Thursday, November 20, 2014

We Lose Friends.

My good friend, Betty Finnegan, passed away suddenly last Sunday, November 16.  I've never had a close friend die before. It is hard to think that anything is worthwhile, when you lose someone forever.  Those of us who knew her are very fortunate to have wonderful memories of her.  Memories are magical things.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Inspiration from one another (snowmen!)

     Being around other quilters and doing things with other quilters causes a chain of creative events that are immeasurable.  I have a friend that I like to do things with, and we are both quilters. I was out of my favorite strawberry rhubarb jam, that can only be obtained at Cliff's Country Market in Caldwell.  Also, I needed to pick-up a gluten free apple pie.  Cliff's has the best, no. 1, gluten free apple pie in their frozen GF section. 
     We drove over to Cliff's and got yummy things.  Then I thought why not stop in a quilt shop while we are in the neighborhood?  We did.  She behaved, but I had to buy some fabric.  While we were there, another quilter came in and was asking advice on a small quilt she was working on.  I loved it!  It was delightful and simple in design.  My friend and I, headed for the nearest best Mexican restaurant, where we drew the design out on a hastily found piece of scrap paper. 
     A few weeks later, my same friend and I planned a trip to Weiser to visit Judy Ann's Quilt Shop.  What fun we had.  Her niece was running the store, when we got there, at 3:00 in the afternoon.  Such nice fabrics, most of which we had not seen down in the valley.  I spent all my mad money!  I got two different snowflake fabrics.  I found some awesome 50's car hop fabric, and I bought enough to make the front and back of a quilt for my cousin.  Such a nice time we had.
     That evening I took out that piece of scrap paper and went through my fru-fru quilting fabric and scraps and pieced that entire wall hanging.  It took me Monday and Tuesday evenings to sew on the snow man faces; five of them. I got the "Fru-fru Snowmen" wall hanging completely quilted and bound by Friday evening, November 7. 
     Yesterday, I surprised my friend with this darling snowman wall hanging at our "Cindy's Retreat" yesterday afternoon.  I am getting ready to head back there in a few minutes.  I, and even my mother, think it turned out well, even though I used the non-winter fabrics on it.  I sewed the binding on the backside, then turned it to the front and machine stitched it in place with a snowflake stitch!
This is so cheery!

Friday, November 7, 2014

First Liberated Church of Hopscotch

I did make my church block for my liberated houses quilt.  But I did not make it with a blue sky. 
I think it came out a bit small compared to the other 19 liberated house blocks I have made.  I may make another one, but if I make the house bigger I can't put all those crosses in the yard.  I believe this church has a grave yard! It certainly has lots of angels.
     I got the wild crosses fabric at Hancocks, and the blue stripe roof fabric. The hopscotch fabric, I picked up years ago at Joanne's. Perfect for church windows!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Three Projects Finished Last Weekend!

     Last weekend I had the most fun!  I can't remember what I did Saturday morning, but my friend, Teresa, came over in the afternoon and we did a quilted pot holder project.  What I like is that no matter how easy the project, I always learn something new! How does that happen?  I remember that I learned two new things, but now (nearly a week later) I can only remember one of them. Hmm.  Maybe if I look at that pot holder, I will remember! 
     We made the Folded Pot Holder, from Quilt Expressions blog.
I top stitched mine, then afterward noticed the fancy stitching in the photo on the instructions.  They used co-ordinating thread, so it was hard to notice.  The two things I learned are 1) how to make that little angled fold joining the binding up after sewing it clear around the edge; 2) that you can stitch the binding to the back-side, then turn it to the front and use a decorative stitch to sew it down.  I did this on another project to see how that would work, if I used a decorative stitch.

     I had made a kitty quilt for Merlinda, but it needed to be bound.  I had left-over orange binding strips from the pot holder project, so I used the decorative stitch instead of hand-sewing the binding down. On a kitty quilt it doesn't matter which side you sew it to first.  Then I used my special foot, to run along the edge of binding and machine sew the binding on.

Here is the finished kitty quilt with some of the same binding as the pot holder.

After those two projects, I used some scraps from Aoi Has Two Sisters quilt to make a pillow cover.  It is a liberated log cabin block.  Liberated log cabin blocks are found in the parts dept. of Collaborative Quilting, that I discussed in my previous post.  Love those liberated blocks!

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.