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.


Monday, December 3, 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!