Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sanctuary II Finished

I finished the Sanctuary II quilt--it will be handed back to Judy so she can add the binding, and it will be dedicated for the Victory Quilts Ministry.

I really wanted you to be able to see at least some of the colliding feathers, but they just don't photograph very well.
Judy is an amazing artist and she really worked magic with this piecing.
I quilted it using Fil-Tec Glide gold thread--a thread that looks great on so many quilts.
Much better to have colliding feathers on a quilt than this kind of collision:
I left my car in the physical therapy parking lot while a friend drove me to other appointments in an area of the city with much more intense traffic.  When I returned I discovered a note on my windshield and a name and telephone number.  Now I ask you, what percent of drivers would be so conscientious as to leave contact information?  I'm guessing maybe one percent--or maybe only 1/10th of one percent.  We'll get it fixed, although with therapies or dr. appointments pretty much every day, I don't know how I'll manage the time for that--let's hope it's a quick repair!

Oh, by the way, right now Fil-Tec is offering a combo of three of their most popular thread colors along with 20 magna bobbins for each color at a special price. I *Love* this thread!

Linking to Sarah Whoop Whoop!

and Richard and Tanya's Link a Finish Friday

And I'm also linking to...

 where you can see many June projects.

Great places for you to follow the trails to a whole passel of wonderful quilt blogs.  Be sure to leave a comment when you see something fun!

If you are lucky enough to be able to make donation quilts, please visit this link for a brand new linky party and a chance to see what others are making for donation.  It's so helpful to get new ideas!

Quilts Are For Giving

Happy quiltmaking......

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feathers Everywhere

Practicing...feathers all over the place.  This is Judy's quilt for our Victory Quilts prayer quilts...It's been sitting here since March...probably because I absolutely love this fabric and just couldn't quilt it.
Now that I need to practice colliding feathers so I can do Brent's quilt, I'm making myself do this one.

Had an adventure with my Necchi the other day.  It started making a noise that got worse over the 1.5 hours I was trying to find it and remedy it.  Since I'm treadling this machine, it has no motor so I knew the sound had to be due to metal on metal without appropriate lubrication.  Didn't know where my stethoscope was to help me pinpoint it.  Finally realized I had direct access through the hole where the motor used to be mounted.  Used lots of Tri-flow through the back.  It's back in good working order, but now I know that I can't necessarily depend on the oil ports to deliver enough lubricant. I also lubricated where the pitman rod meets the treadle platform, so this machine and its irons are now super quiet!

Have to head to the city for therapies and an appt. with the neuro-ophthalmologist, so I won't finish as much quilting as I'd like today.

Linking to Connie Kresin's Quilting by the River and Fabric Tuesday (because this is one of my all time favorite fabrics):

Fresh Poppy Design

Happy quiltmaking....

Monday, June 25, 2012

2 Doll Quilts for Dear Princesses

Another Bounteous Picture Post...Two doll quilts, 28 inches X 28 inches, the first featuring green, the second featuring pink.  Made for two very young ladies from leftovers from their dresses and doll dresses made by their Grandma Mary, with another blue butterfly print from the same line of fabric (Timeless Treasures).
Quilt for Princess 2--who loves green, including green M&Ms.

The backside:
Quilt for Princess 1, who likes other colors as well.
This was very sparkly fabric, so I did get to clean sparkle dust out of my machine; and the sparkles did keep the fabric from gliding easily as I did the free motion quilting.

The backside:
Backside details:

Took most of theweekend, but it was fun!
Their Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bill celebrated 50 years of marriage this weekend.
Mary made her wedding dress on a 10 year old Singer 15-90, which she gave to me several years ago, so the sewing machine is now 60 and still sewing well. However, since 15-90's have "potted motors", they can't be treadled very easily.  I did make these quilts on my Necchi BU from the late 1940's (because I wanted to treadle).

6-26-12  Finally managed to get the quilts to the girls this evening.  The four-year old ooh-ed and ah-ed and said, "Can I sleep with  it tonight?"  The six-year-old said, "Can we take them on the plane with us?"  It's safe to say they were a hit.  It would be wonderful if the quilts helped inspire the princesses to become quilters someday!

Linking to:

June Finishes

Happy quiltmaking......

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tatting & Blueberry Muffins

One of the things I discovered about six weeks ago, was that not only were my reaction times slowed by my head injury but also my fine motor skills had been impacted.

I am exceedingly grateful that I'm regaining oral fluency (although abstract thought and organization is one of my next challenges).  However, my knitting has slowed considerably, and my ability to manage the mechanics of tatting as well as the organization of a pattern are also challenging.

Yes, this is one of the tatting shuttles I've had since the 1970s.  The thread, however, is brand new.  I ordered this thread, in Pansy, and French Country from Jessica. Jessica has a delicious tatting blog, dyes variegated thread from a very high quality six-cord, and sells them on Etsy,

Yes, I know I can hand-dye fabrics and could hand-dye tatting thread too.  In fact, in the past I even hand-dyed some of my own variegated embroidery floss.  Because Jessica does such a great job and creates such beautiful threads, I choose to buy from her. (For those of you who like red-work type embroidery or like to use chain stitch machines for this type of embroidery, Jess's threads would be perfect if you used size 40 or 80.  And her size 20 is perfect for crocheted or tatted thingees for spool pins on sewing machines--and a lot prettier than those felt pads.)
  Yesterday, while sitting at Vacation Bible School before my therapy appointments, I wound Jess's threads on spools, put the Pansy thread on a shuttle, and started this lace. (In the process, I discovered that one of my favorite ladies at church used to tat too.) Most tatting projects are built around a certain number of stitches separated by a space to make the little picot.  This pattern is based on repeats and variations of four stitches, as were most of my paternal grandmother's projects. If any tatters out there would like this pattern, I'd be glad to write it up and post it. I created this pattern myself because I wanted something that would create some yardage but not use too much thread--since I have only 50 yards. That is not to deny that sometime in the past someone may have already created this pattern.  Like patchwork, there are some limits to what a pattern can be, and there are fewer elements in tatting than in quilted patchwork.

I've noticed that most of my projects in the past were done in size 30 thread, and apparently that was my grandmother's favorite size too.  Jess dyes threads in size 20 (largest) to 80 (for years considered the standard for edgings for handkerchief lace).  My new favorite is size 40--because it's large enough to look delicate and yet works up quickly.
 This lace will go on a set of pillowcases if it turns out to be long enough.  It's been so many years since I made lace specifically for a project, that I don't even remember how far 50 yards will go.  Most of the time when I carry along tatting to keep my hands busy and to keep me from fidgeting, I just add to a project that's already yards long.  Jess's beautiful colors have inspired me to focus on something more specific.

My other satisfying project yesterday was another healthy revision to my flax-seed muffin recipe. We had to be on the road by 7:45, so this was a great way to start the day (and we took muffins along for a couple of Sweet Teen's friends, who were also helping with VBS).
 If you'd like to start your day with a healthier version of muffins, here's my recipe.

Flaxseed Muffins

Take two eggs and about 1 1/4 cup milk from refrigerator, as well as 1 to 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries.
Wash blueberries and drain in colander over paper towels.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
In large mixing bowl place two cups flour, mixed with 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
To the flour mixture add 1/2 cup ground flax seed (I use Bob's Red Mill and store it in the freezer in a large plastic lidded jar).
Place 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup coconut oil in large measuring cup along with the milk, and heat in microwave at 20% power until room temperature.  (Yesterday it was so hot that our cocunut oil was already nearly liquid, but this step was still necessary, because once it meets the cold milk, it will return to solid state.)
Add two eggs to the milk coconut oil mixture and whisk together.  Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of blue agave syrup and a large splash of pure vanilla and whisk some more. Set aside.
In a small bowl, place the now-much-dryer blueberries along with 3 to 4 tablespoons of cane sugar to coat the blueberries.  Set aside.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir with large wooden or plastic spoon just until all dry ingredients are wet.  (Do not over-mix because that would excite the gluten in the flour and make the muffins tough.)
Fill 12 muffin cups 1/2 full.  (I use muffin trays from DeMarle at Home, so I do nothing to them before adding the muffin batter.  If you don't have this type of muffin pan, you may wish to spray the muffin cups or fill them with paper liners and spray the muffin papers.)
[If you have a family member like my Sweet Teen, fill two of the muffin cups completely--because she doesn't like muffins that contain fruit.]
Drop some coated blueberries into each of the half-filled cups, add remaining batter, and then place three or four coated blueberries on top of each filled cup.
Bake at 400 degrees F. for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in muffin removes clean, except, in this case, for a bit of blueberry juciness.  Remove from oven, remembering to turn off the oven because it's going to be a very hot day, and enjoy your muffins with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Store extras in a ziplock bag--during hot weather like this, I put them in the refrigerator because the berries are so juicy.
 I'm off to work on a couple of doll quilts.
Happy quiltmaking........

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Robin's Song Quilting Complete....

  ...except for being signed, and it still needs binding.
 I quilted feathers with s-spines in the borders--3 different colors of thread, alternating a Fil-Tec Glide green, a Fil-Tec Glide pearl, and a ThreadArt variegated that ranged from almost ivory through apricot.
 The border is beautiful, but, boy, did I get tired of rethreading the machine.  I like the effect, but I don't think I'll try so many color changes on a border again--at least not for a while.
 I do love the serenity this border adds to the quilt. This quilt was made from two Moda charm packs, 3 Sisters' Papillon, from a quilt designed by Mary Lane Brown from the old Florida cracker pattern and featured on the Moda Bake Shop. This quilt was made entirely on my ca. 1940's Necchi BU in a 1919 Singer treadle cabinet. (Yep, it represents a lot of treadling!)
 And this is the little lady who will receive the quilt.  Blanche is almost five months old, and look at the personality in that face and those eyes.  Her mother's eyes were equally as deep blue at that age. (Blanche was designed by Karen and Max and named for Karen's paternal grandmother, who died almost 60 years ago.)
Now that I'm pretty much finished with the fun of quilting, it's time to get the binding cut and applied. I once let a quilt sit around for almost a year waiting for the binding to be sewn to the back!  I need to be a bit quicker this time. I'm pretty sure I should have cut out the binding when I pieced the quilt--would have made it less painful!

I'm going to link to Connie Kresin's Quilting by the River:
as well as Quilt Story:

Fresh Poppy Design

and, in the hope that this won't be a WIP for long, to Esther's Blog (sorry, tried numerous times to paste the html for Esther's pretty little badge, but it didn't work).

...blogs where you can catch up with and be inspired by what a lot of other quiltmakers are working on this week.

Happy quiltmaking.......

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In: I Sewed!

It seems that for months it has just been impossible to join the Friday Night Sew-In.
Then I realized that last night was the night and that instead of staying in and sewing, I was at a friend's house basting a quilt.  Then I realized that since we sew-basted it, that does count!
 These are wonderful, warm gold through deep brown fabrics that Shelli purchased in a Bali-Pop.
When her husband saw the piecing in progress, he said, "That's *my* quilt."
Unfortunately, the exposure on my six-year-old camera just wasn't accurate enough to catch the
 warmth of these colors.
 When I saw this quilt top about a month or so ago, I said, "I want to quilt that quilt!"  Shelli said, "You can do that!"
 Shelli grew up in a family of quiltmakers who also did other needlecrafts.  She had many quilts and other treasures, including a huge can of tatted lace that had been taken off garments that had worn out.  In 2004, their house burned to the ground, and they lost everything it contained (except their memories).
Shelli has recently returned to quiltmaking--and she remembers some very helpful things she learned as a child, but the world of quiltmaking is very different today.  Shelli and I handbasted this quilt, and I brought it home with me--and I'm eager to try the ideas I have for quilting it.

I do pin-baste often, but this is a large quilt, so working together we could hand baste it and be done in much less time than if we were to pin baste and close hundreds of pins.

I'm still working on the borders of Blanche's Robin's Song quilt, and I'm not sure I'll be able to finish it tonight.

I also haven't yet decided which treadle I'll use for this Golden Autumn quilt (my title; I don't know if Shelli has given it a name yet), and I'm thinking I may just do some on both since they both use class 15 bobbins.

You may want to check on the Friday Night Sew In projects of a few other people at this link:

Handmade by Heidi
Happy quiltmaking....
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