Christmas 2014 and a New Year of Adventures!

GUlfcoastquilts.com Bou chillin' under his Christmas Tree decorated with birds, mice, fish, butterflies and other things cat's love.

Gulfcoastquilts.com Bou chillin’ under his Christmas Tree decorated with birds, mice, fish, butterflies and other things cat’s love.

December 2014 was a very busy season and I had fun creating all kinds of fabric art but my favorite project began when a sweet lady brought to me an old shirt and a pair of jeans that belonged to her dad and asked, “Can you make something from this?” She also brought some items that had logos that were powerful reminders of him. You see, they were mourning the loss of a good man and she wanted a special Christmas gift for her mother and sister. She gave me the freedom to try anything and it was fun!

The final project was to create bears from the shirt and jeans, add the special logos, and fill them with rice and dried lavender. If you pop the bears in the microwave oven for 1-2 minutes the bears are a perfect way to sooth aches, pains, and headaches. From the items she brought to me I judged her dad to be a practical man and decided that whatever I made should actually “DO” something. Well, I was right and the bears were a hit! I ended up making several more bears from my fabric stash as Christmas gifts for friends and family, and I even made an adorable cat stuffed with rice and rosemary for my best friend to wrap around her neck after grueling days working at her computer. Here’s a photo of the bears:

Rice and lavender filled bears made from recycled clothing. GulfCoastQuilts.com

Rice and lavender filled bears made from recycled clothing. GulfCoastQuilts.com

My busy Christmas season will be followed by a break from quilting and playing with fabric for a while. The New Year puts me back to work after a very short stab at retirement. With a return to teaching a leadership program for the first half of 2015, and sadly, the closing of Pottery & Garden Alley due to some life changes for the owner, my sewing room is now neat and tidy and my office takes center stage for curriculum development, PowerPoint, and business travel. In between business trips I’ll be back to work on my novel, the right-wing chick lit project, “The Quilt-maker’s Christmas.” Main characters Fiona and Ann Marie need their adventure completed and with some hard work the book will be ready for Christmas 2015. I’ll keep you posted!  Have fun everyone!

You Never Know What You’ll Be Asked to Create!

I believed that my creative talent had sunk to a new low as I found myself stuffing old WalMart bags into the Grinch’s backside…yes…as in butt. I stuffed the Grinch’s butt with old WalMart bags. And yes…I made a Grinch butt for a Christmas display for the store.

Pottery & Garden Alley’s owner decided she wanted a Grinch Chrsitmas tree display. She found a photo on Pinterest of a bent-over Grinch tucked inside a tree stealing all the gifts and said, “I need you to make one for me.” The challenge was on.

Materials: An old Delta Airlines blanket, two yards of old green flannel found for two bucks at the Waterfront Rescue Mission, two gift wrap cardboard tubes, a hundred old plastic grocery bags, an old pair of slippers, some polyester fiberfill, a hot glue gun, a sewing machine, and a woman bold enough to think she could copy something she saw on Pinterest.

This had the makings for an extraordinary Pinterest FAIL but in the end…as in Grinch butt…it turned out OK.

Grinch for display by gulfcoastquilts.com

Grinch for display by gulfcoastquilts.com

gr 2 gr 3 gr 4 gr 5

 

Autumn is in the Air: The Velveteen Owl Collection

Augustus Theodore Owl by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Augustus Theodore Owl by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Whoooo knows what’s going to fly out of my quilting loft next?

Autumn is in the air. The promise of everything pumpkin, crisp red, orange and gold falling leaves, cooler weather, and holidays focused on family time brings me to my favorite time of the year.

My first autumn challenge was to FINALLY get on the owl bandwagon. I know owls have been popular for quite some time but I wasn’t motivated to make any until a few school teacher friends mentioned it. After all, fall is about to bust out and back-to-school time is upon us.  I found a cute little owl poem and decided to give in to the owl craze. I made a few owls for my teacher friends, and a few more for Pottery & Garden Alley to sell.

I started out, experimenting, by designing small, simple owls made from my bargain $2.00 a yard pillow ticking. They were cute so I decided to enlarge them a bit and try some more elaborate fabrics. Much to my delight, just before I dove in to the fabric selection process a cherish friend called and offered me all of the discontinued fabric samples they were pulling off the shelf in one of the nicest interior design stores in town. You can imagine my delight when I rummaged through a huge bag and found beautiful velvet and brocade samples.

The Velveteen Owl Collection was born. Below are photos of the pillow-ticking owls and the first two Velveteen owls named Augustus and Bentley. I’ve also included the owl poem in case you want to make an owl for a teacher.  Whoooo knows? You may enjoy making your own owls!

Augustus & Bentley Owl by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Augustus & Bentley Owl by GulfCoastQuilts.com

 

Designing the owls: I used pillow-ticking for my first owl attempt.  GulfCoastQuilts.com

Designing the owls: I used pillow-ticking for my first owl attempt. GulfCoastQuilts.com

A wise old owl lived in an oak

The more he saw the less he spoke

The less he spoke the more he heard

We should be more

Like that wise old bird!

Fall decorating - Velveteen Owls by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Fall decorating – pillow-ticking owls by GulfCoastQuilts.com

Last Year’s Vacation Crazy Quilt – What next?

Last Summer our grand-daughters came to visit us in Florida. I let them rummage through my fabric stash. Then, we traced everyone’s hands onto some fabric and picked out some shapes that would remind them of the visit – chasing lizards, morning coffee with Gi Gi, PaPa’s plumeria and palm trees, the Florida sunshine…

We turned it into a crazy quilt and the girls loved it! When they went back to school our youngest granddaughter brought the quilt to school as part of her “What I did this Summer” project. She said the boys were jealous because she caught lizards in Florida and had a lizard on her quilt. (Extra points for PaPa for lizard hunting and extra points to GiGi for the lizard quilt block!)

What are we going to make THIS summer? I wonder if it might be time to begin teaching them to sew? My grandmother started teaching me when I was about twelve years old and I’ll be thankful for the rest of my life that Grandma King shared her time and talent with me. I know I had to be an exasperating student and I wore her patience thin. Sewing is my connection to my wonderful Grandmother and I sometimes wonder if she is looking down from heaven, shaking her head, when I do sloppy work or have to rip something out because I didn’t think ahead.

The grand-daughters came to visit us this summer.

The grand-daughters came to visit us this summer.

The girls selected fabric from my stash.

The girls selected fabric from my stash.

The Florida block.

The Florida block.

Crazy Vacation Quilt

Crazy Vacation Quilt

Crazy Vacation Quilt DONE!

Crazy Vacation Quilt DONE!

The Pink Heart Series

So, I found this great deal on some bright pink decorator fabric. I brought the rolls of fabric home and wondered what to do with it. Pink! It just screamed PINK HEARTS! So, I bring you the “Pink Heart Series” of quilts named, “Blended Hearts,” “Mended Hearts” and “Pink & Perky.” The quilt tops are done. Next step…press them, put them together and quilt them! I’ll post the final projects when I’m done! (The finished quilts are pictured below!)

Found these great leftover designer fabrics!

Found these great leftover designer fabrics!

Three Pink Heart Quilts named, "Blended Hearts," "Mended Hearts," and "Pink & Perky."

Three Pink Heart Quilts named, “Blended Hearts,” “Mended Hearts,” and “Pink & Perky.”

The first one is done! Here is “Mended Hearts.”

"Mended Hearts" is the smallest of the Pink Heart series of quilts measuring 35" wide by 47" high. This quilt is very thick with double batting. Very warm and good to throw on the floor for a baby quilt, too.

“Mended Hearts” is the smallest of the Pink Heart series of quilts measuring 35″ wide by 47″ high. This quilt is very thick with double batting. Very warm and good to throw on the floor for a baby quilt, too.

Mended Hearts - 35" x 47" with dbl batting for extra thickness.

Mended Hearts – 35″ x 47″ with dbl batting for extra thickness.

"Blended Hearts" quilt by GulfCoastQuilts.com 41" x 53" For Sale $145

“Blended Hearts” quilt by GulfCoastQuilts.com 41″ x 53″ For Sale $145

"Pink & Perky" from the Pink Hearts series by GulfCoastQuilts.com  40" x 52" For Sale: $150

“Pink & Perky” from the Pink Hearts series by GulfCoastQuilts.com
40″ x 52″ For Sale: $150

Procrastination & Too Many Projects

In 2008 I started a quilt top and never finished it because it had mistakes in it. Then, I didn’t use my sewing machine for four years.  The unfinished quilt top hung around, reminding me of my procrastination. When I started quilting again I tried to ignore the unfinished quilt. For some reason I just didn’t know who it was meant for. It didn’t have an owner. Then, finally, we got a baby girl in the family. My little great niece, Ava.  I put it together, mistakes and all, and sent it to her first birthday party in Hawaii. I think “Flutterbies” will be happy in Hawaii.

I tried to ignore "Flutterbies" but it finally found a home.

I tried to ignore “Flutterbies” but it finally found a home.

"Flutterbies" finally found a home in Hawaii. Some projects just take more time than others.

“Flutterbies” finally found a home in Hawaii. Some projects just take more time than others.

Simple Quilts for My Grand Nephews

I LOVE Pintrest; it’s downright inspirational! I saw a tutorial for making a simple quilt without having to add quilt binding to the edges – a task that just seems to take a long time.  I decided to give it a try and made these two simple quilts for my grand nephews. They were done in one day! No fancy quilting – just straight lines. So easy!

These were super easy and fast. No quilt binding! Yay!

These were super easy and fast. No quilt binding! Yay!

My nephews and their quilts.

My nephews and their quilts.