Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MIssing in Blogland!

I have been remiss about posting on the blog I know.  Life has been very busy indeed.  Two grand-daughters (sisters) graduations---one from college, the other from high school.  As happens with most families at this time of year---I had lots of  family visiting to attend the ceremonies.  It was a time for me to reflect on how fast time had gone by.  I remember when each of these babies were born---I was actually present in the delivery room and was the first person to sing "Happy Birthday" to each of them.  They have both grown into really beautiful (inside and out) young women, and I was one proud Grandmother at the graduations!!!!

Things are settling down and I am getting back in the routine.  I have (of course) been doing some quilting:

I finished the Bargello and am now in the process of quilting it.  It is a VERY slow process, at least for me.  I am quilting concentric circles of different sizes.  I am overlapping so I don't have to be concerned with "lining" them up.  The first picture is a close-up of the circles (with "jump" stitches not yet cut).  The backing is a piece of African Fabric I have had for some time.  It is amazing how well it matches the top--almost as if I purchased it specifically for that quilt and at the same time.  I am about 50% complete so I should be done in a couple of weeks.

I have also made another baby quilt for our Guild charity I need to quilt and made a quilt from cheater fabric to practice ruler work.  I also need to work on the Moda Sampler one of these days soon.  Lots to do!  It is also getting warm and hopefully I can do some fabric dyeing this summer.  My garage is an absolute disaster and so will need a good cleaning and purging!  I purchased a new washer so my old one is going to be installed in the garage and I will use it to wash the fabric I dye.  Just have to find the time to get everything put into place.  Whew----just thinking about it makes me tired.  I think I need a nap!!!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Diane and I Won!

Diane entered a quilt she pieced and one I quilted in a quilt show in Florida and we won the "Mayors Award". The show was small (about 50 quilts), but was judged so we are proud.

For some reason I cannot post the picture of my quilting.  I will still work on it and post when I figure it out.  Anyway--isn't this "Paducah Nine Patch" pretty!  See how she has arranged her colors!  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Checking In!!!

I have been very lax in keeping up with my blog---"almost" breaking my NY Resolution---but not quite.  So much has been going on in my world----renovations to the master bath (AGAIN)--that has left a layer of fine dust on absolutely everything--even areas upstairs.  Hopefully this will be a success but the work will continue since we have decided to redo all the baths.  That means the workmen will be here at least into the early fall.....gotta save money first for each one and then proceed; it is the end of school for me and so LOTS of papers to read and grade; two grandchildren are graduating from school--one college, the other high school; and the AQS show with my and Diane's eighth yearly trip there.  It might be a bit more complicated since my brother and his wife and kids are also visiting---making sleeping arrangements a bit more creative.

On the "Quilty Front"-----This is the completed "Mad About Plaid" quilt.

The back looks like a page from a book about birds.  It is a perfect (I think) backing.  When putting the strip strata together, some of the strips ended up a little wonky because the shirting's were so soft.  I really liked that looks and so purposely made it wonky.  This is going to my grandson.   He wants to redo his bedroom and so this will be the fourth quilt (I made one for his bed at his Mom's house) I have made for him.

Next in line was a UFO Kit from a couple of years ago.  It is made entirely of my hand dyes and so I plan to keep it.  I got the pattern from a web surfing expedition and cut out all the fabrics, even made a chart.  This is another "tedious" pattern.  It is like losing your place while reading a book--if you do, you sometimes have to start over to get it right.  I had to start over a couple of times even though I had been careful (I thought) to mark the strips.  Once finished it will be turned differently so as is, you are looking at the quilt sideways.  It is a Bargello---not sure if it is easier than the original pattern,  not really even sure if I will like it, but I am moving ahead.  I love the brightness of it!  It looks so contemporary/modern.

The left side of one section and a border is finished and I am starting on the right side of that section.  There are four sections (which make 2 sides) all together. From the lesson I learned with the first section, I am only putting three rows together at a time.  I am also going to carefully mark the top.  This will be a "sofa" quilt since I am changing the slip cover to a very light beige-grey and this should brighten it up.  Don't know how I will quilt it ---"it" hasn't "spoken" to me clearly yet.

That is my update.  I have to put my fun stuff aside, drink another cup of coffee and then read and grade some more papers.  Do have a wonderful Sunday.  At Guild meeting yesterday one of the members brought the most wonderful apple pie that was "store bought".  In a little bit I am going to go and purchase one for our dinner dessert.  Think I will take it out of the box and pretend I "made" it---LOL.

"Talk" to you later!!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Almost Done!!!

I loaded "Mad for Plaid" on the long arm this morning and I am already half done.  I decided to not use the Baptist Fan but rather another CL board (see the second board).   The quilting fabrics and design make using a really complicated quilting motif unnecessary so this board will add just enough texture.  The backing is a moda print that I have had for quite awhile.  It is a combination of text and birds (from a dictionary).  The color is perfect for the quilt and "modern up" the very traditional pattern.  I should be done with it by the week-end!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

On the Home Stretch!!

The top and bottom and one of the side borders are on.  I just need to put the right side one and I will be ready to quilt.  The border is dark strips although I have decided to carry a couple of the circles out to the edge of the border.  Add a little interest.  I had originally alternated the border squares with light and dark and didn't really think it "ended" the quilt, so I took out the light and substituted for the dark.  As I "frogged", I really was trying to talk myself into leaving it, but since I probably will not make another quilt quite like this again, I decided to do it right.  Again, it is a little "wonky", but I really like it!  Now I am trying to figure out how to quilt it.  I am not going to get too fancy since you will not be able to see it anyway, but I think texture is important.  I am thinking either Baptist Fans or the Egyptian Eye CL Board I have been using a lot lately.  I am going to have to "study" on it for a bit.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guess Who Just Won!!!

I entered a contest hosted by Rebecca at Ruby Blue Quilts to name her longarm.  I am a "follower" of her blog and read it daily as well as get inspiration from her quilting.  I take things very seriously and so really looked at her quilting and paid attention to the "vibes" I was receiving.  I suggested two names, one for a female persona (Allegra) and one for a male (Memphis).  She chose Memphis!!!! Her choice was because she really loves the movie "Gone In 60 Seconds" that has a main character named Memphis---I suggested it because her quilting has such a "bluesy, soulful" feeling, like the Memphis blues.  I chose her newest book as my prize.  I can't wait to receive it.  What fun!!!!!

Now on my quilty front---I am working extra hard to complete "String Fling"---my name.  I am now putting the borders on and should have a picture within the next couple of days.  Although string quilts are normally not that difficult for me, this one turned out to be since the string blocks, once cut into the Drunkard's Path, should be put together with the strings going alternately vertical and horizontal.  In addition there is the challenge of light vs. dark and vice versa to make the circles stand out.  At any rate, it will be finished soon and another UFO marked off the list!  I am not sure how to quilt it, but it will not go into the pile "to be quilted"----I want it done!!!!

Take care!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Break!!!!!!

I am on Spring Break for this week!!!!!!  Happy Dance!  I have lots to do, but I certainly intend to get some quilting in.  So now to update you!

I finished "The Trip".  Completely finished with the quilting, binding and label!!!!

 You can "sorta" see the texture created by the quilting.  At any rate it is HUGE!  I don't think I will ever quilt a quilt this big again (until this one wears out).

I also finished quilting and binding the "gift" quilt.

It really turned out nicely I think.  The polka dot backing is a nice touch.  I sure hope the little one who receives this will like it.

Since I have finished the UFO, I am now back to working on the Building Block quilt.  Huge blocks, that you would think would finish quickly, but takes longer than I would have expected.  Being true to my commitment, I am also going to work on a UFO.  I looked at my "pile" and this is one of the "oldies but goodies" (I have blogged about it previously).

This is made from recycled shirts---some of them belonging to my grandson when he was a little one.  It is rather time intensive---I have to take the shirts apart, cut them into strips, sew a strata and then cut the pieces and then make the block.   It is kinda tricky since the strips should alternate in the blocks.  It is nice and wonky---giving it a real vintage look that I am going for....sorta Gee's Bend-like!  This is 8 rows and I need to make 8 more so------

I pulled out my GO! and started cutting up some shirts I had already "de-boned" into strips (with my strip die) and will also use it to cut the Drunkard's Path blocks.  Without this tool I am absolutely positive I would not have chosen to make this quilt!  I LOVE tools that make things impossible, possible!!!!  Although I could probably use more variety in the shirts, I will not buy more but will use only what I have.  There may be some repeats, but I am good with that.

Onward!  I have lots to do!  Hopefully my "Quilt MoJo" will stay active and productive!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Can't Sleep!!!

I often have issues with sleeping, and when I am concerned, worried or generally unsettled about something, it is worst.  I am at that "place"--some personal family worry's going on and of course there is not one single thing I can do about it.  Let me just say, for those of you with small children, enjoy your parenting challenges---the worst thing in the world is to be a parent of adult children.  Given the fact that although they are old, you are older and still know more than they (although they don't think so), but no one listens to you and you have NO control---but that is for another discussion.

At any rate, what I do when I can't sleep is go to my quilting space.  I really liked the last quilt I made and wanted to make it larger for a toddler and so------

It is 59 inches square...Super Sized.  I figured it out on a piece of paper and went for it, measuring as I went.  The solids are some Moda 5 inch charm packs I had (remember I am trying to use what I have).  The background is a fabric called "Hidden Letters" (if you click on the picture it will enlarge).  I think it is prefect for a boy or girl child.  I am not going to put on a border since the material is directional and I would waste a lot trying to get it to go the right way.  I am debating whether to put a minky back on.  Since a toddler would use this, it might be better to put a cotton backing on.  I have some really cute baby blue polka-dot fabric I may use.

I get such a sense of happiness with making quilts anyway, and when it is as a "gift" it makes me feel good to share a talent (I think it is anyway) to make someone else happy.  Just think if others enjoyed "passing it on", how much better this world would be.  Thanks Sandra for your comment on my last posts!  I really want to thank YOU for giving me this opportunity!!

Anyway, one toddler/older child quilt down, five more to go!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Hug Project

I tried to link the YouTube, but couldn't figure out how to do it.  I will refer you to "That Man Quilts" (see my sidebar) latest blog entry.  Go to the very end and click on the Link!  Viewing it will give you pause for thought!

Thanks Lane for sharing!

Yep---It Quilted Out!!

The borders are pretty straight----No wave!

"Close" up of the pattern.  I worked the fullness in my misting the fabric, patting it into shape, and leaving it to dry.  It almost always works!  Note:  make sure the fabric is colorfast and MIST don't WET.

The backing!  I love the polka dots.  This is for a baby boy!  I was really lucky to find this perfect backing for the quilt.  The batting is 100% rayon and doesn't allow the fabric to shadow through.  

I was correct---my "wavy" borders did in fact quilt out!!!!  I used what is now one of my "most"- favorite CL boards---it is called "Egyptian Eye", but I think I am going to rename it "God's Eye" since it reminds me of the quilt pattern and hanging weaved objects I often see in my home state and the Southwest.  This will still be a "gift" quilt, but rather than given as a donation in connection with my guild, I am going to give it as a shower gift for a very sweet nurse I work with.  Her baby may be born early and so this little quilt will cuddle this little one will still be used for it's original purpose.  The backing is a thinner minky that I found at a great price at Joanne's.  It quilted up wonderfully and I really think I like it better than the more traditional thicker type of minky.  Lesson learned:
  • use a smaller gauge needle.  This minky had a tendency to pull through to the front and the smaller needle decreased this.
  • be sure and put the "stretchy" portion perpendicular to the leaders.  I had to roll it a little tighter than usual and this prevented the back from stretching out.  
I will bind it all by machine since baby quilts are washed a lot!  I also plan on enlarging this pattern and making a larger quilt.  Most of the quilts I have made for our guild "gifting" program have been baby quilts, but older kids don't feel well either.  My goal is to give Sandra at least six quilts for toddlers and older kids so I am going to start on those next week.  I have until June to officially finish but I think I will personally continue to make quilts for this group.