Monday, July 21, 2014

Stitching away at QBL

    I finally stopped sewing tonight at 9. When you start to make stupid mistakes, it is time to stop. I am taking a class by Victoria Finlay Wolfe on making fabric from scraps and then creating a quilt. So far today, this is my progress. Should have taken some earlier photos. Sorry, have not been able to load photos from my iPad on blogger.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Circles hanging together by threads

     Since the Circle Dance quilt was on the wall and spilling onto the floor, I needed to get it off and in order. Wanda recommended taking off by column and clipping the columns together. I did that and put the first column pile on the left and second on the right. Taking one from each column and sewing them together and then chain piecing the entire 2 columns. I certainly hope I understood her directions. I sewed columns 1 to 7 together (should have stopped a row sooner) and then 8 to 12. I have to iron all the seams and then pin the rows together. The last will be to sew that last column seam. It is rather unwieldy and I have been procrastinating ironing and pinning. I also have been watching the grandkids due to some family emergency. I am also packing for Quilting by the Lake next week; I won a scholarship and will be taking 5 days of classes with Victoria Findlay Wolfe. A bit nervous about it. Since I will living in a dorm, I have to bring everything for that and sewing stuff. And this for one who hates to pack.

Finishes in the Sun

    In order to photo the quilts, I have not been able to find a good place outside. While my husband was sanding the garage and priming it, I realized I could put some nails in the little room off the garage and use bulldog clips on the quilts and hang them on nails. It is not elegant, but neither am I. I just want good light and room to photo. I did this once, and then my husband pulled the nails out to prime it. So, I pounded in the nails again, and hung two finishes.
    The crumb attic windows quilt is all done. Love using those scraps.
      I needed to make a grandson a new truck quilt. The fleece one I made him, he refuses to give it up even on hot nights making him a sweatball. I previously posted the truck fabric I bought from Since we needed it in a hurry, I used two yards of one fabric on the front and two yards of a different truck fabric on the back. I wanted it wider when he goes in to a twin bed instead of the youth one he is in. I used some yellow fabric that reminds of the color of construction signs and vehicles. I quilted it on the Bailey and used a zig zag pattern from the Inbox Jaunt. It looked terrific, like tire tracks. After a striped binding, I gave it to him yesterday and hope he had a good night's sleep.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Not quite Dancing with Circles

    Way back, I started a quilt for my daughter as a present for her wedding. We picked out the fabric in July last year after the dust from her wedding settled. She chose a pattern from many I showed her and it was kind of Circle Dance. I had one photo that Wanda made and the other from the seller of the templates. I bought the large and small templates because when I made my own, they were too flimsy for cutting the curves- kind of important. The past year, I have cut all the blocks and attempted to sew them in a consistent manner. I tried glue, pins, feet, etc. Finally, I watched a youtube video where there were no pins used, but the top curved piece was held above the bottom bigger piece and fed through. I sewed them on my 301 with a regular foot and the old vintage seam guide screwed in at 1/4".  This finally got the job done.
    My daughter was on her way to drive her dissertation (praise God, finally got approval) to Rochester, NY from Meadville, PA and was stopping home in Buffalo overnight. So, in anticipation, I put all the blocks on the design wall so she could arrange them the way she wanted. It was 12 blocks wide by 14 tall, so it did not fit on my wall and I had to lay the last 2 rows on the floor. When I put them up, I did not like it at all. It was all chop suey. I sent a photo to Wanda and her expert advice had me remove the very light, and find some bigger patterns to put in. I sewed about another 25-30 blocks and added them. 
    When Ria came in, she spent a lot of time rearranging and I sewed some more. All those light blocks I will have to use in a small quilt I think. She had to leave early this morning, so she made a final arrangement. Now I have to number them all and get them down before the cat starts removing them- a job he loves.
First attempt, Yikes, going nowhere
Ria's final choice

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fabric Time!

     For our 38th anniversary, my husband and I went away for a night to Watkins Glen, NY. The State Park is beautiful and took a lot of photos of the gorge. In addition, I managed to hit three quilt stores- Golden Lake in Penn Yann, Oh Susannah in Watkins Glen, and my favorite, Quilter's Corner in Ithaca. I had also just bought some on line fabric. Sort of a fabric fiesta going on here. I also did something I swore I would never do, buy a kit. I hate kits. I don't want to make something someone else already has done. But when I saw the quilt on the wall and the unusual fabrics included, I weakened. I will try and replace some of them so it won't be exact. In Buffalo, we just don't have a variety of fabrics, especially ones I like. I hate to always order online, trying to support LQS that I know struggle to stay open. Feeling kind of fabric glutted at the moment and wondering how I will sew it all. 
From online. Just had to have vintage sewing machines.
For another one block wonder. I think this will be stunning. Repeat 24". From Penn Yann.
Super fun color. Maybe I can be Wanda for a day. From Oh Susannah's
The New American Made Fabric by Clothworks. Want to do their challenge,
but need more colors than Quilter's Corners had.
Guilty of buying a kit. Quilter's Corners.

New Pond and gone

    One of my art teacher friends had a birthday. Terri is one of the most generous people, so I wanted to do something special for her. She loves my fabric collages, so at the last minute, I decided to put one together. I worked from one of my photos, sketch, and used an 8 x 8 piece of batting and Timtex. I layered the batiks on and press them down using spray starch. Then I put a piece of water soluble interfacing over it, a few pins and FMQ all over it with YLI invisible thread to secure everything. Since I was pressed for time, I also went over it with black glide and golden brown glide to accent portions. Usually I melt the watersoluble first, then add the color thread. I soaked the piece, let it dry, and painted an 8 x 8 canvas with greens in streaks (no photo, I was in a rush). I glued the fabric piece to the canvas and added a few silk waterlilies that I glued on. After hammering a sawtooth hanger on, I just had time to wrap it. When I gave it to her yesterday, she really loved it. Now I need to make some bigger ones when I am not so pressed for time.
I took the photo outside and the bottom sky reflection came out lighter than it is. Size is 8" x 8"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Watercolors and Wind

    On Sunday, I showed my watercolors at the one and only outdoor art show I attend, the Riverwalk. It is a very nice show in a great spot along the Niagara River in the City of Tonawanda. It is only one day and it is an easy distance set up. It is also cheap so I don't worry about having to sell anything to recoup major cost. Everything set up nicely and was ready to go. It was a little breezy, but ok. As the day progressed, big gusts came down the river and blew everything all over. It pulled the screws out holding the wires on the frames, knocked over my easels, wrecked frames, and while I was trying to catch a painting, it came apart and all I caught was the glass. Yes, a big cut. When my husband arrived near the end, I was very frazzled explaining the situation to him. Right then, the biggest gust, picked up my big wooden easel straight in the air, turned it sideways and hit me like an arrow in the side, knocking me to the ground. I told my husband, "I'm done". He didn't say anything, but helped me load the work in very gusty conditions. I threw it all in the basement when I got home and have not had the guts to do a post mortem on the paintings.

Easels before launching
The Honda Odyssey in the back is mine. See how close I can get to unload?

The view of the river and Grand Island is exquisite.
The bike path/walking trail goes all along the river here.