Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Look

I decided that I need a new look.

This quilt shown here in it's entirety is one that I paper pieced and I love it. I had it up on my sewing room wall and it will go back up over my desk when I get the design and bulletin boards up (I hope that will be soon). In the meantime I will be able to look at it here once in a while. That man just rolls his eyes when I mention going to Lowes for the stuff to make my design wall. I am being patient and sewing scrappy liberated stars and log cabins as I wait.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Liberated stars coming along

I have been working on my liberated stars and log cabin blocks the last few days. I can't say my pile of scraps looks any smaller but then I have only 8 log cabins and 7 stars finished and 13 more partial stars and my once half way organized scraps are "scrap salad" to steal a phrase from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. She said the ladies in her workshop all arrived with their scraps neatly sorted and after 2 hours they all had scrap salad. I understand that perfectly. 

Here is one of my piles of scrap salad. there are 2 more.

 I plan to straighten it up a bit not because I think it will stay that way but I know that in there somewhere are several partial log cabins. I chain piece for a while just adding  strips to each block in a random manner but then I will get a little compulsive about one or two blocks and add a strip and press and add another strip........ etc until it is finished. Then I go back to chain piecing and pressing again. It keeps me from getting bored when I mix things up in my routine but I lose track of things in the muddle I create.
These are the blocks I have finished, they will be 8 inches in the quilt. I never noticed that 7 in the star block on the top row until I put them on my flannel board. I may have to think of something clever to do with it or use it for something else or maybe make up a story about it.

Below are the partial star blocks. the centers are 4 1/2 inches and they have one set of star points sewed on.
After I made the first few blocks I cut my background rectangles to use for the connector corners 4 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches instead of 2 1/2 and trimmed them when they were finished. For me it always works better to sew first and trim to size. I also always trim out the triangle of background fabric after I make sure it is covered.

I really do miss having a whole wall for a design wall but I am going to do it different in this room so that I can also pin to the wall so I have to wait until my husband is feeling like doing it. For now my 32 x40 and 24 x 36 pieces of flannel covered foam core will do the job.
That man (husband) is feeling pretty good we have gone to the arboretum to walk and count frogs the last 3 days and he is talking about getting out tomorrow on his motorcycle and going back to the Y to workout on Monday.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting the scraps under control.

I had planned to have almost a week to get my sewing room stuff organized after we moved the furniture. I thought I would go through everything before I brought it over to the new sewing room and it would all be neat and orderly. The water episode took care of that and though now things are nearly the way I want them there are some things that will have to wait.
Last Wednesday my husband didn't feel well about dinner time and a little later he really didn't look good. We went to the hospital where he had a bunch of tests and was admitted. He had his gall bladder out on Friday and he is home and doing well but there are a few things to be done in my sewing room that I am not going to press him about. They can wait and I can still work. I'm just glad he is OK and getting back to normal. It seems like we have spent most of this last month "getting back to normal".

When we moved I found that I had several Sterilite boxes with the same kinds of fabric. There were 3 boxes with pieces that hadn't been cut and then there were 3 boxes with scraps of various sizes and shapes that I planned to use for "liberated blocks".  Last night I tackled the scrap boxes; some of the things had been separated in zip lock bags and most of them were a mystery to me as to why I had separated them. I went through all of it and sorted scraps by color and layed them out on three trays. I put the dark scraps aside. Larger pieces I put away in one of the boxes and I put small pieces that would be the start of the liberated log cabins and stars in a shoe box. This pile below is from the shoe box.
These are a few of the liberated stars and log cabins I am making. I plan to keep working on them until the scrap pile is depleted. I may cut some more strips to use from the stuff in the boxes.

I had started making 4 and 6 inch blocks without a real plan; I thought I would add them to my "parts department " blocks (like Freddie Moran and Gwen Marston do. I saw what Victoria (Bumblebeans ) was doing with her 15 minutes and I liked the light background on the stars. I'm not sure how I am going to set these or what size I will make; for now I am just going to keep working until the trays are empty.

Three more that I gave away.

I find that I do not have photos of all of the quilts that I gave away last week. I will probably go over to my daughter's and son's houses  and snap a few so I have a record of what I made. I know that in the past I didn't always take pictures and I have forgotten some of the things I made. Before my daughter and daughter in law left with the quilts I made a list of the quilts each one had and when I  looked at my list I was suprised that I was not sure what some of the smaller pieces are.

These are three more of the quilts my daughter took. I think I have shown all of them here before. the yellow table topper is recent but the other two Have been around awhile, living in my closet or cedar chest. She has already passed some of the smaller pieces on to family members which is what I hoped she would do.

Now I can access the things in my sewing room closet a little better and I can sew again without some of the frustration.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here are a few more of the quilts that I gave away this week.

This first quilt is another 9 patch color wash. It in no way resembles the quilt I had in mind when I started. I was going to make it green and pink/ red but the quilt had other ideas and when that happens I go with the flow.. I cut the compound leaves from a printed fabric and fused them and machine appliqued them and the branch with a narrow satin stitch. It used to hang in my bedroom above the headboard but now I want something different. These are my daughters colors so I am sure she will use it somewhere.

The quilt below is one I gave Marty a few years ago. I had a bunch of 9 patch color wash blocks left from making the quilt at the top of my blog. I had made it too big for the space between the top of the sofa and the ceiling and I had to take off some rows and I used them to make this quilt which is about 24 inches square. The blossoms are cut from and oriental looking print fabric and machine appliqued. I hand appliqued the circle because I  thought it would be an easier way to get it perfectly round. Maybe it is not perfectly round but it turned out pretty good.

The next quilt was from a black and white class I took at the Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio with Lynn Keough. It sat around for a long time unfinished until I went into a finishing frenzy and finished up a bunch of things that had been around awhile.  I had a few black and white quilts that never saw the light of day after they were finished, they just didn't play well with anything else. I made them because I had an idea but they didn't fit in my home or any of my kid's either. I decided that maybe this one needed something so I added the flowers.

The last quilt "Summertime in the Land of Oz." It was from a class with  Loraine Torrence at the Farmpark the same year as the black and white class. I don't do very well in classes. At some point my mind wanders away from the technique instructions and I start thinking about the composition and I have to say that everyone else seemed to be doing what they were doing an easier way than I was. Nevertheless it was a good class and I did learn some really useful techniques even though I learned some of them by doing it my way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gave away 20 quilts

I have had quilts in my cedar chest and quilts in my linen closet and 3 cardboard carpet rolls with quilts rolled up around them taking up room in my sewing room closet for way too long. I didn't want to put them back after our move. After I put everything away where it belonged and felt satisfied with the way things fit, I really didn't want to put those rolls back in front of all my shelves. That is where they have been living and I decided it was time for them to go somewhere where they would be used. My daughter and daughter in law came over this afternoon and they each took about 10 quilts. I told them to take them to use and not to put away in a closet unless they are seasonal. I let them work it out between them, who took what. Most of the quilts wee wall hangings but there were 2 bed size quilts.
These are two that my daughter in law took

This one is "Night Flight". It is about 40 inches square, a 9 patch color wash background, the flying geese and mountain scene is a appliqued circle of printed fabric. I appliqued the circle by hand.  At the time it seemed the easiest way.
The second quilt is "Moonlight Swim". It is about 24"x 40" and it is also a 9 patch color wash background with a hand appliqued circle of printed fabric . I guess I uploaded the photo that wasn't cropped but it wasn't easy finding  the pics that I wanted. These are 2 of my favorite quilts but I never hung them at home because they seemed out of place. I hung on to them for a long time but finally decided to let them go.

Ruth (yes my DIL is named Ruth and both our husbands are named John) also took the quilt below.

It is "Urban Renewal" named because the house blocks were made by a fellow guild member several years back and I acquired them at our guild flea market. I added the flag and put the blocks together and quilted it. The quilting was done by machine but I hand quilted quilt block stars at the tip of each roof with embroidery thread and "big stitch." I had this hanging with my patriotic quilts in the other apartment and though this apartment is the same space I decided not to hang anything in the space next to my door because in this apartment the carpeting doesn't go all the way to the door. It would have overlapped past the entry space and the look was unbalanced. Because it was long I had no other place to hang it.
Tomorrow if I can find the rest of my quilt pics I will post some that my daughter took.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Almost back to "normal"

We are pretty much all settled after our move and the water episode. The ceiling areas that were damaged have been repaired and the painting is done and it all looks good. We finished hanging all the curtain rods and brackets and the curtains and blinds are up.
My sewing room has been cleared of all of the stuff we had to move in there to get the work done but I still have some work to do before it is finished. I am not rushing it because I would like to get it arranged so that I am satisfied and not always moving things to make it better.
Today my sister in law, Martha, and I went to visit a new quilt shop that is opening this week; it is only a few minutes from her house. . We had a hard time finding the shop because their permanent sign is not up yet and the city of Lyndhurst only allows "lawn signs" on certain days of the week. I remembered the address and that is how we found it and it was worth the trouble. It is a nice shop, the owner is very friendly and the lighting is great. I think this shop will be a regular destination. So far all the fabric was from Moda but new things will be arriving. I am loving the new fresh colorways of all the fabric lines but it makes me not so enchanted with my stash which has become outdated because I have not been buying much except to finish what I am working on.