Category: Custom Quilts by Whimzie Quiltz

Pink Tardis Quilt ~ It’s About Time… and Space

Order today and your pink Tardis quilt will ship in time for the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special.

PinkTardisQuilt

I heard this morning, but it wasn’t until I was sitting in a restaurant at lunch that it really hit me. ¬†And I started crying tears of happiness. Which made a more than a few people at Rubio’s wonder what was going on ūüėÄ

I didn’t care because I’m so freaking excited for a female Doctor!

I’ve actually seen Jodie Whittaker in Broadchurch. She’s really good.

(I am a little worried about Chris Chibnall as show runner. ¬†Broadchurch is so slow-paced that I’m worried his style won’t translate well to Doctor Who. ¬†On the other hand, he picked a fantastic new Doctor, so he must be doing something right!)

There’s 163 days until the Christmas special when the new Doctor will make her debut. ¬†That’s plenty of time to have a custom pink Tardis quilt – or traditional blue Tardis quilt – made by Whimzie Quiltz.

Contact me at deidre [at] whimziequiltz.com to get yours started today!

Black and White and Warm All Over

One of my favorite things about custom quilts is when someone asks for a quilt of their favorite things.  The more, the better!

So when customer Beth M. told me her son like Boy Scouts, old movies, their beautiful tuxedo cat, English history and music – well, I knew it’d be a challenge, but I also figured we could have some fun with it.

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I was initially struck by how many of his favorite things were black and white, so I decided to make make the quilt using only those two colors. Although the overall look is high contrast, I actually chose a variety of tone-on-tone small prints or marbled fabrics in these two shades to give the quilt depth and dimension.

As for the symbolism, this quilt features

  • a Tower of London (with the six crows that¬†legend says must live there or the monarchy will fall,)
  • a piano keyboard representing music,
  • a tuxedo cat, in between two halves of the Union¬†Jack,
  • a strip of film, and
  • a fleur de lis from the Cub Scout logo

I filled in the remaining spots with a traditional PINWHEEL block to make the pattern feel more old fashioned and quilt-like – something Beth had mentioned she really wanted. Two thin borders, one white and one black, pull everything together.

Although the majority of the quilting is stippled, I added in some texture in spots – like the birds and the cat’s white accents – to make those areas pop even more.

Influenced by this quilt, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how individuals are rarely defined by just one characteristic. Different likes and loves, hobbies and habits… they all come together in one person.

Like how lots of different blocks come together in one custom quilt! ¬†Whoa!¬†That’s some deep stuff ūüėÄ

All kidding aside, it’s made me think about a lifetime of¬†my favorite things, and how they’ve come to make the person that is me. I think that’s a quilt I want to make, too (another for my bucket list!)

What makes you, you?  What would be in your favorite things quilt?

Scrappy Happy Stockings

mac30sfamily2The classic Depression-era quilting tale always touches on how nothing was wasted – every scrap of fabric was used by thrifty seamstresses determined to grimly “make do” with what they had.

That description always seems so sad to me. Scrappy quilts are happy quilts! They are every voice singing in perfect harmony. Every person doing their part to make the world a better place. Every piece coming together to make a larger whole.

When I had leftover¬†fabric¬†from Beth M.’s recently completed 1930s Irish Chain quilt, I didn’t just want her thank you gift to “make do”.

I wanted the gift to make her smile.

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It took a LOT of time to piece all those little blocks together, quilt them and hand embroider the names on the stocking cuffs. As it is, she had her custom quilt for nearly a month before the stockings were ready to ship!

But they were so worth it. I can’t help but imagine¬†Beth, her children – and Santa! – all smiling when they see these scrappy, happy stockings.

Celebrating Family and Future

I once read an article about “divorce quilts”,¬†textile art projects made to help process the difficult decision to end a marriage. ¬†I can definitely see the therapeutic value, but I like what customer Beth M. had in mind much better… she asked me to make a quilt celebrating the start of her and her children’s new life.

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The overall design of her quilt is vintage 1930s, a postage stamp Irish Chain design on a white background (all the squares are reproduction 1930s fabrics.)  Appliqués appear in the areas formed by the chain, each turned under and hand embroidered with a blanket stitch Рagain, an old-fashioned, classic technique.

In a way, the design builds on history to create a new future.  That feeling is echoed in her choice of appliqué ideas.  There are blocks that represent heritage Рa shamrock for Ireland, a thistle for Scotland Рand blocks that represent now Рa beloved family pet and shared activities like movie watching.  Every single element in this quilt is meaningful and all are designed to symbolize the foundation on which she and her children will create their new life.

When Beth¬†and her children curl up in this quilt, it’s not just their bodies being warmed, it’s their hearts, too. This¬†is why I make quilts. ¬†I want to create beautiful, thoughtful,¬†treasured keepsakes that touch people¬†deeply. ¬†Laugh, cry, reminisce¬†and¬†dream about your bright, new future ~ a good quilt should encourage all that and more.

 

Halloween Is So “Afar” Away

I’ve been finishing up a few items for the holiday season 2017, including this custom half-round quilted table runner for Halloween. ¬†My Halloween decorations, though, are all currently stored away¬†– it is May, after all. ¬†So for the photo staging I used¬†my purple plaster Australopithecus afarensis skull that is on permanent display in the library. ¬†(What? ¬†Doesn’t everyone have one?)

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Made in March

The story of this quilt starts two years ago.

A customer had requested a Duke University-themed toddler quilt that I just happened to be working on during March Рat the very same time the Blue Devils were advancing towards their 2015 NCAA Tournament Championship.

Now I’m not saying Whimzie Quiltz had anything to do with their¬†win, but if my working on that quilt helped¬†in any way… well, I wasn’t going to let that advantage slip by again.

So in 2016, I started a quilt celebrating my alma mater, the University of Kansas, during March Madness. ¬†And guess what?!? ¬†KU lost in the fourth¬†round. So much for that theory…

The Kansas quilt was half-way finished, but I was too bummed to continue to work on it and carefully tucked it away.

As Selection Sunday rolled around again this year and the Jayhawks¬†earned a #1 seed, I took the quilt out again, determined to finish it before this year’s¬†tournament¬†ended. ¬†And I did –

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Ain’t she a beaut? That was a lot of appliqu√© work there¬†in the center, but the oversized Jayhawk mascot came out great. ¬†And I love me some scrappy fabrics! ¬†My favorite part, though, is the asymmetry of the logo¬†contrasted again the symmetry of the borders¬†– it’s such a¬†cool overall design. ¬†I crosshatch quilted the squares, with meander quilting in the logo and red border, and, for a little variety,¬†added¬†piano key quilting around the outside.

The basketball tournament structure has created a¬†saying that college champions are “made in March”. Turns out this quilt was, too. ¬†It took two years¬†–¬†two tournaments, really – but by only working on it during March Madness, this quilt was truly “Made in March”, as well.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk – Go KU!

Bird Watching on the Kaw

blackbirds

I mostly design my own quilts, but there are times I’m browsing Pinterest and see a quilt that just makes me green with envy. Lorna McMahon’s Black Birds quilt pattern was on of those. I mean, look at this quilt to the right – is it not the cutest thing you’ve seen today?

I purchased the pattern last September intending to make a version pretty close to hers, maybe in different colors, but mostly the same. Then, one day, I’m looking at her design and it hits me – if those birds had shoes they’d be¬†Jayhawks!

jayhawk-currentIf you don’t¬†follow college sports, the University of Kansas mascot is a made-up bird with a yellow beak, red head, blue body and BIG¬†yellow shoes. I graduated from KU in 19?? (like I’m going to give my age away) and I’m still a proud alum.

With just a few additions, I was able to turn the black birds I already loved into Jayhawks, making a unique and personal quilt just for me! birdwatching

KU’s campus is located in a city called Lawrence¬†near the Kansas River, which is locally called the “Kaw”. Having spent a number of lazy afternoons in a local park watching the river¬†flow by, I choose this quilt’s¬†aqua background fabric¬†so I could name the quilt¬†“Bird Watching on the Kaw.” (I know the river is actually a muddy green, but, hey, watery blue worked with my¬†color scheme ūüėÄ )

The birds themselves are scrappy and I had such a good time picking out various blues and reds and yellows. The quilting was super easy Рjust wavy lines from side to side to give the impression of water flowing by; since the quilt is backed with Minky plush, the simple quilting keeps the nap from being crushed, too.

I LOVE this quilt. It’s fun, it’s warm and it’s finished just in time to do some ‘bird watching’ during March Madness¬†2017. I’ll be snuggled up – and cheering the KU¬†men’s basketball team on!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk – go KU!