Thursday, June 24, 2021

You start with a bunch of blocks...

      Almost all quilts start with blocks. Sometimes I get a bunch of blocks as a donation. In a package of donated fabric, I found two sizes of 30s fabric blocks, 6" and 8". In there were also the churndashes that I made into a quilt that the person who donated wanted back. There were some fabric squares left, so I made more 6" blocks for a total of 30. I am not a huge 30s fan, but I tried to figure out somehow a way to show them off, but add a light touch. I did not realize that the blocks, made from 2 1/2" fabric, had been trimmed to 6" before I made the rest of the 10 blocks, so I ended up trimming the blocks I made to match when I went to assemble the quilt. Yikes.
     I used a cream with a white print for the interior blocks, a white on white for the setting triangles,  a light yellow print for the border, and a wonderful print periwinkle for the outer border. Setting the blocks on point I think gave it more excitment although more work. It is 54" x 63" now. I think it will work for a child comfort quilt.
    Now I have those 8" blocks to contend with, hmm.

The large block pile, the small was similar

Adding borders

Completed pieced top

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

H2H finshed, Utah bound

      Finally, I finished the last and third quilt for the Hands 2 Help drive from Sarah. All three tops were sent to me by Alycia from women she knows. I added borders and quilted them. Packed them all up and the box goes out this morning to Emily. The postage cost took my breath away. Yikes.
     I think that the border I added and the quilting enhanced and calmed down the xblocks so that it is quite lovely.
     I admit that receiving tops, tweaking them and quilting them for comfort quilts is quite pleasantly satisfying and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope I can do it again.

The original top I received

The finished top, Stonehenge fabric border, stripe binding

Back, a batik that I had to soak for a while to stop bleeding

Quilting texture before washing

Quilting texture after washing

The quilt roll as packed

Monday, June 21, 2021

A-Mazeing quilt

      I quilted a quilt from someone else because they asked and I could do it. She blogged about it here. It was a Maze design. I had to stare at it for a while to figure out what would look best for the color and requests she wrote. I decided to do different motifs in the different colors. I used Gray Glide 60 for the top thread and DecoBob Dove Gray for the bobbin. Gratefully, it gave me very little tension isues.
     The binding was a flange binding. I sewed it on the back with PremoSoft gray and the front with YLI monofilament, clear. I washed it then and immediately bagged it, packed it, and it arrived clear across the country just as it was supposed to. The best part was it was exactly what was wanted, whew.

The front before washing

The back

When washed, the texture shows much better

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Hard one to let go

      Some quilts have a convoluted history. I have some friends who insisted I try to make a Judy Niemeyer quilt. I chose Sea Urchin. They showed me how to paper piece her way. I bought the pattern and gathered the horde of fabric it took. Loved the pattern, loved the fabric. However, making the top was a nightmare of boredom and slowness. Over a couple of years, I started and put it away repeatedly.
     Finally, I gathered it all up and gave it to the friends who started me on the whole boondoggle. I told them they could finish if they wanted and give it away to one of their charity groups.
     I was totally surprised when they gave it back to me, all finished, and told me it was the hardest one of hers they have ever done (they have done almost all of them). It has been on a hanger in my tops closet waiting its turn to be quilted.
    A close friend of mine has had a reoccurrence of breast cancer (25 yrs. remission) and I offered her a comfort quilt package. First she said no, because she is not fond of quilts, but then she said yes. I invited her to come and look at my tops and pick out one, or I would make one for her. I should have done as Wanda does- pick out three or four- and then have them choose. As I pulled tops out of my closet, she spied Sea Urchin, pulled it out and said that is the only one she liked as it was "graphic". I showed her my ideas for the backing, and quilted it. Boy, was it tough to piece- those paper pieced seams are difficult to penetrate.
     When it was quilted, I had real pangs of regret. By the time I finish quilting, in my mind, the quilt is already given but this time it was different. I loved the quilt- colors, quilting, backing and binding. I washed it and bagged it for the package and gave it away yesterday. It was the hardest quilt I ever gave away. I feel guilty for feeling that way, but I did it and she loves it.

Monday, May 31, 2021

H2H finishes, almost

      This year, I am participating in Sarah's Hands 2 Help Challenge. I have three quilts that are going to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo. I was helped by a donation of three tops from Alycia's friends. Two quilts are done and ready to go. The third got bumped behind two comfort quilt requests. Just one before it now. Once the third quilt is quilted and bound, all three are going in a box to Quilty Hugs
      When I first received the three tops, I decided to enlarge each of them by adding borders. Glide Pearl for the quilting.

As it came to me

Borders added

All quilted and ready to go

     The next quilt, I added the green border and pieced the back because my math was whoopsie. Glide Celery for the quilting.

Pieced back
     Number Three is coming! It is hanging on a hanger right next to the longarm.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Tree peonies stun me again

     I have a pink tree peony plant in my front garden. It is craggy sort of plant, but at this time of the year it is show stopping. The peonies are over 10" in diameter, smell heavenly and the variations in the colors are mesmerizing. They deserve their own post today. I have some magenta ones in the back, but they are not quite open yet. Such an easy to care for plant and no pest seems to bother them. My Asiatic lilies are another matter however. These are not the shrub peonies that die back every year. I hope you enjoy the show!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Blue and green diagonals delivered

      As soon as I quilted the Blue and Green diagonal variations, it was bound and the comfort quilt package was put together and delivered by the person who referred the recipient. I think that works best as I stay out of it and it strengthens the bonds between the recipient and the person who requested.
      I do not usually hear from the recipient, but the woman (who is also named Linda), sent me a beautiful letter. She typed it as she is too weak to write. Here is an excerpt of what she wrote about the quilt, "My quilt is the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen! The jewel colors of the blues, purples, and greens are stunning. The intricate and somewhat whimsical stitching is so awesome."
     Now what better motivation to keep making comfort quilts can there be than that? I don't really need to be motivated, but it makes me determined to keep finding a way for resources and time to keep it going as long as I have breath.

Comfort quilt package, XXL ziplock will seal it up to be clean and protected.

Quilted with Glide thread, Sky



Two quilts on the design wall at the same time, yikes.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Alycia's Mystery A12 Finished

      I have been MIA in posting blogs because I just haven't been able to write them. I take the photos, keep sewing, and read everyone else's but can't write mine. I have been super fatigued since my second shot in early March and my mental energy is not right.
     Alycia held the A12 mystery quilt recently and I finished my top. The last step was to put the side triangle alongside the churndash blocks. When I tried the dark blue, the quilt looked drab to me. I tried string piecing the squares to be cut into triangles, but I used reds and blues and it looked awful. I tried again using a variety of blues and it worked- I love the quilt now. I pieced the strings diagonally on newsprint, trimmed and then cut them into the triangles. I added about 1/2" extra and it made piecing the triangles easier. I staystitched all around because so much is on the bias or tiny pieces. Have to find a back now. Thanks, Alycia for another great pattern. If you read her blog, stop in and give her a word of encouragement as she just lost her mom.

Solid blue or mixed red and blue did not do it for me

Saturday, April 24, 2021

All tied up

    Finally done, the Bow Tie Top from a block swap. All quilted, 55" x 62", bound and ready for a home. Glide Celery thread, top and bottom.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Mystery top sewn and Alycia's mystery

     I am picky about doing mysteries and somehow I am sewing two at once. Not sure how that happened. I finished the guild mystery top which was a facebook mystery years ago. Now I have to find/make a backing and get it quilted, oh boy.
     I used hand dyed fabric (not dyed by me) and dark blue assorted batiks and assorted neutrals. Not a hard quilt- the components are easy to assemble.

Sewn blocks

Audition wide dark borders

Auditon color border with thin dark blue
Final choice after umpteen auditions- thinner blue with wider black scribbled border

     Alycia's A12 mystery is being assembled and here are 20 blocks laid out on cardboard trays, ready to sew.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Flowers and friends

      It is no secret I am nuts about tulips. Although I have a small yard, I plug as many as I can in. We have to build small cages for them or the squirrels will eat them all up. Not a squirrel fan.
     I am a bit worried because tomorrow we are supposed to have an accumulation of wet slushy snow, oh no, my tulips!

     Someone else who loved flowers was Debbie Clarke of Stitchin' Therapy. Her colorwash florals were inspirational and gorgeous. I corresponded with her and learned so much from her.
     Debbie had battled health challenges over too many years and today she lost her battle with them. I am so grieved and sad for her family especially her husband, Russ. The tulips are for her today.