Friday, February 10, 2017

A Finish, Finally !

There seem to have been multiple roadblocks to completing this quilt, the past couple of weeks has been really busy. But it is done and now I can send it back to Texas where it belongs and the owner is anxiously awaiting it!
Leslie has red for the shams so she thought to have the wreath centers red 
but we discovered that the red kind of disappeared and the centers appeared blank. Hmmmm....
 So I decided to echo the red flower with the same grey I used for the rest of the quilt
and now you can see the centers, they look like Cabbage Roses to me.
The batting is Quilter's Dream black and thread is Superior Magnifico "Storm" on top and BL in the bobbin.
 I am happy with the grey "Storm" thread, I like quilting with Superior's Magnifico line it sews nicely, has attractive sheen without being in your face, and comes in a fabulous range of colors. This shade is perfect for quilting on black fabrics, it shows the quilting enough and makes it easy to see where you have been, very important in freehand quilting.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Hate This Thread Color!

After dithering around back and forth with Leslie whose quilt this is, I had the plan all ready and finally decided on gold thread-but no sooner had I quilted a couple of feet of the outer border than I realized- I hate the thread color! Yikes!
It just doesn't go, not the right shade of yellow, too brassy gold. Drat!
But this lovely lime green will do I think! 
It is actually even brighter in hue than it shows, and we had talked about using it but I didn't want to make it too seasonal/Christmassy. 
Therefore I will sleep on it and if I still despise it in the morning - and I am pretty sure that I will- I will frog it and start over with the green. It is not the same brand so I hope my tension stays adjusted, these shiny threads can be finicky!
I made a couple more selvedge pot holders to take for a little hostess gift this weekend, we can all use an extra one or two, everyone seems to love them and I will never run out of selvedges!
       Earlier this week I was over at 35th Avenue Sew 'N vac and cruised around their sale table while waiting for a sales person and it was not a good idea, at least for my wallet!
I spied this-an entire set of Kaffe Fassett fabrics half price, 16 yards in all it states.
 It took me a long time and quilting a few quilts with his fabrics before I grew to like them, in the beginning I thought they were too wild and I would go blind quilting them! The first quilt I custom quilted was a queen size to the floor, a big quilt king size really. All the blocks were different, stars I think, and no matter what thread I used I could not see where I had been! By the time I got to the last wide border I gave up and pulled out a pantograph, it was making me so crazy trying to see my quilting. I know that a black light can help so I need to get one just to have on hand for difficult fabrics.
Some of his fabrics I really love especially those polka dots in several different color-ways, yummy! I am not sure that this entire quilt is my style, not likely ever to make it, but a few blocks for a wall hanging would be fun and a very happy accent on the wall. There's just too much time consuming applique` there in the full size version but I am sure I can find some other wonderful things to make with them.
As I said it took me years to appreciate the riotous colors in Kaffe's designs, but now I love them, all that brightness and craziness makes me happy! Must be my advancing years, my Mum grew to love wild colors when she was older and I have a birthday Sunday so the years are catching up with me!
Oh yeah that's a great idea, this can be my birthday present to myself LOL!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Projects For The New Year

Linking up with Needlework Tuesday
We returned from our Boston jaunt last week and spent the next few days catching up with mail, putting up Christmas decorations, purging the storage shed in back and cleaning house-not to mention laundry!
Now it's back to the normality of the gym and quilting, and the boy whom I had really missed not seeing him for three whole weeks!
 I did make it to the gym in Boston the week after Christmas, I took the eleven year old twins and had several good workouts at the "Y", but the second week they were back in school and I did not go so it feels really good to be back into that routine!
First up on the longarm is this stunning quilt and I have been back and forth with the quilter in Texas deciding on thread color and design. There is something very dramatic always about solid colors on a black background.
It is now loaded and ready to go
The plan is for a bright green thread and a leafy wreath in each block with a flower center, leaves between the blocks and a flower on each of the cornerstones. I think it will be really pretty. 
A couple of new babies at our church necessitates a couple more baby quilts and I pieced this quickie from an assortment of small amounts of girlie fabrics I cut into 7" squares for the baby girl I met before Christmas. It will be quilted as soon as the black one is done. Meanwhile I noticed another new babe on Sunday and I must ask tomorrow at Bible study who it is so I can get another in the works. We have a lot of young families and new ones joining here and there. Our church has had a wonderful preschool for many years [there is usually a waiting list] and we often seem to have new families join after their child has become a student in the preschool. Matthew goes to the Sunday School, which he absolutely loves, also overseen by the preschool director- it's a terrific program of Christian discipleship.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Eataly in Boston!

Have you heard of Chef Mario Batali's "Eataly"? There are thirty now around the globe since the first in Turin, Italy.In the USA there are four, in NYC Flatiron and NYC Downtown, Chicago and now Boston plus one in the offing in Los Angeles. This morning niece and I checked out the newest store, 45,000 square feet in the Prudential building Boston and to put it mildly we were astonished the store is enormous and the variety of goods from A to Z is overwhelming!
We had never seen so many cheeses in one place......
nor cured and fresh meat.....
The photos in this post are a miniscule representation of the entire facility, including four restaurants with the same menu.
A small selection of the artisan breads fresh baked daily on site 
We purchased a fig bread, but it was very hard to choose just one
and this Chianti that was advertised as new to the country so we decided to try a bottle.
We ate brunch there, K had a Ciabatta sandwich with mushrooms, pickled onions and a soft cheese and I ordered a selection of three salads, chicken with walnuts and Gorgonzola, one featuring eggplant and the third a Caprese. We finished up with Macchiato latte and a coffee, and I could not resist this decadent looking hazelnut dessert to share.
If you have an opportunity to visit one of these stores it's an adventure, but try to plan it early in the day close to 9am. before the crowds arrive. When we got there around 11 am. it was very busy and the restaurants were already crowded and we left around one pm. as the crowding was getting uncomfortable! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Update On The Arrowhead Quilt

This is the quilt for second grandson and wife. They were married sooner than intended because of family illness and their quilt was not done in time-I am still working on it.
The foot surgery set me back over a month then guests, Thanksgiving, guests, birthdays, and Christmas fun got in the mix and the quilt is still a WIP [Work In Progress!]
They asked for "blue", no other colors, and so that's what I went for although in hindsight I wish I had mixed in something else because I have scrambled to find a lot of dark, medium and light blues for variety. So below is what is on the design wall but I have additional blues as it has progressed.
 My iPhone 5s camera leaves a little to be desired when it comes to true color production, I understand the iPhone 6 and 7 have much better cameras but I like my compact iPhone 5!
Having done some math I think I need around 200+ blocks for a Cal.King bed and I made another twenty last evening bringing my total to 181 so I am nearly there.
We had a quiet Christmas Day, went to church then some of the family came by for homemade chicken noodle soup [it was very good especially for chilly, rainy weather and there is plenty left to enjoy]monkey bread etc and we were all alone again by 2pm, so I had time to clean up then sew for a bit.
The little Aussie lap quilt has been awaiting binding completion so I took care of that before I returned to piecing the blue quilt.
 The binding is pieced as you can see, I am very fond of pieced bindings and backings and it's a great way to use up scraps from the quilt.
With pieced backings sometimes I think the back is just as cute as the front of the quilts!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas And Happy Hanukkah

Blessings in this Holy season

"Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light."

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Garden Party and a Meet-Up

Here is Angela's Garden Party quilt made on a Bonnie Hunter Caribbean Cruise in 2015. It turned out really beautiful and I believe she is keeping this one!
 Folk Art flowers E-E in the body of the quilt and a little custom  flower and leaf in the sashing and border.
The thread is a bright green, the label is missing so the manufacturer is unknown it's one of those my friend Gale gave me that didn't work on her Prodigy. Batting is Quilter's Dream.
A nice group from our Fiber Artist Meet-Up came together today at my house [Matthew was here and counted nine of us!]
 I had a large recipe of lentil soup with rosemary/parmesan bread and a pumpkin dump-it cake and Susan contributed a lovely salad so we ate well!
Most of us kept busy making design boards for our blocks, one member was cross-stitching and one working on the 35th.Ave. mystery quilt- I took a couple of pics but they did not turn out well enough to show!
These design boards make setting up blocks and keeping them in place very convenient and they stack up compactly for storage or transport.
 Celeste showed us how from a tut she found by Lori at  "A Bee In Her Bonnet" blog.  Lori's are much prettier than mine, she uses fabric strips from her own fabric lines whereas my bindings are all just random left overs sewn together.
We used 1/4" thick foam-board available inexpensively at many craft, Dollar Stores and places like Wal-Mart. Scrap batting or flannel is used to cover the foam-board and scrap binding or 2.5" fabric strips to cover the edges- I think all quilters save their left over bits of binding and this is a great way to use them. I always use 2.25" double fold binding for a tight finish and that's what I had, it worked just fine. You could make whatever size design boards you want, I divided my 20x30" foam-board in two and in half again for 10x15" pieces- I might have to make a few a bit larger to accommodate 12" blocks. Different stores have the foam-board in different sizes I need to find some 15x30" or 24x30"
The design board tut can be found here and the Youtube tut here.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kathy's Allietare

Here is another version of Bonnie Hunter's Allietare, Kathy's color choices are striking.
The Panto I chose has a swirly design, not flowery but looks to me like tumbleweeds blowing across the prairie. I like the movement it gives the quilt especially nice with these very scrappy quilts.
 The thread is Essentials Pro Turkey Red and the batting Quilter's Dream Pink, a lovely, soft draping 80%cotton/20%poly.
And yes I have been AWOL for a few weeks, life got in the way of quilting partly on account of my foot surgery but also out of town family visiting for our oldest son's 50th. birthday bash, an 80's costume party. Everything from Rock'nRoll icons to Ghost Busters,Top Gun, and of course ladies in Madonna-like costume and some like myself sporting the big shoulder pads and leg warmers!
The man himself and his BF "Top Gun" who flew out from Australia just for the event.
 Cousins from Boston and his brother and wife, it was quite a night!
 As I said, the big shoulder pads, big hair and eye popping pink, you just can't see the leg warmers!
Adjustment to the disco ball!
Official bartender!
There were a lot more people and photos, this is all I took, too busy having fun!
A night to remember with a hot local DJ doing the music.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all. I am blessed with a bounty of food, shelter, family, reasonable health and dear friends. A special blessing to all in Blogland even though we may never meet in reality except in the Hereafter.
And for this noble Nation may the Lord keep His hand of mercy upon us.
I rejoice in this day it is a gift, no coincidence that we call it the present!

Spiral Placemats

Sewing gifts for Christmas and birthdays in lieu of purchasing them is more meaningful, uses stash and saves buying into the madness of retail Christmas!
Recently I saw the pattern below from "Designs To Share With You"
 Immediately thought of a couple of fabrics and a recipient came to mind.
I decided to show a bit of the process because at first I found the instructions a little confusing! Really they are fast and easy but the directions about the ruler were not at first clear to me [maybe the blonde thing? LOL!] The picture above shows what the pattern actually means as to how to make the cuts but it becomes crystal clear once you "get it" and as long as you pay attention and use the coordinate fabric for the first side then alternate with the feature fabric you will not have a problem.
 I chose to chain sew, it was faster to sew eight times [eight placemats] then trim eight triangles than to sew, trim sew trim etc. and I did the trimming on the mat beside my machine to save time and keep my wounded foot up! My chairs are on rollers so I can easily slide side to side to be in the best position for using the rotary cutter, less chance of injury.
Ta da!  I am so happy with these, this organic looking fabric has been waiting for just the right project and the Hoffman I chose to coordinate looks great with it. By the way, I found that the 18" squares for batting and backing seemed over generous I do hate waste, I found 16" adequate.
Using Bottom Line matching thread from Superior I top stitched around the very edge and around the center octagon only I think that will be adequate to keep it stable during laundering.
Then this great batik seemed to lend itself to another set and I love how they turned out.
Solid black backing since I had no appropriate red.
What to do then with all those triangles I removed? I used some of them for "leaders and enders" during the chain sewing.
While I was at it I sewed up a couple of my selvedge pot holders for a hostess gift 
and made three more of these pumpkins, also a hostess gift.
Last Saturday my  Fiber Artists MeetUp group got together and I worked on the Crystal Clear quilt kit, just one more section, well half a section, I still need to make the mirror image .
Obviously this quilt will be a long term project!