Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cathy's Sampler

The second of the quilts I got from Denver came off the LA tonight so they will both go in the mail tomorrow. I have a half dozen things to mail so it's time for the Post Office trek-it isn't far, only a mile away it's just a hassle when there's a long line & my boxes are too large for the self service machine.
I love the flying geese in this quilt, they add such great movement & I wanted to quilt something there that would be reflective of the graceful flight of the geese as you see them overhead.
I ended up quilting leaves as you would see them blowing in the wind, more or less following the line of the geese.

It's a very cute quilt & has a lot of work in all the different piecing & applique techniques. This sort of sampler quilt allows the quilter to utilize lots of freehand motifs to fill in the various blocks & follow some of the themes. You can see snowflakes in one of the snowman blocks for example.

The pumpkins are adorable aren't they?

And see the button collars on the kitties? Lots of detail on this quilt.
I posted 4 pics. because the quilt was too large to get in one photo though I guess I could have spread it out on the bed, didn't think of it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quilting up a storm!

DH put new rails on my LA, the company replaced the powder coated with anodized & we have had a few adjustments but I am still not happy with the amount of vibration which is usually pretty much non existent on an A-1, so we have a little more work there. Other than that, "Ellie" is sewing just great, making a perfect stitch & behaving very nicely, thank you!

This bright & cheery floral quilt came from friend Loretta, it is for her mom who loves flowers & is in a nursing home setting. I think it should bring some color to her room & will be sturdy enough to withstand institutional laundering.
It's what you might call a busy quilt so the quilting doesn't really show, & I used King Tut variegated yellow, which blends in even more. I quilted an all over flower design with leaves in the borders.

Earlier this week I received two quilts from a Denver piecer. These two are fairly busy,with mixed techniques, applique etc. sampler/BOM type of quilts that will require custom treatment.
I did the smaller one first & it went more smoothly than I expected because I had no idea what I would do until I actually turned the machine on! That often happens to me, inspiration comes at the last minute! The borders were a little full but it quilted out pretty well & I think it turned out very nicely, a really pretty quilt.
Because it is so busy & again I used a King Tut variegated in blues this time, the quilting doesn't show up much until you see the back which is purple batik. The entire quilt is batiks & unlike some LA's my A-1 has no issue at all with these very dense fabrics
From the back you can see in the upper left corner block where there were applique flowers I did a peacock feather fill, but I wasn't as pleased with it as I'd hoped so in the bottom right corner block I did the pebbles & I like them much better.
The other blocks all got leaf wreaths excepts for the block with the applique heart which got a leaf heart, see it from the front in the photo below.

I took a close up of the pebble fill but again the thread matches so well it's hard to see the detail.
Next I have to tackle the large one, here's a preview before quilting! It's so large that you can't see the entire quilt laid out but you get the idea, sampler blocks & applique.

I imagine that there will be more enquiries about the origin of this quilt but sadly I have to tell you that they were class projects so the patterns are not available to my knowledge.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finally finished!

Unbelievable, but after almost a quarter century the Lover's Knot quilt is done, done, DONE can you hear me shouting from the rooftops, the dratted thing is almost vintage at it's completion.  

I tried to get a full photo on our bed but we have a footboard that get's in the way so I folded it back on itself.....
then hung it over the long arm rollers.

A close up of the corner & folded sawtooth border or Prairie Points as they are also called....

and even a label, now that's close to a miracle, LOL!
It goes to Australia with me in May for my SIL who has staked a claim to it, & my brother.

Below are photos of a vintage 30's top & some dresden blocks that a lady has asked me to work on. I'm looking for the right backing for the top, it is quite stained but I have information from my local quilt Historian & Appraiser Karen Housner so I can inform the quilt's owner & she can clean it.
You can see clearly in the close up below that the petals are gathered at the center, rather unusual in my experience & it has been suggested that it may be called a Missouri Daisy but if anyone has more accurate information on this block please let me know. It is very sweet, the 30's era quilts are winsome & charming. 

I Googled Missouri Daisy but did not come up with this particular pattern, perhaps there are variations of the block as often happens over the years.

Then there are 14 of these incomplete dresden plate blocks - I don't know that I will be taking on the job of completing these & constructing a quilt, it would be a big investment of time & I doubt my hands can tackle the hand work required I would have to do it by machine. Still thinking about it so I need to talk more with the owner.
Tomorrow I have a quilt to do on the LA, & Wednesday a little bit of an op. on my hand at Mayo Clinic, then hopefully back to the quilting Thursday as I don't think I will be too handicapped this time around.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two more baby boy quilts

Last year was the year of the girls, I made 5 baby girl quilts, this year already it's the boys year & I just this evening finished baby quilts for two families at our church, one little chap is already here, Nicholas, the other baby is due the end of March.
I had cute fabrics for the quilts in stash so I decided to make them fast & easy using YBR [Yellow Brick Road pattern]. I have only ever made one quilt from this pattern several years ago, as below,
when I needed to use up a stack of yellow & blue left over from a watercolor Irish chain made for a god daughter's 21st birthday.

So this seemed like a good opportunity to pull out the pattern and give it another go & boy is it speedy! I made these both from cutting to binding this week beginning Tuesday I think & all I have left to do are the dreaded labels, it's the "L" word!

The first one is for baby Nicholas......

I posted a photo of the back too because I used yellow thread & you can't see the quilting much from the front.
The second is for as yet ??un-named baby boy!

and I quilted them both with those fast peacock feathers.

Next week I plan to make the baby quilt for our expected grandson, Matthew, then I hope to get back to my mystery quilts.
I am well satisfied with this week's work - in addition to two baby quilts all done, I have hand stitched about halfway around the edge of the KS Lover's Knot. DH had surgery at Mayo Clinic hospital Monday & I sat around for over six hours & occupied myself hand stitching.
Tomorrow I am off to Tucson for their quilt show & my friend is driving so I plan to work at finishing off the Lover's Knot quilt.
We're staying overnight at a historical hotel downtown Tucson so that should be fun and a chance to spend some time with a friend I don't see very much.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Five more QOV's

A busy week- hmmmm, what am I saying, they all are, but this week I focused on the final details of the last five from the current batch of QOV's I had completed. Two of these are my OC mystery quilts - I think pictures have already been posted as I quilted each of them.
It's a strange phenomenon, the last bits & pieces are always the hardest but now the quilts are all packed up & will be in the mail tomorrow to the Veteran's Hospital in LA. They get a lot of the wounded Marines so they always need more quilts & I am ever so pleased to be able to contribute, I wish I could make one for every single wounded hero.
I struggle with the labels, it's a bit tedious making them on my DSM & when I mentioned this on one of my Yahoo quilt groups one of the other members contacted me to offer her expertise so I am very blessed to have them made for me in the future. The labels may seem like a small detail but it's one that really bugs me!
I launder them in a non- fragranced "green" product and make a "presentation case" for each quilt, just a simple bag to keep them clean so they go to the hospital as uncontaminated as possible.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow, some trash, a UFO and an ironing board!

How about the title, is that a combination of unlikely events? But if you read the remainder of this posting you will understand the why.
First, I'm posting a few pics from DH & GS's snow days at our Colorado home, they arrived back in Phx. Saturday after a week of sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing etc.
First pic is looking out the window from our downstairs guest area....
those lovely mountains in the background are 12 & 13,000ft. high.
Next you can see DH [second from left] & friends taking a break from snowshoeing at 9,000ft......

then Grandfather on sled & Logan behind with sled.....

last pic is the sled train, Daniel in front, Logan in the middle & friend Nicholas as caboose!

Seems they all had a grand old time!
Back to Phx!
The "trash" in the title refers to all the detritus? that DH hauled out of the storage shed in back, & I hauled to St.Vinnies, no pics of that aren't you glad?! When I returned from this job as we continued repacking Christmas & other sentimental bits & pieces we realized that we now have another load for the thrift store- but that's for another day- too large for my ML, it's an Avalanche job!
Now for the UFO- I bound & labeled the Burger Queen Mystery quilt- aka a UFO- & mailed it off to a wounded warrior. It's 50"x70", I think it turned out really pretty & DH liked it a lot so I think the soldier will too.
It's strange how a quilt can develop as you go along because I was not at all enthused about this one as I sewed the blocks, I had too much red I thought, & I didn't care for the option of arranging the blocks however we chose, but then I added that light stop border & it appears to me to really set it off -so now I am very pleased & almost sad to see it go!

The backing is a lovely soft brushed cotton from PBR textiles.......
and I quilted it with those fast & easy peacock feathers all over.

I also mailed three QOV's to the Los Angeles VA Hospital-I have I think four more of them just needing a label & a presentation case & I'm hoping to get those ready for mailing tomorrow.
Over the holidays I was delighted to get a Christmas picture & note from a wounded warrior who received one of my QOV's- he looks well, happy & healthy which is good news indeed.
Now to the ironing board! I am pretty pleased with this collaborative effort with DH. I asked for his help to make an ironing board to fit on top of the Ikea bureau in my sewing studio so we purchased a piece of scrap MDF [52 cents!] & some half inch trim from HD, where they cut the MDF to 36"x22". DH attached the trim pieces to the underside so that it would fit neatly onto the bureau without sliding around & then I padded the top with leftover batting scraps & covered it all with that silver heat resistant fabric, 40% off at Joann. A couple of dozen staples later & voila, a perfect product made to order, isn't it grand?

The pile of little 3 1/2" 'square in a square' blocks on my new ironing board are part of step 2 of the Double Delight mystery......

and these little pink & green HST's are all that I have done so far of the fabricaholicsanonymous.com NY's Eve mystery..........not sure when I will get back to it but soon I hope!

It's really time to head for bed so I went to get a late night bite to go along with my late night cuppa, thought I'd have one of those yummy rum balls friend S gave us for Christmas & see, can you see in the tin, there's just one left, lucky me!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's a Brand New Year

Well, it's just barely into 2009 by a couple of hours & I have been piecing a quilt but I think it's time for bed! I have wanted to post but the holidays have been too busy.
I LA'ed two UFO's the past week including my most ancient UFO this KS Lover's Knot from 1985- boy does that feel good- it got what Nichole Webb calls "baby butt feathers" free-handed all over, took me two days, it's a big quilt. I have to hand finish the backing, tucking it under the folded saw tooth border.

The other is a Stack & Slash, only about a year old. I am very pleased to have both quilted -what is left to complete them is the least interesting part of the process for me, binding & labels.
I want to put the piped binding on the S&S & I quite enjoy that process, it's all done on the machine, no handwork. I will probably use red piping with black binding.
This evening I have been working on the New Year's Eve mystery from Bonnie Hunter at quiltville.com. These are my chosen fabrics, all from stash, mostly from my CW replica stash - I am continuing my practice of making Bonnie's mysteries controlled scrappy.

I substituted reds for the double pinks Bonnie has chosen for her quilt which she has named "Double Delight". Bonnie plans to post about one clue per.day, & I have yet to complete the first step , making 120 x 3 1/2" square in a square blocks -a few of mine are pictured below.
Bonnie's sewing & trimming instructions for these blocks makes them so very accurate & neat they are a pleasure to sew.
My favorite local QS had an irresistible pre-inventory blow-out sale- all sale fabrics were 75% off. It was the perfect time to pick up a few pieces for current projects & some backings.

I did purchase fabrics for another WHIMM [below] , just too hard to pass up those prices, Khris you would have gone nuts!

I had also signed up for the fabricaholicsanonymous.com NY mystery-I managed to get the HST's done for the prep sewing but that's all. I have the clues all printed up ready for whenever I can get back to it. Two new WIPs & 2009 is only just here! Now if only they can remains WIPs & not become UFO's.
Here are my four fabric choices for the above mystery- I have enough of the focus fabric -the flowers-for border & backing, it was one of those 75% off deals!