A place for me to journal and post pictures about my quilting adventures.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Time out to work on a very old UFO

I took time today to clean up my area a bit, and uncovered a really old UFO. I'm taking a break today from the RWB coins, after doing some sorting of them.

The summer of 1979 was the only summer I was able to be home with my kids. The program I had been teaching closed in May, and I was going back to school in August. My DD would have been 5 then, and I remember making a lot of doll clothes with her standing right next to me, giving me directions. She wanted a quilt for her dollies, so I bought 2 pillow panels of Precious Moments, a boy and a girl. I appliqued both the front and the back panels to white fabric - 50% poly, putting a piece of poly batting underneath. I then quilted the panels, sewed borders on the boy, and hand quilted it. I did wonder why the quilting on the boy didn't puff up. Oh, I had never taken a quilting class, and only had read a few quilting books from the library.

Somewhere between the boy and the girl, I decided I didn't need to use a hoop to quilt. The girl ended up badly pulled out of shape, with a lot of puckering. I didn't know how to fix it, so it was put away until about a month ago, when I decided to rip out the quilting and applique on the girl front - the back wasn't as bad. Today I actually (machine) appliqued the girl on the poly center, and added the borders I cut out so long ago. I noticed faint quilting markings on the center - a small template of hearts - it doesn't give near enough quilting. I remember that the boy was kind of saggy when my daughter had it up on her wall. Maybe I'll get this one quilted (machine) by Christmas time and can give it to her 2 yr old DD. She is now playing with her mother's dolls and the clothes we made together 29 years ago.

May an old UFO bring you a pleasurable trip down memory lane.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Personal goals for RWB coins.

I'm trying a new template color, as I thought the rose sides didn't go with the RWB theme of this blog. I hope you like it.

This picture is of the stacks of coins sent by HeartStringers. I've made some personal goals about creating quilts with these strips. Remember, I'm also a Stashbuster, so that is part of my goals.

1. Create as many different quilts out of these coins as my little brain can think up.

2. Use up as much as possible of this bin - the "Americana" bin, including the blocks and panels that are kept in here.

3. If I remove any fabric from the "stacks", I have to use it all - or cut it into strips for the scrap bins.

4. Nothing is to be returned to the stacks. I don't think I'll miss them.


RWB coins top #2 done - first

I finished the second top out of RWB coins from the HeartStrings group. It was indeed a lot of borders. I ended up adding another full border of coins, but wonder if I should cut off half of the last ones on the two sides. That would reflect the skinnier navy strips I used. The quilt is still a little wider than I would like, although it fits the measurements given on the Quilt of Valor Foundation website.

I ended up using most of a second group of coins that had about the same colors in it. I removed the darkest blue from them (don't worry, it will be used later), so I wouldn't have the "missing tooth" effect from them. They brought in more bright blue, which was a good addition.

After reading your comments on the other postings, I went ahead and used the other 2 skinny parts of the panel in the outer border - the flag and the watermelon. If you zoom on the picture, you can see little red ants crawling on the top edge of the watermelon. It reminds me of 4th of July picnics.

Let me know if you see your coins in the top. If I had thought it out better, I would have labeled each set. Now I have to rely on you to let the group know if you see yours. This one will head toward Colorado when I have it quilted. I imagine Alycia will have enough tops to keep her busy without adding these to her stack. I'm not as skilled as a lot of long-armers, but I can make swirls come out well. I welcome any ideas of what to quilt in the navy borders.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More of the same

I worked some more on the second RWB coin quilt yesterday, and added some more rounds. The navy borders blend better than in the picture. The size is about 46 x 54, so I need to add another round, and to figure out a way to add length. The next navy border will probably be wider on the top and bottom, and skinny on the lengthwise ones. Right now I've used up all the coins from this particular group, but will be picking out some others that blend well.
You would think that they all would blend, but it isn't so. Some HeartStringers must tend toward the toned or greyed colors - the ones I call country blue and the like. Others (like me) have more of the clear tones. Some have already blended the strips with both tones and clear colors in them, like the ones in the first RWB quilt. It is really neat to see all the different varieties, and try to make them play well together.
For the life of me, I can't figure out why I'm making a quilt that is all borders - I hate adding borders! This top doesn't seem like borders because of the small size. So far my cutting table or ironing board have been big enough to lay the top out to cut the next borders. For the next one I will have to move to the breakfast nook (that's a misnomer - the table in there is larger than the one in the dining room where we never eat). I have my mother's drop-leaf table that ends up about 12' when all the leaves are in place. I use the method Bonnie (http://www.quiltville.com/borderhints.shtml ) describes to cut borders (I've also seen the same method in other books). Just lay them down the center of the quilt and cut them that length. They never seemed to come out right when I did it by measuring with a ruler or mat.
I hope the HStringers who contributed coin strips are happy with my progress. I'm so enjoying working with your creations. Thanks a bunch for letting play with your blocks!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two design walls

I have 2 design walls. On one, I have the RWB top waiting for borders to be sewn on. I didn't have much time to sew this weekend, and for me borders take a long time. I wanted to play a few minutes, so cut up more of the panel I used for the soldier block, and played with some coins. This group of coins arrived early, were shorter, with thicker coins, and only a little bit of blue in them. I'm not sure who sent them. The fabrics were similar to the RWB Block swap we did earlier in HeartStrings.

They were all just sitting together on the cutting table. Humm - I think they go well together. Now I have something on the second design wall to play with. Hopefully I will finish the other top up tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Becky

Friday, July 18, 2008

Working on HeartStrings quilts

I finished this quilt top - flimsy - so thought I could start on the Red-White-Blue (RWB) Chinese coins that were sent to me from HeartStrings members as part of the RWB project from Memorial Day to July 4th. I received quite a stack, and was eager to dig in.

One "squishy" was from May, and she made two sets of coins that were very similar, and tied them up with a selvage and a label - the only reason I know who sent this bunch.I used a template my DH made for me, and trimmed the coins, then added HSTs to the edges to make a square. This is the block made of 4 strips.

I should have counted better, because I ended up with only 11 blocks, and I needed 12. Rather than try to "match" strips to make a 12th block, I decided to make a star block instead. I have a habit on including a star in every quilt I make, even if it is on the back side. I asked a friend to embroider a block (she does awesome machine embroidery) but she didn't have time now, and her machine was put away, so I found an appropriate center from a panel called Old Glory. It looks like a soldier, so I thought it worked. I thought I had a picture loaded of it, but I don't know where blogger puts them all. Anyway, the next picture is of the center top.
I tried making a border from the cut off corners, a square on point, but it just died when I put it next to the center. I decided to use some of the other coin strips as the border, so this is how it looks now. I will put a small inner border in so I won't be trying to press under all those seams.
Well, I definitely need more practice on blogger so I can learn to wrap text around the pictures, and how to move the pictures on a page. The font also keeps reverting back to the default. If anyone has a tutorial on blogger and pictures, I certainly would appreciate a link.

Anyway, this is the progress on the RWB coins, so far. More later. Becky in KCMO

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Starting my blog

Okay, I'm being brave and starting a blog. Please bear with me while I try to figure this out.