Friday, July 13, 2012

Quilted Curtains

My home, an old 1800's farmhouse.  We will have been living here for 5 years, tomorrow.  I just love it.  When we moved in, there were holes in the walls, the living room ceiling was pink with assorted holes, the bathroom did not really have a floor, and the kitchen?  It was just a sink.  We have done many repairs, including painting the inside and outside to make our house a home.  This house still has the original drafty windows.  To solve this problem,  I have been working on making quilted window curtains.  Since we have 19 windows, I'm still sewing.  

At the moment I'm doing the master bedroom windows.
I'm making melon balls for these.  I finally finished sewing all the blocks into rows,

and started sewing the rows together last night.  These need to be finished before the winter.  Mini-blinds just do not last long when you have 3 boys.

Here's the first quilted curtain I made, all 60 degree triangles.  This is in Levi's room, the 7 year old.

This nifty square in a square curtain hangs in my studio.  I love how the pattern moves your eyes around.  I have a matching curtain on my studio door, covering it's window, too.

A dark photo of my broken dishes bathroom curtain.  I like how the light shining through makes it look like stained glass.

This crown and cross curtain hangs in my oldest son's room.  It's the only one I've made that isn't red, white, and blue.  He specifically asked for these colors.

These last two curtains are hanging in my upper foyer, across from each other.

These four-patches were fun to make.  You can see how they look different when the sun is shining through in these two photos, especially.  The sun was on one side of the house, but not the other.  Sunrise, or sunset?  I don't remember.

Sometimes I think I must be a little crazy to be making all these quilts for my home's windows, but it does make the house more cozy...all wrapped up in love.  And that is what makes a house a home, isn't it?

Have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quilt Block Kits

For those of you who are curious, Yes, I am still working on my Christmas BOM quilt.  I haven't posted any pics of that lately, because I've been making kit bags for the blocks.

Making kits is a fun way to approach a quilting project.  Above, see the kit bag for the Sun Ray Star block.  I have to make 2 of these, so I made a note of that on the little paper tag that I slipped in the bag, along with the name of the block for easy reference.   

This can be done using a thrifty approach.  I'm using recycled plastic bags for my block kits.  You can see I received this bag when I purchased something for $1.50.  I saved the bag to make kits.  Above is the Visions of Sugarplums kit.  I cut out all the pieces for fusible applique, plus the backing fabric.  When I'm ready to sew, I can just peel off the backings, fuse them to the background, and stitch tiny zig-zags around the edges.  Fun!

Here's the kit for the Variable Star block.  Very simple, it's going to be all half-square triangles made from squares. 

Mistletoe block kit.  One advantage to making kits when you are doing a quilt made up of many different blocks is you can coordinate the fabrics and do all the cutting at one time.  This ensures your blocks will all have a similar look and feel to them.

Candy Cane block kit.  This one reminds me of the candy cane cookies my Mother used to make.  They were so good & peppermint-y at Christmas time.

These blocks are teddy bears wearing tiny red bow ties.  I'm fusing these.  I can't imagine doing needle-turn applique on the tiny bow ties.

So, how do you approach a project like this?  Do you make kits?  Buy all the fabric at once?  Enjoy making one block at a time and choosing fabrics from your stash?  I'd love to hear some opinions on this.

Until next time...please visit the Curlicue Creations Shop...and have a super day!

Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Oh, Kitty, Kitty!

It's here!  Block Six of the popular Basket Cats Quilt Block Series is in the Curlicue Creations Shop now. 

This sublime block features a glowing blue-green eyed cat peeping out of a basket adorned with a windmill style quilt block.  The Basket Cat quilt block patterns all finish at 12" square, and are constructed by paper piecing.  There will be 12 blocks when this series is complete.  Each basket features a different traditional quilt block.  Collect them all and make a "purrfect" sampler quilt.
Here are the previous five blocks.  All are available in the Curlicue Creations Shop.

Peek-A-Boo!  I see you!

Until next time...Have a super day...and Get Creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Monday, July 9, 2012

Nifty Nine Boxes of Fabric

"Nifty-Nine boxes of fabric on the floor..nifty-nine boxes of fabric!  Take one down, share it all around,  nifty-eight boxes of fabric on the floor!"

Yes, things are getting a little out of control around here.  My husband, a.k.a. the Shoppin'est Man in America, brought home yet, more fabric.

Nine more boxes of fabric, to be exact.

While I appreciate fabric, especially as most of this is recent, quilt shop quality name brand fabric, it is summer vacation around here.  There are three boys running around the house, needing a lot of attention.

All this fabric needs to be washed, dried, pressed, folded, and sorted out.  It's just not going to be finished until after school starts.  It's not.

I did get a chance to peek through everything, though.  There are some nice pieces in there, some hand-dyed fabrics, some marbled fabrics, even some batiks.  

Also, some nice flannels.  I've been doing some new designs using flannel on muslin with a little trimmed embellishment.  I'm liking that so far.

There were a few baggies of already cut shapes, too.  A nice baggie of triangles, one of squares, a few are assorted shapes.  I'm going to have to take a better look at those to see if they form some kind of quilt block.  It's like a mystery puzzle.  These should be fun to play with.

I also discovered a decent amount of velvets, satins, and some other really gorgeous fabrics.  Maybe it's time to make a real Victorian style crazy quilt.

This last photo shows some of the fabrics washed and folded.  Yee-ha!  Love the peachy hand-dye in the middle.  I'm sure some of this latest find will eventually wend it's way into the Fabric Section
of the Curlicue Creations Shop.  I simply can't keep all this treasure to myself.  It sure is a lot of fun to play with, though.  New ideas and inspirations are springing forth.

Until next time....have a super day & get creative!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Christmas in July

It's never too early to start thinking about the holiday season.  

I just finished this Frosty Quilted Table Runner this week.  It came out cute as a bug's ear!  Where did that saying come from?  Do bugs really have ears?  Hmmmmm.....

Here's Frosty by himself, as a Quilted Trivet, ready to decorate and protect your table from those hot and delicious holiday dishes you make special for your family.

If you want to make a few of these, the pattern for the Frosty Quilted Trivet is available in the Curlicue Creations Shop.  They are fun and quick to make, using fusible applique and just a few scraps from your stash.  This is a great hostess gift for all those holiday parties you will be attending this season.

If you prefer something more toned down, consider the Pine Tree Quilt Block Pattern.  You could get really creative with this one.  Stitch it up just like it is, combine it with other blocks, or trim the trees with buttons, beads, and bows for a Christmas effect.

These Vintage Shining Star Quilt Blocks could be made into a Christmas quilt, too.  Get creative!  You could put these around a center medallion, or alternate them with another block for eye-catching results.

Let's quilt!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Friday, July 6, 2012

Spoils from the Expo

I did really well with my shopping at the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Raleigh.  I'm very, very proud of myself.  I only purchased a few items, and I'm using them all.  I bought a couple of different packages of needles, some 505 basting spray and a little bit of fabric.

I was very selective.  This is a fat quarter of a batik, direct from Indonesia.  I really liked this and wish I had purchased a larger piece.  I've cut some of it for my Twist and Shout quilt, but if I had more it would make a great border for Raspberry Bridge Mix.

This is a package of Wool and Needle Flannels by Primitive Gatherings for Moda.  I loooooved the Primitive Gatherings booth at the expo.  You can visit their website at
I was in their booth three times before I decided on this purchase.  I've already cut into these raving fabrics.  I'm using them to make some new applique blocks.

In other news, my sweet 12 year old kitty, Click-Click-Kit-Kat-Sweetheart-BabyGirl-BabyDoll-Peek-A-Boo-Babycakes-Babyface is fine after 12 days of house rest.  She was bitten by some wild creature while out on a woodland adventure in the backyard and had to get her leg stapled.  Poor baby!  She was a good patient, though and has recovered well.  

This helped me to get back to the Basket Cat quilt block pattern series.  Here's the next block, for those of you who are collecting the whole group.  Windmill Cat, with the glowing blue-green eyes.  This should be available in the Curlicue Creations Shop today or tomorrow.  Be sure to come browse the shop...many new items have been added in the last month.

Until next time....have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Quilt Story

Once upon a time there was a girl with a passion for color and design.  She spent endless hours rearranging her 64 crayons into different color families, drawing explosive designs filled with shapes, saturated with bright colors, and filled in with all her most secret emotions.

She spent years locked away in the uppermost room of the tallest tower of her daydream castle, always creating new designs, filled with the spark of excitement that only comes with true inspiration.

Her dilemma?  She had more ideas than she could create herself.  How could she share her ideas with the world?  How could she spread this passion and joy to other like-minded living souls?

She began this great quest by submitting quilt designs to magazines.  Publication!  How wonderful to see her ideas in full color with complete instructions.  Even better to see other quilter's interpretations of her work.  Satisfaction, indeed.

But how to further spread the joy?  Finally, an answer to that question.  Her very own Etsy shop, Curlicue Creations was born.  A place where all of humankind can converge, seeking out new ways to "get creative", express themselves, and enjoy the simple, heartfelt, joy of quilt making.

In the future, Curlicue Creations hopes to become your full service, go-to online quilt shop, carrying all kinds of quilt patterns, fabrics, and other notions, and live "happily ever after."
Wild Oak Reel Magnet

Thanks for reading my story.  Until next time...please visit the Curlicue Creations Shop...and have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Levi with Minnie Mouse

Happy 4th of July, America!  I hope everyone has a great holiday.  Here we will be grilling out, swimming, and going to see the local fireworks "Stand Up for America".  Very patriotic.  Have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vintage Quilt Blocks

Here's a collections of vintage eight-pointed star quilt blocks that I found in one of the recently acquired boxes of fabric.  It's sad to think that someone put the love and time in to cut out and sew all these together, but didn't finish the quilt.  

It makes you think about your UFO projects, doesn't it?  I know I have too many to mention.  I've shared a good bit of them with all of you, too.  That's why I'm going to attend UFO night at Miss Lou's in a few weeks.  Maybe I'll actually finish something.  :)

Here's another quilt block that I found, quilted and all.  I'm adding some binding to it, plus a little bit of love.  When I hold someone else's work in my hands, I think about who they might have been.  What were they thinking when they stitched away on this piece?  Was it intended for a lucky family member?  Was it sewn as therapy for a broken heart, or a lost love?

Same story with this wall hanging.  Very nice.  All hand quilted, just needs some binding and a little love.

I did a new inventory of my quilting studio this month.  I made separate lists for each stage of quilting.  One list for designs in progress, one for cutting, one for piecing/applique, one for marking/basting, one for quilting, and one for binding/sleeve/label.  It seems to be helping my organization.  I can better see what's going on, and what needs to be done when.  Do you have a similar system?  What do you do differently?  Are you one of those quilters that I'm envious of?  The type who doesn't start another project until the last one is finished?

I'm enjoying my quilting journey.  Maybe it's not so bad to leave things undone.  Someone else may enjoy finishing your UFO's in the future.

Until next time...please visit the Curlicue Creations Shop...and have a super day!

Jennifer Schifano Thomas