Friday, January 27, 2023

Black and White, but not all over

      Long ago, I participated in a star swap with Barb Vedder. It used black and white prints in the center and solids for the stars. They came out lovely. I made some extra. And then they sat until I figured out what to do with them to make a quilt.


     Adding another row of flying geese all around, making a star within a star, looked appealing to me. I had to scrounge to find enough different solids. I make my Flying Geese with the Easy Angle and the Companion Ruler. If I cut right, no trimming, YAY!


     However, I arrived at the point where I ran out of Black and White prints to not repeat. I only need a 3 1/2" WOF strip, but no more in the stash. So here is where it sits. All the solid color pieces are cut out to finish.

     The quilt should be 6 x 7 blocks and I am short. I looked for prints online, but it was like one here, another there (all those shipping $$$). I found a huge collection at https://ineedfabric.com/collections/black-white-fabric-collection. I ordered them on Jan. 15th, and have heard nothing so far. I have never ordered from them before. They said they would send me a notice when it ships, but so far nothing. Anyone have experience with them? Sure would love to finish these blocks. Not sure why black and white prints are so hard to find. I thought I had a decent collection, but I need 42 kinds, but only at 3 1/2" WOF strip.
     Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Another Disappearing Hourglass on the wall

      When I find a reasonably priced layer cake, I enjoy making the Disappearing Hourglass pattern from Missouri Star quilt company. Usually, I have to cut my own white 10" squares, but that is easy as I buy white by the bolt. The HSTs make the hourglass block and then 4 cuts make all the rest after rearranging the cut pieces. Hopefully, I did not screw up sewing the blocks this time. If you see an error, let me know. I have not web sewed them yet. The layer cake is one I bought on Etsy for a reasonable price. I am going to use all the blocks in one quilt instead of splitting them into two with sashing. I am making my comfort quilts bigger these days so people can really wrap up in it with nothing hanging out.
     I guess I get a kick out of the magic of cutting up an hourglass and getting such a tricky looking block.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Batik Diamonds, big and done!

      A while ago, I bought some batiks on Etsy that were very reasonable. I think they were Boundless. I bought a layer cake and some jelly rolls. The jelly rolls made an Upstairs, Downstairs and I sewed the layer cake to kind of grunge white 10" squares. I made HSTs by sewing around al 4 sides, and then cutting diagonally twice. The trimming is the long part, but I used the Clearly Perfect slotted trimmer ruler and I had to cut only 2 sides. I showed the layout before. I was able to web it during the fall quilt retreat and used a wide backing as it is quite long and wide. Glad I stocked up on some a while ago.
     This was the first quilt on the longarm since November when I did one of the kid quilts for my friend before Chasen Dreams finished all other 6. I use chalk to draw my designs on the fabric and pencil doodle on newsprint before I start. I used Blizzard Glide on the top and PremoSoft prewound blue on the bottom. I find I like a finer bobbin thread, so I have been mostly using DecoBob or Glide 60 and it makes me the happiest quilting. The grandkids helped me pick out the green batik for the binding and I am happy to say it just needs a recipient and they can be quite tall.

On wall before webbing


Back

Detail

Monday, January 23, 2023

An unexpected win

      When I was notified by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts that I was a winner in a giveaway, I was stunned. The beautiful package arrived and I found a set of her wonderful patterns and a tablerunner she made. It was truly gorgeous. I love other people's work and I was honored to have it. Check out her patterns. I love them because NO paper piecing for pictoral quilts. She is prolific and easy to understand.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Calm before the storm

      Well, we already had a blizzard storm and death of a close friend, but stormy events were not through yet. For the first time in three years, my husband and I went to Niagara on the Lake in Canada for our "normal" post Christmas visit - a couple of days between Christmas and NYE (his birthday) and just walk the gorgeous village and enjoy the quiet and architecture. I couldn't believe we could finally just go to Canada without any awful paperwork and tracking. It was glorious to drive over that bridge. The first day was unbelievably calm and sunny (rare here). We walked through the park that is along the Niagara River as it empties into Lake Ontario, Fort Niagara on the American side, directly across. We found an open park bench in the sun and drank it in.
     The drive up there was even more beautiful than I remembered it and I teared up. Here is a post from the past: https://artinsearch.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-about-those-goals.html

The park, the river, the lake, Fort Niagara on a gorgeous day

The famous gazebo in the park that I had gazed at across the river for the past three years

Fort Niagara getting fixed

Looking towards Lake Ontario in the park





      While sitting on the bench next to the one in the photo, basking in the 42 degree sun, my phone rang which is odd because I do not have coverage in Canada. I was close enough to the American shore opposite for reception I guess. It was my cousin saying she was with my 90 yr. old mom in an emergency center because she was shoveling snow (!!!) and ended up with a blinding headache. Preliminary CT scan showed a brain bleed. So, had to leave the idyllic time and cross the bridge and started a 2 week saga of ICU, hospital, rehab, paperwork, fighting, lots of driving, and total upheaval before she went home insisting no support services. She was fortunate that the bleed clotted, no structural damage obvious, and seemingly no effects on motor or memory. However, we bore the brunt of decisions, finding paperwork, doing legal stuff, listening to nasty complaints (food, the rehab center, etc). I regret I taught her how to use a cell phone. It was non stop.  It was very stressful and draining. My husband got a bad respiratory virus and is still fighting the coughing and congestion. So, we lost the hotel stay, but paid for it and did not get to set our goals for the year as we do up there. But I have the photos to prove we made it, even for a short while.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

The end of the Kids' quilts story

      I have no idea what I was thinking when I left off blogging last year. It was a blur. I have continued to take photos and sew, although greatly interrupted. I finally got a quilt off the longarm and bound yesterday. I have been pulling out unfinished projects and digging in. I have kept up reading all my blog friends with little energy to respond.
    A short version is: I laid out the guild quilt show in late September by photographing all the quilts, printing them out and making a map of the show. All quilts were separately bagged, tagged, and put in organized piles. The last week of September I went for 4 days to the ADK, Old Forge for wonderful fall times. Upon coming back, I got Covid the first couple days of October and missed setting up and attending the quilt show. Thank God the whole show was laid out and marked so others could put it up.
    Then, my dear friend, who had been diagnosed with ALS a couple of months previously, came and picked out a comfort quilt (Blue Bargello) and rapidly deteriorated. I came up with the idea of working on quilts for her grandkids with her when I visited bringing boxes of precut squares and strips, maybe one a month. That had to be accelerated because of her rapid decline so others stepped in to help her lay them out. I was piecing non stop and freaked out over the quilting. My friends, Kris and Kathy of Chasen Dreams, agreed to help when I asked and quilt them (angels for sure). They were fast and refused payment. While they were quilting, I made the bindings and kept piecing. I was able to get all 7 done and washed. I took them to her and she whispered what she wanted to have on each label (I had sewn blank labels on). We wrote it and bagged each quilt in a large ziploc. They were given out at Christmas to her grandchildren. She died 5 days later.
    At the memorial luncheon, many photo boards were on display and they included the quilts on a table for people to see. She might have not been physically able, but she chose every piece and indicated where it would go for all 7 quilts. I taped all the pieces with frog tape and sewed like a maniac. 



Saturday, December 31, 2022

New Face in the Studio

       After a long search using Petfinder, and more than a few deadends, Rosie came to be the new cat in residence. She was fostered from a tiny kitten who was abandoned when renters moved out taking the mom cat, but leaving behind the kittens. She was rescued in a trap that was put through a window. The siblings did not make it. A local cat rescue, CatbyCatInc.org had her on the Petfinder website. 

Petfinder photos

     I filled out some online papers and made an inquiry after a lot of other dead ends. The foster mom called me and we chatted about what I was looking for (a loving female who would like to be a studio cat). We met up at the headquarters and fell in love with Tiffy as she was called then. She was a little adorable bundle and seemed to love us. We filled out the paperwork and she was all ours.

     Rosie is named after my mother in law. She has been such a wonderful cat and very loving. The first day she was here, she got up into my batik stash shelves and fell asleep for almost 6 hours. We she finally came out, I swear she was a whole size bigger. She has totally explored but not rearranged the studio except for a few pencil push offs. She is definitely the queen of this studio.

Sewing machines are good nap mates

Is that how you sew that?

Yes, your paintings are acceptable for cards now