Celebrating the Quilt Holidays ~ Sewing Machine Day

Did you know that all year long there are special days set aside on the calendar to commemorate  quilts, quilting, quilters and quilt-related activities? The are known as the Quilt Holidays and here at Whimzie Quiltz we celebrate each one… Let’s party!

sewingmachinedayToday is a pretty important quilting holiday, Sewing Machine Day, and I’d like to give a special shout out to all 4 of my sewing machines –

:: my Janome Memory Craft 6500, a dream machine, my constant companion since I started Whimzie Quiltz

:: my Kenmore 385, the reliable back up machine that’s been there for me through a few stressful moments

:: my Handiquilter Avanti18, the longarm machine that’s let me take my quilting to a whole new level

and

:: my Janome Memory Craft 500E, my newest baby, that’s added amazing embroidery to my repertoire

Happy Sewing Machine Day to my much-loved machines and to all the hardworking sewing machines out there that don’t get recognition for the joy they bring to our lives.

Thanks for all the stitches!

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Celebrating the Quilt Holidays ~ Creativity Day

Did you know that all year long there are special days set aside on the calendar to commemorate  quilts, quilting, quilters and quilt-related activities? The are known as the Quilt Holidays and here at Whimzie Quiltz we celebrate each one… Let’s party!

Today’s the day to create away –

May 30th is Creativity Day!

Make something cool, something fun,

make something new – for everyone!

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Don’t say you can’t create –

everyone has the trait!

Write, bake, paint, sew,

Anything will do, you know.

Yep, it’s time to play your way –

Have a great Creativity Day!

A Grinch Gnome for the Who-lidays

grinch_gnomeMy sister-in-law and I spent an afternoon crafting together during her last visit – we made gnomes!

Grinch-y gnomes, in this case. We both LOVE the Dr. Seuss classic. We even saw The Grinch musical together the last time she visited San Diego. (Max is her favorite character; the Grinch is mine.)

I splurged on a sock-based gnome pattern from Home Sweet Gnome. The directions were simple and clear – perfect for first time gnome makers. (Home Sweet Gnome also sells pre-made gnomes, but we definitely found their directions easy enough to do on our own.)

Our red/white socks came from Amazon and the green fur for the beard was from Etsy. (I’d share that link, but I wildly overestimated how much fur we’d need and, if you are looking, I’m sure you can find a store that sells it in smaller sizes. Don’t buy the fur-like stuff from chain stores, tho! Costume fur is SO much more luxurious that it’s worth every extra penny.)

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Here’s our two Grinches at their “Down with Who-ville” meet-up. Mine’s on the left, hers is on the right. If you look closely, you can see I’ve re-adjusted my hat between shots. Yep, you can play with these! A pipe cleaner in the hat makes it bendable and I’ve styled his beard in several different, fun ways, too.

Now that I’ve caught the gnome bug, I’ve got all kinds of ideas for new gnomes. Bigger gnomes! Fandom gnomes! A Whimzie Quiltz gnome! Sadly, my SIL has returned home, so I’ll be crafting any new gnomes alone. But they say having a gnome in your home brings luck, and since my place should soon be the luckiest house on the block, hopefully she’ll be back soon!

A Star Wars Quilt Saga (in 6 Episodes)

A long time ago,

in a sewing room not too far away…

I’ve been saving a custom quilt order to share for a week or so, just so I could time it to Star Wars Day. Enjoy my Star Wars Quilt Saga ~ in 6 episodes ~ and May the 4th be with you!

bobafettstarwarsquilt

Star Wars Quilt Saga Episode I – The Fandom Menace

As a custom quilter, I’ve been asked to create a number of fandom-related quilts, including a Doctor Who quilt and several Star Trek quilts. But the last of the Big 3 sci-fi franchises, Star Wars, eluded me for years!

Then Tanya B. contacted me about a custom quilt for her husband’s upcoming 40th birthday. She wanted it to be a surprise, but ended up asking for his input and together they settled on a quilt commemorating his favorite Star Wars-universe character, the bounty hunter Boba Fett.

And, with that, I was finally going to create a long-desired Star Wars custom quilt!

Star Wars Quilt Saga Episode II – Attack of the Cloth

Tanya’s request was timely in another way, too. A couple years ago, Moda Fabrics introduced a line called “Grunge”. Grunge fabrics are blenders (fabrics that have two or more tones of the same color in them) with an overall design that looks, well, grungy ~ worn and lived-in.

Which was perfect for the beat-up, lived-in armor that Boba Fett wears! I used two shades of green, a red and accents of gray and yellow from the Grunge line for his over-sized helmet. The Grunge line also includes a version called “Seeing Stars” – the same worn, lived-in look with spiky stars added to the design. In a nod to outer space, I chose a black Seeing Stars for the background of the quilt top.

(There’s also a lot of scrappy green fabrics used in this particular quilt design. Fortunately, the annual San Diego Quilt Run happened right as I needed to supplement my stash of green fabrics ~ I think there’s at least 1 fabric from 10 different stores in there!)

Star Wars Quilt Saga Episode III – Revenge of the Stitch

Because so much of this quilt design was black or dark, I worried that a white or natural batting would beard (I so hate when those little fibers show through!) Instead, I chose a black batt for this Boba quilt. Although this was my first time using black batting, I was surprised by the softness and the ease of quilting it.

I’m sure I’ll use one again, but I’ll probably need some new eye glasses first 😀 There was some definite straining to see black thread on black fabric with a black batting ~ all the stitches blended in!

Star Wars Quilt Saga Episode IV – A New Hoped-For Design

Although Boba Fett won out as her husband’s favorite quilt design, Tanya really loved a Death Star option I provided early on. So, I decided to make that pattern, in a 24″ x 24″ floor pillow sham size, as her gift with purchase.

Star Wars Quilt Saga Episode V – The Quilted Pillow Strikes Back

deathstarstarwarsquiltpillowBelieve it or not, the Death Star pillow sham was the most difficult quilt I have ever made! The pieces were so small and there were so many of them. Making it has confirmed for me that miniature quilts will NEVER be my thing. Give me an over-sized lap quilt any day!

Star Wars Quilt Saga Episode VI – Return of the Quilt

Although it seems like I was aiming for May Fourth for delivery of this quilt, I was actually trying to meet a different deadline. Tayna’s husband is in the military and was being relocated overseas ~ I really wanted the quilt to be done and shipped in time to move with them. It was! I made it by less than a week. (Poor Tanya! I’m sure she loved trying to include a queen quilt in her already packed items at the last minute.)

The sci-fi geek in me was so ridiculously excited about this custom quilt order. But here’s the best part ~  my Star Wars quilt saga may continue! Tanya is already talking about having a quilt made for her son. (Hey, that’s the only thing this blog post is missing, a “Quilt, I am your father” joke!)

 

Celebrating the Quilt Holidays ~ Textiles Day

Did you know that all year long there are special days set aside on the calendar to commemorate  quilts, quilting, quilters and quilt-related activities? The are known as the Quilt Holidays and here at Whimzie Quiltz we celebrate each one… Let’s party!

 

Today, May 3rd, is National Textiles Day! To celebrate, I’m off to hug my fabric stash (if only it would hug me back 😀 )

textilesday

How do you plan to commemorate National Textiles Day? (I mean, you do celebrate having textiles in your life every year, right?) Share in the comments…

 

A Surprise Thank You

Remember last year when I messed up and made my niece quilted dorm pillows from a college she WASN’T attending (the whole Judson College / Judson University debacle)? And remember I ended up sending the pillow shams to Judson University in the hopes they could find someone who would appreciate 2 already-made dorm pillows?

Well…

In February, there was a package in the mail I wasn’t expecting. It included a letter from the President of Judson University AND a framed photo of the two students who received the pillows during a campus-wide event!

scrapbook3

Letting me know what happened to the pillows with a note was sweet enough, but the framed photo just blew me away. What an awesome school!

Not to make a long story longer, but this surprise finally got me to finish a project I’ve wanted to do forever – a scrapbook of all the thank yous and photos I’ve gotten over the last 15 years from Whimzie Quiltz customers (the Judson U letter and photo are page 1 :D)

scrapbook2

I’ve kept and treasured every note and picture I’ve ever received, but they were tucked away in a box for safekeeping and I didn’t get to revisit them very often. Now, though, everything is laid out neatly in a scrapbook so I can thumb through the pages easily.

Of course, there’s still a few blank pages so I can add any new photos of happy WQ customers and their quilts that come my way, too!

15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM ~ April

To celebrate 15 years in business, I’m making a quilt ~ and setting aside the 15th day of each month to work on the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM commemorative project.

I know for most people today is Tax Day, but Whimzie Quiltz taxes are always due in January, so it’s just a normal day around here… EXCEPT IT’S NOT! Because it’s the 15th of April which means it’s time to work on my 15th Anniversary Block of the Month quilt.

15Annniversary_AprilBlock

This month’s block design was a seam ripper. Now, personally, I have never had a reason to need a seam ripper (snort!) but it is a classic sewing implement, perfect for this quilt celebrating 15 years of custom quilting.

Getting to use such a busy pink and orange print was fun – it really pulls together all the individual pink and orange pieces I’ve sewn so far. Plus, I’ve now finished a second section of the Sewology quilt pattern and I’m liking how the different grey backgrounds in each section are working together, too. Sew exciting!

Although I’m only showing the current block here, on my design wall I have all 4 blocks-of-the-month I’ve finished to date, including today’s seam ripper. Can you believe the quilt is already ⅓ of the way done!?! 2019 is just flying by…

I really hope you’re enjoying taking the 15th Anniversary Whimzie Quilt journey with me. And remember, there’s still plenty of days each month when I can be working on a super special quilt for you, too! What do you want to celebrate in 2019?