15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM ~ March

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.

Happy Ides of March! Actually, I don’t know if wishing someone that is a thing, but what the heck, traditions have to start somewhere…

Speaking of traditions, since it is the 15th of the month, that means it’s time to work on my 15th anniversary quilt. March’s block is this super cute pencil (a very handy quilting tool, if not the most obvious.) The pencil is part of the original Sewology block of the month pattern that was my inspiration, but I added my company name in machine appliqué below.

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15BlockFeb

Three months in, I’m still loving how this quilt is coming along. What I am finding, though, is that making small changes to a block of the month pattern can snowball!

Remember how instead of Sewology block 1, I did my logo? Then I added two of the same thread spools on either side (whereas Sewology had three different spools.)

Turns out, when my two blocks were combined, they ended up 1/4 inch larger than the original pattern! So this month’s section, which attaches, also had to be slightly larger, as will next month’s. And don’t get me started on all the calculations I had to do to fit my machine appliquéd company name in there. So much math! (Amusing side note – I did most of the work by hand with a… drumroll please… pencil! See, I told you it was a handy quilting tool.)

The hardest part is remembering that I’ve made these small changes month to month. Who knows what I’ll remember come April 15th? Better keep that pencil handy…

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?

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Ready for Where the Army Sends Us

I really try for exceptional customer service at Whimzie Quiltz. Not just with the extreme care and attention I put into designing and making custom quilts, but by going a little further / trying to do a little more to make your WQ experience extra special.

Part of that is surprising customers with a “gift with purchase” – an additional quilted item that often complements their custom quilt order. Sometimes, though, especially with returning Whimzie Quiltz customers, I struggle to find the perfect gift with purchase.

I’d already made a toddler quilt for Jodi S. and included a quilted dinosaur checkerboard game for her little boy. Next she asked me to make a custom memory quilt for her husband (you may remember, he’s the one who had a lot of his high school and college diving memorabilia stolen and the quilt was the perfect solution for keeping what he had left safe.) Since her husband is in the Army, they move a lot, so a large pillow sham or something else that would be difficult to pack was off the table.

Thinking of her being on the move all the time finally triggered the perfect idea ~ one of my quilted backpacks!

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I found a great Army-themed embroidery over at SWAK Embroidery – it’s a Army star parachute with the sentiment “Home is where the army send us”. I appliquéd it on a background of camouflage fabric (the same fabric that lines the backpack) and added it to the charcoal fabric flap. For the backpack itself I used a coordinating khaki fabric and finished everything off with camo straps.

It seems like Jodi likes it ~

May I just say how much I love the backpack??? Holy cow! … We will use it often and appreciate everything you do!

Super cute and super useful – that’s the Whimzie Quiltz sweet spot 😀

 

15th Anniversary Whimzie Quiltz BOM ~ February

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.

While I knew I wanted to make a quilt for my 15th anniversary, I wasn’t initially sure what I wanted that quilt to look like. My logo as an over-sized scrappy pattern? A quilt that incorporated fabric scraps from all the quilts I’ve made over the years? Nothing was really clicking until I stumbled across Sewology Block of the Month by Pen and Paper Patterns.

As they write in the description, “Sewology … celebrates all things sewing” ~ which sure seemed the perfect fit for what I wanted to accomplish. And their design, with all it’s different sewing-themed elements, is just so darn cute! So I chose their pattern as my main inspiration, though I’ll be throwing in a few elements that are specifically Whimzie Quiltz (like last month’s logo).

This month, though, is a pair of pink thread spools that flank the logo ~

15BlockFeb

So far, I’m loving choosing all the pink, orange and gray fabrics for these blocks – the mix is turning out happy, bright and delightfully celebratory. The pattern itself is clear and easy to read (yet adjustable when I need it to be, too) and the amount of sewing each month is fitting perfectly into my schedule.

The only thing I didn’t realize when I chose this design is how much fun making the quilt would be. Today’s section is done and I’m already super excited for March 15th to roll around so I can work on another block… see you next month!

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?

 

You Learn Something New Every (Groundhog) Day

Did you know that much of the 1993 classic Groundhog Day was filmed on location in Woodstock, Illinois? I wasn’t aware of this until I stumbled across the website for Woodstock’s annual Groundhog Days celebration! Gotta ❤ the Internet!

Turns out this year, the Woodstock Public Library is exhibiting memorabilia from the movie, including two quilts that appeared on screen. The first quilt I remember well ~

GroundhogDayQuilt

It appears behind Bill Murray and Andi McDowell as they enter the party near the end of the movie. This is my ALL-TIME favorite on-screen quilt (and you’d be surprised how many movie and tv shows include quilts. Once you are looking for them, they are everywhere!)

Groundhog Day Quilt

This quilt, though, is also part of the Woodstock library’s memorabilia exhibit ~

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I have racked my brain and I can’t remember it from the film at all. Guess that means it’s time pull out my much used DVD and watch again!

(If you remember this second groundhog quilt from the movie, let me know in the comments where it appeared… it’s going to drive me nuts until I figure it out!) 

Dive Right In to This Quilt

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Things I learned while working on this custom Army Diving t-shirt quilt for Jodi S. and her husband Tyler ~

  • I am a sucker for a sad story.  Every time I make a t-shirt quilt, I swear up, down and sideways that it will the last t-shirt quilt I ever make. And then someone asks me to reconsider, explaining why having a t-shirt quilt made would be so meaningful to them and, gosh darn it, they always find a reason to make me change my mind! Tyler’s justification was especially compelling – during one of the many moves he’s had to make as an Army soldier, someone stole all the diving medals he’d earned over the years. All that was left from those times were his diving t-shirts and he and his wife wanted to make sure they were carefully preserved. How could I not help them out?
  • There really is an “army blanket”. Sure, I’ve heard people talk about Army blankets before, but I assumed that generically applied to any blanket that someone in the Army used. Nope. There is an actual Army blanket given to each West Point cadet – it’s a gorgeous grey wool with black and gold accent stripes. We used that pattern as the overall design to pull all the t-shirts together.
  • A good pun is a good pun no matter how often it comes up. Tyler asked for the Army diving team’s rally cry “GO ARMY SINK NAVY” on the quilt. Every single time I saw it while quilting, which over the course of several months amounted to a 4,938,726 times (give or take), I giggled.
  • There’s a first time for everything. This quilt is going down in Whimzie Quiltz history as the first, and dare I say only?, time I’ve been asked to quilt a Speedo. While the Go Army Sink Navy pun made me giggle, when I opened the package of shirts Tyler and Jodi sent and found a Speedo included I couldn’t stop laughing. I was literally the laughing / crying emoji 😂 for a good half hour. But I made it happen!
  • Camouflage works. Of course, you always assume something like camouflage works. I mean the Army wouldn’t be making uniforms out of it since 1902 if it didn’t. But, boy, when your customer requests a grey camo for the backing fabric on their quilt, and you are trying to find loose thread ends on that fabric but can’t because they keep blending in too well that’s when you really internalize the concept of camouflage.camofabric

Jodi is actually a return customer – in 2015, I created a baby clothes memory quilt for her. That quilt was one of the first quilts that I used rulers on when doing the long-arm quilting, choosing an all-over chevron design. I echoed that quilting pattern here with another chevron, though this time I elongated the width of the “zag” compared to the “zig” to give it a bit more modern flair. (I ended up loving the way it turned out so much that I’m thinking of doing that same elongated chevron on an upcoming quilt for myself, too.)

Every quilt I make is an opportunity to learn more about my customers, about quilting, and even about me, but I especially enjoyed “diving in” and finding out so much with this one. And this time I really, really, really mean it – NO MORE T-SHIRT QUILTS! (Of course my fingers aren’t crossed; why do you ask? 😀 )

Love Your Local Quilt Shop

Today is Support Your Local Quilt Shop Day!

Why does it always seem that this holiday falls exactly when I can’t get out to visit any San Diego quilt shops? I mean, it feels like I’m always making a run to a local fabric store, but when there’s a day set aside to celebrate doing just that, there’s something else on my plate. 😦

Since I can’t get out in person, I took a little virtual tour of fabric stores and found some new favorites. These quilt shops may not be local to me, but they are local to some very lucky quilters ~ and I hope each store has lots of IRL visitors today!

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If you are going out to celebrate at a local quilt shop, let me know which one in the comments so I can add it to my “Someday I’ll Visit” list. And shop ’til you drop! ❤

Happy Who-lidays! Wait, It’s January?

Since today is January 21, 2019, you can look at this posting in one of two ways ~ either I’m a little late sharing this holiday banner for last year or I’m super early sharing it for this year’s Christmas season. Are you a bobbin half-empty or a bobbin half-full person?

In any case, I created this Happy Who-lidays banner to get additional experience appliquéing letters using my embroidery machine. There were a few bobbles along the way, but by the end I think I had it down. Plus, it’s hung up pretty high so you don’t notice 😀

wholidaysbanner

This was one of those projects for which, since it was mostly practice, I didn’t want to purchase a lot of materials. The white denim is the only new fabric and that’s because I wanted to see how a heavier cotton embroidered. But all the scrappy red, pink and black fabrics were from my stash. The cord and baker’s twine were left overs and while I didn’t have enough black buttons, but I did have a can of black spray paint and a supply of extra buttons  – problem solved!

To kind of tie this post back into the New Year, my “resolution” was to try to use more of what I have on hand for projects this year, like with the spray painted buttons. I mentioned it’s January 21st, right? Three weeks in and I’ve already failed ~ there’s some new fabrics for my stash in the mail as we speak! Maybe I can change that resolution to posting about my projects sooner instead…