Thursday, April 3, 2008

Kisses, At Last



"Little Boy Kisses" by Lisa Boyer, 2008


I finally finished my "Kisses" quilt. Remember that little boy quilt I needed to go with that little girl quilt? I'm so prepared now!



The fabrics in this one make me so happy. There are a lot of Piece O' Cake fabrics in here, I think. I don't really follow the designers, but I seem to end up with lots of Piece O' Cake's wonderful fabrics on my shelf. What isn't Piece O' Cake in this quilt is stash fabric and vintage, including an old apron. I LOVE string quilts. They're so exciting.







I rely heavily on my imaginary Grandma when I made scrap quilts. My imaginary Grandma quilted in the 1930's during the Great Depression, so she had to make do with what she had. I consult her a lot: "What Would Imaginary Quilt Grandma Do?" She tells me to use up what I already have, don't be too fussy, but don't be lazy either. She cringes when I hand quilt with a length of quilting thread that's longer than 18 inches, for instance (lazy!). She hates when I throw any kind of scrap away, no matter how small (wasteful!). But she loves it when I'm inventive--and of course, she's my biggest fan, no matter what I make.



I used two different fabrics for borders in this quilt. This is because I couldn't decide between them, so I used them both. My imaginary Grandma said it would be okay.


In a planned quilt, I often use the same strategy. If I can't decide between two or three fabrics that are similar and read only slightly differently, I alternate and use them all in the same position in the quilt. I think it gives the quilt more dimension and makes it more interesting. Besides, it saves me having to make a decision. I like that.




Here's the viney berry border I like to doodle:
I make berries when I don't leave myself enough room to make a leaf. Berries are just a little swirl ball. If I have a wide border, I make bigger swirl balls and call them rosettes.
See? You don't have to be an artist, you just have to be inventive with the skills you have. I can't make a rosette, but I can make a swirl ball.


Here's how I make my vine:


I put the quilt in my regular sewing machine and make one irregular wavy line around the whole quilt. This is my "vine" skeleton.
When I get back to the start of the vine "circle", I start up one side making leaves and berries.
I quilt leaves and berries/rosettes all around the quilt on one side of the vine. (This quilt has been rotated--I feed the quilt toward me and over my left shoulder while I quilt. The rest of the quilt is rolled up to the left of my machine.) When I get to the beginning of the vine circle again, I repeat on the other side of the vine, all around the quilt. It doesn't take very long at all, and the leaves can be big, small, short, long...nature is like that, so you can be too. Every leaf does not have to be perfect and uniform. At least, that's what Imaginary Quilt Grandma says.


That was going to be all for today, but I can't stand it when my posts are only one set of colors! So here is (yet another) box bag I made this week as a gift. I tell you, there is something addictive about zippers. They make me feel like a real seamstress.
Zipperific, eh? Oh yeah, and this:






Sweet dreams, kitty.

35 comments:

Tine said...

That vine-border is fantastic! Thanks for showing how you do it :-)

And really, this quilt is amazing! I would almost consider a 3rd child if I were on your baby-quilt-list :-D

Love the advice you get from imaginary quilterGrandMa! We should all have someone like her!!

anne from finland said...

Hi Lisa, Thank you for teaching more and more about quilting and quilts!!! I can hardly wait to sit in front of my sewing machine! Anna-Liisa just saw the video with mr. B and the hen pillow. Have a nice weekend!

Catherine said...

I love your vine border! Can't wait to try that out -- your explanation made it sound achievable!

The quilt is fabulous! I love all the fabrics in it.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

What a pretty quilt! I think the little turquoise border makes it sing! Thanks for the inspiration.

Nancy said...

I will be trying this vine-border technique. Pretty Cool!!

I Love the quilt, but I will not be contemplating another child even if I WAS on your baby quilt list, LOL

The Calico Cat said...

She cringes when I hand quilt with a length of quilting thread that's longer than 18 inches, for instance (lazy!). Don't let he come visit me.... (I am lazy.)

I still love "that" purple.

Cutie kitty - I love how he is resting on that rooster... :o)

SandyQuilts said...

The 2 fabric border is a great idea. The border design is so pretty and you make it sound so easy ... Hope you are feeling better now.

Dawn said...

Ohhh...my favorite--those '30's fabrics into such a heart-tugging quilt. You have done such beautiful, grandma-worthy work on your quilt. I love it.

jovaliquilts said...

I think I'll have to get myself an imaginary quilt grandma. :)

It's a charming quilt, perfect for a little boy, and I appreciate the vine instruction.

Marsha said...

Kisses is a yummy little quilt. I love all the colors and really like the way the red makes your eyes dance around the quilt.....or should I say kiss around the quilt. :-)

My Imaginary Grandma did use reds but when she's not paying attention I slip all the reds in that I can find. She may raise her eyebrows but she doesn't say anything. You know how us "kids" are...

Vicky said...

Your Kisses is adorable! Love those P o'C fabrics!

Libby said...

"What Would Imaginary Quilt Grandma Do?" . . . oh, how I need an Imaginary Quilt Grandma of my very own. I do hope I can find one - one that is an expert gardener as well *s*

Quiltersal said...

Thanks so much for showing us how you do those borders....I've convinced myself that I am not 'artistic' enough to quilt my own quilts and send them out for quilting. Maybe, just maybe, I will try to do one myself, using your simply recommendations. Thanks, Lisa! I just love those box bags. I downloaded the instructions and plan to do one as soon as Sock Madness 2 is done - or I am eliminated from the competition, whichever is first (probably the elimination since this round is going S L O W!)

hunnybunny said...

Imaginary Grandma sounds like quit the cheerleader! I think I need one... That quilt is beautiful, and whoever gets it is going to be a very lucky boy.

Cath said...

Imaginary Quilt Grandma! Well, she will have to get in line; I won't need her for a while yet beause I have a Real-life Internet Quilt Hero instead. *grin* Thank you so much for showing us how to do that border! I might be able to do something like that!

Thank you for the sympathy, too; my hand is getting much better and my arm will be better soon. It has to--I have tote bags waiting in line in front of the Imaginary Quilt Grandma! My plans include some box bags too, coordinated with the tote bags... cuz yanno, some of those pillowcases came in pairs!

Cath

*Angie said...

You Kisses quilt is wonderful! The fabics make it zing. Your imaginary Gramma is proud of you I'm sure! Thank you for the pictures of how you do your vining leaves and tendrils too!

Jacquie said...

Love this quilt. And the border is so whimsical...unexpected, but fits perfectly!

Andrea said...

Gorgeous quilt and many thanks for showing us your border method. Your imaginary grandma sounds like a great lady to have around the place. I love the little box bag too - need one of those !

Opal said...

Wow. I think I must be ill. I really love that *pink* bag. What happened to Opal the staunch resistor of all things pink?

paula, the quilter said...

I love this string quilt pattern. I've made several. I do thank you for the wonderful tutorial on the vine quilting.

susan said...

the little boy quilt is great, and kitty looks so happy with his little chicken........it is 50 today and the snow continues to melt...but we are supposed to get snow again this weekend. oh well... the box bag is cute too.

Jennifer said...

Fabulous quilt. I was just thinking this past week about string quilts and how much I love them, too.

ladydi said...

Wow! A quilting breakthrough. I never thought to quilt back to front and bring it over my left shoulder. You are brilliant and I can't wait to try it. (Don't forget to put that in your next book! :>})

Kellie said...

I think I'm in love with that quilt!

You make the vine/berry/swirl balls sound and look so simple! Someday when I figure out how to get the fancy free motion embroidery foot thingy that I bought to actually attach to my sewing machine, I'd love to try something like that. Very pretty, indeed.

Rhonda said...

You are sooo prepared! Wonderful boy quilt! Thanks for showing us how to do a vine border with leaves and berries. I must give that a try.
I'm with you on "saving a decision". If I can't decide what to use, then I use them all. ;-D

yarndork said...

I take it you're feeling better? Must be those Finnish chocolates. I hear they do it every time.

Mar said...

I love how your boy quilt turned out. So bright and cheery! Mr. Bigglesworth is a hoot with his new pillow, fun clip.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I love your new quilt. It's sooooo cute. Love all the color in it. And zippers...........did you say you enjoy them????? OMG not me. I'm scared of them.. LOL But I love your little bag you made. And great quilting on the quilt by the way.

Mary Anne said...

What a CUTE quilt !!!! ... and thanks for sharing your swirl ball technique!!!!

P.S. Mr. Bigg looks very content!

Acornbud said...

Lovely quilt! Fantastic quilting designs. I love the fabric for your box bag, too. Your site is always so bright and happy:)

AllyJo said...

Oh my goodness, I have a little boy who always gives me kisses. I have to have that quilt! It's gorgeous.

BusybeeDebQuilts said...

I love this string quilt, Lisa! Great idea for a baby!

Debbie

Fiona @ Dragonfly-Crafts said...

Wow! You have been a busy girl. They all look great and I love how you've quilted the box bag. It looks gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, I love your pretend Grandma! I was blessed to have a for-real Grandma almost like her. My Grandma (Margaret Frances) would love to be your Grandma, too. She taught me to sew on her treadle machine when I was four and loved each thing I made - even the rice earrings painted with her nail polish. Her treadle machine is still in my home. See you soon! Aloha, Melissa

Rose Marie said...

Thank you for a great tutorial! Slowly but surely, I'm stepping out of the box to try machine quilting and am loving what I've done so far. Your stitches look so even ... does your machine have a stitch regulator?