Saturday, March 23, 2019

Another One Bites the Dust

Sorry about the lighting, which seems to seriously mute all the colors! 
This week I was rearranging my quilt closet, trying to fit a couple more quilts in there, and found four UFOs, one of which was this 16-patch.  I just added a 3" border of white muslin and a 1-1/2" border of scraps and then another 3" muslin border and voila!  C'est fini!

This top was made back in the early 80's when I was trading 5" and 1-1/2" squares, so it is a real archive of vintage fabrics,  some of which are from the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's. 

I have to admit, I miss the old days when we traded fabrics via the mail.  The trades in which I was involved required ten different 5" squares of fabric and it was a wonderful way to stretch your collection when making charm quilts.  This quilt qualifies as a charm quilt because every fabric is different. 

The center part of the quilt contains 964 different fabrics and the border has 43, so over one thousand different fabrics! 


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Windmills in Indiana

20"  square Windmill in earth tones.
I was very lucky to have a custom order for two of these little Windmill quilts, made for a special person who volunteers at a windmill museum in Indiana.  I had no idea there was a windmill museum in Indiana, but there is!   I love making these little 3-1/2" windmill blocks -- great for making the very scrappy quilts I love so much.  
Obviously, a close-up of the 3-1/2" windmill blocks.
Each quilt is a little different in terms of the fabrics used, but they are almost identical. I had so much fun working on this special project and I hope the recipient loves them as much as I do!
Just simple, geometrical quilting, but sturdy!
I kept the quilting very simple, in the ditch and geometrical and it is all very sturdy.  I always pull my bobbin thread up before starting a row of quilting, but I did have some trouble with bird's nests forming on the back side despite being so careful.  Maybe my Pfaff is tired; maybe she needs to go to the sewing machine spa and get a professional cleaning.  After all, I have been working her pretty hard lately! 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Seeing Stars!


Remember the last post and that pile of 6" star blocks?  There were 63 and the first quilt I made was so much fun I decided to make two!

As you can see, the first one I made is at left.  For the background triangles I used a really pretty light floral with little pink flowers which coordinated well with the tan paisley.  I'm sorry you can't see the fabrics very well in this photo.

Currently, I'm trying to put together a backing for this quilt and the problem is finding a piece in my stash that is 4 yards, 4 inches.  I refuse to buy new fabrics to make any of these quilts as I have thousands of yards of gorgeous, appropriate fabrics in my stash.

All that's left to complete this one is the backing and quilting.


For the second quilt I had to make an additional 6" block as each quilt required 32 stars.  This one features a vintage blue floral (gotta be 90's but could be 80's) for the bars and I chose a mellow gold floral for the background.  This is a color combo I really love -- it's like a sunny day late summer.  Wheat and deep blue sky.

Now the search begins for a backing.   Finding fabrics for backing in my stash is not so easy because I have so much.  I have way too much fabric; it's sinful.  But I am resolved to use only that which I have on hand.  The only thing I do have to purchase to finish these two quilts is batting.

This is the thing with UFOs:  they go together fast, so it's really satisfying to finish these projects.  Unfortunately, my quilt closet is floor to ceiling full of quilts. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

New projects

Just before pinning up!  
Howdy!   It's snowing!  The Trees quilt is completed, quilted and folded and put away in the quilt closet.  Unfortunately, the closet is completely full of quilts; I need another closet.  I already have a bookshelf full of quilts in the bedroom and one in the quilt room and every room, including the kitchen and bathroom,has at least one quilt top on the wall (most have two).  My friend Corless always asks "Shouldn't you be doing something with these?"  My question back is "Like what?"  I mean, you can only give so many away and, for me at least, giving them away has never been very satisfying.  That is to say, I don't feel that the recipients fully appreciate them.  I'm like a "cat lady" except with quilts.  Anyway, thank you so much to everyone who shared an opinion about the border fabric!  It was very, very helpful.  I hope you like what I chose.

I will choose one of these light florals and use the paisley on the bottom for connecting bars.
Aside from that, I am starting a new UFO project today--
a group of 63 little 6-1/2" stars that are actually hand-sewn.  I'm not a vain person but I have to brag on the apparently mighty fine hand-sewing I was able to produce in my 50's, which is when I made these stars.  Wish I could take a photo of these tiny, tiny stitches.  Anyway, those days are gone!  My fingers are just not that flexible anymore.  I'm going to arrange these on point bar-chart fashion and I found some really pretty tiny florals for the connecting triangles and a gorgeous paisley for the connecting bars.  Fingers crossed, though I reserve the right to change my mind.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Help!

Your choices
On a cold winter day, I'd rather be quilting, but I'm having difficulty deciding on which of these fabrics might be the best border for the trees blocks top.  I'm hoping you'll help me decide by voting for one of the options.  Counter-clockwise from lower left to upper right.

#1, lower left -- an olive green paisley
#2, above that -- another olive green paisley with a lot more red
#3, tan paisley
#4, blue and tan floral
#5, below that, brown and red floral
#6, upper right, brown and red floral
#7, no border at all, just bind it with deep red or dark blue

Thanks for your vote!  xoxo

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Hate It!

Greetings from Snowmageddon Land!  Three days of snow, three days of shoveling snow, and three days of worrying if I have Alzheimers and wandered off and inadvertently wound up in the Northern Territory.  Only two days of worrying if my roof is going to be able to hold up under the weight of all this snow!  Knock on wood!

Giving me plenty of time to fiddle with the Trees blocks.  To the left is my brilliant idea of gradient color in the connecting blocks.  I hate it!  I consulted with Sabryin, my color expert, and he said he liked it better without the color.  So, in honor of all the "white" we are surrounded by these days, it's going to represent a forest after three days of snow.  I did decide to keep the border triangles in this mushroom color, though; gives it a nice frame.

And then I have a story to tell.  Friday, when the snow started,  I was ironing Sab's work shirts and my favorite Shark iron just quit working.  I shook it and fiddled with it but it would not resuscitate.  As Snowmageddon poured forth, there was no way I could leave to buy a replacement.  As I pondered my bad luck I spied my old Rowenta under the cutting table.  I put it there long ago after it failed to live up to my steam needs-- maybe ten years ago, actually -- and upon sighting it occasionally my reaction would be to sneer.  It's the same way I feel about Bernina.  "Top of the Line," or so they hope you will believe.  Well, I removed it from exile, wiped it down, added water, and turned it on.  I ironed pants, shirts, and plenty of quilt blocks while feet of snow were dumped on us.

Now that we have unburied the cars and dug out the driveway, the possibility exists that I can replace the Rowenta, but I have decided not to do so because now I like it!  It has been doing a really great job (still not enough steam to suit me, but it'll do) and maybe I'll get my money's worth out of it yet! 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Trees

Not a great photo.  Still learning how to use the iphone camera!
Here it is, just pinned to the "Design Wall," which is just a quilt hanging backwards from a curtain rod.  These are 6-1/2" blocks and, as usual, I had one extra.  Why do I always do that?!  Anyway, now the task is to decide what background fabric(s) to use to pull the whole thing together.  

With blocks like this I usually use a lighter fabric in the center and use a slightly darker fabric in the middle and an even darker fabric in the outer areas.  I tried blues and greens, but didn't like those as much as the tans, so at this point I'm favoring the tan fabrics, which will make a very subtle movement toward the outer areas.  

We will see if I have the appropriate fabrics to pull this off because at this point I am using ONLY STASH fabrics -- not buying new.  

Currently quilting the North Wind quilt "in the ditch".  It will need some supplemental quilting as well, but the test will be if my shoulders hold out.  I know, I can hear you saying "Take lots of breaks."  Easier said than done, as I get rather manic when I'm quilting.  My mantra is "Get this sucker DONE!"  

Happy New Year!  xoxo