Another Mermaid & The Ladies of Outnumbered

#2 of 3 in the Old Window Series; Serena & the Stars by gulfcoastquilts.com

#2 of 3 in the Old Window Series; Serena & the Stars by gulfcoastquilts.com

The Mermaids are a hit so I finished  #2 of 3 in the Old Window series. “Serena & the Starfish” went to the shop yesterday. The first in the series, “How Starfish Become Stars” sold in just two days. I was pleasantly surprised!   One more Serena the Mermaid is in the works. Each of the series are similar but distinctly different. Here is the story of Serena:

The story about the Old Window Series; Serena & the Stars by gulfcoastquilts.com

The story about the Old Window Series; Serena & the Stars by gulfcoastquilts.com

With the old windows working out so well as frames I made a girl’s only pickin’ trip to central Mississippi with my friend, Lee, and we cleaned up on old windows. I have a small stash for my next series of old window quilts. It was a productive trip and I’ll make one more stop at the end of the month to pick up a few more windows. Old windows are running $25-30 each around here but when we buy in bulk we get a great price in Mississippi.  It’s not an easy task, digging through stacks of old windows, searching for unbroken ones, sweat dripping down your face in the steamy heat of the south but a good window makes it worth it.

A truck full of old windows.

A truck full of old windows.

Pickin' for old windows in MS.

Pickin’ for old windows in MS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On another note, I was inspired by one of my favorite FNC news programs so I quilted up a little gift and mailed it off to New York for the ladies of the new show, Outnumbered. It’s a daytime FNC program and I listen to the ladies talk while I sew and quilt. I recommend the show – great discussions – you’ll enjoy it unless you’re a flaming liberal.

For the ladies of Outnumbered on FNC by gulfcoastquilts.com

For the ladies of Outnumbered on FNC by gulfcoastquilts.com

I did a little more pickin’ this week with my husband and my best friend. One find was an abandoned blue-green chair. It was solid and sturdy so I cleaned it up, gave it the shabby chic treatment and some flowers and it’s cute as can be now waiting for a new home. My husband thought I was nuts when I told him to put it in the truck but he’s a believer now. He’s threatening to create a workbench with pink tools for me in the garage. (I actually like the idea but don’t tell him.)

This blue-green abandoned chair just needs a facelift.

This blue-green abandoned chair just needs a facelift.

The blue-green abandoned chair gets a facelift.

The blue-green abandoned chair gets a facelift.

The blue-green abandoned chair gets a facelift.

The blue-green abandoned chair gets a facelift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope to finish another commissioned quilt this week; a birthday gift for someone’s best friend. I’m enjoying being a part of the gift exchange between best friends. I put both of their names on the quilt so it will become an heirloom reminder of a great friendship. I also signed it with my name as the quilter so it means I get to be a part of that heirloom. That’s the fun part of commissioned quilts.

That’s the update for Gulf Coast Quilts this week. Have a great week!

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Skulls, Old Windows, and Blocks of Wood

It’s been nearly a month since my last post but I have a very good excuse…I’ve been busy in the quilting loft.  My new adventure, a space at Pottery & Garden Alley, has turned out to be a perfect fit for my quilts. Just a few weeks ago, store owner, Lee, talked me into stepping outside my comfort zone to quilt some “Sugar Skull” placemats. (Here’s the story behind that adventure.) I was hesitant…until…the whole set sold on the second day it was in the store. I have learned that Lee knows her customers and I need to listen to her advice.

With the first set of Mexican Folk Art Sugar Skulls sold, I got busy creating more in several colors. The excitement grew as I got commissioned orders for appliquéd Sugar Skulls to be framed! One set to California and another to Norway! You never know what people will like. It’s been fun. More photos of the new Sugar Skull sets are below.

Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

When I was asked to make a quilt that could be framed it got me thinking about an old cabinet door that had been sitting in my laundry room for some time. It was a “mistake” door that was sent to us when we built our home.  The cabinet company quickly sent us a correct door and told us to simply dispose of the old one. I knew it had potential so I held onto that silly door for years. I was cursing about it being in the way the other day while I was vacuuming and decided once and for all to DO SOMETHING with it. I made a quilt, mounted it to the door and hurried down to the store with it. It hasn’t sold yet, but I’m confident it will. Here’s a photo:

Quilted Heron & Dolphins by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Quilted Heron & Dolphins by GulfCoastQuilts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During a long drive to Memphis last week I stopped at a flea market in Mississippi and found three old wooden windows to use as frames. Below is a photo of the first in a series of three window-framed-quilts that will reflect folk lore of the Northern Gulf Coast. The first one is called, “How Starfish Become Stars” and the story of the Mermaid, Serena, is listed on the back of the frame. I’m now able to combine my need to tell stories with my love of quilting. Does that make me a Quilter who writes? Or a writer who quilts? Also below is the story of Serena and how starfish become stars in the sky.

Framed in an old window, "How Starfish Become Stars" by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Framed in an old window, “How Starfish Become Stars” by GulfCoastQuilts.com

 

 

 

The story behind the quilt: "How Starfish Become Stars" by GulfCoastQuilts.com

The story behind the quilt: “How Starfish Become Stars” by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Last but not least, I found some old redwood in my husband’s wood stash. He cut it up for me and I found a way to use up some of my scrap fabric left over from my commissioned quilts. These little blocks are going on the store shelf tomorrow.  There’s no end to what you can do with old wood and fabric. Just have fun! I’ll write again in a week or two after my “Girl’s Only Pickin’ Adventure Road Trip” next week. THAT will be an adventure. I’m looking for more old windows at a few flea markets in central Mississippi.

Old Wood Blocks by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Old Wood Blocks by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Old Wood Blocks by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Old Wood Blocks by GulfCoastQuilts.com

purple flowers

 

 

 

pink flowers

Something New: The Day of the Dead

Mexican Folk Art - gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – gulfcoastquilts.com

I never believed I’d be so excited about skulls. Yes, skulls.

One of my longtime favorite shopping haunts is Pottery and Garden Alley where you never know what you’ll find. Owner, Lee, makes multiple trips a year deep into Mexico rummaging through old warehouses and throughout the countryside to find treasures overlooked by others. Lee has an amazing eye for finding precious gems under a seeming pile of junk. She hauls her finds back to the store where her flair for displays delights countless loyal customers. I’ve spent a fair share of my decorating dollars in her store.

Here’s the exciting part. I’ve joined the team as Pottery & Garden Alley‘s lone quilt artist. The first challenge Lee issued to me was, “Make something for our Day of the Dead display.  Make something with skulls; Sugar Skulls are popular.” I realized this wasn’t going to be easy.

Macabre at first glance, the Day of the Dead is actually a charming celebration in Mexico and in other cultures around the world. The holiday focuses on honoring loved ones who have died. Family gatherings, special foods, and cleaning up cemeteries are all part of the festivities. In Mexico, candy treats, extravagantly decorated Sugar Skulls, are offered to the living and the dead. The skull is a common symbol of the holiday. 

There are many collectors of Sugar Skull themed items and Mexican Folk Art. Many shop in Pottery & Garden Alley. My challenge was to study the styles of Mexican Folk Art, add my own touch, and create some tabletop items for the Day of the Dead display. It was a fun challenge and I’m excited to learn more. Below are photos of place mats and a table runner made using applique and thread sketching and featuring Sugar Skulls and the Day of the Dead. Stop by and visit Pottery & Garden Alley if you’re in the Pensacola area!

Mexican Folk Art  - Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

Mexican Folk Art - Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art - Day of the Dead and Tree of Life by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Day of the Dead and Tree of Life by gulfcoastquilts.com

 

 

Mexican Folk Art - Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Mexican Folk Art – Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls by gulfcoastquilts.com

Pink Circles – A Commissioned Baby Quilt

For some reason I keep getting pulled back to one of my first abstract quilt projects, crazy circles. Recently I was commissioned to do one in pink. These are fun and easy to make quilts and you can use up some of your fabric scraps!

Pink Circles - a commissioned baby quilt by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Pink Circles – a commissioned baby quilt by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Size Matters – Quilt As You Go Makes it Easier

For far too long I limited myself to quilting small quilts and mug rugs by using the excuse that anything larger would be too hard to quilt because I didn’t have a long arm quilting machine. You know, there’s that easy excuse about things being too bulky to fit a large quilt under the needle of a normal sewing machine. The excuse worked for a while until I discovered “quilt as you go” and realized there’s a way to quilt a larger quilt on a small machine.

I Googled a few YouTube videos on “quilt as you go” and then, as usual, decided to do it my own way working off their ideas and suggestions. The result of my first quilt as you go project was “Cup Size Matters” and it turned out so well that I was commissioned to create a second one. I’m designing it now.

Here is my first “quilt as you go” project, “Cup Size Matters”.

Cup Size Matters Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

Cup Size Matters Quilt by gulfcoastquilts.com

cup size matters flower cups panel size matters first quilt size matters flower cups