Monday, March 29, 2010

Playtime quilts

I have been working on my challenge quilt for our basement play group and I got fired up about it and finished it. However I can't post a picture of it yet because I have to wait until we reveal them all.

Our group doesn't have a regular meeting date and we are loosly organized but we have good times when we get together. We learn from each other and exchange ideas and we inspire one another. I think I mentioned before we have wonderful lunches.

The book that started us off was this one. This is a fun book just to look at but the exercises are great to get you started to make your own improvisational quilt. All of the quilts are named for childrens games and the names of the quilts don't always refer to the finsihed quilts so much as to the idea behind the composition. Not everyone did every exercise; there are some that I want to go back and do because I missed them.
This is Hopscotch, my first quilt from the book; it is about 40 x 40. It has elements also, the checkerboard and piano keys.
This is Tic Tac Toe Whose Move? about 42 x 42
This one is Musical Chairs about 32 x 42. Maybe you can guess one of the elements from another game. Because of some of the fabric it took on an African look so I drew the mask and added the beaded trim and the Icthus.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I have been busy finishing up some things that have been around a while. I have to move things around and rearrange my room to set up for machine quilting. I like to have more than one thing to quilt so that I am not moving and putting things back too many times. My room is 10 x11  and I have too much STUFF. Last month I changed things around one day but instead of getting rid of something I brought something else in the room for my printers. I had it all arranged in EQ and I could see it wasn't working well but I did it anyway. I like it better but maybe just because it is a change. Everything works OK as long as I can live with my little blanket chest in front of my bookcase blocking the lower shelf.

This is my corner set up for machine quilting or it will be as soon as I move my iron and board and the rulers on my machine.

I just finished quilting this baby quilt for our "new baby" shelf at church. I think this is a pattern we will use for more quilts because it is fast and easy for new quiters. We would like to  involve them in making something for our "Caring Quilts", something that will be a learning process.  
Below is a closeup showing the Baby Signs print. I don't think the free motion quilting shows. I quilted in the ditch around the pieced blocks. I still have to but the yellow binding on, hopefully tonight.

I finished up my Diva challenge and have it layered up but I can't show it just yet. We are going to have our "reveal" in April.
I had some problems with my borders and I think one reason was because my new iron that I was so enamored with did not heat up enough and none of my seams were flat. When my infatuation with my iron cooled down a bit I could see someting wasn't right. I took it back and got another of the same and now I am a happy presser.                                                                                                     

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paper piecing again

My friend Kathy taught me to paper piece last year and it was no small thing. I am not sure why I had so much trouble with paper piecing but I made mistakes that made it hard to figure out what I was thinking. I had taken more than one class and I came to the conclusion that when I turned somethng over to stitch on the back something happened to my mind. But what Kathy taught me clicked and I made 2 sets of migrating geese. So ...........Thursday I was all set to make a paper pieced sun. I finished it yesterday afternoon. The paper piecing went well, slow but no problems; setting it into a circle. not so hot. The hardest part was adding the circle in the center. I decided to applique it with straight stitching on the edge and my stitching went awry. I am going to use it anyway and figure out how to rescue it but I don't think I will make any more 6 inch suns unless I fuse them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Parts department

I am part of a group of quilting friends who get together and play. We sometimes choose a book and work our way through the exercises and learn new techniques. Sometimes 1 or 2 people will teach us something that they have learned or discovered or created. We are very loosely organized (like not) and we don't really have a name. We are sometimes the Saturday Study Group and sometimes Sewing in the Basement; it depends on who is sending the email.  We play, we encourage one another, we learn from each other and we have wonderful lunches.
We are presently working on a challenge using a Sewing Diva panel and parts from 2 books, "Beyond the Block" by Linda K Johnson and Jane K. Well a.k.a. Crafty Ol' Broads and "Collabrorative Quilting" by Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston. Both of these books are fun, fun,fun but doing this with a group is friends is even more fun.

I can't show my Diva section but these are some of my parts from the "Parts Department" as they are called in the book "Collaborative Quilting". These won't all be in my challenge piece but this is what I have been working on .
The top row is 4 1/2 inch 16 patch blocks. They were my favorite yeterday when I was working on them.
The second row is 4 x 4 1/2 inch log cabins.
The third row is Gwennies Pinwheels.
The fourth row is Liberated Stars.
The fifth row is 2 inch 4 patches on point
The 6th row is 2 1/2 inch HST's  and a "Chunky Churndash" from Bonnie Hunters website and  a Birds in the Air block.

These are a few more parts.
So far I have been using up mostly short strips and small pieces. I don't know why I have so many bright scraps; maybe because I save everything. Yesterday my cutting table was covered with a big tangle of strips but I used a bunch and sorted the rest in manageable bunches.

This is an "I Spy" quilt that I am quilting. I stopped when I folded under a corner and quilted it down. I never got back to it after  I took  out the stitching. I think I made these blocks after I got the Collaborative Quilting book but I am not sure. The blocks are the same as the liberated log cabins but they might have been crazy pieced. I made about 100 blocks using I Spy patches that were too small or odd sizes for other I spy patterns.

This is a quilt that I finished using those same blocks. I know I got the idea for the dividing strips from the Beyond the Block book.There was one more quilt pretty much the same as this one with lighning bolt dividing strips. All three quilts are for our new baby shelf at church.