Monday, October 31, 2011

Friendship blocks

Our Friendship block exchange group meets tomorrow evening. Last month was my month to present a block for everyone to make for me. I will be getting them tomorrow, always fun.
I made my blocks for the September presenter this week end. For some reason I just never thought about making them until everyone else brought out their blocks. I  did miss the meeting when she presented her block so that is my excuse' even though I  knew what she wanted as our friend Kathy always keeps us up to date when we miss.
  These are the  8 inch Triple 4 patch blocks I made. She requested 3 blocks, blue or boys prints. The quilt for be for a new grandson. I made an extra one because I don't like the one on the bottom.  The print was cute and colorful but it already had a patchwork look and cut up and pieced it looked like a mess to me. I made the one with the kids eating treats today and I like it better.
I always second guess myself with my Friendship blocks. It is hard for me to pick out fabric for someone else blocks. When I am following their guidelines for color I  think I frequently miss the mark. However, they are all nice ladies and if they aren't pleased with what they get they never complain.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I am in a quandary; I just can't decide what to do about the borders for my all scrappy DNP (you can see more of it here). The body of the quilt is quilted and I will add the borders after I quilt them. I thought I had decided to use my picket fence borders that I didn't use on another quilt but they didn't look right on this one either. I think there is too much white/light fabric in them for this quilt.
I had considered both the blue and the brown fabrics. I am not wild about either one but I lean toward the blue a little  more.

Brown border
Blue border?
I  thought about just putting a binding on it but I know I would be sorry I had not done something more.
 I am still thinking about prairie  points (the black here has nothing to do with this quilt it is the inner border on the quilt that is on my bed where I am auditioning all of these options).
If I use Prairie Points I have to work out how to add them to a quilt that is already quilted to the edge with out having the edge of the quilt feel like it has  steel  band in it. I think I know how I would do it but I  am not sure how it will  look if I  don't do a  good job of sewing a straight  line.

 Then there is the piano key border which would  have a narrow inner border. I guess I like this best but I was hoping to find a different border that was less work. This border is for my spiral  log cabin and if I want one for this quilt I will have to make another one. Too bad that  I decided to put all those strips away and cleanup the mess if I had kept going  I would have it all done by now.

I have to make up my mind and get this done. When I am wavering about what to do, I do one of two things, I either clean or eat. I have already cleaned and cleaned again and I just bought 2 new pair of pants and I don't want to grow out of them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
I didn't make it this year and I had a post about it last year. Looking through my photos I realised that this was one of my favorite quilts to make. It has a lot of color, many different fabrics, it has some traditional elements, there was some problem solving in putting it together, I used some printed motifs from the fabric I worked with, and the design of the quilt was my own. This is the kind of quilt I most enjoy making.

This was a group challenge quilt and started with the Sewing Diva fabric. We had to use motifs from the fabric and I think 3 elements from a book or two we were all working through at the time. I chose to make mine a self portrait of sorts and everything I used was something associated with something about me or something I like. The motifs from the Diva fabric are the sewing or thread chandelier in the window, the tomato vine and the white haired Diva. The other elements are the 16 patch blocks, the strippy lawn, the paper pieced sun, the lightning bolt and broken dishes (for sun rays). I appliqued some flowers from a Jane Sassaman fabric to fill  in two corners  where  my 16 patch blocks wouldn't fit the center of the quilt. There is always a way around those problems but it makes you have to think if you haven't planned ahead.

The funniest thing about making this quilt was when I told my husband I had to shop for ring for my belly button. He looked at me and paused a few seconds and said "you know.... you ought to think about it before you go ahead and do anything like that." He seriously thought I was talking about my own real life 75 year old body. He probably didn't have any idea about what I was working on or talking about but really...........

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The piano key borders are taking a long time to make. I started on Monday and I only have 2 1/2 borders. 
I am randomly sewing strips together into 4 and 5 strips to a set and then cutting 6 1/2  inch segments from them and adding 1 or 2 strips before joining the sections. When I say random I don't mean I blindly pick up a strip and add it; I want it to have some relationship to the strip to which I am add it. Sometimes I have something in there that doesn't seem to bear any relationship to any set of strips and that is OK, it helps keep the appearance random. Random, to me, means no set pattern, just personal choice. I am putting 2 inch strips in there randomly, most of the time when I join a set to another.

EQ 7 Version

This is the Electric Quilt version of how I will  use the borders. I am going to quilt this in sections by quilting the body of the quilt first and then adding the quilted borders. For that reason I decided to make long horizontal borders instead of adding corner blocks in the border. I can put  2 1/2 inch strips on the ends of the borders to I can be sure I can make them fit exactly. When you add the borders after quilting there is no easing them to fit or making adjustments in the center. I enjoy putting the strips together and seeing  the interaction of the color and pattern. This kind of border is not for someone who wants a more orderly border or to see a nice neat pattern develope but it works for me. A bonus is that I am using up some of my strips that have been hanging around forever. I might make this kind of border for the  all scrappy DNP as well. Maybe when I put it all away again there won't be so much left that I can't put it away in some sort of order. (this is probably delusional thinking). 
I spent a  lot of time this morning trying to figure out how to convert this EQ bitmap file into a jpg file. I hope I remember how I did it.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I decided to piece Piano Key borders for my DNP quilt and my Spiral Log Cabin quilt. After all, I just straightened up my sewing room and cleaned off all horizontal surfaces. Isn't that when you are supposed to drag out boxes of various size strips, none of which are sorted in any kind of order, so that you can make a huge mess again.
These are 3 of the 5 boxes I dragged out. They are sorted in boxes of  1 1/2 or  2 inch wide strips but they are all different lengths. the boxes say light or dark but it looks to me like there are more medium value strips than light or dark in the boxes. that really doesn't matter to me for these borders as  I am just putting strips together randomly. I am trying to sew strip sets that I can cut into 2 or 3 - 6 1/2 inch lengths.  I want 4 or 5 strips before I cut them into the smaller segments and then I will add some of the short strips  in between the units when I put them together. I am  mixing up the widths randomly also. That way when I make them fit the quilt I will only have  to take up one  or two seams instead  of a bunch of them.

6 1/2 inch segments
Strip Sets
This is the other thing I have been playing with. I bought this round papier mache box a long time ago (maybe more than 10 years ago). It is 10 inches high and it is 9 inches in diameter. I painted it off white and I planned to do something to decorate it but I can't even remember what that was. I stored some seasonal  decorations in it I came across it when I cleaned a  closet last week and  decided I need the space more than I needed what I  was storing.  It sat on a table in my sewing room and it struck me that maybe I could doodle all over it. I had been practicing some of the things from a book and things I saw on line. I did the top first and realised that it would not be so easy as my drawing tablets to work  on as it is  not nice and smooth like paper. Nevertheless I like the top. I also found out that I was not so good at drawing on a curved surface, especially a not so smooth one. I decided to go with one design. I'm still working on it. Like every other part of my body, my eyes get tired and I  have to give them a rest.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Long time

Long time, no post. I changed my banner quilt to somet hing fall like and then I got interrupted and never got back .
I haven't done much quilting in the past week. I've had other things going on some quilt related and  others just stuff that had to be done.
My Friendship group was  last week and it was my month  to present the block I wanted everyone to do for me. I don't want to make another large  quit at this time  so I decided  on a book. I asked everyone to trace their hands on fabric in their favorite color and fuse it on a 10 1/2 x 12 1/2 background fabric and then make their favorite block  (6 1/2 inches) in their favorite colors. No pictures of that till next month.
Our group at church met Saturday and I demoed different ways to make Flying Geese for a Dutchman's Puzzle block.
I did not read the directions well (  usual story) and used up all of that yellow fabric so I only have one block to  use for something. I think I will border it with  smaller flying geese and make something. Or maybe I will put it in the "odd blocks" box.

We have taken a lot of foliage rides this  past week. Lake and Geauga  Counties in Ohio are beautiful in the fall and our peak season is spread out over a few weeks due to the diversity of the forestation. The Holden Arboretum has been one of our favorite evening places to visit and I got  some good photos last week. I am not much of a photographer but who could go wrong with this.

Here  the sinking sun lit up one tree like a spotlight. I know that someone else could get better photos but honestly no photo can hold a candle to the real thing. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One little project

The weather has turned a lot cooler and with the rain and the wind it is not so nice to go out. When I go out and get chilled I don't warm up as fast as I did when I was younger so when I come home I often like to snuggle up in a quilt or throw for a while. Well, actually I often take a nice nap. I have some fleece throws that I like to use and I like to keep them readily available but I have quilts draped over most of my chairs and I don't want to put the fleece throws there. I decided if I rolled one up and put a little slip cover around it, it would stay neat, look like a pillow and be right where I want it. I had one 15 x 9 inch piece of leaf fabric and some gold fabric that I had used recently in the table topper. I made a flat band about 22 x 14 and quilted it. I just wrap it around the throw and overlap it a little. I am going to make buttonholes and sew on buttons rather than sew it closed and stuff the throw inside. That is my QAWM quilt from 2 years ago on the back of the rocker. So..... that is my one small project.

In the last few days I haven't accomplished much  in the way of sewing. I did however get a lot of other stuff done. Sometimes it is good to clean and put everything back where it belongs so that I can see what I still have to finish and also where everything is. I really cleaned up because I am having friends for lunch this week and they are going to see my sewing room. I decided a long time ago that I need to have people over every so often so that I am motivated to put everything away.
I really need to do it more often.

This is I spent my time yesterday; it was my great grandson's birthday party.This is all 5 of the great grand kids. One of them is looking away and there is a lot of red eye that I can't get rid of but they are all smiling and happy and all looking natural. I like this picture! The birthday boy is the one in the back wearing glasses.