Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lots to Do

I have been cross stitching this piece for a gift.  It's done in the nick of time.  Graduation is next week.

I have been appliqueing these blocks and I put them together for the first time this afternoon.  One block is completely done, one almost finished and the other 3 are only glued and pinned together.  I wanted them on point, which meant that I needed a center block.  I used the same tulips and turquoise bias and made a design, but now it needs something in the setting triangles...  
I started the alphabet snowmen winter embroidery blocks by Crabapple Hill.  I don't know what I'll do with them yet, but I like having embroidery when my hands hurt from appliqueing and/or hand quilting.   I am hand quilting on the red flowers quilt.  I finally marked my baptist fan pattern, I don't know why I was procrastinating, but I really was...  and got it basted (with the long arm) last weekend.  Now I just need callouses again.

I am also going to basket class again on Thursday evenings, well not next Thursday or the week after, but again soon...  I made this last week.  It turned out well.  Next time, I'm doing a ribbed potato basket, but with a 12 or 14" hoop instead of the 10" that I usually use.  I need it big enough to take that 5# bag of onions...

You can also see that spring has finally shown up here in mid Michigan.  It took it's sweet time this year.  The crocus, hellebores, and forsythia came out last week...  daffs and hyacinths this week.

I finished this string star quilt last month.  I quilted it with the long arm and it has a wonderful knobby texture that I love.  I also love how the turquoise sashing and the orange cornerstones make the stars on the navy batik background just shine.  I took it to guild for show and tell and people either loved this one or hated it...  it's wild colors for sure and the back is a mess of quilting stitches because I didn't want to spend much money on backing and used white Kona muslin.  You can see every navy colored stitch on the white.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Late Winter Activities or Only 30 days til Spring

This is a photo heavy post, but unfortunately the photos were taken with my android, since the camera is still AWOL.  Some of them are pretty fuzzy.

It's deep winter in Michigan and we have had much more snow than has been usual the last few years.  This is our lab, Einstein, coming onto the deck through about 18" of snow.  We got about 6" last night and consequently I backed out of the drive this morning and promptly was completely stuck in the snow in the unplowed road...  Yes!  I came in and called work.  I love unplanned "free" days.
 Chris is home for a couple months, waiting for her job to start in late March, so she built an Easter basket.  This is Chris's first basket and I wanted to time how long it would take, since my basket guild is using this basket for the free class that will be offered in March.  It took Chris about 3.5 hours.  It will take a bit longer in guild, but it was great practice and Chris has an Easter basket.
 This is a basket that I built to hold my basket tools.  Chris has made one too, but it still needs a rim.  It is a garden basket pattern that I have made several times and given them away.  It makes a handsome, sturdy basket.
This is the string carpenter's star, (as we called it in Quilter's Night Out) or the more popular name, Broken Star, pattern.  Harold long arm quilted it in turquoise thread with a big daisy pattern.  I wanted something that would stand out and show the quilting and it certainly did that.  I bound it in multicolored strings and it is done!
 This was a fun quilt to make, not because I love the pattern, but because it was a mystery quilt made at the annual guild retreat in January.  The guild retreat was a blast.  It was 4 days of great friends, lots of laughter and corny jokes, good food that someone else makes and no clean-up.  Some folks did this pattern and others did their own thing.  There was piecing, hand and machine applique,  embroidery, and knitting going on and several fabric stores on the way there and the way back.  A lovely way to spend 4 days.

The quilt is big, 86x91, long arm quilted with "tossed tulips", and bound with multicolored red strips.  I tea-dyed white muslin for the back...  and learned a lesson.  One shouldn't use a cast iron frying pan to hold the fabric underneath the tea.  It left black stains on the fabric...  but most of it washed out and it just added to the overall mottled look.

12 of the turkey track blocks, started at Quilter's Night Out in October, are done.  I used various greens and a bright kona red for the centers.  I learned how to back baste, which I had been wanting to do for some time, and understand when it might be useful to use the technique.  However, I really enjoy appliqueing without all the hoopla and prep work, so for the most part, I will just continue cutting a 3/16" seam allowance and enjoying the folk art look of my hand applique.   I plan to donate these blocks to the guild for the silent auction at the next quilt show in spring 2015.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hand Quilting, Appliqueing, and the Lost Camera

Ugh, I have misplaced my camera.  I had the camera and couldn't find the cord connecting it to my computer, (the cord was "put away" at Christmas), have now found the cord, but the camera is gone.  Ugh, again.

I have finished appliqueing the Red Flowers quilt top and have it basted for hand quilting.  I am doing big sweeping fans over it like the original, and also like the original, I am using light colored quilting thread.  I hope this works.  Just for fun, I am going to try and figure out how much time it takes me...

I am practicing back basting with 12 green and red turkey tracks blocks.  I have 5 completed, and all of them basted.  I have to find time to finish the applique now.  I think I may give them to the guild for the silent auction at the quilt show.  I don't need another set of blocks.

The string broken star has been long arm quilted with big daisies using bright blue thread.  I wanted obvious quilting and I got what I was wishing for...  it now needs a binding.

I went to my guild's annual 3 day retreat in January and made a lattice block quilt top in off-white and various reds.  It was the mystery quilt and I enjoyed the process.  It needs to go on the long arm and be quilted now.  I really enjoyed the camaraderie of my quilting friends.  It is stunning how much can get done if all there is to do is quilt, eat, and sleep.

I started a new quilt last December that was a copy of one that I had long arm quilted for an elderly friend.  I asked her in November if she minded that I make one like hers, as H had really liked it.  She didn't mind and I pulled together the plaids and muslin for the ohio stars.  My friend passed away in late December, so I am still working on Miss Helen's quilt.   It is good to think of her when I see it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Projects

Projects completed in 2013
Easy Street, Bonnie Hunter pattern, long arm quilted, 2013
E’s baby quilt, long arm quilted, 2013
K's baby quilt, long arm quilted, 2013
14 Jo Morton minis, some machine, some handquilted, 2013
E’s graduation quilt with batik and African fabrics, long arm quilted, May, 2013
M’s graduation quilt, blue blocks w/ white bkgd, long arm w/ daisy pattern, 5/ 2013
K’s graduation quilt, blue blocks w/ white bkgd, long arm w/ daisy pattern, 5/2013
K’s wedding quilt, NY beauty sunflowers, long arm 6/2013
Appliqued tropical flowers, P Periera pattern, hand quilted, 2013
be thankful, Pat Sloan, long arm quilted w/ oak leaves, 9/13
Pink modern king sized for E, long arm quilted w daisy, 12/13
Turquoise blocks modern king for Terri/P, long arm quilted w daisy, 12/13
Multicolor block modern king for C, long arm quilted w daisy, 12/13
Pine tree flannel queen for D, long arm quilted w oak leaves, 12/13

Paper pieced table runner, 2013
2 AAQI donations, 2013
E's cross-stitched birth announcement, 4/13
E’s cross-stitched Christmas sox, 2013
Evergreen table runner, 2013
2 double walled baskets
agate basket
quilting basket

Started in 2013, hopeful finishes in 2014
Red Flowers, 10/13 - needs hand quilting

Jingle Belles, 9/13 - need to finish hand applique
Plaid Stars, 11/13 - need to finish piecing
Appliqued Turkey Tracks, 11/13 - need to finish hand applique
Goose in Pond guild exchange, 1/13 - needs to be long arm quilted
String Carpenter's Star, 10/13 - needs borders
String Stars with turquoise sashing, 11/13 - needs to be long arm quilted 
Picnic basket

Thinking of 2014 Projects
String Lone Star
Chester Criswell reproduction quilt
B Hunter 2013 BOM
Guild mystery
Snowman embroidery
Hand made brooms

I also have a couple older projects that need to be finished, so I think I may be being optimistic about getting everything finished, but we will see.    


Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's Been More than a Month!

You would think I haven't done anything to write about.  That's actually not true, however it's boring to talk about hand quilting, looking everywhere for the color of fabric you have in your head, but that they don't seem to make, and weaving and unweaving the same basket three times over two weeks.  Here are some things that I have done.
I have wanted to make a broken star of strings for some time, but all those diamonds were a little intimidating and I always was doing something else so I could justifiably procrastinate…until I was looking at the carpenter's star from the last post and had an epiphany…the carpenter's star, done larger and with strings, is the same pattern as a broken star!  Here it is, 60" across, needs a border, but is almost a completed flimsy.  I really like it except that I did it using a printer paper foundation and really hate removing all that paper.  I took it to Quilters Night Out last Tuesday and thanks to Helen and Val, most of the paper is gone.  Yeah!                   This is the Red Flower quilt with a different yellow/gold.  I have tried 4 different yellows and/or golds now, appliqueing down leaves and then ripping them out, but none of the colors were perfect.  I think I like this one.  The last photo is a basket that I wove last week.  It has my quilting threads across the top spoke and holds my scissors and a few pins.  It sits on the table beside my chair.  Thanks to the folks at the "Celebrate Hand Quilting" facebook page for the idea.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Carpenter's Star

This is a Carpenter's Star quilt block done with 4.5" half square triangles, making it 32x32 with a 2" border.  It is an easy block to put together, but for me, who likes to chain piece, it was tedious because only 2 sets of blocks can go together at a time, or I would lose my place in the color scheme.  It's not my usual colors, but I am doing the Jingle Belle blocks, a couple of which are in the photo, and I may use this block for the center of those pieced and appliqued blocks.  I  learned how to make this block with the local Quilter's Night Out group last Tuesday.  It is fun to get together and try new blocks and layouts that you wouldn't normally think of by yourself.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Basket Weekend

 This is a basket that I started on Thursday night.  It has a solid wood base and 4 ball feet.  It will be large and although is quite the tangle right now, should be pretty cool when finished.  
This basket is double-walled, meaning that it is very sturdy, since one basket is on the inside and another on the outside.  This was one of the baskets taught by a teacher that we had come in for our basket guild meeting on Sat.  I love the cat-head design and twilled sidewalls on the outside of the basket.  Another feature of this basket is that the twill is going from left to right on two sides of the basket and right to left on the opposite sides.  The only real issue I had was how to lash with different spokes on the inside and outside.  For the most part, I decided to go with every other outside spoke and I think it looks ok.  I really enjoyed making her baskets and wish now that I had purchased her other double walled basket patterns.

Tonight I worked for a bit on the large basket, weaving 12 rows of smoked reed up the sides of the basket.  The main part of the basket will have a pattern.  I will start that on Thursday this week at basket class.  I also made a small basket this evening for a gift, so no photos of that one.  
I picked up my quilts at the Durand show last evening.  I didn't get photos since I got there late and forgot my camera.  The show was ok, though not fabulous, as several of the quilts I had already seen at other local shows.  But it was fun to see my quilts hanging in the show.