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Posts Tagged ‘quilting’

It’s all about “the quilt” right now, in my spare time, at least.  On my days off last weekend…it rained!  Big surprise for those that know me.  I have rotten luck when it comes to good weather on my days off.  That’s another story for another day.  Today’s story is about quilting.  Well, to be more precise, it’s about cutting big pieces of fabric into small pieces of fabric so that it can be sewed into big pieces again.  That’s what quilters know.  Here are some photos to give you an idea what I’m talkin’ about.

First I start with six rectangles .  These colors are not true but you will notice the fabric alternates light and dark.

Next, I stack them one on top of the other and draw the pattern that I will be cutting.  You have to look closely to see where I have drawn chalk lines.

Once I have drawn the lines, I pin a number to each piece.  This allows me to sew them back together in the right order.  I didn’t number the two pieces in the middle because they will be shuffled once the fabrics are cut.

Next, I cut along the lines.  Remember, there are six pieces of fabric stacked together.

Now that the pieces are cut, I shuffle the top fabric of the two middle pieces to the bottom of the stack.  Can you see what has appeared?


Ta Da!  A heart magically appears.  Then I sew each rectangle back together and every seam is a C.U.R.V.E!  I use lots of pins and I don’t sew quickly soooooo, it takes me about 45 minutes for each one and there are 36 of them.  Each set of six produces a different heart because I drew the template differently each time.

Good thing etiquette allows a year after the wedding to present a gift.

The photos are a little blurry because I cropped them to bring them closer.  I’m a quilter, not a photographer.

Thanks for stopping by…
;o)

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You may think that I never actually get any quilting done.  Well, I must admit, I haven’t quilted for quite a while but I did do some sewing the other day.  I am back to work on the blooming 9-patch.  I had to set it out on the spare bed in order to keep the strips in order.

Blooming 9-patch strips

I’m adding the triangles to the end of each strip.  After that I can start sewing the strips together.  I like to think that I can afford to have this quilt custom quilted but I’m not sure that will really be the case.  It will be awhile before it gets completed so I have time to save some money.  Maybe I’ll get a nice tax return  ;o)  or not  ;o(

Bill and I are very happy to be in FL where we can be outside every day.  We are having good adventures, which I will share here when I get more time to blog.  I brought along three African Violet plants because I didn’t think they would be very happy in a house where the thermostat was set at 50*.

Happy plant

This one started blooming almost the day we arrived and the other two have some little blossom “sprouts”.  I’m happy that we brought them along and I think they are happy, too.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Slowly but surely I am working on the kimono quilt.  Out of 36 kimonos to be completed, I finished 2 and 3…

Kimono #2

Kimono #3

So far, I’m very happy with these and I have figured out an easier way to deal with the diagonal pieces.  After ripping those pieces out half a dozen times on the first kimono (you can see that one here), I knew there had to be a better way.  I’m in the process of packing all the fabrics and copied patterns for our trip to Florida.  We will be spending four months in my condo in Port Charlotte and I’m attempting to sort out what I must have with me while I’m there.  We will be traveling with my machine and taking along numerous accoutrements but I can’t stuff the car full with nothing more than my machine and fabrics.  I’m planning to ship a couple of boxes of fabrics and kits to arrive after we do.

I actually finished two snowman wallhangings for my friends, Su and Deb.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get them done before Christmas but I don’t think they will care.  I had plans to meet Su for lunch and was going to bring hers along but she is having serious family issues and had to cancel.  I wrapped it and tied it with a bright gold bow, leaving it on her door as a surprise when she returned home.  She loved it!

Su's snowman up close

Deb's snowman w/quilting, borders and binding

Both pieces were completed with the same borders and binding.  The area between the inner border and the stitching was quilted with a meandering loop and occasional “snowflakes”. I’m not totally satisfied with the eveness of the quilting but I’m getting better each time I practice.

Quilting close-up

These patterns are 2 of 4 belonging to Cold Twigs Snowman published by buttermilk basin.  Check out their website here.  I did not originally plan to make these as separate gifts but I’m glad I did. I will stitch both snowmen again and make a larger piece using all four patterns.

I worked my last shift at Lowe’s on New Year’s Eve and it’s a great feeling to know that I don’t have to go to work any time in the near future…not tomorrow or the day after or the week after.  Woohoo!!! I may reapply when we return in the spring; time will tell.

Bill worked his last shift on Dec. 30 after more than 25 years on the Cambridge Fire Dept.  He grew up in the firehouse and all he ever wanted to be was a firefighter.  Together we are going to create an exciting new chapter in our lives.

We are expecting a storm over the weekend with wind and snow so it will be a good time to stay inside and get organized for the trip.  We are taking the cat to her winter foster home on Monday and want to leave by Thurs or Fri at the latest, weather permitting.  There is lots to do between now and then.  It’s not as easy as you would think to prepare for a four month vacation.

Thanks for stopping by…

;o)

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Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Just in the nick of time.  I completed Ella’s quilt around 1:00 in this afternoon.  Her birthday party is tomorrow so I was cutting it pretty close.  I have mentioned previously in this blog that her quilt was actually a companion quilt to the one I’m making for her dad.  He loves sock monkeys, which I just recently discovered, so I made him a quilt using sock monkey fabrics.  Her quilt was made using one of each of the monkey fabrics in her dad’s quilt, along with some black and whites that I had.  Unfortunately, her dad’s quilt is still at the LA quilters but since it was her birthday, I gave her the one made for her so I guess that will make her dad’s the companion quilt.  He doesn’t know that he is getting one so I couldn’t even till him the story.

The back of Ella's quilt

The back of Ella's quilt

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

quilting patterns completed on DSM

quilting patterns completed on DSM

I’m especially proud of this quilt as it was completely my design, inspired by Project Improv.  I traced the patterns onto some iron-on paper and did all of the quilting on my DSM.  The biggest problem is pulling out all of the paper once the quilting is completed; very time consuming! One of these days I will attempt the quilting completed freehand.  I just have to work up my courage and not worry about ruining anything.

This is the first quilt that has been my own creation but I made a small wallhanging years ago that was also my own design, made from some leftovers from one of my first wallhangings.

Leftovers Again

Leftovers Again

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Well, it’s been a long time since I actually finished a project.  I don’t remember when I started this one but it’s done.  Actually, there are a few loose threads I need to take care of and I need to add a hanging sleeve.  I had prepared a sleeve but it was not wide enough so I’ll do another.  For all practical purposes…it’s DONE.

Oriental Flower

Oriental Flower

Close-up of echo quilting

Close-up of echo quilting

Because it’s my wallhanging and I can do whatever I want (it’s really Bill’s), I decided to quilt a “ghost flower” in some of the echo quilting.

"ghost flower"

"ghost flower"

I spent most of the day on Thursday working on the companion quilt for Ella.  It has one square of each of the Funky Monkey fabrics that are in her dad’s quilt.  I added the black and white because I know small children see them better and she is only 9 months old.  I used the improvisation technique which I really enjoyed.  I started to sew on the borders but didn’t like the fabric choice, AT ALL, so I took them off.  I’ll have to search for a different fabric to use as the borders.

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Yesterday Bill and I took a little trip in the car looking for a quilt shop that I have been to a couple of times.  I knew it was quite a drive and I knew the road but I didn’t know exactly where it was located.  We drove more than “quite a drive” and never found the place I was looking for.  However, we did come across another little quilt shop so we stopped there instead.  I didn’t find any of the FM fabric I was searching out but I did manage to find some bee fabric along with a pattern (POORHOUSE Quilt Designs) for a cute little tote that I may be able to sew together fairly quickly and put into my Etsy shop.  I like it because it has a lobster applique on the front.  There are also patterns for a crab and sand dollar. If I get it done, it may be the first item in my shop, which is currently set up but empty.

Thanks for stopping by…

"quilting bee" fabric

"quilting bee" fabric

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

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When I make quilts or wallhangings or bags or whatever, I can’t give them away.  Unless I make them specifically for someone I usually keep everything.  I don’t know if I’m selfish or if I spend so much time (rather anal) working on a project that I just can’t bear to let it go.

Either way, today I let go of two items.  The first was a quilt that I started many years ago in a class at Portsmouth Fabrics.   The fabrics were supposed to be Kaffe Fassett but I really wanted to do something different so I bought all nice, bright colors.  The result was The Bright One.

the-bright-one-quilt5the-bright-one-close-up-side-view-rosy-posy-design1

I took this to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH for sale on consignment.  They do it a little differently.  Rather than taking a percentage of your selling price, they add 25% of your price to calculate the total asking price.  At least that way, the seller gets what they want and the shop gets what they want.  They will keep it for four months and then return it to the seller at their expense.  They do not care if you send it in again at a later date.

Of course, while there I couldn’t just walk out without buying anything.  I found several bee fabrics that I purchased for the quilt I will make for Wendy at some point.

bee-fabrics-from-keepsake-2091

The next quilt is the Birthday Quilt.  I called it that because I received the kit from Su for my birthday a few years ago.  After putting it together I used it to practice my free-motion quilting and it turned out really well.  I was putting the binding on one day at work last year and Sue (a different one) said I could give it to her since I didn’t know what I was going to do with it.  We both laughed but I decided then that I would give it to her for her birthday, which is tomorrow.  I think she will be surprised but happy.   The colors are a little off because the photos were taken at night with a flash.   I know I had taken some earlier but I couldn’t find them anywhere.  Guess they are hibernating in cyberspace.                                                                                                                                                                         the-birthday-quilt-209

the-birthday-quilt-close-up-2091

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Selvage quilts

I don’t know why but I really like the look of them.   I don’t have one but I really, really want to make one.  If you aren’t familiar with them, here is a link to Karen Griska’s blog.  If you scroll down the page a little, the “Red Zinger” is on the right.  Here is the link to the “how-to” page and another link for directions to make selvage quilts.  Thanks Karen for sharing this info.

I’m not sure what it is about this quilt but I know that I want one just like it.  As you can imagine, this is going to take lots and lots of selvages.  I have asked a couple of my friends that quilt to save theirs for me.  If you are reading this blog and don’t think you will ever have the urge to make a selvage quilt, please consider saving your edges for me.  I’m willing to pay the postage to have them mailed once you collect a nice bag full.  If you are willing to participate just leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you.  Thanks for thinking about it.

I have actually been doing some sewing lately and will post some pictures, hopefully  tomorrow.

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