Saturday, July 4, 2015

America, the Beautiful, a Quilt

I hope you're having a happy Independence Day in the USA.  Rain is predicted for our dry valley, but rain is something to celebrate too.  And it may just schedule itself around the celebrations, parades, etc.

It took me a while, but I finished quilting Judy's quilt; it's one of our Victory Prayer Quilts. I had to compete with the wind to get these pictures.

 I thought I would use a silver thread, but ultimately did not.

I did know I would lavish it with feathers!

It has some swirly night skies.

I am sorry I decided to lavish swirlies instead of more feathers on the big green border.

Happy quilting and Happy Independence Day,....

Friday, July 3, 2015

A New Drunkard's Path Variation

These black and white drunkard's path pieces showed up anonymously in our Victory Prayer Quilts cabinet.

 Ruth pieced together a bunch, but she didn't really enjoy it.  Her story is, "I had enough of that!  So I slapped those green circles on and machine appliqued them."....Or something to that effect.

When I quilted this, I treated it pretty much as a sample of quilting design possibilities.
 Her quilt reminds me of the promise of rain on a cloudy day. Indeed, we have been assured it will rain today.  We'll see.

 My little town did get quite a few promises of rain during June and a few deliveries.
Our June total was .64 inches officially--which is a lot more than we get in June in many years.

Of course, if we walk across our yard, we usually return with a few (or more) stickers in our shoes.

 However, this surprisingly (to me, at least) refreshing quilt was quilted indoors to sounds of silence, the soft whirrrrrrr of fans, or strains of classical music--or fans and music at the same time

Gracing its back side is some John Deere fabric that also mysteriously appeared in our cabinet at church.  I pieced and quilted so many John Deere quilts five or six years ago that I'm not enthusiastic about making more.  You can see my nephew's John Deere quilt here. However, this fabric was perfect for the back of this quilt.  Does this quilt remind you of irrigation circles?

Sooooo, it's very unlike Missy's Quilt, but still a drunkard's path.  (There were still many black and white DP fabrics ready to be pieced, so I did bring a few home to piece another quilt.) Come to think of it, this is another three-person quilt.  I think I've been blessed with a few of those lately.

Happy quiltmaking, and I hope you are getting a bit of knitting time as well,......

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Three-Person Drunkard's Path Variation

The other quilt I quilted for Missy was a drunkard's path variation.

Over the decades I've pieced a lot of blocks from drunkard's path variations--a lot of variations--but it's not a pattern that's on my life list for an entire quilt.

When I lived in East Tennessee, there was a quilter named Lora Creasman, who pieced nothing but drunkard's path variations, always by hand.  In fact, as recently as the fall of 2011 her work was featured in a show in her hometown.  I just did a search which led to a couple of Facebook sites that featured photos of her and her work.  I couldn't find an obituary, so I hope she's still happily piecing drunkard's path variations.

I've made several small wall quilts featuring a southern turtle block made from drunkard's path pieces, and back when I taught for the chain of fabric stores, everyone who took the comprehensive quiltmaking course learned to piece those drunkard's path curves.

These blocks were pieced a few years ago by Pat Nordstrom during her mother's long illness.  She passed the blocks on to Missy Shay, who set them together.  Sadly, I don't have a photo of the entire quilt.  I tried to get photos for several days, but inclement weather got in the way.  I let Missy know I'd really like a photo of the entire quilt, so if she sends me one, I'll update this post.

 This quilt contains a glorious compilation of fabrics.  Although I like reproduction fabrics, I'm not a big fan who recognizes all the prints that have recently been on the market.  I'm thinking some of these fabrics may be genuine 1920s and 30s fabrics since they are the same quality as the pieces in my paternal grandmother's quilt, but I could be wrong.

 In any case, the wide variety of fabrics in the quilt inspire a lot of joy.

 I had the pleasure of creating new quilting designs.

 Missy is amazingly generous, but I do hope she keeps this quilt for herself.

In all the many, many hours I spent quilting it, I never tired of admiring the huge collection of fabrics.  It's a happy, happy three-person quilt.

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Special Log Cabin

I admired log cabin quilts when I was growing up, but I never saw a log cabin except in photos until I had been quilting for several years. I quilted this one a couple of weeks ago.

When I taught quiltmaking for community organizations and a chain of fabric stores in the Southeast, the first block we pieced was a log cabin.  Some people went home and immediately pieced a whole bunch.  I pieced log cabin blocks for decorative items and for clothing, but I don't think I ever pieced a log cabin quilt.

I did quilt one for my dear friend Bobbie one summer when we spent several weeks at her mountain cabin.  You can see that quilt here.

When I saw this quilt top, I knew I wanted to quilt another log cabin and thought it would be great if I could quilt this one.  Missy said, "Sure.  I'll mail it to you."  That was last March; life intervened; then I suffered a case of cold feet.  I decided I really need to kick my creativity in the derriere.  She received it in the mail today.  She's going to put the binding on.

Here are more details of the quilting.

I quilted another quilt for her.  I like it even better--probably because it's now a three-person quilt, and in a world of unique quilts, that one is very special!

Happy quiltmaking,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sweet Sister Quilts

I'm so lucky to be a quiltmaker and to absolutely love the quilting step!
 Here are a couple of sweet sister quilts pieced by Emily B. from her deceased mother's stash.

I absolutely love being able to quilt designs like these, create new designs, and add variations to more designs. These were quilted with Fil-Tec Glide.
And how wonderful that both Emily and her mother have been quilters and that Emily is investing many hours and countless prayers into these creations.

Of course, it's also wonderful for me that I get to quilt them.  Quiltmaking is definitely my "happy place."

Of course, it's also wonderful for me that Emily will bind these so that I can quilt more!

Happy quiltmaking......

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sweet Buttery Prayer Quilt

I'm not keeping up very well with posting my quilting.  This is a quilt Pat pieced for our Victory Prayer Quilt Ministry.

 I love, love, love this batik the color of winter butter.

It's a very happy quilt and is sure to bless someone.

Happy quiltmaking,.......

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Second Shady Day Quilt

Judy handed me this quilt top several months ago because she didn't know how to quilt it.  I didn't either, so I just now got to it. (Well, I did have to place a thread order first.)

 Interesting colors, interesting prints.
 Very unlike anything I would have pieced, so it was a good exercise for me.

Also no border.  However, I do think it's interesting enough to draw in someone who is facing a health crisis.

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Shady Day Quilt

Last fall I asked members of the prayer quilt ministry to consider making some tops that would give me lots of room for quilting fun feathery things.

 Several months ago Ruth created this one and passed it on to me.  This may well be her original design.

 Ruth first suggested our prayer quilt ministry after she recovered from cancer and wanted a way to put her stash to good use.

 I'm sure many of us remember this brown pink from the early 1980s when a real pink could not be found in the fabric stores.
 I had to give this quite a bit of thought and had to give my pencil and sketchbooks a workout before tackling this.

Because of the wide and narrow borders I quilted a couple of different swirlies for the borders.  I seem to be using swirlies a lot lately because so often I'm given quilt tops with really narrow borders.

I love not having to make the drive into Albuquerque every day, but I'm not getting as much sewing, quilting, or housekeeping done as I had expected.  The days are just flying by!

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Travelling with the Old Crank

Singer 99 handcrank from the late 1930's.

 I took it along to my daughter's college apartment for the long weekend to make some covers for the arms of the living room chairs.  (They were wearing a definitely amateur fix.)

 I had quilted the yardage at home before I went.  She and the young woman who will be her roommate for this coming year share some favorite colors--most notably that pale teal or aquamarine.  My Sweet Teen is taking a summer class, working as a summer resident hall assistant, and working in the materials science and engineering department. (And I have a bit less than six weeks to be able to call her a Sweet Teen.  Where have these years gone?!)

This is one of the lovely covers on the chairs--corduroy and safety pins.

All four arms look like this:

Now they look a lot better!
That little 99 handcrank was amazing (as well as quiet).  I took along some size 16 and 18 needles, but it did a great job with the 14s I use for most piecing and quilting. However, the next time I plan to sew while visiting her, I'll take a TV table so I'll be cranking at a more comfortable height.

And in completing these, I fell in love with bias binding all over again!  (We usually use straight binding for our prayer quilts.)

Our solution for the really ugly sofa was to cover it with a large cotton painter's canvas from Harbor Freight.  Before I took the large one she had a smaller one that covered only part of the sofa.  She and her friends made some "chocolate bowls" last week, forming the bowls around balloons. One exploded, creating a chocolate mess on the canvas.  All the chocolate washed out and the canvas is whiter and had a lovely hand, so I'm sure she'll be willing to launder the new one too.  She thought she wanted the same covers for the sofa, but when we put the chair covers on the sofa over the canvas, we didn't really like them, so at some point I may make her some in an off white or cream color.  By happy coincidence, when I'd purchased some cooking tools for her kitchen, the store had some lovely sea-colored melamine, so I bought two dinner plates, two salad plates, and two bowls.  The smaller plates were the perfect size for a pattern for the front piece on each cover!

I'm eager to do some more quilting, but I spent this morning and a good hunk of the afternoon in Albuquerque getting our office ready to paint.  And I'll be back there to paint tomorrow.  Not nearly as much fun as quilting! But the robin's egg blue we chose will make our office environment a lot more soothing than the multiple shades of white and water stains in there right now!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,
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