Saturday, July 21, 2012

June 18, A Finish, Revisited...

Take a quick look back to the June 18 post.  Yesterday I took the Folk Fantasy to my quilt guild for show and tell...  The program yesterday was quilt judging by a certified quilt judge....  and Folk Fantasy was judged.  She said the colors were very good, the binding didn't have enough batting in it (oh well), my stitch length and consistency were good, but...there wasn't enough quilting.  It's interesting how everyone has an opinion.  I have asked at least 3 people if they thought the diagonals were quilted close enough (the quilt was marked using my 1.5" ruler so that's how far apart they were) because I wasn't sure either and all 3 said they liked it that way.  Anyway, there will be another finish because I came home and marked another set of diagonals 1/2" away from the first set and started hand quilting today.   Everyone can weigh in soon...I'll post another photo and you can tell me which one you like too.      

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I'm Doing...

 A Gift for Kate...I made this for a long overdue Birthday.  It was in May, but I couldn't decide what to do and found this pattern at a local quilt shop.  Kate loves lily of the valley.  It was a redwork or embroidery pattern, but I wanted more color, so I appliquéd the tea cup and leaves and then did the stems and lily of the valley flowers in embroidery.  I added the words and hand quilted it.  I think she likes it.  I photographed it outdoors in the herb garden with the thyme flowers.  It seemed appropriate.
 This quilt is just for fun.  I started the needle turn appliqué as a class at a local quilt shop last year.  The pattern had a pieced border, but I had seen this border done on an appliqué quilt at a quilt show and wanted to try it out.  The quilt turned out an odd size, so I'm probably going to add another green border to the outside and then machine quilt it.  The pastels aren't my usual color palette, but somehow seemed to suit this appliqué.  
I finished a trio of baby sized scrap quilt tops tonight.  Please excuse the terrible photo, they are really primary colors with white Kona.  These are scraps of a bunch of fabrics that I purchased last year to make 2 baby quilts for great-nieces.  I clearly overbuy fabric, since I have done those two, another one, and now 3 more from the same fabric and still have enough to bind these with...  after machine quilting them.  They are 35" x 50".
I am doing basket weaving with friends on Thursday nights.  This week, I made this basket from a kit that a friend had had for 20 years or more.  The basket is 11" across and I stained it.  I'll give it to her this week at quilt guild.

I'm behind on the baskets.  I said earlier in the year that I needed to make at least 12 baskets this year to call myself a basket maker because only a couple got done last year and I have a whole cabinet of stuff...  I think I may be up to 5 this year... better get moving.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Focus today, gone tomorrow

It will come as no surprise to my family and friends, but I appear to be addicted to collecting how-to books.  I love reading them, using them as inspiration, following other's suggestions, and just enjoy watching my shelf fill up.  These are the  latest additions to the quilting library over the last month.  (I didn't photograph the basket weaving, cloth dyeing, or gardening stuff!)  Some are older editions, usually collected from goodwill stores through amazon, others are newer.  All are incredibly inspirational and would make me such a better quilter, appliquer, embroiderer... whatever, if I just followed the instructions.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to do that.  As I look these over, I realize that I can't seem to focus my efforts into any one or two or even six directions.

I change every pattern.  Many times I don't use a pattern at all.  I change fabrics and styles.  I don't quilt with a hoop.  I don't use betweens.  I don't usually use templates or overlays.  I do use a hoop for most embroidery.  I have hand quilted using 200 count muslin and/or batiks as backgrounds and/or backings, though I might not again.  I do take classes from great craftspeople and artists.

My WIP list...
-hand quilting the oak reels quilt, my design from a picture of an antique quilt
-the Civil War Bride's quilt with 4 blocks done in Jo Morton and Judie Rothermel fabrics (and a few more stuffed in the box)
-my designs on paper for a lovely appliquéd Baltimore style quilt
-the redwork birds from the Crabapple Hill pattern are almost finished and I have started collecting fabrics for the quilt top
- Blackbird Designs baskets (last count there were 78 done in Michael Miller and Kaffe Fawcett fabrics and many, many more cut out to appliqué)
-the appliquéd portion of the bird quilt is done in gorgeous green and rose pastels and 177 nine-patches have been cut out for the border
-the P3 Design's tropical flowers are finished in bright batiks and I am drafting more flowers to make a quilt top
-the dresden plates top needs to have the (already done) appliquéd borders attached
-the guild's BOM is done in high contrast batiks
-three string quilts have been cut out using scraps
-My Exuberant Garden is almost done using piecing, appliqué, hand and machine embroidery, and beading, my design made up as I think about it...
-a paper pieced BOM in batiks is showing up at the door every month, an impulse buy
-and I am supposed to be practicing on the Gammill in the other room since I have 3 pieced tops done that can be machine quilted anytime that I have nothing else to do.

I seem to be all over the place, all the time.  I love that there is always something to work on, no matter what you feel like doing, but it does take a long time to get anything done when you are working on everything at once.  

But I am not complaining.  As I write this, I realize that I really like to do it this way.  I have always had 16 projects going at any one time so I guess I wasn't supposed to focus anyway.  And Blackbird Designs has a new book out and I have a wonderful wonky houses/trees/words quilt in my head... I need to get started.