Friday, August 15, 2014

Patience needed

NOTE: My Internet connection is not working so these posts must go up in the evening instead of early morning. Long story, but I'm in a coffee shop doing this and listening to online lectures for my studies, at least for a few days. Thanks for your patience - and please pray for me to be patient also! One good thing... I quickly realized I have more time to quilt when I cannot read email!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

More Hobbit blocks...

Two more Hobbit blocks. Hope my artistic license is not messing too much with the original colors!

This is slow going, not because these patches are impossibly difficult or small (well some of them are only 7" including the bottom one) but because I'm taking a course right now with a huge amount of reading. No time = the bane of most quilters?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eight and Nine

This are blocks eight and nine. They have names from the Hobbit movie, but I'll do that later. Some of those names are long and hard to spell!

This is fun. I look up the scene on the Internet to see about color, etc. but am not always enlightened. Some artistic liberty is called for, particularly  when there is little color or contrast. However, some are "dark" in tone and color, so must remain that way to reflect the story. 

Foundation paper piecing is one of my favorite techniques. The 7" (finished size) blocks can be made in a couple hours or less, but this 7" x 23" one took a few days. It has lots of itsy, bitsy pieces.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Checking in...

My computer has an alarm set to ring every 50 minutes with a voice telling me to get up and work on my UFOs and other projects. Does it work? Yes, but I don't always listen to it. Taking a Master's degree and trying to do much else is a bit frustrating, but when my brain is overloaded, the sewing machine is good therapy! 

These are the latest three blocks in the Hobbit series. There are 29 of them, so I have 22 more to make. The one on the upper right could be upside down. I need to find an expert in the writing of those who live in Tolkien's world to be certain. My goal is one block a week, which seems easy, but I could use a 'personal assistant' to keep up with everything else that needs to be done. 

At least sewing these little guys is fun, mainly because I'm one of those quilters who likes foundation paper piecing. These are 7" finished, but I might leave the bottom one bigger. A few others are 11" and there will be sashing between... not picked the color yet. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finished: LIghthouse & Friends. Started: hobbits and rings and things...

A while back, Regina Grewe offered foundation paper-pieced patterns depicting scenes from The Lord of the Rings. I've a grandson who is an avid fan, so decided to download and save them all. It took some time as they came available only once a month. So far, I have these four finished. They are supposed to be 7" square finished, but when I looked at the size of the pieces in the larger one, I worked out a different layout and made that one 11" - as will be a few others that have insane tiny pieces. I will be embellishing these also. The horse is also wider than 7" because I don't want the side pieces to be too narrow. Lots more to come for this project.

And this one is the latest finished quilt, "Lighthouse and Friends" that is just waiting for a label and to be delivered. I noted that the last picture was March 8 and cannot believe it took me this long to get it done. I really enjoy looking at it, partly because all the "friends" are hard to find, even though I sewed them on myself. This is about 47" x 71" and a gift for my dear DIL.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Horseplay wins a race...


Finally, I can show you this latest finish. Apologies for the light in the corner but without it, the quilting almost disappears. This piece was for a competition within my local guild. The guidelines were simple. It could be no bigger than 36" on the longest side, and the theme was "DOT." My immediate thought was Bob Coonts who gave me permission in 2009 to use his art as inspiration for quilts. I had to make one of his spotted horses.

This one called for a variety of techniques, piecing, foundation paper piecing, hand applique, machine applique, sweat and laughter. What fun. 

The annual guild banquet and award ceremony was last night. There were about six prize categories plus two honorable mentions. "Horseplay" won the prize for "Most Effective Visual Impact" and I was purring! But then they announced the plum - the Viewer's Choice, and my dotty horse won that too, and I was over the top! 

The Viewer's Choice award is sponsored by the Canadian Quilt Guild. Both prizes came with a cash award too. (Note: In Canada, a first ribbon is red, not the blue of the USA. Our guild uses green/pink for first place in this annual contest because it is called "The Prairie Rose" competition)

Making this spotted horse was a big challenge and I learned much, but it was also so much fun. I'm thankful for the opportunity to try it, and for the encouragement of the judge and my peers in taking home a couple of prizes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sewing on a facing - the easy way

I have been busy... but also working on quilts. One is just started (a Hobbit quilt) and one is nearly finished. I put a facing on that one and because it is 36" x 72" came up with this idea to make the hand quilting much easier.

First, I have this comfy chair in my sewing area. It folds out to almost a bed (which is a whole other temptation). I put a lamp on the table to the right, and a pole lamp on the left.

Then there is this small folding table that is low and light, but sturdy. I use it to select fabric, spread out patterns, etc. This went in front of the chair. That plastic drawer thingy peeking out at the right is my "hand sewing" box of tools. It has several spools of thread in it, but I had to go find some white to sew this facing on the back of the quilt.

The last photo is the quilt plopped on the table. Normally, I like 'neat' 'folded' etc. but that puts creases in a quilt and I didn't want any of those in this big wall hanging. So it was loosely arranged with the side to be worked on along the edge of the table facing the chair. I have a TV, but if the television programs stink (normally they do), there is my Bose CD/radio to the left. I found some calm music and had this facing stitched securely in no time. 

Now all that is left are the sleeves (I'm putting one at the bottom to hold a strip of something to weigh it down) and the label! A finish-photo is next...