Monday, August 29, 2022

Wonky Stars sparkle

     The last quilt I needed to finish quilting for the October guild show has been completed. The leader-ender-scrap Wonky Stars is quilted and bound. I again printed out the photo, put it in clear sleeve and worked out the quilting pattern. Kind of a different quilting idea and some may just hate it, but I think it works with the pieced design. I am ambivalent about the quilt yet- sometimes it takes a while whether I really like something I made when complete. It is 68 x 90. I used mocha Glide on the top and gray Glide 60 in the bobbin. It was a lot of quilting. I hope to wash it before the show to puff it up.

Fresh off longarm and trimmed


Full front bound

Detail of star circle. Yes, I know my circles wobble. Chalk lines still visible.

Detail border, inside

Thursday, August 25, 2022

ADK all the way!

     One of my favorite places on earth is the Adirondacks, (ADK). We have visited and rented a place there for over 25 years. We started when my kids were little, and now the grandchildren are coming also. We used to rent a small cottage, now it is a big house. Location has slightly changed as we are now on 1st Lake, not 4th. The Fulton Chain of Lakes starts at Old Forge, NY with The Pond.
    Each year is something different. Last year the house across the street blew up the day before we left, so we squeezed into a tiny place. This year, we had 8 month old Violet join us, so that was different. With 4 grandkids, I did not one stitch of sewing even though I had the machine all set up. It was just always rocking and rolling.
    The quilt store, the Crazy Moose in Inlet, where I always drop a chunk of change, was closing due to retirement. I bought lots of flannel to make the Christmas present pillowcases and about 12 batiks. I washed the flannel, so it is ready to cut but have not paired up what cuff with what body yet. So sad, the last time I will be able to buy fabric in the ADK.

All grands but Violet at top of McCauley Mt. courtesy of chair lift

Looking over 2nd, 3rd, 4th Lake

Favorite little hike: Lock and Dam

Just downstream

Including Miss Violet at Lock and Dam

Old train ride: Thendara to Big Moose

Pond along tracks

Early morning fog, 1st Lake across from house

Full moon, 1st Lake

My favorite: Monarch on swamp milkweed

Last flannels from Crazy Moose, all washed

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Quilted: Blue Bargello

    Our guild quilt show is in October, so I have to get going and quilt my quilts for it. I had to stop doing the comfort quilts to do this and it pains me to do so. The Blue Bargello was first. I do not like stitch in the ditch. Maybe I am a weirdo, but ok. I hate pantos. Double weirdo.
    This time, I used an idea I stole from someone- I printed out a photo of the quilt (in black and white with the opacity lowered) and put it in a sheet protector. I used white board markers to draw ideas. I came up with a design that used parallel lines on the dark colors and swirls and leaves on the light. This helped a great deal to figure out what to do.
    The quilt has not yet been washed, so the pink chalk is still visible and it is hard to see the quilting as it hasn't puffed up yet. I did not get a photo of the back yet. I used Glide Steel Blue on the top and a PremoSoft blue in the bobbin. Oddly, I had no issues with all those seams. I will get some better photos later as the quilting isn't showing up as it is in real life.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

A great break at the lake

     One of the beautiful blessings of NYS geography is the Finger Lakes region. I just love to visit and drive through it. For our anniversary (celebrated late), we did an overnight in Watkins Glen which is at the bottom side of Seneca Lake, a crazy deep Finger Lake (over 600 feet). It is loaded with wineries dotted all around. I did some research on TripAdvisor and came up with a bed and breakfast in Watkins Glen called Idlwilde- a huge estate house built in 1892. The current owners have had it for 5 years and still have a bunch of work to do. It has a main house, a carriage house, an absolutely gorgeous gazebo, a tremendous view of Seneca Lake and is up a steep hill directly from the center of Watkins Glen. Watkins Glen has a racetrack that used to host the Grand Prix that my husband always attended. Now it holds some NASCAR and classic events. Too bad for the Grand Prix.
    We had breakfast on the unbelievable front porch and spent the evening after dinner in the gazebo marveling at the woodwork and view. It was quiet and the architecture outstanding.
    When you travel between the Finger Lakes, there is a high ridge between them with beautiful landscapes. Between Canandaigua Lake and Seneca Lake is Penn Yan with a great Mennonite fabric shop called Golden Lane where I stash enhanced with some clearance batiks and others.

Idlwilde with porch, side view
Hubby on porch drinking coffee and relaxing

Gazebo ceiling, original to house

Gazebo floor, phenomenal octagon

View from house, Seneca Lake at left middle.
    Since we were at Seneca Lake, we stopped at a few wineries. Lakewood lets you explore their land and look at the vineyards besides offering tastings and a gorgeous landscaped facility. They actually have a decent dry red wine, unlike most of the Finger Lakes wines.

    Hopefully, you have enjoyed the tour, especially Alycia who always bowls me over with her Colorado photos.

Friday, August 5, 2022

An unusual quilt and start of another

     My husband's mother and grandmother quilted and sewed clothes. I learned a lot about quilting from them. My husband's mom, Rosemary, was a wonderful woman and mother who left us too soon at 66, younger than I am at 68. Very sobering. She used to make improv quilts before anyone claimed them. She used polyester double knits left over from sewing clothes (six kids) to create lap quilts and hand sewed the pieces using the herringbone stitch and perle cotton. These quilt wear like iron, never fade, are warm and have a certain charm that many dismiss.
    Victoria Findlay Wolfe had a grandmother, Edna, who made them and shared some of them on her site a while back. I have only two. One Rosemary made during our infamous Blizzard of 77 that uses black and orange featuring a palm tree. Sometime, I will find that one and dig it out to photo and share. The other quilt we have used in our family room for over 40 years. It shows no wear or fading. It has been used by my kids and now my grandkids for play and covering. What has given up the ghost is the perle cotton- totally disintegrating. I could not bear to not use it anymore, so I am slowly restitching the pieces back on with perle cotton even though I hate hand stitching. Using the machine would diminish its charm to me.

    On the Upstairs, Downstairs front, I have completed set 1 of 8 for the quilt. Watermark is the fabric line. Love it.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Sparkling Happy Gift

     I have been gifted parts for a top for another wonderful comfort quilt from Quiltdiva Julie complete with backing and binding. This one is called Flaneur, you can read about it here. It is chock full of happy HSTs with Tula Pink's Fairy Dust as the background fabric.
    Julie's original layout was sent to me and when I put it on my wall, it made my eyes ping pong and I could not appreciate the colors, fabrics and designs. Some patterns just do that to me.

    I thought about how I could focus attention on the quilt, not add more blocks or subtract any and certainly not mess with the blocks themselves. I thought a darker value could balance out the bright, but not too much. If it was all sashed, it would be too diluted. I tried one section of the quilt with 1" strips of this fabric as I don't appreciate solids as much as some print interest.
    I went ahead and added the strips to the rest. However, I did not sew long strips in the rows or columns. Since the fabric was only 1", I was afraid it would wibble and wobble between the blocks. Some people recommend to cut it bigger, then trim it down. I did not want to trust myself to trim long sewn strips. So, what I did was sew a strip to the side of each block that needed it and sew the blocks together webbing style with the strips already attached. The blue fabric was forgiving as you can't see the seams between the blocks. And I got it all straight. It doesn't change the size much or interfere with the design but brings a focus to it.
    The last thing I am going to do before seaming the backing is add 2.5" strips (finish 2") borders using the Fairy Dust fabric that Julie included. I think this will give those HSTs some more air to sparkle.

    Julie also sent leftover HSTs which I am going to use to make the block for the front of the tote bag for the comfort quilt. Most times I use orphan blocks, but this block will match the quilt.