Holy Family Chapel Quilt

Martha’s Quilters is a group at St. Martha’s church in Kingwood which has a mission of providing prayer quilts to parishioners who are ill. We were recently requested to make a quilt for the new chapel. It would be a special quilt in memory of one of the long time members of our group, Pat Reid, who donated the funds to build the new chapel.

We began by choosing a stained glass image of the holy family that we found on Pinterest. It was transferred to paper as a simple line drawing.

Original line drawing for quilt

Next, we auditioned many different fabrics for the various areas of the design.

We chose mostly jewel tones and batiks. They looked great against the black bias strips representing the leading for the “stained glass”. The faces and halos were painted using acrylics and fabric paint on white fabric.

After cutting and fusing the sections down, the black bias was carefully hand appliquéd in place. The family was then cut away from the base fabric and fused onto a new background of textured beige. The quilt looked good at this point, but needed something more.

Our friend Pat had been an avid gardener and a member of the Kingwood Garden Club for many years. To honor this interest of hers, it was decided to add a border of flowers and include many purple ones, because purple was Pat’s favorite color.

Adding the floral border

The floral border greatly enhanced the quilt by reflecting the colors in the family and introducing small details that could be found by close inspection. Birds, frogs, butterflies and angels can all be found within the floral border, as well as Pat’s own name (which had been on her well-used walker bag).

Addition of “Pat” surrounded by her favorite color : purple

Here is the inscription on the label:

Label inscription

And here is the image of the finished quilt:

Finished quilt

This project was truly a group effort of all of the members of Martha’s Quilters who spent long hours cutting, fusing, stitching, quilting, embroidering and binding the quilt. It reflects Pat’s love of gardens and flowers, her great faith and her love of all things purple. May she rest in peace.

The Cat Napper

We were planning to visit my son and fiancé and their two cats. I wanted to bring something for the kitties. I found a pattern online called “the cat napper” from a company called Sallie Tomato which looked really cute, and ordered it. Here is the cat fabric that was in my stash.

Cat fabric

The construction called for placing 3 sections of 1/4″ fusible foam that was 2 layers thick. The interior fabric was then placed on top of the foam and stitched in place.

Fusible foam, 2 layers

Grosgrain ribbon was placed on the edges for ties and then the binding was stitched all the way around. The binding was the hardest part to accomplish because of the thickness of the foam. It was difficult to keep the stitching straight and I actually broke two needles!

So we arrive in Massachusetts, unpack the cat napper, and waited to see what happened. The first cat to come was Meera, the black cat. She walked around and checked it out from the outside, then scratched her head on it a few times. She finally ventured inside (with the help of a pinch of catnip) and proceeded to roll around inside, overturned it, and thoroughly enjoyed having her own new digs. Later, the other cat, Nutmeg came to check it out, but was unable to go inside because Meera was there to defend her new territory! Which is totally okay because Nutmeg won’t allow Meera on the second floor of the home! Crazy cats!

Summer in Houston, TX

Summer is my least favorite time in Houston. August especially can be brutally hot for weeks with temps high in the 90s and often surpassing 100 degrees. So when my local chapter of the Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) decided to issue a call for entries for quilts that represented “Life in Bayou City”, it was a no brainer that I would make a quilt that was a commentary on Houston summer weather. It would have to include symbols of the extreme heat, and also the flooding that Houston experienced 2 years ago in the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Harvey was a disaster of unbelievable proportions- $125 billion dollars in damage. The storm lasted from August 17 to September 2, 2017.

I started by constructing a temperature graph, using colors that went from yellow to red suggesting rising temperatures.

Constructing the temperature graph

Next, I searched for fabrics to represent the floodwater. I needed to piece several different blue fabrics together trying to get the right variety of light and dark fabrics for flowing water.

Stitched blue fabrics together to represent floods

I then used my printer to try different fonts and sizes to come up with the template for the title lettering.

Paper template for cutting out the lettering

Lastly, it was all pieced together with more lettering added to separate the different sections of the quilt. I had to include those dreaded words” A tropical storm is developing in the Gulf of Mexico” and “Heat advisory in effect for the next 10 days”.

The finished quilt:

Houston Weather

So, here it is the 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. I hope my friends here in Houston are prepared and ready for the hurricane season that is ramping up, and I hope Mother Nature is kind to us this year.

Tina’s Painted Rocks

In this post I would like to feature the incredible work of my sister Tina. She is a very talented rock painter who only began painting rocks two years ago. Her training as a draftsperson and attention to detail have resulted in beautiful rocks that she gifts to our family and I am so happy to own and cherish a small collection of these beauties.

Here’s what Tina has to say about this:

“I paint rocks and I love it! I sometimes paint words, or people or even animals. The superhero and animal ones are a favorite of my grandson. My favorite designs to paint are mandalas. These are circular geometric designs, painted on the rocks using dots. I love to do different color combinations and different patterns. For me, it is relaxing and something I very much look forward to doing.”

Tina lives in Connecticut, and I live in Texas so we don’t get to see each other very often, but when we do, we always enjoy hunting for good rocks for her to paint, beach combing for pieces of colored glass and going out to get some lobster rolls!

Here we are together (Tina on the left):

A Quick to Stitch Scrap Quilt

Here’s an easy and quick to stitch lap quilt design that practically makes itself. Start by pairing up 2 different fabrics that complement each other and cut 6″ squares from each fabric.

Next, stack the fabric pieces and make a horizontal and a vertical cut as shown below:

Separate the pieces-

Separated piles after the cuts are made

Then rearrange the piles into blocks for stitching:

Ready to sew

After stitching the blocks are 5 1/2″ unfinished.

Blocks all stitched

Here’s a closeup of my layout, finished size of the blocks are now 5″ by 5″.

I used an alternating dark/light layout for stitching the quilt.

And the finished quilt top looks like this:

Finished quilt top

This quilt was 8 blocks by 12 blocks, (40″ X 60″) a perfect size for a lap quilt. It’s fun to play with the fabric colors, or try it with batiks, holiday fabrics or kid fabrics. You can use up your scraps, change the size, rotate the setting, whatever suits your fancy!

Pysanky- Completed!

The last time I posted about this quilt I had finished piecing 25 egg blocks and was trying to decide how to set them and finish the quilt. I stitched the eggs on point and placed them next to each other to see how that looked.

Preliminary Layout

This was okay, but it didn’t have any definition of blocks, it needed some separation with a sashing to set the blocks off. So, I started looking at sashing designs and came up with this:

Blue and white sashing strips

Yes! The blue and white sashing tied in well with the blue and white eggs.

The next issue to decide was how to quilt it. I went with heavy stippling around the eggs to make them pop. The eggs themselves were quilted along their design lines. Around the triangle border I quilted large feathers and in the navy blue border quilted an on point checkerboard.

Close up of quilting
Marking the border for quilting

Here is the finished quilt. I was thrilled to have it accepted in the International Quilt Festival’s Sapphire Quilts Special Exhibit. It will be traveling to other shows across the country for the next two years.

Finished quilt