I want to give a couple of updates on past posts. They are both heartwarming to say the least! Here goes:
Remember the post about the yellow and gray elephant quilt that I made for a friend several months ago? To recap, my daughter-in-law’s brother and his wife had been trying to have a baby for a very long while. After many miscarriages, they finally decided to take an alternate route and use a surrogacy firm. This firm is located in India and it was a huge undertaking but it speaks to their determination to have a child. You might want to read more about it on my blog, here, or on Margot’s blog, Find Your Spark. (I have given you the link to her home page, rather than a specific post. There are many posts on the process as she went through it and it is a wonderful read.)
Here is the latest! Margot and TJ’s daughter, Emmerson Kate, was born in September! It is hard to believe that she is already one month old. This baby is such a miracle. Margot and TJ traveled to India about a week before Emmerson was born so they were there for the birth of their baby. That was such an exciting day. Pictures were being texted from India to the East Coast and then to the West Coast. The first pictures of Margot holding Emmerson brought tears to my eyes. It took a few weeks to process the paperwork and get Emmerson’s passport but as soon as that was completed, they were able to fly back to the States and settle into their new life as a family of three. Margot sent me a few pictures of Emmerson with the quilt I sent her.
She is just adorable. Here she is on the back side of the quilt.
She is such a sweet girl. I wish this family joy and happiness. Margot continually says that she is blessed to have Emmerson. That is certainly true. It is also true that Emmerson is so blessed to have such wonderful parents in Margot and TJ.
Update number two is about the Ashes to Beauty project. At the end of September I wrote a post about a project to help the quilters in Northern California who had lost their homes and belongings in the Butte Fire. I put out a call for quilters to make pastel colored, 10″ blocks with a heart appliqued on each one. It was wonderful to see the number of readers who made blocks and/or put the word out to others. One reader posted it on a Facebook page for a quilt guild in Ohio and they responded with blocks. A few days ago I received an email update on the project. Here is what Kerri (the project coordinator)had to say:
THANK YOU to everyone who made Ashes To Beauty heart blocks. We stopped counting at 500 and there are still many more. We have more than enough to make 9 quilts for ladies who lost everything in the fire.
We received blocks from all over the country and as far away as New York, Ontario, Canada, and Hawaii. Needless to say I am overwhelmed at your generosity, kind words for me and the ladies who will receive the quilts and the obvious love and care that went into your blocks. Also for generous cash donations for battings and backings and supplies, etc. One gal who was evacuated but her home did not burn made lovely labels for each quilt.
Again- THANK YOU so much. God does truly console the hurting and turns ashes into beauty and many times uses us to accomplish it. We have begun sewing the blocks together and they are wonderful.
I’ll take some photos and send them along later.
I think it is just awesome that they received so many blocks! Thank you to all that participated and sent in blocks or told others about the project! If I receive pictures of the quilts, I will post them later on.
Finally, last but certainly not least, thank you all for the prayers and good wishes you offered up for my mom. She is really doing well. It seems like she gets a bit stronger each day. We are all so happy to see her up and walking (still with the support of a walker). She is now doing the work of healing and resting and going to myriad post-op doctor visits. My sisters and I are taking turns staying up at Mom and Dad’s to help with errands, cooking, etc. In a strange way, this is sort of the silver lining for me. We don’t all get together very often, but with everyone coming and going to help out at mom’s, I get to see one, if not two, of my sisters each week. (Mom and I live about 15 miles apart.) I think I need to convince my mom to keep this visiting daughter/nurse thing going on as long as possible! 😉
Well, it is the end of October and I have done little to no quilting. Clearly I didn’t complete my ALYOF goal for this month! I had hoped to sandwich and quilt the Kaffe Fassett jelly roll quilt I made. But it is still hanging in the closet, untouched. I had also planned to complete the brown row of blocks for my Classic Stitches BOM quilt. I have completed only two of those little blocks so far. But it feels like life is calming down now and I think I will be getting back into the routine soon. So what have you accomplished this month?? I would love to hear.
This week I have a finish to share – I made a quilt top using a jelly roll of Kaffe Fassett solids and a coordinating striped piece of yardage. Several months ago, I saw the jelly roll on Cratsy.com and was crazy about the colors. Really rich, earthy tones that were just calling out to me. I didn’t have a specific plan for it so it sat on the shelf for a while.
Meanwhile, I have been practicing my FMQ and am always in search of something to stitch. I decided to make a very simple quilt top with the jelly roll as that would allow me a really clean slate for quilting. I went to my LQS and found the coordinating yardage (she has a great selection of Kaffe Fassett in her shop.) Then I started to play with ideas. I cut strips from the yaradage and laid them out in a few patterns with the jelly roll (actually I drew everything first on graph paper but then still had to play around with it for a while, crawling all over the living room floor.)
In this version, I was putting the striped pieces in a random pattern. (You can see that Lady was supervising me all the while – those are her paws in the upper right corner.)
Next I tried something with a bit more order to it, increasing and decreasing the length of the striped pieces by size.
I decided I liked this pattern best. The stitching not a big deal. Well, it shouldn’t have been. I had all of the striped pieces sewn to the solid strips and then I spend a day or two dealing with a migraine. I thought that I was through the worst of it and started to sew the stripes together. As luck would have it, I was not thinking clearly enough and in several places, I sewed them together incorrectly, creating havoc with my simple pattern. It took a bit of time with my seam ripper to get it all fixed up.
Now that it is done, I am really happy with the curved look of the solid color stripes. Kind of like an over-sized chevron.
I haven’t figured out what I will use as backing. I know I don’t have anything in my stash that will work so I will do some shopping for that. Most likely I will use a solid that is used on the front. I don’t plan to put any borders on it. I do plan to finish this up soon so I am going to use it as my October goal for ALYOF. I will have it quilted and bound by end of October!
Later today my five sisters are coming to my house for the weekend. I am beyond excited. My mom and dad live about 15 miles from me so the whole family will be together for the weekend. My husband and daughter went up to the Downieville house which means it will be just the original eight of us for the weekend!
Looks like I made it, and with a few days to spare! My ALYOF goal for August was to quilt and bind my vintage double nine patch quilt. Yahoo for setting goals.
I had asked readers to suggest ideas for quilting the vintage quilt and was happy to receive tons of suggestions. Thanks so much for the ideas. I decided to quilt a basic cross-hatch over the main nine-patch blocks. Then I wanted to do something different with each of the three borders. My original thought was to do different cable patterns so I bought a couple of cable stencils.
Alas, it wasn’t entirely successful. I started by doing a basic, single cable on the middle (narrowest) border. I had great help with tracing the stencil. Ian was home for the weekend and kindly traced for me.
Try as I might, I couldn’t relax and just stitch. I wanted to use my walking foot, maybe that was the mistake? The stitching isn’t fluid and I am less than pleased with it. Hoping that a run through the wash (in my NEW washing machine) will make the jitters a bit less obvious.
Because of the issues with the single cable, I lost interest in doing a more complex cable pattern so I put the stencils away in the deepest recesses of my desk drawer. I don’t plan on looking at them for quite some time. Instead, I played with some motifs that Lori Kennedy has posted over at The Inbox Jaunt. I chose her Modern Leaf pattern (which I posted about earlier this week.) Because I am susceptible to this sort of nonsense, I wondered if I should use a motif with the word “Modern” in it when I was really trying to go for a vintage look. Jeez… I need to get over myself already. It worked out fine and was very fun to quilt. Because I did the quilting with cream colored Mettler thread, it is hard to see in the pictures. But I am much happier with it than the single cable. (I love the fabric with those little pins. Really cute.)
For the final, outside border I did basic straight-line quilting which I just eyeballed using the side of the walking foot. Simple and clean. I backed it with a blue print and as you can see, I used one of the cream background fabrics as the binding.
One small concern that came to mind is that I have a six inch gap between stitching lines on the cross-hatch. The batting said I could space the quilting with as much as an eight inch gap. However this is likely the widest I have gone and it seems sketchy to me. Any input on that? I could still add lines to the body of the quilt if need be. If I split the difference between the existing lines, I would have a three inch gap. Thanks for any ideas you might have.
Overall, I am happy with the finish. This is a more traditional quilt than I normally make but I enjoyed it. My next project is more modern and uses Kaffe Fassett yardage and jelly roll. I am chomping at the bit to get started on it so stay tuned.
August is here. That’s crazy. Summer is buzzing by and we are trying to cram as much as possible into these last few weeks.
With the new month, I am looking at what I want to create and complete for August. The list is long, maybe too long?
The main goal is to finish the vintage nine patch quilt. I have the quilt top and backing ready to go. I ordered batting on-line because I don’t feel like the 75 miles (round trip) to Jo-Anns. I won’t buy batting at the local store, it’s too expensive. Anyway, it should be here this week and then I can get the quilt pin basted and start quilting it. That is the goal I am submitting for August for ALYOF.
I also have a project that came my way via the New Quilt Bloggers Bloghop. Fabri-Quilt has sponsored an activity for the group. We are each to work with a set of solids and create a block that is of our own design.
These are the fat eighths that I received this week. I have been cutting and sewing mock ups and so far don’t have exactly what I want. It needs to be original. What exactly does that mean? I can’t really think of a block that hasn’t been used in some way by someone else. Truly, there are only so many ways I can visualize HST’s, squares, triangles and rectangles. So, I am trying to take a regular block and put my own spin on it. That is about as original as my brain gets. At any rate, this is certainly forcing me to work beyond my comfort zone. In addition to making the block, we will all be writing tutorials for the blocks. That part will be fun and I am really curious to see everyone’s block tutorials. Could be a fun project to make a selection of the blocks and come up with a sampler quilt or wall hanging. Stay tuned for more on this.
Next on the list, as always, is my RSC15 row quilt. Last month I veered from the Classic Stitches block but this month I plan to go back to Mari’s monthly block. She wrote up an easy block for this month and the color is indigo, black or gray. I need to look at the quilt so far and choose either indigo or gray, either of which I have plenty of scraps to choose from.
Lastly, if I get around to it, I am going to start making two twin quilts for the beds up at Downieville. Ray saw me looking at comforters on-line and raised those eyebrows of his – like, really? You are always looking for a reason to sew and you want to buy two comforters? I shook my head and came back to reality. I painted the room a pale sage green. There are cute curtains (that I thrifted) with a floral pattern of green and violet on a tan background. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture for some reason.) I was at the store last week and they had a deal where if you bought the end of the bolt, it was 40% off. The tan bolt (I think it was a Bella Solid) was perfect so I bought the remaining six yards. Then I bought a piece of violet and a print.
It is a good starting point. I don’t know exactly the design yet, but I do know I want it to be big, oversized blocks. I started a board on Pinterest for inspiration. I think with big chunky blocks, both quilts will come together reasonably fast. My hope for this month is to settle on a design and get the pieces cut.
The bedroom will look much better with normal bedding. Right now there is a hodge-podge of linens that I had stashed away. Not exactly pretty. I really love this little hummingbird print. It is called “Windsor Woods”.
Somewhere in all of this, I need to start working on Etsy items. The holiday season will be here soon. I hope to have plenty of items posted by fall. Last year I was new to the game (actually, I still am!) I didn’t have enough items listed and sold out quickly. Hope to boost the quantity this year.
Lots of the list. I better get to work!
Linking to Sew Cute Tuesday, Freemotion by the River and Let’s Bee Social. Links to all of these sites are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Giveaways are pretty darn fun. Luck has been on my side and I have two wins to brag about. I know it isn’t nice to be boastful but what can you do? Plus I want to show my thanks to the bloggers that sponsored these giveaways.
The first win was actually in late spring which means I am a bit late in writing about this one. I entered a giveaway on Linda Smith’s blog, Scrapmaster. She and several others were writing posts to introduce their guild, the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild. I was lucky enough to win the draw for three lovely fat quarters! Thanks so much to Linda.
The dark and light grays in these prints are so pretty and they will be fun to incorporate into an as of yet unknown project.
The other prize I won was from the June giveaway for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYOF) which I have been faithfully linking to each month since January. (If you aren’t already familiar with it, ALYOF is a fun link up. At the beginning of each month you link one quilty goal that you have for that month. If you finish the goal, link again at the end of the month. They have a number of prizes that they draw names for each month.) When I won, Kim Lapacek, of Persimon Dreams, gave me the pattern of my choice. It wasn’t easy. She has a selection of really fun patterns that she has designed. Being a lover of dresdens (here is a post a bout the first, and so far only, dresden project) I chose her pattern titled, Dresden Neighborhood Block. This pattern is such a cute riff on a neighborhood. I plan to make a mini with it. If you want a closer look, the pattern is available here on Craftsy.
Thanks so much to these two blogger/quilters for their generosity! I do love this community of ours.
I have been squeezing in minimal time for sewing over the past few days. Instead of my sewing room, I have been in the kitchen dealing with the amazing number of peaches ripening on our tree. They are so juicy and sweet but really, we have more than we can handle.
So far, I have frozen five gallon size zip lok bags of sliced, peeled peaches for making pies over the winter.
This morning Julia and I made a batch of jam using strawberries and peaches.
We canned 8 half pint jars and will do at least one more batch. I think peach jam on its own can be a bit bland so I like to add berries to it. Last year I did raspberry peach and it was really good.
I am a bit worried that this batch isn’t going to set up properly. It doesn’t seem to be getting thick enough as it cools. True confession time – my husband is really the jam maker in the family. He does a great job and just uses fruit and sugar, cooking it down until the consistency is perfect. Me, not so much… Last year I tried his method and ended up with a product similar to Jolly Rancher hard candy. I tossed the whole batch. I just cannot get a consistently reliable result. Today I used pectin and followed a recipe (which for some reason, Ray never needs to do) and I am just not confident it worked. We shall see. If this batch turns out to be too soft, I will just have to resign as assistant jam maker and leave it to the expert.
Post Update: Yay!! The jam set up just fine. I will make a second batch now that I have seen success. 🙂
Summer is going so fast. Today Julia received an email from the high school with an assignment to read two books before school starts on August 18th. And so it begins!
Hope you are all enjoying your summers and savoring the days.
Well, I am happy to say It have made great progress on my vintage double nine patch quilt. I have all of the blocks done and have been sewing the rows together. It worried me to set this as my goal for June but it appears I’ll be able to finish it this week and we are only at the middle of July! Just never know.
Here are a few rows – they are not yet pressed though.
This quilt has been fairly mindless to create. Lots of repetition in making the smaller nine patches and then sewing those into the 9″ blocks. For the most part I have been happily listening to music and stitching away. I usually have either music or a podcast on when I am sewing, unless I really have to focus on the pattern. This week I indulged in lots of oldies. I had my playlist set to include music from the early 1970’s (which would have been junior high and high school for me). Carole King, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens and The Lovin Spoonfuls, to name just a few.
Music doesn’t seem to distract me when I am sewing but TV is not such a great idea. When I was cutting the smaller background squares for this quilt there was an episode of “The Office” playing. (Julia recently discovered this show.) It was so distracting – I think that show is so funny. I ended up cutting 3″ squares instead of 3 1/2″ squares. Dang it. I have tons of the fabric so that wasn’t a problem but now I have a pile of 3″ squares ready for another project and I had to spend the time to cut a new stack in the correct size. Clearly watching tv doesn’t work for me when I am sewing or cutting.
The quilt will have two borders of the cream fabric with a narrow border of navy blue in between them. If you remember, the small nine patch blocks are made with the vintage fabric that I received last spring. I need to look through the vintage stash to see if I have a big enough piece to make the navy border. I think I need about 1/2 yard and doubt I have a piece that big, especially since the vintage fabrics are 24-36″ wide. Looks like a trip to my LQS is on the agenda for tomorrow, darn it. I am really excited to sew the rows together and put the borders on. Hoping to have a quilt top finish for you by end of the week.
So, what’s on your playlist when you are sewing??? Do tell.
Linking to Lorna at Let’s Bee Social and Connie at Freemotion by the River. Links to both of these parties are at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
A couple of months ago my husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary. This week I finished a quilt made with fabric purchased on our honeymoon on the island of St. John. It may have taken me 16 years to think of how I wanted to use the fabric but once I got going, it didn’t take too long to finish it up. I posted earlier about making the quilt top in August of last year. Because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to quilt it, I set it aside (for nearly a year!) Come January of 2015, I set a goal to finish this quilt up and I did it. This finish means that I do not have any unquilted tops lying around. Yahoo!
This project was fun to plan. I have been reading about whether to stitch in the ditch before starting to FMQ. Honestly, this sounded like a whole lot of extra work. I decided to compromise and I stitched the perimeter of each nine patch. I thought this would stabilize the quilt and hopefully, reduce and puckers on the backing. It is so irritating when you flip the quilt over to check on it and there is a fold. Between pin basting and ditch stitching I was hoping for a better back. Some quilters think it holds the quilt square and prevents distortion. Others say it makes the FMQ work look better. I do think it helped. My quilt stayed square and often, it doesn’t. I didn’t have a single pucker on the back. The only thing is that on the back of the quilt, the ditch stitching is very visible so one has to take that into account when planning the quilting. It doesn’t show much at all on the front. As for any benefit to the look of the quilting on each nine patch, I didn’t notice a huge difference. In fact, after I had quilted about 65% of the project, I noticed that I had skipped ditch stitching one block. That block really didn’t look noticeable different from the others. So, I think it is good forquilt stabilization and keeping square but doesn’t noticeably enhance the FMQ.
I took a look at some quilting sites (mainly Lori Kennedy’s site, The Inbox Jaunt) to get inspiration. I knew that I would do an all over FMQ pattern but wanted just a bit more detail than that. Each of the nine patch blocks have a blue center. Starting with that, I quilted a large flower in the center of each blue square.
I decided that leafy fines would complement the flowers. Using a variegated green YLI quilting thread, I FMQ’d leaves of various sizes on each block. I left the black sashing plain. Because the backing is a light green batik, the FMQ stitching really shows up on the back. Not sure if this is good or bad! For the most part, I am happy with the stitching. Why is it that my eye goes to the little tension blips and the occasional jittery stitching instead of the overall look? For those of you that quilt on your domestic machine, how to you handle the starts and stops? Look closely at the squares that I ditch stitched, see the dark spots at one corner where I stopped and started? I chose to reverse a few stitches rather than knot and bury tons of threads. Not sure I like how this looks. What is the consensus? Do you back tack stitches or knot and bury threads? I know which is cleaner but yikes, burying all of those threads is time-consuming.
The binding is, as usual, one of my favorite parts. I used the honeymoon batik for the border and also for the binding. To add some depth, I attached a black flange to the perimeter of the quilt before binding the quilt. I love the ‘something extra’ that this flange adds to the quilt.
To honor our honeymoon, I tried stitching St. John as well as April, 1998 on a corner of the quilt. Kind of difficult to see but it was a good addition.
When I was binding it, I came upon my two ends that needed to be joined and sighed my heavy, here-we-go sigh. I hate attaching the tails of the binding. This time I looked to Rita over at Red Pepper Quilts. On the off chance that there is someone who hasn’t heard of Rita, she is an amazing quilter who has the most amazing sense of color. Her quilts are bright, happy and so vivid. Truly amazing. If you haven’t looked at her work, now is the time. She has numerous tutorials, several of which talk about binding. This is the one that I used. The result was good so I will refer back to her measurements next time.
I can check this goal off of my 2015 list and move on to another one! I think the next goal I need to work on is some quilt restoration. I have two quilts to restore and I want to get one of them going soon.
Finally, remember the Allison Glass mini swap that I participated in? I blogged about the mini that I made here. There were a few comments asking me to post the mini that I received. Wow, I can’t wait to share it. It is gorgeous. I am so grateful to my partner for putting so much effort into this project!
My partner outdid herself with this. I love the text print that was used as the background on each 2″ square. She appliqued the orange peels with a blanket stitch which was brilliant.
She also made this smaller mini. I think it is intended as a pot holder but I am hanging it on the wall. I don’t want it soaked with food splatter, which we all know would happen.
I also received this sweet wallet. Hand-made and so well done, it is lovely.
The swap was fun and I am thankful that I gave it a try as it pushed me quite far out of my comfort zone. Also, I am truly grateful for the work my partner put into the items I received. That being said, I am not sure I will do another one for a while. I could see participating in one each year. They are quite time-consuming and it set my nerves on edge trying to think of what my partner would want, based on the few hints we are given. The process is a good way to get to know other makers though. It is really a big deal on Instagram and there is a swap for just about anything crafty.
Hope you all have something fun planned for the upcoming weektend.
OK – while it doesn’t really seem possible, June is here. School is on its last legs and summer is around the corner. So crazy. Julia graduates from 8th grade (though this year the administration has quite vehmently changed the terminology from ‘graduation’ to ‘promotion’). Whatever it is called, it is a big change and she will move on to high school in August!
We spent Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco. Even though it is a quick 140 miles from home, we rarely go. This weekend was my daughter-in-law, Naomi’s, graduation from medical school. She is officially a doctor and we couldn’t possibly be more proud of her. She has worked so very hard over the past four years.
The ceremony was touching and, with about 100+ graduates, small enough that we could reallyt enjoy and see everything. Naomi will be starting her residency in Diagnostic Radiology in a few weeks. This will take them to Burlington, Vermont for a good four or five years. I haven’t been to Vermont so this will be a good excuse to visit.
I didn’t accomplish a whole lot in the sewing room last week. I made sure to do a bit of FMQ practice. I am trying hard to fit at least a little practice session in each week. This round was just a quick rectangle (7″x 8″) with a loopy figure eight running side to side. I used a tutorial by Rachel over at Stitched in Color.
This side looks reasonable. I purposely quilted with a light gray thread against the blue so i could see my results clearly. A bit uneven but not too terrible. The other side shows a bit of pulling or uneven speed, whatever it is that gives that “eyelash” effect on the curves. I put an Insul Bright scrap in the middle and bound it off to be used as a hot pad. I even machine stitched both sides of the binding, very quick.
Being the first of June, it is time to link up to Sew Bittersweet Designs for ALYOF. I have one last quilt top to finish up so that is the goal for the month. I made a batik nine patch back in August of last year. (Posted about it here.) I love this top and was sort of waiting until my quilting abilities improved before I put it together. Enough waiting. I am going to finish it this month!! The plan is to free motion it with some sort of all-over pattern.
While that is the main goal, I have others. (Of course I do!) I will make the row for June for my Classic Stitches row quilt. The color is light to medium blue for RSC15 which should be fine. I have quite a lot of blue scrap. Hopefully, I can continue to do a bit of FMQ each week, though quilting the batik quilt will probably make up a few of my practice sessions. Finally, I have a quilt idea that will use some of the 1940’s vintage fabrics that I recently received. I want to use this as a donation quilt for an event in mid-October. At minimum, I need to get the cutting done for that (hopefully I will get some of it pieced though.)
OK, that’s it for me – what’s on your list for June???
OK, May is going to be busy. We have my daughter’s 14th birthday (yikes!). I have a family trip planned that lasts nearly one week and we have my daughter-in-law’s graduation from medical school (double yikes!!) Lots of activity going on so I am trying to be reasonable.
My main goal for the month (which will by my ALYOF goal for May) has to be the completion of my Allison Glass Mini Quilt. The swap has to be mailed out in the first part of June so this needs to be at the top of the list. It shouldn’t be a problem as the top of the mini is done. I need to make the back and quilt it up. I want to make the quilting shine and as I still consider myself a newbie, I need to spend some time with this. I also want to make an “extra” giftie to include with the mini using some of the Allison Glass scrap. Here is what I have left to make the backing with as well as an extra. I should have plenty of fabric.
Second to the Allison Glass Mini is a custom order I am doing for a friend. She frequently has her granddaughters for the night and they sleep in bunkbeds. She asked me to make two hanging bags so they can have books and stuffies up on the bunk with them. The bags will hang from the rails of the beds. These are already cut and 1/2 way done so I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing them up. Hoping to do that this week. I am using a polka dot twill by Riley Blake and lining the bags with the lovely “Wander Woods” print from Wee Wander.
Third on the list is to make this month’s row for my Classic Stitches Row Quilt that I am doing with Mari over at Academic Quilter as my RSC15 project. Tomorrow she will post the block that is to be made for this month. Luckily May’s color is green – I love green and have a bundle of scraps for it.
That is it for goals. Anything that is accomplished beyond that is a bonus.
This weekend was our local quilt show. It was great fun and so inspiring. I want to share the quilt that won Best of Show. This local artist, Sandra Bruce, is amazing. I posted about a class that I took with her last spring to learn her process called “Material Matrix”. It is a great process that takes a photo and divides it into patchwork squares by overlaying a grid on it. Sandra is an excellent teacher and a brilliant artist. Her portrait of Clair is approximately 4′ x 5′. Really striking, it is a perfect portrait of this sweet girl. When I was oohing and ahhing over the portrait, Sandra pointed out Clair to me. I asked her to pose for a picture and, while she probably thinks I am some sort of stalker, she did it for me.
Below is a closer look at the quilt. Sandra’s ability to create the human expression with bits of fabric never ceases to amaze me. If I remember correctly, she used 2 1/2″ squares to create this. Click on the link above if you want to check out her gallery. She does travel and teach so you never know, maybe she’ll be in your area some time. If she is, it’s totally worth your time to work with her for a day or two!
Finally, have you seen the list for some of the instructors at 2016 Quilt Con??? This was in today’s issue of the Modern Quilt Guild Newsletter. Absolutely. Amazing. I am so excited and am considering whether this might be my first time attending. It is in Southern CA in February of 2016 so it would be fairly easy for me to attend.
Big question is, how would a person even choose which one(s) to take a class with??? Most of my quilty heros are in this line up. It’s too good to be true!! Are you going? C’mon, you have a nearly a year to figure it out!
This has been a good week for sewing. I made progress toward my April goals for ALYOF. Which is a good thing, considering April will be over before you know it. The speed with which time passes seems to increase frighteningly each month. Anyway, it is April 23rd and I am over 3/4 of the way there. My goal was to make two table runners and either a wall hanging or runner. I wanted to complete three smaller projects this month. I finished the chevron table runner which I posted about last week.
This week I completed the second table runner. The process I used was new for me and was inspired by the way that Victoria Gertenbach at The Silly BooDilly works. I started reading her blog and looking at her style over the past couple of months. She is a modern quilter with a gorgeous sense of line and color. She quilts and does a lot of other work in fiber and paper art. I strongly suggest you take a look at her site as her work is lovely. One of the tutorials she wrote was about pattern-less design. She has developed a way of cutting a piece of fabric and then adding sections to it, thus creating her piece. I love the idea. While I didn’t actually follow her tutorial with this project (because it didn’t work with the fabric I had on-hand) I was surely inspired by her process .
About a year ago, I purchased a scrap bag from an on-line fabric shop. Sorry, I am not positive but I belive it was Alaska Quilting Adventures. I ended up with loads of strips, probably end cuts from the bolts as she was creating bundles of precuts. First I cleaned up the strips so they were (relatively) straight, though I did not cut them exactly the same width. Next, I sewed a set of them together to make a long rectangle of fabric. I cut that into three sections. I then played with more of the strips, creating blocks to add between the sections. Kind of hard to describe, but it was a very simple process. As I have mentioned before, I usually sew from a pattern or tend to copy other’s ideas for inspiration. This was very freeing. I want to try this again with a Kaffe Fassett jelly roll of shot cottons that I have. Here is the resulting table runner.
The colors are soft and soothing. I had fun creating the block in the center which has a bit of extra detail in the piecing.
When I was ready to quilt it I decided to use something with curved lines to offset the straight lines of the piecing. I chose the Baptist Fan pattern. I had not done this before so I drew it on newspaper with a sharpie until it was comfortable and then sewed a few fans on a practice piece. It is really a simple shape to FMQ. I didn’t trace it on the runner before quilting. If I had, I am sure my lines would have less wobble.
It is backed and bound with the same fabric. Not sure what it was but it used up some of my stash which is always a good thing. Overall, I am happy with the result and it was a huge learning experience, both in piecing and quilting. Yay!
The third April project I worked on is for my first mini-swap. This swap features fabrics by Allison Glass. I was really getting nervous about this project, doubting my abilities till I was just about stuck. I decided to start cutting fabric last weekend and just dive in. I chose the Fireworks pattern by Canoe Ridge Creations. She does a lot of mini quilt pattern design and I have several of her patterns. They are easy to use and her instructions are great. I have the blocks done and need to stitch them together. It should finish out at 24″ x 24″. The swap isn’t due to be mailed out until early June so I am way ahead of schedule. May is going to be a busy month so I’m glad to check this one off. (By the way, for those of you who have done swaps, do you usually put anything on the back for hanging, or is that up to the recipient to do that? Please leave a comment if you have experience here! I appreciate it. )
The colors aren’t showing correctly due to the poor lighting but I am happy with it. The blue in the third section out is much more vibrant than shows here. I really need better light in my sewing room. When this is finished I will take a picture outside. I am hoping to sew the blocks together later today and get it quilted next week. Of course, that leads to the perpetual questions, how do I want to quilt this? Most likely I will straight line quilt it with a narrow spacing.
First though I have a garden swap to go to this afternoon. I joined a gardening group and we are exchanging plants from our gardens. About six weeks ago, I potted starts from my Shasta Daisies, Oregano, and Chives.
It will be fun to give these to the group and bring home something different. Hoping for plants that don’t require much in the way of water!
Linking to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday and Crazy Mom Quilts. Links to these wonderful sites are at the top of the page, under Link Ups.