Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beach Sewing!

Mostly lovely sunny breezy weather at the beach this week.
The kids put up two tents in the front yard, one for the girls and another for the boys, no gender confusion here!
 Button loves the beach endless space to roam and all kinds of unusual critter smells like crab shells.
About noon today a weather system came in with rain and overcast skies,
not sufficient to dissuade the kids from joy riding on the inner tube behind the boat, you can barely see them in this picture.
 I brought along my current project the black and white KS chevron quilt, wedding gift for our oldest grandson. You can hear the ocean from every part of the house and from where I sit I can look up and see the ocean out the adjacent window on my right.
 I am using the four at a time HST method with 10.5" squares, and I will have a big stack to cut when I get home as the 12.5" ruler I brought along is not quite long enough to easily cut the squares on the diagonal.
As you can see I have done a few but it's a little tedious.
Tomorrow I will need to rotary cut more squares and sew them together but I am done for today, it is vacation after all and it's cocktail time at the beach!
Linking up with Needlework Tuesday, a little late!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Paying It Forward..........

Or something like that! I have been saying that the quilts are taking over our house, and I decided I would like to have family and friends enjoy them now, they have aged sufficiently!
Besides, it gives me an excuse/I made room for more creations, right?
So in addition to the two that went to Australia I decided to document where a few others have found new homes in the past month!
 The Grand Illusion quilt went to eleven year old great niece, the last quilt I made her was for her smaller bed but this one will fit the queen bed she now has. She loved the colors so I said she should have it. I will be able to sleep under it when we visit them in Boston next week and she lends us her bedroom.
The pieced backing
My Blue Heaven below, went to the same home for the guest bed in the new addition, perhaps I will sleep under this one during our winter visit!
 The quilt below I chose especially for a very dear friend with a very serious health issue
 One DIL chose the quilt below to cuddle under on her couch
Another DIlL chose the next two, one for the Phx. home and the other for their cabin in the mountains
Newest DIL loves one of my more recent creations with a very modern quilting design. It is one of my own favorites so I am happy to see her enjoy it.
And this bright and cheerful quilt went to a friend in her recent courageous and successful battle with breast cancer.
So much space now to make more quilts although the next few in the plan already have designated owners, KS quilts for wedding gifts. But at least now if I feel like making a quilt "just because" there is room for it.
Do you feel a need to justify your craving for creation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Things Bright And Beautiful!

My name for this eye catching quilt which has now gone to its new home DownUnder! 
 The lovely girlfriend of my nephew Wes so loved this quilt that I thought she should have it.
I know that it will be well loved and used so tomorrow it will be winging its way across the Pacific ocean as she and Wes return home to Australia. I doubt there is anything more gratifying to us as quilters than to have someone fall in love with a quilt, it blesses us as artists that our creations are to be well loved.
God's blessings go with them and may they soon return to visit us again!
Linking up with "Needlework Tuesday"

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Talkin' Turkey!

This is Angela's setting for her Turkey Tracks blocks,  it is a bright, scrappy traditional quilt. Not sure how long she worked on this, there are a lot of little pieces, maybe a year or so I know it was quite a while!
With four separate pieced borders I was at first inclined to simply  quilt it edge to edge but after I loaded it on the longarm I changed my mind and quilted all four borders separately, though it's quite hard to see that.
The main body of the quilt is freehand peacock feathers
I really like the backing, the quilting actually shows, whereas the front is so busy no thread color would have been effective so I used a neutral.
 Before beginning this quilt I did some maintenance on the longarm above and beyond the standard, replacing both the original tensioner unit [nine years old] and the bobbin case -the latter only seem to last a couple of years before becoming unreliable. Now the tension is perfect no  bottom loopies, so I am a happy and confident longarmer again!
There is a little progress to report on my new bed quilt, the blocks are now sewn into rows and pinned on the design wall so perhaps I will get that together next week before our Boston family arrive for a visit.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Family Visit And a Quilt Delivery

We are so lucky this month to have nephew and his GF from Australia visiting the USA. Wes had to come for a friend's wedding in CA, and now he and Kristie are doing a bit of traveling around. Friday night oldest son and wife hosted a barbecue and we all enjoyed the reunion, it's been a couple of years since Wes was last here riding the bulls.
 And I was able to deliver Wes's quilt which will be going back DownUnder with him later in the month.
 Tonight it was my turn to entertain the visitors, not everyone was available there were some conflicting events........
 so the three pans of ribs were not all needed and I have enough to see me through several days and no cooking!
I also made a pavlova just in case Wes and Kristie were feeling a bit homesick!
 Grandson Daniel came came by to collect Wes and Kristie for a little partying and managed to find a piece of pavlova with his name on it!
Now there's just one piece left..............
must be mine!!
Next quilt on the long arm isAngela's Talkin' Turkey.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Blue Bargello

Donna's lovely wall hanging is quite large, 53"x81", and took longer than expected to quilt. I delayed the start because I was unable to use my first choice thread, Art Colors "Azure Sky" a Superior trilobal.
It refused to play nice with my machine, hard to believe really because these are some of my favorite threads and usually sew like a dream on my A-1 machine. Fortunately I had an alternative, Superior's King Tut "De Nile", 100% Egyptian cotton.
My machine is currently going through some tension issues and nothing I have done the past weeks has completely solved the problem although I can make it behave on and off. It's most frustrating so I have ordered a new tension unit and bobbin case to see if that might do the trick. I seem to be able to identify an intermittent odd noise too now so I'll call the helpful tech tomorrow and see if he can hear it, these guys are pretty savvy at diagnosis.
So here is the bargello wall hanging, quilted. I used a double matt, Quilter's Dream poly Select on the bottom and QD wool on top to give more definition and I am quite pleased with the result.
 I had chalked in diagonal lines every three inches to keep the diagonal quilting parrallel, and I needed to roll the quilt back and forth several times in order to quilt diagonally.
The picture below shows the true color better I think and also detail of the freehand quilting, it's a simple design that reminds me a bit of waves and fits the ocean like colors of the quilt.
The backing is also batik
Now I will get back to my new bed quilt, I have all the blocks laid out and ready to construct.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

My New Bed Quilt!

This weekend I have returned to working on the new quilt for our Cal King bed. Needing to stay off my feet it seems a good way to do that while I await a fabric order for newly wed grandson's wedding quilt.
 I was anxious to see how my grey and gold blocks would look once sewn together, so I have made up a set of two of the gold and two grey fabrics, there are 5 gray and 5 gold fabrics in all, the fabric on the very bottom is backing and I decided not to use the pin dot on the very top of the stack.
I have only completed about twenty of the 48 blocks that will comprise the body of the quilt which will cover the top of the bed, then a gray fabric will go around three sides to make it fit the CK bed. These four are the busiest of all the fabrics and each block will be separated by a narrow white sashing. I have not yet decided on the gray fabric for the frame around the quilt, I thought I would prefer to wait until the blocks are all constructed and then choose the coordinate. This quilt will be very similar to the one I made for son and DIL's wedding last year.
Below is the black gingko fabric for grandson's quilt, it has been in my stash a few years awaiting a special purpose. I had purchased everything on the bolt when it was on sale at 35th.Ave Sew 'N Vac and I am using the white on white gingko version in my own new quilt as you can see above.
The photo does not do it justice, it is a gorgeous fabric.
 Rather than use a plain white which seemed a bit boring, I chose the fabric below which I think has just enough design without being too fussy.
To be safe I am calculating 8 yards of each though I doubt it will take that much, probably around  seven, but it's always good to have black and white fabrics in the stash. I am very excited to see how they will go together in the chevron.
The quilt is to be the same design as this one I made in gray and white a few years ago, also for a wedding gift,  and it should go together fast.
One of the quickest ways to get all the HST's made for the chevron is to employ the "four at a time method", however there is also an "eight at a time" method but I find that accuracy suffers when you get that ambitious!
Choose a square of each color [mine will be somewhere between 10" and12" I have yet decided how large I want the HST's] and place right sides together.
  Sew around the outside edges.......
slice diagonally twice.......
press open and trim off those pesky corner bits............
 and voila, c'est magnifique, there is your chevron! Too easy, right?
You can find handy charts online for calculating the size of the square needed to produce the required HST size like this one, in my case I am wanting a larger HST hence the larger square.
 The rest of the fabric I need for the chevron quilt should be delivered around mid week and until then I can work on my own quilt!
Linking with Needlework Tuesday