Saturday, February 28, 2009
This is "B-8, Water Lily", an intermediate-level applique block. I chose to use my current favorite applique method -- raw-edge machine-buttonhole stitch. I know that there is no way I could have made those points this sharp if I had attempted needle-turn on this one!
Friday, February 27, 2009
I have nothing against wanting homes to be well-taken care of and pleasing to look at, but I don't feel that we need "housing police" to tell us what color our mailboxes should be, etc. Most people I know have some pride and do care about outward appearances without having to have rules about it. And a little bit of individuality is what makes life interesting.
And that's what I like in quilts -- no quilt police allowed.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The guild has a retreat coming up next month -- I won't be attending, but the retreat organizers are allowing all guild members to participate in a block drawing that will be held at the retreat. For each block that a member donates, she will get one chance for a set of blocks. They had such a great turnout last time for a drawing like this that they had to have several winners! I think they're expecting the same or better this time around. I plan to make 4 blocks.
This is the block that we're all supposed to do -- no rules about fabric except that the small squares running on the diagonal should be light. The fabric I've used comes from my stash, some of it donated from another guild member who gave me some generous pieces of her scraps. Thanks Dori!
On another subject...if any of my blog readers read the police report in our local paper, they may see my name sometime soon...after taking my 16-year-old son shopping for dress clothes yesterday, I'm worried that he may turn me in for child abuse! You'd think that he was being drawn and quartered...I dread what will happen when we go back next week to pick up the altered slacks!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Cake pops, a la Bakerella...but mine are not as neat as hers. Not bad for a first attempt, though. Here's a link to her version, and while you're visiting her blog, take a look around...there's some amazing stuff to see. Just click on her header and it will take you to her most current posts. She also makes amazing cupcake pops.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Eat, Laugh, Quilt -- that was our motto all day. I think we would all agree that we had a wonderful time. We may have even inspired a newbie or two...
This first photo shows 4 quilts in progress. I blogged about the one in the foreground in this post back in early January. Angie, the maker of that one, is currently working on the outer triangles (I'm afraid she was using a few colorful words yesterday...).
The blocks on the bed are 6-inch blocks, all hand-pieced by Rita. By the end of the day, she had several rows pieced with alternating cream-colored blocks, using an on-point setting. I think on-point settings are very pleasing to the eye, don't you?
These red and cream blocks are made by Mary Jane, one of the co-founders of our guild. Her applique work (well, all of her work, actually) is exquisite.
The three rows of 30s fabrics on the top of the design wall were made by Nancy. She has joined me in the "jubilee" stage in her project, with more than 100 of the center blocks finished. I admire her determination to start in the middle of the quilt and work her way out. That had been my initial plan, but after I made this block, that plan went out the window for me.
The very un-Jane-looking bright blocks on the bottom of the design wall are some of mine. I did not want to do very much yesterday that required a lot of thinking, so I just started to sew my blocks together with sashing. There will be cornerstones as well, using 1-inch squares of scraps from my batiks...it's going to be a wild and crazy-looking quilt. I figure it will go well with my Eastern European heritage -- nothing ever matches...checks and plaids and stripes all go together, right? Look at St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow...that works, doesn't it?
Although my quilt will be "Anya's Quilt", in a big way I consider it to be a group project. I can't begin to express how thankful I am for how much I have learned from other quilters, both in my guild and in blogland. It is thanks to all of you that I continue with this journey...
Anyway, I had a great time with my fellow quilters at Moddy's lake house (thank you so much, Moddy), but I have one final word of advice...ladies, be sure you always know where your panties are...enough said.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I hope to start sewing some of the blocks together today.
This is "G-10, Woven Meadow", an intermediate-level block that I chose to paper piece, but it could also be easily done with rotary-cut pieces. The green is much prettier in person.
Friday, February 20, 2009
P.S. Here's a link to an "inchie" tutorial...
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I can't believe that I am still finding fairly easy blocks to paper piece. I thought that most of what I had remaining involves curved or pointy applique pieces.
This is "G-9, Mary's Journey", an intermediate-level paper-pieced block.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Anyway, a big thank you goes out from me to my very giving friends...
Monday, February 16, 2009
The shop had invited customers to bring in unwanted fabric from their stashes the previous weekend and get store coupons in return. The unwanted stash was then offered for sale at $2 per yard to everyone else on Valentine's Day, with the proceeds going to United Way. Great excuse to go fabric shopping, right? Do something good for those less fortunate.
Anyway, we got there right as the store opened and were a bit disappointed to find out that there hadn't been too many quilters who had been willing to part with some of their stash. I did manage to find a nice 2 1/2-yard piece of colorful fabric that would make a nice backing to a kid's quilt someday. Couldn't beat the $5 price tag -- and the money went to charity anyway.
I figured that I had to do my patriotic duty to keep our country's economy flowing and to help keep a small business afloat, so I also bought some white fabric for a project that's been hanging around in my head; the bundle of fat quarters was calling my name as well. They just scream spring, don't they? And we all could use some of that right now, right?
Anyway, it was a fun day with a quick stop at another small shop in Corning, NY called Corning Stitchworks and the Old World Cafe where we had a marvelous lunch.
To top it all off, when I got home, I had a small surprise waiting for me in the mailbox. It was a free fat quarter of pretty blue fabric and a nice thank-you note from Quilted Pink -- they sent a free fat quarter to the first 10 people who signed their guestbook and I was one of the lucky ones.
A great day all around!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
This is "H-12, Hannah Lou's Hearts", an intermediate-level block.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
This is "H-10, Ben's Bowtie", an intermediate-level block that I chose to paper piece. The software printed out the sections so that several Y seams would be necessary, but I redrew the sections to eliminate all of them. The Y seams only make things more difficult, in my opinion.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
This quilt gave me a wonderful gift ...Julia's father (an uncle that I was very close to) was diagnosed with very aggressive stomach cancer around Thanksgiving of 2003 and passed away 6 weeks later. It was a great shock to the whole family...I still think of him often. I dove right into making the quilt shortly after my uncle's death because I knew that Julia needed it and because I needed it. The process of making the quilt was good for my healing and I like to think that the finished quilt itself was good for Julia's healing.
If you've never read "The Quiltmaker's Gift" you must. Lovely story and exquisite illustrations. All babies who get a quilt from me also get a copy of the book. Second babies get a quilt and a copy of "The Quiltmaker's Journey".
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Almost every day, I am reminded of how wonderful a thing the internet is (yes, it has its downside, but so do most things in life).
I found this video on another blog the other day and thought I'd share it with you. I had been considering getting a dress form because I've had a hankerin' (oh, no...I sound like a certain Alaskan governor...) to do some garment sewing again. I fell in love with making some of my clothes back in 8th grade and have dabbled in it over the years. I just don't plan to do enough of it to make the cost of a real dress form worth it...this might be worth a try...(like I don't have enough projects in my head already...)
If you go to YouTube and do a search on "duct tape dress form", a few other videos will show up.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
This is a sneak peek at my current project (other than the DJ quilt), which will be a wall hanging for my sewing studio. I machine-stitched the binding to the back of the quilt and then used the buttonhole stitch on my sewing machine to sew the binding on to the front. The back looks horrible because it doesn't line up with the edge of the binding as nicely as on the front, but it doesn't matter to me since it will just be on the wall. It won't go to any contests or any shows anywhere and won't be given away as a gift to anyone, so I'm fine with it.
I had some old leftover variegated thread that I had no plans for, so I just used it for this. I had issues with shredding thread, bad tension, and skipped stitches, but I kept going because it mostly did the job. Perfection was not needed here. I just wanted to use up the thread and to sew the binding on quickly. I now use a different brand of variegated thread for machine quilting that I like much better -- a lot fewer problems than with this thread.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Anyway, this is "E-9, Quilt Jail", an intermediate-level paper-pieced block. It only took me about an hour.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need? -- Yes to both...who doesn’t? But I am currently in the 12-step recovery program for impulse-buying fabricoholics.
Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it? -- I only pre-wash flannel fabric and only when I’m ready to cut it up for a project.
How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.) -- Mostly by style -- batiks, fun kid/novelty prints, florals, boring fabrics, etc.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I used the buttonhole stitch on my machine again (see the post here) to applique the raw edge of the center piece. It made for very quick work and I like the effect. The background fabric is actually purple, not blue as looks to me on the screen, and the other fabric is a lot more yellow and not so orangey.
The name of this block, "Poof", is very appropriate today, because "poof", the new, but more efficient and hopefully more reliable, furnace is making my money disappear...(at least our gas bill should be quite a bit lower).
In addition to that, my son (high school junior) just found out that he has been accepted for Cornell University's summer college...that means that "poof", more money will disappear...but it will be well worth it.