Monday, April 14, 2014

Green and Brown Pinwheel

I interrupt the regularly scheduled update on the Irish chain to bring you a customer quilt;
It was a delight to take the Irish chain out and put this in. This is quilted with a new panto; baby feet and hands by Karen Farnsworth at Wildflower Quilting.
Love it!
Here's the back, aren't the trees nice? They form flowers but are still, 'manly'.

Monday, April 7, 2014

More progress...and a finish!

I'm plugging away at this Irish chain;
I've got ALL the crosshatching done and this week I will concentrate on the centers. Here is the first one. I took it out of the frame to do some ripping after finishing the straight lines and decided to put the label on where it would get quilted to the back of the quilt. So it is back in the frame and ready to get quilted!

But I had to pause and make a little donation quilt for my guild;
 These are small blocks; 2.25 across. Each strip was cut at 1.25 inches. An exchange I did 18 years ago, while pregnant with Jeffrey.
 I made over 150 blocks and have never done anything with them.

So this is finished except for a label and will get turned in tonight.

Now I have 2 weeks to make a small donation quilt for the other quilt guild....wish these things were spaced out a little bit more!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Little progress

What did you expect? A finished quilt? With my husband out of town last week I expected great things, but shop hop was last week and I visited 11 quilt shops over 3 days and came home not willing to do much. Here is the progress I've made I finished the borders and got it in the quilt frame!
I even started quilting one of the borders; then I went shopping for a ruler, a specific shape ruler for a long arm. I found a few the wrong shape and realized that I would be spending at least $30. for the ruler and I found a shape I could adapt for the robotics for only $5. So that's what I did. I changed a diamond shape to a squarish shape, then quilted 2 of them before I could sleep last night.
The plan is to put free hand feathers around this...but I'll get all the shapes quilted first. It is only 1 P.M. and I haven't managed to do any yet.
Because we adopted a dog on Saturday. He is a sweetheart but I've had to go get a baby gate to keep him away from the quilt. It is HARD to get a picture of a puppy, they are in motion all the time. I had to have Andrew hold him.
An almost 4 month old English Springer Spaniel. It's like having a toddler, we are getting the house baby-proofed very quickly. But he still finds things, just took a pencil away from him, he found a bolt to chew and a scrap of wood and a small warranty booklet that had gotten under something. Our housekeeping has to improve. He left Dad's pile of papers alone for 2 days, today he attacked it, so it got picked up. Maybe the 'boys' will be more responsible about picking up their stuff. :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Irish Chain Borders

First thing, Lakeview Quilt Guild was last Monday and it was the last day to sign up a quilt to be in the Guild quilt show that is in May. I measured the only quilt I made last year and paid my $5 to enter it. Then I sat down. The guild has a slide show of important information of interest to the guild members to look at while we gather. There on the screen was the show deadline and this phrase, 'Your quilt does not have to be finished until May 15th as long as you sign up TODAY you have 2 months to finish it.' I went back and paid my $5 for an unfinished quilt. My Red Irish Chain now has a deadline and it will get finished. I love a deadline.
Last year while I was preparing to move I made myself some quilt kits. The idea was that I wouldn't have much access to fabric and would like to finish some quilts. So I purchased fabric for kit #5; an Irish chain. Since I take years to finish a quilt I've blogged about this quilt several times. Here, here, and here .
When I pulled the quilt out and refreshed my memory of it. My kit consisted of fabric for border #3, #4, and #5 and the backing and binding. (The borders #1 and #2 just continue the Irish chain pattern, so they really don't show.)
Right away I knew that the first fabric wasn't going to work, but the #5 for sure would. So went to 2 quilt shops to get 1 yard of muslin. Washed, pressed and cut, and sewn. Then to the pieced squares; I decided to use all red squares, not the white with red lines on it. So I cut another 100 squares and stitched and stitched until I had 340? squares sewn and attached, then laid it on the kit border fabric;
Do you see the problem I see? No contrast. That strip was a lot of work. I want to see it. So I went back to the store....and am planning this now;
Now how wide should I make it?
Working a little backwards I decided to start with the backing which I still LOVED and make the back. I wanted to make sure I didn't make the quilt 1" bigger than what I had for the back. The back is made and the seams pressed. Most people would measure and compare the numbers, I will lay them both on my bed and look at it to make sure the size is right.
I'm putting this in Judy's design wall links.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Green sampler

Lisa gave me a quilt to do light custom work on.
 A couple of weeks after returning it I borrowed it to get better pictures.

 Taking pictures and having the quilting show is a big challenge.
Not as much of a challenge when the thread contrasted with the fabric as it does here on the back. My husband and I spent hours with a new quilt stand, lights, string, tape measure and 2 different cameras. You still get better quilting photos outside when the sun is just about to set. But then there are tree shadows and other problems. Like it was overcast for a week and I couldn't get any pictures.
Here's a quilt with pictures taken both ways; On a quilt stand;
The same quilt in the late afternoon in the sun;
In the second picture it looks like it is quilted!
The conclusion we reached is that we need a better camera.....That isn't happening soon so you will just get the best pictures we can take with our equipment.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Post card ...almost

For my birthday (yesterday I turned 60!) I went into the sewing room and played. I've been reading Kathleen Loomis's blog and one of the things she has done is an alphabet series of quilts. I got the idea to play around with her idea for a post card. The inspirations is this; her blue j quilt. But I immediately came across a problem, selvages look great on hers and I have some but they would be too big for a postcard. I could cut strips of fabric, but that would mean cleaning off the cutting table, pulling fabric, cutting, etc.... So I challenged myself to only use what was on my floor, or what I'd just picked up off my floor and put in the trash. /since I've been cutting shirts up for my stash I had a lot of bits of seams and stuff on the floor.
First I made a B. Using confetti onto a piece of wonder under...not very effective. Then I started putting bits of shirting scraps on an interfacing blank, cut just a wee bit bigger than 4x6. And I had this:
I did not like the B. So I threw it away and came up with plan b.
Here I'd started sewing it with 1/8" lines. Here the stitching is complete but the postcard is not.
Then it was time to get ready to go to church. (The last photo you can enlarge to see more details). I like it. The binding could be pale or one of the B fabrics. What do you think? Now I want to do another, with the letter bigger, but for my first it is okay.
What I would do different;
  • lay down a faintly stripped fabric over the interfacing to help keep the strips straight and to make it so the interfacing doesn't show behind/between strips of fabric.
  • Have lines for the B too. (I drew lines on the interfacing but had no lines under the press sheet while I constructed the B.
  • Enlarge the letter, maybe more whimsical.  
  • Try to use tiny drops of glue instead of the tiny drops of iron on stuff.
So do I do another, better B or go onto another letter.
It was fun. 

Monday, March 10, 2014


I keep buying shirts and cutting up shirts and stacking them up. For example I found a thrift store last week that had their shirts on sale half off...that made them $1. I bought 11! After I got home I realized that one of them would actually fit my husband so I didn't cut it up.I had the other's washed and cut up in 2 days. Then I went back to the same store :Sat and bought 6 more! It is a curse. I now have more shirts than I need.
So I had to make something with them.
I have continued to read 'Art with a Needle' blog. I considered her termite art and decided that since I know quilts I would do a termite trip around the world. I took her 'green p' quilt (pictured here) and did my version.

 All but the bright red is from my thrift shirts.

 The pieces are 1/4"
It was pretty slow going but I didn't do anything right either. I free hand cut each square so they are not consistant. I did not draw a grid (to do that I would have had to go downstairs and print some graph paper-clearly too difficult.), I ironed a vertical and a horizontal line and winged it. Clearly if it was any bigger I would need to be more precise. Draw a grid. Cut the squares with a rotary cutter. I also used a glue stick, again 'cause I wouldn't have to walk any where to get it, and just stuck each square on the top of the vertical glue stick and then stuck it on my piece of white fabric.

Having fun here, how about you?