Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Bright and happy, the quilt that is

      Been dragging my heels to post this because I don't like writing, but like the results. I decided I need to learn some newer techniques and my well used Stripology ruler cracked at the hole they drilled in it to hang. A quilt store a bit away from me was doing curbside service and I was able to get the new Stripology ruler so I could participate in the Quilt a Long by Gudrun
     I had a collection of fat quarters that I had put together because they were all happy bright prints. I decided to put together some fabrics in collections as inspired by Julie. The quilt, Elvira, needed just the amount of fat quarters in the bright stack. 

One of the layout possibilities

     It was fun to follow along although it took me longer than the day of the videos. I made some dumb mistakes, like making more Block A's than Block B's so I was short fabric and had to hunt for a couple more fat quarters. I was able to use the new ruler because I went slowly and did sample cuts before I cut the good fabric. It was an unusual way for me to put together a quilt together.
     It is on my design wall and I like the cheer it broadcasts. I don't know what the backing will be. I will figure out how to quilt it when it gets on the longarm. 
All sewn

     The pattern was free when the quiltalong was first posted, so I saved and if I can find some more interesting fabric, I will make another one. It is a fun construction quilt.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Daniel's Stars, Disaster averted

     Over 7 years ago, I made Daniel a baby quilt. He was born with a terrible disease called Nemaline Myopathy. He can't swallow food or have much muscle control. He has had a hard time but is a determined fighter. Back then, I made him a Laurel Burch quilt called Running with the Horses
     Now, it dawned on me, he needed another quilt. With schools closed down, he is not getting help and instruction and all his care falls on his mom. I asked her what he liked and she said super heroes, animals, and the color red. 
      I was inspired by a quilt I saw https://www.robinpickens.com/blog/showering-stars-quilt-pattern, but it was too big and didn't have the star effect I was aiming for. Using graph paper, I drew up a good idea after a lot of bad ones. I used lots of reds, Kona Ash, and a variety of 2 1/2" squares fussy cut. It went together a little different than other quilts I did, but it fit together. Once it was sewn, I made a back with fish that I had to add water to. 
     Once loaded on the longarm, I sketched lots of ideas and decided to do a sampler of patterns held together by a grid inspired by the long red lines and breaking up of the squares.  I quilted top and bottom with Mocha Glide. Bound with a red bandana print.
     Ok, now for the disaster part- before I washed the quilt, after binding with a red bandana print, everything was hunky dorey. I had to wash the quilt because Daniel's immune system is fragile. 
     Upon taking the quilt out of the washer, my hair stood on end (I was also wearing a Holter monitor). The red batiks used bled all over the Kona Ash. After the room righted again, I remember saving an article by Vicki Welsh about saving a bleeding quilt  (download it, people). I found it, although I saved it years ago. 
     She called for a bathtub of hot water with Dawn. In the quilt went, fully agitated. After 3 hours, the dye "burped" out of the quilt. I changed the water and let it refill. It stayed all night submerged by plastic bins filled with water. 
     In the morning, the water was still clear. I put the wet quilt in one of the plastic bins, put it in the washer to rinse and spin, and then the dryer. NO bleeds left anywhere!!
No red bleeds at all.
Fish back, loaded the backing upside down, that is why the label is . Mad about that.

     After the dryer, I photographed to make sure. Then, it was bundled with a card and book into an XXL Ziploc and delivered to Daniel by leaving it on his porch. I sure hope he liked it. I was greatly relieved. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Clean up, clean up, put away, put away

     I reached the point in my studio that I had to clean out or scream. I had so many plastic boxes and bins everywhere and especially on my floor. I had to do something. Michaels had 10 drawer rolling drawers on sale ($29.99 and coupon) and I bought 5 (one I gave to my son for his watercolor supplies). Shipped them to me for free. 
     I have to give Michaels a shout out, because one wheel in all of these units was the wrong one. I emailed them with a photo and within a few hours, they had one in the mail. It fit and the unit was useable. I have to say Excellent Customer Service! I thought I was doomed with the wrong wheel.
     I taught my 8 yr. old granddaughter to put one together. She showed her 10 yr. old brother how to do it, and they put all 5 together for me. They did a super job with little intervention by me. Kids need to know how to put things together.
     It was painful to sort through all the scraps and cut pieces. Sometimes I just have to leave the room and take a walk around. Took loads of time. Eventually, all the units were filled and reorganized. I have a whole unit of drawers for batik scraps. Today, I am making all new drawer labels and attaching them. The old ones are from the previous bins and are shabby.
     I have a closet in this room for more plastic boxes for cut pieces and another room with bookshelves for bigger fabric, but this area was out of contol. I love scrappy, but organizing them is work.
    Here is the result of all the effort.
Cutting/pressing counter- all clear, WOW
View from one side of sewing table to counter
From room entrance, no boxes on floor anymore
Other side of sewing table, clear floor, windows to left
Side of table I work the most at for piecing. There is a floor!
      My watercolor room set up is in the guest bedroom. I work on my paintings and sketches here. I have to leave the sewing studio in order to concentrate on painting.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Churn dash top sewn

     All of the blocks are sewn complete with border. Have to think of what to use for the backing. I loved having this quilt on my wall, it was comforting. The blocks are 20 years old- 1999- that I found in a bag of donated fabric. They have some signatures on the back and are from the LLQA of Illinois. I live in Buffalo, NY.
      Now I have to find a suitable backing.
From the back here are some names. If anyone has an idea how I can find these women to show them what was done with their blocks, let me know.
Erin O'Neill, Leroy, IL
Christi Pallo, Maroa, IL
Karen Moon and Connie Miller of Champaign, IL
Pauline Bury
Sharon Amberger
Mary Chester
L. Plotner-Pierce
Leu Blakeney LLQA

Friday, April 3, 2020

Robins, and flowers and bears, oh my!

     Since my grandchildren (10 and 8) are out of school, I try to do something fun, crafty or outdoors with them a couple of times a week. They live across the street. Yesterday was a fine sunny, blue sky day. We went for a 2+ mile walk looking for birds, flowers, and the newest thing- teddy bears in windows. We saw some robins, crocuses, a few daffodils and 15 bears in windows. They wanted to keep going, but this lady was tired out. I took the camera along and we took 42 photos. 

Hellebores from my garden

      When we got home, I took the photos off into the computer, cropped them and printed out the bear ones. We cut them out and made a book (sewing the signatures) which they will then write the stories of the bears.  Some of my favorites of the 15 we saw.
My favorite

       It was good to get out and not think about anything but spring and outdoor stuff.