Saturday, December 9, 2017

Painted Quilt Tribute

     Ever since I saw the photo of Wanda on her blog, I knew I needed to paint it as a tribute. I knew it needed some of her quilts in it. It took a lot of time, thought, and "piecing", but I am very pleased with the tribute to Wanda- one of the greatest influences and star of my quilting life.  It is watercolor about 11 x 14. I hope I don't have to watermark it to keep it from being pirated.
     Thanks for looking at my "quilts". I notice a thread on the painting after it was all cropped and all. I will have to reshoot it when the sun comes out.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kevin's Mystery sewn up

     I finally finished Kevin's mystery quilt, Sapphire Stars.  I made some changes to the original. I did not use the gray lattice, but opted for light blue. I changed the border so the piano keys ran all the way across and top to bottom. I was surprised how large it was. 
     I waited for a sunny day (Friday) and hauled my photo stand outdoors and set the quilt up. First, the bar had to go so high, it got tangled in the oak tree. Next, the breeze came up and knocked it over in different directions. I am sure the worker guys finishing up my husband's garage addition were laughing it up inside the garage. Hope they did not video it and put it on youtube. 
     Parts of the quilt were challenging, especially the yellow and blue triangles that had the blue strip in it. I think I would make them solid next time so the star where the blocks meet would be more prominent. I am so glad I finished. Thanks, Kevin for the experience!

Pineapple Blossom has bloomed!

     In October, I took 2 days of classes with Bonnie Hunter in Rochester, NY. One of the quilts was Pineapple Blossom, a free one on her blog. Even though it was the smaller quilt in her directions, I decided to add the "waste" HSTs for the border. I had to make a couple more. I did not realize until too late, that the quilt is not symmetrical top to bottom, so I did not sew the HST border in the right direction and ended up with yucky corners. Sigh. So, I ripped out the corner ones and replaced it with a whole neutral square- 4 corners worth. Fiddly stuff. 
Bad HST corners
Corners with squares auditioned, yes, ripping commence
     After straightening that out, I tried a whole chorus of border fabric- blues, greens, purples- and settled on a fabric I had just bought last week on clearance at a Black Friday Sale at a LQS. It says meow all over on it, kind of funny. I made all the meow words face up looking from the center. Once it was on the wall, I really, really like it- everything was scraps. Then I wished I would have made it larger, so maybe I will make another one. Very fun quilt!
Some border choices

Finished top

Friday, December 1, 2017

Painting Memories

     Besides being a quilter, I am also a watercolor painter. I keep going to classes to push myself further, and hopefully, improve. I love to paint flowers, landscapes and people in just the right pose and mood. I persuaded (bribed) my granddaughter, Jolene, to sit for this photo. I wanted to contrast her youth with the vintage machine and quilting melding them with a sense of creative joy. Watercolor paintings are hard to photo because of all the subtleness, but here she is- Jolene and the Singer 15 Tiffany decal parlor cabinet treadle.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

No scrap is safe!

     I have always loved the Scrappy Trips from Bonnie Hunter, a free pattern on her blog. I combed (ransacked) through all my strip bins for 18" x 2.5" strips. Six are needed per block and I need 30 blocks. I did not cut up WOF 2.5" strips, but used partial ones and I had to process more scraps that are in bags under my longarm just waiting to be liberated. This quilt certainly chews through lots of fabric scraps.
     I arranged the 6 strips and pinned them at the top in order of left to right. I made 2 extra sets (things happen). I stacked them in a plastic bin for safety from the cat, who likes to ransack strips. Finally, I was able to make 2 blocks to see how it looks. Only a bit of ripping, ironing seam direction is real important.

Trimming up, stacking up, go!

     When I first started quilting, I did not know (care) about trimming blocks when putting them together. The patterns I used did not mention it. However, after wrestling fabric into a top and losing, I started trimming. For HSTs, the Bloc Locs were wonderful. For squares, the Stripology Ruler makes it work. I am on the last round for another exploding squares quilt. I started with 4" squares. The last squares is 8".  I trimmed every sewn square before I put on another square. 
     My mom can sew the 4 edges, but I cut them open and trim and layer. I use washable Elmers glue in the 4 corners to hold the layers so there are no pins and so my speed demon mother cannot get them out of whack in the corners (I keep saying they are FEED dogs, not PUSH dogs to no avail).
     Anyways, I gave her the last round on Thanksgiving and you can see the slight slivers of fabric left which make a huge difference when I sew the blocks together (will need another last trim).

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Some finishes

     I completed my Christmas present pillowcases at the retreat and this week made significant progress on Sapphire Stars. I have to put a 2.5" navy border around the body and then attach the piano keys that are already sewn. I made some changes to the pattern so the piano keys attach to all sides instead of an awkward navy blue rectangle at the corners. You will see what I mean later.