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Friday, August 23, 2013

Nancy Drew Redux - an iPad case

 
Anne's new "Nancy Drew" iPad case
     I recently finished two  Nancy Drew quilts for some friends,


One of the two similar Nancy Drew quilts.
and had some of the material left over for other projects.  I am planning to make a tote bag, but still have some 10 inch squares, and a few other scraps. 
Some of the 10 inch squares from the layer cake.  I used a number of them in the corners of the quilts
      My daughter sent me a link to the tutorial in Fresh Lemons for an iPad case (found here), and asked if I could make it with one of the big book cover panels. 

The Nancy Drew book cover panels
     That would have been very cool, but the panels were just too large for an iPad case.  I still had a fair amount of  the black "Nancy Head" fabric left,  and some squares of many various books on a bookshelf, which seemed a perfect substitute.   Anne was recently home for a weekend, and we had ourselves a little mother/daughter project! 

     Using the tutorial, which was pretty clear, we got to work cutting out the fabric.  

The various pieces cut and ready to go
     After we got all the cutting done, Anne exclaimed that "the rest will be easy - it is just sewing."   Well, easy enough for her when she leaves the sewing to me!

     It did go pretty easily, and from start to finish was just a few hours.  We had fun working together, and took frequent breaks!  
The inside lining assembled.  We were using the iPad to follow the instructions! 

    I love how the books form the bottom of the case.  I did the pocket lining just in black - I thought anything more would detract from the four fabrics already in play for this little case.  I liked the zipper instructions in the tutorial - but if I make another one, I'll put the zipper in opening the other way.

The front of the iPad case (before sewing on the velcro pieces for the flap).

A close up of the lining, which does show, and I had enough of the black fabric left from the quilts to make it work.  I found some labels I had ordered years ago and I've started using those on my projects.

The back of the case.   I fussy-cut rows of the heads for the quilts - it was fun to use a larger bit of the fabric.
The case fits her iPad perfectly, and the front pocket holds her Kindle, or can hold the charger.
     Voila - another picture of the case.  We both loved how it turned out, and it is just a fun way to protect her iPad.  I think this is a great use of novelty fabrics.  I can see making some more of these in a variety of fabrics in the future.   I wish I could find more of the bookshelf Nancy Drew fabric - it seems to have sold out completely.  Moda Fabrics, are you listening???
The Nancy Drew iPad case (before I sewed the velcro pieces to the flap).
     This was a fun little project and I was happy to share the time with my daughter.
 
     Enjoy the week!

Take care,
Gretchen

 

Friday, August 16, 2013

2005 - A Nine-Patch Odyssey

 
Jahdiel's quilt
     I have been reaching out to relatives and friends to get photos of the quilts I neglected to photograph.   My sister brought home the quilt I made her son Jahdiel  when he was born in 2005.    I couldn't remember what I had done to celebrate his arrival, although I knew I had made something special and cheery. 

      I was so pleased to see the bright 9-patch blocks set on point in bright solid yellow (my favorite color), with interesting quilting.   Each patch contained nine different little juvenile prints or 30s reproduction prints or the like, mostly reds, blues and yellows.  All very happy little prints.   I was so glad to hear it had been hung in his room for many years.


It was still a little wrinkled from the trip home!

I had done a spiral quilting pattern in the 9-patch blocks, and in the yellow square blocks. 

I quilted a loopy loop in the yellow setting blocks.   


A close up of one of the blocks and some of the spiral quilting. 

     Those nine patch blocks looked quite familar - especially the ubiquitous Three Little Pigs print that I have written about previously.    In an earlier post, I had shared the only picture I have of a quilt I made in 2005 for my niece's oldest daughter, Kathryn.  That quilt, too, used the happy scrappy 9-patch blocks, but  I had set those in rows, separated by wide red strips.   It is difficult to see in the picture below, but the quilting was a fun swirl pattern.  

Kathryn's quilt

      I looked through my other pictures, and apparently I spent 2005 making these 9-patch blocks!     Kathryn's cousin, Eric, also arrived that year.    He, too, got a quilt made with a dozen of these 9-patch blocks, this one set on point with solid red.
 
Eric's quilt
       My niece sent me the picture above of Eric's quilt, and for some reason, I did have other pictures of that one (but not the others) on my computer.   These pictures show the swirly quilting I did on both  Eric and Kathryn's quilts.    I also used the fabric from the back of Eric's quilt for the binding of Jahdiel's quilt. 
A close up of Eric's quilt with the backing

You can see the overall quilting in this picture. 

A very close up shot of the quilting - before the quilt was washed, I am sure. 
     Three dozen 9-patch blocks, three sweet little quilts for three sweet babies.  Happy 8th birthday this year to them all! 
 
     I apparently wasn't done working with 9-patch blocks that year.  In checking my photos and seeing when they were taken, I realized that the "camp quilt" I made for my son from leftover reproduction civil war fabrics was also completed in 2005. 



Dave's camp quilt
     For Dave's quilt, I also used a new quilting pattern, a grid that created a 9-patch look in the solid red. 
A close up of the quilting.

     I like to think about the three kids scattered across the country having quilts that tie them together, even if they never meet.   I am also going to use that swirling quilt pattern soon on a new project.  I forgot how cute that was! 

     Enjoy the last few weeks of August.

Take care,
Gretchen

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Here's to you, Nancy Drew, x 2 !

 
A Nancy Drew quilt.

    At the beginning of this year, I resolved to use up the fabric accumulated over the years.  My plan was to make quilts using only my stash - no new fabric.  I'd get creative, and save money.  To that end,  I stopped browsing fabric sites on-line.

     It was a good plan ..... until I glimpsed a link on-line to the Get a Clue Nancy Drew fabric line from Moda.   Uh oh.   In my childhood,  I was an avid Nancy Drew fan, and two friends, Monica and Cy, not only shared the Nancy Drew passion, but we actually spent hours recreating Nancy Drew dramas.  I have every yellow spine book in the series, and a few odd books picked up from yard sales.     Even now, when we get together and share a glass or two of wine, we still make reference to Nancy Drew, her sporty roadster, Bess, George and Ned.    My "no new fabric" plan was history - I had to get some of that fabric!
     
     By the time I found this fabric, the yardage choices were limited. I decided on a project - Nancy Drew tote bags for each of us.  The pattern, which I have had for years, but never made, required 1 yard each of two different fabrics.  I started my order.      


 I got a yard each of  the Nancy Drew heads and silhouette in blue.


Look at how nicely the fabric matches the old artwork in the inside cover of the blue fabric books.


I also got two yards each of the black Nancy head fabric, and the red silhouette fabric. 


      As I was browsing, those 6 yards didn't seem quite enough.  Since a layer cake was on sale,  I snapped it up - for a grand assortment of 10 inch squares. 

A sample of some of the other fabrics in the layer cake.  I really like the bookshelf fabric, and wish I had more of that.

     Then I found the panels containing reproductions of six of the yellow spine covers.  I could not resist.   I didn't pay attention to any description, and just assumed  the covers would be the same size as the actual books, so I  got two panels.  I was thinking Kindle covers.   



Four of the book covers on the panel.  What great crisp bright colors.  If you just saw a picture, wouldn't you  think these were the size of the book?


          It turned out that the panels were about three times as big as the actual book!


As you can see, the panels were much larger than the actual book.    No Kindle covers here!
       Once the fabric arrived,  I didn't jump right into the tote bag project, as I was busy with my string quilt.   Then I thought that, since I was blogging about making quilts,  I should make my friends each a quilt, rather than a bag.     Is there anything nicer than a warm cozy quilt when you are reading a book?

      Since the panels were so big, I decided to use those as the centerpiece of the quilts.  I also decided to make two similar, but not identical quilts.  I used my design board quite a bit to try out various fabrics and designs.   I had to be creative, since I had ordered up the fabric for the tote bags, not for quilts, and had to work with the yardage in hand.   I started building these quilts from the inside out.

I fussy cut the panels, and experimented with tipping them.  I was considering using some of the 10 inch squares as the background.   I ended up tipping them differently than pictured on the board.
     Since the covers were so graphic,  I decided to make them stand out by using plain colors for the background, and picked a bright yellow and  a crisp white. 
The red border is from the panel.  I trimmed 1/2 inch from the interior edge, which left a 1/4 inch red border in the end.

The yellow background.   I ended up cutting these on an angle to give the tilted look to the blocks.  Because these blocks were so large, I had a few problems, but worked it out.   I had to concentrate to get the tipping going the right way, and at the right angle. 
     I needed to plan the rest of the quilt using the yardage I had purchased, so went with the fabric I had the most of, the black Nancy heads and the red silhouette.    

A close up of the "Nancy head" fabric, which also contained a smattering of quotes.  I tried to get each quote into the borders.
I ended up fussy cutting strips of the heads, with 1/2 inch on either side before sewing.  Some rows were vertical, and some horizontal.  Fortunately, I had enough to make it work.

Trying out the design on my board.   

Piecing together the panels and the border.   You can see the small black square from the layer cake, which featured little magnifying glasses, in the center.

       I didn't have enough of the black fabric to use the entire length, so I added little squares on the edges.   I used the black magnifying glass fabric for the squares in the middle, and in the corners used red for one, and yellow for the other.  I was trying to keep the distraction of too many patterns to a minimum, since the book cover prints were quite vivid on their own. 

      I created the outside border from the red silhouette print.  I only had the two yards, plus a few 10 inch squares, so that was very carefully measured and pieced together, since it was a one way pattern.  I added a narrow interior border of plain white to make the bright colors pop.  I originally cut it as a 2 inch border, but then decided to cut it down to a finish at one inch.   Since I had just enough of the red, I used some of the other 10 inch squares for the corners of the quilt.  

The finished quilt top.  The silhouette fabric was very hard to photograph, but shows up pretty well here.


     I wasn't sure what to do about the quilting. I like the graphic look of the bright colors, and strong prints, and didn't want the quilting to distract from that. After using it on my scrappy around the world quilt, I decided to use a primary color multicolored thread to do a large meandering in the center of the quilt, thereby not highlighting any particular color. I just outlined the white border, in the ditch, and used a plain red for a large meander on the red border.

The two quilt tops laid out before backing and quilting.  Each has a unique set of the book covers, and one has the red corner blocks in the center, and the other yellow.  I looked at the quilts alot while deciding how to do the quilting.

This is a close up of the quilting that shows the varigated thread in the center panel.   I was quite uncomfortable sewing over the Nancy heads!


Another close up showing the quilting over a larger area.  I thought about leaving the book cover unquilted, but ultimately decided to just quilt all over.
 

A close up of the center, which shows off the colored thread.  


A photo of one of the tops quilted and ready for binding.  I used the bright yellow to bind each quilt, and backed each one in homespun from my stash. 

Cy's quilt, in the sunshine!

The back of Cy's quilt.

Monica's quilt in the sunshine!

The back of Monica's quilt. 

Cy and Monica with their quilts!

Cy, me and Monica. 

Cy, me and Monica - just a few years ago!

"You can always talk a loyal friend into joining you in your schemes and ruses!"
     Isn't that the truth! Treasure your friends, have some adventures, and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Take care,
Gretchen



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