Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pop out the butterflies

     The butterfly quilt is done. I added lots of quilting next to the butterflies to pop them off the white background. I really love this quilt. My friend Elizabeth's sister, Kelly, gave me a panel she embroidered because Elizabeth told her how I love butterflies. If I had done all over quilting, the butterflies would have been squashed and flattened.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Further along the kaleidoscope

     Finally, I finished arranging the Organized Chaos quilt on the wall and took it down. I cut 9" freezer paper squares and ironed all the corner pieces and the sewn centers to a numbered sheet. Since it is so complicated, I am sewing the blocks into large 9 patches, then assembling the whole quilt. Although I was very careful cutting and sewing the seams, I had to trim off a bit to make them even after I sewed the corners on. Instead of being 8 1/2" unfinished, I had to go with 8 1/4", so the finished blocks will be smaller.
Final layout on wall
Ironing on 9" freezer paper and numbering each block.
All the pieces will stay together until I sew them. 
I am sewing the blocks into 9 patches to handle the seams
easier as they are fussy joins.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

New leader ender idea

     It is no secret I love scraps. I had cut some varied whites and creams into 2" squares and could use my tiniest scraps I save to make wonky stars. Most of the wonky stars I see are whites on solids. So, these may be backwards. I plan to keep making a ton and find a way to make a quilt out of them. I love Bonnie Hunter's Wonky Wishes, but hers are white stars. All of the stars are ironed on freezer paper so they stay together until sewn, but Jolene, the junior designer, chose and laid out all the colors on the paper.
Unsewn stars on freezer paper 
Two sewn stars which the designer made off with

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A glimpse of machine history... and quilts

     At the beginning of June, I went to the Genesee Valley Quilt Guild Show at the RIT fieldhouse in Rochester, NY. Among all the quilts were some machines on display by the guild. I was wowed to see in person, the precursor to the Singer Featherweight- 2 of them! They also had my beloved 301s on display as well as many others. I was so thrilled to see a display of these machines at the show. The Singer Featherweight Shop today had a timeline and history of the Featherweights which is terrific. 

      A couple of outstanding quilts from that show:
One block wonder escaping

Most pieces are under an inch, Yikes!

Canada Quilt Show

     Last weekend, I was able to travel to the Canada national quilt show near Toronto by bus with other quilters from the Quilters Consortium of New York Sate. Three of my own guild members traveled with me- the others were from all over NYS. Next year the show will be in Vancouver, so I was glad I went this year. I live in Buffalo, NY so it was just over 2 hours away. I had my little camera, so the quality of the photos is not up to my usual ones.
    The show had a juried section and a non juried section. I found most of the creative quilts were found in the latter. There were some vendors there, but I was able to keep it under control. My favorite fabric was Shweshwe from South Africa, but I found it when I was at the end of my budget. I will be ordering some.
An incredible reverse appliqued quilt, wow

Applique details

Incredible house quilt. All the windows were fussy cut figures.

Incredible quilt made from all small squares

From Aurifil- all their colors in a quilt!

A four seasons crazy quilt with all kinds of cool embellishments

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

     I almost did not get this posted in time. I love my sewing machines- all vintage and wonderful feats of machining that give perfect straight stitches with lots of power.
     Today, I used mine to rapid assemble a quilt for the Gold Star camp happening in our area in July. Every new child gets a quilt to pick and take home. Almost at the last minute, my friends at Chasen Dreams who do all the quilting, found out there are 150 new kids. Yikes! So they asked for quilts quickly. I did not have time to plan and graph, etc., so I poked through my donated scrap boxes and found these animal panels. I thought I would set the bigger ones in the center.
     Then, I looked for fabric that would read well with the animal images. I found lots of browns, animal skins, and even some scrap strips that someone sewed but discarded, that I made into piano keys.
     The quilt needed to be bigger, so I kept adding until it was a good comfort quilt size. Luckily, I had some Ikea wide print for the back. So when Kris picked up the quilt for quilting, it was ready. I will get it back for the binding and label.
     A woman, Lillian, from my guild dropped off another quilt that went with mine.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The agony and the ecstasy

     Since my studio is in my home, I am around a lot. My small yard is an inspiration to me. Last week, I had to have two trees removed- one diseased and one to make room for the garage expansion for my husband's man cave workshop. I loved the larch removed for the expansion. I brought it home in a bucket and watched it grow tall. It looses its needles in the fall and when they grow back in spring, it looks like a Dr. Seuss tree, but alas, no more. The white pine was being destroyed by borers, but the tree crew destroyed my plants, trampling the iris, heuchera and such. They still need to come back and grind out the stumps, oh, joy. Then we can replace the leaking pond shell (new one in the wings) and put the fish and plants back. Then I can repair, recreate, or something the trashed area. We are thinking of planting a columnar oak in its place. 
    On the ecstasy side in the front, the herbaceous peonies, japanese iris (back ones maimed), lupines and others are stunning. We don't have a huge growing season and I fear the back will look like a war zone all season. Still waiting for the concrete guys to dig up and pour the pad. Then the framers. It will be a long summer. I just have to keep looking out front.

The larch trunk