Thursday, January 29, 2015

Solids Galore!

I finally broke down and ordered color cards for Kona and Bella solids.  I had been holding off, as they are kinda pricey, and because both companies keep coming out with new colors.  But, after driving 45 minutes one way to the fabric shop last week and not finding the shade of fabric I was looking for, AND in the process, buying some additional fabric I didn't really need, I figured purchasing color cards would save me time and money in the long run!  That way, I can simply order exactly what I need on line, as I need it.

I purchased my cards from the Fat Quarter Shop - here are the links:

Update - I went to yoga this evening, came home and decided to cut borders and sashing for one of my WIP's.  NOT A GOOD IDEA!!  Note to self - NEVER attempt to do quilt math after yoga!!  I totally screwed up the measurements and miscut the fabric - totally unsalvagable.  And, my perfect shade of 1930's Windham solid fabric is not available on line.   Boo hoo!!  But, the good news is that I could locate an almost identical shade on my Bella color card.
More money down the drain!  :(

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pure Happiness

This is today's view from my desk chair - two quilts to bind, a pile of quilt blocks to applique, my beloved Carolina Lily quilt that I big-stitch quilted last summer, and in the background on the little table - a dear pincushion I received for Christmas.  Does it get any better than that?!

PS - The quilt on the right just arrived in yesterday's mail from Kathy O. of Stitch by Stitch.  I am in love with the freehand longarm quilting she did on it!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dresden Apron

In addition to machine quilting Leann's mother's Dresden Plate quilt top, I also made a little apron out of the remaining Dresden circles.  
I love it....

The directions are in the September/October 2013 issue of Quilty magazine.  I fell in love with it and tucked the idea away in my head, hoping I would stumble across some Dresdens at the thrift or antique shops.  It's wild - it's almost as if God knew I would need it for Leann's upcoming project!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On Location

There's nothing more meaningful than photographing a quilt in its perfect setting.  But, it's an elusive art, since anyone who has photographed a quilt knows that all the stars must align in order to be able to do that - weather, lighting, correct camera settings, time, an easily accessible location that accentuates the quilt, and, able and willing quilt holders who don't mind being barked at ("move a little to your right", "your feet are showing", "I can see your hands", "be careful, the quilt is dragging", etc. etc.!). 

A quilt blogger I follow described the challenge well in this post.

But today, all the stars were all in alignment!!  Or better said, God was so gracious in providing everything I needed to photograph these two extraordinary quilts this afternoon, even if my camera settings weren't perfect.
Even the rain held off until the drive home!

My friends Julia & Alan were kind enough to let me photograph this beauty at their fabulous home in Hummelstown, PA,

... the very same town in which the quilter who pieced the quilt top had lived.

I had the wonderful privilege of knotting and binding this quilt top for my friend Leann's father. 

He and Leann discovered the top when they were cleaning out his house in preparation for his upcoming move to a retirement community; the circa 1930 top was stitched by Leann's great-great grandmother. 

I have never seen a crazy quilt in this star design before - it was beautifully done,

... with fabulous hand stitching.

I named it "Crazy Stars", and added a label so that it's documented for future generations.

Thanks, Julia and Alan!


Now, on to location number two!

My sister Alison was the willing and able quilt holder for this quilt.

This lovely, lovely quilt top was stitched by Leann's mom, Janice Landis, sometime around 1970.
I simply machine stippled it so as not to distract from its wonderful design.

I was thrilled that I was able to find a backing fabric that worked so well with all the fabulous colors.

I love it!!

Don't you just LOVE the fabrics?!

We took pictures at the church Janice attended her entire life.

Thanks so much, Alison!

And, thanks too, to my nephew Ricky for the photo bombs:

(My sister had slipped off her boots so she didn't break her neck on the step stool.  Amazing what an 11-year old can do to entertain himself!)

Leann and Mr. Landis, it was such a privilege to finish these quilt tops - thanks especially to you!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In Progress

Ironically enough, while I was machine quilting my red and white half-square-triangle quilt, I was listening to Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew on an old podcast of American Patchwork and Quilting Radio, the very person whose "Seeing Red" HST quilt inspired mine!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Down Side of Belonging to a Quilt Guild

The downside of belonging to a quilt guild is that you get inspired to make yet another quilt.  I blame it on Cherry.  Last year she was working away at string blocks like these, pulling fabric strings out of a brown paper bag without making any attempt to coordinate colors or prints.  They weren't fabrics I liked.  But, I was still drawn to the quilt.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get the idea out of my head....

So, instead of starting on one of the fabulous quilts on my Quilting-to-Do List, such as the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt, Camille's Swoon out of Anna Maria Horner fabrics, or working with Kaffe or Denyse Schmidt fabrics, I'm stitching these UGLY(!!!) string blocks!  What is wrong with me??!!

What is wrong with me?  Well, let me tell you....
These ugly fabrics represent too many memories.  They are scraps from sewing oodles of appliqued cardigan sweatshirts (all the rage in the 80's!!), an extended family quilt project, a nightgown I made for my mother, scraps from lots of quilts I made early in my quilting journey, t-shirt quilts for others, and much, much more.  I can't bear to throw them away, and they are too ugly to give away.  So, it's up to me to turn them into something that will draw me in vs. repulse me.  I figure I'll plug away at them when I'm too brain dead to work on something more creative.

photo credit - C&T Publishing

I also blame Christina Cameli.  I recently purchased her First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting book in preparation for the machine quilting class I'll be teaching to my quilt guild and a few local ladies.  In her book she has this lovely "Wiggle-Bottom Cushion" - a chair pad made from a string block.  I love the FMQ on it.  I can envision that fabulous stitching transforming my ugly string blogs and turning them into something wonderful.  Maybe??  Am I being unrealistic??

One thing I did do - I did separate out the bright, clear, true-color scraps from the ugly 80/90's scraps.  That helped.  At least the ugly fabrics aren't contaminating the scraps I do like.  But, I'm still left with this garbage can full of strings - yikes!
(Don't let this picture fool you - the can is way bigger than it appears; it's the large IKEA pail, not the smaller one!!)

This smaller bucket of strings will become a Spiderweb Quilt, inspired by the one by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Who else can I blame??

Update, 1/26/15 - After seeing Sherri's string blocks today, I am even more convinced of the ugliness of my blocks - whaaaaahhh!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Sewing Space!

I've been wanting to find a permanent spot for my Bernina 710, but was stumped as to where to put it.  Finally it dawned on me that I could nestle it in the dormer alcove in my bedroom, which is next door to my upstairs sewing room.  I had purchased this dear little Hoosier table last summer, not knowing what I was going to do with it, yet certain that it was destined to come home with me.  It's perfect for this space!  

(Sorry about the picture quality, but lighting isn't the greatest when you crawl under a table to take a picture of a label!)

A fellow in the borough was selling the table; he had it sitting in front of his house, and I just happened to drive by and spot it one afternoon.  When he told me it had been his grandfather's kitchen table for years, it endeared me even more.  

I'm so happy not to have to switch out machines when I'm ready to machine quilt, and eager to be able to pop over and use the dual feed feature whenever I want.

I normally try to avoid sleeping with my work, but when it's this lovely to look at, I don't mind!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jelly Roll 1600 Quilt

Instead of working on my UFO's, I got distracted and started yet another quilt, totally due to the fact that I went to my quilt guild's all-day sew last month and sat next to Cherry who was making some Jelly Roll 1600 quilts for charity out of a stash of jelly rolls that she had scored for a steal of a deal at a quilt shop that was going out of business a few years ago.

I'm such a snot - I thought I was above using jelly rolls and quilts that take no imagination or sewing skills, but I think I'm now a convert!  (I did avoid purchasing a jelly roll since I had enough WOF scraps from my Seaside Roses quilt, plus a few others to cut the needed 40 2-1/2" strips to stitch the quilt.)  It was so fast and easy!!  

I really like the effect of the diagonal seams when piecing the strips.

I finally gave up adding the applique border on the Seaside Rose quilt, so I decided to stitch the 18 applique hearts that I had already prepared for the border of that quilt onto this quilt.  
(If you look closely in the first picture, you can spot them.)  
Makes me smile.  :)

I used the rest of the leftover patchwork from the Seaside Rose quilt on the back, well as a few selvages so I could document the fabric line.  I loved that fabric line when I first saw it at the Quilt Odyssey quilt show way back in July of 2006.

Click here for the link to directions for a Jelly Roll 1600 quilt.

I'll post better pictures later when the weather improves and I can nab someone to be my quilt holder.

Monday, January 5, 2015

In Progress

I was laid up today, so this was the perfect project to keep my mind from traveling down that pesky worry trail!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Today's Mail

Look what arrived in today's mail from Westwood Acres!

A fat quarter bundle of Downton Abbey Lady Rose,

:)  :)  :)