Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Card quilt finished and video

     Finally, I was able to quilt the card quilt and I did it on the Singer 301 as I thought it was too small for the longarm. I had some issues with the binding because I had a bad head cold and sewed it on backwards at first. I had to rip it all and do it all over again as I had no spare pieces to cut a new one. As a result, it is not as crisp and nice as I would like. 
     This quilt was from a card my grandson made me when I was in the hospital recovering from the heart attack last February and the fabric is mostly from Vicki that she sent me as a get well gift not knowing the colors my grandson drew the quilt. They matched. I decided to make the quilt. I did not quilt in the stars because I wanted to keep the hand drawn look. I used variegated rainbow thread as it seemed to replicate the crayon drawing better.

    I was asked to participate in a pilot of a new series for our local PBS station on spotlighting the arts by my painting teacher. I was was one of four artists interviewed. The link to the clip is not quite all edited yet for TV, but you get to see me talk about quilts and art. I am at the 12:20 mark. They condensed 45 minutes of interview into 2 minutes. Hard to watch yourself talk.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Can't get enough 2 X 4s!

      In preparation for quilt retreat at the end of March, I have been collecting quilts that are clipped together and just need webbing to assemble. I already had a clipped together 2 x 4 quilt using 3.5" strips.
     My mother was still bored. So, I cut up lots of 2.5" batik WOF strips, paired them up and sent them to her. She zip, zipped through them and gave me strip sets. She could sew WOF together, fold in half, cut and resew the strips so I could subcut them. She ironed them, thank goodness, so all I had to do was subcut them. Each strip set cuts  5 units, 4 of which are sewn in to two blocks, so maybe the extra single blocks I can sew into a strip for the backing. 
Strip sets
Pile o' blocks sewn
First blocks
      I was able to sew all the units into blocks, put them up on the wall and spend a couple of hours/days rearranging, taking photos and driving myself crazy. Finally, enough was enough, I numbered the top blocks and clipped the columns, stacking them into a ziplock until the retreat. 
     My goal was to have the columns move your eye up and down. Even though there are some real light and some real dark blocks, I have learned from Sujata Shah and Wanda that you need those blocks in there to add interest. Matchy matchy is not my goal.
Very first layout- top too dark and no contrast.
Orange rectangle too light, 3 blocks down, 4th from left
Darker orange resewn in, much better.
Final layout. Top left block is not that light- it is too close to a lamp. It is the same block as 5 down and 5 from left. It anchors the corner just fine.

Thursday, February 28, 2019


      Whatever you call it, I had a fabric feast last week. A friend sent me a box of fabric for my comfort quilts and a guild friend had a downsizing sale due to a move. All the fabric in the box was washed and ironed (happy sigh). 
Great assortment of colors
Batiks over 10" in size
Bought from mover's stash

     After I put it away and was going through quilt tops as to what to quilt next (just finished the mystery quilt Alycia is doing), I found a top called Basketcase that I was not happy with because the precut Kaffe strips were cut poorly and I could not finish a last row. The quilt was 60 x 60 and I wanted it a tad bigger. 
     A lightbulb went off in my head about one of the Kaffe fabrics I had just put away from the box. Sure enough, it made a great border for the quilt. I was able to cut 3.5" unfinished strips and just make it. If I would have had more fabric, I would have mitred the corners. Now the quilt is 66" x 66" and I think a better comfort quilt size. I think some child will love it.

This is what was left over after cutting the border from the gifted fabric, not bad, huh?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hanging Leaves in Winter

     It is very much winter here. Snowing right now and over the weekend we lost power for 17 hours due to high winds. My attention span has been short due to a lingering virus, neck pain, and weather disruptions so I concentrated on small projects. 
     I started this applique leaves piece way back in a quild retreat last March. I don't like tablerunners, so I made a wall hanging. We used fabric Modge Podge to stick the leaves down (my own leaf design) and I sort of graffiti sewed black lines on all the edges to hold them down. I used scraps to sew made fabric to connect the leaves. The border seemed to incorporate the colors and movement of the leaves.
      I find it real fun to quilt with perle cotton. My mother in law used to sew huge quilts with an X stitch using crochet thread to hold together polyester knit scraps on a backing, so it probably reminds me of those treasured quilts. Since my guild co-chair for program and I are presenting a borders and finishes program March 18th, I decided to make a faux piping binding. 
     I cut the dark blue 1 1/2" and the gray fabric 1 3/4". After sewing long strips of the dark blue and long strips of the grey, I seamed the two colors and then pressed in half. The gray extends over the fold. I glue basted the binding on the back of the quilt with the dark blue facing the quilt, gray side up, sewed 1/4".  Then I pressed, folded, glued again to the front and sewed in the ditch between the gray and the dark blue. All I have left is to put a sleeve on it and I just found the tutorial to do it by machine, which is what I will do.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Another one started

     I try to keep my mother occupied and she can sew straight seams at 1/4". She can't (won't) piece blocks. This means that I have to do a lot of cutting and matching before I give her something and trimming and sewing blocks and assembling afterwards. She blows through what I give her like a house on fire, and I am still struggling to finish the last project with other projects going on. I have two quilts web-ready for quilt retreat that she sewed the strips for. I have two quilts with HSTs made from layer cakes she sewed all around that I need to lay out. And she wants more to sew and I can't keep up, so she is bored right now. 
     A while ago, I did the 2 x 4 quilt with 3.5" strips. I layed it out after cutting her sewn strips and my sewn blocks. One ready to web.

      I looked through my batiks and cut 2.5" WOF strips, matching them up and giving her enough sets for a twin size quilt. She sewed them all in record time. Now I am subcutting them into pieces for blocks and putting them on the design wall. I hope to get all the blocks sewn and laid out on the wall, marked for webbing before the end of March quilt retreat. And do my other sewing/quilting.

Blocks done so far.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mini quilts and Mystery

     First, for the Mystery! I designed a quilt for my guild as a Mystery Quilt with 7 clues. It was meant to teach them how to use values, break up putting a quilt together so it could be sewn between other quilts- picked up and put down without getting lost. and beginner quilter friendly. However, over half of the people dropped out. I spent hours writing, doing the illustrations in Word, copying, testing, etc. I have a profound respect for pattern writers. I have no desire to write another pattern. 
     One Mystery pattern writer that I admire and have made her quilts is Alycia who is a champion for QOV quilts. I noticed she has been real busy, and I offered her my mystery for her followers. She graciously accepted and it is a go. Go check her out. I have not posted any pictures of it on my blog, so it truly is a mystery.

     For Valentines, I made my grandkids mini quilts that I used decorative paper clips to hold onto the cards. If they want, they can save the quilts and hang them in their new bedrooms. Their addition started at Halloween and mostly ended yesterday. They have new bedrooms upstairs. My husband put wood floors in for them, the trim got painted, and the beds were set up yesterday. Thursday, the carpet in their work/play area will be done. 
     I used the polaroid quilt idea and heart fabric for the backing. I used felt for the batting because I find it makes it less floppy than regular batting. I would love to make a whole polaroid quilt. Or two.

Back of mini quilts

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Card inspired quilt sewn!

     I continued to press on finishing the quilt that my grandson designed on my get well card. After piecing and trimming, I pondered on the stars. Ethan helped me pick out fabric he thought would work. I drew stars on freezer paper, cut them out, ironed them to the fabric, and used what I learned from Karen Kay Buckley- Magic Sizing applied with a brush to the fabric, folded againt the freezer paper, and ironed flat. I had a few different size stars and went with the smallest ones I made. 

    After dusting off the vintage Bernina 830, using a 70/11 needle and monofilament from YLI in the top and bobbin, and the blind hem stitch, the stars were on. It sewed like a dream. I don't sew on it very often thinking I will break it. 

      When viewing it on the wall, it ocurred to me if I had applied what I learned from a David Taylor lecture in Houston, I would have remembered shadowing and lined the stars. Oh well, it can't ever be in judged show, but I am not ripping them out. 
     I found some big piece of hand dye for the backing, cut some Quilters Dream for the batting and will baste it all together to quilt on a beloved 301. I think it is too small for the long arm.