Wednesday, May 24, 2017

While in Italy, I used a small notebook without any capacity to download photos from my camera. Since I took so many, it will take awhile to get them sorted. In the meantime, just wanted to let you know some interesting things we experienced in Tuscany, besides high-priced fabric (see previous post).

- The trees are magnificent. They have more varieties of plant life than any other country. 
- We saw dandelions. Their 'weed' is red poppies. Google it. Those red fields are in Tuscany. The poppies grow in fields, roadsides, along train tracks, beautiful!
- Hardly any women wear glasses. Contacts? or good eyes? Don't know.
- Friends warned me about Italian men, now I know why. Hubby and I laughed and laughed. It does not matter how old you are or how old they are - they are charming hopeless flirts. I learned to avoid eye-contact!
- We saw less than ten obese people the whole trip.
- Food is wonderful. Satisfying without putting on pounds. I worried about salt, but Tuscany does not use much, none in their bread at all. I just bought two cookbooks for cooking Eataly!
- Trains are the way to travel. We did have a car for a week, which enabled us to see the rural areas, but parking is expensive and almost impossible to find... only when we prayed!
- The mountains have roads winding from one range to another, but the express routes go right through them. Some tunnels were 2000+ meters. Hundreds of them. All roads are paved and nearly all in great condition.
- We got to wade in the Mediterranean for the first time. 
- Prato is the textile city with a textile museum. Pictures to follow. 

Of course I've no quilting progress to report except one more 5.5" block for the Halo Medallion.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fabric shopping? I don't think so!

We are enjoying a short vacation in Tuscany. While in Florence, it seemed a good idea to look up fabric shops. In this wonderful city, we found a few that were close by so stopped in...

Image result for casa dei tessuti firenze

You can tell by this picture that this is a posh store. I found the cottons - the lowest price was 38 Euros per meter, or about $60. Nope, not buying that, and it was very light weight, almost sheer.

We moved on. A clerk was sorting small bolts on a table. One was fine mesh like organza with colorful embroidery, very beautiful. He didn't want me to touch it... it was 600 Euros a meter (yes, you read that correctly). We looked around the store. Shirting was about €80 (one zero) but we found some lacy stuff that was €800, which is roughly $1200 a meter, more than that if measured in yards.

Obviously, finding quilters in Tuscany might be a problem... but there is scads of inspiration, not so much in the fabric store but in the centuries old buildings and their ornamentation. I am taking pictures!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Progress on Halo Medallion

The little (5") star blocks are done, now I'm working on the flying geese curved ones, which take longer (nearly 50 min each) but are more fun. They are also foundation paper-pieced... and the pattern calls for 36 of them. So far, I have 3.

You may note that I erred on the saw-tooth border, but since I've decided to put an almost invisible heart on my quilts, this one will have four of them to hide those mistakes.

As for other projects, I have the pattern for my son's king-size up on a wall. It is a landscape. The fabrics are in a box. That is progress. I'm still procrastinating because this one will be physically hard, never mind trying to figure out how to do it. Has anyone ever made a raw-edge applique that has to be washed now and then? I'm thinking that is not a good idea, even though it would be easier than piecing this big one. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Keeping Busy

I've been working on the Halo Medallion, and also taking a Craftsy class to force me to practice. The medallion quilt is here, and I'm on the round of floating stars. They are 4" with 18 pieces in each one. Cute, but 32 of them is hard on someone who is not crazy about repetition! Indoor lighting for this one. The background is much lighter in real life.

 The Craftsy online class is about mixing motifs to make an interesting all-over pattern. I threw some junk fabric on the longarm which is why this is hard to see. So if you cannot see it -- take my word for it -- I need a lot of practice!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cobblestone Lane close ups, and Bob's Quilt

Here's a couple close-up shots showing the fun I had quilting this one. These two look the similar and actually there were two of each design on the quilt, but true to my ADD, I had to do a different design on each block. (See this post)

Also finished my hubby's lap quilt. I've been teasing him because he is treating it like a kid who never had a blankie! It is 52" x 76" and quilted with free-motion leaves. It is also really soft and cuddly. I might have to make myself one like this!

Next is a king-size for my son. I might not be back for awhile. I've been procrastinating on this one for a couple years.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cobblestone Lane ready for binding

Finally this one is quilted and ready for the binding. I've cut the strips and just need to join them and get with it. 

Here's what it looks like thrown on the bed in our guest room.  It took 16.5 hours to quilt it (I was practicing with rulers - LOL) and at $30 an hour, that is a mere $495. Add 12 blocks, piecing, and fabric, and this one is expensive ! I've not decided what to do with it yet. 

But it was kind of fun... I used Glide to quilt it, and learned a great deal about making the long arm work with several different types of rulers.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Halo Medallion BOM

This one is behind schedule. I've done the star and the next round, but should be working on the staggered star border. It has 32 little blocks, 5" square all done in foundation paper piecing. I love that technique, but someone has to cook supper and make the bed!

Here is the progress so far. The colors do not look "dirty" like they do in this photo; they are clear and soft. The pattern is a BOM designed by Susan Garman (now desceased) for The Quilt Show. The pattern is available free to members (about $42 a year and totally worth every cent!). 

One nice thing about this one is that I can stop at the size I like -- or until I run out of fabric! I bought a hunk of the one used in the four corners of this section, but picked everything else from my stash. If you want to see the total picture, go here or here. It is really pretty in the original colors, except I didn't like the red (too much contrast) and wanted something less springy and more soft. See this for my fabric choices. 

Happy quilting!