Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Quilt Portait

     There hasn't been much sewing going on here the last couple of weeks with me working 6 days a week at my Christmas temp job.

     When I got up this morning it was nice and bright but cloudy outside so I decided that conditions were excellent to photograph this quilt. It's name is English Garden. I got it back from Regina Carter, my quilter last January or February.
 

       For some reason, it took months to get the binding on; and I just got the sleeve attached.  Part of the reason that took so long was that Regina was teaching me to do a "D" sleeve on my quilts so they would be show ready. I was conflicted about this since most of my quilts are bed quilts, and I am not sure I like having that type of sleeve on them since hopefully, they will spend more time on a bed than they ever will hanging. Also, most of my quilts don't do that well in shows, first, despite my best efforts, my piecing is not perfect enough, in addition to that, I can afford neither the money or the time to get them custom quilted. It seems like show judges hate overall quilting designs on a quilt. I have so many quilt tops in my head that I am anxious to piece, I am not likely to invest in a long arm quilting machine any time soon; besides, that would be a whole other skill to wrap my mind around! Also, though I appreciate seeing elaborate art quilts crystals, thread play, extensive quilting, I enjoy more simple piecing, and prefer to make more functional bed quilts.

     This quilt is the second in a series that began with this quilt.



     When I made these blocks, I went a bit crazy and ended up with about 800 of them. I knew I wanted a lot, because I had plans for 2 different large quilts, plus a small lap quilt that I needed for a gift. I have been working on strip units to put with the blocks and some dark blue fabric to make a third quilt that will probably be finished next year. See library series on my labels list to see where I mentioned this before; but they are just short strip sets. I am not ruling out a fourth quilt either.

     I am also trying to get the binding done one 2 other quilts before my guild quilt show in January. One binding is about halfway on. I am going to have to make a run to the quilt shop to get the fabric I want for the other one. This will give me an opportunity to get the border fabric for the Galapagos 2 quilt. I also need a yard of beautiful fabric for a fabric swap for a retreat I am scheduled to go to the end of January.

     This will likely be my last post before Christmas so I want to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas holiday with your loved ones!

     Thanks for stopping by

P. S. Good Grief! As I was proof reading this blog post, I realized that I put the sleeve on the wrong edge of the English Garden quilt. This is why it looks so wide in the pictures! Don't I feel ridiculous! Augh!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Design Wall Monday

     I am in a bit of a hurry today, I took on a Christmas temp job and it is turning out to be way more hours than I thought it was going to be. I am grateful for the work, but I am only barely staying up to date on other things I am trying to accomplish. Such as getting Christmas presents out in the mail, and blog posts...

     Anyway, I have been working on this quilt on and off since this February. It all started with this fabric that was given to me for a birthday gift by a dear friend years ago.


        I didn't really want to cut it into small pieces, so I just cut the yard I was given into 4 equal panels, and sewed some borders around them.



I am going to lay the blocks out like this.
















     I have long thought that the paintings of Gustave Klimt would be great source material for making quilts because of his use of patterning. This painting is one I had been looking at, thinking that I could use some of the elements in a quilt.

     So, I thought it would be fun to incorporate some of these design element with the large blocks of this quilt. Forgive me if you have read this explanation before, but I first discussed this when this blog was less than a month old, and I had about 30 page views, so I'm guessing this won't be a problem for many of you.

  












     This is a drawing of the layout I am planning.



     Many steps later (If you are interested in seeing more of the steps look up my bird cages quilt labels) this is where I am with this quilt. I have really enjoyed including a wide range of fabrics in this quilt. There are everything from Kaffe Fassett, to batiks to traditional paisleys and such.
 
   
     My quandary is this: My original plan was to put rectangles in opposing quadrants, and equilateral triangles in the other opposing quadrants. The alternate option is to do the rectangles in all 4 quadrants. Here is a photo of what it looks like with rectangles in the top 2 quadrants.

     What do you think? Is my original plan too confusing? I am going to have to think about this awhile. While I do, go see all of the other pretties in progress at Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday!

   And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Indian Summer?

     The weather here has been amazingly warm. I just couldn't stand the thought of being indoors. I found myself a picnic table in our community garden to doe my trimming outdoors. I keep thinking, how much longer before cold temperatures chase us indoors for months.

     So, while I was out there, used my phone to take photos of what I was doing, and earlier today I transferred those photos from my phone to my computer. I know you all are saying "Ya? So?" Well it was a big deal to me anyway. I had never done that before and I was tickled that it worked. And to those of you who are thinking "Why didn't she just write the blog post on her phone?" Maybe next time. One technological  breakthrough at a time. lol

     Anyway, I got all of the HSTs for the pillow covers trimmed.

       Today I paired each set up with a center and center bar. I plan to get as much sewing done on these as I can tonight.




           I also cut the some pieced triangles for my Bird Cage quilt.


     I used a plastic template.



 And a ruler.




     And cut out a triangle. I have plain triangles which will all be pointing up; and 4 different kinds of pieced triangles, which will all be pointing down.
 

     I couldn't wait to see part of them laid out together on the design wall to get an idea of how they will look.

      

     That's all for now.  This is my attempt at a shorter, more freequent, less rambling blog post. Thanks for stopping by.












    
   

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Odds and Ends and Design Wall Monday

     I have been working on many odds and ends this week. 

     First, I finished sewing together the center of my Galapagos ll quilt. So I have to set it aside until I find time to buy some border fabric for it. I didn't want to choose the border fabric until  I could audition it next to the finished center.

     It is a pretty simple pattern, just pinwheels and plain blocks.

     I am working on some more pillows for the person I made the Let's Polka quilt for this summer. These pillows are going downstairs in the parlor. She chose the solid quilt block, but with a couple tweaks to the color scheme. I sewed and pressed all of the HST for that today.




     She wants 2 more 24" pillows for a different room; so I have been working on some drawings.








   





  I had a friend who wanted some pot holders for a Christmas gift, so I made 2 large pairs and 2 small pairs in her color scheme, so she would have some to choose from.

     As you can see, I have yet to hand stitch the bindings on most of them.


















     While I was working on those for her, I pulled this combination of scraps out of the scrap box as well.













     I got this quilt back from my quilter, Regina Carter, in January. Can you believe I am still doing the hand work on it?  Shame on me! I am still working on stitching down the sleeve. I will show a picture of the whole quilt once I get the sleeve finished. It is 75% done. I had better hurry. I am scheduled to get a lap quilt back from Regina, this Tuesday. I am planning to put both of these quilts in the quilt show that my quilt guild is having at Art Station in Stone Mountain Village in January.


     When ever I am writing these long  blog posts, I always think I should make shorter blog posts more often, but somehow, it never seems to actually happen. I thought one of the good things about trying to link to Design Wall Monday, would be that it would cause me to get in the habit of writing 2 blog posts per week. Oh well, maybe next week. 

     Don't forget to check out all of the other beautiful things at Patchwork Times, on Design Wall Monday, and; thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Design Wall Monday

     I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. 

     I am going to try to link this post with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. We will see if my technologically challenged self manages to pull that off. I  usually get these linky things eventually. Anyway, it is a very interesting opportunity to see what many people have on their design wall every week. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

     So I will start with my Galapagos quilt from my last post, since it is what I am working on most right now; though clearly, I did not get far enough along on it to buy the border fabric this weekend, as I had hoped. Last night the whole center was on my design wall.


      Since then, I have about half of it sewn together. I hope to sew the rest of it tonight.



     In person, it is less yellow than this. More towards orange.


    
















Oops! I almost forgot to tell you the best thing! Someone bought one of the quilts I had posted on Etsy.  I just heard back from her that she has received it and loves it. It was one of my favorite quilts; but you never know when someone is buying something off a computer monitor, if it is going to turn out to be what they expected. I always have my fingers crossed until I hear back from them. The quilt she bought was Double Star ll.  



     So that is what I have been up to. Check out some of those other design walls at Patchwork Times.com

     I have a meeting with a client this afternoon about some pillows for her living room.

     Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blocks for Galapagos ll

     I have continued to work on the lap quilt I wrote about last post. For now I am calling it Galapagos ll since it is the same pattern as a quilt I named Galapagos, but that may need to change eventually, since that doesn't seem like an appropriate name for a quilt of these colors. 

     I have made all of my pinwheels and put them up o the design wall. The blocks are ready to be sewn together. I would love to get the center put together in time to go shopping for border fabric during after Thanksgiving sales, but I don't know if I will have that kind of time in the next couple of days.

     I tried taking a photo of all the blocks on my design wall, but I had a bit of trouble getting the colors to come out right, and I don't really have time to play with it right now. With the lights on, it is coming out too yellow, and of course, without the light it may be a bit dark. I will probably get a better photo of it when it is all in one piece; and I can take it outside. Part of the problem is also where it is on the design wall. In future, I need to remember to use that end of the design wall last. It is furthest from the window, and natural light, and it is closest to the loom, which I am accustomed to looking around, but it is really difficult to take a good photo without taking it at a weird angle. That said, here it is. These are the 2 best photos I can manage for now.




     I have also gotten all of my solid units sewn together, pressed, and ready to put into large blocks of 4 by 4, and 5 by 5 units. I need 3 more of each to have enough to finish the quilt.



     I got a delivery yesterday. I had sent away for a few more solids for the pillows for the person I made the large quilt for this summer. She wanted 2 pillows made from this same solid pattern. i have a meeting with her next Monday. I had many of the colors I needed, but I thought a few important ones were missing, and they will be handy to have since I have a couple of other solid quilts in my head Here is what came in the mail.



     And with that I am off to throw myself into the Thanksgiving holidays. I hope yours are happy, and safe, and filled with lots to be thankful for. I am sure thankful you stopped by!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Galapagos

     I started a new project today. I have been meaning to start this quilt for a long time. A few years ago, I made this quilt.

      I named it Galapagos. Then I made a pattern from it. I sold the quilt at a show, but then I didn't have a sample anymore. I have always wanted to replace it. This was a queen size quilt, and I thought it would be nice to make the new quilt is a completely different colorway. Since people often tell me they like my quilts, but they don't want to make something so large; I thought it would be a nice idea to make one of the other sizes on my pattern. So I am making this one a lap size.  Also, there was some interest from Angela, at A Scarlet Thread, in my teaching this as a class there if I made another sample.





     So, I bought this gradation of fabrics.        














      I made myself a cheat sheet. I find that this helps me to remember what order I decided to put the fabrics in, especially, since I wash my fabrics; and the paper tags i pinned to each fabric to signify their order, would never have held up in the washer and dryer.

     The center of this quilt is made from diagonal rows of plain blocks that alternate with pinwheels that are made from the fabrics of the plain blocks on either side. Oooh, I don't really like that last sentence much, but I can't think of another way to say it; so hopefully, the photograph of the quilt will do the talking for me here.

     I have cut out all of my plain blocks and put them on my design wall. I wanted to see if this would help me decide if I like the gradation. So far, so good.




     I had to take this picture at a funny angle since my loom is in front of my design wall for now.

     All of the squares for the HST that will go into making the pinwheels are also cut out, and I am currently working on marking them. I am counting on this quilt to go together relatively fast.

     By the way, yes, I am still working on my solid quilt. I got all of the units sewn. I will show you a picture of those once I get them pressed nice and pretty.

     I have also sorted fabrics and ordered a few colors to use for the pillows my customer ordered for her living room.

       That is what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by.

    

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Progress on Solid Blocks, Triangles, etc.

    As planned, I got my pot holders, posted on Etsy, and after procrastinating forever, I finally got my policies posted! At last! I wanted these things done before Thanksgiving.

     Yesterday, my friend, Eleanor came over for some quality sewing time. I worked on my solid block units. I got them all to this point.


     Only 2 seams left, ad I can start sewing them into the large blocks. I am planning to set these blocks, half straight, half on point, with different shades of red around them. I am anxious to see how this is going to look.
 




     After she left, I did a seam on several of the triangles for the bird cages quilt.


     Previously, I made several strip sets for another quilt, but they still needed pressing. So while the iron was hot, I pressed them.
 


     So that is what I have been up to lately, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Finally Getting Back to Some Earlier Projects

       I have been having so much fun seeing all of the lovely quilts on The Blogger's Quilt Festival. What a brilliant idea. But, I have spent hours looking at the quilts, and I have only gotten to quilt #300. What is that-half way through!

   My customer was kind enough to send me a photograph of The Let's Polka quilt and pillows in place in her bedroom; and give me permission to use it in my blog.





     Since that project is finally completed and delivered, I have pulled out some projects from earlier in the year. I have been working on my solid quilt. I thought I was finished with these units, but when I was sewing them together I realized I needed about 82 more. There is more information about making these units in my January 22, March 28, April 2, and June 22, blog posts. Here is a photo of when I sewed some of the units into giant blocks at a summer retreat.




     I have also done some work on my Bird Cage Quilt. Boy, these blog posts would ramble on a lot less if I could only learn to work on one thing at a time! Not gonna happen though. I have been working on piecing some triangles.








     I am trying to decide if I want rectangles on all four corners of the quilt, or rectangles on opposing ends, and triangles on the other opposing ends. I won't decide until I get some equilateral triangles pieced, and put up on the design wall. This is going to be a pretty wild looking quilt either way.

     I had to take a temporary break from making pot holders. Remember this photo of the batting and backs cut? I thought this was more than I would ever use!



          
     They are all used! I had to wait until I could get to the store to get more of the ironing board cover fabric I was using for the backs. Tomorrow I will post some of the finished pot holders in my Etsy shop.

     That is what I have been up to. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Fall 2012

   This my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, fall 2012.

 
      This quilt was inspired by a woven Indian blanket I saw in a book. Quilts like this really help me to see how my background in weaving effects my quilting. It is strip pieced, and I had such a great time making it, I immediately got on my EQ and designed several other configurations. One is already finished, and I am working on the second. I can't wait to get started on the third. Making these is so much fun. This quilt measures 79" by 96"


     Here is a detail of the same quilt. My dear friend, Regina Carter long arm quilted it.

     Thanks so much to Amy for doing this. I love seeing all of the quilts!

A happy and safe Halloween to everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oops!

     Wow! That week went by awfully fast! I can't believe it has been more than a week since my last post.

     I am trying to recover from my show in Eatonton yesterday. I am not much of an early riser; and I am never one to get up before it is light outside if I can help it. I have always told my friends that I adhere to that law of physics that states: A body in motion wants to stay in motion, and a body at rest wants to stay at rest. Once I am up and working on something (particularly quilting related somethings) I don't want to stop, and rarely go to bed before midnight, and often later, if not much later. But then, predictably, it is difficult for me to get out of bed before 9 the next morning. 

     You can imagine how hard it was or such a person to get up at 5:30AM and get to Eatonton by 7, to get my booth set up by 9AM. Many, many thanks to my friend Nancy for meeting me there, and helping, not only with putting up and taking down the booth;  but throughout the day. It made the whole thing so much easier, and it was great to be able to spend some quality time with a friend while the show was going on. Also, she is better at talking about my quilts than I am and was able to say things about them that I never would. 

     Nevertheless, when the day was over, I was pretty used up! It took awhile to drag myself out of the bed this morning!

     Can you stand to see yet another booth shot? I promise, this one will be the last one of the year.

         In preparing for this last show, I tried to add as many pot holder pairs as possible to my collection. I want to put some on my Etsy site, so I will have to continue making those this fall. I will also donate some to the C.A.R.E. auction in Porterdale, which will be held in the lofts in downtown Porterdale on the evening of November 3rd. C.A.R.E. does so much good work, helping elderly, and disadvantaged people in Porterdale.I also need to make some for my quilt guild which will be holding a bazaar at Epiphany Lutheran Church; located at 2375 GA Hwy. 20, in Conyers, on Saturday, December 1st, 9AM-3PM.



     I just had to get a picture of this confused gardenia blossom that bloomed in my yard this week. This bush bloomed in June, I think. What a beautiful straggler!


     My Let's Polka quilt is completely finished and ready for delivery, even washed. Thanks so much to my friend, Sonja, who let me used her big washing machine to get it washed. I was planning to buy one myself this year, but I already HAD to buy a new computer a month ago when mine bit the dust. Where would I be without my friends? Since it is all clean, I don't really want to drape it over my deck and photograph it; so I will just post a photo of the top to remind you of what it looked like. I have one pillow cover completely done, and have progress on the next one. I hope to finish those today.


    
     That's what I am up to. Thanks for stopping by!