Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two Watercolor UFO's

Tonight I finished up two more UFO's-would you believe I have only one UFO left to quilt and bind and then I am UFO-less, whatever will I do? I have a plan never fear, there are many WHIMMs, kits and other projects that will be my focus next year. It's sad that it has taken me so many years to get organized but at my eh, advanced age I realize I must have a good plan or I will leave behind a big mess!
I like to show the back of the quilt, it's often difficult to see the quilting from the front.
A couple [maybe more] of years ago I decided to make quilted banners for sister churches in Rwanda. These two wall-hanging sized quilts are for that purpose but after arranging them on a design board I put the board behind the door, behind another board-and
sort of conveniently forgot them- in truth, I had lost my mojo for them! So they were on the bottom of my UFO list and this week it came down to where I had no choice but to work on them because, gasp, I had run out of UFO's to work on!

Funny, but finishing them up wasn't difficult at all, I seemed to have recovered my mojo and they went together fairly easily. No labels yet, the wording has to be finalized.

I have made so many of these Watercolor "Resurrection" quilts[that's what I call them] I have lost count but at least twenty and no two are identical. Most are this smaller size, a couple have been another size up that were commissioned works and the largest is the first one I made, now more than a decade ago. Many of them can be seen on my webshots, the link is in my sidebar.
This is the first Resurrection quilt I made, it's much larger, and there have been many in between. It's clear that the little quilts really require a different technique because of the limited design area and I have changed the style a bit with each new one. The quilt above hangs on the wall in the loft behind my long-arm machine and it was one of the earliest projects that I quilted on my first long-arm machine.

Tomorrow I have baby Matthew for the day and also luncheon guests, a quilting buddy who moved to CA last year is back for a visit and it's always fun to connect with quilting friends even if our families can't understand the fascination with our favorite topic!
One of my quilting friends asked for more detail on the quilting so I took a couple of close ups of the backs and they are posted here.

Friday, November 27, 2009


This week has been busy, too busy to post since Monday. I had loads of baking to do Wednesday and Thanksgiving we were gone most of the day, in fact poor Button acted as if we had been gone for a month. She tried three times to jump into my arms as I came in the door and my arms were full so she didn't succeed until the fourth try by which time I had dropped all the stuff on the counter. She fussed and chattered and scolded me for several minutes, "You were gone so long I thought you'd never come back, I was so lonely all by myself here, where were you? I didn't have any fun, I didn't get to go to the park today either and now I am awfully hungry and you took all that yummy smelling food with you!" And so on and so forth scarcely pausing to breathe, funny little dog!
Doesn't she look so sad and neglected?
Here are a few pics from Thanksgiving at Mem's parent's house. Her Mum and me, decked out in our aprons.............
four of my fellas......oldest and youngest DS, DGS #3 and DH.
the beautiful little family.....
Daddy and his little boy.......
playing airplane, he loves that........
and finally, with doting Grandmother.
I did manage to get in a bit of sewing, my last two UFO's are now ready to quilt and as they are small and the same size and will both be quilted with the same thread color, I mounted them side by side on the LA this evening. Tomorrow I plan to get them quilted and bound. These two are for our sister churches in Kigeme and Taba, Rwanda.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mindless Sewing

This weekend I indulged in a mindless sewing break-I wanted to sew but didn't want to tackle anything challenging or items already in progress, I felt the need for new projects easily completed.
The result:
four more presentation cases for the QOV's I need to ship off to Alycia.
Each of the quilts for our wounded warriors is presented in some kind of fabric bag, I usually make mine similar to a pillow case and about the size of a standard pillow. None are identical in size, I cut up the fabric according to whatever I have in order to end up with an appropriate size to hold the quilt. They are very simply sewn from bits and pieces in my R.W and blue stash, most half yard or FQ size and in keeping with the patriotic theme.
Here you can see the French seams so there is no fraying, the inside is very neat and they sew up lightning fast. They can be used as pillow covers or for storing the quilt if not in use. It's a nice way to present the quilts, makes them a little more special. I try to put a personal note in with each quilt but I missed that with the last box, just got in a hurry and forgot!

There are four more selvedge pot holders to add to the collection......
I now have 13, all will probably be given away by Christmas.

And two more selvedge pin cushions!
How is that for some mindless sewing? I have a nice sense of accomplishment that came stress free and I have something to show for my weekend. Into the bargain I have a few more little gifts and the QOV bags are ready.
I am almost out of selvedges so I will have to put that project on the shelf for a while. This week I need to get back to the long arm anyway, the Singing His Praises BOM awaits me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

VTT English China

Each Thursday a few dozen bloggers join Colorado Lady to celebrate our love of Vintage Thingies so check out the other bloggers listed there.
This past week I realized that I had omitted a couple of cups and saucers from the VTT post I did a few weeks ago, these two were on a different shelf and were overlooked.

The first has violets-I am particularly fond of violets, my Mum used to have them growing almost wild in her very English style garden at Leura in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. As a child I was permitted to pick a few to place in a vase on my dressing table, the fragrance was so sweet.
Made in England by Royal Vale company.
The second shows posies of a daisy and perhaps Forget- me -Nots..........manufactured by Rosina China company, England

Both are dainty bone china sets for the nicest cup of tea.
The final tea related item I purchased in Oxford, England in 1971. It is a typically English teapot, china pots make the best tea!

The castle depicted is Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, almost 500,000 square feet- in the center is the distinctive Round Tower!

This castle dates back to William the Conqueror and is one of the official residences of the British Monarchy. Far left in the picture above is the Round Tower shown on my teapot.

Elizabeth's QOV

Elizabeth from Houston sent me this lovely top to finish for a Wounded Warrior. I quilted, bound and labeled it today and have to make the presentation case tomorrow.
I don't know the name of the pattern and I must remember to ask Elizabeth. I think it looks a little scrappy, there are no two blocks the same-I find this style of quilt so charming and old fashioned and very satisfying to make because we can often use up small pieces left over from other projects.
From the back you can see the quilting, a Stars and Stripes flag design. It has been washed and dried and has acquired the traditional wrinkly look of a quilt. Here is what Liz said about her quilt:
"I think I shall call it Pair It Up Block of the Month.
It was my Block of the Month designed for Great Expectations Quilt Store in Houston, Tx.
Each set of fabrics made a pair of blocks with the same fabrics. One had a dark focus and the other had a light focus."
So there you have it!
The tidy label made on my little Brother embroidery machine, I am very pleased with this machine. Now if I just had time to study the tutorials I could do all sorts of wonderful things with it.
I had no idea when I acquired it where or how I would store it to be handy but not too intrusive, my studio is a very small space with a lot of very important "stuff" in it!
I was able to re-purpose a sturdy rolling cart to hold the machine and some accessories [said cart used to hold my printer in the office and was replaced by something more practical and aesthetically pleasing] and the drawers are really handy for extra storage in the studio. Any artist or crafter will tell you there is never enough storage space in their work/design area.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Selvedge Madness!

Saturday was the monthly "Craft And Chat" at church, I hadn't been since last winter I think so I packed up some stuff to work on and headed down to the church. There were only a few of us this time but we had a nice visit and I finished the last three of my SITP blocks for the week.

I took along some mindless sewing, my bag of selvedges, scrap batting and Insulbrite, a heat reflective batting that protects hands from hot pots and pans. It's available at Joann's [use a coupon!] Hobby Lobby and other fabric stores.
I now have another seven of these cute pot-holders, even the binding is selvedge. My favorite is the red,white and black, the rest are very much an eclectic mix of color and designs.
I used the "stitch and flip" method utilizing scrap batting for the foundation on either side then enclosing a square of Insulbrite in the middle. At the end of the binding I make a loop and fold it back on itself and secure it to the edge with a couple of rows of stitches. As I said, mindless sewing, they go together very fast and you can chat and not pay attention to what you are doing!
This method works well for any leftover strips of fabric too narrow for other uses, as small as one inch-less than that is not worth sewing. Try a couple they are addictive, they make charming hostess gifts especially around the holidays along with a plate of cookies anyone can use another pot-holder!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finished For Friday, Another UFO

I had three quilt finishes this week but I have already blogged about two of them- here is the third, a UFO that I really disliked..... that's why it was a UFO, LOL! It's called a One Block Wonder and I am now permanently immune to this design! Well, allergic might be a better word.
I slogged through the piecing and then added two bright borders from stash and a Mardi Gras backing- also from stash. The borders are so bright that they distract from the awfulness of the body of the quilt so I don't even hate it anymore! Don't love it mind you but don't despise it either and it's a nice size for a kid's quilt. Amazing what a couple of eye popping borders & some quilting can do, right?

It's quilted with orange thread in zig-zag lines in the body of the quilt and curls in the borders. It went fairly fast and I am so happy and proud that I did not let this quilt get the better of me!
I had bright fabric for backing [left over from a Mardi Gras quilt years ago] that would never blend with anything else I made and I'm happy to have used up most of it now.
Yeah, it's done and I have only two more UFO's both small watercolor quilts and I'm hopeful I can get those finished too in the next month. More on that later.

Vintage Thingies Thursday

If you visit Colorado Lady's blog you will find a list of many other vintage lovers blogging about their treasures-don't miss it!
Today I want to show off one of my favorite pieces. It's another of this $27.50 bargains I bought at auction in San Angelo TX in the early '80's. The auctioneer would get to the magic amount of $25 and something in me would cry out "$27.50" and the auctioneer would yell "sold". It happened so many times I think they saw me coming! On this particular occasion I remember thinking "$25, I can use it for something for that price", mentally picturing storage of items otherwise stuffed in overflowing cupboards. When I got home I realized it blended well with the eighteenth century oak dining furniture and has functioned as a sideboard ever since.
There were no keys for it and I seem to remember that the doors were locked so I drove by the locksmith's house on the way home and he made keys for a few dollars.

Here are two views, the actual color is darker like the first picture...

the flash washed out the color in this pic. I think the wood is walnut-the piece came from England, the importer who brought it to the USA would roam around England buying up furniture from estate sales and ship it all to the USA in containers. One week there was an old player piano but I missed out on it, had to take DH to the airport or I may have had another $27.50 bargain! I always wanted a player piano because I learned to play on one at my Granny's house when I was taking lessons at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.

The sideboard has nice carving on the doors and knobs ....

and along the back ledge......

And heavy octagonal legs with flat bars between them and from one side to the other.
I keep antique linens and other everyday linens in the drawers ........
a few Jagermeister and shot glasses from Germany above.....
and it's a handy place for glassware etc., the colored wine glasses all came from Germany in the '70's.
Now head on over to Colorado Lady's blog.......don't miss the fun!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today I cannot ignore the significance of the date and especially in light of the recent horrifying attacks on our valiant service members both at home and in foreign lands.
To all of these heroes I say a" thank you" that cannot possibly convey the debt we owe to our warriors and their families. We too are a military family and I know of some of the sacrifices required to keep our nation free.
The United States of America is the home of the free because of the brave.

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wednesday, Not Wordless!

I am catching up from a blogging absence, a few days when I was distracted by life!
Sunday afternoon I spent four hours working in the backyard-it is a small urban yard but the Brazilian Pepper tree was out of control and I cut and sawed and cut and sawed some more! DH helped after his nap, LOL, by then the tree massacre was over, the tree has better shape and at least we can walk around it without getting smacked in the face by the branches.
I wanted four bushes removed and four rose bushes and a hibiscus planted, DH does a fine job of digging. Whew, it was a lot of work and the clean up takes nearly as long as the trimming and planting.
While I was at it I pruned the rose bushes back and cut off the last six yellow blooms. As mild as our winters are the roses could continue to bloom so I may get more. The four rose bushes we planted were rescued from another house where they were not wanted and I don't have any idea what kind they are, color etc, it will all be a big surprise!

Yesterday I finished a large quilt, a vintage top I had purchased from eBay-it's drying now so I will get a photo tomorrow.
Today I began work on one of the last three of my 22 UFO's. It is a much unloved One Block Wonder - I had started two on different occasions, the other is in Houston to be finished by another quilter and donated to a charity there.
I decided to tackle this one just to be able to say I had at least completed one of these dratted things, I wasn't going to let it beat me so I sewed all those hexagons into rows. I sort of threw it together not really caring which blocks went where or making any attempt at a design I simply want it done. Perhaps that's why it's so awful, it's been treated rather shabbily!
I really just don't care for these OBW's, don't enjoy the construction of the hexagons or the finished look, the final designs always seem either chaotic or mushy to me. It's one of those "why did I buy this book/what made me think I wanted to make this quilt?" Ever have those moments?
The more I look at it the worse it gets in my eyes, perhaps I will name it "My Very Ugliest Quilt-Ever"! A good reason to get it completed and given away, perhaps a child would not be so critical?

I have a good green and an orange in stash that will make nice borders so that's my plan for tomorrow-after we get back from Mayo Hospital, where DH has day surgery.
This will be OK for a child's quilt I think with the cute VW bugs?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Turtle Quilt UFO

Another UFO off the list.