Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Halloween Horror

My post today is appropriate for Halloween in part about costumes. To read about the history and origins of this holiday you can see some of the facts here.
My horror as a quilter, is clothing alterations and this week I had two such tasks! JW's best friend for over two decades is a hockey player, goalie I believe-but what do I know about ice hockey, I played field hockey. He said that his uniform shirts were too narrow in the sleeves for all the padding the goalies wear so he asked me to enlarge the sleeves.

Any one of you who has worked with clothing construction will understand immediately my dilemma in enlarging the sleeves and not the body part of the garment so I had been procrastinating only partly because I couldn't find any of that "holey" sports fabric. I finally located some on the far side of town at Sally's fabrics and proceeded to make the necessary adjustments adding a 5" strip of fabric to each of the sleeves at the underarms from the wrist to the side seam and grumbling all the time to myself!

Hours later [more like an entire day later] they were done, then onto the next request this one from oldest DS.
He has been a "Trekkie" since his youth [he will be 43 in December] and a couple of years ago his wife bought him this very realistic-looking Darth Vader costume.

Looks like the real thing doesn't he? His friend, a photographer did the special effects in this photo. The costume is a thick, padded, channel-stitched, leather-like material and very hot to wear so DS undid the side seams under the arms for some fresh air and asked me to insert " zippers or something". Now there's another horror, sewing zippers into an already constructed garment, so I chose the "or something" and sewed velcro into the seams.
Every time I am tasked with a non-quilting sewing project I mutter to myself "never again", this time I really mean it! Why is it just because I have a sewing machine-or two or three or more- is it expected that I am an expert in all things sewn!
With a huge sigh of relief I returned to what I know best, quilting, specifically the Shakespeare quilt.
They fit nicely either side of the seams so the fabric cannot shift as you sew.........

and they are very fine pins so you can sew....slowly and carefully....... over them.
See how perfectly the seams match? Love these pins, I swear by them for piecing accuracy on multiple intersections but they are rather hard to find and a bit on the pricey side. I got mine from Connecting Threads, but your local quilt shop may stock them .
Although I am still a couple of weeks behind, last night I did complete the third week's assignment-so now I am only, what, three weeks behind?! Yikes!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday

It's VTT and I don't want to miss out again this week! Don't you miss out on all the other Vintage lovelies, connect with them at Colorado Lady's blog.
Just two photos to show today, the only copies I have of my parent's wedding day pictures, though I know that there are more of the whole wedding party.

Mum was the middle child of nine and the youngest girl-there were five girls in a row then four boys.
She was a very accomplished seamstress even at 24, and made her own wedding gown and veil on a treadle machine.
My grandparents lived just two doors from the family church, there was gasoline rationing and anyway it made no sense to take the car out for a hundred yard drive so the entire wedding party paraded along the road to the little wooden church on the corner, St John the Baptist Anglican Church.
My Dad was in the RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] and did not know for sure until the last day if he would be able to get leave and then find transportation the thousand miles plus from his base in Queensland to the Sydney suburbs for the wedding ceremony.

When Mum arrived at the altar on my Grandfather's arm my Dad winked at her and said "G'day Toots"!
I asked him why he did that and he said to make her feel better in case she was nervous! He told me that he knew she was the one for him the first moment he saw "that dear little face with the cap of curls"! Obviously I do not much resemble my Mum but have always been told I look just like my Dad!
After the ceremony the entire assemblage walked back around the corner to my grandparents rambling home for the wedding meal. I am sure they managed to provide a delicious spread in spite of war time deprivations, though I am unable to testify to that, I wasn't there and didn't make my debut in the family for another year!
After 60 years of devoted marriage, one month after 9/11, Mum went to be with her Lord whom she loved and served her entire life, and we never thought that my Dad would survive.
Now eight years later at 98 he is still spunky and totally in his right mind but wondering if maybe God has forgotten him! He told me a couple of years ago " You know dear, there's an old lady up there [pointing skywards] that wonders what's taking me so long"!
He goes to her memorial every day, says he's "going to visit my girl", and takes fresh roses a couple of times a week.
God bless him and the lovely lady he married on February 9th, 1942.

PS. Here are Mum and Dad on his 90th. birthday, five months to the day before we lost Mum. She was still a pretty lady!
I miss her too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pillow Is Done Too!

Just finished the pillow from that extra DP.
Now for the quilt binding!

Dresden Plate Client Quilt Is Done!

I have been AWOL for a week from Blogland. It takes me a few days to get back into the city lifestyle, so many distractions- reorganization of everything is an irritating necessity, add church Sunday, the fun of watching baby Matthew Monday, company for dinner another night and the rest of the week mostly quilting. I just haven't taken time to blog.
I took the client's Dresden Quilt off the LA just a short time ago.
Here's a close up of the front.

Feathers seemed a good match for it so that's what it got!

It's about 60x80 so about right for a single bed I think. In hindsight I could have added more muslin to the sides or alternately, set the blocks on point as I will do with my own DP blocks- as soon I get caught up with the SITP project, I am 3 weeks behind!

I have yet to make the pillow out of the odd left over block- that comes after the binding is done then they can be mailed off to the owner, she must be anxious by now to have them back. I have had them for some time, but I had to applique the blocks and sew them together and I kept getting involved in other projects.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dresden Plate Blocks, A Charger and Table Runner

Back in the city one day and I'm already at the local quilt shop, Quiltz - they had a sale, 30% off all fabrics and I needed a 30's repro for my vintage 30's DP's that I bought from eBay a while back.
After some deliberation I chose this........
I think it goes nicely, don't you? There appears to be a preponderance of blue fabrics in these DP's and this fabric looked best with them IMHO! After all, isn't that what counts, my quilt, my choice, no quilt police allowed!
I bought three yards to make all the setting triangles-I am setting the blocks on point- and I also need enough for the center circles and the binding.

The maker of these had already drawn an outline of the quilting design she planned for the centers, if you click on the image for a close up you can see her designs.

Three or four of the blocks came with muslin centers like these....

but the rest were like this, missing their centers and since I have no hope of matching this very old muslin I think it best if I replace the circles with the same fabric as the setting triangles.

Then this evening I just came across this adorable Dresden Plate charger and table runner on the Bitty Bits & Pieces blog, with a really nice tutorial on Moda Bakeshop and if you don't feel able/ in the mood to make them Kimberly is actually giving away a charger so you could get lucky! If you are at all interested check it out, the tutorial is very good and the whole set is really pretty and sweetly old fashioned.
Now I just happen to have a few bits and pieces left from my DP eBay purchase that will not fit into my quilt, so I think I will have to make one of the chargers.
Yikes, another project...........

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

VTT, Vintage Handkerchiefs

It's Vintage Thingies Thursday, so make sure you hook up with ColoradoLady's blog to see what else is on display.
This afternoon I had to pick up one of my DSM's from it's annual check-up and since "Heirlooms For Hospice" is in the next block I cruised by [ostensibly to drop off a donation] and inspired by the beautiful "embroidered ladies" in a previous post on our Fall quilt retreat, just happened to enquire if they had any vintage hankies!
"Oh yes, a box full" they said!
Here is the "loot"- I managed to restrain myself and chose carefully. Oh, and I thoughtfully left a few for someone else, I didn't hog them all.
There are six pieces here that seem brand new, quite large and a fine linen they may have been meant for a gentleman but are certainly a nice size for table napkins and that's what I have in mind for them. They are beautifully hemstitched.

These four have crocheted edges, they may be used but are in fine shape.

Wow, this is unusual, it would make a great skirt for a flamenco dancer.

Four brand new hankies, some still had the little brand labels, a couple of them have design in all corners. The detail is lovely.

Two on the left are gently used, the one on the right looks like organza and seems new. It has beautiful lace insertions.

These have been used but are in fairly nice condition and have decoration in all four corners.
See the drawn thread work, I remember doing that myself as a child!
These two look as if they are new, the one on the left is very fine silk......
and two plain linen that would embroider nicely.

So there you have it, twenty four in all, a dime a piece ladies!!! Sorry for the triple exclamations but this is amazing, and I complain that I never find deals like the rest of you vintage collectors but today was my day for a bargain.
I am an old fashioned woman, I always carry a clean hanky just like my Mumma taught me.

Oh add a couple more WHIMMs [Works Hidden In My Mind] to my list would you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Retreat Finale!

The little treat boxes were filled with sugary sweets!

I fell for this quilt and since I have a new embroidery machine I know that I have to make it I love it.

The ladies skirts are vintage hankies, see their sweet pantaloons? I have quite a few vintage hankies..........

This quilter made several of these quilts, little raw edged scraps stiched to a plain background, what a great idea! She says that they are even more effective after laundering when the raw edges fray.
A few weeks ago I showed one of my D9P baby quilts to my Wednesday group and now they are on a roll and producing D9P's like crazy! Click on D9P to see a quick little sample of the basic block construction.
I think these are for grandchildren ........
and great grandchildren!
A scrappier version of D9P. There are other ways to set these blocks see webshots here .A beautiful south-western looking design, a great quilt for a guy I think, nice straight lines and a simple but graphic setting. The light color seems to sparkle.

While I was in the "brain dead" zone on Saturday night, and when I had run out of crushed walnut shells for the pin cushions, I took some left over batting scraps and using more selvedges made these pot holders!

Simply foundation pieced to the batting scraps, then I added a layer of Insulbrite & bound them with- you guessed it- more selvedges. I know, you think I'm crazy too!

The Retreat Continued

More quilty eye candy from the SJ retreat.

Showing careful piecing progress on this sampler quilt.......
woohoo another fortunate young man with a loving Mom to make this for him, so very Colorado!

Purple and green, pretty color contrast and a pleasing setting.
A gorgeous batik version of Storm At Sea [still needs the borders, I think].
Lovely autumn colors here.........
and a wide selection of sampler blocks in country colors......
that very effective purple and green combo, eye catching against the solid white background.

My Saturday project, this terrific tote made with a selection of fabrics from my friend Loretta.....

plus that wild print from another quilting buddy, shown here three handy pockets inside.
Thanks Pat for the tutorial!
I think I can edit the rest of the retreat pics on tomorrow's blog so stay tuned for more inspiring quilting projects.