Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

 I didn't have to think too long about which quilt I wanted to enter this year.This is my favorite quilt of those I have made this year, a spiral log cabin quilt or the Gigi (GG) quilt, as my husband calls it. He thinks the blocks look like G's.
I started this quilt last spring after seeing the blocks on Beth Shibley's blog, Love Laugh Quilt; where she has a great tutorial. I finally got around to finishing it in September. The fabrics are mainly floral or botanical from my box of 1 1/2 inch strips that are mostly from the years when I made color wash quilts. The best fit for category would be Scrap Quilt.

To make this more manageable on my domestic machine, I quilted it in sections.   I ditch quilted the body of the quilt first and later I quilted and then added the borders, first the side borders and then the top and bottom borders with the corner blocks added. I couldn't decide on border fabric and that held me up a while but I finally settled on piano key borders. I liked this quilt before I added the borders but after the borders were on, I loved it! The center of the quilt just seems to glow. 
For the back I used a vertical row of leftover spiral log cabin blocks between 2 sections of the backing for the body of the quilt and 
then added random size sections of piano keys to stretch the rest of the yellow backing fabric to fit as the backing for the border sections.

I live in an apartment and one bedroom is my sewing room the other room has a king size bed, that is one bed total, for which I have 2 quilts already. This quilt is  about 64 x 75, hardly king size. Both Jack and I like it so much I didn't want to relegate it to the closet or cedar chest.
so here it is on the bed. It covers the top of the bed from the foot to the pillows and from side to side. I have a  kind of furry/fuzzy white blanket under it and it works. We take all the extra pillows and the quilt off for sleeping and because it is not so big and heavy as a full king size quilt it isn't a lot of trouble.
If you are interested in seeing my posts about this as I was working on it, click on spiral log cabins and log cabin quilts on the side bar.

Don't forget to check out the other quilts on the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Amy does a great job of organizing this event and there are many wonderful quilts.  Click on this link here or on the Bloggers's Quilt Festival button my my side bar.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Blocks and Playing with EQ7

I finished up my Friendship blocks on Tuesday. This pattern is Mississippi Mud, Mary Huey's version of the Mississippi block. These blocks are for Laura who gave us the fabric squares already cut. All we had to do was the construction. My favorite quilts are scrappy quilts with many colors and as many different fabrics as possible but I love this done in batiks. It has a more cohesive look and a much more sophisticated character. I am not sure if the whole quilt is blue or if other people had other colors.I missed the meeting last month so I didn't  see what everyone else had. 
 Mary Huey used to own a local quilt shop and taught this class in her shop. I seem to be the only one of my friends who never made this quilt. I may remedy that in the next year.

I have been playing in EQ7 with ideas for my black and white and red Basement Diva challenge, these are two photos of my computer screen with 2 layouts. None of the fabrics are what I will actually use but rather they represent value and color. You can check my post here on the Basement Divas  blog to see what I have settled on as my challenge.

I play in EQ with every quilt I ever make even the very simplest ones. It helps me understand the cibstruction or work out the construction problems.  I am able to see how changing something, maybe adding a line or eliminating a line might change everything. Maybe changing the value placement will make a difference. EQ helps me estimate yardage which was always a big deal for me. It also sparks my creativity. After I play on the computer for a while and have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, I start working with the fabric and of course everything changes.

None of my ideas are cast in stone and when I am working with the fabrics on my design wall I see new possibilities. I am already thinking that this may lead to another series. We'll see how it goes. Right now I am thinking that constructing this will go smoothly. If it doesn't, I will have to decide if there will be a series .

Monday, October 22, 2012

Some blocks and a finish

I finished up one  set of Friendship blocks this morning; they are due November 6 so I am early and feeling good about that. Judy is making  quilts for 3 neighbor children who will be moving away. She asked for 8 inch blocks made with 2 1/2 inch  black or white print strips around a 4 1/2 inch colorful kids print. She asked for 2 or 3 blocks. I wasn't sure whether she meant 2 or 3 blocks for each quilt or just 2 or three blocks so I figured this time more is better and made 9. I still have another set of blocks for Friendship but I won't have to agonize over the fabric for those because Laura gave us the already cut fabric to use.

I  found some pastel striped fabric last week at Joann's that is just right for this baby quilt and I finished this up today. I don't hate it anymore. I keep forgetting that when everything is done and the binding is on the quilts always look better. This may not be is not my best quilt but it really isn't bad after all. Below is a close up of the binding;  if you look carefully and enlarge the photo, you may be able to see some of the quilting on the border and wide strips between the rows.

I feel like I should have accomplished more than I did today but at least I am getting a few things done. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Day with the Divas

Today was our Basement Divas meeting day. As usual it was a fun day I appreciated it all the more because we missed last month due to many other local quilting events and I also missed the Friendship block swapping group with many of the same ladies. It has been a good day. You can read about it here.

This was the kick off day for our black and white challenge. Everyone brought something related to what they are going to make. Some people had started already and others brought fabric to cut or magazines or books with the patterns they were going to use. That is everyone except me, I still have no idea.  That is until I came home.

How's this for black  and white and red?
Well.... actually.... this was up on my design wall. I was looking at it and thinking that I bought that fabric for something else that I never made. A year or two after I bought it, when it was still just sitting there, I used the fabric for a Hunter's star. Someone in my church group demo-ed the block of the month using the Rapid Fire ruler and I made my Hunter's Star with the fabric. I wish I could make the piece I bought that fabric for. It would work for all of the challenge rules. Wait! I still  have some pretty big pieces of that fabric I checked and they are still there. I can make the challenge piece any size so if I have to I can make it to fit with what I have.  This day has turned out even better that I thought. I am sure I was inspired by the company I kept today because that piece has been up on my wall for a month.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Friends Quilt Together

Yesterday was our monthly quilt group meeting at church. Our church is a Friends Church so we called our group "Friends Quilt Together".  It is a good name for us.
We had some old quilts yesterday that came from the family of 2 of our members. This quilt that Dorine and her niece Jamie are holding is from the 1940's and was made by Dorine's grandmother and that would have been Jamie's great grandmother. It was pieced on the machine and hand quilted.


This next quilt was made by Dorine's  great grandmother and has many different fabrics. The dark background fabrics are many different velvets. All of the hand stitching is done with one stitch and she used many different colors of Perle cotton. 
close up

Jamie is a new quilter and she has been coming to our meetings for a few  months. She got a little frustrated with some of our blocks of the month but that didn't  stop her. Dorine encouraged her to start with some more basic things and these next two quilts are hers. The first one was a charm pack and she went back later and  got the border fabric. the other quilt is a Christmas quilt. These are both in the flimsy stage. Jamie will be getting married soon and moving away for a while so we are happy to see that we didn't scare her off with our BOM. We think she is probably going to continue quilting where ever she goes.

Betty made these two quilts using our donated fabric. I think she started them at our retreat. Both of them are finished and went into to our caring closet.

 Elaine made this last lap sized quilt from  our donated fabric. The pattern was from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial. It is in the flimsy stage in this photo but she layered it up, quilting it and sewed on the binding yesterday. It will go in our caring closet also.

I was not very productive yesterday but that is not unusual. I did  go through a box from our closet labeled "strips to cut" and after Elaine sewed her binding on she helped me. I  think when Dorine and I cleaned the closet we put stuff from various boxes in this box to be sorted and organized another time. There were a lot of strips of different sizes already cut and pieces that need to be cut and some things to dispose of. It still needs to be finished up but we separated things so we will be able to get it all organized next time.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Long time no post etc.

I got an email from a friend today wanting to know if I was OK as I had not posted anything for a while. There is really not much going on and what is happening is not very satisfactory. Who wants to post or read about something that is not going well.

I am not happy about the baby quilt I have been working on  for church. The poly batting is very slippy, slidey and a pain to get pin basted, with many more pins than I usually use. and the quilting looks a mess. I am not sure what I will do. It is ready for binding and I need to buy something but I am not sure anything will make this good enough to give away. 'Nuff said about this.

I have one quilt top that has been hanging behind the sewing room door for several years. It is in 3 long sections ready to layer up and quilt and then put together. This picture is of 2 sections, that is all I have room to lay out.
I think the reason I never completed this when I made it is that I was intimidated by matching all those seams after quilting it. I am not worried  about that anymore. I have made a lot of quilts that I quilted in sections and it is no more difficult to match seams than when the whole top is put together before quilting.
I get this out from time to time and think about finishing it. Today I am looking at that bottom row and I think I need to make 6 more 12 inch blocks to go on the bottom of the 3 sections to  mirror image  those triangles to make them squares(that is 2 blocks for each section).  I made this after I had cut all my scraps into squares of various sizes and I know I have some of these same fabrics in my box of squares. I gave away all my 4 inch squares a year or 2 ago but I have cut more. There seems to be no end to all of my older pieces of fabric. I still have an over abundance of 3 1/2 inch squares cut. Maybe I will do this.....soon. I would really like to get his one done and gone. We'll see.
I  love making scrap quilts but sometimes you have to make something with all new fabric and maybe that is what I need to do. The Basement Divas will be starting a new challenge this month and I am thinking about doing it with all new fabric.
In the meantime while I am rolling all this around in my mind I will make my Friendship blocks for September and October.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Week of This and That

After I finished all the place mats and hutch mats I straightened up my space and looked at the stack of things I had sitting around to finish up. I wasn't really excited about some of them but I didn't have anything pressing so I worked on a few.
I  worked on this baby quilt that I had started along with a couple other people at our church group retreat. We have so much donated fabric that we really have to start using it. The trouble with donated fabric is that there isn't usually enough of one thing to make a whole quilt. Over a year ago I bagged up some colorful fabrics with some Kona Bone and instructions inside for making 3 different blocks with like components. I thought that if everyone made blocks we could make some row quilts.  There were a lot of bags still  sitting in the box and most of the blocks that were made went into this quilt. One of our ladies had put together a box with larger pieces we could use for background; we found some fabric we  could use for the in-between rows and some white for the strips between the blocks. I just needed to sew the row together at home. I  would have finished it but the backing I brought home was so thin you could see the front of the the quilt through it. I  am going to buy some baby print on a white background and something colorful for the binding.  I think we need to stick with one block pattern for a quilt, maybe something like pinwheels that goes faster. Maybe we should give up on having everyone make just blocks. Personally, I  am also more inclined to stick with lap quilts for nursing home residents as we have more suitable donated fabric for those quilts. Anyway this one is on hold until I get out to shop.

I made 3 more snack mats for the great grand kids. Now all the pumpkin fabric is used up, every last it of it. The ones with the striped  borders are 3/4 inch larger to better accommodate a drink and small plate. Now I am really finished with mats of any size for a while.

I started working again on the second tree skirt. I  used Annie's tutorial ,which is very good, I took it along to the retreat but never worked  on it. It is pretty much like the first one as I used the Blitzen charm packs like I did for the first one. I had previously sorted  out all of the squares in the order I wanted to put them together. I stacked each row and pinned it and stacked the rows in order. It went together pretty fast. I had worked out a way (for me) to keep everything in order as I have a tendency to get things mixed up.

After it was all finished I  found this on the floor. That pretty much explains why I had to take out some seams and  fix an area where in 2  places the same fabrics were next to each other. I had extra wedges that I had left over from making too many for the first tree skirt. I must have put them in with the rest when I was doing the cutting, then somewhere in putting it all together these fell on the floor.  Oh well........................... better too many than not enough. The final result has the correct number of wedges. I am making the Prairie  Points and will shop for a backing.