Monday, February 9, 2015

Never Say Never!

Well over a year ago I began hand stitching a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. Last July I posted my progress, telling you that I had managed to figure out a way to cover the top of the bed, and do a pillow tuck, but was determined NOT to do the remaining borders with appliqué as well. Well... never say never! LOL! As it turned out, I did indeed end up doing the remaining borders in appliqué! I'm soooooo relieved to finally have this quilt FINISHED! Hand stitched hexagons, hand appliqué work... both things I would have sworn I would never do. Wow... Never Say Never! 



Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Anatomy Of A New String Quilt

Anatomy Of A New String Quilt

A dear friend of mine recently got me to join a group called HeartStrings. They do a lot of charity quilts that specialize in quilts made with string blocks. Now, I've been doing that type of charity quilts for over 20 years, but I do my own sort... and what they do on the group were sort of "out of the box" for me. But I figured I would go through some of my patriotic fabrics and experiment a bit, and just see if I was happy with the results if I left my comfort zone a bit.

To start off, I'm going to be honest here... I was going to use up a few fabrics I wasn't totally crazy about. I figured if I didn't love the results, I could always incorporate the blocks into some scrappy string block quilts of another type. Plus, I wasn't as careful with the math for my center strips as I thought I was, and my 24 blocks turned out to only be 20, which didn't make as big a unit as I wanted, either, so that changed the game plan some as well! Anyway, here's how it went:

Using various strips of fabric from my stash, I made 20 blocks, trimmed to 9½"


Now, I know that block looks so busy that you wouldn't think it would make a decent looking quilt, but just bear with me! Here's what it looks like when you put together 5 rows of 4:


The problem is that this is just too small to be of much use! So, time to add some borders!


All in all, this turned out pretty decent looking for a quilt made completely from fabrics I wasn't really crazy about to start with! So now I'm sold on the HeartStrings ideas, and my next one I may actually even follow the rules and use some fabrics that I like. LOL!

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Quilts I did as Christmas Gifts

Fun for Christmas!
I have a granddaughter who is crazy for Minnie Mouse, and loves pink, so this is what I made for her for Christmas this year:



My other granddaughter is a bit older, and prefers blue, so she got this one:


My grandson, who will be attending college next year, got this:


All in all, it was a nice Christmas, and all of the grandkids were happy with their quilts! Hope you all had a joyous Christmas as well!

Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The season for giving

'Tis the season!


While so many of us are celebrating the holidays, I would like to take a moment to talk to you about a very special woman in my life... my beautiful niece Susan. Things haven't been easy for her, and yet she GLOWS with a beautiful spirit and showers the people around her with love. Her smile just lights up the room, and being around her makes your day just that much brighter.

When Susan was only 31 years old when she was put on oxygen and told she would need a lung transplant in order to survive. She was diagnosed with an extremely rare lung disease called Pulmonary Capillary Hemangiomatosis that caused shortness of breath and oxygen dependency and for which she was put on the lung transplant list. There was no cure for this disease so this was her only hope for survival. In January of 2005, she was admitted to the hospital to undergo the extensive surgery to attach the new set of lungs. Because of her amazing team of physicians, she was blessed with the opportunity to see the next 10 years of her two small children's lives. Milestones that included her son's kindergarten graduation and teaching her daughter how to drive a car.

Last year her mother, my friend since childhood, died of cancer, and this year her father, my beloved brother Jim, died of a sudden heart attack. Now, to top off all that grief, she finds that 
her second set of lungs are failing. She is again dependent on oxygen to survive and has been put back on the transplant list. She is, again, in desperate need of the funds necessary for the complex procedure and the extensive recovery of such a procedure.

Susan has many dreams in her life that are unfulfilled due to her lung disease. Her biggest dream now is to get her new lungs so she will be there for her children who desperately need her. If anyone ever deserved to have help with those dreams, it's Susan! There isn't a lot I can do for her, but here is what I thought might be feasible...

From now until Christmas, any and everything I sell on my Etsy site:

 (patterns or quilts), will go to help pay for those expenses. The same will be true for the embroidered quilt labels and quilting I'm doing for my few exclusive personal clients. 

Or, if you'd rather donate directly, please feel free to do so at the site set up for that purpose:


For those of you that don't like doing credit card type things online, and prefer doing things by check, email me directly, and I can work something out with you for patterns and/or quilts by regular mail by check for this purpose only. My email is:

Thank you all for your support and for your love through the years!
Happy Quilting!
Jean MaDan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Redwork Flowers And Stars

For this quilt I did a series of redwork flowers as the centers of my patchwork stars.
I've always like the old fashioned look of redwork, so I decided to use a background
fabric that reminded me of tea stained beige you see on some really old quilts. I
like the result here.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arizona Arrowheads

I finally got the hand stitching done on the binding for this quilt. That is the one chore I tend to procrastinate on. I'm not sure why... I'm fairly fast at it, and I do a lot of other kinds of hand work, but for some reason I just don't enjoy doing binding. But I DO enjoy seeing the finished results. So, anyway, here is my latest quilt...

Arizona Arrowheads

I made this one extra long, to use on the sofa or on a twin bed.
See.... even on my own original patterns, I don't always do them "by the numbers".
I like being able to vary things, making different sizes to meet my needs given
whatever uses might come to mind at the time. *grin*

Monday, October 6, 2014

Aaron's Quilt

Aaron's Quilt

I'm finally back in my sewing room after being out of the loop for a long while. I recently lost my beloved brother, and it was devastating for me. I didn't feel much like sewing or anything else. So here is my first finish... a quilt for a nephew that came over and helped me get some things done!


I chose to go with something that combined both contemporary and traditional elements. Aaron is a bachelor who likes blue. The gray background gives it a neutral look that should help it play well with whatever other design elements he has in his bedroom. This king size quilt should work well for his needs and age, I think. It's nice to be sewing again, and it was a joy to do something for family.