Saturday, June 11, 2016

Chopped blocks for baby

Chopped blocks! This is such an easy quilt to make. I needed a quick baby shower gift last weekend so I dug into my stash and charm packs (5" pre-cut squares) and came up with a eye-pleasing quilt for baby Natalie.

Here's a close-up of the stitching design - simple loops.

The back of the quilt -

Whatever quilt I'm working on, I make extra blocks. I have an overflowing drawer of "orphan" blocks. There are 3 extra blocks across the back of Natalie's quilt.

The square is the beginning of the design. It is cut in half and then cut in half again (or should I say "chopped"?) and 1/4 blocks are swapped with other 1/4 blocks and voila! Easy peasy lemon squeezee.

More happening on my website!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dodging the Diamonds

I recently received an order for Eileen's EIGHTH Harley Davidson quilt. I guess if you love the brand, love the shirts, love the quilts, why not? Because she had (has?) such an enormous collection that her dresser was overflowing, she turns to me to transform them. There are studs and "diamonds" on her shirts, so it is a bit of a challenge. I love a challenge, and I love these shirts!

You may not be able to see them in this picture but there is a lot of bling going on here! I so enjoyed  making this quilt. It is one unlike any others!

Here is a picture of the front of the quilt. There are so many really cool Harley Davidson shirts on here. Different sizes and shapes - the outer edges are 8"squares. But the real fun is on the back. It's so hard to get a decent picture of a black quilt, but here it is:

I took a handful of those smaller logos and lined them up across the back and I think it added a nice touch. Eileen's quilt is fun, washable, durable and holds a lot of warm memories!  yes. Pun intended.

For one of my own.

Graduation "season" at Wild Zipper is like a holiday. The pressure is on to get those quilts to the graduates in time for their special day. Now and then, a mom or dad will admit that the quilt is more for themselves than for the graduate. Of course! I remember making my daughter's quilt as she graduated from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Four years of volleyball and softball were four of the most exciting years of my life (too)!

Even this mom got a little sentimental as I cut these shirts. Every one had been through the laundry so many times! I remembered her wearing them.  I just had to tell myself that this was preserving these precious memories. The alternative? Rags...Goodwill....or shirts hidden in a drawer for years.

Hers was a unique quilt, as it was a 2-sided machine quilted quilt. I've made only a dozen or so over my quilting career. Above is the volleyball side...and below, the softball side.

So, there you have it. 50 shirts, give or take, She loves her quilt, and so does baby Eleanor....

taking the road less traveled,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mr. Frog, revisited

I was recently invited to a birthday party honoring a four-year-old sweetie who is not only the granddaughter of one of my best friends, but the best friend of my granddaughter.  Addy had a big party, lots of people - a really fun reunion of family and friends.

One of the restrictions of the gift-giving was a $4.00 limit. $4.00! That's tough. I was determined to give her a wonderful gift for just that, or less (only to find out at the party that almost everyone broke that rule!).

Addy's mom and one of my daughters were inseparable as kids, so naturally, this kid is pretty special to me and my family. As many little tykes do, her mommy carried around a security blanket "Mr. Frog" and an accompanying "Mr. Frog" pillow.  While her mommy never really did let go of the blanket, I had possession of the Mr. Frog pillow in hopes that someday I could make something special. Mission Accomplished!

Mr. Frog is sitting right in the middle and the quilt evolved around him. The pile of 4-squares in my "use me!" pile was begging to be displayed around Mr. Frog, along with a few 8" sampler squares.  This is a super scrappy quilt - every piece is from my stash. Heck, I even pieced the batting pieces together.

I love to shop at thrift stores for great deals on shirts and scrubs. Picky as I may be, I can find some amazing deals on XL and XXL cotton shirts, which provide a LOT of fabric to feed my hungry stash. High-quality, beautiful fabrics can be found in the most unlikely places! Many of the colorful squares in the quilt are bits and pieces of colorful scrubs. Whodathunkit? Even the binding is a fun scrub fabric.

There in each corner is a bit of sunshine, a snowman, a Christmas tree, or a shimmering cloud. 

The quilting was done with a free style loops and hearts design which is simple and appropriate. All in a day's work.

Demi and Addy love each other as this picture shows! (photo credit to Mindy Young

See what else is happening! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My Very Own

I lost track of how many quilts I've made once I got into the 2,000's.... I love making quilts for my clients - t-shirt quilts and memory quilts of all kinds. Each one tells a story - a unique story - and I am honored to help preserve those memories!

Would you believe that until today I have never made a quilt for myself? Nope. Never. BUT HERE IT IS! Thanks to Bonnie Hunter She has inspired me to expand my talents and create art I never dreamed of.  I am so excited about this quilt :)

This is my variation of one of Bonnie's free patterns, Scrappy Mountain Majesty. You can find it here:  I put it on the bed in the guestroom last night and I was so excited! This quilt is totally scrappy. I would estimate 90% of what you're seeing are half-price mens shirts from Goodwill. I am frugal, I admit...but look! I also believe in recycling and repurposing, and what a fun way to do it.

This is a queen size quilt with medium weight batting - good for all seasons. I quilted it on my long-arm with a "loops and leaves" free motion design.

and the back...well, a little jelly roll column down the center, and that Sponge Bob an his friend Patrick showing up "randomly"....????? Funny how that happens.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled t-shirt quilts....

See what's in progress at Wild Zipper T-shirt Quilts

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Remembering Cheryl

Cheryl was a nurse and these were her scrubs...44 of them.  Sadly, she passed away and her husband requested a king-sized quilt from her wonderful, colorful collection.  With purple (her favorite color) sashing and backing,  piano key border,  and four-square corners, this quilt turned out beautifully.

This quilt measures 105" x 91". My work table is 96" x 96", making it really hard to get a decent picture of the whole quilt.

Right across the center back of the quilt, a ladder of color. 

Fabric: Kona Purple
Thread: Superior So Fine
Quilted by Jennifer Nilson
Design: Splat ™, by Jennifer Nilson

check out what else we're making
Wild Zipper - T-shirt quilts and more!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Martha and the Beatles

Many years ago when my workshop was in Roscoe, Illinois, Martha was driving through town (Interstate 90 cuts through Roscoe) and stopped by to drop off t-shirts for 2 quilts.  One of the quilts was almost entirely Beatles' shirts, and little did I know at that time that I would see this quilt twice again!

It started out as a unique twin-size quilt, with some randomness to it. After two separate add-ons, here's the final quilt! It's so big I can't fit the whole picture in the picture.

Martha is a wonderful lady, and as much as I like her, I hope this is the last add-on! I'm not sure my studio is big enough for a bigger quilt. But...she keeps finding more shirts!!