Friday, November 17, 2017

Houston Show Favorite

Whew, it has been busy around here! My hubby, who is the most supportive person in my life, organized a trip for us to the Houston Quilt Festival -- and I am still almost speechless at what we saw! 

Most of the the winners are available online if you look for them. I want to show you my favorite. The quilt is called "At the Waterhole" and here is the photo that I took. You can see a better one at the artist's website. Her name is Sheila Finzer and she lives in Oregon.

I loved this one so much that when I noticed it was for sale, I just had to go find out the price. I told the lady in the "quilts for sale" booth that it was likely the price of a small car. She looked it up and told me, "More like a mid-size!"  Needless to say, I came home without it. My hubby teased me, "Where would you put it?" but I would have found a place. It is six feet high and over eight feet wide, but would go nicely with the painting I have of zebras. Sigh!

By the way, many of the quilts allowed photos, but they are not to be on blogs, etc. without properly identifying them. The photos are not to be used or sold to be used on t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. either since this violates copyright laws. I've seen a few on Pinterest that have ignored this stipulation. I took about 150 photos (there were more than 1600 quilts) and will be careful to follow those rules. If you have never been to Houston for this event, PUT IT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST! And allow at least 4-5 days to see it all. Biggest cost is airfare and hotel (and whatever tempts you in the vendor booths)!

Scott's king-size is coming along. I've almost got burn-out on it and need to stop and make place-mats or doll quilts or something really easy every now and then.  The big one is pinned to the top of my design wall with the rest of it draped over my craft table so I can easily baste leaves in place. I'm also printing bird, flowers, and butterflies to hide here and there among the leaves, as well as a piece of driftwood etc. to go on the beach.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Progress on King-Size

This quilt is partly on the design wall and partly on a craft table. So the view is somewhat foreshortened. It actually has as much beach as water.

I decide to baste the leaves in place because pins are not too much fun when sewing complex applique. I wanted to post this in case someone ever finds themselves in the same dilemma — trying to manage a huge project and keep it all square and straight. This has a few wrinkles, but nothing serious. Pressing and quilting will fix it.

There are more leaves to go on the left end (just out of sight) and palm trees and leaves up the sides. I will look good on the bed, but right now I'm tired just looking at the picture.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Applque a few dozen leaves

Since the last post, I've been making large leaves, at least 18-20" high. At first, I didn't know the best way to do these. Raw-edge is prone to get fuzzy when washed and these would be impossible to piece. Finally, I decided to applique them using the following steps:
  1. Trace the leaf shape on to the dull side of freezer paper, cut out on the lines.
  2. Press the shiny side of the pattern to the right side of selected fabric.
  3. Cut it out with a scan 1/4" seam allowance.
  4. Turn the leaf over to the back side and place it on a piece of colored paper (red works).
  5. Ciip inside curves and V-shapes almost to the edge of the leaf. 
  6. Using a glue stick, put 3-4" of glue along the seam allowance. 
  7. Using the smallest Apliquick rod, fold the seam allowance to the fabric (wrong side) and press it firmly in place.
  8. When the entire leaf is done, let it dry then peel off the freezer paper.
  9. Press from the right side with a dry iron.
  10. Pin in place on the quilt background and to the next leaf...
  11. Repeat.
  12. When done, applique around the edges and enhance with quilting.

 This isn't as time-consuming as it sounds. The Apliquick Rods (See right side of the link for these) are amazingly helpful and even fun to use. It is going to take many hockey and soccer games to hand applique them in their final positions though. I just hope my son is not an old man before he gets this quilt!

PS... He told me he didn't want to see it until it was done, but then changed his mind. We invited him here for pizza Sunday night, but he had plans so invited us to his house. So I took the sketches (link here), and his reaction was a positive boost to my procrastination. For this I am thankful!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Progress on Scott's beach scene

I've got this much sewn together (after lots of improvising). The bit of lower sky is just pinned, and the way I will quilt it will give it some distinction from those far-away islands. I also have the rest of the sky ready to piece and put on the upper half. 

Next, a jungle of leaves go around the bottom and lower sides, with palm trees up to the top. This one is a king-size and taking lots of hours. Also the driftwood is just pinned on because I'm not sure where it will go, and I might resize it.

Here is my sketch for the leaves and trees, but as you can see, it is only a guide. I'm hoping the leaves will be a lot easier to make that that water and sand!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Another happy customer

This week Céline from Quebec sent me a photo of her completed nativity quilt. She bought the pattern from my Etsy site a few months ago. What excites me about this finish is that she used solids! She made the smaller version and it looks like she has a great eye for color and value! (She also gave me permission to publish her photo.)

Way to go, Céline!

If anyone is interested in this pattern, it is still available, either in paper form or digital. The link to my Etsy site is to the upper right.

I also finished another baby panel for Basically Babies. This one took only a few hours and was fun to quilt and bind. Also, I quilted 'cow' on the white part of the cow's back after taking this photo. It is 35" x 41" backed with fabric that looks like faded denim.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Early August Progress Report

Here is the child's quilt. It is a panel-practice quilting piece, but cute. The binding has a built-in flange. I saw this technique on a YouTube video and tried it. Easy! This and others will go to "Basically Babies" for layettes they assemble for needy families.

Scott's king-size is finally looking the way I want it to look. I'll post a picture soon. Right now, I'm getting ready to go have my eyes fixed... not a big deal -- I can still thread a needle!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A gift comes back...

This fall, my sister who is my best friend is taking a giant step. She lost her hubby last year, and is having problems with some tasks. She decided it is time for simplicity, so is moving from her home of 40 plus years to a senior's facility, from a large split-level to just under 600 square feet. Her attitude about it is amazing. 

However, paring down is a big challenge. This week, I spent a couple days helping her clear out a bedroom and some other spaces. Years ago, I made her a wall quilt and she wanted me to take it, "I don't want anyone else to have it." So I brought it home yesterday. I'm looking at it with both joy and a big lump in my throat. Here is a photo. 

It is needle-turn applique with machine quilting and a few beads here and there. She had it on a dark blue wall in her dining room. 

I'm too emotional to write much else except that I'm nearly finished a baby quilt. Also, my sister took me to their town's local quilt shop and I found a fabric called "Sand in my Shoes" by Robert Kaufman that solves some of the perplexities of making Scott's king-size. I bought a hunk and will be un-sewing a hunk of what I've already done and replacing it with this beautiful piece! Yea!