Category Archives: Uncategorized

The 6 month quilts and why it took 6 months to make them.

Wow! 2015. You are looking good.

6 month quilts

I need to fill you in on the last little bit of 2014. First we have to go back in time about 12 years. I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself in the process.

When my oldest son was born, I was unable to get him to nurse. It happened to be right at the time of my 10 year high school reunion. I visited with a friend and mentioned I was having a very stressful and difficult time getting him to nurse. I was frustrated and about to throw in the towel in utter defeat. My friend mentioned an online group of women that pumped their milk. She suggested I check that out and see if they could help me. So I did. And I pumped exclusively for 8 1/2 months for him. It turns out, it wasn’t his fault. It was mine. My body just wasn’t a good fit for nursing. It was a good fit for pumping. Although, I hated pumping.

Ok, so imagine you are a new mom struggling. You find an online group that offers hope and help. And you stay connected to these women over the next 12 years. That is what I’m talking about. At one point, most of us moms were no longer pumping and our kids were getting older. We formed an offshoot group and continued to share our lives and what we were going through at that point in our lives. We mostly knew each other just online since we were all over the US and even in some other countries. There have been several meet ups with people in similar areas. These women are my go-tos for everything motherhood. Something about an old online group that can connect you in a way that an in real life group cannot. It is easier to talk about everything real online, for some reason.

from afar

As a group we have had parents pass away. We have had divorces and we have had lots and lots of babies born over the span of 12 years. What we had not experienced yet, was one of us dying. Ugh! That is until this summer.

Our friend had a quick and fatal cancer take over. In what seemed like a month’s time, she was gone.  Thinking back, it may have been two months from diagnosis to passing away. Whatever the exact timeline, it was fast.

Of course, when I first found out about her having cancer and being sick, I thought how crappy that was. I figured I could make a lap quilt to help her through her treatments, and it would be something she could keep for, you know, ever. But I had no idea that it would be so quick and she would be gone. And I kind of didn’t know how to deal with the sadness I was feeling. There was a week that I realized it was going to be it soon. The end. One of our mutual friends had actually been best friends with this lady since they were 13. And their daughters were now 13 and close friends too. So our mutual friend had posted about holding our friend’s hand for possibly the last time. Ugh. I still can’t think clearly about it now.

What does a quilter think of at any time? Making something. I’ll make something and everything will be better. I can’t make her coming back to us. I can, however, make something for her two girls as a reminder of her mom and how this group of ladies loved her. So I rallied the troops and together we had a plan. The mama’s that could, would send me some fabric that somehow represented something about them or their relationship with our friend. I would put all these fabrics together for the girls.

Vee

I got all kinds of patterned fabric for this. Which is great. But sort of not. As I am understanding my style, I struggle with scrappy. It is growing on me. But I have something in me that wants quilts to match and have a nice symmetric flow. All these fabrics together do not go and do not have any kind of flow. I figured I would make them into a neighborhood of houses. As a group, we are a community. And I wanted the girls to know they are also part of our neighborhood or community.

Each time I would get the fabric out to sew, I would get sad and had to put it away. It took me almost 6 months to finish these two quilts. With Christmas fast approaching, I was determined to finish them up and send them off in time for Christmas. It was silly that it took me so long. Coupled with the extreme sadness, I felt self imposed pressure to make them perfect. But this was colliding with my idea of what makes an aesthetically pleasing quilt. I didn’t want to let down the ladies in my group with a set of boring quilts. It is also strange because I never met our friend in real life. I didn’t want to seem like I thought we were best friends in the whole world, when in reality we were just online friends. And that just made me feel weird. In the end, I just pressed forward. It wasn’t about making the most beautiful quilts. It was about making as a way to heal my pain of loss. It was about honoring the girls’ mother, and our friendship with her.

Juliet

I don’t know if it is still a thing or not, but in our online group, when you wanted to express a hug, you would put the person’s name in parenthesis. So I put the names of the girls in parenthesis to show that they were getting a big hug from our group. I self drafted the letters and pieced them as opposed to applique. I’m pleased with how they came out. (And it also made me respect paper piecing designers even more. That is a lotta quilt maths/figuring out.)

Anyway, that is the story about these quilts. They were the quilts that took me the longest to make. There were more tears involved in this than anything I’ve ever done before. And there was more trepidation in making them than anything I’ve probably made before.

 

Made with love by…Anjeanettemade with love by

100 Quilts for Kids

Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt started 100 Quilts for Kids. And now another of my friends from DC Modern Quilt Guild is keeping it going. Heather blogs at Quilts in the Queue.

100 quilts for kids

Our guild had a meeting where they got together to sew blocks together and then into quilts for charity. Unfortunately, I missed that day because my family decided to get sick.  Anyway, they made some lovely quilts for charity and I had contributed two blocks for the quilts.

I also gave a quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids. My good camera was in the shop, so I only have pictures from my point and shoot. This was a sample I made for a class I was teaching. It was pretty cool to have it hanging in the shop I was to teach at.

It was a cute little quilt that wasn’t quite sure if it was for a boy or girl. I think it could go either way. I was happy to have passed it onto Heather for the charity. I’m hoping it can warm some child somewhere.

Check out 100 Quilts for Kids. Donate.

Winner of my Oakshott Tote is …

So I am delighted with the response I got from my little giveaway. I realized that my comments aren’t numbered and so I resorted to the old stand by for choosing my winner. I printed them out, cut into strips, and picked from the bucket.

First, let me say that I adore my puppy.  He is a gentle giant. Here he is with my niece.

Bear and niece

He is creeping up on one year old now. He will turn one year right about the time I will turn 40! He is ginormous and floppy and I think of him as a combination of a Yeti and a Muppet.  He is a Goldendoodle and just about the sweetest guy ever. The difference this time of owning a dog and the last time are two fold:

1. Bear is huge.

2. I have two adorable boys too.

Sometimes we forget that he is still a puppy because of his size. And sometimes my sweet adorable boys aren’t as helpful with things like putting their socks and papers out of Bear’s reach. Before with our Beagle mix, it was just my husband and me. By the time the kids came along, he was already a great part of the family. We were better at not leaving socks in reach and never left our homework on the coffee table.

We all love Bear. Bear is always on my mind, so when I put up my giveaway, he was an easy target for me to write about. I just didn’t want you thinking we have a delinquent addition to the family, or that we weren’t training him.

I’m tossing the idea around of putting up a pattern for the tote with a sew along. Would you be interested? If I did a full pattern, I would make it something you would have to buy for like $5.00 because putting a pattern together takes a lot of time. If you would rather just vague directions of how a tote like that is put together, I could do that in less time and it would just be a tutorial. What do you think?

So now without further adieu, the winner is Carly of Citric Sugar. I have emailed Carly.

 

Thanks for entering!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway. Win this tote! {now closed}

*The giveaway is now closed.*

I’ve been around for what seems like a zillion Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Days. I am always delighted and amazed that the things people are giving away. Sadly, I have yet to do a giveaway. To make up for my transgressions, I decided to host my first giveaway with a bang. At least I hope it is with a bang. I am going…to give…my delicious Oakshott Tote away! I am! You can be rubbing this lovely tote on your face.

instagram giveaway

You can read all about it in my last post. Basically I used linen and Oakshott to make this yumminess. Maybe you saw my tote on Sew Mama Sew because I participated in their Oakshott Tote Challenge.

Hurry and enter before I realize what I’ve done. I can always just make another, right?

It is different on both sides, remember?

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette

You can have a total of three entries, but you must comment on this post to get these entries.

#1 Leave a comment about anything. Not sure what? Tell me about something you would love to see on my blog.  Tell me a favorite way to fight Monday-itis. Tell me that owning a puppy won’t last forever and that puppies grow into dogs. Whatever you have on your mind.

Two extra entries are:

# 2 Follow me somehow (here, or Instagram) and let me know how. You could follow me  everywhere, but it is just one additional entry. Just tell me all the ways you follow me.

#3 Share with your friends or readers about my giveaway.  Leave a comment on how you shared about it for your third optional entry.  It will be a random winner. But I do so enjoy dry humor. Make it fun for me too and share some sarcasm. (That won’t make it more likely for you to win. It is all about me here.)

I’ll leave this open to international friends! You can enter until May 16th at 5 PM PST.

Make sure you are not a no-reply blogger. I must be able to send an email to you easily. If I can’t, I’ll choose someone whose contact information is easy to get to.

Check out the other cool stuff you could win on Sew Mama Sew Supplies and Handmade Giveaway.

Oakshott Tote for Sew Mama Sew

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 1

I have been seeing amazing things made out of Oakshott from people like Sarah Elizabeth of {No} Hats in the house blog and Lily of Lily’s Quilts. They usually write about things like how luxurious it is to sew with and also how photographs don’t do it justice. I was totally lucky to get to play with some Oakshotts from Sew Mama Sew. What a delight. They sent me a Lipari Fat 8th Pack to make into a tote.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette

After playing with the Oakshott fabric I will agree that it is so nice to work with and it is difficult to photograph it to show off just how dynamic it really is.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 2

What is Oakshott? It is shot cotton. The warp and weft of the fabric are made of different colored threads. The results are dynamic color play in the light, a sort of iridescent fabric.  It is soft and just luscious. Now, I see that Oakshott is also making a Colourshott which have  slightly different colors on the reverse side. I die!

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 3

Anyway, I was trying to take a picture to capture the magic of the Oakshott. When the light hits it, dimension is created and it gives movement to the fabric.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 4

 

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 5

I think, the above picture shows it the best. But you really need to get some and play with it yourself to understand just how yummy these are.

 

I paired the Oakshott with some linen. I think they are a perfect match. I tried to come up with a way to show off the movement of the fabric. I figured if I cut triangles and put them together into hexagons, with the grain turning one direction with each triangle it would show it off the best. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen these yummies in my stream. 

Oakshott tote aOakshott tote c      Oakshott tote b

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 10

After I pieced all the triangles together, I thought dark 12 weight thread would look lovely too.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 11

At first, I wasn’t sure if I loved it or not. I quickly realized I adore the dark straight line quilting!

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 13

I made one panel for the front pocket. The pocket is the whole width of the tote and I stitched a line down the center to make two large pockets.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 6

I drafted the pattern myself based on dimensions I like for handles and the size of the pouch.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 12

Topstitching goes a long way here, and I think always finishes off everything nicely.

 

 

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 9

I added some strips of Oakshott in the linen for a little detail on the handle of the front side.

 Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 8

The inside is completely lined and I put in a false bottom. The false bottom was made from 2 layers of Peltex covered with fabric and then hand stitched into place. I have to have a fully lined tote. It just feels complete. Since it was meant to be a tote, I thought the two large pockets on the front were enough, so the lining doesn’t have any more pockets. The entire thing is lined with more interfacing from Pellon. I used a combination of fusible fleece and Shape Flex to give it some structure but still allow a little scrunching. The fabrics give me a feel of nature and I want it to become soft and scrunched over time.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 14

I adore how this side came out.

 

After I made the side with the pocket and the hexagons, I wanted to play a little more on the other side. I took the rest of the Oakshott and spliced different widths of linen between at random cuts. I then cut out the same triangles as I did on the front. This time, I stitched them together randomly and changing the direction of the grain of the fabric.

 

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 15

I wanted some of the same dark straight line quilting for this side. But I traced shapes randomly.

 

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 18

I really was dreaming about this side as a large quilt and not just a tote. I may have rubbed my face in it a little. It is so soft. And I super puffy heart adore how this side came out. Imagine a whole quilt in Oakshott with the spliced triangles and some linens thrown in for texture! I die!

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 7

To tie the front and back together, I slipped a strip of linen into the Oakshott handles on the back side. Oh, who am I kidding? This is really the front side.

Oakshott tote by Anjeanette 19

It is ok to carry a tote with the pocket facing yourself, right?

Check out  these other participants and see how they  used their yummy Oakshott fabric to make totes for Sew Mama Sew.

Teresa of Dandelion Drift

Jennifer of Sewplicity

Megan of Monkey Beans

Erin of Seamstress Erin

Michelle of Falafel and the Bee

The colors of Oakshott I used for this tote are all from the Lipari pack.

Pollara LIPA 01

Canneto LIPA 07

Lipari LIPA 08

Stromboli LIPA 12

Basiluzzo LIPA 15

Gallina LIPA 18

I’m participating in a Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along, join in too!

My friend Amanda Castor of Material Girl Quilts is hosting a Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along. Amanda is a great pattern designer who also owns an online fabric shop.  If you have ever looked at the Moda Bake Shop, I’m sure you have seen one of her designs.

Anyway, she is doing a quilt along for this fun sampler. In the past, I’ve stayed away from Samplers because I just can’t wrap my brain around them. I think that some are just spectacular, but I like a little more order in my world. One of my goals this year has been to push myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do. I find that almost always, I love the end result when I do just that. And this sampler is just too fun to pass up.

So when Amanda said she was doing a Quilt Along  of her lovely sampler, I decided it was something I HAD to do. It is two simple blocks a week and they are made from layer cakes. Can’t be more simple!

I am going to do a 4 by 4 layout. Amanda shares two different layouts on her blog. I did a mock up in EQ7 so I can color in to see what I want to do. I love doing this and seeing how color placement can change something.

Layer Cake Sampler to color in

Of course, you will have to refer to the images Amanda has done that show you which is a background and which is a patterned fabric in this.

 

color me happy layer cake sampler

Here was my original mock up with the layer cake I plan to use. I’m going to use V and Co Color me Happy line. I think I may just use the blues, greens and greys and fill in with some solids maybe? Still playing around with it in my mind a little. I need to take colored pencils to paper first to see how my idea would look as a 4 by 4 layout.

Please join in. Blocks 1 and 2 start today. It is just two a week. Oh and check out Material Girl Quilts blog for all the details. (I secretly want to make it in her layout 2 that she shared. Wouldn’t that rock with that dark blue for the background? Sigh.)

We hung the quilts for the Stitched DC Art Show

2014_02_14_1573

Here in Maryland, we have had some pretty big snow storms lately. We actually ended up getting snowed in for a whole day. I mean completely snowed in. Of course this happened on the day we were supposed to set up for Stitched DC Show. On Friday a handful of us from DC Modern Quilt Guild, ventured out to hang the quilts. We had received some more snow and luckily school was cancelled for my kids. My husband was already off and we decided to take the boys into DC and do it together.

2014_02_14_1559

I don’t live exactly close to DC, even though I am in the DC Modern Quilt Guild. It is just the closest Guild that I felt like I could belong in. So by the time my little family of four made it, there were several of my friends who had been there for a little bit already working on setting up.

2014_02_14_1563

Jessie’s mini quilt was originally supposed to hang under the signage for the Anocostia Arts Center. But it just didn’t seem like a great place for it. Above Linda was holding it in its original position. They decided to hang Melinda’s Hexagon mini there instead. I think it worked well because some of the colors for the sign went with Melinda’s mini. Also, this meant Jessie’s got to hang next to my quilt.

2014_02_14_1560

The Art Center is a really cool configuration. It is kind of two hallways that form a capital T. I guess it used to be an old Woolworth’s store. I Loved the old wood floors in part of it.

My husband hadn’t really met my guild yet, so I guess you could say it was his coming out party too. HA! He is very meticulous when it comes to measurements and things being level and correct. I am totally fine eyeballing something. When we hang anything at home, he will always pull out the level and make sure everything is perfectly in line. I thought this job was perfect for him. He got to evenly space the quilts and decide exactly where they would hang. I kept teasing him and saying that his quilts weren’t hanging straight. It was nice having him there to help. I’m sure he was much more productive than I was. I’m nursing a killer headache lately. My hubby and Frederick did an amazing job working together. 

2014_02_14_1558

The Gallery director and assistant had printed out pictures of each quilt and taped it to the wall where it was supposed to go. Above is one space with just two quilts hung and below are Linda and her husband hanging the other four.

2014_02_14_1564

The Arts Center recently opened NURISH. Taken from their site “This is the second restaurant for entrepreneur Kera Carpenter (owner/operator of Domku in Petworth). With an anticipated opening of January 2014, Nurish will offer a full expresso bar, breakfast, lunch, supper, and beer and wine.”

2014_02_14_1566

My quilt was hanging to the side of the entrance to Nurish. Jessie’s mini ended up being hung on the right side of this door, but I didn’t get a picture of it.

2014_02_14_1568

 

2014_02_14_1569

It was nice to be able to support our show and help hang the quilts. I had family plans on opening night and wasn’t going to be able to attend. I was happy that I got to be part of it in another way then.  There are more pictures on our guild’s flickr stream. I really adore my quilt guild. I am so glad I found them when I did. I really need that kind of creative sharing in my life.

My Botanics Star Quilt

Botanics Star Quilt front

 

DC Modern Quilt Guild is having an exhibit at the Anacostia Arts Center named Stitched. One of our members, Frederick, managed to arrange it all for us. Of course, the board of the guild has also put in a lot of time too.  Our quilts are going to be on display for a good month starting February 15th. We have the option to put a price on our quilts if someone wants to purchase it.

Anyway, we knew about this a while ago. When I first heard about it, I was already planning to make a wall hanging with Carolyn Friedlander Botanics line.  The orange speaks to me and the textures are just delicious.  After I missed out on the Architextures line, I was determined to snatch up some of the Botanics line. I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and make a wall hanging and submit it to the gallery too. If my quilt does not sell, I will be delighted to hang it up on my wall. If it does sell, well then I’ll just have to buy myself some more fabric. Win/win!

Star detail

Since I knew it could be in an art show, I decided to do something geometric. I wanted some depth to the stars so I went with coordinating colors for each star. I planned out the background fabrics carefully too. I know that the first impression may be that it is just scrappy and random, but it took me a few days and some rearranging to get everything exactly where I wanted it to go. I wanted a little added dimension to the whole thing so I played with the free motion quilting as well as added in two extra star points to the top before I put the binding on.

star points

I love a good overall meander when free motion quilting. It just feels so good to move the fabric around under my needle. I wanted there to be movement around the strong lines of stars. The background I started with a circle around one of the stars. From there I did a combination of stippling and pebble quilting.  It took me several times at the machine to get all the background quilted. I am delighted with how it came out.

Botanics Star Quilt back

I put this up on my wall to get a picture to submit it to the art center. I am so tickled with how it came out. It makes me happy just to look at it.

Botanics Star Quilt back close up

Instagram is crazy awesome because, it puts you in touch with people that you may not otherwise get to communicate with. Carolyn Friedlander has left a few comments on my pictures of this quilt. Who doesn’t love that?

Instagram comment

 

One of the ladies from the art center emailed me to ask me if it would be ok to use an image of my quilt on the flier for the show. Uhm, yes! Of course!

I love this quilt so much. I can’t wait to see it in the gallery. Wouldn’t it be a treat if it did sell?

Getting ready for Christmas Cards

I don’t know about you, but I love pictures in my Christmas cards. I love to see pictures that include my friends and not just their kids. I want to see how my cousin really looks and not just their kids. I want to see my siblings with their kids, and not just their kids. 20131215_999_29

So each year, I get the crazy idea in my head that it is a good idea to take family pictures.

20131215_999_105

Nothing fancy of course, because we just don’t plan it out well enough. I just want a casual “we are all together and dressed up” kind of picture.

20131215_999_93

This year, we added a sweet Goldendoodle puppy to the family. He was born at the end of August and already is a beast! His name, Bear, fits him to a T. He is like a giant teddy bear.

20131215_999_78

So this last weekend, I rallied the troops. We thought wrangling them on the stairs would help hold the puppy in too.

Anjeanette

I had my sweet hubby snap a few pictures of me too. I needed to update all my pictures on my social media. My other picture was almost two years old.

Anjeanette Klinder

I think he did a great job. I had great plans to have my hair colored and cut before pictures. Life happens and I’m real. Let’s just pretend the grey streaks are actually highlights, K?

pictures for cards

I think this one is actually my favorite picture. It makes me really happy. I love how it isn’t technically great, but it is so us.

this one 2013

We opted for this one. And I like it too.

Now I’m sewing my fingers off trying to catch up on all my Christmas sewing!

How about you? Do you love picture cards? Do you include yourself in the pictures? I sure hope you do.