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.