Friday, December 30, 2011

Memory Quilt 2

The quilt is really done, and gone. See my previous post to see where the pattern came from, but here's a little more information on how I did the photos.

I stole them. Well, I stole some of them from facebook. Yes, again this year, I was a super-stalker and snagged photos from relatives fb photo albums to complete my Christmas project. (Warning, if you do this, the photos will not be high enough quality to enlarge them. Facebook compresses photos to save memory so enlarging the photos will make them grainy. If you plan to make them the same size or smaller, they are fine for most purposes.) I also scoured my photo albums to find photos.

[Want to save photos from someone else's facebook album? Right click on the photo, choose 'Save As', name the photo and save it to your computer (I usually make a folder on my desktop for easy access). The photo is now 'yours', but beware of really stealing an image to re-use, I'm sure someone could get sued for something like that in today's sue-happy society!]

After I found the photos I wanted to use, I spent a good amount of time on Picnik (which you should be using for easy free photo editing!) cropping photos, fixing colors and exposure, and softening the edges of all the photos. I wanted them to fit into the quilt window and not have a distinct edge for uniformity. Some photos were so old I couldn't fix all the yellowing without messing up the overall color, but that's part of the charm, I think. Like this gem from Gramdpa & Gramma's wedding 54 years ago, that's my mom in the middle:

Then I threw them in a Word document, four photos to a page, and printed them on our HP inkjet printer at home, in mirror image. This is the product I used:

I was really pleased with this product! Previously, I've had iron on sheets that immediately peal at the edges or don't seem to really bond well to the material. Not so with this, this was great! The transfer papers almost melted right into the material and the photos were very clear with no bleeding. I will use this product again for sure.

I was really excited to give this gift. (It really is better to give than to receive! What? Cheesy? True.)

I love how Grace was almost as excited as I was to see Grampa receive his gift. You can see her in a couple photos above, just unable to stay back. =0) There may have been a few tears and a nose blown.

 Everyone stopped to check out the quilt on the pool table, finding pictures of themselves and absent family members.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Memory Quilt

Grampa is not online so I can post his Christmas gift and not have to worry that the surprise will be ruined.
I first saw this pattern at A Passionate Quilter and loved it, 1) because it's a great way to use up scraps, 2) it uses repurposed jeans, which I love extra much, and 3) because I thought I could make it into the memory quilt I've been thinking about making for a couple years now. My gram passed away a couple months ago and doing this family quilt for grampa with lots of pictures, including gram (she's in the red, second square from the bottom on the right), and finding a great pattern made this a good time to try. Check out A Passionate Quilter for her pattern, the only change I made was to make bigger circles. The biggest circle I could find that I didn't mind drawing with permanent marker all around the edge was a foil pie tin, 9.5" diameter. That required geometry to figure out that a 6 3/8 " square would be the correct size for the insert. 

Anyway... I'm struck by how often I hate a project by the time it's almost done, especially a big project. I think that just helps push you through the end of the project. I'm so done with this project. I'd change a few things about this quilt. I'd make it a square smaller on each side. I wanted it to be a lap quilt (and thanks to my poor geography skills) and this quilt is a little big for a lap quilt but not big enough for a twin bed. I love the denim, but I think next time I would use flannel. With all the quilting on this quilt, it actually made the quilt stiffer rather than more flexible and I wanted a cozy snuggle up quilt. And the denim was heavy to sew. The quilt was put together in four pieces so I only had to quilt the middle line right through the middle. Thank God I actually read the directions because it would have sucked to quilt the whole thing when it was together. SUCKED

I originally thought I would rag the edges like the pattern linked above, but saw this other quilt at Juicy Bits where she left the edges raw and I though that might be best to not distract from the photos. And who wants to do that much cutting? Then I added another line of quilting so it was probably just as much work either way. It looks like I gave a bit more allowance than she did and I hope the edges hold up OK. I know this won't be getting washed a ton so I hope it's good.

My son says that this is definitely the gift that will make grampa cry this year. Not my goal, but I do hope he likes it!
Here's one of the sections before I joined them. And here's what the back looks like.
I really do like how the quilting looks.

Monday, December 12, 2011


When I was little we had a pastor who had a daughter named Sunny. I don't' even know if that was her real name or if it was a nickname. But I loved it. I still kind of love it. And more and more, I want to be Sunny.

Not that exact person, just the personality that should go with that name, ifyaknowwhatImean.

Lately I'm not sunny. I'm busy. Tired. Old. Fat. Unmotivated. Uncaring. You get it, I'm just not sunny.

But I'm trying to figure out how to get there from here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birthday, Redesigned

I recently had a birthday.

I don't like birthdays. Not because I don't like getting older, though. OK, I don't like getting older, but that's not the reason. It just seems like a big deal over nothing. It's not like I did something to earn a day just for me. Woohoo, you were born, way to go, you outgrew the womb! We don't usually have celebrations over stuff like, "Congratulations, you managed to eat your way to a bigger size! Happy XXL, big guy!" Now I'm just being silly. Yes, birthdays are a great opportunity to tell people how special they are. And I appreciate being appreciated, I guess I just don't know how to graciously accept it. But that's not the post I'm writing right now.

I'm not really a big gift person, either. I like really practical gifts. I still miss the underwear my gram would buy for me, every year. If it's something I needed and didn't have to buy for myself, you've blessed me, indeed! I frequently ruminate on the fabulous giftedness of the foldable, electric griddle (great product!), at least every time we make french toast or crepes. That's the kind of gifts I like. (I feel like need to let you know that my husband gives me great gifts, too. He watches what I like and then he blesses me with something I'd never buy myself, and tells me to just let him do something nice for me, so I do.)

And then I saw a link on Pinterest linking to Robyn's 38th birthday post (@ Mix Mingle Glow) where she decided to do 38 Random Acts of Kindness (RAOKs) on her birthday. She planned ahead and made a plan, proactively thinking about others. And then she invited her family and friends to participate, and the response was huge! Check out that post and see if you aren't motivated, too.

My church has a motto, and it's my church because I believe it: Love God. Love People. Period. It sounds a lot like a RAOK to me! So that's what I want. I'm putting in my order for my 42nd birthday right now: in 345 days I am having a birthday filled with loving on other people, and I'll invite everyone (you, if you are reading this) to participate with me. I'm going to spend this year thinking about ways to bless people, and practicing them. Won't you please join me?