Monday, December 30, 2013

UFOs for 2014

I am such a list maker so it's only appropriate that I write my list of unfinished quilts that I would like to complete in 2014. They range from very current to 20 years ago and all in between. The most current is my 2013 Summer BOW wool appliqué which I've shown several times. This is my most recent block below.
The oldest project to finish was begun in the early to mid nineties and was a Baltimore Album by machine. I had gotten Elly Sienkiewicz's books and at that time was not too fond of hand appliqué so I decided to try it by machine. I love the blocks individually but they did not all blend so I eventually quit on the project. I'm still fond of them so maybe they are worth rescuing and making into a quilt, even if only a wallhanging. Here are a few pics:
 I used different techniques and threads. The green floral heart was done with a metallic thread and the peach and green was using rayon with a satin stitch. The gray fan was some beautiful hand-dyed fabric I had found with roses using a metallic thread and rayon.
 The orangey-red roses in the top right was a fabric by Elly and it was done with a matching thread blanket stitch.
Here is the heart to hand block using an invisible thread. Maybe I just need a nice 'theme' fabric to pull this off. I hope to figure it out soon.

And now, here is the actual list. Of course I already have some new projects in mind, too, but I'll be showing these in 2014 as I complete them!

  1. Words to Live By - BOW - 2013
  2. Baltimore by Machine
  3. Flower Pots
  4. Going in Circles
  5. Bible Quilt
Happy Quilting and Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Still Here and Quilting!

 I'm not sure what happened to me but I just didn't seem to want to blog for a while - but here are a couple of quilts I have done. When my husband was treated for prostate cancer this spring in Jacksonville, Florida, he was a patient at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute. They had art classes for children and adults alike and I spoke to the art teacher about quilting. As it turned out, I met two other quilters that helped some patients and family members make quilt blocks. All this began just as I was leaving.
This is the second quilt that has been made and I was happy to be able to quilt it for them. Brenda from Tennessee put the blocks together and sent it to me for the quilting and binding.
A close-up and below showing the backing!
Many of the blocks were hand sewn and I trust the patients enjoyed learning a new craft/art and having some therapy with it.
This quilt is a Christmas gift and went together quite well. I really like the colors in it. I'm still sewing the binding on it.
Here is most of our small quilt group - all but Wonda who had an injury and could not make it. We went to a tea room for our Christmas luncheon. Very nice and I feel so blest to have these wonderful ladies as my friends!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wonky X's

 Another baby quilt finish! This began with a group of 30 10" squares (store made layer cake) and ended up pretty bright. I thought the batik border might calm it down but at least it gave it a softer edge.
Another pieced back with some of those pretty Kaffe spots in it that I had on hand. Still pulling from the stash!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Projects Being Finished

It seems I am just on a mission to finish some things. I am enjoying the journey while I am doing it, since I get a feeling of accomplishment when this happens. Here are some recent quilt projects:
 This little quilt - 20" x 26" were leftover half-square triangles from my SBOW 2012. It was a struggle with all those tiny pieces for me but it did turn out quite lovely IMO.
 Now all that is left of those projects is the "Freebie" - below, that Lisa Bongean always does. 
The blocks finish at 4.5" or 5" so they are tiny but cute. A dozen of them to stitch sometime this winter maybe. It's called Favorite Things and has a special word with each block.
 And here is my latest Word block quilt, SBOW 2013, from Primitive Gatherings. I just finished the Hospitality block. It is SO nice to have them all bonded, in a container, ready to stitch! Worth the extra effort to get them all ready.
And my latest finish, Chinese Coins, begun from leftover fabrics from a guild challenge in 2009. I sewed all the extra pieces together in the 'mile a minute' fashion, no matter the size, I just sewed them together and squared up the blocks. All I had left was adding the sashing - why did I take so long?? This will probably be a charity quilt to brighten someone's life!
Happy Stitching!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Charm Squares Completed!

 I took some charm packs, cut many more of my own charm squares - 5" - finally after 3 1/2 years - I put them together . . .
 and made a quilt! What a novel idea!
A little slow with the process but it is completed and a quilt I know I'll enjoy - just my colors. The backing which I found in my closet, is so totally different but I love it - like a two-sided quilt.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Little Fusing Going On!

I finished another UFO this week - back from 2010! It's about time, I'd say. It began as a class with Laura Wasilowski and is a small wallhanging, 15" x 12". Quite fun and a little on the improvisational side, too. Free-hand cutting, fusing, bonding, stitching, and it's done. For more details, see my other blog HERE!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Improvisational Table Runner

 This quilt began with scraps from my fall tablecloth of last year. I had saved the leftover fabrics in a plastic bag for a smaller project.
 I pressed the strips and tried to decide how to start.
I added a few more fabrics from my scrap basket that might go and decided to cut some rectangles and strips and began putting them together. That is how the large tablecloth was made.
 This is done rather randomly and really just what piece might fit to another. The rectangles are all different sizes, no measuring, just sewing. After all, if they went together once then they will have to go together again in a smaller project, right?
 After getting close to 20 blocks sewn, I just put them up on my design wall to see what they looked like together. I just made them fit sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, trying not to put same colors right next to each other.
 Eventually it looked like this. The table top was 20" x 41" so that was where I was headed size wise. I could always either add to this piece or trim away.
 I finally decided upon the top row and sewed most of them together.
 The next sections I put together in large rectangles, just as that is how the blocks seem to want to fit. It is quite fun to figure it out as you go. . .no perfect half square triangles to worry about, no exact size, just sew and see what you think. Add a strip if needed . . .
 Here are the 'parts' before sewing them all together.
 And here is the completed top. I did have to trim it down some as it was too large, even allowing for a little shrinkage after it was washed.
 Now it's quilted and bound!!
 A close up. . .
 one more close up. . .
and the backing. . . pieced of course with leftover fabrics. 
Here it is completed and on the old sewing table. I am officially ready for autumn and today is the day!!   I need to put something interesting in the marble bowl that my son-in-law brought me from Afghanistan this spring - the colors are perfect!
Here is the fall tablecloth. I must not have shown a picture last year after it was finished but it's one of my favorites. Happy Autumn!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Miles of Binding!

 I have had 'miles' (it seems) of binding to do this past week but it is all finished. Here is Evelyn's Album, completed, even with my initials on the front corner, just like the pattern, actually.
 I saw the quilt of Lisa Bongean's at a quilt show and this is how it was quilted around the hearts so I used that idea - I'm a big fan of feathers anyway.
 Just a close-up of one of the other 12 blocks.
 I quilted Not So Easy Street weeks ago and put the binding on by machine but did not get the hand stitching done until this weekend. It is a large queen size quilt.
 I put several different black and white fabrics on the back when I found them all on sale for $5.00 per yard. Since I needed 9, I could not resist that price and piecing them made it a little more interesting to me anyway.
I found another purple batik for the binding that went great with the inner border. I don't know if I'll be doing any more mystery quilts for a while - at least not this large - LOL!!!
Happy Stitching!!
A few weeks ago I decided to give myself a challenge of quilting or making a "quilt a week". Now I know this may seem pretty crazy but I have many UFOs and leftover scraps from other quilts all in little bags, waiting to be made up. So, I began this in July - gave up on the idea since I had a busy August - but resumed again last week. Here is my other blog to motivate me with my challenge. You can also find a link on my sidebar.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Words to Live By - SBOW 2013

 You know when someone asks you how long it took to make a quilt that you just stutter around and realize it is next to impossible to really say . . . or at least that is what happens to me. Particularly appliqué. I mean, I can't even believe how long it just took me to do this one large central block and I did it!!! Three hours just to trace the words, color them in and lay out the appliqué and bond it. Never mind that I had the squares already sewn together, pressed with seams open and my overlay was already made and my wool pieces were traced, bonded to Lite Steam A Seam 2 and cut out, ready to go.
 So, here's a little tutorial of how it worked and what pen/s worked for me to do this inking. Above are the Words after they are halfway completed.
 Here is the pattern which had to be taped together and still was not complete (see top). I had to just 'fill in the space' with the rest of the leaves and berries and bird but I'm used to 'making do' so I managed. I thought maybe there was another place on the circle where the leaves were just the same, but there was not.
 I ordered this special Pilot permanent pen for inking as recommended with the pattern, in fact I ordered 2, but when I did my first test, it ran around the edges so I used my ever dependable Micron Pigma Pen size 05, for all the other blocks. See the Family block below. 

 However, as I traced these words, I realized I was going to be a long time so I got out my size 08 Micron Pigma Pen. It was still not filling in well so I discovered the Graphics Micron Pen which I had bought once, not knowing what I'd use it for but this was perfect. It was smooth to write with and filled in the large letters wonderfully.
 On the back I had already ironed a piece of freezer paper where the words would go so the fabric would not move while I was tracing. It helps tremendously to do this. When I was finished, I just peeled it off. Btw, it is virtually impossible (even with a light table) to see through two layers of dark (seam allowance) fabric and freezer paper so I had to draw my V by looking.
 Okay, so onto the bonding of the wool. I took my fabric to my ironing board, put my overlay on top of the block, using my centering lines for a guide and put two large straight pins sideways into the ironing board to hold it in place.
 I found where the appliqué pieces were supposed to go, gently lifted the tracing paper overlay and placed them on the fabric, lifting and checking to be sure they were in the proper place before I finger pressed them down to stay with the Lite Steam a Seam 2. The pieces are a little tacky so it helps hold them in place.
 Now I have everything in place but the circle. Since it is an extra layer on top, I waited until all the other pieces were bonded with a steam iron before I laid it down, again, checking with the overlay in place. I just steamed a few seconds, lifted the iron, steamed another area, to keep from burning the wool. 
I then laid my circle down, steamed some more and here is the completed block. . . minus all the hours of stitching that will come later. I like to prepare most of my appliqué and have it ready to stitch. I have finished a couple of blocks since this is a BOW but now I have weeks of stitching to do. And then, the finished quilt which can be seen at Primitive Gatherings has literally hundreds of half square triangles to set it off. It will be beautiful and hopefully worth all this effort put into it.
Happy Stitching!!