3 Little Ducks – Quilt

June 10th, 2015

3d2I made this quilt seven years ago. At that time I had no children, but I was really wanting them! These ducklings were kind-of my hope for the future family. You know… kind of an “If you build it they will come” strategy. SO now I have two cute kids who do follow me everywhere (sometimes too much). I pulled this quilt out and realized it has still never been washed. It just sits in my cedar chest waiting to be used. 3d3
I have always LOVED the color yellow and so one day I decided I wanted to make a yellow and white quilt. At the time I had not seen chevrons done on a quilt and so my design of half square triangles creating chevrons was, I thought, ingenious. 3dMy mother had traced a duck 25 years ago out of a coloring book. I used that as my inspiration for the applique. It was my first time doing applique and I learned a whole lot! I wanted them all to be fun and unique and I wanted more boys than girls. ūüôā
Maybe the next child will get it. Happy Wednesday! Stephanie

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Mom’s Blue-Green Baby Quilt

June 4th, 2015

I love fabric. I love jelly rolls. And I love blue and yellow. Put them all together and you have one of my favorite quilts–my sunshine Jacob’s Ladder baby quilt–thanks to Jenny Doan and her Jacob’s ladder tutorial! I saw this tutorial, and I had to try it. I’m a simple quilter and I love it when someone dreams up a simple way to do a complicated pattern!
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I have grandchildren standing in line to get this quilt, but I decided that it was MY baby quilt–the one my mom never got to make for me! I love it, and luckily I’m short enough that it’s almost a lap quilt on me.
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I have to say I’m not really much of a “blue” girl. I like other colors better. But just put yellow with blue, and I love it. It makes me feel all sunshine-y and summer-y. Even though it’s cloudy today and I just heard thunder, now is the time to celebrate sunshine here in Arizona!
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Have a great, sunshine-y day today, and remember that yellow plus blue means summer!
Jaime

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HAPPY NATIONAL QUILT DAY!!!!

March 21st, 2015

Yay for quilting! It is wonderfully addicting, magically calming and creative. We love it! QuiltingDay

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Charming Chavo

February 27th, 2015

I can’t believe it is already the end of February 2015! Happy Christmas, Merry Thanksgiving, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to four of the gals here at Triangles Gone Mad! (Jaime, Hilaree, Jessica and Me (Stephanie)… TIME FLIES!!! We have gone a long time with no blogging and I have gone a long time with even no quilting… Instead there were holidays, birthdays, a funeral, buying a new house, moving, and normal every day life happenings. And now here I am getting back on the horse. CC1I always wanted to make a charm quilt (a charm quilt is a quilt where each fabric is different and never repeated). I liked the idea of using hundreds of different fabrics to create something truly unique and never replicable. Because of the sashing and borders this is not a true charm quilt but it was inspired by them. I named this quilt “Charming Chavo” because it’s colorful and festive.CC4This quilt was a long time coming! I spent YEARS collecting the fabric and MONTHS cutting each piece, WEEKS sewing it together and mere DAYS to quilt and bind it. The closer I got to finishing this charm quilt, the faster and more diligently I wanted to work on it. The pieces came from old fabrics my mother used for our clothing as children, fabrics we had quilts made out of and scraps from my own quilting. I was somewhat un-scrutinizing in the way I selected the different fabrics. If it was colorful or interesting, I would cut a piece and add it to the pile. I just wanted enough to make the quilt. ūüôāCC2Choosing the sashing was a bit of a conundrum for me. I thought since it was such a big part of the quilt that I had to get it right! I imagined it originally with plain white sashing. However, after laying some of the completed blocks onto the sashing material, I realized that it was boring and too predictable, so I found a fabric that I felt gave the quilt my desired vibe. I was hesitant because sometimes a small print on a large area can get crazy, but I think on this one it was a win!CC3The quilt deets:
485 different fabrics used in this quilt
120 rectangles (each made of 4 fabrics)
1″ finished sashing between each rectangle
Finished quilt measures 60″ X 78″
One accidental repeat of fabric… oops!
Happy Saturday!
Stephanie

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Grandpa’s Quilt of Valor

November 11th, 2014

The mission of the Quilt of Valor Foundation is ”¬†to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.” ¬†To date the QOV Foundation has awarded over 108,000 quilts to veterans of American wars. ¬† I have been quilting for QOV for about two years, and it is so very rewarding to do some small thing¬†for our service men and women who give so much for our safety and freedom. ¬†To learn more about QOV ¬†go to ¬†their website here.

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Last month I was privileged to award a Quilt of Valor to my father-in-law, Gene Wade, who served in the Army’s 11th Airborne Division as a paratrooper. ¬†He was stationed in Japan at the end of WWII. ¬†At the time we gave him the quilt he had just had a stroke, and was in a skilled nursing facility at the time. ¬†They were gracious enough to let us use one of the public rooms for the ceremony.

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The quilt we gave him was one that I had done the longarm quilting on.  The quilt top was made by Ruth Dassen, who is a tireless worker when it comes to making Quilts of Valor here in Arizona.  The quilt was beautifully sewn and the quilting added the final touch.

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Here is my husband, David, wrapping Gene up in all the warmth and appreciation that is stitched into every Quilt of Valor. Gene and Joy were happy to receive the quilt and appreciation that came along with it.  All the family members wanted to share in the excitement of the day, especially the great-grandchildren!  Thank you, Gene, for your service to our country!

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Making Time to Quilt

October 7th, 2014

As a SAHM (a stay at home mom) of young children and a part time teacher I often lack time to do some of the things I would like to in a day. I am a list writer – I attempt to plan out each day in a way that our home and lives will run more smoothly… but, some days I’m terrible at it! I usually finish 80% of my to do list, but sometimes I manage to finish 100%. Often that is for the simple reason that I set a low bar to begin with. ūüôā The goal is to survive and be happy. I was once told that frustration comes from unmet expectations. Managing expectations is something I am working on. So I leave things that I would just like to do off my list.
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My list really helps me throughout the day. Quilting is high on my “want to do” list but it falls lower on my “need to do to survive” list. Sometimes to keep sanity I must make time for things we want to do. In an attempt to make time for my “want to do” list… which definitely means quilting… I have tried to make some of my to do list items quicker and easier.
I decided that dinner was a time user and needed streamlining. To make dinners easier I combined freezer and slow cooker meals. I made 18 frozen meals that I can just toss into the slow cooker each morning. Dinner time comes and all I have to do is open the crock pot to a warm, scrumtious dinner.
FFQ3 The first thing I did was to plan a few meals. I looked online for inspiration. Once I had a list of the meals I wanted to prepare, I made a list of all of the needed ingreedients. I then found a babysitter and went to the grocery store with my LONG list. I bought in bulk (saving money for me to buy more fabric.) and I brought the food home. I then went back to the grocery store for the few items I forgot, this time with kids in tow.
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The next day my mother (who was so kind to come over and help me) and I cut up meats and vegetables and put the meals together into the freezer bags. I kept the dry seasonings in their own small freezer bags within the larger bags to add to the meal when cooking. That really just seemed like a good idea to me. ūüôā I ended up with many meals this month that are going to help me maximize my quilting time! Chicken Pot Roast, Lentil soup, Pork Chops, Sweet and Sour Pork and many more.
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We had one of the dinners two nights ago. It was a tasty success! What types of things do you do to be more efficient and make time for quilting?
RecipeHappy Tuesday! Stephanie

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To Wash or NOT to Wash…

September 10th, 2014

That really is the question when it comes to prepping fabric for quilting. In fact there is a lot to think about when laundering or not in preparation for quilting and after completing a quilt.
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I remember when I was young my mother would get the fabric all together for a quilt and she’d put it in the wash. This new perfectly flat fabric would be washed and dried. Then she would spent what seemed to me to be days ironing the newly cleaned fabric all before starting a quilt. Wow! What a hassle. So when not washing fabric came into vogue I was quick to jump on the band wagon. But really there are times when washing could be better and times when not washing could be the better choice.

There are a few hard fast rules like never wash precuts. (If you wash a stack of precuts you’ll be sad because what at you remove from the dryer will be an unusable pile of threads. Just trust me. Less crying that way.) And wash a quilt if it gets dirty. An un-washable quilt is not very practical or useful.
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Wash or don’t wash before quilting? Here are a few things to think about. The choice will have different effects on the look of your quilt after machine quilting. If you wash the fabric before cutting and quilting your quilt will be smoother. If not you will get a more “quilty” look where the quilt top will shrink a little more.(That makes it a little more bunchy at each stitch.)

When planning a quilt think about how often you plan on washing the quilt. This may effect the type of applique and binding you select for your quilt. If it’s a quilt for picnicking or for a child or any quilt that may be washed more often you may want to opt for machine binding and applique. Heavy washing can tear at the threads and machine stitches are normally stronger and closer together. If it is a less washed quilt, hand binding and hand applique would be great.
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If you are giving your quilt away you may want to do what my mom does. It’s BRILLIANT! She makes her quilts smell wonderful for the lucky recipient by adding scented liquids to the load. She always adds Odoban, but there are an hundred things you could add. One could add rose water, detergents, Odoban, or essential oils into the bleach tray. (For oils I think linen, citrus, peppermint and vanilla would all be yummy!) L&Q2

Hope these little, laundering tips are helpful! Happy Tuesday!Stephanie

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InStyle Inspiration

September 7th, 2014

I’ve been a subscriber to InStyle Magazine since 2011. What started as a well thought Christmas present became a friendship. InStyle and I get along really well. It influences my style and this week it has influenced my quilting.¬†One of the recent issues was the Fall Special Issue “Your Look” and it describes 30 ways to update your look. #24 was “Pick Your Palette” which gave some examples of great color palettes. The palettes are unique combinations of colors and for quilting are a great place to start. I chose one of the palettes and made a table runner to show how easy it is to go from runway to quilt-way! The palette included Aurora Red, Sand, and Chocolate.

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I did an easy modern design to showcase the palette. My mother came up with the design and an easy way to make it. We stacked the 3 different fabrics (each 1/2 yard), one on top of the other, and cut across making different triangles. Then we rearranged the colors, sewed the pieces back together, and ta-da, table runner!!! I really love the way these colors go together and I got the idea from a fashion magazine!

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Things to think about when going from runway to quilt-way:

1. Fashion colors might not have enough contrast for your quilting squares. My runner had a bright, a dark, and a neutral color. This is a good way to start.

2. Sometimes fashion can be extreme and over the top, so just use little bits of inspiration. Example: Feathers covering entire outfits= some feather printed fabric.

3. Look for fashion trends that can be translated to home decor because quilts usually add to the home look. An example of this is the mighty chevron stripe! Looks good on a skirt and a bed spread.

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Fashion can be a means of inspiration for a quilter. Trends this fall include neutral plaids, winter pastels, animal print (especially snakeskin), and mixing bold and bright colors with subdued tones (easy to translate to quilting). So be bold in your quilting and seek for inspiration outside the quilt shop.

Hilaree

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Quilt Show & Love Lessons

September 3rd, 2014

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Labor day weekend is always a fun time for our family. Our anniversary usually falls in that weekend and so we celebrate our ‚Äúfamily‚Äôs birthday‚ÄĚ together. This year we were fortunate to get to go up north to cooler weather. While we were up there we had lots of fun without the Internet and it‚Äôs accompanying worries. One morning while driving to a couple of places Harley and I saw a sign that said ‚ÄúQuilt Show; Labor Day Weekend‚ÄĚ. How is it that there happened to be a quilt show just down the road from where we were staying on the one weekend in a year that I would be there? A coincidence? A blessing? Maybe both? Well whatever it was I was more than happy when I saw the sign.PNQS1 PNQS2
It is an interesting thing to be married because your spouse sometimes has very different likes and dislikes and there are moments when we have no desire to do things but we do them because we love our spouse. This quilt show was one of those times. I know that Israel is sometimes frustrated with my hobby and the amount of time and effort that sometimes goes into it. And I talk incessantly about stitches, fabric choice, patterns, etc. All of this renders him bored out of his mind, but he listens and tries to be engaged and when all else fails he feigns interest. I love him for that. So when I told Israel about the quilt show he, the best husband EVER, knowing that he would be bored and most likely just act as babysitter, said we should all go. And so we did.PNQS5
Marriages are like quilts and the same way that the contrasting, similar and complimentary fabrics play together to create beautiful patterns and art so does the contrasting, similar and complimentary personalities and likes and the conscious and planned way that we put them together can create a beautiful marriage. Cheesy I know. But true.PNQS6PNQS7
It was a fun little quilt show. There are SO many talented quilters all over. I took photos of some of my favorite quilts and exhibits. There were some of the local guild members encouraging membership and a few other local organizations with booths and raffles. We walked around and looked at the pretty quilts and spoke to some of the designers/quilters about techniques and other things. Some of them would stop me just so they could get a look at my pretty baby girl. She was a treat. Even though she was teething she still gave out smiles to all the nice people. PNQS4
The whole quilt show was super fun for me! My husband is SO kind. He took Harley around and they found stuff that was fun for him and then they went and played at the playground outside the school where the show took place. What a fun quilt show, we enjoyed it so much. I have such a fun family!PNQS8Happy Wednesday!Stephanie

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Laying Out Your Quilt

August 31st, 2014

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What to do, what to do . . . ¬† Sometimes figuring how to lay out your quilt blocks once they’re made is the hardest part of making the quilt. I find that after I have spent all the time cutting and sewing the blocks, I’m not sure if I want the quilt to look like the original design¬†I’ve been working on for the last several days! ¬†That’s what design walls are for, you say? ¬†Well, I have a design floor. ¬†Somehow I’ve never gotten a design wall up anywhere, mostly because I have things hanging on every available wall in my house . ¬†Here are four different ways of laying out this quilt. ¬†Post your comments on which layout you like, and later I’ll let you know which one I chose.

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This is the original layout for my¬†quilt. I saw The Love Note Quilt first on the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s YouTube channel, and I fell in love with it. So did my daughter, Stephanie! So now it’s going to be her daughter, Hope’s, baby quilt. As you can¬†see, I laid the quilt pattern out ¬†in a¬†gradient ¬†from light grey to dark red. ¬†I’ve spent a little time getting it all put together. I really enjoyed making the quilt squares, and now it’s time to sew the rows together, but do I really want it to look this way?

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The patterns above and below are variations of the second¬†pattern I tried. ¬†In the layout above (B.) I kept the squares in the same order, simply turning them to create the X patterns. ¬†By simply turning the blocks, I kept my original idea of¬†a gradient from light grey to dark red. However, I don’t think it’s as apparent in this layout as it is in the first layout.

C.
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In this layout (C.), I placed the blocks randomly but in the same layout as (B.), giving the quilt a more scrappy look. With the more scrappy placement of the blocks, some of the X pattern seems to disappear depending on which colors happen to be next to one another.

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Here’s a look at the last layout I did for this quilt. ¬†The layout above was done with the blocks still scrappy (D). ¬†It’s funny, but it wasn’t until after these were all laid out that I realized that they were in rows with each envelope block turned the opposite way. ¬†You can see it¬†if you look hard, but the actual¬†appearance seems to be diagonal rows of envelope blocks. ¬†I really like this one.¬†¬†I like the way the alternating¬†blocks create a white envelope made from the four blocks coming together. ¬†One of the fun things about changing the layout is the secondary designs that appears when you put the blocks together.

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This last layout (E.) is the same as the one above (D.) with the blocks back in a gradient from light gray to dark red~I like this one, too! ¬†There are so many ways to lay out the blocks you’ve made for your quilt. ¬† Just have fun designing¬†your quilt. ¬†Nothing is written in stone, so make¬†it the way you want it to look. ¬†Which one do you like the best?

Jaime

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