Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Unscheduled Quilting Lesson

On October 31, 2016, my husband retired from his job.  All has been pretty well, and he is happy not to be working and traveling on his job anymore.  He got me some wonderful gift cards, to a couple local quilt shops, for Christmas.  After the holidays, he went with me to Quilt Expressions, and while I was looking at fabric, he was looking, too.  He found some panels with winter trees on them and said he would like to make a quilt.  I had not seen this coming!  I helped him choose a couple more fabrics to go with the panels.  Later I had him practice cutting 2" strips, out of some unappealing remnants, with my rotary cutter.  I had him practice sewing straight seems on the sewing machine.  I introduced him to Mr. Seam Ripper.  He needs more practice pressing.   I had never used a panel to make a quilt, so I winged it and decided they needed to be squared a little before we started.  We discussed sashing and cornerstones: of which, cornerstones are not my favorite thing.  Well, it all went well and he is very happy with the quilt he made. 
He made this to go in the library on the back of the
small sofa.  It really looks great!
He learned about the walking foot and cheaty binding. Now he wants to be my assistant and help me cut fabric for my quilts.  I have some skill builders in the works for his future!  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Japanese Scrap Coasters

Sometimes I just want to be creative with scraps.  I have lots of scrap batting, so I drag a little of that out and try piecing in different ways.  Next thing I know, I have four deliberately not-the-same-size coasters.  I use coasters more than I used to.  I want to prevent rings on my furniture, but also it makes me put my cup where I know I can find it later. 
I used mostly Japanese fabrics.  I stitched in the ditch on
two of them.  I was making them as a gift for a friend.
I wonder when I will give them to her.  Hmmmmm . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The One Year Quilt

Actually most of my quilts take more than a year, because I begin them and then begin some other quilt, which I also may not finish because I begin something.  Sometimes I do get the new projects done before the ones I already had begun.  I hope you were able to follow that.  This one I started in January 2016, because I wanted to use up some of my flannel to make room for more regular cotton fabric.  I did get it finished in January 2017! Yeah!  Done in one year.  It is a fabulous soft grown quilt.  I call it a grown quilt, because I just sew two pieces of fabric together and keep adding, so it grows into a quilt.  I did manage to use up all the airplane fabric and some scraps of Spider Man.  I did do a cheaty binding; trimming the backing an inch from the edge, then folding it to the front as a binding.  It looks awesome and is very sturdy.  I like these kinds of flannel quilts because you really can launder the heck out of them and they just keep on being wonderfully soft and functional.
contains cars, airplanes, trains, hocky players, Spider Man, stripes,
solids, and plaids.  Stitch-in-the-ditch mostly.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dr. Who Quilt

I am looking for my UFO list.  I do have one, but it got packed last year when we were moving and I have not seen it since.  I have two big boxes, in my quilt room, that I have not yet unpacked, so . . . .  Meanwhile, hubby bought some fabric to make a quilt with, so he will be learning all these wonderful skills!  I did get two of the items on my list done in 2016, so I am happy for that.  Unfortunately, I have at least two to add to it.  Now, QN wishes to do a fabric swap thing. Okay, I consent. 
     The Dr. Who quilt is one of the ones I can scratch off my 'to do' list.  I was fortunate to attend a quilting retreat for three days in November, and then one for three days in early December.  I finished up some gifts.  I made my daughter a Dr. Who Quilt.
This is the back of the quilt.  The quilt front is a pattern called Nighttime Blossoms, from Easy Quilts by Fons and Porter; Fall 2015.  
Phyllis Oneal quilted this with a rather squared spiral wave pattern, I really like.  It carries on the timey-wimey swirling through time and space theme of this quilt.
The dimensions are 80" X 80".  The main nighttime blossom fabric is the 'Exploding Tardis' fabric, Dr. Who 2012, by Springs Creative Products Group; Bush Yam X2 by Jeannie Pitjara, M&S Textiles, Australia; several from Derse fabric line; and Grunge Basics for dark background and the binding. I used four fabrics from Marcia Derse line and the 'Line 5" blue reminds me of the tardis door panels.  I used another aboriginal fabric and a batik that I cannot find the information on the lines these came from.
     The pattern was easy, it was just cutting all those rectangles and squares that made the task look daunting.  Perseverance and a 3-day quilting retreat really helped me get it all done.  If you make it with 12 blocks, it will be a lot quicker than doing 25 like I did.  My daughter wanted a 'big' quilt.  Then I went to the Craft Warehouse for backing fabric, where I found more awesome Dr. Who fabric, so I bought some for the back.  I have some left over, so I can make a completely different Dr. Who quilt . . . in the future.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Today's View From My Quilting Room Window

It has been quite tedious, all this snow and ice to have to drive to and from work in.  I would not mind, if I did not have to commute to work five days a week.  A week here or there during the winter, well okay.  But this is going on four weeks of troublesome business and not likely to be over next week.  It was more tolerable over the holidays, because there were so many people on vacation, it caused less traffic to deal with.  Now . . . .yikes!  I put a high value on my time and spending that much time, every day, behind the wheel is starting to get on my nerves.  I thought I had been coming along rather well through it all, then yesterday when I got home from work, I got my Blazer stuck trying to get into our driveway.  Blaze had to spend the night outside, because once we (my husband and two helpful neighbors and I) got it pushed into the driveway, it would not budge. The driveway surface was too slick for traction.  I took a snow day, today.  I made fasolotha, did a little sewing, checked and responded to some e-mails, got inspiration from a photo of a quilt QN sent to me, wrote down my inspiration for a new quilt, and tromped around in the snow in front of our house and took lovely photos.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year's Eve! Quilting As Usual!

Here is how it is.  I finished the Dr. Who Quilt last minute at the end of November and got it in the mail to S. Korea.  Number 1 Daughter received it and loves it!  I have not had a chance to post photos of several things I have completed.  I finished putting the binding on the Jelly Roll Race Quilt, and of course, assisted Kirsten with finishing up one of her quilts.  But these last three weeks, I have been tackling a mending/restoration job that I have been holding on to for over two years.  I decided to stop procrastinating and get it done!  A co-worker and his wife were dog-sitting their grown son's big puppy dog, who had to have a medical procedure.  The wife felt sorry for big puppy and brought out an old baby quilt she had made many years before.  Big puppy ripped a big hole in this quilt.  The wife was sorry she had put the quilt down and thought it unrepairable.  She was distressed and threw it in the trash.  Thoughtful husband secretly rescued it from the trash and brought it to work and showed me the situation.  I told him I could fix it and brought it home.  Once I brought it out of my cupboard, I thought, "I can have this fixed up in a week!"   Boy, was I wrong!  I zig-zagged around the edges of the embroidered patch I had made over two years ago, and threw that in the wash.  It needed softened up.  I snipped all the yarns that held this 'tied' quilt together.  This is also a 'turned' quilt. I unstitched part of the bottom and turned it inside out.  I mended two tears, two seams coming apart, and replaced the ripped up block with the embroidered block.  Then I assessed the batting, which was torn up pretty big in the one area and coming apart in two other areas.  I decided to replace the batting.  The amazing part is: When I went to that J store and got batting, I found baby yarn exactly the same shade of washed-out yellow as on this quilt!  I came home and cut the batting out, and I was just going to sew inside the existing seam lines to connect the new batting when I discovered the back of the quilt was really a lot bigger than the top of the quilt.  I took the back apart from the front.  I was trying to determine how to tack the batting to the back, to make things easier when turning the quilt the right side out again.  My wonderful friend, T, suggested that spray basting stuff.  What a great idea!  When she arrived with her can of spray basting, the next day, I had just laid the back out on my table, so we laid out the batting on top of it.  She shook up the spray basting and then we pulled back the batting about half way, so she could spray. She sprayed one half of the quilt backing, when I suddenly realized it was not the inside being sprayed, but the outside!  I snatched that back up and ran into the laundry room and rinsed it in the deep sink, then put it in the wash to wash that stuff out.  No way does that stuff wash out!  I washed it and tried to steam dry it with my iron, washed it again, washed it again, dried it, then used a lint removal roller on it.  It was still sticky. 
So, T, ripped out the seam holding the two pieces of the back together.  I resewed them, so the seam allowances were on the side with the sticky stuff.  Now the inside of the back of the quilt is the outside of the back of the quilt.  A very clean quilt back it is indeed!  Tonight, I got the batting, backing, and front all sewed together.  I got it turned right side out. I hand stitched the opening closed.  I found my big-eyed needle and threaded it with pale yellow thread and got about half of the blocks tied. I am a happy girl.  I took a break.  My husband and I made some pistachio pudding, then took photos of the Jelly Roll Race Quilt.  It is beautiful!  So, here is a photo of the Jelly Roll Race Quilt!  I love the way these crazy bright colors work together and the stitching is a fabulous design decided on and quilted by Sid Mooney. 

It is a good sized quilt; 60" X 77"

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I am wishing you a merry Christmas and a safe week during this cold, slick weather.  It is a great time to stay in with your stash and sew something fun!  I had a wonderful relaxing Christmas and got some terrific gifts.  Two new self-healing cutting mats, pins, gift cards, See's peanut brittle, and a fabulous quilt!  And a bunch of other stuff!!  I cut a stick and hung up the light house wall hanging that QN gave me.  I hung it above the big photo of us in my quilt room.
from Silverdale WA to Meridian ID