live a life as close to "normal" as possible. We finally found a Chiropractic Neurologist that was ready to face my problems head on and help us find some solutions to bring my body back to something that somewhat resembles normalcy. We began exercises and routines to help to create new brain pathways and re-train my brain and nervous system to be able to function properly. One of the solutions we have found was for me to concentrate on actions that require me using my right hand. Sewing by hand has allowed me to focus my brain on the task resulting in being able to help control the seizures and lessen the neurological episodes that I am plagued with. So to put it bluntly, sewing is my therapy.

Enough of the story, now to the fun stuff ~

Here is a pincushion I hand pieced and embroidered a few months ago:

I used scraps that were left over from a couple of other hand sewing projects I have been currently working on.

I have 2 hand projects in production right now using Downton Abbey fabrics in both the inspiration and the making there of. I wanted to choose "older" patterns that look as though they could have been made in the teens and twenties of the 1900's in order for the DA fabrics and others that I consider more "period-esque" to be viewed as perhaps more appropriate in the production of those patterns.

The first is a hexagon flower that I have paper-pieced and placed it in a "pot" with stem and leaf. It will be a finished 10" square on point and I plan to add sashing and borders. I am considering adding some embroidery touches to the flower and leaves as well.

The second is a dresden plate with a purple center and raspberry sashing. I currently have a center of 9 blocks (each measuring 10" finished) that are surrounded by a narrow piano key sashing. I will be finishing it out to measure 7 blocks square and I will tie it all together with a 5" piano key border.

I will now go and partake in a little more "therapy" now. ~

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Quilt for a Wedding

A Wedding Blessing

I finished a quilt on Friday and gifted it to my oldest friend (we have been friends since we were 4) in celebration of her wedding yesterday.

It is a 4-patch strip quilt. I quilted the 4-patch strips in a meandering stitch to represent the twisting and turning of life, and the solid strips were quilted in "bricks" that fit together and create a "foundation" in between the colored bits and pieces of the 4-patches.

The back is simply off-white with a strip of the same maroon fabric from the front with strips of 2 1/2" squares.

I included a blessing for their marriage.

On to the next UFO to be finished.

Lavonna ZWB