Oct 30, 2009

quilt meeting

In my last post I promised some pics of some of the turned in quilts or some in progress. These are all tops that Lois made.

This one is called "Four-in-Nine-Patch Zigzag" designed by Barbara Douglas and shown in the October 09 issue of Quilter's World. It uses 2 1/2 inch strips or cut squares.

Lois is probably our "Queen of Scraps" though she does some lovely planned quilts as well. Linda C came in with a bag full of scraps and handed it to Lois so bits and pieces of those will be turning up before long. Really it is kind of fun to be pinning and spot something that you know was a backing trim away at one point, LOL. "I remember that one--and this one!" moments.

Next up is Lois' version of Disappearing Nine Patch. It was a block of the month choice at the JOY guild last year and the suggestion was to use a center on the block.

Lois made a semi-planned quilt with the pattern using the same red throughout the top. The twist to the usual version was placing the blocks so they looked like large split framed 4 patches. She carried the same red out to the cornerstones and used the same background fabric for the sashing. It definitely does not make it look like a big blob of color that some D9P's can come out like. Love the scrappy!

This is Lois' version of Eleanor Burn's "Lover's Knot" I love that border print that she used.

I think this one she had made a meandering loopy motif that she free motioned on but a couple of the quilts she described how she did a more planned quilting design. I hope I have the story straight. If not, she reads my blog so can straighten me out, LOL.

She copied off a motif or quilting stencil on the printer and then ran however many copies she had onto erasable bond paper that she had on hand. Then she pins that to the quilt top and stitches through the paper removing it when done. One quilt I noticed she had a flower motif and on the next one, something that reminded me of a molecule or some such scientific symbol. Click to make it bigger and see if you spot it.

Lois also has an embroidery machine so this one has embroidered butterfly motifs scattered on the small triangle areas of the quilt. It looked really cool on the light colored backing she used as the butterflies showed through all layers like they were flying on the background!

I am not sure about the pattern name but I do know that it was designed by Karen Casey at Sew What! quilt shop in Oxford. Linda C made one first and has given away a lot of her old patterns and this was among them. It is oriented on point though---maybe not what you think at first glance. I know this because we helped Linda figure out the pattern at one of our summer meetings pinning the sections to a sheet for her so she didn't lose the pieces as they were laid out. Her version can be seen HERE for a different colorway. LOL, I didn't know the name of it then either! Made with a tricolor strip set is all I know and a good way to use a focus print.

I love looking at quilts like these because it starts me thinking about how I might use my own stash or scrap bins. Who doesn't need a little kick start now and again? I have a couple challenge projects coming up, after all. Tripping through my inspiration photo file, through my purchased patterns and clippings notebooks helps too. Even spotting some one's blog pictures can trigger an idea so it is my hope that you find some inspiration, now and again, from me or someone in my quilt group.

As to what I am working on today----the last three "Be Attitudes" quiltlet bases are stitched up and waiting. Yesterday I rough cut the applique sections and kitted those up. I also checked to see if I had enough binding leftover from the preceeding quilts and added a strip if needed and paired it up. I am ready to "play with paper dolls" as DJ calls it this afternoon--tracing, cutting.

DJ, bless him, was out washing and waxing my car for winter even though it looks like it may rain any minute. Probably on his "to do" list and his is next before he puts the hose up ahead of the colder weather. Leaves are starting to change in earnest this week, I have noticed. More rain is due in but it sure beats the snow that hit my sister's home in the Denver area (she sent pictures--wow, Jan! No wonder you had to shovel twice, maybe more. )

Hope you have a wonderful weekend in whatever you plan to do----

Oct 28, 2009

WIP Weds

So it's Wednesday again. What am I working on? Yesterday the quilt group met and I pulled out the 3-D bow tie blocks I had started two weeks ago. I had quite a pile going and sewed on the center seams while at the meeting and kept going once I was home. I had them sorted out by color groupings this morning and ready to press.

I had originally thought about using an on-point set and would have used 35 blocks for that but I thought that the bright yellow gold background might be a little too much of a good thing. I decided to go with either a zigzag set or block to block instead and probably no borders so a 7 x 9 set should work. I needed just a few more blocks to get to that block total and whipped those up fairly quickly. BUT back in the sack with it for now as I have a few other things I would like to accomplish in the next week or so. Swap out the sewing machines---again.

This picture shows what I was REALLY doing this morning. I came home from the meeting with 8 finished donation quilts. Add that to 7 more stuck away in my bedroom closet and it is time to mail some off to Wrap Them headquarters. I drug in a box from the storage shed and started rolling them up, sleeping bag style. (The strings on my desk are to hold the rolls together while they are transported.) I got all 15 in there with room for one more at the top. The rolling cart is back in the car, the box in the bedroom in a holding pattern.

I was caught up with the donation top quilting for about 24 hrs when I cam home with two of Linda C's tops----those can wait a few days. Aline may be bringing me a couple tops her granddaughter made for donation as well but those can wait too. I've earned a little reprieve after about two weeks of quilting. I keep saying I want to do something "fun"!

So what's fun to me? I plan on prepping one or more of the Nancy Halvorsen "Be Attitudes" quiltlets---October, November and December. If I get all three layered and quilted, fine. If I don't, there is always next month. I didn't even hang the August or September blocks this year even though they are done and shown in the later part of this post . October is essentially gone. I'll get caught up in spite of myself.

After that, my plans are to get my strip twist blocks up to a flimsy. They have been arranged and stacked for two weeks now and I am tired of looking at the bag holding them. I guess I am doing okay if I still notice that said bag is there---after all, things become part of the landscape when you don't notice that they are still around, LOL.

The pest control people were finally able to come out on Monday to treat the termites---drill and spray from what I could tell-- as we had a few dry days. DJ had put a screen and fan at the crawl space opening to dry out the area as best he could too. We didn't see Skyler for hours with all the noise going on. Yesterday it poured again, more apparently in the part of town that I was than at home. Last I heard we were 10 inches above our yearly average for rainfall due to the effects of El Nino, they say.

Today it is up in the mid 60's and sunny. I was able to fire up the grill to make our lunch---yum, chicken gorditas. I pulled the flat bread I had made a month ago from the freezer to warm it on the grill rack and the rest of the meal I cooked on the grill or side burner. You can find the recipe HERE. I just used sauteed tri-color peppers and onions instead of roasting other veggies though--still good!

I will post a few of the pics of the quilts from the meeting but in a post later this week. Lois had some pretty ones! Till next time------thanks for stopping by.

Oct 21, 2009

another addition of WIP Weds

Yep, another week has flown around again. Earlier in the day I had errands to run and things to do around the house. DJ spent some time calling to set up appointments for more estimates about the termite treatment. Return phone calls, a couple came out today but this way he can make a more informed decision about what we need to do.

Skyler spent a good bit of his time on the perch enjoying the view out front. DJ eliminated one of the despised holly bushes outside the sewing room window so we have lots of good light coming in. Since he was occupied and apt to stay off my quilting surface, I pulled out my FAB friendship block quilt.

The pieced blocks are quilted. Alternating blocks and setting triangles are marked for hand quilting. I am not sure what I want to do in the borders, if anything, so I went ahead and put the binding on. If the Stencil Company has something similar to the motif but for borders I may go for it. I plan on hanging this above my bed and sewed half of a sleeve into the binding at top. Think I'll put a few hand stitches in this tonight to try the motif I selected.

Earlier in the week I put the binding on the 3 map panels that Joy's daughter donated after her passing---one of the US and two world maps. Tomorrow I plan to get back to Lois' log cabin variation and then I should be caught up with the donation stuff till next week's meeting. Never know what I'll come home with.

Piecing wise, I need to give some thought to what I want to do for the group's challenge quilt before long. I've got some fabric pulled for a possible idea. Sometime in coming days, I would also like to prep the next couple "Be Attitudes" quilt-lets provided I have enough Steam a Seam on hand to do so. Always something!

Oct 15, 2009

WIP Thursday

I should be machine quilting but...........

These 3-D bow tie blocks are more to my liking at the moment. Just some simple mindless sewing until I have to finish up the center seams. The shoe box sized container is full of 3 1/2 inch squares gleaned from my scrap bags. I don't know if I want 24 blocks for an on point set or 35 for straight set but either way a quilt -- more like, quilts, plural--- is hiding in that container. I'll set the whole deal aside till our next meeting date soon enough and the Jem will go back to the car trunk. In the meantime, just for today, I am enjoying these bright colors on a grim, rainy day and keep playing.

And speaking of rain, we heard on the news in early October that we had already reached our annual rainfall totals with three months to go. I don't know how much we have exceeded that total but it seems like it has been raining or looking like it might for weeks now.

Related to all the wet ground, we have found out that there is a termite problem in the master bedroom area. DJ had moved something around in the bedroom or he might not have spotted it for awhile. The guy that came out yesterday said that the bugs eat the glue in the paper on the drywall or some such thing. The paper on the drywall lifted off easily and the plaster-y stuff was disintegrating so a patching job will be required at some point. BUT as far as instituting a treatment plan, it is far too wet in the foundation and crawl space with all this rain. It is possible that they may have to install some sort of a drain to get the water out. I am just going by what the guy told DJ and DJ relayed to me. The joy's of home ownership--sarcasm intended. This is as wonderful a deal as when the ants zapped out the air conditioner unit going over the moisture that collects there in one of our recent drought years. Can you say "ka-ching" ? SIGH.

Oct 13, 2009

meeting day

Today was our quilt meeting day. Since I have been quilting all last week, I personally do not have any quilts to share but our friend Lois did. I told her as I snapped pictures that here was some "blog fodder", LOL.

Tennessee Waltz--Eleanor Burns pattern--a little girl somewhere is going to adore this one

Traditional pattern--Squares Within Squares. She put lizards at center and it has a fun backing---a boy should love this one.

I think this one is pretty cool and made a little dent in her 2 1/2 inch squares stash. Some of the fabrics in here might be from Linda C or that might be the top that she was preparing to pin?? It is almost a joke between the two of them. Linda gave up on her scraps too soon if Lois whips them up into something interesting later.

I had intended to sew some 3-D bowtie blocks at the meeting today but when I opened up the sewing machine carrier I realized that I had left the open toed foot on my Jem rather than the 1/4 inch foot. The feet, bobbins and other accessories were 10 plus miles away at home. I DID make a couple of them but just to show Linda C how to make one and one to play with so she could remember how it was done by the time she got home. I'm set up now at home to do a few more this evening.

Since I had been machine quilting all last week, I had taken the last two days "off" leaving off eight block into the last one in the stack. I had found that next to last one had some issues and would need a border removed and re-pinned so that one was taken to its maker to straighten out. Marking my FAB challenge top was the only quilt related thing I did other than surfing with Norma online for some donation quilt ideas and such.

I pinned that top this morning. Lois had a couple tops and 2 world map panels from Joy were pinned with Jane's help. I kept busy laying out the blocks for my strip twist top since I had plenty of room to spread it out on the fellowship hall floor. We went out for lunch a shop that re-opened under new ownership just down the road from the meeting place.

Guess that's it from this entry. Hope you have had a good day and thanks for stopping by--------

Oct 7, 2009

WIP Weds

I had been busy stitching up Strip Twist blocks over the weekend and made 51 more for a total of 144-8 inch finished blocks. I will put 12 of them on the back to expand the backing surface area. Having reached that goal, I set these aside so I could begin machine quilting some of the tops in the donation quilt pile.

Skyler doesn't seem to mind that this is not quilted yet and is giving it the kitty approval test for softness and cuddle-ability. I took this picture this morning and he is back on it now--12 hrs later, LOL.

DJ and I had a project to do in the kitchen this morning. We have a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen so the space above our cabinets is open. The shelving paper needed to be replaced as we had not done that since we moved in 12 yrs ago. Skyler runs around up there and on the pass through ledge so we knew it needed to be cleaned up. He climbed up on the step stool and I was the ground girl-gopher. Of course, Mr. Nosy had to climb up atop the pass through the closer DJ got to the fridge area. We had to move the fridge out so he could get the stepladder closer to the cabinets. Skyler couldn't plan ahead and could not figure out how to get down with his launching pad moved. Silly boy!

So here we are this afternoon but testing said quilt from the top. That's okay as I needed a break. His other trick to crawl underneath the quilt as he would any bed cover.

I finished up this quilt and tomorrow will do the other one that I made similar to it shown HERE. Monday I was able to quilt two smaller Snuggle Up quilts that Linda C had made. Yesterday was a memorial heart quilt for our friend Joy---actually Theramae had made the top for future needs and it had been waiting in the closet. I still need to seam some binding for it.

Other than that, it has been pretty quiet around here. Not much to report since I haven't been out of the house much in recent days but some weeks are like that--not complaining, just stating fact.

Oct 2, 2009

what I forgot to say

I knew I was forgetting to add something to my last post regarding our little field trip on Wednesday.

When we go to Out of the Box Susan and Joan usually share some of the tops either they have been working on or some that their clients are. This time was no exception. I wish that I had had my camera with me as I don't know if I can explain this very well. They had one of the large, long quilts made to look like a flag. From my understanding of what they told us, it was one of 6 made in rememberance of 911. One is destined to go to Pennsylvania, one to the Pentagon, another to NY (Ground Zero?), one to the firefighters---don't know about the remaining two. Each of the stars on the blue section contained a small cross stitch square but what would be the white stripes was comprised on what I approximate to be 6 inch cross stitched squares on white aida or fabric. The girls said the blocks were from all over the world. The reason Susan had it was she had been asked to quilt around the star section.

Something else I wanted to share was prompted by a reminder in the "Escapes" Section of our local newspaper. The Gee's Bend Quilt have come back to Alabama after touring for 5 years and will be shown at our local Berman Museum for a two month period starting tomorrow. You can read about the museum itself and the exhibit HERE I think that there is an exhibition planned next month of works from other artisans and crafters. Can't recall the contents of the email we got a few months back.

So pictureless post, sorry. Not much sewing going on either in spite of my best intentions. DJ finally got some touch up paint so some spots in the sewing room and bedroom got treated to his ministrations. Unfortunately that meant moving things out of the way and right into MY path. Two days in a row since he missed a couple spots I had pointed out. Maybe after lunch........

Hope that you have a good weekend in whatever you chose to do.