What to say today.
2011. Forty-two. $3.55. This post would be so much better if it included a photo of the fabrics that are going into my quilt, wouldn't it? You'll have to settle for this:
I have tried so many times over the last few days to take photos of this thing so I can put it away until next November. The weather hasn't been very cooperative and when it was (yesterday morning when I only had a few minutes before I was out for the day) the camera battery died during the Pumpkin Patch photo shoot. Bummer. So this is what you get, but I'm sure I'll take more when I hang it next year.
Look at that face! I guess some details are in order. This is a pattern from Pieces from my Heart called Presidential Pardon. I did the equivalent of knitting a pattern exactly as written in the exact yarn and color with no modifications.
Oh wait! I did modify the pattern as I mentioned previously. I didn't hand applique, but fused the feather and face pieces and stitched a blanket stitch with my sewing machine. With that time saver I had this top completed (with the mistake) in one evening. Any time I saved was lost in square surgery, but that's okay.
Other than that I did use the pre-cut charm pack used in the pattern, the fabric line is called Gobble, Gobble. For non-quilters, a charm pack is a grouping of pre-cut 5 1/2 inch squares from the same line of fabrics. I love these fall fabrics. The pumpkins, the polka dots, the orange and brown.....
I backed and bound the quilt with the brown multi polka dot fabric that is in the turkey body. Nothing fancy or pieced, just sandwich and quilt.
So, at first I was just going to stitch in the ditch and hang this bird, but I had been practicing machine quilting every day on scrap and practice fabrics and having heard someone say you should really just dive in and practice on real stuff I decided to go ahead and sort of stipple all around the outside of the turkey squares. I feel quite brave showing a close up of my quilting. To be sure there are sections that are works of beauty and overall I am not unpleased. I have been learning how to relax my body more than anything else, it seems to make the biggest difference. I also know that for now anyway, working in short bursts, taking frequent breaks is a good idea. Keeping my hands moving at one speed consistently and balancing that with the machine speed to make even stitches is a learning process reminiscent of my early spinning days. And after that section pictured above I started stitching into the ditch along the seams, sort of in and out to make it look like the quilting disappears into the seam. That looks a lot better. And if I allow my mind to wander even a leeettle bit....... Well, it isn't pretty. Learning, learning.
I am not sure about the un-quilted blocks, they poof a little. The fabric was unwashed so I think a trip through the washer and dryer might help that, shrink the fabric up a little. Maybe next year.
Hey! You guys liked my Pumpkin Patch! You should definitely plan a pumpkin or two, they are really quick knits. I am not a particularly fast knitter and I could knit a large one in an evening in front of the television. And knitting them in the round saves the seaming time. Yay!
In other news.......
One hundred thirty-two. Or DAY THIRTY!!!!!!!!!!! I did it! And it wasn't even much of a chore! And I still have post topics to get to! And I didn't resort to photo only posts every day!!!!! And I even posted more than once on some days!!!!! And I started another blog!!!! I must be freaking NUTS!
Did you have a great Thanksgiving? We did. I'm glad to be moving on, though, bring out the tree!
I have a couple of days of leftovers for you, even if the weather here stinks and the photos are crummy. So today you get a little wrap up of the Fall Table Topper.
Being so used to sharing my knitting projects I am unsure exactly what details to include in the finished quilt posts. You've been reading about my border decisions, and helping me out with them. Usually I will tell what yarn I've used, needle size, pattern, but I didn't use the fabrics from one collection, I sort of grabbed a bunch of fabrics, some I loved and others I just thought the quilt needed. I love the outer border fabric and after I got the quilt top together I worried that it was too novelty and would take away from the sophistication of the squares, but in the end I don't think it did at all.
The inspiration for this quilt is a pattern in Showstopping Quilts to Foundation Piece. It is the Stars Baby Quilt (scroll down on the link for the photo). I took a class to learn to paper-piece and I love the technique, mostly. I am still pretty inexperienced and would love to repeat the class now that I have tried it in a couple of quilts. There are a lot of little things, like when I went to sew my blocks together some of the seam allowances were going in the same direction and you can't really switch that, thanks to the piecing method. Makes for really bulky seams in some spots. I also wonder why my blocks came out small, I mean! It is sewing on the line! I measured the foundation pieces and the only thing I can think is that the little bit of fabric taken up in the seams was not accounted for. So, as it turns out, I would have had to do all that measuring and math that I did to accomodate the addition of the small inner border anyway, as the border cuts as written wouldn't have been right.
Speaking of border math, I kept measuring my quilt top and then cutting my borders to fit, only they never fit and I just couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was measuring the top with a tape measure and then cutting the borders using a ruler with my rotary cutter. After several being way off I checked to see..... The inch markings on my tape measure were not the same as my ruler! How annoying is that? Makes me wonder about all of the knitted things I measure with different tape measures and then have things turn out slightly off. And which is right? What is a true inch? The inch on my rulers or the inch on my tape measures? Really irritating.
I think that is my favorite square. I really love to have a special backing on quilts, but I decided on unbleached muslin that I already had for a couple of very important reasons. First, I had it in the house and second, it was already washed. That was all it took. And after much deliberation I ended up binding it in the same fabric as the outside border. For the same reasons, really.
I also learned more about stitching in the ditch. As a seamstress I have stitched in many ditches and wondered why it seemed a big deal that people were, as Alex Anderson puts it in her book, poorly executing it. The thing is, in dressmaking the ditch is usually stitched in a seam allowance that has been pressed open. When the ditch is in a seam allowance that is pressed to one side it is a heck of a lot harder to successfully execute, that is for sure. One thing I figured out pretty far into the process is that when I lift my hands to move them along the quilt I go right off the ditch. I really need to stop the machine, move my hands and then continue sewing. I went off the ditch a lot of times wondering what the heck the problem was. The borders would benefit from some nice quilting, but because I cannot machine quilt well enough yet and I was down to the last second (this quilt went from the sewing machine to the table mere minutes before we actually set it and ate!), I settled for the ditch. I might quilt the borders in the future, you never know.
As we sat at dinner, Gillian and I were admiring it sitting on the table and she asked, "Aren't you worried that food will be spilled on it?" which I was. I replied that I was most worried about the cranberry sauce and wine, which was right when we saw that the wine bottle that had been passed around, had left a little dribble on the quilt. Oh well. I'll get it out somehow, right?
One hundred twenty-nine. Or day TWENTY-SEVEN! Two more days of leftovers will include the Gobble, Gobble Turkey wall hanging and Crazy for Felted Pumpkins! Save your appetite!
Did you read yesterday's post script? I'll bet you thought I was kidding! I had this project laying around and since I didn't want to sandwich the quilt top last night I decided to whip this little thing up. Great idea! Good. So I got all of the blocks together and got ready to, as the directions suggest, applique using my favorite method of hand applique. Apparently my favorite last night was the one in which I use my hands to fuse the pieces to the quilt top and machine blanket stitch. I didn't have a lot of time, ya'know? Let me be the first to say what you are probably already thinking. It is not the best method for this project for a few reasons, the big crease down the center of the turkey's head being only one. BUT, it isn't terrible and I am more than willing to live with it (although I am thinking that fusible batting might be better next time, added thickness between the fabrics).
So I'm blanket stitching around the turkey feathers and body and decide to go to bed because I don't have the right color orange thread and it was late. Then I take another look.
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Time to don my surgical gloves.
And in the end I decided to use brown thread around the orange feathers, but thank goodness I didn't come to that conclusion last night! I don't know if I would have been happy picking out the embroidery. Actually, I wasn't really happy performing surgery, resigned would be more like it.
I've been too distracted to think about a Ten on Tuesday list. I might come up with one by the end of the day, though. We'll see.
One hundred twenty-five. Or day TWENTY-FOUR! Aren't you glad I remembered to document the crazy around here this time?
So, I went for the small border as a frame for the blocks.
Amazing what a half inch can do! While I really preferred the cranberry border I didn't like the way a couple of the blocks sort of faded into it. The orange is really a contrast the entire way around, and I didn't go with the darker orange that I went out and got, I think this brightens things up a bit.
Next dilemma? Sandwich it now and put a binding on it? Or add the border, not a lot of work, just a little bit more quilting area........ I think I have made up my mind, but what do you think?
One hundred twenty-twenty-five, yet still day TWENTY-THREE! Whaddya think? Time for a little wall hanging before Thanksgiving?
But I'm gonna kick it's ask! Honestly! I usually feel moderately competent when I attempt anything with a needle and some kind of thread or fiber. But just when I think I have it together the fractions of fractions of inches come around and kick my ass. I'll probably have more to show later today, but I finally gave it up and went to bed before I pulled out a seam that, in the light of day and a good night's sleep, may be workable after all.
One hundred twenty-four. Or day TWENTY-THREE! They say that challenging the brain helps prevent dementia and that the brain is elastic and maleable and that learning new things keeps it all going. That's what I keep telling myself, this is all good for my brain.
I almost forgot to post! NOT.THAT!
So, all you get that is new is a fall photo and some thoughts on the quilt.
First, I should have known that asking you all would only bring trouble. Yes, this is my way of saying thank-you (and I wonder why I am so misunderstood, heh). As if I don't think of ways to add work to a project all on my own, I ask a group of talented and creative folks what they think of what I have and what do they do? Give me even more things to think about. Which of course stopped me in my tracks and sent me shopping.
Some of the ideas that were mentioned I had already tried and rejected for one reason or another. First, the pieced border is what it is, I am working the inner part of the quilt to fit them now. I don't want to change them. Fiddling with the inner border or borders is the only thing I have to work with. There is something I love about the cream border with the pieced border. So, my thoughts so far. I don't like the lighter border right next to the center, but I love the way the pieced border looks on the outside of that. I like the darker fabric next to the center, but I think the pieced border gets lost in the mix, using the outer border or not. I have actually come to the conclusion that the pieced border gets lost next to that dark fabric no matter where I put it. I really think that a skinny border separating the center from the lighter border makes a huge difference. I got another fabric, a darker orange, to try and I think I like it. Choosing the color of the border is going to be the toughest part for me. Check back, I'll probably post another photo before I finally stitch it together. I also think that I'll bind it at the pieced border and leave off the outer border, which like I said, I think takes away from the rest of the quilt. The great thing about that is I can make my mind up after I have the rest of it together. Decision delayed. ;)
One hundred twenty-three. Or day TWENTY-TWO! Wait, is there evidence of actual knitting in this post?
If you are just checking in you will want to read the previous post before this one, get caught up!
Alrighty, thanks to Elaine (who doesn't have a blog so that I can point you in that direction to torture her), and my niggling mind, here are some more options for you: Light border inside first:
Cranberryish inner, inner border.
Orange inner, inner border.
Now the dark:
AAARGH! That tiny little bit of fabric makes a huge difference. I have a few definite opinions on the whole thing, but no time. I think if I was going to add the slim border around the blocks I might really do without the outer border. I love that brown pumpkin fabric though. Maybe it isn't for this project, well, not the borders anyway. Weird how it all changes. And now there will be math, MATH so that I can be sure the top is the right size for the pieced borders. I WAS GOING TO FINISH THIS UP REAL QUICK. TODAY!
One hundred twenty-two. Or day TWENTY-ONE! STILL! Oh, the lengths I'll go for you entertainment.
It's just that I can't decide what it is that I want. I made this quilt top to go on our Thanksgiving table.
Cute, right? It gets an inner border, a pieced border and and outer border. I had it all planned out. The light, multi-colored fabric would be the inner border and the main fabric for the pieced border. So I laid it out.
Now I don't know. There are parts of it I love, like the way the triangles in the pieced border seem to float out of the fabric, but I feel like the inner border is taking away from the center. Here it is with the outer border.
So then I started moving things around.
I seem to being seeing things differently in the photos than I did in real life. I like the way the center looks with the darker border inside, it doesn't sort of get lost or blend in like I feel it does a little bit with the lighter border. I'm also thinking that if I do the darker border inside I might just put the pieced border on and then bind it, leaving the outer border off altogether. Decisions, decisions.
But now I have to run some errands while I ruminate over this.
One hundred twenty-one. Still day TWENTY-ONE! This is the second time this week that I have posted twice in a day. Weird.
A special quilt for a special friend. I hadn't been quilting for a while, but I found this pattern very shortly after finding out Cheryl was going to have Eloise and knew I had to make it for her. I can't wait to make it again, actually. I learned a lot making this quilt.
I taught myself machine applique with a raw edge. So.Fun. Well, one you get the hang of it all. I did practice squares so that I could work out the blanket stitch and liked them enough to throw them into the back. I forgot to take pics of the back, but you can see it pre-quilted in this post.
I practiced my paper-piecing, I had taken a class and had not used the technique at all. All of the hearts, small and the large ones in the corners were pieced that way. I remember it being a very hot night in the flurry of finishing for this, listening to one of the Outlander novels and sweating as I put the hearts together.
I learned, or really remembered-too late-that I should never cut the squares to the size required until after I have done the applique. I was actually drawing seam line all around the squared so that they would fit the quilt, those seams are scant! I was just hoping that it would be enough to get it to the quilter. I think they'll be okay.
I wish I had been blogging while sewing this, but of course while that would have ruined the surprise, it would have provided you with a lot of entertainment. I finished the top late one night and laid it out to admire it. I was exhausted and relieved to finally have the whole top together minus the outer border. So.Happy. I went to bed, so happy. I got up the next morning and happily went in to admire my work once again, but wait. Something didn't look just right. I had swapped the placement of two blocks and while it might not seem to make a huge difference, there was pattern to the way I placed each block. I was a little devastated. I knew I couldn't leave it and being an expert at fixing mistakes (and there is only one way to be that kind of expert) I figure that I can pick out the individual squares and swap them. This involves a seam ripper and picking the seams out in the opposite order they were sewn in, then stitching them back in where they belong. So, with Davina Porter reading to me I took an evening to make the switch. Only.....
I put them back in the wrong spots.
Yes, this is an appropriate place for jaw dropping, shocked silence.
Now, the shower in which I want to present at least the quilt top is in two.days. It was hot and late and I was so tired. And all I could do was laugh. Not really in a good way. More like if anyone had heard me they would have had me committed way.
Yes. I did. And I made sure I got it right. Until I put the borders on. I taught myself how to do it right after putting them on and having them flare about all over the place. At that point it was wrapped with the finished back to be given and taken back to be quilted. Then that night I picked the borders off, recut them and put them back. You have no idea how happy I was to drop this off to be quilted. I really needed to move on.
The important thing to know is that every stitch and restitch and restitch was performed with so much love.
One hundred fourteen. Or day SIXTEEN! I couldn't resist a little more applique on the label. This is getting to be too much fun!
Well, I guess you want to see what the backs look like, right?
There are so many ways to put a pillow together, the easiest is to cut a square the same size as the front, sew around leaving an opening for the pillow form and then hand sewing the opening closed. It has it's drawbacks: the hand-sewing for one (if you don't care for it) and the pillow is not as easy to remove as if you put a zipper there instead. I mean, I would have no problem picking out the sewing and re-doing it if I really needed to launder the pillow, but how often do people really launder these things anyway?
Another way is the way that Allison suggested in her post, make two sides to overlap, you have to hem the pieces, put them together and size them to the front, but then you just sew all around the pieces and stuff the pillow form in the opening. All done. The buttons to hold the opening closed are optional. It is a little more work, not much, and you can always just pop the pillow form out and back in with no additional handwork.
I did both. Why? I was not offered choices. The piece of zebra fabric I had was not big enough to cut, make hems and then overlap to leave the opening. The rest of my scraps were not big enough to cover the back of the pillow all by themselves, so necessity being the mother of whatever it is, I had to make do and make up. I totally love that I was able to center that forward facing zebra. I didn't think it would make such an impact centered, but that zebra totally looks like he is gazing right atcha! Either one of these pillows could be shown backside out, but the fronts are so cute, I can't imagine wanting to.
Closer-ups, you ask? Here you go, stupid thread and all:
Oh, you must click to make them big (on my computer the big pictures are much better for some reason, always click here, always). They are too cute!
Don't they look sweet with the quilt?
More photos? Oh, Heck yeah!
Prinna checks it out, because the old lady takes care of her Gillian.
The old woman approves.
Would you just look at the cute label I made? More scrap usage!
So, whaddya think? Am I finished with these scraps yet? Do I have any left? Well, yes I do. Some with Wonder-Under and even more without.
Oh! The things I can do! The ideas that pop into my head! I am a woman obsessed, I have thought of a couple of things, but I have more than one kid and the others are starting to think I'll never do anything for them. I just cannot decide, keep? Chuck. Keep? Chuck.
KEEP! You might not have seen the last of these scraps yet.
One hundred eleven. Or day THIRTEEN! Seriously, I think I may need an intervention, I half expect to walk out of the sewing room into a gathering of my closest friends and family, there to force me to face my addiction.
It's Thursday and I'm Thankful:
Onto the never-ending black and white and red.
In the midst of this project I took a break to surf the internet and found Cluck, Cluck, Sew, the blog of a really creative and fun quilter/sewer/blogger whose site is filled with colorful and inspiring projects, a cute family and informative tutorials. In this post she was participating in a scrap-busting project and her contribution was what got me thinking. And thinking. First I was thinking that my scraps were not big enough to do anything with. I mean, some of my scraps were about a half an inch wide, hardly worth keeping.
Here is where I should tell you something else about me. I don't do scraps. Not in fabric, rarely in yarn. To be clear, I keep scraps. And keep and store and organize and buy little Rubbermaid containers for them, but I am rarely creative enough to actually do anything with them, well, except for those little balls of sock yarn, I love the "fruit bowl" I've made with those. Things are changing around here, though. The scraps are becoming my muse.
So after all of my thinking (while cutting out other projects-totally thinking about the scraps-waiting for the quilt to come back to bind-scraps, scraps, scraps!) I pulled out those little strips and started pressing them to see what I had. Not much, but out came the Wonder Under and I ironed them on. If you are also inspired, remember to cover every bit of the wonder under by either overlapping the fabrics or putting in some extra scraps so that the iron is not accidentally fused to the wonder-under.
This is just the beginning of the fabrics fused. I forgot to take more pics, but some of those pieces were small, I was wondering why I was bothering!
After that I cut the strips apart and started cutting shapes with barely an idea. I had decided that I didn't want to use as many cut pieces as Allison (Ms. CCS) used, I was going to go simpler and quicker and make one quick, little pillow. I do have other things to do, ya know. Stop.Laughing!
But you know me, always thinking. I mean, two really is better than one, right? And even after cutting these pieces out, I still had tons of scraps left, even from what I had already ironed to the wonder-under. Once I got started I was on such a roll! Just free cutting and placing the pieces, and I got so many out of such a little bit of fabric. I am looking at every little bit of fabric with new eyes.
You can see the threads before I trimmed them off. It is easy-peasy applique, just iron on, leaving the raw edges and then stitch around the pieces. I used a straight stitch just inside the edges, but you could zig-zag or use your machine's blanket stitch if it has one. Pretty little pillow tops, right? And this is where, once again, I further complicate a project.
This is the point where I could have just slapped the pillow fronts to the backing fabric, sewn them up, stuffed them with a pillow and been on my merry way, but as you can see....
The gears started turning and I imagined that it would be so much more dimensional and cushier if I just sandwiched the fabric with some batting and did a little quilting. Nothing big, just outlining all of the bits to give them a teensy bit of pop. I could have free motion quilted around them, but after one try I decided that my skill was lacking so I put my walking foot on and put a straight stitch around everything. I totally love, LOVE my walking foot, by the way. I love that it has two "feet", one that is open so that I can see exactly where I am stitching. While I loved the effect on this pillow, the other still had so much open space and I had been experimenting with free motion quilting so I decided to just give it a go. I made a deal with myself that no matter how bad it was I was going to let it go. It was my first real bit of quilting and heck, it was going to Gillian's house, what did I care if it totally sucked? I totally stuck with that plan, well, except for the five or six times I picked out some of the quilting and re-did it. Other than that I left a lot of little mistakes. I even quilted in a free-motion birdy.
Gillian loved the little birdies, there is one on the other pillow as well.
Okay, there is your sneak peak, it's late and I'm leaving this post for now, the final chapter will be tomorrow. I took way too many photos and at this moment there is a danger that every one will make it into this post. Who knows, that could happen tomorrow as well.
One hundred ten. Or day TWELVE! Or maybe I will put a photo of this project up every day for the rest of the month! That will get me right into December and make NaBloPoMo a cinch!
Back to the Happy Hour pattern book. When we last visited this project I had made a quilt and used some scraps for the back using an idea for scraps in the same book. The book also had a cute little table runner to use up scraps and I just could not stop myself from making it. At the time I was unsure Gillian even had a table (her previous roommate got it in the separation-I've since learned she does have a table).
Now, the whole idea for me was to have a quick little add on to use up some of the fabrics used in the quilt. It started out that way, I quickly pieced the top of the table runner (okay, quickly would be wrong, there was some obsessing over the placement of fabrics, but once I decided that it was OKAY for all of the black fabrics to go on one side and the white ones on the other it was smooth sailing. I tried really hard to integrate, truly, I did.) and was set to just lay out a piece left from the backing, sandwich it to quilt and move along. As I was pressing out the zebra fabric it occurred to me that the zebra fabric is directional and if Gillian ever needed to turn it over all of the zebras would be facing in one direction, not very user-friendly. Then it occurred to me that I could piece the back of the runner by slipping in a strip of contrast between the zebra fabrics, each facing opposite each other. Wouldn't that be fun? Wouldn't that take longer? Am I getting obessive? (Getting?) This was negating the whole simple little add-on deal. This was making more work. So I decided that I should quick! Just sandwich the fabric and quilt it, quick! Only, there were these two warring voices in my head, "Just let it be! Just sandwich the fabric!" The other screaming, "NO! You know it will bother you! You know it will be better if you do the extra work!" "But then there is the cutting and the seaming and the centering to make perfect...." "And after all of that it will be a reversible table runner!" On and on they went until I couldn't stand it for another second!
I think it was worth the effort in the end, don't you?
I still had some pretty hefty bits of fabric left and inspired by all the many quilt bloggers who just grab up those bits and piece them improvisationally, I thought I would try it. If you know me you won't be surprised that this is hard for my brain. I like things laid out, planned, cut to size, lined up and sewn in an order with a predicted outcome. Just grabbing up fabrics and putting them together then squaring them up is difficult for me, but I love the look and thought this was a great way to try it on something small, useful and easily pawned off on a daughter if I didn't like it. I kind of loved it, and pawned them off anyway. That is love, I'll tell you! If you look closely (but not too, I didn't do a good job of it) I even did my first free-motion quilting EVER! I loved it!
Aren't they adorable!? The top two are mimics of the quilt blocks and the last rest are total improv. And yes, I centered zebra heads on the backs of the, hmmm, coasters? mug quilts? Whatever you call them I needed an intervention big time. I was begging my family to take away the black and white and red fabrics. Please! Stop me!!! Did they? I don't know about you, but I think there may be a part three to this story......
One hundred seven. Or day NINE! I really shouldn't do this, showing off my quilting as I am, but the artist responsible for the quilt I posted yesterday is Christine Fries-Ureel. You should visit her website. She didn't know how to quilt at all a little over ten years ago. I totally want to take a workshop from her, you know, to make sure that she is teaching everbody as well as I taught her. AHAHAHAHAHA!
It has been Bind-a-palooza around this place lately. That is another way of saying that I got two quilts back from the long-arm quilter and instead of letting them sit around I have bound them toot.sweet.
Now I will drag out share a story of how my mind works. Let's start at the beginning.
In the beginning Gillian bought a new couch that while she could afford it, she didn't love it. Wouldn't it be great if Mum could make a quilt to throw over it? That would be great, thought the Mum. I have posted the real beginning of this story before, but a recap: Gillian is the easiest person to quilt for. She likes simple lines and can make her mind up quickly. At the quilt shop she saw a quilt she liked, chose all the fabrics (twenty fat quarters with no repeaters) in one trip and left me to it.
This is what 20 fat quarters can do for a quilt top. The pattern is from an Atkinson Designs book, Happy Hour. Apparently Gillian and Terry Atkinson have a similar aesthetic, the last quilt she chose was Yellow Brick Road by the same designer.
Happy Hour is a cleverly conceived pattern book. There are designs perfectly written for using fat quarters, but after the initial cuts are made there are still substantial scraps. Luckily, there are projects designed expressly for using those scraps. One of the ideas is to strip the scraps, add another fabric and make another quilt top. I thought about that for almost obsessively while I pieced the top and while it was a close call, in the end I decided to add some of the scraps to the back of the quilt (isn't that zebra fabric awesome!?).
I did have to add two fat quarters to the mix, only because a couple of the original fqs were smaller than the standard size.
I am so glad that I got to the binding right away. There is something about finishing up WsIP that clears the brain for new projects (am I the only one that is bugged by that, the WIPs vs. WsIP? I mean they are works in progress, not work in progresses and while I get the WIPs idea, I just cannot bring myself to use it. Is there a rule that covers that?). I sent Gillian's quilt off to her and I'm hoping it arrives today. I can't wait for her to get it and love it. (Note to Gillian: You WILL love it. That is all I want to hear, got it?)
Princess (more commonly known as Prinna or other not as kind nicknames) acknowledges that you appreciate her beauty and wisdom. I appreciate that at least one person realized how flipping difficult it is to photograph a cat! Even the most docile old woman of a cat will move anywhere and look everywhere to avoid the camera lens. I tried again today and ended up barely breathing I was laughing so hard with the effort. Or maybe it was the costume I was forcing her to wear. Maybe I'll post them if I can get my battery to stay charged long enough to get them onto my computer.One hundred four. Or day six. You haven't seen the last of this fabric, not by a long shot, BUT, seeing as I would like my scrap project to be a surprise for Gillian and I am posting every day this month, you will just have to wait for me to dribble out the rest of the fun!
I have spent many hours of my sewing and knitting time cruising the internet looking at quilts and wishing I could join in on the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Here it is, the final day and the quilts that have been promised to be returned to me all quilted up by today are still not here. I was so hoping that I could get some photos of the quilts that I have earlier blogged about after the quilting, even if I still needed to bind them up. Not to be, but I will post the sneak peak photos of quilts that I have shown before.
It has been a little while since I have quilted. I sew all of the time, I make custom window treatments (among other things) by day and make a lot of my own clothes and decorations in my free time, but it had been a while since a quilt had left my machine. (It was this one for my oldest daughter and the story of that one resembles the story of the following quilt, also for her).
This is a sneak peak of the back, one I didn't include in my last post, when I posted about the quilt top.
I have also made some little surprises with the scraps, but in order to keep a little bit of the surprise I'll be saving those for later.
The other quilt I am waiting for is the baby quilt I worked on over the summer. I tried some new things in this one, raw edge machine applique, foundation piecing the hearts, and the borders ended up being a lesson for me. When I first quilted I took a class, we strip pieced and tied the quilts, so special attention was not give to the borders. We just sewed the border strip on and cut it at the end. Firs the the sides, then the top and bottom. That was years ago and when I added the borders to this quilt it was clear they weren't going to work, they flared horribly. (It amazes me still that I approached this entire process entirely differently than I do window treatments or knitting. It was like I was of another mind. I mean the window treatment thing? We work for nationally known designers, the work has been in national decorating magazines, and I quilted like a beginner!) After giving it a little thought I took the borders off, measured the quilt, re-cut the borders, added the hearts back on and attached them to the quilt again. So.Much.Better.
Here is a close-up of a square, there are more photos of the top and back in this post.
Back to check out more Quilt Festival participant blogs. I really should be spending this time with my iron....
Ninety-five. I'm quilting and sewing like crazy lately. Well, I'm planning and shopping and stashing..... I'll have so much more to post next week.
I thought that since it has been a long time since I hit "publish" on the blog (mind you, there are many drafted posts that went unfinished and now some of them seem to have passed being current in my mind, although it would still be all new to the reader I suppose) I would put up a photo and a few words to reassure my blog that I haven't forgotten about it.
I was also inspired to post by this blog post, although my photo is showing a prefinished quilt top, I found this blogger when I was just cutting the fabric for the quilt. We started the quilts at the same time and mine is still at the quilter-lady. (I should get it back soon Gillian, I'll bet you thought that I had set it aside and forgot about it, didn't you?)
I had my doubts when we chose the fabrics for this quilt, black and white with red not being a combination I would choose for myself, I totally fell in love with the quilt while I was working on it. As I said before, I didn't let myself get caught up in over-analysis, I laid the fabrics out and ran to the sewing machine with the blocks before I could change my mind. Same with the layout of the blocks. I am so in love with the quilt that I want to make another black/white/red quilt. Then maybe a white and black and blue one. Then with the greens......
Since I made this I have found so many great quilts in this colorway, and even more fun, or at least equally fun, fabrics. We got all of the fabrics in one shot at one shop, not my usual m.o., but Gillian was motivated and probably knew that my motivation can wax and wane, better just load up on all that we need so that she might actually see a finished quilt in her lifetime. Are kids supposed to know their mothers that well?
Ninety-four. Off to set in the sleeves of a sweater that I am delivering today. Didn't think I was knitting, did you? Well, a whole sweater! In three weeks! It isn't my sweater to share, but I'll take a few shots on this rainy day and then drive it out to the owner. It is just busy, busy, busy around here.
I'm wondering if I should even do a random Wednesday post, I'm having a cranky day and really want to stay a little bit upbeat. You know, to fool you all into thinking I am a mostly positive and cheery person. (Gillian, is that you laughing?) I'll give it a go and if you don't read this you will know I changed my mind. Or maybe not.
I'm a quilter! Betcha didn't really know that. Well, I'm a quilter if stashing fabrics, buying patterns, reading quilt blogs and going to the occasional quilt show makes a quilter. I have made a few quilts and I have great confidence in my ability. Heh. I have great confidence in my ability if making a lot of errors, but seeing them and taking as much to fix them as it took to make them counts for ability. But whatever. I made a quilt. Well, I made a quilt if putting the top and back together and then dropping it off with a long-arm machine quilter to be quilted counts as making a quilt. So, now that I have established that I am a shopper, a reader, a voyeur, a mistake fixer and a seamer, look at what I made!
Kind of a crappy photo, but you get the idea. I'll take better shots when I get it back.
I found this pattern right at the same time that Cheryl found out she was going to be adding to the fold. I was so excited and I had months to plan and execute! I really wish I had blogged the process, but then again, you'd all be laughing your rear ends off at what I put myself through. Kim knows (and yes she laughed and laughed!). It was worth every second. Had I blogged it you would have read about my first machine applique adventure, the mistake with square size, agonizing over fabrics, making up my mind and then finding better fabrics, finishing the squares and being totally unhappy with the fabric for the sashing and borders, a quick trip to Keepsake Quilting, "I'll just shoot up and back!" Fast forward, I return nine hours later after spending three hours at KQ, finding that sashing fabric (I had a fat quarter and really wanted that) in the last few seconds and then heading to Quilted Threads on the way home to find the border and binding fabric. Thank goodness they were open until eight on a Thursday. Onward: putting the borders on, seeing that they sucked, wrapping it up and gifting it as is only to take it back, remove the borders, replace them in a better way (I'll really blog that sometime), squaring it up and dropping it off. I was a little sad to see it off, but now I can move on to my next quilting adventure. I may even try to machine quilt that myself. We'll see.
I made some practice squares before committing myself to the machine applique and I used them for the back. It's almost as cute as the front!
I found some great fabrics for the quilt going to the baby of a spinner and knitter.
Eighty-six. Jeez! First cross-stitch and now quilting. I may have to change the name of this blog from Knitting the Blues to Anything with a Needle the Blues.