Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dancing with the Daisies and the Treadle

For quite a few years, my daughter has spent New Years Eve with one of her friends at her friend's house.  I thought the tradition would be broken by this year's snow storms and the fact that the College Girl wanted us to have a special New Year's Eve meal together.  She and her friend decided this is not the right year to break with tradition (I think this may be their tenth NYE, but I could be wrong), so they met about 10 miles from here, about half-way for each.  Her friend's mom said, "Are you going to party?"  I replied, "Yes, I'll be dancing with a quilt."

So, here we go, with the fabric for my Aunt Louise's prayer quilt and my vintage Necchi treadle!

Not exciting to most people probably, but this makes me so happy that I will soon lose track of time! I'm sure the local pyromaniacs and their fireworks will alert me to the beginning of 2015.  Fortunately we have plenty of snow, so  unless we have wind at midnight, things should be fine!

Happy quiltmaking...happy knitting...Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Additions and Fabric Decisions

I did add some fabrics here at the end of this year:

I succumbed to some Riley Blake fat quarters because I want to make a sweet, very quiet quilt for myself.  At this point I'm mulling over designs, so I won't be able to decide if I want to pair these with white or if I'll need to seek out some yardage until I've had a chance to play in EQ7.

The next two pictures are of fabrics I purchased for prayer quilts for two of my aunts who are in a care facility in Topeka.  (Of Grandma and Grandpa's 14 children, only seven are still living, although they all lived well into adulthood.)
 I'm thinking the bright flowers will be for Aunt Louise and that the birds will be for Aunt Naomi--unless one of my cousins weighs in and says it should be the other way around.
I think every one of those nine girls grew things, although some grew more fruits and vegetables than flowers.  Aunt Louise had a room in her house for plants and had beautiful flowers in her gardens until she just grew too frail to care for them any more.

Naomi is the youngest girl (I think she's about 75 now) and is probably the only one without memories of the Great Depression.

Only one of those 14 children was allowed to attend high school, and he attended for three days on a football scholarship, said he didn't like it, and quit.  (He did become a great carpenter.)  I know my mother and probably some others had other post high-school training.  My mom borrowed money from  her uncle, graduated from business school, and went to work for the Santa Fe railroad.

Today we are experiencing the literal meaning of "under the radar."  It has been snowing, often horizontally from east to west, since early this morning, fortunately without a lot of accumulation yet. However, according to the National Weather Service, it's not snowing and we've had no accumulation.  Of course, despite that report of nonexistence, I'm about to go scrape it off our car.
We may have our New Year's Eve chili a day early.  We'll see.

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting...,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas Quilt for Christmas

For decades I've said I'd probably never make a Christmas quilt because a quilt and all the effort that goes into need a longer time to be used than just a few weeks.  Then I came across these panels, grabbed some fabrics from my stash, and started this quilt.
 (Someday I hope to have a better place to photograph quilts.)
 Of course, what drew me to the panels was the fact that they include so many teals and blues, and just a hint of red.

 I thought the little bits of red would encourage me to leave it out during the usually bleak winter months.
 Since I bought this gray "Winter Solstice" Hoffman fabric probably 20 years ago (before they started adding dates to the selvage edge), I was surprised to realize the grays have a hint of teal; never noticed that until it sat next to all the teals I pulled from my stash.
 It's a directional fabric so I cut the borders accordingly.
I'm hoping to get it layered and, hopefully, even start quilting before the day is over.  Of course, I'm hoping to knit, and still have some Christmas cooking to do.
A friend snapped a picture of us at the Christmas Eve service last night. The College Girl was all sparkly, inside and out!

Merry Christmas,
and happy quilting and knitting,

Friday, December 12, 2014

At Last! Sewing Chest

For years, probably most of the 21st century, I've wanted one of these.  
(I'm not sure what those white flecks are on the front--just something the old camera picked up.  There are no white spots in real life.)
No, it's not a box for a vintage sewing machine, although that too would be nice, especially if it were a chain-stitch machine.
It's a nicely finished wooden tool box.
 This one even has  [un-numbered] rulers on the inside of the fold-down "door."  I checked the measurements with a quilting ruler, and they are accurate.
The green is green felt and lines every drawer.
 It has a multitude of drawers so I can corral a lot of sewing accessories in just a little bit of space and can have separate drawers for long and short-shank sewing feet.

For a few years Lowe's had wooden tool chests on sale at Christmas time, but either I didn't have enough money or by the time I could get into town, they would all be gone.  The last few years they've not even stocked them.

So, where did I find this one?  At Costco!  Reasonably priced--so two could fit by the tree, one for tools and one for sewing stuff.  I'm quite happy with my one, but if there is someone in your house who has prized tools, a pair would be nice....

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting...,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quilting Goodies in the Mail!

I've been waiting impatiently for these:

I love the time I save when I can quilt instead of wind bobbins!  I also love Fil-Tec Magna-Glide Bobbins and Glide thread.  I can use their L size bobbins in my class 15 machines (although sometimes I need to pull off a few yards).  They work wonderfully.  I ordered boxes of 72 bobbins in the colors I use most.  I ordered a lovely pink and a lovely sand color in cones for quilting too. They also sell jars of 20 L Bobbins (or 10 M bobbins) in even more colors.  Because their bobbins were designed for long arm quilters, they are wound very tightly.  The L bobbins have 76 yards and the M bobbins have 136 yds (I think).  Because of the magnetic core, even when I stitch very fast, I never get a backlash, where the bobbin keeps spinning when I stop sewing.  They unwind very, very smoothly because that magnetic core clings gently to the bobbin post.

A closer look reveals the 10 rotary blades and a lighted tweezer that I ordered from Eleanor Burns' Quilt In A Day when they had their after-Thanksgiving sale.

I absolutely love getting goodies from Bobbin Central.  Their colors are luscious (my machines love them, as do my quilts), and, as I've claimed for years, just looking at them and touching them is every bit as delightful as a candy banquet!  Fil-Tec has even begun promoting them as "Candy for Quilters."

Now that I have the bobbins and thread, I can begin a couple of quilts that have been lying around awaiting their arrival!

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting (if you can find time for both!),

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another Quilt Inspired by Bob Warr

The 1st Bob Warr quilt led to a second ,a third, and now a fourth, this time for a colleague's preschooler.

This little girl is in her "pink and pooahple" stage.  I saved fat quarters for months and gathered more over a few more months and paired them with two lovely Asian fabrics from my collection.

I tried to choose a group of fabrics that won't embarrass her in ten or twenty years.  When I was about her age, my favorite colors were pink and chartreuse.  If I'd made a quilt in those colors, I'd have a hard time finding a place to hang it in my house today! (I did make my niece Audrey a quilt using pink and fresh green on a lot of white a couple of years ago.

 I cut the large blocks 8.5 inches.  That meant the triangles all touch each others--so they are more like a crown than barbed wire.
 The sashing stripes are in a slightly different rearrangement.

Much of the quilting was done with a pale orchid thread.  If I were to do it again, I would have quilted with slightly deeper purple on the lavender panels at the top and the bottom.

I designed a new curled feather for the borders and quilted it in a peony pink.

I still need to cut and attach the binding.  I'm thinking I'll go with the same pink that is in the border.

I so enjoy the variations that this pattern promises.  I need to write the pattern and a worksheet for planning measurements, but that will mostly likely not happen until the semester is over.

I have some more panels and blocks so I can make a few more variations.

Happy quiltmaking,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bob Warr Number 2 - Baby's Quilt

Here's a baby quilt, built fairly quickly on the same type of theme as Bob Warr 1, but for this one I cut the blocks at 9.5 inches.

 The two rows of sashing around each block brings the finished block size to 17 inches.  I was giving equal attention to other things while I pieced these and didn't realize until the first row was on that I'd forgotten to put the triangles in the corner of the block, so I added them to the sashing.

Claudia, one of the Victory Quilters passed her mid-1990s children's fabrics on to me.  I love these fabrics because they remind me of my early Scott-Foresman readers and of the paper dolls that brought so many hours of joyful play into the  1950s.  In my mind paper dolls disappeared sometime around the time Barbie became ubiquitous.  I used 11 fat quarters from Robert Kaufman to cut the sashing and borders. These are so reminiscent of 1940s fabrics.

This quilt is for a colleague's new baby.  I'm hoping I have enough scraps of the fat quarters to complete the binding.  I've finished quilting it but haven't yet taken photos of the quilting.

Happy quiltmaking,

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Quilt Named Bob Warr

I pieced and quilted this recently, but didn't get it posted to the blog.  Sometimes life gets really intense, as it has been for weeks, but most of what has gone on has been good!

The block centers were left over from four other Victory prayer quilts.  The brown wheat print is left over from a quilt I started (made completely by hand) back in the late 70s, and the other prints were part of the stash.

It's called Bob Warr because it reminds me of barbed wire and because of something that happened when I was little.  I grew up on a farm near El Paso, Illinois.  My dad asked me if I wanted to go to Gridley with him, so we took off in the 1940s Studebaker pick up.  I wandered around the store learning about different kinds of nails from one of the employees.  I've always loved hardware stores.
Eventually, Dad finished visiting with everyone, and we climbed back into the truck.  As he backed out of the store's garage, I asked him where Bob Warr was.  He told me, "In the bed of the truck."  I got on my knees and looked through the back window, but all I saw was several boxes.  Of course, later that day the whole family had a good laugh about Bob Warr.

I've been asked to teach this process for a Victory Quilts project day January 7th.  So I've used that as an excuse to buy some printed panels; of course, then I discovered I didn't have the right fabrics to coordinate with the panels, so I bought some more fabric.  Got it washed this afternoon.   I still need to write a short article for the church newsletter.  So much to do in so little time!  I'm guessing a lot of people are feeling that way about now!

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Quilt Finish--Sort Of

"Sort Of" because all I did was quilt it.  I love it when my friends in Victory Quilts hand off a quilt for me to quilt.  It's going back to Ruth so she can bind it and launder it for our next prayer quilt blessing.

 This is a split nine patch that I shared with my quilting friends years ago.  The ones I did on my blog were called Split 9-Patch Windmills.  Ruth set hers together differently.
 Please excuse the "ravelins" on the quilt.--I need to leave for Jubilee Players practice and choir practice, but I was so pleased at how quickly this quilted up that I just had to share!

 I tried a lot of feather variations that were new to me.  They just kind of hopped out of the needle!
 The border was very narrow, so I tried new things there too.
 This quilt has a lot of surprises--like the curls at the ends of some of the feathers.

Lots of fun.  Quilting went fast.  I did have trouble seeing the threads I chose since I was quilting at night, but it was still mostly okay.  Furthermore, I'm sure it will provide comfort and pleasure to a recipient facing a serious health challenge.

I can hardly wait to start the next one--but of course, my day job takes precedence!

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reorganization, Explanation, New Quilt

I'm back, more or less, and wondering how long it will take me to catch up on blogs.

First came the reorganization of my quilting studio--which I've worked on for weeks and still has a ways to go but is a vast improvement.
I have a lot of shelves of organized fabric including many of the hand dyes I've done for the last couple of decades and have been somewhat reluctant to use:
                                                                   Yes, still a ways to go!

Reorganizations of lots and lots of prints:

Little curtains over the shelves to protect them from light:

 I still have boxes of fabric, etc., about which I need to make decisions.

I do feel like I'm still healing from the "mystery virus," and I'm still not accomplishing as much as I'd like.  The good thing is that throughout this time my brain has continued to heal so that I now hear things, especially in music, that my brain is processing for the first time since its injury over 2.5 years ago.  Given how much I love music, that's a huge blessing.

I am back to quiltmaking at last, and tonight I get to layer this for quilting:
It's a prayer quilt for the husband of my grade school/high school friend Pat Orr.  Dave has finally been matched with a donor for a liver transplant, so I need to get this quilted, blessed, and on the way to Illinois.  I'm thinking his donor may need a prayer quilt too. However, the latter quilt can be selected from the  quilts waiting for distribution.

The panels in the above quilt were purchased several years ago, and I've been collecting additional fabrics to go with them, but up to this point the only thing I had used them for was for a door hanging.  They remind me of autumn during my childhood and youth on our farm near El Paso, Illinois.

School moves forward, and sometimes I do too! The polar vortex is headed in our direction (despite the fact that one of the writers on Accuweather said the Southwest would be spared).  I'm grateful our introduction to this one will probably not include the snow it's brought to much of the country.  (It's obvious I'm getting old because I talk about the weather!)

Happy quiltmaking...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...