Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Desire to Inspire Project #4 Self-Binding Receiving Blanket


Miss Kitty Winter Receiver
fabric: "Miss Kitty's Colors" by Marie Cole for Henry Glass
paired with Minkee Cuddle Smooth in Platinum
31" square

I just love this pink print so much!!  It is adorably sweet, and it pairs perfectly with a pearl gray solid.  - Minkee, to be exact in this case!


I used a tutorial posted by the Utah State University Cooperative Extension: "Mitered Corner Blanket".  

My pieces were cut different sizes, though, to fit the dimensions of my Miss Kitty piece. The pink print was 27" square, and the Minkee was 36" square. That yielded a nice-sized 31" blanket with a pretty proportion for the self-border.

Seriously! How Cute Can You Get - hugging the mouse, reading to it. . . 

I don't have an infant to swaddle, so our own household Miss Kitty gets to show off the absolute cuteness of this blanket.


Working with the Minkee in this case was a little more difficult than a normal cotton or flannel would have been, but not overly daunting. I will say, though, that it is WARM! You would not want this backing on it in Arizona during the summer, say. But for a Colorado winter baby, it is perfect. :)


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Take a look at the other projects I worked up from the "Miss Kitty's Colors" collection. If you might be interested in taking on the Henry Glass challenge, their information is included here. Don't let it intimidate you - I am just a normal private quilter, and I also had a much longer deadline than the usual 3 weeks, so I went a little crazy with my work.  :)   



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I'll be linking up at:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Desire to Inspire Project 3 - "Kitty Titty Power" & a Ruler Adaptation Tip


"Kitty Titty Power" 
made by Lynette Caulkins and Marissa Anderson
49 x 60 inches
fabrics: "Miss Kitty's Colors" by Marie Cole for Henry Glass, Kona background
Hobbs poly batting
quilted on a domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q

Now, I know this quilt's name will be a bit rough for some folks, but getting cancer IS rough. It sucks, and it happens all too often. Anyone in their 40s with me or older has known someone personally battling one or another of those monsters if we've not had it ourselves. I've gone through a bout of the same lymphoma that killed my uncle and has challenged his son at least 3 times, and my mother died from a rare form of inflammatory breast cancer. Two of her sisters have had more common breast cancers. Rough words help dissipate the anger when you're in the fight, and if you can combine that roughness with humor, it's most effective! So I let the name stick instead of polishing it back into refined civility. This quilt's purpose is to provide bolstering support during an active battle with breast cancer, and the name is perfect in that context. 


(Not all of the prints in the collection are included)


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As the post title indicates, this quilt is project #3 in my Henry Glass Desire to Inspire challenge. I think I got to enjoy being in a little bit unusual spot in that I had about 3 months instead of 3 weeks to work through my challenge. In August I received a generous package with 3/4 yard cuts from each print in Marie Cole's "Miss Kitty's Colors" collection, with a full yard of the block-style feature fabric. I pulled together EIGHT seperate projects from that (sometimes paired with some solids from my stash), and still have some scraps left if time hadn't run out. I'll continue posting day to day, with tutorials thrown in here and there, through the list:

#1 - "Love from Above for Emma" - original design
#2 - Jaycee's messenger bag
#3 - "Kitty Titty Power" with ruler tip (you are here)
#4 - Miss Kitty Winter Receiver
#5 - Travel packing bags
#6 - "Kitty Shuffle" - original with tutorial
#7 - "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" - original with tutorial
#8 - Selvages - with tutorial

Do you think you would like to participate in the challenge? Typically, you have a 3 week time limit and are expected to produce one finished project, free to share more if you were able to do so.


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If I were making this quilt without a cancer patient support purpose, I would pair the collection with a pretty pearl or dove gray. That would set all the colors off beautifully, including the white prints, and pull out the grays in the cats and mice very nicely. 


But when I pulled out the pink Kona yardage I had in my stash to get some backing for Emma's quilt in Project #1 of this challenge, several thoughts came together. My projects were due in October, the breast cancer awareness month; this Marie Cole "Miss Kitty's Colors" had many lovely prints that would be super for the "Chopsticks" pattern I've been wanting to sew up for ages; Marissa needed a good community service project to work on for Civics class.


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RULER TIP: ADAPTING A RULER YOU ALREADY HAVE 

Let me share my process of working with the Jaybird Quilts "Chopsticks" pattern. It's a well-written pattern, by the way! Ideally, you would want to use the ruler it's written for, but if you're tight on funds, no worries. I couldn't spring for it at this time, so I just adapted the use of a triangle ruler I already have. If you are a beginner, I think this might be tricky. But if you have some experience already or are adept at spatial awareness, don't shy away from this kind of approach. (And please note that the pattern includes templates you could print out, so if you don't have any 60 degree triangle rulers at all yet, you can still make this pattern!

First I laid my ruler over the templates included in the pattern so I could find the measurement lines on it that matched the template sizes:
There really are two templates under there - they just hide under all those lines!

I marked each appropriate line with some quilter's highlighting tape I have, and I carefully penned notes to myself on each one so I would know which template that tape was for, and which side of the tape to use for the measurement:



That was perfect for most of the cuts needed, but for the longest pieces, my ruler wasn't quite large enough to get both long edges of the strips under it. That meant the cutting side of the ruler only extended halfway across the strip. Time for more MacGyvering - I just laid my small ruler carefully against the edge of the triangle ruler so that nothing moved. . .



. . . Then slid the triangle ruler aside enough to cut along the small ruler's edge:



Voila! That rigging allowed me to cut out my pieces for this pattern accurately without having to buy the associated ruler. (It's still on my "gifts Mom wants" list, though!)



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This quilt is going to be given to a woman fighting breast cancer through the hospital that provides services for the staff and families of the Air Force Academy as well as a myriad of active duty and retiree families in the Colorado Springs area. The pink speaks for itself to identify it as a breast cancer quilt (I've always hated the commercialism of all those pink ribbons, but you have to admit the social power of the pink). The triangles evoke strength and dynamic energy. And those kitties are just so darned friendly.



I wanted the quilting to allow a more comforter-like feel for this one. I also needed it to soften the starkness I often felt when contemplating the top. I wondered if simple wavy lines would do the trick for this, and they really did!  I used my walking foot and a wavy stitch on my machine for everything (don't forget to loosen the pressure of your presser foot - different from thread tension - when you are quilting instead of sewing, even when using a walking foot). I just followed each seam, and then on the hollow triangles I put in some super-wide echos. On the solid triangles, I quilted point-to-point between the halfway marks of each side to break up that space in a congruent way.




For the back, I had pieced the off-cuts from the side triangles into a strip. Everyone who sees it thinks it spells something. LOL  I guess it does kind of look like an abstract "ZOOM":



If I received this quilt, I would take it to every chemo appointment. And then I would want to wash it a lot. So the binding got machine stitched, which is highly unusual for me in non-children's quilts. There was a lot going on, color-wise and dynamics-wise, in this quilt, so I went with the background pink for that instead of my original plan for a super-soft framing of gray Minkee. (I found another place for that, though! - you'll see it in a couple of days.)



And this quilt's feline lover? - Isabeau adores it and settles down on it every times I get it out. Navarre only liked it when it was a flimsy for some reason. Go figure!






This is one of my Q4 Finish Along pieces (Link to my goal post)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side









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Linking up at:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - "Love from Above for Emma" (Desire to Inspire pieces 1 & 2)


"Love from Above for Emma" 
designed and made by Lynette Caulkins
36 x 43 inches
cotton fabrics, Hobbs poly batting
free-motion quilted on a domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q


Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2015


Greetings! Those who have followed me for a while know that I have been finishing several projects over the years that my cousin had been working on when she died. Her physical heart gave out way too young, and she never saw the grandkids that she would have doted on shamelessly. My favorite photo of her is from way back in 1989, on my wedding day.

Well, I've also taken on the goal to make a quilt for each of her grandkids for her.

When her first granddaughter was born, I used a guild challenge to make a little quilt for Jaycee in Kelly’s memory. 


As you can see, "Hugs and Kisses from Above" had charm blocks along the bottom with appliqued XO’s tumbling down in front of some vertical mint waves. It connoted the idea of our loved ones continuing to be with us after passing over to the next existence.

I’ve felt bad the past year or so, because I never made a baby quilt for her sister, who is now two years old. So when the Henry Glass company sent me a bundle of “Miss Kitty’s Colors” by Marie Cole to use for my turn in their “Desire to Inspire” program, I opened that package and immediately knew the first item would be a quilt for Emma.

I wanted this to be similar in design, but with its own overall look. The super-cute block-based feature fabric in the collection was perfect for cutting steps out along the bottom, and being a collection of kitty-oriented prints with florals and stripes included, I had the idea to put a fun black cat romping after a ball of yarn. 


Shopping my stash for a good background had yielded a long-ago purchase of softly speckled light blue that played nice with the collection, so that was an extra addition. (Amusingly, that fabric just happened to be a Henry Glass fabric as well.) 

Kids love having their name on things, I’ve found, so I appliqued "Emma" at the top, giving it some strong blanket stitching like Kelly was fond of using. 



I used the quilting to include the idea of the wavy mint streamers and the XO’s that had been appliqued on her sister's quilt. I was really happy at how it tied the two different designs together in the concept of Kelly's love for them raining down from Heaven.


I paired the top with some pink Kona solid I had on hand and some Hobbs poly batting. 




And one of the paw-print selections from "Miss Kitty's Colors" made a perfect binding. Isn't that cute?




Since you just can’t send a gift out of the blue to one young child and not send something for a sibling, the second item I made from the collection was a cute child’s messenger tote for her sister, complete with her name appliqued, as well. I used this tutorial at the blog "Zaaberry": Kid's Messenger Bag Tutorial. Every fabric here comes from the collection.




I did choose to place her name inside the flap for child safety reasons. That also left the front flap free for the great feature fabric. I can picture Jaycee happily using this when they go to the library, or toting valuables around the house. 

Can't wait to put these in the mail this week!


And my real-live black cat, Navarre - ?  He approves.  :)


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival: "Semper Fi - Combass"

My favorite quilt finish this year is the one I designed and made for my son-in-law to celebrate his U.S. Marine Corps boot camp graduation:


"Semper Fi - Combass" 
designed and made by Lynette Caulkins
70 x 70 inches
cotton fabrics, black Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/poly batting
free-motion quilted on a domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q


Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2015

That up there is my favorite photo of this quilt, even though I still had approximately 6 feet of the binding to stitch down at the time. It was taken outside the hospital in Grand Island, Nebraska, when we were visiting my mother-in-law. The sculpture is slightly larger than life: "Second Thoughts" by Vergyl Goodnight.

I designed this quilt myself on my EQ6. It needed to fit what I could find in my stash that worked around a Marine Corps yardage and panel that I bought on ebay when he reported to Basic Training in March. (He lived with us as a de-facto foster son for six months before that, and I needed a project to occupy my Mama Bear heart during the three months he was there." I also wanted great quilting, but needed it to stay somewhat pliant for personal use and fit in a masculine military scheme.


Basic Training for the Corps is the single hardest and longest of such training in the world. It is physically and mentally grueling beyond what most people (and their bodies) can endure. And during that time, there is extremely limited communication with your loved one by snail mail. Which is usually greatly delayed. It is not fun on either end. I often pinned the growing top up during construction on the quilt-of-the-month in our family room as a comfort factor for me and my daughter, engaged to him at the time.



Now he's a full-grown U.S. Marine, finishing his specialty training.


And don't Marines make the most handsome grooms??



I had fun with this quilt's design. You definitely have to have RED for a Marine Corps quilt. Black is another good color, as is gold. It's all very distinctive from the colors of the other U.S. military forces. But the Marines do work a lot with the classic camouflage in both forest and desert colorways. I had a few greens in my stash to work with that could pull that idea into the scheme as well. 

The central focal point is a fabric printing of the Marine Corps Seal. I gave this medallion some trapunto work before I layered everything for quilting work. The dimension turned out so terrific! I used a layer of quality poly batt for the trapunto. The black ring has the least quilting, so it puffs the most. The rope ring and the eagle-anchor-globe have much denser quilting than that, so they lie a little lower, but still raised from the main level. I did need something dense in the closest background area, so I filled that yellow with a small meander. The denseness counteracted the immediate-surrounding rippling from the trapunto center so that the rest of the quilt lies flat, even before washing and blocking.


I was super happy with the detail quilting here on the central picture, following those very thin lines with black thread that would have jumped out terribly if I'd wobbled off-line. A year ago I would not have had such great success! On the thin gold circle just inside the rope, I used a metallic gold thread to flank it on either side that makes a really fantastic accent, though you can't really see it much here. I did decide NOT to detail quilt the words in the black ring, because that would have broken its dimensionality. Much better this way.



I used the gold thread to quilt our Marine's name in the red band above the seal, and "Semper Fi" below it. It glistens beautifully in this field! I needed a quilting filler between those words, so I put in a chevron for him since he graduated with an early promotion to Private First Class.



The star band features two kinds of stars in two different forest-family greens with fussy cuts from the Marines yardage for the centers. 


I needed cool but not-super-dense quilting on those. The side stars (above) were stitched in the ditch, and then the background just got straight lines that vaguely connote all the barbed wire he had to crawl through and drag dead weight under during training. The corner stars (below) got a little tighter quilting. They have SID, curved echos inside the arms, and medium meandering in the background to add a little more nuance of camouflage fabric to the dark leafy print.



Further out, there's the gold bar band with a woven camouflage element. I had two cool fat quarters for the greens here, and piecing it template-style with a gazillion Y-seams let that be just barely enough. It took forever! But I sure am happy with the result. It's nice that the design pieces aren't broken up into 2 or 3 pieces each for faster construction. This band's joining to the quilt-in-progress ended up providing a serendipitous change to my initial design work. I cut the red band between it and the stars the tiniest bit too narrow. I didn't have enough fabric to recut that, so the problem-solve was to add a black 1/4 inch strip on either side of the band work. You can see in the photo below that this is perfect! The points undoubtedly look much nicer framed completely in black rather than kissing the red like they would have done. Sometimes mistakes are actually blessings in disguise, so I've learned to take them in stride and embrace the problem-solve necessity as an opportunity for improvement or artistic expression.


Oh! Here's a detail shot of the gold bar that shows almost completely how nicely that gold thread glistens. 

I'd wanted to use a particular decorative stitch on my machine to do the edge work on the bar's quilting. It would have helped create an effect of roundness for it. But the stitch was too complicated for a metallic thread, no matter how carefully and slowly I worked it. So I resorted to the blanket stitch. Still not thrilled with how that looks like it was appliqued on, but. . . oh, well for that. Doesn't take away from the quilt's overall awesomeness!

I had a really difficult time deciding what to do for the quilting in the red bands. I found the perfect free stars and feathers motif, but I had to resize it twice for the bands, and then make templates that I could center and trace. I can't do a motif like this on my domestic machine without marking and keep it evenly spaced/sized with the tiny visual field you have to work in. 


I was amazed at how nicely the corners worked on these bands. I really only needed to draw in a couple extra feathers as the stars took care of themselves, laying down in perfect spacing all on their own. However, it took me a couple painstaking drawing hours to work out nice upper and lower curls for the central band, where the name and motto break the border design apart. Some things definitely do NOT come easily for me!




The backing was made with the Marine Corps yardage. I didn't have enough to match the pictures down the center seam, so I just inserted some of the green from the front. 



This is the label I made for it:



I fount it highly appropriate that the only place to lay it out to block it after washing was in the exercise corner! I'm telling you, those Marines have the best hard bodies from all their PT!! 


Thanks for letting me share this special quilt with you. It's one of my top-three favorites of all time, and I really wish it lived out my house!