Monday, July 21, 2014

Return from Virginia and DWM

     Well, it does not seem possible, but I have been home from Virginia a week. I have spent the last week doing all of those things you need to do when you have been away a week- the bank, bills, laundry, grocery shopping, unloading/unpacking (ugh!), and just generally playing catch up.

     Since it is Monday, I will save showing my photos from the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival for a future post, and show the quilt I worked on in the booth while I was there. 

      This quilt is going to involve a lot of hand applique, which I rarely do. It is going to be my "carry around" quilt for the awhile I think. I arranged my plates at the last retreat, and have been working on piecing background sections since then.






     I spent a day sewing at my friend Mary's house last week also. We wanted to get a sewing day in before the summer break is over and she has to go back to teaching. I used the time to cut out a couple of sections of background. Here is one:
 

      There is a similar section in the lower right hand side of the quilt, so this will go in the upper left.

     On the way home from Virginia, I stopped and visited my friend, Barbara, who recently moved to Franklin, North Carolina. She wanted to start blogging, and I tried to show her what little I know about setting up a blog. 

      I am so excited about this new blog. I think it will be wonderful. She is a very creative, and fun loving person, with many interests, and plans to blog about her gardening, and her journey in a new job and home as well as her quilting. I can't wait to see what she puts together. The name of her blog is: Silver Toad Splendid, and I have added it to my blog list ion the side bar of this blog. Be sure and give it a look.

     At last, I have finished piecing Susan's quilt, both the top, and the back. I didn't take a photo of the completed top. It has been so rainy, and wet here lately, and the Dresden plate quilt was on the design wall already. I was afraid that if I put it up over the Dresden plates, I would knock them off. I send most of my quilts to Regina Carter. Excepting those that I try quilting myself, and that is rare. Here is photo of one half of it, I took before I sent it off.



    So that is what I have been up to. Go to http://www.patchworktimes.com/2014/07/21/design-wall-july-21-2014/, and see how other quilters are starting their week.

     Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, June 30, 2014

Design Wall Monday, June 30th

     I don't want to alarm anyone, but I just realized that as of today, 2014 is exactly half over! Wow!

     Well, there's nothing I can do about that but keep on keepin' on.

     I am still working on Susan's quilt. I got all of the wedges sewn together. I cut out all of the triangles that will make the corners of the blocks.
 


     Now I am sewing the corners onto each block.


      I started out pressing a crease in the center of each triangle, then lining up the crease with the center of the wedge. I didn't take me long to decide that it wasn't necessary. I just centered the point of the triangles with the point of the wedges. I am doing a quadrant at a time, then sewing the blocks of that quadrant together. I have 2 quadrants completely done, and I am working on the 3rd.



     I think this quilt looks a bit more yellow in the photo than it really is because of the lighting. I also took the photo after dark to post it on DWM. I expect to be done with the top by the end of the week. I have some light peach fabric ordered for the back. It is on it's way. 

     The other thing I have to do this week is make some pincushions,


      note cards, and collate some patterns for the show in Virginia I will be vending at next week. It is called The Blue Ridge Quilt Festival. Come by and see me if you are in the area. 

     That is what I have on my plate this week. Go and see what some other quilters are up to at:http://www.patchworktimes.com/2014/06/30/design-wall-june-30-2014/

     Thanks for stopping by!


     

Monday, June 23, 2014

Would You Believe Another Wedding?-And Design Wall Monday

     First things first. It is Monday (AKA Design Wall Monday). I am still working on Susan's blocks. I am about 3/4 of the way finished with them. I hope to finish them this week. Actually, I hope to finish several weeks ago, but other things keep cropping up.


      The blocks that should go in the blank spot are on the portable design wall that I can put next to my sewing machine.


      This weekend I had yet another lovely wedding to go to. Sonja is a member of our sewing friendship group, which usually meets around twice a month, but has not met in weeks because 2 people in our group have been busy planning weddings. Paula is her daughter, and she got married this past Saturday, on the summer solstice.  As I write this, I am regretting the fact that right now, I don't have a photo of either Paula, or last weekend's bride Emily. I am not the sort of person who always remembers to take photos while the event is happening. I know there will be plenty of photos circulating in the coming weeks, but both brides were so beautiful, and looked so happy, it would have been nice to be able to share a photo with you. 

     So, instead I will share photos of the table runner that I made for Paula, and her new husband, Keith.
 
       Last week I made her a table runner for a wedding gift, but didn't blog about it because I didn't want any of my friends to see it before the wedding. First, I chose fabrics and used them to make a strip set. 


      Next, I spray basted a length of batting onto a back for my table runner.  I cross cut the strip set, and for fun, I varied my cross cut sizes a bit. Next I laid one cross cut piece, right side facing up, down the length of the table runner, on top of the batting. I laid a second cross cut strip, right side down on top of the first piece, and pinned along the edge.
    

     
      Then, using a walking foot, I stitched along the edge of the strips. I sewed through 2 strips, the batting, and the back of the runner.


      Since I wanted this runner to be symmetrical, I  kept adding strips on either side of the center strip until the table runner was as wide as I wanted it to be. After each strip was added, I just turned over and pressed it.

 


      Then, all that was left was to put the binding on.

     So, that is what I have been up to this week. There are plenty more projects to see over at
 http://www.patchworktimes.com/2014/06/23/design-wall-june-23-2014/

      Hope you week and your official summer are both off to a great start. Thanks for stopping by!



 



    

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Secret Revealed

     For the last several months I have been working on a project that I could not share with you. 

     My dear friend Eleanor started this quilt, intending it to be a quilt for her daughters wedding. She designed an elaborate pieced border, collected a group of beautiful fabrics, and made one side of the border. Since her daughter was 16 years old she thought she had plenty of time. But, you know how time flies. Now her daughter is 28 years old, and she announced her engagement last fall. The wedding was planned for this past weekend. So, Eleanor, and her mother (the bride-to-be's grandmother) hired me to make the remaining 3 border sides, and come up with something to put in the center. I have spent much of this past winter and spring working on it. I finished several weeks ago, but didn't want to chance sharing it because I didn't want to risk spoiling the surprise.

     Here is a photo of a copy I made of Eleanor's original drawing.
 
 
      I started by trying to come up with something that would look good in the center. The border looked kind of Moorish to me. I know Eleanor wanted the quilt to have a romantic feel. I thought of a quilt I made recently, called Arabesque. It is really a variation on a Trip Around the World.

     Eleanor's fabric was really beautiful, so I made my strips a 1/2" wider, to show of the prints a bit better. As I, hoping  said above, Eleanor had already pieced one of the border sides. I was holding my breath, hoping that I could match it well enough. Thankfully, Eleanor kept all of the fabrics she collected for this quilt, together in a big box.

     So, this is the resulting quilt.


     Eleanor wanted to use some of the remaining large pieces of fabric on the back.


     I have know this child since before she was born. Since her parents were giving her a quilt, I thought it would be good to give her a couple of accessories to go with the quilt. I made a pair of pillow cases.


     I also made two throw pillows. This one was made from leftover HST from the border.


     And my favorite, this paper pieced pattern came from a book by Carol Doak called, 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars.


      Sorry that last photo not as clear I I thought it was. I don't have these items in, my possession any more, so I can't do a retake.

       So, that is what I have been working on much of the time during the last few months. Thank's for stopping by.




Monday, June 16, 2014

Design Wall Monday 6-16


    I am still piecing the blocks for my Anastasia order. I have the blocks on one side pieced. There is an uneven number of columns, so I am a bit more that halfway there.

    Still working on this side.





     The blank section is has been transferred to a more portable surface that can be moved right next to my sewing machine. That way I can keep my blocks organized correctly, while sewing them together.


     I mean to get this part of the piecing finished this week.

     That is what I have been up to. There is lots more to see at Judy Laquidara's http://www.patchworktimes.com/2014/06/16/design-wall-june-16-2014/

      It is worth you while to check it out. Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Photos From Retreat

     As I mentioned in my last post, I had a wonderful time at retreat. I also took some photos of some lovely projects in process. I hope you enjoy seeing these.



























     What a fabulous variety of projects! Don't you agree?

     We had a pincushion swap. So many creatures were represented we thought we could sing several verses of "Old McDonald Had a Farm" We had a couple of mice, a chicken, a hedgehog, a toucan, to name a few. I'm sure I forgot someone. Here is a group photo of all of the pincushions:




     We celebrated our dear friend Joyce's birthday. 


     Joyce brought the finished quilt from the class I taught them last February, to show me.



     Didn't it turn out great!? She quilted it with a decorative stitch around the edges. I am so grateful she brought it to show me. It's amazing how quickly she finished it!

      It is so much fun to get together and sew for a few days with dear friends, and see what they are working on!

      Hope your summer is going well too. Thanks for stopping by!

    

Monday, June 9, 2014

Back From Another Retreat

     The first part of the year is quilt retreat time for me. I have one group of friends that plan a retreat in February, and June. We started with once a year, but quickly decided that it was not nearly often enough to see each other. We often say we would like another one in the fall, but I am just as glad we have not gotten that idea off the ground. I love those ladies, and really miss seeing them and what they are up too, but my falls tend to be busy and unpredictable, so I would rather not have a retreat on my plate in the fall. Of course, I could just not go, but knowing me, I would probably end up trying to get there anyway. Another group of friends has an annual retreat in April. I love this because not only do I get to visit with dear friends that I rarely see, but it really motivates me to get things done. 

     Since today is Design Wall Monday, I will show what I had up on the design wall at retreat, and save all of the photos I took of everyone elves projects for a later in the week post.

    First, something quick and easy to get myself going when I first got there:


      This will be called Sand and Sea Glass. I plan to add, probably a narrow border, and a wide one. When I got to retreat, the blocks were already pieced. I just had to press, trim, lay them out, and sew them together. It felt good to finish piecing the center on the first day there.

      I spent most of the retreat getting the layout for my Dresden Plate quilt together.


    
     Next, I have to get the background arranged, so I can use this as my travel/handwork project. I usually don't do much handwork, because I always want to be at the machine making fast piecing progress. I hope I can push through and get all of this hand applique done soon. I just got myself some new applique thread. I hope that, and the fact that all of the edges are already turned, will make me want to work on this project. 

     Of course, I still have to work on my Anastasia order quilt, but since the background for it is arranged, and I can't move it, this will be the quilt I carry with me to visit. I am also planning to be a vendor at the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival in Blacksburg Virginia in July, so it will be a great quilt to work on in the booth. If you happen to be near Blacksburg July 9-12, come by and say hi!

      That is what I have been up to lately. There are many more "works in progress" to see at Judy Laquidara's Design Wall Monday Be sure to check them out. Thanks for stopping by!