About jeanswenson

My granny taught me to sew when I was 4-years old, and after 50+ years of sewing, and many sewing projects - including my eldest daughter's wedding dress - my favorite thing to sew are quilt tops!

Spot


Spot
March 2020

If I had a pet giraffe, I think I’d name it Spot. The impetus for this quilt was the giraffe-like minky fabric on the back and some cute animal fabric I had leftover from Peek-a-Boo on the Savannah. I fussy cut the animal fabric to center the giraffe in the block, which I surrounded with 2″ squares pulled from my yellow and green scraps boxes. I’m not sure if there is a pattern name for this, as I was just winging it!

This will be included in this year’s Hands2Help Challenge being hosted by Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict @fabricaddictquilts. I will be sending this quilt to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids @littlelambsfoundationforkids

#h2h2020 #hands2help2020

Here Fishie Fishie


Here Fishie Fishie
March 2020

If you take a closer look at the picture, the name fits. The pieces of the past fabric include leftovers from a memorial quilt I made for my brother-in-law (Opening Day) and for my nephew, who loves sharks (A-B-Chomp). And, a little bit that was left from my Silver Lining.

Design? I guess it is a 9-patch with a tweak. When I had the 9-patch blocks on the design wall, they seemed to want more. So I added alternating 1″ strips to the tops and bottoms.

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care.

Glisten


Glisten
February 2020

Here’s my latest quanket, done in a chandelier quilt pattern. All of the fabrics were pulled from my stash and scraps.

When I began this journey over seven years ago of making quilts for kids in the foster system, it had been my intention to use up the large stash of fabrics I had inherited from my Mom. While many of these have been depleted over the past seven years, I still have a few that persist, mostly because they are unusual – either in color or design, or both. In this quilt, I was able to incorporate one such fabric: it is sort of teal in color, but tending more toward green, with large-scale printed seashells. While I was able to use up some of it, I still have about two more yards. Back to the thinking board on how I can use this one! 🙂

This will be donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care.

Sarasaland Princess


Sarasaland Princess
December 2019

The jumping off point and inspiration for this quilt was the daisy motif pillowcase in the (somewhat) center. It is a vintage Vera Neumann design, from the 1970’s, in yellow ombré. I had it in some things inherited from my Mom, and from its near perfect condition, I suspect she never used it. So after being stashed away for forty-plus years, it was time for these pretty daisies to come out of storage and be enjoyed.

I had two objectives for the design: I wanted to use an ombré effect in the pieced section around the pillowcase, and wanted the daisy pillowcase to be the focal point of the quilt. I settled on the rail fence pattern for the pieced section as it works well in supporting the ombré effect I was going for, and I feel its simplicity doesn’t become a distraction to the daisy centerpiece. Most of the fabrics for the pieced section were from my stash or scraps bins. I typically tie my quilts to finish, but was concerned that the pillowcase section, which is roughly 18″x27″, would be too flimsy. To add structural strength, I backed this piece with white flannel, and quilted it with stitching that continued the rail fence design. The flannel added just the right amount of stability to the pillowcase piece so that when the completed top was backed with fleece and tied, this centerpiece section lays quite nicely.

As for the name Sarasaland Princess, you’ll need to figure that out on your own 🙂

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care in December, 2019.

Ziggy


Ziggy
November 2019

Random is defined as “made or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern”. As much as I attempt randomization in some of my quilts, I struggle with letting them be completely random.

I had three objectives in making Ziggy: I had been wanting to do a string quilt to clear-up space in my reds and browns scraps bins; I wanted to experiment with foundation piecing; and I wanted to try (once again) to make a randomly pieced quilt. While the colorway was not completely random (strike 1), the pieces were different widths, ranging anywhere from 1″ to 3″. I began by tossing all the scraps next to the sewing machine, figuring I would just pick-up a scrap from the pile without any forethought, sew it to the block, and continue in this manner. I had gotten about eight blocks completed and on the design wall when I decided that ‘random’ wasn’t working for me. There was way too much color chaos!

I liked how the diagonal seams were working for a chevron pattern, but the randomness in the fabric placement was not supporting the chevron look. I then separated the fabrics I had tossed next to the sewing machine into their color values (strike 2), and was more attentive to the placement on each block (strike 3 and out). This was no longer going to be a random design. While I only accomplished two of my three objectives, in the end, I am happy with the final design. And ultimately, shouldn’t that be the biggest objective of anything we create?

What I learned along the way

  1. Foundation piecing – this was my first attempt at foundation piecing. I used dryer sheets, which worked really well (make sure to use either previously used dryer sheets, or wash new ones before using to remove the chemicals).
  2. Taking a black and white photo helps to visualize color saturation distribution. I got this tip from someone in Jacquelynne Steves Facebook group and it worked great! Once I had moved past this being a ‘random’ design, I really wanted to ensure the zig zags of the chevrons translated into the final design, and using the black and white photo technique helped in showing me where I needed to make adjustments to fabric placement.
  3. I learned a new word – stochastic. In my trying to understand why I have such a difficult time doing ‘random’ quilts, I came across Kristin Brenneman’s work on Chance in Art, where she defines stochastic as “a sequence which combines random components with a selective process so that only certain outcomes of the random are allowed to endure”. So while it is not a completely random quilt, I believe I can say with a fair amount of certainty that this is a stochastic quilt 🙂

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care in December, 2019.

Palahdee


Palahdee
September 2019

I’ve been making quilts for years, but mostly toppers that I bind and then tie to fleece backing. I haven’t done much in the way of machine or hand quilting, and in the last year have begun experimenting with machine quilting. I began cautiously, first on two table runners for last year’s Christmas and then in my Hoplon quilt project from earlier this year. I also have a QAYG project in the works. Overall, I’m enjoying the learning process.

My Palahdee quilt is a Labyrinth Quilt Block which I thought would work well as a baby quilt. Mypatchworld offers a nice tutorial on this block pattern. I don’t often make baby quilts, but felt it would be a good size to further practice my machine quilting. I tried out three different quilting designs: around the center star and the flower border I stitched in the ditch and then did a 1/4″ stitch away from the ditch; I did straight lines on the blue, using 1″ blue painters tape as my ruler; and on the elephants, I made my own freehand template that sort of looks like an elephant’s trunk.

The elephant fabric was the main star for this quilt, which was also the inspiration for the name. The blue fabric was from a duvet cover someone had given me many years ago and the small flower fabric was something I bought several years ago from the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, a great place to visit if you’re in that area.

This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services for a child in foster care in December, 2019.