Thursday, August 28, 2008

Love Wall Hanging

One more heart mat done. This one is actually a wall hanging with a sleeve, but for the event, it will be used as a table mat. I did a quilting motif I'd not tried before in the wide border. It is a curved scallop thing, something like Ruth McDowell uses, was easy and seems to suit the fabric and style of this little quilt.

For some reason, the applique heart photographed darker than it is, and the letters reflected some light and look lighter.

It is cold and rainy here today, a good day for sewing. I will ignore the little poster a friend gave me that says, "God made rainy days so gardeners would get their housework done."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dotty Double Daters

One more heart mat finished. This one is a bit larger, just over 20" square. I used dotted fabric for everything except the binding. These are not "my colors" but this was a fun project.

I also did what could be called tied quilting in the hearts, only used seed beads instead of knots. They do not stand out but give the hearts texture, and everyone touches them to see where that texture comes from. I'd not tried this before and am enjoying these little mats to try something
new. Click on the picture to get a better look, but it is a bit blurry. I need a camera like Wanda's!

I've another one sandwiched. It is a different style. I hope to finish it today. That will be the seventh, hopefully out of ten.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No photo today. I'm getting organized, a strange phenomena that happens every time I do crossword puzzles with my left hand. (No kidding, just try it.) Anyway, I added more quilter blogs to my list on the right. These are the ones I most often drop by to see what they are doing.

Also, I moved things around a bit... which is what often passes for getting organized LOL, but I also cleaned out my pantry and tossed a bunch of baskets that were collecting dust. Before I break my arm patting myself on the back, I need to check the state of my desk... yikes!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Oldie and a Question

I've got two nearly finished, so will post them another day, but here is one of my first quilts, a sampler for a class. The neat part of this one is that I had both pink and blue Scottie dog fabric and used the pink for a new great-niece. A few months later I made this one, not knowing that the same couple were expecting again. When their little boy was born, he got this in fabric similar to his sister's quilt. I was told that they both considered these their precious 'blankies' and carried them around all day. Mom had to wash them at night when they were sleeping.

I've a question for you wise quilters out there. I tried using those fabric sheets made to go through your printer (my printer doesn't like my homemade ones, no matter what I do to them), and find that the fabric used is so tightly woven that sewing the labels on my quilts is almost painful. Sharp needle, thimble and all, I'd rather not use them --- unless of course someone has a tip that will help me make this easier??

Monday, August 18, 2008

Educating the public & The Quilt project

On Saturday I sat in a furniture story as the "quilt answer person" for a display of nearly 100 quilts. The project is a traveling display called The Quilt and is about breast cancer.

Anyway, it was a slow day. My most interesting conversations were with two of the store salespeople. They admitted knowing very little about quilts and it was informative hearing their comments. One of them, a man, said that he liked some of the quilts better than others. He pointed to a brightly colored medallion style with lots of white background and lovely feather quilting in the white. He said he liked the way they used that "embossed white fabric." I explained to him how that was done and he was totally surprised. He thought that the fabric was purchased like that and then cut into pieces to sew together to make the quilt. He had no idea that the "embossing" was done by the quilter.

This was the first time I've ever heard anything like that, and am now even more aware that many people have no idea what a quilt is or how it is made!

The Quilt is a Canadian project that raises funds to provide support for people with cancer, and their families. The quilts are made and donated by individuals and guilds, then sold by online auction. In just a few years, they have raised over 1.5 million dollars. The quilts have a reserve price, but if they are sold at those reserve prices, the new owner will not only have a lovely quilt, but a huge bargain. Many of them are really lovely, and some are hand-quilted. Have a look by clicking on the link above.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hosta Inspiration

I vowed this would be a 'quilts only' blog, but the hosta in my backyard are inspiring me. I've no idea what they would look like in a quilt, but I sure like the way they look right now. My usual view is top-down from our second floor deck, but the angle didn't lend itself well to a photo, so this is from ground level. They are so large this year that they make that big triple window look small!

Oh, and I never noticed the reflection in the window until I posted it. This shows part of the deck wall and some of the eight-foot feather grass nearby.

Anyone have a hosta pattern?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Joy, more joy, and Dots

Yesterday's email brought a happy one from Leonna, the first to receive one of my Pay it Forward items. She was excited and her delight made my day too. When all three are safe at home, I'll post some pictures. What fun!

I just finished another little 'cheater' using a Mary Englebreit panel, this time a book. It is easy, cute and will go to a baby whose not yet arrived and the parents know the gender, but won't tell. So this baby is getting some books. This couple is dear to me, so a quilt will come later when I know their colors, etc.

Also, I'm working on another heart mat. This one is really spotted. I've not finished the quilting (hence the pins) nor decided on the binding, but wanted to post a picture as is. I tried the white dotted but it is too much contrast. I'd like the red, but there isn't enough left. Sob. Binding tips anyone?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Keeping Track

My first stab at quilting was enough to send me for quilt lessons. One of our local shops, Earthly Goods, offers a series of classes and calls it their "Degree" program. After taking them, I became a "grad" and a member of their grad club.

During these courses, emphasis was made on either keeping a journal as I quilted, or keeping some sort of records. This appeals to my nature, so I started. I had some photos of those earliest quilts, or could find the pattern and even a few leftover scraps for fabric samples. One of the instructors at Earthly Goods gave suggestions for record pages. I modified it and of course set it up in a nice arrangement as a template on my computer because even I cannot read my own handwriting! I include photos, a copy of the label, sometimes the pattern, and anything else that goes with the quilt, This is what my record page looks like:

If you cannot read the words, the sections have these titles ... (double-click too)
Quilt Name •
Finished Size • General Purpose •

Date Started • Date Finished •
Inspiration •
Top Construction •
Top Pieced by •
Notes •
Quilting Method •

Quilted by •
Notes •
Fabric Samples •
Batting •
Borders, Trims •

Shown •
Embellishments •
Owner / Location • Sold •

I put this page in a plastic page-protector sleeve on the left. On the right are the clippings, photos, etc. That means that the record page for the next quilt becomes a white background for the inserts of the previous one.

This all takes a bit of time, but is quite satisfying to go through and see the progress. Of course the goof-ups are in there too, but I often need to be humbled.

Here is a photo of the quilt that the page describes. It was from an instamatic camera so I had to scan it. Not too sure about the color! Also, many of the quilts done since then do not have the same details as this one. I don't keep track of the time now, but often make comments about the fun I had (or not) making the quilt.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blue Heart

One more heart! This one is a simple design made with squares and half-square triangles. I put the binding on the back side first, then turned it and machine sewed it on the front side. My Bernina 1630 has this neat foot that runs a vertical piece at the edge of a fold and stitches close beside it wherever I set the needle. This is a quick way to attach binding that I often use for baby quilts.

Now on to the next one... but maybe I will finish another UFO first. I've a crazy reason. This Blue Heart was quilt #99 and I might want #100 to be something other than another heart mat. I started making quilts in 1996, so feel pretty good at having this many completed. Even though the number includes many small ones, I'm a busy person and 100 seems a huge number for me!