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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

what's on my design wall 6/24/09

These first graphics are on my design wall in EQ6. They are possible settings for the Stashbuster Sunshine (Ugly fabric) Challenge. It needs to be a king-size, as I'll be giving it as a gift for Christmas. The left center will be faster, but uses more blocks, and only 12" ones. The right one uses less 12"blocks, but lots of 6" blocks, and more borders. I really like feathered stars, but they do take more time to make. The real block I would make is the one from a Marti Michell pattern - used as a block of the month a while back. Below is my progress on blocks for this quilt; I only made 6" blocks this week.
After my new glasses arrived this week (Hurray!), I was able to start on the quilt below. It is made out of mainly brushed cotton, but some real flannel. It is a King-size, so I think I will need to find a wool batting, or they won't be able to turn over under it. We visit these friends in Idaho nearly every year, and Chris has been hinting for a quilt since they moved up there from California after their wedding, which we attended. Chris rarely travels (although they did come for our wedding 3 years ago), and my DH kept putting him off, telling him that quilts have to be picked up in person. Chris has always wanted a buffalo farm, so they have used that theme in some of their home decor. They live in what was a ski "cabin" up in the mountains around Coeur d'Alene. They've emailed pictures of moose crossing their yard. There isn't much fabric out there with both buffalo and moose, so fussy cutting of this one fabric has to do. There are now some batiks out there with buffalo, but I didn't think flannel and batik would be a good combination.
When I was cutting this, I was really glad I could make flying geese without any shortcuts. I can't imagine working with 32" squares of fabric on the diagonal. What's on the wall will be 64" square, then there is an 8" plain border, a border of 16" Sawtooth stars like the corner blocks above, then one more outer plain border. I'm just planning on a plain cotton backing, for weight control, but I do have some extra starpoints cut, Hmmm...
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What's on my design wall

I've taken down the rolling stars, and put up all the Stashbusters ugly fabric / Sunshine challenge blocks I've made so far. I really liked Bradford's Beauty, so ended up making 3 different blocks with that pattern. I like all of them, but the second block in the second row is my favorite, so far. I think I need to make quite a few more blocks if I'm going to make a king size of these. I think some sashing will be needed, or some type of unique setting. I plan on making quite a few more 6" blocks to add to the mix.
Happy Quilting,
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Pointillist Pallette - Missing fabric - do you have any

Does this fabric look familiar? Do you have any "yellow to white"? All I need is a fat quarter of the yellow. Some idiot (me) misplaced, used, or lost the yellow to white. The yellow in the picture is a pieces of yellow to orange. I bought these on my first trip to Padukah in the 90's. I'd always planned to make a Dresden plate with all the shades and tints. I have all the shades (pure color to black), but don't have all the tints (pure color to white). I've looked at skipping yellow, but it just won't work. If you happen to have some, I would be willing to pay quite well for it, or trade you for it if you would rather have something I have. I have Jan Krentz's new book and templates for diamond stars, and I would really like to make it out of these fabrics. Thanks for any help you can give.
Happy Quilting,
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ugly fabric challenge / Be careful what you wish for

After my Dr appointment today, I decided to work on more of the Stashbuster Ugly blocks for June and July. The top right is the remake of the Illinois block, with the "wrong" one below it. Corn and Beans, middle top, was a bear until I noticed on the last few seams that I had failed to replace the single stitch throat plate after doing the mending that needed zigzag stitches. What a difference it makes! I also gave my machine a new needle since I was seeing green dots on stitches, and my thread was grey and ecru. Amazing - good stitches. I finished the bottom center a few days ago, so the only one left was Bradford's Beauty - the left ones. The top one I followed the coloring in the files on Stashbuster, but I also looked it up in the Marti Michell template books, so I had to make the bottom one with her coloring. The fabrics are mostly the same in both blocks, just changed location of lights and darks. I love what that does. I want to make at least one more with a diagonal dark 9-patch in the corners. I haven't figured it all out yet, but it is intriguing. I think I could make a whole quilt with this block. Stop thinking that - too many other quilts to make.

I did see the eye surgeon today. My eyes have stabilized, so they were able to give me a prescription for glasses, as I had hoped and wished for. The only problem is I want to reuse my old frames - they are only about a year old and I actually like them. I had to give them up, and am now trying to see with my old computer glasses. It gives me about the equivalent of mono-vision. One eye can see far, one near. Far's not bad, but reading is difficult. I applaud those of you who can adjust to mono-vision. I imagine you could also adjust to the ReStor lenses I had. My brain just wants to see the same thing with both eyes corrected to be equal. I chose "Progressives" (no-line) to have different "powers" without lines. So now I just have another week to 10 days to wait, but with lousy close vision. Give me patience NOW!
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What I played with today

This top was made by Jay from Nebraska, a fellow HeartStringer. I quilted it with Baptist Fans, and today was inspired to finish it with the binding. Judy L http://www.patchworktimes.com/ has a tutorial for sewing the back of the binding from the front, so I gave it a try. Mine wasn't as neat as hers, but it did work, and this quilt is finished. Jay has a project making quilts for a nursing home, but this one doesn't fit his measurements. It's too wide for a lap quilt, and too square and short for a twin bed. I'm sure it will make someone in the Women's Shelter feel better. I tried Mary's setting for taking the picture, but my pink petunia's don't work as well with this quilt as her red geraniums would.
These are the 4 rolling star blocks for the corners of my Secret Project. The top right one was the first, and I made the outside diamonds with the same fabric on both sides. I like the other three better, but I probably won't make another one. They are merely fillers in the corners of the Secret Project. These are all made from scraps of my DD's wedding quilt. I used 1 3/4" strips to make it, so I used a template and cut a lot of them up into diamonds - they make a 6" block if you use just a single row of diamonds. I still have plenty left to play with, plus more scraps I can cut up. My DD always loves red, White, and Black, but I also used gray in the wedding quilt. I've never taken a good picture of it - it's a large king. Maybe one of these days.

The right block of these was supposed to be a June/July block for the Stashbusters Ugly fabric Challenge. I turned the flying geese inward instead of outward, so it ended up being another T block, just with the lights and darks reversed. Some astute Stashbuster pointed out my error to me. I always love to see how blocks look when you change the fabrics/values - I thought you might like to see these.
I also did a bit of mending - ugh! I only had 3 things, and about an inch of each item, but I had to change out the throat plate and the foot in order to sew them as they were knits, and needed the overlock stitch. Now they can be put away so I can clean off the sewing table.
I'm still doing odds and ends waiting for new glasses. I see the eye surgeon on Tuesday, and I hope the eyes will be "ready". I want some bifocals so I can read and see across the room without having to change glasses. I hate half glasses, and how you have to tilt your head to see over them. I rather just wear glasses all the time. One eye needs help to keep it from having double vision, but overall, I'm so much happier with the results of the 3 surgeries, and would do it again, even knowing I would have a new crop of floaters to look through. I can see at night again, and the huge halos are gone. I was able to see to match my points on the rolling stars, and the edge of the binding wasn't jagged where the bias seams were sewn together. I used to miss them by about an eighth of an inch. For me, that's a lot of improvement. I'm so grateful I found an eye surgeon who has the skill to change out my lens implants. Thanks, Dr Doane.
Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More toys

[Aside] I have no idea how these four pictures will actually show up on this blog. So far I haven't figured out the secret to loading them in the place I want.
Last week DH was very early for his Dr. appointment, and saw a sign for a garage sale near the office. He saw a sewing machine, so decided to check it out. He called me while I was shopping for a new sewing machine for a handicapped friend, so I didn't talk much, just told him to use his judgement. When I arrived home, these two machines were here. The first one is a beautiful Singer - I think 99 - in a cabinet with an inlay front door. The front of the machine has the more intricate plate. It needs some dusting and cleaning, but the decals are in perfect condition. It doesn't look as if anyone ever sewed on it, no pin scratches, or such. The second machine (too heavy for me to lift right now and DH isn't home) is in the same beautiful shape. It also has the decals that say made in Great Britain. The plug has been changed - I assume for USA power. The dome case is in beautiful shape and has the key! We have 2 other dome cases, but this is the first with its key. One machine DH dated to 1936, the other is early 1950s.
We're not actually collecting sewing machines, it just seems like it. Actually, I would like to have several straight stitchers to teach grands to sew on, then be able to give them the machine to take home. It's wonderful that DH can restore them functionally. One of our first projects together, 3 years or so ago, was combining our two treadle machines to one. He told me he didn't consider the project complete unless the item worked. My table was good, but the machine was rough - the decals were almost off - and he had a machine that had much better decals but not as fancy a table. We put his machine in my refinished table, sold the pieces and parts of the second machine, and then I finished up the second treadle into a table that I use for a nightstand.

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It arrived!!!

It's my new SEW-EZI table! I'm so excited, and it's purple! I had this on my Christmas wish list last year, but after finding out how much they cost, DH and I decided not to order one. Then I went to the Nebraska Sew-in for HeartStrings and worked on a standard table. When I returned home, I told my DH that I wanted the Sew Ezi back on my list, that I wouldn't go to another retreat / sew-in without one. (He was very nice and gave me a gift certificate for a massage to get the kinks out of my neck and shoulder.) My birthday was last week, and this arrived today. DH had enclosed the email order in my birthday card. I have such a good DH; I hope you have one, too.
Happy quilting,

Monday, June 1, 2009

what's on my design wall

Judy L http://www.patchworktimes.com/ is hosting looks on people's design walls, and if I can figure out the link process, I think I'll play along. I don't know how blogger is going to display these pictures, so I guess I'll just wing the descriptions. The picture that I think will be the top left one is a picture of my right design wall. It holds a vertical row of lone star blocks, that I thought I was going to use in the corners of a secret project. When I brought out the fabric that goes with it, I decided that 12" blocks weren't large enough, so yesterday I started on 17" rolling star blocks - the top right picture, I think. Talk about set-in seams! I think only the last 4 triangles were sewn on edge to edge, the rest of the seams, after making the diamond star points, were all single seams with back stitching at both ends. It is a good thing I really like making 45 degree diamond blocks. I only need 4 total of rolling stars for my secret project.
The rest of the right design wall is covered with Stashbusters Ugly Fabric Challenge blocks. Today we should receive a link for the next 2 blocks. It is a long-term (9 month) project. I actually took these down last night when I found an empty drawer large enough to lay these blocks flat.
On the left design wall, for the last several months, I've been looking at Kim's quilt - a grandniece. You may have seen it when I posted it for border help. I have the ability to procrastinate for long periods of time when it comes to adding final borders.
The second left picture is really of a small table in the room with Jay in NE's string quilt on it. It is awaiting binding, which I have at least cut. I'm improving on finishing up binding, but still can procrastinate them as well as borders.
My real reason for procrastinating is the ongoing eye surgery. Three weeks ago when I had the left eye's lens implant changed out, I had a vitreous leak, so that eye remains somewhat blurry. This afternoon is surgery to fix that, and it shouldn't be any big deal. It will be nice to not have to shut one eye to see things clearly. I've figured out my temporary bifocals - I wear my regular glasses that were made to go with the Restor lenses I had removed, and I put a pair of half glasses (reading) on over them. I actually see a lot better with both glasses than if I change glasses. It really helps for sewing and reading. It does, however, look a little strange. My DH just walked by in his robe, with his Ipod ear things in, and his magnifying visor with lights on his head. (He's working on his little bitty engines for the railroad http://www.sandcrr.com/ .) I chuckled a little bit and asked if I could take his picture. He said only if he could take one of me with two pair of glasses on. I passed on the picture taking.
So that's what I'm working on, simple things (blocks) that I can handle until my vision stabilizes. I really looking forward to that.
Happy Quilting,