Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Using A Few Scraps!

Friend BJ and I had a relaxing day sewing together on Saturday, only taking time out for lunch at Einstein's and a stop at Quiltz for a couple of bargain buys.
BJ worked on a mystery quilt while I pulled out some orphan blocks and other strips and bits to come up with this little baby quilt. It is always nice to have a baby quilt on hand and it will quilt up in no time flat.
There is absolutely no pattern to this and I didn't even have a design plan in mind just a desire to use a few scraps, my scrap drawer is overflowing! Still!
The couple of orphan blocks in this colorway were 8.5" so I made up enough other blocks that size to get a small quilt then used left over strips for a border. It's about 36"x 46", perfect new baby size. These fabrics were left over from several baby quilts, my only regret, I didn't use up more scraps!
Yesterday baby Matt was here, it felt as if he had gained several pounds since Thursday, boy is he getting heavy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Reflection

Thanksgiving is not a tradition from my childhood, having been raised in Australia my first Thanksgiving was in 1971 in Boston.
Growing up we had "Harvest Festival" each year as part of the liturgy in our church. It had the same purpose of giving thanks to God for the blessings of His bounty as did the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving celebration. The altar was decorated with fruit and vegetables and we sang hymns of praise and thankfulness, "Come ye thankful people come", "We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the ground", "Lord of the harvest ", does anyone else remember those hymns?
Thanksgiving services used to be more the practice in the years after I came to the USA but seem to have gone by to be replaced with a day of over- eating and football on TV!
Of course I studied along with my sons as they learned in school about the origins and traditions of this celebration and what follows are some tidbits of history that may not have been taught in school.
The first year after the Pilgrim's arrival was as we know, devastating, so the blessing of a bountiful harvest was to these Christians an indication of God's mercy and they deemed it necessary to give public thanks to the Creator.
In Autumn of 1621 the then Governor, WIlliam Bradford, sent "four men fowling" to capture wild ducks and geese-it does not seem likely that this first Thanksgiving included turkey but they did eat clams, lobster, berries, dried fruit, watercress and venison. They also had boiled pumpkin and a fried bread made with the pumpkin, sounds like there was lots of this vegetable!
This three day feast was not repeated and for many years there is no record of any further public celebration until in June of 1676 another thanksgiving day was proclaimed in Charlestown MA.
A hundred more years passed and in 1777 all 13 colonies joined in a celebration that also commemorated the victory over the British in Saratoga.
In 1789 George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving, but later Jefferson opposed this celebration.
The current Thanksgiving owes it's origins more to Sarah Hale, a magazine editor who for 40 years lobbied congress and presidents for a national thanksgiving until finally in 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be a National Day of Thanksgiving.
It is my hope that each of you today will find cause for gratitude, in spite of our hardships and losses, wars and the state of the nation/deficit, most of us have a sound roof over our heads, food a-plenty, loved ones around us both family and friends and -yet- the freedom to enjoy these blessings.
Thank you for your friendship, God bless you this day and always may you have much cause to bless the Lord.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Black, White And Red Quilts

Today these two quilt tops grew to final size for two older Grandsons. They turned out almost square, around 88"x90-92", fine size for a twin or a full size bed.

This is Daniel's, he came up with the design idea he wanted for the central motif then I had to draw it. I considered using a compass to draw up the outer limit of the design but the compass wasn't big enough. This is my second attempt at the machine appliqued center, I was dissatisfied with the first. It is reminiscent of the Knight's Cross but I found out this evening from JW, our youngest son, that this emblem is used by the skateboard company "Independent". The design developed as the quilt grew in size, each step was a new revelation as I asked my self how I would expand to the next size up until I finally reached a suitable measurement for Daniel's bed. The backing for this consists of large pieced strips of leftover fabrics- I have been collecting these colors for a couple of years.
At the same time I was working on Logan's quilt, he had asked for his favorite team's logo, the Arizona Cardinals. I drew the cardinal head and machine appliqued the pieces. The original idea for the star theme came from a kit from Connecting Threads, but again every new step became a challenge to develop some sort of design around the logo in order to reach bed size. The pieced backing for this is made up of more of the leftover fabrics from these projects, I didn't want to buy more for backings as my goal is always to have as little as possible left from each quilt!
I have no idea how I will quilt these, probably it will come to me once I load them on the longarm! I know that they need to be sturdily quilted to stand up to the use of two teenagers!
While I was roaming around looking at the online Christmas quilt show I saw a really pretty black, white and yellow quilt, so that may be a use for some of the unused black and white fabrics.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Latest QOV Quilt

Linking up with Finished For Friday
I dropped this one off to Bernina Connection yesterday, to be bound and labeled for a Wounded Warrior. Not sure who was the piecer, these come from BC's outreach work for QOV.
Seen from the back, I used a freehand "peacock feather" overall to quilt it. The flash was turned off so I think I must have moved a bit while I took the pic!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Quilt Show 2010

This little table topper comes out at Christmas and our Advent wreath rests on top.
I made it a couple of years ago when my CO. friend Gale persuaded me to join her in purchasing the panel and coordinates.
It's quilted in gold thread with holly, candy canes and ribbons etc.
The second entry is Carolina Christmas from Bonnie Hunter's blog, I think last Christmas but that was so many quilts ago I cannot be sure! It's "controlled' scrappy, meaning that I limited color to three, red, green and light neutrals, but within those parameters I used whatever red, green and neutrals I had in stash. It's a great way to use up a lot of "scraps".
The Dogwood is Carolina's state flower so I quilted freehand Dogwood flowers and leaves all over the quilt.
Then to use up these older Christmas fabrics I sewed lots of pieces together to make a scrappy backing - rotating stock in the stash is important to make way for new stuff!
If you would like to get in the Christmas spirit by looking at many more Christmas quilts you can check out Sew Cal Gal's blog here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Watercolor Quilts

Lit An Laundry hosts Finished For Friday where other crafty bloggers show off their weekly accomplishments.
This weekend is the Holiday Boutique at our church and I have made a few small wall hangings to take along with all the larger quilts.I used different prints for the two crosses and some of the backgrounds.

There always seems to be a demand for my "Resurrection" wall hangings and if these sell I can always take orders for more. I have lost count of how many of this design [my own] that I have made, mostly around the 30"-40" size [these are 33" square] but each one unique, no two ever exactly the same. I have also made them custom in specific colors on request, to coordinate with a client's decor.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day, Lest We Forget

Eternal Father, Strong to save,

Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,

Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep

Its own appointed limits keep;

O hear us when we cry to thee,

for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ, the Lord of hill and plain

O'er which our traffic runs amain,

by mountain pass or valley low,

Wherever Lord thy brethren go;

Protect them by Thy guardian hand

From every peril on the land.

O Spirit, Whom the Father send

To spread abroad the Firmament;

O wind of heaven, by Thy Might,

Save all who dare the eagle's flight;

And keep them by Thy watchful care

From every peril in the air.

O Trinity of love and power,
our brethren shield in danger's hour;
from rock and tempest, fire and foe,
protect them wheresoe'er they go;
thus evermore shall rise to thee
glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whole Cloth Quilts

This is my first attempt at a whole cloth quilt. I needed a couple of smaller quilts for the Holiday Boutique this weekend and it seemed a great time to try the technique. I took a couple more pics without the flash to show the quilting .

The fabric is a bleached muslin, front and back, the threads are Superior's, So Fine in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.
I drew a rough outline guide of my plan with a water soluble pen, then freehanded the quilting with feathers, Mactavishing and folk art flowers.
It was easy to make two at the same time, loading a 70"x 40" piece of muslin, using Quilter's Dream blend batting and placing a length of polyester batting over it to give definition to the stitching. The QD batting helps the quilt to lay flat and gives it more stability than using only polyester.
I am quite pleased with the results so I will be making more wall hangings using these tools!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Linda's Quilt

I am linking up with Finished For Friday , Show And Tell Friday, Feature Yourself Friday and Frugalicious Friday!

This beautiful blue and white quilt came off the LA. last night, now I need to get it back to Linda in CO.

I sent her several examples of my freehand overall designs and this is the one she chose, "baby Butt feathers" LOL, well that's what Nichole Webb calls them! If you double click on the pic. above you can see the detail a bit better, the quilting takes a back seat to the color and design.
The thread is King Tut variegated blue, also Linda's choice, so the stitching is quite subtle.

The backing is really a bit darker I think but the flash washed it out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Out Of The Box

This thoroughly modern quilt is another of Andee's [that very prolific piecer!]
I like it enough that I want to make one, I have some large prints that I could combine with semi solids, for fast piecing of a quilt.
It is to be entered in an art show next month.
Andee wanted it quilted with straight lines, so I freehanded this quite randomly and I think it is very effective.
The back is a piece of art in itself, except for the hanging sleeve that I sewed across the top so that it can be easily hung for display.