Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Baptist Fan Quilting Design

I just replaced my broken iPad2 with an iPad Air and this is the first post to be constructed using the Blogger App. Little man destroyed the old unit, grabbed it and ran and when it flew out of his hands it bounced a couple of times on the tile floor then came to rest on the now shattered screen!
Argh. Guess it was time to update!
The old iPad never gave me the ability to post the way I wanted to and I am anxious to see if it can be done with the Air version, I am weary of toting the laptop whenever I travel.
 At first look the App is quite different from working directly with the Blogspot URL And I don't yet know how to manipulate the photos and text so more study is required!  
Baptist Fan is a terrific traditional quilting design I love to use on more traditional quilts like this king size quilt .
It's the third of four quilts I am finishing for the dear lady with ALS, and hanging in the loft as high as I can hoist it you can see by the way it drapes on the floor that it is a large KS.
I just love the way the design looks as simple as it is the result never fails to delight me. In the past I had managed a fairly decent freehand BF but when I decided to invest in the Circle Lord system my first purchase was the BF template and I can't say enough about how efficient, accurate and fast these make execution of this design. It gives wonderful movement to the quilting and does not distract from the pattern of the quilt but rather enhances it, the goal of most longarm quilters.
The backing is a plain muslin also a very traditional way to back quilts allowing the back to become a whole cloth quilt and easily used in reverse as a change from the pieced top - thread is neutral tone.
 The variation in color is solely due to lighting issues, there was a light on in the area the other side of the quilt and it showed through to the different colored blocks.
OK, so far I am not a fan of the Blogger App. which I have to use on the iPad because regular Blogspot editing software does not play nicely with the iPad. What I am finding with the App is that I cannot alter the size and position of the photos and I can't seem to get the full post editing page up. I went back to the laptop to tweak the post to make it prettier but when I am away from home next week I will not have that luxury!
Some of these issues may be operator error, I haven't had a chance to read up on the App to get the full benefits, that will be a project for the next few days.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

To Border Or Not To Border!

It somehow looks unfinished to me but is that the way of the modern quilts, no borders?
I will ponder it - there is sufficient fabric for borders of some kind, what do you think?

Monday, April 6, 2015

A New Project!

This is the perfect moment to begin a new project, since my right knee is in very bad shape at the present I decided I would prop up the right leg and sit and sew with my left foot! It does feel a little odd to a right handed person, the biggest problem I have is failing to lift my foot off at the correct moment!
This is the pattern I chose because the fabrics had already been prepped for a retreat last year then I found there wasn't time to get to it. I do not remember the name of the pattern, or where I got it but I suspect it may have been one of those freebie inserts that come with magazine subscriptions.
It's made up of these simple blocks, HST's and squares. I had saved the pattern because I thought it would be a great example for some modern quilting techniques.
 It needed eight different half yard prints and I had won these beauties called "Rose Parade Half Yard Bundle" in an online contest at Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog two years ago [they have gorgeous, yummy fabrics!]
Exactly eight half yard pieces, perfect! Combined with WOW already on hand it was the exact fit for this design, how rarely does that happen?

So I sat and sewed yesterday afternoon and again this afternoon for a while, now all the blocks are pressed and trimmed and these few on the design wall. OMG.
I really love this quilt and can hardly wait to try some modern quilting ideas on it.
Tomorrow perhaps I will get it all pieced together

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Light It Up Blue

Today, April 2nd. is World Autism Awareness Day, so wherever you see blue lights or blue shirts it may be someone touched by or supporting Autism families and research.
Having an adorable, clever, winsome little grandson with autism my knowledge of the disorder has grown exponentially since my Psych. nursing days. Our little fellow is a miracle to me, until a couple of  years ago he was non verbal and wracked with unpredictable and uncontrollable meltdowns in his inability and frustration to communicate his needs.
We had no clue when we welcomed his birth that he would have such an enormous challenge in his life, and the diagnosis was a blow to us all.
Today at almost six he is in kindergarten at a wonderful Elementary school, talking a blue streak all day long, singing and generally behaving mostly as any little boy would. He requires speech therapy for articulation, some words are not clear and when he speaks quickly he may run all the sounds together in  his excitement or distress. He struggles with some aspects of grammar, pronouns he is mastering now after a lot of practice. He knows good manners [though as with any child he can need a reminder].

He loves the water and can stay underwater for the longest time, so swimming is a favorite sport.
 He succeeded far beyond the instructors expectations in his first skiing adventure and loved every minute of the snow time.
He is mastering the bicycle beginning with this Glyder Bike and moving up to a regular two wheeler.
Recently he has begun taking horse riding lessons and again is making impressive progress.
He loves to cook especially baking and begs "can we make banana bread please Grandnanna?" 
He can tell me all the ingredients that we need and always wants to measure them himself, so he is learning not only about cooking basics but about weights and measures too. He is beginning to read and add and subtract and experiment with little science  projects and has an excellent  memory.
He is a happy, funny, loving and enthusiastic child who enjoys learning and trying new things. He can be a real clown and has a wonderful sense of humor. He is sensitive and can struggle with aspects of life that the average child may not but he is learning ways to manage them and tries very hard to battle the difficulties he encounters. He can also be very difficult and trying at times, and we all need extra patience to guide him through.
He discovered electronics early on, really before he was verbal, and must be strictly limited in time and exposure to the plethora of games available on phones and tablets.
 One of his favorite treats is a visit to the games arcade.
But he also fills our lives with joy and wonder and constant challenge, he is exactly the way God made him and we believe with the dedication of family, teachers and all the others who encourage and shape his life he will continue to face and overcome the challenges of Autism until he is champion of every one of them. God has a special purpose for his life and it is our privilege to help him to find it.
So next time you hear the word "autism" I hope you will have a better understanding of the kind of success these children can achieve and do all that you can to assist any you know. If you see a child with a "meltdown" it may not be a temper tantrum but an autistic child struggling to make sense of his world, have compassion on his family and say a prayer for them!
"I Lost my tooth"

Some current stats on autism
1% of the world population has autism
The incidence has grown alarmingly, prevalence has increased by 119.4% from 2000 to 2010 from 1/150 to 1/68
Males are 4-5% more likely to be affected 1/42 boys, 1/189 girls
Autism is the fastest growing disorder and the most underfunded
The cost of autism in children is over $200 billion/year
These stats do not include Aspergers and other spectrum disorders

Quilt For A Little Girl

This is the second quilt finished for the dear lady with ALS, it will go to her youngest granddaughter who I am sure will be thrilled with a quilt from her Grandma.
 It finished up about 40"x60" a nice size for a small child to cuddle with.
Quilted with a freehand Edge to Edge swirl, I just love how it compliments any quilt.
 The border and backing are a pin dot, batting QD Dream Angel of course and the thread Superior brand Magnifico.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


This is the last of three Quilts Of Valor for Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. They will be shipped off to be bound by another quilter and ready for presentation at the reunion in Washington DC in August.
Although I use Quilter's Dream products all the time, this was the first for using Quilter's Dream Puff batting - it quilted up easily and made the  freehand Edge to Edge peacock feathers look really pretty. If you want a poly batting with some loft I recommend Dream Puff.
 The backing is pieced and also shows the quilting detail nicely.
The thread is Superior So Fine in a neutral shade.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

More Quilter's Eye Candy!

 Another example of fine piecework, applique and quilting
 Who can ever resist a cute Santa, raw edge applique is very popular. Here the quilter added color  and shading with Tsukineko inks
 And here is his boot, beautifully quilted.
 I thought the cactus flowers were lovely…...
 here showing some detail.
 This flower caught my eye
 And this one also - a little whimsy, notice the tortoises around the border..
 Cleverly constructed and quilted a southwestern horse
Gale and I both admired this little bird, hand dyed fabrics from the quilter herself
 A more traditional quilt…...
 with fine piecing, applique and quilting and crystals, very popular this year
 Adorable embroidered trees almost make me want to spend the time to work with my little embroidery machine, almost but not quite! Lots of sparkly threads enhance the quilt and crystals too.
 I will be content to admire others endeavors.
 Traditional Irish Chain…..
 with spectacular quilting.
 "My Stars"
 More gorgeous quilting
 Simple design, effective placement of color…….
combined with terrific quilting makes for a delightful picture.
 This one gets a "wow"!
 Just look at the tiny detailed quilting!
 Very effective use of color gradation
 Originally I saw this idea in Gwen Baggett's book called  "Farthing Quilts", where the picture is divided into four parts each panel being made by a different person using their own interpretation of the colors. Here it appears that six daring quilters have contributed their sections for this grand panorama.
 I took several photos of this beautiful quilt to show the variation in quilting.
We spent about four hours browsing the show, well worth the $10 admission, if it doesn't inspire the artist in you I don't what will! We came away excited to try new ideas and develop new skills, and although I may never reach the lofty heights of some of these quilters I will have fun trying!
Finally my only purchase, pincushions from the Day of the Dead booth, I bought two, one for each of us to remember this adventure.