Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

In honor of Memorial Day, I'd like to introduce you to Quilts of Valor. Their mission is "to cover ALL those servicemembers and veterans touched by war with quilts called Quilts of Valor (QOVs)." My local quilt shop, Prairie Shop Quilts, hosts the local chapter of QOV the first Tuesday of each month for a sew-in. My mother and I started joining them a couple months ago and have really enjoyed it. Our chapter is run by, Rita Pennington (who happens to be the mother of my husband's best friend) and is called LOLQOV (for Land of Lincoln or Laugh Out Loud, take your pick). Once a month we get together and work on various quilt projects for our veterans. Some people work on their own projects to donate, others work on making things from our ever-increasing stash of donated fabrics, and some of us (particularly those who like to take on more projects than they can handle) do both. :) Tomorrow is our monthly sew in and here are some things I hope to work on.

One of our ladies made a quilt based on these blocks...

... and when she was finished she hoped to make another, but ran out of the brown and gold star fabric. Rita said she had a "challenge" for me and gave me the leftovers to see what I could come up with.

There were about 40 of the center block left over (already sewn up) plus some other leftovers and I was able to come up with two new versions by rearranging the blocks and adding some sashing...

Each of these two quilts will end up being 5 blocks wide by six blocks high, which will put them both nicely past the 50"x60" minimum size requirement for QOV.

And, of course, I also have my own QOV project in the works. I have recently been sort of obsessed with bargello quilts and have started one that I have high hopes for. It will be a variation on a bargello. Here is a pic of the fabrics all sewn together for the first stage of it...

At tomorrow's sew-in we will also be learning a new pattern so we'll see what I actually end up working on. And our sew-ins are always accompanied by lots of great food since they are potluck, so I need to run off and make some banana bread for tomorrow... I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2010!

Update: I was finally able to get a picture of the full quilt while it hung in a local quilt show:

This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2010, hosted by Amy's Creative Side

I designed, pieced and quilted it myself!

The idea for this quilt was born on my first shop hop, back in '05 or '06, I think. The first shop we visited had the most beautiful collection of batik fabrics and I found myself drawn to them. 10 little bags of fabric later I had this group of fabrics. I originally had planned them for a bargello, but after hours of starring at them another idea formed.
The fabrics just kept making me think of stained glass and I've always loved Frank Lloyd Wright's stained glass windows. I don't yet own any fancy quilt programs, but was able to sort of get a general idea of what I wanted to do using the columns of a spreadsheet (probably sounds crazy, but it wasn't so bad). Calculating and double checking all of the individual measurements was the trickiest part.
I completed the top some time in '09, put the layers together and then it sat in my closet for a year. I had started hand quilting it and realized that if I finished it in another 10 years I'd be lucky. I really wanted to quilt it myself and originally thought the only way I could manage it was to hand quilt it because I don't own a long arm. Then this spring I decided to just take it in and get it quilted. I got my estimate and then brought it home so I could save the money to quilt it and take out the hand quilting I'd already started. That night I thought, "why don't I just try and see if I can get it in my machine..." and I did! And I taught myself meandering quilting in the process! I finished it in March of this year... probably 4 years in the making. It is 100 inches square (so it is rather difficult to photograph the whole thing at once) and currently resides on our bed. It brightens the whole room! These days I just call it my Stained Glass Quilt.
Here are a few more pics of it...

I love the way the sunshine hit this last image...

Hope you enjoyed my entry!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to my blog about all things crafty!

The other night I was checking out a favorite blog of mine,, and was stunned to find out that there is such a thing as a Blogger's Quilt Festival. "That's awesome," I thought. "Now I just need a blog..."

So here it is - Craftopotamus. Hooray! My blog about quilting, making jewelry, painting, knitting, crocheting, and all the other fun things I do in my little craft studio. I love to make lots of artsy things, particularly things that are useful (i.e. quilts, decorated tables, purses) and this is a great way to channel that creativity.

Craftopotamus (kraft-o-pot-a-mus)
1. A mammal whose craft habit is so out of control that they have an entire room dedicated to the act of crafting.
2. Person participating in three or more variations of crafting, often simultaneously. Has a tendency to have many unfinished projects on hand.
I like that necklace she just made, but did you see those quilt blocks up on her design wall? Not to mention that sock she knitted... too bad she'll never finish the second. She's such a craftopotamus!

Tomorrow I will post my submission to the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I'm hoping to get a some better pictures of it first.