Monday, January 28, 2008

Border is on

I have the border on the next baby quilt. I have to figure out how I am going to quilt it now. I think I want to quilt each block, but I need to figure out what I am going to do. The quilt itself is pretty squarish, so maybe something roundish.

I may piece the back from the fabrics I used on the quilt. They were 1/2 yard cuts, and I had some left over from each fabric I used.


Done...and DONE!!

Both quilts are done, binding is on, now they just need to be laundered and then sent. The county roads quilt is late, but the slice the deck quilt is early, so on average they are on time.

The babies aren't born yet, but I did miss the deadline for the shower. Now I have 3 more quilts to bind and still many more to quilt.

I still haven't bought any fabric this year--yippee!


Sunday, January 27, 2008


I've played around with the top border picture and the colors of the blog. I move the furniture in my house, too! The picture is of Pikes Peak and I took it in September of 2005. It really gives the mood of fall in Colorado.

Here is the whole photo. It was taken from the parking lot of a business center in town. I love sky pictures. Unfortunately you can see the light poles. If I was clever, I might be able to get rid of them in a photo program, but my skills just aren't that good.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Yeah! It's done, but late...

I said it would be done and sent my Monday night--liar. It's Saturday morning and now it's all done but the binding. Since I sew binding for baby quilts on all by machine, it will be done today, and maybe even sent UPS (do they UPS on Saturday?)

I actually like the quilting pretty well, even though the stitches are far from regular, and the shapes are not exactly the same. "Quilting by Doodling"--that's my new motto, and I think it will work for me.

I'm going to use white fabric with colored stars on it for the binding. I usually sew the binding to the back of the quilt, then when I bring it to the front I use a decorative stitch to sew it down. This makes the binding very sturdy, and I figure with baby blankets that will be washed a lot I want to make the very sturdy.

The quilting I did in the borders is "rocks". You know how you can pebble small areas of a quilt, well I decided this was kind of a cable the doodling way. I imagine if I had a long arm I would just go with cables, but I think this is fun and freestyle, and matches the feel of the modified fans.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Another One Partly Done!

I have partially quilted the next quilt--it has to be done and sent by tomorrow--probably not till the evening. I'm afraid it's going to be a little bit late for the party. I started by sewing around the quilt top after pinning to keep the top, batting and backing together at the edges. Then I sewed along the border--this is what I just did with the orange and green quilt and it worked just fine. BUT....on that quilt I started in the middle and sort of worked in all directions, and it was fine.

This time I started at one short edge and am working toward the other short edge. It's the only way I could figure to do the fan quilting. I'm a little more than half-way through and I looked at the back and noticed I was pushing the backing fabric toward the unquilted area, and then, with this last set of fans, I noticed that I had some pleats. Well, I'm not going to unquilt the pleats, but I did remove the sewing along the edge of the quilt, and around the border in the unquilted section of the quilt. I'll have to repin, and be careful to not pleat again, but this will just have to do--I just don't think it's necessary for me, and I think the quilt will be appreciated anyway!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One down...

...and many more to go. I finished quilting one of the baby blankets, but after I talked to my sister I realized I quilted the one that was due last, first. So now, on to the first one. I have it pinned and have decided how I am going to quilt the center section--don't know about the borders yet, but it will come to me.

This one I quilted in the main section with "dwirling" and I am pretty happy with it. (The pictures are a little weird, but I could only think to use a light from an edge to show the quilting, so I put an uplight on the floor and took the picture--click on the pictures to see a larger version) I know I will get better with this type of quilting as I go. Doodling for quilting is a concept I can work with--yeh PajamaQuilter. She never says she is doodlling, but in my mind that's what she's doing. I even found a small whiteboard that I can use for practice doodling, so I didn't have to buy one.

The next one I am quilting is the "county roads" one with the black leading. I am going to use a modified baptist fan. I was looking at some quilting designs online and decided I could do that with the doodling. I'll post a picture when I get it done, but it looks something like this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

When we share our first cup of tea, we are strangers, when we share two cups, we are friends; by the time we share the third cup of tea, we are family.

I heard one of the co-authors of "Three Cups of Tea" speak today and it reminded me of the time I spent in Israel. I was traveling with my closest friend and a whole group through Israel and then Rome in 1979 or 1980. We were traveling with a bible scholar and learning about the sites in the Holy Land that are mentioned in the bible. We spent a bit of time in Jerusalem, and had some free time. My friend and I were walking through the old city and came upon a shop selling cross-stitched items. We went in and started talking to the woman who owned the shop. She had been raised by French nuns, or at least educated by them. She had started the shop to help Bedouin women earn money. She taught the women how to cross-stitch and supplied them with the fabric and needles and thread. They took the materials home and worked on the cross-stitch and brought it back to her.

We were asking about what she did, and how the cross stitch was made, and she told us if we came back the next day she would teach us how to do some of the patterns. We went back, and spent most of the day with here, talking and learning how to do cross stitch. The quote above reminded me of this experience because we shared cups of Turkish coffee while we talked and learned. I am not a coffee drinker to this day, but I drank the very sweet, very strong, very small cups of coffee while I worked. It was an amazing experience.

Here are some pictures of a dress I bought to help support her work. She also gave me samples of patterns, some cloth, and needles and thread. I will have to dig them out. I think I am going to have to figure out how to have this dress framed and hung--it really is a work of art.

Click on the pictures to see larger images.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Getting Stuff Done!

I got a book about machine quilting (after seeing a video on Brightcove) for Christmas. Lorraine Stangness is the author, and she says her favorite threads are Sulkys. So, today I went to the LQS and bought nothing but thread, 2 chalk-o-liners, some Retayne and some Syhthrapol. I spent quite a bit, but not on fabric!

I was on the computer doing something (you see how good my memory is) and someone mentioned "PajamaQuilter Reloade"--the DVD. I watched the preview and thought it was a good idea. I have lots of tops to finish, so learning how to do them with doodling sounds just perfect to me. I took some backing fabric (not fab, but good enough) from my stash and pinned the orange, yellow and green baby quilt. I sewed around the edge, trimmed and then stitched down around the border. I then used the chalk-o-liner to make the first lines across the quilt for "dwirling". I used some of the Sulky blendable thread I bought (nice thread) and finished about 1/3 of the quilt. It is not perfect--but I feel much better about this than many other types of quilting I have done.

Here is a partial picture of the front. You can see a bit of the quilting.

Here is a picture of the back--see what I mean about boring, but you can see the quilting pretty well.

Dawn Ramirez (PajamaQuilter) uses a long arm machine, and I think this would be much easier, because you can see the whole of what you are quilting, and not just what is under the needle. I think I will get better the more I work on it, but I am pretty happy with this so far.

Oh, I found some more unfinished tops (surprise) These three just need binding--soon they'll be done!


Friday, January 11, 2008

More tops to finish

I decided that I would post pictures of the tops I am going to finish, before I start another quilt. I don't have them all here, but it is a beginning.

This first one is a la Ricky Tims. I took two hand dyed pieces of fabric and cut them apart, then "converged" them. I really, really like this one, but I have no idea what I should do to quilt it. It was so simple to do (just a little attention to detail and this is what I got--wow!

This one is also a convergence quilt, but of the more popular variety. It is only about 24 inches square--again, I have no idea how to quilt it, but I will work on something that will add to the quilt. This top was finished in 2002, I think, and the one above while I was in Germany, so I think 2005.

This one was just finished in May--but it was a retirement present and the retiree has left. It is a signature quilt and will be fourth in line after I finish the 3 quilts for my great-nieces.

Here is one I started in a class--I don't know if I'll ever finish it. The class was with Jackie Robinson and through my quilt guild--hmmmm, 5 years or so ago. I still have the fabrics I collected for it, but I think I may have lost interest. I'll have to look back at the directions to see if I think it still holds my interest enough.

This last one started out as just the blocks--love the colors, love the stack n' whack technique. Then I saw the venetian tiles setting on Bethany Reynolds website and AFTER I had already pieced the blocks, I tried to figure out how to make the tiles. It looks OK, but will need a lot of smoothing. The bias edges have stretched some--I want this one to have some special quilting too.

And just for fun, a detail of the tiles top.

I'll post more when I get pictures of them.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Finished

I got the slash a stash quilt top finished. I think it might need borders still. I have extra fabric from the blocks I made, so I will do something with it--maybe a piano keys border. Whatever it is, it will be something relatively simple. I like the way the blocks came out, the center squares almost look like they are transparent and the colors have changed.

Things to finish

I started another quilt for another great niece. I had some of the fabric cut for the "County Roads" pattern that I had decided to make, but I want to do something different. I have the blocks that will be cut into quadrants made. Now I have to stack and shuffle them and resew them.

These are all fabrics that I bought last year--the half yard boxes of yellow and green. I will cut each of these into four pieces and shuffle them around and resew them. After I get this top done I will start quilting the baby quilts, and then start working on UFOs.

I have quite a few to finish--
blue Irish chain duvet cover--still needs the border too
round robin from 2002 or 2003
jewel box--I think this one needs at least part of a border
venetian tiles wall hanging
convergence quilts (2)
4-patch posies baby quilt--need to get this one done early--the baby is only 1 year old so I still have time
oriental lap quilt--a wedding present--they've been married about 5 years now

That's all I can remember without going into the boxes and pulling everything out. I'll add to it when I have time to actually look and pile.


Monday, January 7, 2008

My first

I had surgery in the middle of December, so stayed home a lot. I had plenty of time to read lots of blogs, especially quilting blogs. That inspired me to start my own, more for a journal or diary of the work I am doing than for anything else.

If someone else enjoys it--all the better.

I've finished three quilt tops since December 19th--one I just added the borders to, and the other two are baby quilts for future great-nieces. I used fabric from my stash for all three. I haven't quilted them yet, but I have been inspired by reading Stitched with Love's blog and plan to work on quilting them in the next couple of weeks.

BingoThe first quilt is one of the baby quilts. It's from Karla Alexander's book "New Cuts for New Quilts". It's a stack the deck book, and was quite fun to make. I bought a box of 1/2 yard cuts in green, and another in yellow last year. I found three in each color that went well together and used them. I bought the fabric I used for the hour-glass border about 4 years ago when a local fabric shop had lots of bright on sale for $1 per yard.

The second is from a pattern called "County Lines". The leading is 1" wide I'm thinking of making the next one (I have three great nieces being born between Feb and March) with smaller leading, maybe just 1/2 inch. It will make the quilt smaller, but I think I might like it better.

The third is a quilt I made from a block exchange at my quilt guild. We were assigned to groups, and made blocks with the person's request, and their blocks as a sample in mind. For example, one woman wanted blocks with shabby chic fabrics--pink, green and off-white. My request was for the North Winds block with black and brights. This was a scrappy quilt (the first I have made and I found I hated using a bunch of different fabrics--it's way too messy) and my blocks were all in the same color family. I should have ended up with 30 blocks at the end of the exchange, but one woman dropped out, and some of the blocks didn't fit my request--so I didn't use them.

I ended up having to make more blocks to make a quilt that was usable. All the small blocks at the top and the bottom of the quilt were made with the same multi-colored batik. Then I used the same fabric in the border.

I don't know how I am going to quilt these yet, but I'll work on it.



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