Sunday, January 12, 2014

Antique Blocks

Antique Blocks, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

Got these antique quilt squares from my friend, Shirley. She got them from a woman at her church. The woman said they were her mother's. Very old. Made of shirtings. Mostly hand sewn.

Who knows the name of this pattern?

Back of the 1/4 log cabins. I should've done a better job centering my quilt. Oh, well. Lesson learned.

KC Scrappy Bee Monochromatic 1/4 Log Cabins

Binding my Bento

Untitled, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

Quilted! Now I need to bind it...

Bento Blocks Quilt

, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

Closeup of Boxy Quilting

, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

Bento Block Swap Quilt.

For Sharon in the KC Scrappy Bee

Scrappy Trip Along Block for Sharon in the KC Scrappy Bee

For Heather in Bee Vintage

For Heather in Bee Vintage

for Tammie in Bee Vintage

I love making this block. May do a quilt for myself with this pattern. I have a million 2.5 inch squares...

for Alicia in the KC scrappy bee

KC Scrappy Bee 2013 Quilts of Valor Churn Dash Block

Janie is putting this one together. Ray also assembled some of these from a bee block. Will have to search for a picture...

For Tammie in Bee Vintage

Crooked Cabin in the Cotton

New Quilt of Valor project

Grandma Nell's Baptist Fan

Baptist Fan, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

My grandmother (Sallie) has several of her mother's quilts that were day-to-day quilts, which have been well-used. This is an example of one of those. They were hand quilted using the Baptist Fan quilting pattern, which has quickly become one of my favorites. I bought a template to trace the lines to quilt these into my projects, but I've only used it once on a small placemat.

Satin quilt made by my Great-Great Aunt Rosie

This quilt was made for my aunt when she was a baby. So soft & hand quilted. Love the embroidery. It belongs to my cousin & she has a 3 year old daughter.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Extra Kiddo

I visited my dad & most of my family in Arkansas last week. The day I was leaving, my sister and her 5 kids were on their way to spend time in Arkansas too, so I stayed a few extra hours to see them. A spur of the moment decision led to me bringing an extra kid home with me. In the middle of this picture is my sweet nephew, Jayden. He is between Wyatt & Owen in age. He will be 6 in October. He's hardly any trouble at all. The boys are mostly getting along fabulously. He will be here for another 18 days... 25 days total. My sister & I really want the boys to be able to know their cousins & have great memories with family. What better way than to spend some time together in the summer?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

For Pam in bee vintage

For Pam in Bee Vintage

For Monica (buttoncounter) in bee vintage

For Emily

Untitled, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

This one is for Emily in Bee Vintage. The directions weren't great and this was my 4th attempt. It will be an awesome quilt, though.

Card Trick and Cry of the Loon

I still need to square this top up, but it's an attempt to finish up some blocks that have been on a shelf for at least 7 years. This is the year of FINISHES. I'm working hard to at least finish tops that are in progress, even if I don't quite get them quilted.

Retreating this weekend

Another quilt made by my online vintage sheet bee (Bee Vintage). The pattern is from the Film in the Fridge blog.

Shoo Fly!

This Shoo Fly quilt has been in progress for a while. Blocks were made as a part of Bee Vintage, my online bee that sews with vintage sheets. It's big enough to cover the top of my king sized bed, but doesn't quite hang down on the sides. I may just use it as a summer quilt & use thin batting (or even flannel) and a vintage sheet backing. Would be nice to keep in the car for picnics.

Batiks & Black

Anything in rainbow order is always a big hit. This is just a charm pack of Moda batiks paired with some black charms. Love the contrast & I love the way your eye is drawn across the quilt. May do something similar with my color wheel swap fabric.

Color Wheel Layer Cake Swap

, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

I'm hosting a swap. It's a fun and unique one. The blog "Distant Pickles" did this once & I made the quilt that I just blogged about with the squares I got. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to host another round myself.

These are the fabrics we've gathered. I am waiting for 4 more to arrive in the mail & then I can distribute the packages. Love the possibilities.

I signed up for 2 packs of squares. Can't wait to play around with arrangement.

Color wheel swap quilt

Owen has the life of Riley.

Color wheel swap quilt

What's under the quilt???

2 kids and their iPads, heading to school.

Retreating. Tumbler Party Too- Oranges and Aquas

This one's from the 2nd round of that Tumbler Swap on Flickr. I added some to my batch of tumblers to get it to be this size. I think when I bind it, I'll leave the two sides wavy & use binding made on the bias. I've been wanting to make a scalloped edge quilt and this will be good practice before I dive off & try it.

Tumbler Party Too- Cool Colors

I participated for a 3rd time in a swap on Flickr. We sent in fat quarters and received back tumblers that were cut by a machine. I need one of those machines for myself, I tell ya!

I was really hopeful that I would've gotten a bigger quilt out of this. I've since cut more tumblers by hand and added one row. Will need to be at least twice this size. I have no shortage of fabric, but cutting by hand isn't as accurate or as quick. :/

My boys with their I spy quilts.

I Spy Quilts & the beginning of Summer Vacation. I love it. :)

For Jodee in Bee Vintage

Asian fans wip

Asian fans wip, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

Here's how it would look if I did the Asian fans in circles. It's stunning, but matching up all those points might prove to be tedious.

Asian fans wip

Asian fans wip, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

For future reference, I thought I'd post this picture. It's one way I could arrange the fans. Would make a great medallion quilt, I think. Maybe next time.

Asian Fans WIP

Asian Fans WIP, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

I've had this one going for a long while now. Mostly sitting on a shelf. All of the fabrics are Asian prints. I have the backing planned and purchased already. It is just as exquisite as the front. I've tried various arrangements, but I think I'm going to go with this one. All of the fan blocks will have gold backings like the one in the bottom right corner. This quilt will be for me to keep. :)

One of Two Twin Butterflies for Stephanie in Bee Vintage

I made two of these precious blocks for Stephanie in Bee Vintage. She was petrified of butterflies when she was a child. This is going to make a fun quilt, though. The blocks are about 9 inches finished. I love butterfly blocks.


, originally uploaded by bluevalleyquilting.

So I finished binding my color wheel quilt but still need to add a few vintage buttons at the intersections of the blocks.

Winny thinks this is her quilt. She swats at the buttons & attacks it. Her favorite perch is near the windows so that she can spy on rabbits, squirrels and birds.

Friday, April 19, 2013

For Douglas in the KC Scrappy Bee

These improv blocks were great fun to make. I used a touch of vintage fabric and a couple other awesome fabrics. Enjoy, Douglas!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And Little Brother Wants One Too

Since Wyatt's got a snaggle tooth, Owen thinks he has one, too. Truth be told, he does have a couple teeth that wiggle ever so slightly. He picked out fabric for me to make a tooth pocket pillow for him. Now we are prepared for the Tooth Fairy to visit him, too. :)

Tooth Pocket Pillow for Wyatt

He's got a very wiggly tooth (a first for our family). He also has pink eye. Since we had some extra time at home today, we whipped up this pillow to put his tooth in when it falls out.

New Batik Project

My sister-in-law bought me some batik charm squares & I'm playing around with color. Paired them up with a nice black Moda Bella Solid. Love the way it's looking. I got 3 1/2 rows together before calling it a night tonight. Wanting to add some fun borders & make it a little bigger. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it or sell it or give it away.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Developing a Plan

Back before I was a mom, I was a teacher.  The time I spent teaching prepared me to be a mom in so many ways & for that I am grateful.  I stopped teaching to start a family about 8 years ago.  Having kids took a little more effort than I'd planned, but 6 years ago, I had a beautiful baby boy named Wyatt.  13 short months later, we were pleased to welcome another blessing into our world, as well... My son, Owen.  I've been a stay at home mom the whole time and I love it.  Truly.

However, next year Wyatt will be in 1st grade and Owen will be in Kindergarten.  I will suddenly have more time alone at home.  I'm not sure yet if Owen will go all day or 1/2 day, but I'll know soon.

I toyed with the idea of going back to teaching, but it's not really what I want to do right now.  The politics of education (especially in Kansas) makes me really frustrated as a parent and I'm concerned that as an employee of a school district, I might become even more cynical.  Also, my husband travels a significant amount for work and I'm concerned that I'd be too unavailable for my kids if I worked full-time.  

So... I've been thinking about what I could do to bring in some money while still having the flexibility to go on field trips & volunteer at school.  I also want to do work that I enjoy.  Working for myself would be preferable...

My solution?  It is a little crazy, but I'm considering buying a longarm quilting machine.  I'd have to do some rearranging, but I do have room for one.  Before I could profit much, I'd have to work pretty hard to pay off the machine, as I have zero dollars saved for this venture...  But I've put out some feelers & gotten some really encouraging feedback from friends and family.  

Those of you who know me in the real world know that I'm really passionate about Quilts of Valor.  We make quilts for wounded veterans and active duty service members.  Anyone who has been affected by war can have one.  I've worked with friends since 2006 and together we've made hundreds of heirloom quilts that were given freely to veterans, most of which were strangers.  The sense of accomplishment I feel is priceless.  The skills I've developed as a quilter are priceless.  The relationships this process has formed are priceless.  I will always make Quilts of Valor.

Our local quilt shop (Quilter's Haven) has let me quilt several Quilts of Valor in the past few months during some special events.  It's been SO fun!  I'm relatively untaught & just winging it, but am having some success doing free motion quilting.  I think that by taking a couple classes & picking the brains/watching some of my longarm friends, I can prepare to own my own longarm.  I don't think I'd have too much of a learning curve before I could quilt for hire. 

My plan is to do all over quilting, semi-custom and custom work.  I think we have a shortage of quilters who will do custom work here in KC.  The ones I know who I would recommend are pretty busy, some turning new customers away.  I have some friends who have similar plans, but I think there's room for us all.  The quilting community is alive and well here in KC.  I could also tap into my online presence & market myself to people who live elsewhere. 

Also, I could ramp up my Quilts of Valor efforts.  We have a shortage of longarmers.  Plenty of prolific quilt toppers, but we currently have Quilts of Valor piling up around us, ready to quilt.

My lofty goal is to have my business plan written in the next month or so, to take classes and learn over the summer & to buy my own longarm in time for school starting in the fall.  Let's say September.  I'll need to line up some customers between now and then, but I don't anticipate that being a huge issue.  I'm already a member in two guilds.  I would likely join 2 or 3 more between now and the fall.  Networking will be key, but luckily, networking is something I enjoy and am good at.

I'm opening my Etsy shop to make some money in the meanwhile.  Must save & find an investor or two...  Must also convince the hubs that this is a great idea, but I've been working on that.  ;)

Give me some feedback, friends!  Tell me what you think.  Am I a little nuts?  Nuts in a good way?  What am I not thinking about?  What should I focus more on???  Are you excited?  Talk to me, people.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Bee Vintage WIP

Bee Vintage WIP-, originally uploaded by nkiblueeyes.

My friends in Bee Vintage are making these blocks for me this month. Here's a link to the tutorial from Film in the Fridge:

We're using vintage sheets for the prints and solids for the background fabrics. Love the way it's shaping up. I will be making 2 more rows and will likely sell this in my Etsy shop. :)