Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Next Two Weeks

This is my gal pal Norma's quilt. It's 91 x 91. It's beautiful
We've decided on the quilting, we've picked the threads.
Now I'm executing these decisions. Some days I think how nice a computer on board my machine would be. Then I get into the whole "wow" factor and I'm happy to hand guide my machine.
There will be a lot more feathers and hearts on this, I've just got the top border done.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lib Amish Hand Quilting

I've made great headway this week with some hand quilting. No, the binding isn't finished on my nephews quilt, I didn't get all my 30's blocks cut up and prepped, but I'm ok with all that because I did get the feathers finished on this one.
You know when you do something thinking it will look right and be right, then you do it and something keeps nagging at you? Well, that was me with this project. I have been quilting the feathers with rust thread, #004 YLI, and was using black to stitch large X's through the stars. Now there is no black thread in the stars, just rust.
And now it's right. At least for me, and that's who I'm doing this for.
The end is in sight and I will continue to see this project to the finish line before I pick up any other hand quilting.

Have you checked out Victoria's show in NYC. It's pretty fabulous to see many of her pieces hanging together.

Hope you had a good week and that you get in some stitching time over the coming weekend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Making Headway

I'm working on a BOM. It's impossible to get into "production mode" while working on all the different blocks. I have figured out a way to be more productive. Last night I cut several blocks.
Using batting as a base, I laid out each block with all its pieces cut and organized.
When I get home, I can open up my "book of blocks" and start piecing. No wasted time figuring out what block I'm on or how the block is put together.
Last night I got five blocks all cut out. It's a bit tedious as each block has a variety of fabrics and there might be 2 or 3 of the same color, just a different print and size. First to figure out which fabric is cut into what sizes.
I'm thankful I'm not sewing the blocks together tonight.  Look at the block below.  Seriously, it has 73 pieces in it and the finished size is 9".  Are you kidding me?  And then look at the instructions below. Yup, that's it for directions.

Seriously, look at the pattern and the lack of directions.  This pattern writer in not on my top ten list.  In fact, she's on my Do Not Buy list.  Just look at the picture below.  There is not one 1/2 sq triangle in this whole quilt that is put together using two squares with seams sewn on the diagonal.  Every 1/2 and 1/4 sq is precut and then put together on the bias, even the ones that finish out at 1".  Same with the flying geese, nope, we will cut all triangles and sew them together.  Her measurements leave not a thread of extra room.  This is not a pattern for the beginner, it definitely has its challenges.
I also got some cutting done for my Sisters Choice.  Bonnie Hunter's pattern,  2.5" squares and 2.5' x 6.5" strips. I'll sew the dark squares on the diagonal and make these sashing pieces into star points.  My kind of pattern. No bias edges to put together, room for fugding.
I got a few threads stitched into my Lib Amish last night, my goal is to have the last column of feathers done by bedtime Thursday  Wednesday.  I have to study Thursday for my exam on Friday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hotel Progress

I was going to bring my sewing machine and blast through some mindless piecing this week.  Then I got to thinking, those are good things to keep at home, projects that I can be interrupted in and go back to at any given time.  I decided to grab my bin containing a BOM.  It's from 2008. 
 Just typing that gives me a headache. I'm usually very good at staying on top of these types of projects.  I always hear about BOM's that languish at the back of a drawer or bottom of a box.  The reason I signed up for this particular BOM was that it was 30's repro fabrics and it was the only way I could imagine making a super scrappy quilt without having to buy out every print in my county. Seriously, some of the prints are only used in a 2.5 x 2.5 piece.
 The above photos are groupings of completed blocks.  I logged them all.  Then I went to the pattern to see what was left.  I'm over 50% finished on the blocks.
 These are some of my favorites.  I guess even when I try to go to the softer side of fabrics and prints, I still gravitate to the bolder, stronger prints and colors.
 And my love of applique stays strong with this block.  I have pondered making more of this block for some pillows.  That still might happen 'cus I pinned the templates to the back of this block.  Just in case, I'm just sayin', that's all.
Spools, what's not to love about this block?
And this is the end result of organizing this bin. I've got 25 blocks completed, a packet of finished bow ties and pin wheels that are used as fillers and I have 16 blocks left to go. I had a system that worked. I'm going back to my system this week. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My New Home

Here's my new home for the next five nights. Yes, there is a lamp shade, I took it off while I did some hand sewing. I brought a grab bag of projects to work on in the evenings. A binding, some hand quilting, an applique block for my BTCT. I also packed my 30's BOM that has languished for quite some time.  It started in 2008, I was on task and then I got completely sidetracked by life.
Here's the bed I left today.
Yes, this is my dog Annie. Yes, this is my bed.  She decided she needed a nap before I took her to the Doggy Hotel.  I will miss my dog more than my own bed!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Squishy in the Mail

Did you send in some blocks to Just One Star?  If so, you might have one of these hitting your mailbox in the near future.
First I got one addressed to Norma T but with my address.  I thought, OK, how nice, they sent me this to thank me for the blocks, but they put my friends name on it. I had sent in blocks from three of us in one envelope. Then a few days later, I got two more packages, one for me and one for DebS.  I opened mine to find the cutest Christmas fabric. 

It was like someone in TX knew our tastes. DebS also got the xmas fabric. It's perfect for us, and the Lilac Hill that is going to my friend Norma is exactly her taste.
Now to figure out what to do with this little packet of squares.  I see a new holiday runner in my future.
Spring was definitely here today.  I got some more things planted, but I think it's still too early to be putting out all my annuals. I'll take the advise of my friend who has a green thumb and wait until Mothers Day to do any serious planting.
Happy Easter to everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Liberated Revisited

I'm farther along that I thought I was. I abandoned  set aside this piece to focus on my GOT swap 9 patch.  That piece is finally finished, and this is the "next in line" for hand quilting.

I have to draw the feathers up one more black column.
It's ok to have several piecing projects on the go at one time, but I find with hand quilting I have to stay focused on one piece in order to feel that I'm making headway.

I'm going to do straight line quilting through the stars.

Freehand baptist fans will be stitched in the top and bottom sections.

I haven't touched this piece in months, yet when I picked it up, it was just like an old friend. You know what I mean, the ones you only talk to every few months yet it feels like you just visited with them the week before. That's a good feeling to have.
Hope you get to take some stitches today.

Friday, April 22, 2011


It's a surprise. "Someone" is making a siggy quilt and here is my block. By the time this post goes live, the block will be traveling all the way to the other side of the country.
She loved all the wagon wheel type quilts at the Red & White show, so I thought I'd try to create my own block. A little paper folding and foundation paper piecing and a bit of applique to finish the center. Easy peasy.
Thanks for stopping by. I truly enjoy your comments on my blog. I do try to answer everyone, but sometimes I just don't get to every one. Please know I do appreciate your visits here. It's what keeps me posting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Washed and Cuddly

Finally, here is my Gathered Over Time (GOT) finished quilt. Yes, it's now officially a quilt. It's washed and dried and so warm and cozy.
This top was from an online swap. Whatever shirting you used in your 9 patch you could not use for the setting square swap. And you needed to use another shirting for the corner triangles.
I never could have made this quilt on my own. There are 81 9 patches with no duplicates. To have that many choices in one stash, well, that would be more than I could imagine.
Some of the details. The blocks are 4 1/2" set on point, I used Hobbs Wool and I hand quilted this with YLI #004 Rust. I chose to use a bit darker thread so it would show up a bit on all the shirtings. The Baptist Fan pattern was marked, I used my acrylic circle templates that I have for my longarm, and marked the whole top with blue washout. I did 2 rows of fans around all four sides, and then I worked in to the center from 2 sides. The fans "crash" in the center. This gives the piece a look from the past, like it was quilted from all four sides around a frame.
This is going to be my quilt that I use on my couch. I love it. It's cozy and cuddly and I enjoyed every stitch on this, and many hands worked on it for me.
Give a swap a try, you just might like it.

No Photo Finish

Doing hand work makes for a boring blogger. It was an exciting moment when I took the last stitches on my Gathered Over Time 9 patch that I have been hand quilting over the winter. I took photos, but since I haven't taken out the blue wash out, I didn't like the stay tuned to see my finished GOT with Baptist Fans.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stop now if you don't want to see another red and white quilt athough this post is more about design rather than color.  Walking through the Red & White show was overwhelming and I didn't focus on specifics.  Now that I've had some time to go through my photos, I was intrigued by the Pineapple quilts.  One piece was hanging at City Quilter, made by Anita Grossman Soloman and the others were at the show.

One pattern
Same two colors
Three different quilts.
This makes me want to make a two color pineapple quilt. And yes, I'd like it to be red and white. My ten yards of Rich Red Kona has arrived, now I'm waiting for a bold of Antique Kona. I bought a yard of each to see how they would play together. I think they get along very well.
This piece is 15 x 15. I'm going to hand quilt it, with all the hockey on for the next month, I'm confident I'll get it done by June. That's my goal for this piece.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Using it Up

I gave my friend 3 bolts of fabric.  She gave me back tops. I made the backs and binding.  Now I only have a few yards of striped fabric left.  What a great feeling to use up for a cause.  Deb pieced 4 tops and bound one, Dani quilted one, and we now have 5 finished tops to donate.
3 will be donated to help those in Japan, and 2 will go to Basics in NYC
I know the call was for utility quilts, but I still have to sew the binding by hand.  Don't you love stripes on the bias?  This was a lot of binding for one week!  It's a good thing it's Stanley Cup time, the Canadians and the Canucks are in the hunt for the cup this year.  I get a lot of hand work done at this time of year.
This project took time, but many hands got dragged into it involved.  It's a great feeling to be 30+ yards lighter in my sewing room.  Do you have some fabric that can go to a cause?  Time is the biggest gift, so share the project around, it's a great feeling.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Liberty, Purl, Soho

No, not the Statue of Liberty. Liberty of London fabrics. I've seen several bloggers talking about these fabrics, but at $34/yard, I wanted to touch and feel them before making any online purchases. We wandered the streets of Soho and just when I called it quits trying to find The Purl Bee, I looked across the street and saw the big P on the front door of their shop.
What a lovely shop, lots of choices, staff was very friendly and helpful and it was buzzing with activity. Quilters, knitters, crafters, all coming together in one place. I think I would be a regular there if I lived in Manhattan.
Here was my big purchase, enough to make a square scarf and contrast binding. I'm almost finished the hand sewing.
As for living in Manhattan, well, I'm not so sure. I put a lot of miles on my feet, but here are some of my favorite shots while walking around Soho.
Make sure you watch your clock when you park here! As usual, you can click all my photos for a larger view.
Fire escapes which I'm sure become balconies in the hot weather.
OK, we walked into this clothing store and they had 900, yes, 900 sewing machines.  I don't think I looked at one piece of clothing while my girlfriend shopped.
You know I was looking at this,
and this,
and this!
Of course I can't leave without another Red & White post.  The quilting on this one was marvelous.  The maker used dark thread in some parts, she used knots as part of her design on the top of the quilt. 
Here is more detail of the quilting.
A beautiful appliqued piece.
Even the fashion stores got in on the Red & White love! The pattern on the hand bag would make a great block.
There are so many places showing the Red & White show, so if you can't get enough of it, check out Pat Sloan's Red & White blog, Liz over at Quilterie has a list on her sidebar of blogs with Red & White, or, for a photo extravaganza, go here to the Folk Art Museums Flickr site where 100's have posted 1000's of photos.
I ventured out to Fabric-Etc Saturday afternoon and got a yard of creamy white to work with the yard of Rich Red. I liked the look of the naturals rather than stark white. Now I'm ready to start playing with ideas for a two color quilt!
Hope you got to stitch this weekend.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Free Piecing

 There is a challenge from my guild in The Gorge. It involves crayons and a polka dot fabric.

I'm trying to make something that is creative and liberated. I'm trying to absorb some inspiration from the blogs that share innovative and contemporary work. Bumble Beans had a great showing of work last week.  So far I have the grass pieced. What do you think?  This is my first attempt at this type of piecing. I've made liberated stars and liberated letters, but this is a lot of work!  My piece is going to be small, I think it will finish about 18 x 30.

Do you like the lady bugs in there? The vision is two more rows done in blues for the sky and the middle row will be mixed blues and greens. Flowers will grow from the grass.....I'm not sure how this will turn out, I'm going to work with some trust that the piece will find it's way and evolve into something presentable.
This is really stretching my boundaries, I like perfect points, straight lines, traditional blocks.
What stretches your quilting world?