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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween UFO finish


Ghosts and goblins have shown up for Halloween!






Two bolts of cotton batting were delivered yesterday, and they are sitting in the entry, waiting for me to haul them down the street to the quilting machine. I decided they would make good ghosts, so cut out some scrap eyes, pinned them to sheets, and the "ghosts" held the candy. We don't have many Trick or Treaters, but I still enjoy the few that come. It was the first T or T for the DGD#2, who is two, and she seemed to enjoy it. She spent yesterday and part of today being sick at Gma's, so she only went to a few houses with her cousins. I doubt she will be allowed to try any of her candy.
I hung the two Halloween quilts on the photo backdrop holder, lowered so little people could see it. I really don't like how you can see into half the house from the front door, so the quilts fixed that problem. I actually finished the Medallion Winding Ways quilt. I quilted it with a lime green spiderweb. My DH wanted me to add a spider, but I think it is fine without it. The grins and eyes of the jack-o-lanterns and the skeletons glow in the dark. If I had thought of it in time, I would have quilted it with glow-in-the-dark thread. I was just glad to finish it - I cut it out for last year, then promptly forgot to make it. I cut out two, so there is still one more to finish. DGD#2 will like it just as well next year. The one in the picture went home with the other two grands tonight. I hope your Halloween was fun and safe.
Happy Quilting,
Becky

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grrr, I don't like sewing

This is our guest room / soda fountain / photo studio / crews' quarters, and a place for my husband to house some of his antiques. About 6 months before he moved from California (3 years ago), he found out he liked woodworking. He built this room, minus the sheetrock and silestone. I did a lot of "holding", a lot of cleaning of the antique stove, the tile work, and part of the finishing of woodwork.


The only thing of mine in the room is the rocking chair (the little red one is his). You can see into the bathroom / darkroom. To the right just out of the picture is one of the entrances into the railroad room, and then there is a Murphy bed he built. We move the table and chairs, and guests have a place to sleep. If you're into railroads, here is a link to DH's Website. http://www.sandcrr.com/


What does this have to do with hating sewing? I'm a quilter, not a "sewist"!

You may have noticed the Coke theme. We didn't have to buy all that stuff, DH already had it. We did buy the fountain stools and the ice cream table and chairs. They have very hard seats. The stools now have soft, comfortable, MISERABLE TO MAKE cushions. We bought the fabric a year or so ago. I finally made them as a birthday surprise while DH is out of town. This has taken 2 1/2 days, with 2 trips to JoAnn's fabrics for piping (I wish I had remembered the formula for circumference wasn't the same as figuring the diagonal of a quilt block earlier). The bad news is that I still have 4 more to make for the chairs. I don't think I'll be able to finish them before 1830 tomorrow when he returns. Maybe by his next birthday!

Don, if you happen to read this before you go downstairs, Happy Birthday!
Happy quilting (it's much better than sewing),
Becky

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Home from AQS Des Moines, Iowa

Last Tuesday I drove to Des Moines to attend the AQS -American Quilters Society - show there. I just came home last night. One of the instructors was Joen Wolfrom, and I have always wanted to take a color class from her. My wish was granted. I actually took 2 classes with her, one was on landscapes, and the second was a log cabin class, but much of the class was spent on color theory. I've tried multiple times to put luminosity and luster (light and reflected light) in my quilts, without much success. I think I understand it a bit better now.

AQS was very clear that personal pictures of the quilts in the exhibits should NOT be posted on the web. I think it is okay to post these pictures of our class in progress on landscapes.

This was the first project. We were learning how to put distance, as well as luminosity, in a landscape. Mine is the middle one in the top row, with the crooked peninsula. I can't seem to glue straight. It was so interesting to see them up on the wall, and to discuss and critique them. It was a very non-threatening environment, and I think we learned a whole lot of info in a very short time. I have every one of Joen's books, and have studied them, but it was so much better to take the class, see examples, and have suggestions on how to improve them to produce the look we wanted.


This is the second project. For both of them she gave us a printed simple outline, and we cut and glued fabric in place. Mine is the last one on the lower right. I found luminosity! Interestingly, I was ready to give up (we only had 30 minutes), but Joen came by and commented on how great the mountains looked! She said just put in a straight line and your meadow (she already knew I had that fabric). Amazing what feedback can do!

The second day was a different class, but she combined color theory into an offset log cabin - I'm not sure that's the name, but the logs are different sizes so it has the illusion of curves. She gave individual help on picking out the fabrics, and I watched everyone's. I didn't care if I made any blocks or not, I was just thirsty for information. When we did show and tell at the end of class - with discussions of what worked - I commented that I wished her books (we were talking about Color Play) had more on luminosity and luster, with lots of pictures. She told us that the editors didn't want to include any of the last chapter where she covered these. I want her to write a whole book on it! I hope C&T is listening!

I also had two "lectures", one with Judy Martin, and one with a show and tell with Eleanor Burns. They were both excellent, and Eleanor is a "hoot".

Friday was my last day, and travel day, so I looked at all the quilts, rather quickly, and strolled by the vendors, just stopping at the ones I had specifically wanted to see. I picked up some cones of Sew Fine thread at the Superior booth, hand-dyed gradations of yellow from Joy's, and a few notions. On my way home I was within 12 miles of Winterset, IA, so stopped at the Fons & Porter warehouse sale. For me, I was very good. I picked up 3 bright but dark blue pieces for Quilts of Valor, some toned soft colors for backgrounds on the Offset Log Cabin, and one black and red batik to finish a project for my daughter. It's amazing how Stashbusters changed my buying pattern. I had already shopped my stash for these items - they weren't there - so only bought them. I only spent $78, so thought I did well, especially with the financial climate.

This was a great trip, even if I did go alone (company in the car would have been nice). The great thing was that I could spend 3 days not hearing about the election or stock market! Being home is nice, too!
Happy quilting,
Becky

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Picture of the finished string quilt with Hearts

Someone asked about posting a link to the previous photo I had on this blog for this quilt made from HeartStrings purple project group blocks. I did quilt it, finally, with spirals of course. It is bound, labeled, and off to be auctioned at a Friends United fund raiser. This group takes educational materials, including computers and the like, to Honduras. I'm quilting another top that was donated for them as well.

I want to make sure and give credit to Evelyn Sloppy for the pattern for the Hearts in this quilt. I've owned her book (Log Cabins, I think) for a long time. When I posted pictures of these blocks for help with settings, many HeartStringers asked for the pattern. Evelyn Sloppy's book was out of print, but she graciously gave us permission to post the pattern on the Heartstrings website. A few weeks later I noticed it was on the Martingale Publishing site as a free pattern. What a neat lady!
Happy quilting,
Becky




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Time out for a fun UFO

I've been quilting on on the long-arm the last few days, but took time today - and the last few evenings - to work on this UFO. I cut two of these out last summer (2007) when I was cutting out some other Winding Ways blocks. I put them in a drawer, and only remembered them in late October. I saw them in the drawer a few days ago, and decided I should probably work on them if I wanted them for this Halloween. It's now a flimsy, and I think I will have time tomorrow to quilt it. I had planned on using circles to quilt this, but this quilt doesn't have the overlapping visual circles that you often see with Winding Ways. This is the Medallion quilt setting from Nancy Elliott MacDonald's book Winding Ways Quilts (I love the matching templates), so I need to figure another way to quilt it. I'm open to any suggestions!!!

I've been working on quilting Chinese Coins Quilts of Valor, and have 3 ready for binding. I'm attending the AQS show in Des Moines, Iowa next week, and will have 3 evenings in the hotel. I don't drive after dark, so I'm taking my Ott light and binding to turn while I sit with my feet up. That does, however, mean I have to apply binding to three quilts before I leave next Tuesday.

I almost "had" to buy fabric for the Chinese Coins - against my Stashbuster goals. I really wanted navy fabric for the binding on 2 of the CCs. I mentioned it to my friend Rose - who gave me all the other red, white, and blue fabric - and she came up with about 3 yards of navy Kona cotton that will work just great!

Okay, enough dawdling - I'm off to trim up edges and make binding!


Happy Quilting,
Becky

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