Weblog and Idea Spot for Quilters

05 April 2018

Scrappy Neutral Stars

I must have lugged these blocks back and forth to retreats for two years, but finally, FINALLY, the quilt is done.  Most every scrap of gold and neutral in my stash got sliced up for this one.  Some of the blocks don't really seem to blend, but I'm still learning how to scrappy.

The quilting was kept simple as this one stays home with me.  The trapunto effect would probably have been better if I'd added a layer of poly batting on top of the cotton, but meh.  After a couple of washings it will shrink a bit and look puffier.

Usually the heavier quilting goes in the background, but this time I switched it up and gave the background just a simple geometric design.  

Gotta sign and date 'em.  :)

Happy spring everyone!

25 December 2017

Merry Chris Moose

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends! 

This quilt started with a panel to which I added random colored nine patch blocks and strip borders.  All the fabrics except one of the reds and one of the browns came from a 2.5" roll of fabrics from the same line as the panel so I can't take credit for the lovely color combinations at all. 

The top and back were pieced a year ago, and just for fun I threw it on Terpsichore and we danced it done in no time just a few days ago.

Binding was just all the scraps.

Most fun part?  Writing "moose moose moose" all along the inner border, which you can see well in person but not so well in these pictures.  here's a shot of a section of the back where the words are visible.

20 December 2017

Chilly Quilted Penguin

Chilly Quilted Penguin would be an excellent name for a rock band or eclectic coffee shop.

A friend told me the nursery was going to be done in penguins, which I just adore, so I had to make a penguin quilt for her baby.

I scanned the net for patterns and ideas, and from THIS quilt (Diana McClun and Laura Nownes) sketched up a pattern in EQ8.  My penguins don't look that much like their penguins, but their quilt is where my inspiration came from.

I made the beaks and feet from prairie points and left them floppy so there would be something to tug on.  The feet got some extra stitching to denote toes.

Quilting the quilt was fun and quick.  Asian wind/water for the sky, a large triangle meander for the ice, swirls for the belly feathers, and a heart for joy.

Magnifico thread in white for the shiny snowy appeal.

And to wrap it all up, a cute penguin print from about a decade ago.

22 September 2017

Gift Card Holders

Because it's fun, that's why!

10 April 2017

Solids and Cabbage

It's not a healthy living hack of my blogger account, I promise.  There simply wasn't anything else to call this quilt!  Any suggestions for names will be taken seriously from my faithful readers.

I purchased two jelly rolls on clearance at a very nice little shop in Gainesville last year while on a quilting retreat.  Made some very quick strip blocks from them and zapped them together into a top.  I had to look around for a while, but I was CERTAIN there was a Kaffe Fassett fabric that would be perfect for the border.  :D found it.

Boy did I ever have fun doing a little bit of every kind of fill work I've ever seen, tried, heard of or thought up.  It's a little zany to look at the front, but it grows on ya'.

The back (I encourage you to click through for the enlargements) restores a little method to the madness.

Butterflies are amazingly strong and sturdy for as delicate as they appear, and I had hoped to capture some of that strength along with the delicacy in this representation.  It feels both over- and under-worked to me however.  I suspect this is due in large part to my lack of artistic ability - that is, my lack of ability to draw.  I'll probably try this again after i've had time to think about how better to approach it.

Whimsy.  I love getting to do whatever the heck I want on my own quilts.  That's a cameo of a butterfly above. 

Can't have butterflies without flowers of course!

This is a closeup of one of the butterfly wings' eyespots.  You should have seen me fiddling with my circles to get them lined up right.  Had my tongue sticking out the entire time.

Got my "Better Homes and Gardens" shot taken (always the last one I take of a quilt) about ten seconds after the rain started this afternoon.  Fortunately it was a very slow start and was just sprinkling.

First time I tried the flange binding.  I think it worked wonders on this quilt and I'll try it again sometime as it was pretty easy.  This one is too thick for my tastes though and it will get cut slimmer (the binding part) for the next run.

14 February 2017

Box of Chocolates

Isn't that sweet!

Or as we say in Texas, "Idn'at swait!"

Found these adorable candies in a ten inch stack a year or so ago.  Had to have 'em and knew what I wanted to make with them by the time I got them home. They didn't want to be cut up; at ten inches there was just enough of each pattern to really show them off, so they were sashed, ribboned, and tied up with a bow.

The bow was way easier than it looks.  
I sketched it out on paper, decided what was foreground (red) and what was background (maroon), then enlarged it on some old packing paper, smoothed the sketch into something nice, and used the packing paper as a template.  Cut it up, pinned it to the appropriate color, cut out the pieces.  Satin stitch got it firmly sewed to the top.

In the chocolate squares the quilting is pretty innocuous as I didn't want to detract from the lushly detailed prints.  

The ribbon got some fairly dense quilting just to show off a little.

There were a few squares left over so they got turned into a pillowcase.  More and more I've turned to using leftovers for a pillowcase to match the quilts I make.  Even if the recipient doesn't want to use the case on their pillow, it makes a handy storage sleeve for the quilt when it isn't being used.

10 February 2017

Autumn 3D Bowtie

I'm still working through my obsession with bright autumn colors.  Using the border and knot fabric as my focus, several fabrics from my stash were brought together to make these 3d bowtie blocks.  Random block placement enhanced the overall look.

The back fabric has nothing to do with the front, but is a cheerful neutral and was big enough to prevent the need for piecing.

My great-grandmother taught me how to make this block about fifty years ago.  I have no idea why the technique stayed with me, but it's cool.  You can learn this technique in a number of places online, but HERE's a link that has nice pictures.

To all of you the binding choice probably seems obvious, but first I tried the orange blender and then the green and gold leaves before figuring out that something more sedate was called for against the very colorful border.

Sure, it's dead of winter now, but dragging this quilt around in the back yard this morning to photograph it brightened up my day. 

23 January 2017

Quilting in The Twilight Zone

I think there are about 1200 hexies in that box now.  When I started cutting a few days ago there were only 700.  So, progress.

Sorting by color though?  Eep.  Definitely Twilight Zone.  Sort all day, still have serious tonnage left to sort.  Sort all the next day, find another bag of scraps.  Sort three more days (as time permits of course), start to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Thirty-three bags of color sorted scraps are pictured above.  I think that's everything.  A scrap sewing station will be set up soon somewhere - I may have to throw away the refrigerator to make room for it, but it isn't going in my studio.  No.  Absolutely not.

06 January 2017

Quilting in the New Year

It's not even going to be about using up my stash this year.  I doubt I'll even see my stash much.  This year I'll be using up my scraps.  2017, the year of the scrap.  Cue Al Stewart.

There are four lawn and leaf bags FULL of scraps in my closet. Not garbage bags, not shopping bags, lawn and leaf bags. This doesn't even count the scraps Beth gave me.  I used some of those to make a quilt and it hardly made a dent in the poundage.  It doesn't count the scribbles everyone gives me at the end of a retreat either.  You know, the little dog ears and squaring up strings and bobbin knots?  They all go into a shopping bag that hangs off the end of my sewing table during retreat.  When I get home I chop those up and add them to a dog bed liner.  When full, they go to local shelters. 

When I square up a back before loading it onto Terpsichore the oddly asymmetrical strip that gets torn off goes in my scrap bag.  It's usually about 3/4" wide at one end and four threads wide at the other.  Every time I make flying geese blocks the old fashioned way I make two seams and cut between them to make sure the waste triangles are sewn into an hst before it gets tossed onto the scrap pile.  After nearly 40 years of quilting, there are lots of those 1 1/2" tails from a WOF strip that didn't get used when cutting 3" squares.  (4" squares, 5" squares, whatever!)  There are a few fussy cut whatnots from various novelty fabrics.  There are a few whole blocks that got built as extras for some quilt or another that it turned out I didn't need or maybe they were faulty in some way.  There's a collection of 18 gingerbread men blocks - I don't even know where these came from!  But they're squared up into 8 1/2" x 7 3/4" rectangles.  Maybe that's why they're in the scrap bag.

I have a basic plan of attack ready.  I'm going to sort by color.  I'm going to make crazy patched fabric from as much of it as I can stand.  I'm going to cut lots and lots of blue hexagons for a project I've been piddling around with for nearly five years.  I'm going to sew hsts from all the corner trimmings.  I'll be making string quilts, crazy quilts, another scrap vortex quilt, and lots of crumb blocks.  I'm sure I'll even attempt a postage stamp quilt, although there's a fair chance I'll pop an aneurysm before I get it finished.

I've delved into scrap bags maybe a couple dozen times in my life to find something that would work just so.  Most of the time I've been lucky enough to be able to go to the fabric store and buy whatever I wanted or needed.  Only twice have I reached into the scrap bag to build an entire quilt.  The first time was way before the internet, and the second time was for this quilt.

2017 isn't going to be a year full of weekly finishes because scrap quilts take way more time to select fabrics for, cut, and assemble unless you're going for a completely random look.

But I bet when 2017 is over I will have one very small bag of scraps left.

30 December 2016

Moonlit Garden Strips

Here's the last finish for 2016.  Connecting Threads had this kit on sale for a ridiculous bargain so I purchased two.  (These kits are no longer in stock on their site.)  Together they make a queen sized quilt with plenty of scraps left over.  The piecing was very simple with the trickiest bit being getting all the pseudo rail fence blocks oriented correctly.  The kit as a lovely piece of grey and black fabric for the binding but it didn't seem to match as well as the fabric I used for the back, so a substitution was made.

I always make a couple of extra blocks in case something goes desperately wrong during the assembly process but this time it went flawlessly so the extras were used on the back.  Thank you, OFG for helping me with the photography.

This quilt was saved for last this year because it looks a little like fireworks.  Have a Happy New Year everyone!

25 December 2016

Purple Pixelated Quilt

Not the only pixel quilt on the internet by any means, but this one is mine.  Mixing up browns and purples and getting the fade right was more challenging than I thought it would be and would have been impossible without a design wall.

Unless you zoom way in on the picture of the back above you won't be able to see that the quilting changes from dark purple through shades to lavender then neutral also.  Simple curls and swirls made the quilting go by quickly, and the color changes kept it interesting.

The binding isn't even purple!  It's blue with pink squares and metallic gold accents.

Gotta sign 'em.  :)

Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy Holiday Season!