Saturday, September 19, 2015

postcards continued

Yes, I still send postcards, not everyday lately but several times a week. Summer was just so busy this year. This is the latest.
Will I ever run out of narrow little bits of shirt fabric? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Julie's quilt

I really did stay busy this summer. Too busy sometimes. I was asked, very sweetly, to quilt a quilt for our only granddaughter. She had been given a vintage top, it only needed a simple panto....HA!
Unfortunately it was stained so they washed it before sending it to me. Oh dear, parts shrank way more than other parts, and no, I didn't take a before picture. I decided to take it apart and resew it. After it was apart I decided it would be easier to replace the fabric. Luckily for me I couldn't get 2 shades of turquoise so I got to eliminate the 4-patches in the corner stones and simplify the quilt.
 Here is my eq7 version of the original. The applique blocks are not very accurate, but they are tulips, there are 3 of them in each block, and they are bright colors.
This is the computer version of what I changed it to:
I think I improved it. Softened the colors somewhat and eliminated the 4-patch (I couldn't find 2 shades of turquoise.) Then I HAD to custom quilt it.
This still has the markings on it but I outlined the tulips then did a double square in the background and a simple meander.
 I used a large plate to trace a partial circle, then I used a cup and a can to trace different size circles in an arc in the border. I quilted an apple blossom in each small circle, the did a simple meander in the background. The bottom of the quilt got her name; Julie Grace.
My son designed the name on the computer in 5 inch high letters. I glued them to freezer paper and cut them out. After ironing them on the border I traced around each letter, then removed the freezer paper. Then I quilted around each letter twice, added some flowers and meandering and finished;

Here you can see the backing fabric and one of the 2 pillowcases I made her.
I LOVED the way it turned out!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Nativity? Nativity to be...

My sister decided to make 4 of her children Nativity scenes for Christmas this year. She has been working all year on this project. In May I helped her a bit (if you call ripping out what she had done and telling her to do it over help) and then in June she gave me the 4 grounds and  the 4 skies. I put them together and quilted them for her. Now she will paint figures onto pellon and velcro them to the backgrounds. I may or may not see the finished product for years. But here are the backgrounds:
Swirls for wind currents on the sky and map contour lines on the ground.
More swirls on the sky and McTavishing on the ground.
Giant stars on the sky and giant roses on the ground.
Les exuberant swirls on the sky and more contours on the ground...I think I added some grass and flowers too.

These were fun to do. I tried sewing the backgrounds together and quilting the tops with one mounting....ended up undoing the backgrounds and doing them separately. I can't remember exactly why but it was easier to do them apart.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

100 things a quilter should do....

I found a list of 100 things a quilter do before she dies. I decided to make my own list.
  1. Make a quilt, any size. Otherwise you are not a quilter...many.
  2. Make a miniature quilt.Several, accuracy is so important here. Here is one.
  3. Make a King size quilt! I've got one started here, and I've quilted many.
  4. Make an easy pattern; 9-patch or rail fence. Done several, this is one of my favorites.
  5. Make a log cabin or 3. Did one as a very beginner quilter, here, tough block.
  6. Hand quilt ONE, at least. Really I did, some were miniature, one was not.
  7. Machine quilt one so you know if you like it or not. Done hundred's, on my domestic and long arm.
  8. Use a walking foot. Makes quilting straight lines on the domestic possible.
  9. Do some free motion quilting.So fun. Domestic here. Long arm here.
  10. Bind a quilt. Not my favorite past time, but I don't let them linger unbound either.
  11. Pillowcase a quilt. Hate it, Did one in my 20's, that was fine. Now? NEVER!
  12. Donate a quilt. Many, my favorite: here.
  13. Work on a donation quilt. Many times.
  14. Sell tickets to a donation quilt. Every year..really do not like to, I've bought lots too..
  15. Put a bias binding on. My first quilt had bias binding, cause I thought that was the way it was supposed to be only if the stripe needs to be diagonal.
  16. Bind an odd shaped edge quilt. My daughter-in-laws hexagon, here. NEVER again.
  17. Do prairie points. Never done this, really not crazy about it or I would have. :)
  18. Hand finish a binding. Many, many times.
  19. Machine finish a binding. Many, many times, baby quilts usually and kid's quilts.
  20. Add piping to a binding. Yes, once for sure...maybe twice., memory fog!
  21. Applique a block. Done a few, they are not in quilt yet.
  22. Hand piece a block. Done a few, they are not in a quilt yet.
  23. Redraft a block pattern to a different size.All the time, now I use eq7.
  24. Do a yo-yo, or 100 yo-yo's. I've done a few, and taught others...but not crazy about them...until I see them in an OLD quilt, then they are amazing.
  25. Try English Paper Piecing. The FIRST quilt I ever started....
  26. Try paper piecing. I find it tedious but the blacks can be amazing.
  27. Exchange a set of blocks with a group of friends. I find this so FUN! Lots.
  28. MAKE that set of blocks into something. I've done MANY, have MANY to do.
  29. Wash a quilt. Lots of times.
  30. Take a washed quilt that bled and rescue it. Here
  31. Attend quilt Festival in Houston! Almost every year since 1979, pretty sure I would not have if I hadn't lived so close.
  32. Look at the QUILTS at festival. I am amazed at the women that go and JUST shop.
  33. Read quilt magazines, at the library or your home.I no longer read them, but as a beginner I loved them.
  34. Check out a quilt book from the library.I have read all the quilt books in the 3 libraries I have lived near in the last 35 years.
  35. Buy your own quilt book. Years ago my Mother told me it was okay to buy something I was passionate about occasionally once a month. Luckily I did not buy a book a month or I'd have way more than I do...30 years x 12 = a ton of books!  
  36. If you use your book WRITE in it about your quilt. I particularly enjoy rereading the books I took notes in, like I did in college. They are yours, you can write in them. Date the quilts you make, write down who you gave them to, or who helped you make them.
  37. Organize your books.I used to have them arranged by topic and all the same author together, now I have them arranged by color. Silly but I enjoy looking at them.
  38. Donate a quilt book to the library.When I was getting ready to move the last time I donated a box of quilting books to our library.
  39. Make a label. I have been making labels for years, I 've made all the labels for my Mother's quilts also, imagine my surprise when I find several quilts that are unlabeled. I don't think they are finished until they are labelled.
  40. Make a different label. I have counted cross-stitched labels, computer printed labels, hand embroidery labels, painted labels and inked labels. My favorite is to have a friend with an embroidery machine make the labels for me.
  41. Keep making labels until ALL your quilts are labeled. I'm working on this.
  42. Make a label for the quilt your Grandma made. Done, see #40.
  43. Make a rod pocket to hang a quilt. Done. So much easier if done when the binding is being made.
  44. Make a pillowcase to store your quilt in. I've recently realized that making 2 is a good idea...if they actually use the pillowcase it will wear out way before the quilt will.
  45. Make a pillow out of a lone block.  Sometimes you don't want to make a whole quilt and a pillow will be just fine. I have several I get out at Christmas.
  46. Keep a journal about your quilt making experience. Since I often have more than one quilt in the works it helps if I take notes, I have a notebook of just my exchange quilts.
  47. Take pictures of your quilts.I keep them in a file on the computer now but my notebook has many pictures.
  48. Hostess a speaker for your guild. I've gotten to do this 3 times now and it is really fun. Not picking them up at the airport but the talking to them.
  49. Join a guild. There are 4 close enough for me to join, the one I'm most active in is the farthest away, but I was the most comfortable there. I attended 2 for a long time but now it is once a month, which was great when I had kids at home. I may get more involved now.
  50. Be an officer in your guild. It is hardly fair that the same 10 people do the bulk of the work in a guild. Be the new blood and take an easier job, become friends with these women that share your passion.
  51. Go on a quilt retreat. I've done this, but if I have an extra $300  I want to spend it visiting my grandkids.
  52. Take a class from a speaker with your guild members. These classes are cheap AND the ladies are nice and share your passion so it is FUN. My goal this year was to take EVERY workshop that wasn't on Sunday and learn something new. So much fun. New friends are made when you spend time with them.
  53. Go to a small local quilt show. These are so much fun, easy to see EVERY quilt.
  54. Go to a small local quilt show while on vacation. The Denver Capitol Quilt show is great and the one they have in Springville, Utah is worth going to.
  55. Figure out how to use yellow in your quilt.The first time I did this I thought it was a FAIL but my mother honestly loves that quilt; so I gave it to her. Since then I have done it to the point that I liked it too.
  56. Discover the color wheel. I've read 2 books about this.
  57. Make a quilt using the color wheel. I'm working on an analogous quilt now.
  58. Understand the weaving process, warp and weft.
  59. Learn which direction of your fabric stretches. 
  60. Ease in to make your points match.
  61. Do a Y seam.
  62. Do it again.
  63. Follow a blogger about quilting.
  64. Follow a Instagram quilter. I did for awhile, found I'd rather just have family on instagram.
  65. Learn the math! If you forget, there are lots of references available.
  66. Design your own quilt, be creative.
  67. Do it the old way with graph paper.
  68. Do it the new way on the computer.
  69. Combine 2 blocks in quilt.
  70. Teach someone else to piece a quilt.
  71. Teach someone else how to quilt a quilt.
  72. Teach a child to quilt.
  73. Make a play thing for a child using your quilting skills.
  74. Make a bag.
  75. Quilt a bag. I've quilted about 4 bags.
  76. Display a quilt in your home. Many many quilts are displayed in my home.
  77. Make a piece of clothing. I made vests and nothing in my wardrobe is quilted.
  78. Write directions on how to make a block. Did this for the guild...
  79. Finish a quilt that has languished for YEARS on the back burner.
  80. Make a quilted item for a gift.
  81. Make something for your kitchen using your skills.
  82. Organize your fabric.
  83. Donate some fabric to an organization that will use it.
  84. Use a ruler you bought.
  85. Use another one or give it away.
  86. Use a rotary cutter
  87. Replace the blade in your rotary cutter.
  88. Use scissors to cut out a block.
  89. Use templates to cut out a block.
  90. Test your markers.
  91. Try out a new kind of marker.
  92. Organize your sewing things.
  93. Check ergonomic ways of improving your posture or the height of your table.
  94. Learn some exercises to give your body relief after long stints of sewing.
  95. Put a water bottle near your sewing and drink it.
  96. Save your tiny scraps for a heavy pillow for heart patients.
  97. Dye some fabric to use in your quilt.
  98. Use someone else's hand dyed fabric.
  99. Use solids in your quilt (or prints if you only do solids.)
  100. Clean and oil your machine
Can you tell I accidentally hit publish instead of save... don't even have 100 on here yet...I'm going to edit it occasionally over the next few days and change things a bit...
This is really a difficult post...everytime I change the color, it flips to the wrong place....I can't stand to work on it for very long at a time.


It is almost fall, if you don't have a quilt done for fall you still have time if you do nothing else. My Mother had her fall quilts out when I visited 2 weeks ago. She loved one of my quilts...this one;
So she improved it and created this:
Appliqued pumpkins, brown instead of black and hand quilted. I love it. In person it kind of glows.
One year when she was visiting I taught her how to do half square triangles and we made leaf blocks.
Here are my maple leaf blocks, I was holding out for time to make more;
And here are hers;
a maple leaf table topper, hand quilted with squirrels and FINISHED! It looked so nice on her table that I want table toppers now.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Empty nest

It's hard to believe that after 37 years my youngest is out of the house! We took him to BYU-Provo last week. On our way we stopped to visit a son in Rigby, Idaho..... Now we are getting ready to move to Rigby! We are purchasing a house across the street from 3 of our grand-kids.
So the purge begins.....
A smaller home than we have now, but we want to retire near grandkids.
It has a full basement and a large room that my longarm AND my sewing will fit into. I have been  Quilter Upstairs; I will become The Quilter Downstairs. Those 2 windows at the bottom of the front of the house are to my studio. I can't wait until Spring!

Monday, July 27, 2015

snowman quilt

Sometimes I get a quilt to do that is just plain FUN to quilt. This snowman sampler/exchange was one of them.
 This is one of the first ones I quilted. Isn't that a lovely snowman?
I love this. Really gives me incentive to get some of MY sets of blocks together.
The back is minky, so this quilt will be quite snuggly on the couch every winter.