Friday, January 30, 2015

Beauty and the Beast

I finished piecing this quilt top that turned out to be a "Beauty" but it was a "Beast" to make.  I apologize for photographing it next to my pink carpet (alas I've complained enough about that in the past).  Someday it will be replaced.

I didn't have enough border fabric to do mitered corners but I felt like the formal feel of the quilt demanded that treatment.

So I pieced the corners.  Your eye follows the green stripe and doesn't notice the seam lines unless you are looking for them.

I looked all over for sashing, my stash, online, the LQS, and finally back to my stash.  I ended up using an old Judie Rothermel line from about 2002.  As you can see the green in the sashing does not match the green in the border but again. . .  your eye tricks you into thinking it's the same when you view the quilt top as a whole.

I am really glad to be done with this quilt top.  It has been carefully folded and put on a hanger in the back of my quilting closet.  We need some time apart.

My quilt group, Bound Together, is doing a red & white BOM this year.  I got out the 7 yds. I bought a few years back intending to make just such a quilt.  As you can see by the photo above - it bleeds.

I put it in the washer with RETAYNE.  I hope that it will really work and whatever I make won't bleed on the white.  I'm looking forward to making this quilt.  The first block is a 'birds in the air' variation.

The clouds in the sky continue to fascinate me. 

No piecing today, company's coming and I have been doing a general clean-up.  The vacuum keeps overheating and turning itself off. I can't remember how old it is but it must have gotten a lot of use while we were in Wisconsin.  Time for a new one I think?


Monday, January 26, 2015

Checking all my possibilities~

Rebecca suggested in my previous post that I use chocolate colored sashing for the blocks.  I grabbed this deep chocolate toile that was on top of my stack.  But, it is too dark and I think and it looks a little Asian.  

So I kept hunting.  

Thanks to Rebecca for the suggestion because if she hadn't given me the idea to use something deep and dark I would still be looking for sashing fabric like the one below.  Beautiful French General fabric but all wrong for this quilt. The Portobello Market line has warm beiges and this fabric is a gray/beige - too cool and just not right.

So with that in mind I started digging into the depths of the stash for something darker.  I found this dark green Chelsea's Boutique by Blackbird Designs and it has possibilities.  It brings out the greens in the border fabric that I was planning on using from this Portobello Market line.

I then found a lighter chocolate in my Jo Morton fabric.  I like it a lot better but I wouldn't cut into Jo Morton fabric on whim and it doesn't go with the border fabric.

Looks like a visit to the local quilt store for some milk chocolate fabric.

But, before I hopped in the van I decided to continue digging for treasure and I came across 2 yds. of this.

It has interesting possibilities.

 It's a bit busy but when I used it as a border fabric too. . .

It took those blocks to a whole new place - don't you think?

I'm pre-shrinking the fabric right now. (and deciding if this is where I want to go with these blocks.)

Maybe a trip to the quilt store is still a good idea to check on all my possibilities.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just a little grumble~

I'm continuing to work on these Rosette blocks.  I've got 12 made - only four more to go.  A couple of times I have wondered if this WIP (work in progress) was going to become a UFO (unfinished object) because the block is so frustrating to make with all those matched points.  It takes me a whole hour to make just one block.

I'm not in love with the fabric any more either and so I'm just sewing on it to finish it.

It is time to audition sashing fabric.  First I put some of the blocks with the originally purchased sashing fabric.  It looks rather bla-a-a-ah don't you think?

So I thought I'd liven it up a little and put the same blocks on a red & white toile.  It was disappointing.  I really thought I'd like it but I don't.

I'll have to keep on looking or just be satisfied with "blah".

This pattern has been frustrating from the beginning.  The cutting instructions were confusing to me.  It turns out that the sewing method is not my favorite for half-square triangles and flying geese because it isn't very accurate and it wastes fabric as you can see in my little waste basket.

I'd rather take a little extra time cutting triangles for exactness than trimming triangles for the wastebasket.

So, what's a girl to do.

I love my craft.  I love to sew and when one projects has stopped giving me pleasure I usually go on to something else.  Right now that just happens to be the quilt that is on the frame.  It is coming along quite nicely.

But........................I'm not a quitter so I'll finish the last four blocks and put the sashing/borders on before I hang in up in the closet to become a UFO.

Then I'll find a sewing project that will make my heart sing.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's been a good day

It's been a good day and it started out with progress on the first border of my "Birds of a Feather" quilt.  It's going to be a slow-go with the hand quilting but I love the look and I feel at peace as I stitch.

Also the sun is out today.  That always gives me energy and a positive outlook.

I have cut out all the blocks for the Rosette quilt and put them in sandwich bags so they will be protected from little hands.

I made the first block and found out 2 things.  First of all it is a bit tedious with all the matching points!!  And as I am sewing the squares on the ribbons I have to be careful while pressing so that I don't stretch the newly formed bias seam.

I think I did a bit better by the time I got to the 3rd block above.

With the sun shining I can see the snowcapped mountains across the Salt Lake valley.  There is a bit of a haze but it is still beautiful.

I found 2 new blogs I haven't see before Sew Fresh Quilts and The Constant Quilter today.  Go check them out.

This might seem like an odd thing but I got a new toaster today.  This is the same toaster that we bought for all the missionary apartments while we were in Wisconsin.  It is the cheapest thing you can find at only $15 but it lasts forever.  And most importantly, it produces the best toast ever!!!  It is nicely browned and crisp on BOTH sides and warm and soft in the middle.  I highly recommend it.

I like the idea that some blog writers have started and that is to find a word that you want to use as your goal for the year.  There are many wonderful words out there but I have chosen "Embrace".  It is because I tend to resist unexpected things and people.  I don't like change or interruption.

 But this year I want to embrace new things and find joy in them.  I think I have been limiting myself.  I'm not talking about new things in quilting - I do that all the time.  I'm talking about new ideas, new friends, new places and building up relationships.  I'm talking about accepting things that don't change and being happy about that too.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Getting back into the saddle~

I made my first pie since coming home from Wisconsin.  It smells so good! I had quite a few cooking disasters while I was gone and getting used to the lack of elevation and humidity.

It looks like I haven't quite got my pie making ability back.  I forgot to moisten the edge of the lower crust before I put the top crust on and so the peach yummy-ness boiled over.   It looks a little dark but that is because the crust is 1/2 whole wheat.  I love the combination of whole wheat nutty-ness and peaches.

I've been cutting out a quilt that I bought the supplies for ages ago.  It has been a delight to come home after being gone 18 months and rediscover the projects in the sewing studio.  This used up a complete "Layer Cake" but one of the Moda line called Portobello Market.  The name always reminds me of the Disney movie 'Bedknobs & Broomsticks'.

I usually come late to the band wagon and this was no exception.  I admired Portobello Market for months and then when I finally decided to buy some, the best pieces were gone.  So I finally found a "Layer Cake" and bought some yardage for a border.

I making the pattern below called "Rosettes".  It's by Fig Tree.

I made a few Boo-Boos while cutting and had to sew some strips together to get the right size pieces.  I hate it when I do that.  You'd think that after sewing for 50 years I'd stop making mistakes.

I have started quilting  my "Birds of a Feather" quilt top finally.  There's something about aging a good quilt top till it's "just right" and then putting it on the frames.  There are some things that just can't be rushed....................

AND I went and bought myself this cutest of carts from Ikea.  I saw it about a year ago on a blog and wanted one immediately.  But, since I was in Wisconsin doing missionary work, I just hoped it would still be available when I got home.  AND it was!

What a delightful little thing.  It's so sturdy and what's not to love about the color?  I have it right next to the quilting frames with my thread, needles, scissors, pins, tissues, spray bottle, various markers and rulers etc. etc. etc. right at hand.

I can roll the little cart back in to my sewing studio when the grandkids come so it's out of their way.

It makes me smile,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

new look

It's a new year and time for changes.  I redecorated the little shelf/niche above my kitchen using my little quilts.

From left to right I put my Jo Morton "Yankee Doodle" quilt around a pillow form I had.  In front are two great little wooden blackbirds and a real Robin's nest in a clear bowl to keep it from making a mess. Oh, and the little dots in the star are appliqued circles - not buttons.

Next is Jo Morton's "Scrappiness on the left, "Transferware" hanging, and a QAL ( I think it's from Humble Quilts blog) on the bottom.

In the middle I have three lamps (sure wish there was an outlet up on the shelf - that would be wonderful!) and a little cross stitch picture I made in 1989.

Next is a stack of quilts with Jo Morton's "Eggs and Bacon" on the bottom, and going up from there a little Welsh Quilt Study, Jo Morton's "Pottery Shards", a little quilt by 'This 'n That', and hanging is a basket quilt from another QAL on Temecula Quilt Shop blog.

And finally another Jo Morton quilt (just 1" squares with an embroidered center) and a few items to balance the look.

All the Jo Morton Quilts are from Jo's Little Women Club 11.

Now I need to figure out where to put all the stuff I took down from the shelf.  You can see part of it in this picture.  But at least everything that was on the shelf is now clean. . . that's progress.

Hope you're having a great day,

And a PS from my previous post about recycled batting.

Lest you are feeling sorry for me because I have to re use my batting. . . I counted how many unused bags of batting I have stored and came up with 12.  I have a tendency to buy it up when it's on sale.  But, I thought the recycled batting was perfect for the vest quilt.    That's all~

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Recycling batting

Okay. . . you're going to think I'm crazy and this is why.

I made a flannel quilt for my 10 yr. old.  He had worn out the original throw-size flannel quilt and needed a new one.  Since he was a growing boy I decided to make it big ~ really big!!!  I chose Looney Toones flannel but didn't have enough so it was pieced with a blue stripe flannel.

I know you're snoozing with boredom by now but stick with me.  There is a "method to my madness".  My son wouldn't leave the quilt on his bed.  No, no, he would wrap up in it and watch TV and while wrapped up would drag it from the breakfast table to the nethermost parts of the house.  Needless to say, he wore it out but he wore it out in the middle.

He loved this quilt and begged me to fix it.  Any repair I might do would take lots of time and not really look that great so it has set on a shelf in the downstairs closet for years.  And I do mean years.  He is now 24.

Above and below you can see the holes he wore in the middle of the quilt.  "But", says I.  There is still life in this quilt somehow.

So since our return from our mission I have been (adjusting mostly) cleaning out closets and shelves and giving or throwing a lot of unnecessary things away.

I took this quilt down from the closet shelf and determined that I needed to make a decision about repairing or getting rid of this poor quilt.  I wasn't going to put it back.

So I washed it thoroughly.  I cut all the ties off without damaging the itegrity of the top or batting.

I cut around the outside.

And peeled back the top layer.  Hmmmm???  Definitely worn but salvageable.

And, lest you think I'm going to put this inside a Baltimore Album quilt top or something equally as beautiful and valuable. . . . . .

I have other things in mind.

*As a side note, it was a good exercise to pull this quilt apart if for no other reason than to see how my piecing of the batting has held up.  It has not!  I've got to do much more secure hand stitching from now on.

I just happen to have the PERFECT quilt top to sandwich with this batting (after it is pieced and repaired).   You can see it below.

This is a quilt top my ex-DIL and I did as a challenge.  He Aunt Marianne had given her bunches and bunches of fabric and in the boxes we found 11 pre-printed vest panels.  We thought it would be fun and funny if we divided them up and each made a quilt using the panels.  We could add any other fabric we wanted and there was no specific size.

So I found some fabrics to accent the vest panels and got to work.  You can see the front of  vest in the block above.  I was determined to use as much of the vest fabric as I possible could.

The vest panel was made by Daisy Kingdom.  This house block is from the back of the vest.  As you can see I cut up all the scraps into 3" squares and used them as a border for the quilt.

Some close-ups of the other blocks.  

It will become  recycled vest panels with some recycled batting and it will look very festive on the back of my blue couch next Christmas season.  I'd much rather have a recycled quilt than the ball of unusable batting and worn quilt top I had before.  I will probably blind tie it with crochet cotton.
Win - Win

And I have the PERFECT backing material for this quilt . . . More Christmas panels Hee-Hee.

This is the completed scrappy quilt top from my previous post.  I chose the black border instead of the blue one.  It is a variation of the Scrap Tease quilt by Bettie Hammock.

If you've made it this far. . .
Thanks for sticking with me.

It appears I can be talked into anything

This could be considered a squirrel project but since it's my granddaughter's and not mine - I'm not counting it as such.  I was...