Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Two Favorite Quilt Books

     Someone wanted to know about my favorite quilt books.  I was brain dead that day and could not tell her the titles.  I am getting quite old and forgetful, although, how I can forget Freddy Moran is beyond me.  She is the most colorful person I never met! 
     Anyway, Quilting and Color Made Easy, by Susan McKelvey and Janet Wickell, published by Rodale, Inc. is my first favorite book on quilting.  It has the most overall coverage of techniques for quilting. It discusses batting, fabrics, everything you need to know about color. It is easy to understand, it is a thorough but not huge book.  It is to the point and I have read it completely through once and revisited it a lot.  The photos are informative and colorful, it covers different forms of applique, whether to use a steam or dry iron, and the list goes on.  It has a fabulous index.  Any book with a good size index has got to be good!
     My other most favorite quilting book is not of the technical kind, but the creative kind.  It is called Collaborative Quilting, by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston, published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.  I love it for all the wild inspiration and beautiful quilts.  I like how they are each introduced separately; showing their different styles.  I like the idea of a "Parts Department", because it turns out that I have one! It tells you how to make all the different blocks, and they are Liberated Blocks!  I really like that!  There is an entire section showing the quilts they have made, and what blocks you make to construct a similar quilt. Freddy Moran's color theory is: 10 prints don't work, but 100 do, excess is never enough, pure color works, and black and white makes it alright.  It is an awesome idea book, for quilters who love to mix it up, or need permission to do so.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hideous Fabric Traveling Quilt

I did get my Sunset Sail quilt back from the long-arm quilter's a week ago. I have to put the binding on. I got my Japanese quilt top completed and need to get the backing done. After that the next project up is the hideous challenge fabric blocks that the Knotty Quilters made, oh, a year-and-a-half ago.  Then they gave the blocks to me to put into a quilt top.  Photos of those should be posted in the next few weeks.  That fabric is truly hideous, but the blocks that have been made are truly fabulous.
The Knotty Quilters all agreed this is hideous fabric, so we split it up and made whatever blocks we wanted out of it to go in a traveling quilt.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pete's Roughin' It Quilt

Over the years, I have made three quilts for my husband.  He recently told me that he wanted another quilt. This one was something I should not take much care or thought in making, as he just wants one to toss in the back seat of his pick-up.  I have been trying to use up some of my stash, as of late, so I drug out my drapery fabric remnants and found the two fleece blankets that I had been moving from one place to another.  One of the fleece blankets turned out to be a sweatshirt fabric blanket, but I used them both for the backing.  I folded the fleece blanket and sewed the folded edge to the edge of the sweatshirt fabric blanket.  That seam was a little bulky, sew I sewed it down.  I used big chunks of drapery fabric remnants for the top. I had a lot of this dark blue plaid, that I had used to make drapes for my Dad's room just a few months before he passed away.  I don't know what kind of fabric it is, but it is sturdy and hangs really well.  I determined that the fabrics I was using was going to make this a heavy quilt indeed, so I decided not to put any batting in the middle.  I cut the back to the same size as the top, then sewed them right-sides together, leaving a place to turn it right-side-out.  I smoothed it out on my table and pinned it all around the edge and top-stitched  it all around and across the opening. This made for less bulky edges.  Then I got the chalk line from the wood shop and my husband helped me snap lines both directions on the quilt back and I quilted on those lines.  The reason for quilting it with the back facing  up, is because it is stretchy and I wanted the non-stretchy side down for better control.  That worked really well.  The quilting resulted in blocks of approx. 11" square, which is okay because there is no batting inside to shift.  It is plenty heavy and soft and warm due to the properties of the thick sweatshirt fabric and the fleece used on the back.  After I sewed on the chalk lines, I used the lint remover to take off any excess chalk.  After I finished the quilt, I cleaned my machine, to remove some chalk and lint that had been building up for a couple months.  This was a quick quilt that has no binding, and it went together fast and without fuss.  I can tell, already, my husband is attached to this one as much as the others I have made, despite it's total scrappyness. 
This is the first time I used the chalk line, did it just to make it go faster.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Liberated House Blocks

I have made a little progress on the Liberated House Blocks. I completed one in September and I completed one this evening, that I started last Friday.  I call it the Tropics Lounge block.  There is a fire truck parked outside. There is only one fireman in the truck, so I presume the others are in the Tropics CafĂ© and Lounge, where that hot babe is.  The fireman is a bear, naturally!
I have 18 blocks completed. I need two more blue sky blocks, one of which will be the park and the other will be the church block.  I think twenty blocks should be enough, since I will be putting sashing between them that will represent streets. Oh, but darn, I have some mud demo derby space aliens that I wanted to include . . . might have to do another row to expand the township.  I am planning railroad tracks in the border along the bottom and a bit of forest along the top.  I had also considered a Physical Therapy practice called Simon's PT.  I have been going to PT again and it seems all they ever say is "Hmmm do some of these stretches and hold for ten seconds each, and do thirty repetitions."  Then you do it like Simon Says.  Actually, I really like my physical therapists.  Also, I believe PT is helping my condition.  I have to be good and get better so I can do more quilting! Oh, and practicing my violin! Of course!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BBQ Quilt Show and Lucky Kitty Fabric

I tried to find a flannel-backed table cloth to hang for my design wall, at BB&B, but failed miserably.  BB&B does not carry them.  Well, I guess it is off to Kings Variety Store in Eagle!  Meanwhile, we went out to breakfast at the Original Pancake House, where they serve gluten free pancakes, and had a maaaavelous breakfast, then proceeded on down to the BBQ Quilt Show at the Fair Grounds. The quilts were wonderful and the arrangement this year had better flow and was a more relaxing experience.  I got a couple new ideas.  I enjoyed visiting with several friends, that I had not seen in a long time. 
  On Friday, my Lucky Kitty fabric from Japan arrived and it had not even been two weeks!  And it is lovely and feels wonderful.  I ordered a yard, but they sent me a yard and a fourth.  Yeah!  It will be the perfect inner border on my Aoi Has Two Sisters quilt.  It washed up beautifully. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Never Enough Time To Just Quilt or Sew

I did get all my Japanese blocks sewed together, but then I was waiting for the Lucky Cat fabric to arrive from Japan.  My daughter helped me find this fabulous fabric on-line. I ordered it for the inside border of my quilt.  It arrived yesterday.  Earlier this month, I was getting ready for my daughter, and her kitty, to visit from Missouri. They arrived on the 14th and we had to give special attention to get both kitties on the track to living together.  Merlinda and Ebony are both females and we think this could be a little more difficult than other combinations of cats.  Ebony is staying calm, but Merlinda keeps having hissy fits.  We finally have the door between them wedged open an inch. Merlinda does not want to even come down the hall to it's vicinity.  We will continue taking our time.  My daughter flew back to Missouri on the 21st. I really miss her. We had the most wonderful time while she was here. 

Ebony
The amusing thing is that when my husband saw this photo, he thought it was one of my stuffed kitty pillows!  Can you see the resemblance?!!
I made this one in 2001.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

What is on the Design Wall in September???

I got that little bit of doll quilt that was remaining on the design wall, last month, all pieced together.  It is ready for me to quilt, but you know the story.  So, all the block for my Japanese quilt are on the design wall now.  I see where I need to rearrange them a little bit, then I can get down to the business of sewing them all together.  This is going to be completely different from what I usually create.  I have been preoccupied, these last few weeks, with yard work and getting my spare room, which is my office, cleaned up and sorted out, so it can be the personal territory of a visiting kitty cat.  Ebony is my daughter's cat, and she will be staying with us for about 7 months, while my daughter is deployed overseas.  I have been working out strategies to help my sweet Merlinda, the Ninja Cat, and Ebony to become acquainted with out too much fur flying.  This will be interesting.  If not for that (of course, I always have a reason), I would have that Japanese quilt all finished by now!! Of course!
So naturally, last weekend I took a little break from yard work and cleaning and found, in my stash, a nice piece of pink flannel with cats on it, and made a fabulous bag for a friend's un-sister.  I lined it with regular cotton pink fabric.  Her un-sister love's it.  Yeahhhh!!  That's what it is all about.