Millefiori Garden Bed Runner

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Having been busy recently with several intricate and time consuming projects, I have not posted anything for a few weeks.  I will be posting progress on these newer projects soon.  But, in the meantime, I thought I would post something I completed earlier this summer.

While going through photos of my quilts with a friend, I ran across a project that I had not posted pictures of.  This bed runner was inspired by a pack of fat quarters that I saw at a local fabric store.

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Kaffe Fassett “Paperweight” fabric

The fabric made me think about some fused glass supplies that I have in my glass room – millefiori beads.  The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers). These beads are created by first making pattern rods.  On the outside, these rods are a single color. But, when cut across, the pattern becomes visible.  This multi-step process requires skill and special glass furnaces.  The results of this labor-intensive process are gorgeous “beads” that can be incorporated into earrings, pendants, bowls – any variety of fused glass projects.  While I do not have the skill and equipment to make my own millefiori, I have purchased some and love the look of them.

So, when I saw this fabric, I thought I would use it in a bed runner to add a real pop of color to my bedroom.  The design for the runner was based off of a photo of a quilt posted on the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. While her project was made with patterned wool felt, I wanted to use my sewing machine’s decorative stitches to create the the pattern in the flowers.  Going through my scraps of fabrics, I appliqued my “flower garden” and then used the lovely “Paperweight” fabrics for the border.

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This was a really fun project to do.  And, as an added bonus, I used up a lot of small scraps that were piling up in my scrap basket and too small to use in most piecing projects.

Hawaiian Quilts – four more quilts for Lincoln Place

IMG_2454Being a pediatric dentist, summer is a busy time at my office.  But, when summer ends and kids go back to school, I like to take a week off to relax at home.  This year, I decided to spend my week quilting.

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A few years ago, while on spring break in Maui, I purchased some printed Hawaiian fabric panels.  When I returned home from that trip, I started wondering why I actually purchased these panels.  If I was going to make another Hawaiian quilt, I was going to make an applique quilt (not use printed panels).  Sometimes impulse shopping is not a good idea!.  So, I just put the fabric in a drawer and left them there.  This summer, when sorting through my fabrics, I ran across these panels and I realized that they would make nice quilts to donate. Being printed, I could do a simple quilt block/sashing construction and make several quilts very quickly.

IMG_2465Taking out the panels – there were seventy two 11″ x 11″ panels in various colors  – I split them into groupings that seemed to go together.  Then I sorted through my other batik fabrics to find colors that coordinated with these panels.  Piecing the tops and quilting with simple block designs (definitely not state fair quality, but still very nice), I completed four Hawaiian quilts on my week off. I sure hope the new owners will enjoy these.

IMG_2472Now I’m going to start working on an idea for a quilt for the 2018 state fair.  Should be a fun one to do, but will take some time to finish it.

Lincoln Place

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Several months ago, I learned about a transitional housing facility right here in Eagan called Lincoln Place. This facility has 24 efficiency apartments and is a place for young adults who are at risk for homelessness.  Along with providing housing, the residents are provided with support services as they transition into adulthood, as well as life skills such as cooking, financial planning and job skills.

Many of the residents are there because they have aged out of foster care.  They arrive with few personal belongings.  After learning this , I decided to contact them to see if I could donate some quilts to the residents.  Previously, I have contacted other organizations about donating quilts.  Minnesota Habitat for Humanity would only take quilts if I would guarantee that I made a quilt for each new home owner that they worked with.  Well, I simply wouldn’t be able to make several dozen quilts each year.  So, that idea was a dead end. I have also donated quilts to charity auctions.  These were “state fair” quality quilts that were were not displayed well and thus did not raise much money for the organizations.  In fact, in each case, the money that I spent on the fabric and supplies was more than the quilts actually sold for.

When I contacted Lincoln Place about donating quilts, they were very supportive of this idea and I have gladly donated several so far.  The two split block quilts that I made back in April and May were among the quilts that I have donated.

I recently finished several more quilts for Lincoln Place.  One of these quilts incorporated several hand embroidered flower squares that my mother gave me.  She found these at an auction in Arizona where she lived. I took these squares, pieced them with some matching fabric and then quilted them. Hopefully someone will enjoy this very cheerful quilt.

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Overlapping Triangles Quilt and Plate

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“Overlapping Triangles”  twin sized quilt.

Last year, one of the awards I received from the Minnesota State Fair included a gift certificate to  Bear Patch Quilting in White Bear Lake.  So, last fall I drove up to the store to see what to spend my certificate on.  I had some ideas of fabric I wanted, however, when going through the shop I was unable to find anything matching my ideas. Not wanting to drive up there again on another day, I looked around and found some fabric that I liked.  Without any plans for what I was going to make, I purchased two yards of the black fabric and took it home.

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My inspiration.

Several months later, when looking at some fused glass ideas, I came across a plate that I really liked. And, upon thinking about it, I realized it would make a nice quilt pattern as well. So, I went to my computer and came up with an idea for a quilt to make using the fabric.  Using the colors of the black swirled fabric, I designed the quilt to have graduated colorings in the strips.  When designing, I didn’t like the blunt ends of the triangles and decided to angle them.  I also decided to make the triangles overlap.

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My design.

When I went through the fabrics in my stash, I was happy to find that I had enough of each of the colors I selected that I only needed to purchase the black fabric needed.

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Close-up of quilting.

This summer, I finally pulled out these fabrics and started working on my idea. Finishing it in time for the state fair, I decided to enter it and received a third place ribbon.

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MN State Fair Display.

While the quilt was on display at the fair, I made some things to go with the quilt.

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Matching Throw Pillow and Fused Glass Plate.

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota State Fair

1It’s Fair time in Minnesota.  Most people who post fair pictures on social media that show the many foods eaten at the fair.  Today, when I went to the fair, I actually didn’t eat anything, although the food did smell really good! But, I did spend a couple hours looking at the projects in the Creative Activities Building.  Lots of wonderful craftsmanship on display.

Here are my quilts:

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“Bounce” – hung upside down, even though I had put a note on the quilt to designate the bottom of the quilt.  Placed first in the scrap quilt category.

 

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“Window on My World” – kinda hidden in the back of the display case.  No ribbon for this quilt.
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“Overlapping Triangles”  – placed third in the pieced bed quilt category.  I will post more pictures of this one once I get it back from the fair.

I took lots of pictures of other quilts as well:

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Sweepstakes Winner – Zeeda Magnuson
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Best Use of Color – Patricia Henseler
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Best Machine Quilting – Mary Alsop
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Best Hand Quilting – Laura Sahlberg
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Best Child/Crib Quilt – Paige Peterson
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Best Hand Applique – Judi Betz

And other crafts that caught my eye:

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Dog House – Greg Aamodt – he’s actually the dad of my husband’s business partner
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Milano Cathedral – Not sure who the craftsperson was, but this was awesome.

Glass Stepping Stones

While I was working on the redo of my front yard, I kept thinking that stepping stones leading to the stairs would be nice.  I shad seen some lovely ideas on-line that were made with glass and concrete.  I really liked them, but when I realized how much the glass would cost (over $100 for the number of stepping stone I would need), I decided I would skip making them.

Then, one day my sister-in-law texted me to say she was at a garage sale and the lady had a box of glass scraps for $5.  After asking, I found out that it was stained glass.  Unfortunately I can’t use stained glass for my fused glass projects (I have tried before and the glass melts poorly and has a dull, burnt look afterwards ).  But, then I realized that this glass might work for the stepping stones.  Not knowing what colors were in the box, I responded back to go ahead and buy the scraps – after all it was only $5.  If I couldn’t use the scraps that wasn’t too much of a waste.  But, if I can use it, that is a great deal for the glass.

When she dropped off the glass at my home, I was amazed at how much glass was there. The box has many colors and held over $200 worth of glass.  So, I decided to try making one stepping stone to see if I liked how it turned out.

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Circular mold with stones attached to contact paper

IMG_2390The first one I made was a circular stone.  After cutting the glass, I used contact paper to hold the glass pieces in place.  To hold the contact paper in the mold, I used spray adhesive. After mixing and carefully pouring the stepping stone concrete, I let the mold cure for two days. Unmolding was rather difficult, but once I did get the concrete out, I was really pleased with the result.

So, after numerous trips to Hobby Lobby to buy more concrete mix (using a 40% off coupon each time), I made a total of three large circular stones and seven square ones.

 

I still have a lot of  stained glass left over, so I may be trying some mosaic projects in the future.

Copper and Cedar Trellises 

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In my previous post, I mentioned that the contractor building my new retaining wall made several changes to the wall design. One of these changes involved the integrated stairs. The original design, which had been approved by the city, included a landing level with the planting beds.

 

 

 

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Unfortunately, because of the change made by the contractor, the stairs were considered unsafe. I needed some type of railing or wall to keep small children from falling off the side of the stairs. The idea of putting in an ugly wooden wall or boring metal railing was not very appealing.

After thinking about this problem, I came up with an idea for a trellis to be placed on either side of the stairs. These trellises would be made of cedar and copper to match one I had made two years ago for my backyard.

 

A couple of solar caps for each side and a clematis to vine up the copper and my problem stairway was no longer a problem.

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