Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival- Fall 2013, Entry #2

      Since I noticed that some participants are putting 2 entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side at   

      What a wonderful event this is. It is so much fun to see so many beautiful quilts!

     So, I have decided to add one more entry myself. I tried to enter this particular quilt last spring, but I was running late that week,  and it was already closed when I tried to link up. I am pleased to have another opportunity to add it.

     This quilt is called "Anastasia", because my friend, Eleanor said that it looked Russian to her. I think it reminds her of the onion domes at St. Basil's Cathedral.

     The initial concept behind this quilt was that I wanted to do something that combined Kaffe Fasset, stripes, and batiks. I decided that a kaleidoscope block would be a good pattern for this, which was good since I had wanted to make a quilt with that block for some time. I planned out the color placement on EQ. When I went to print it, I found that I did not quite have enough ink in the cartridge, so my drawing came out like this. 

     It is easier to see in person, but there is a gradation in the background colors from one corner to the opposite corner. See how it is more yellow green in the bottom right, and more peachy gold in the upper left? I thought-hey! I could do that on the quilt! It is a subtle thing, and I wish it was a bit stronger. I do think there is something to be said for some elements of the design that are not so immediately obvious, and you see more the longer that you look at it.

     This quilt was the quilt I started my blog with in 2012. Click here  to go back that 1st post. A couple of other posts that involve this quilt are  here  and  here .

     This quilt was quilted by my dear friend, and excellent long arm quilter, Regina Carter.

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013 Entry

     I tried to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side last Spring, but I was working on some deadline that week, and I didn't get it posted in time. This fall I am getting it in early.

     I have chosen to enter a quilt that I call "My Waterlilies".


     Here is a detail of the fabulous machine quilting by my dear friend, Regina Carter. Since the subject matter was watery, she chose a very watery looking pattern for the quilting. She always knows just what to do to bring out the best of your quilt.

     I guess this quilt is on my mind today because someone wrote to me to ask me if there was a pattern for it. There isn't. I can't make a pattern for it because it is nothing but half square triangles. 

     I am sorry, I cannot provide links to past blog posts about this quilt. I finished this quilt right before I started blogging, so I never wrote any blog posts about it.

     A couple of years ago I was browsing through a book of paintings by Claude Monet. I found a painting that I loved and wanted to try to interpret in a quilt.  

     You can see that this is a well worn copy of that photo. It got carried around quite a bit for about 2 years. I might have finished more quickly if I hadn't sold one house, bought another, and moved while I was working on this quilt. Can you see how a grid is drawn on the photo?

     The idea was to divide the photo into a grid and interpret each square on the grid as well as possible by choosing batiks with the same colors. I thought that batiks would enhance the watery feel. This could never be a pattern, since it is all about which colors you choose, and how you place them. I would love to teach it as a class though. I love that you get something that is at once alike and very different than the original subject. 

     I am currently working on another quilt like this, but I am using a different block, different fabric styles, and of course, a different painting.


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Small Decision, and Still Getting Ready for my Show

     I know it looks like nothing much has happened on my design wall this week; but I did make an important decision. I am not supposed to work on quilts until I get all of my show stuff done; but using it for leaders and enders while I was making potholders, I did try something out for the alternating blocks for my fussy cut quilt (soon, I will have to come up with a better name than that). For some reason, this quilt keeps tugging at my sleeve even though I know I am supposed to be working on other things. On my previous blocks, the first scrappy row was 2" wide. The second scrappy row was 3" wide. When I put the blocks next to each other, the 3" bands were right next to each other (albeit, separated by sashing). I wasn't sure that I liked that. I made a block with the 3" scrappy bands first, followed by the 2" scrappy band, so that when I put them with one another, the 2" and 3" bands alternate. It's a subtle difference, but I like it much better.

     The before picture:

     Can you see what I mean? If not, look along the sashing. I think this will really make a difference in the finished look of the quilt.

     Yesterday, When I came home from my tennis match, there was enough light, and it was warm enough for me to go on the deck, and get a few more centers fussy cut. I thought I would cut more today, but it is cool and cloudy today, and I don't have much of an urge to be outdoors today. And, I there are plenty of more pressing things to tend to.

     Really, I am supposed to be making pairs of potholders for a show that I will be in in early November. I made 5 pairs this week. I am 11 pairs short of my goal of 36 pairs with 3 weeks left to work. This sounds great, but I have to do many other things in that 3 weeks. I am in the process of preparing a trunk show and workshop for The Spirited quilters in Duluth GA, and I have a class scheduled at A Scarlet Thread in McDonough GA on the 8th of November.

      I am making them 2 different ways. The 3 pairs to the left were pieced with the "flip and sew method" through the back and batting, then binding was added, and will need to be hand stitched down. I know that many would machine sew the binding down, But I don't like how it looks when I do it that way.

     On the 2 pairs on the right, I pieced the tops, then sewed around the edges to attach to the back and batting. They don't need a binding, but I still have to quilt them. I started doing them this way because I thought it would be quicker to quilt them, the to make and attach a binding, but now I am reconsidering that. I think I like the way the bound type looks better, and I can carry the finishing anywhere without worrying about having a sewing machine with me. 

    As I mentioned before, while I have been working on these potholders, I have been using the scrappy strips from the fussy cut quilt for leaders and enders. I am getting a surprising amount of strips done that way, so when all of the potholders are finished, I will have enough scrappy strips to make several blocks.

     That is what I have been up to. Go and see what others quilters have been up to on patchworktimes Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Self Indulgence, and Design Wall Monday

     When I was making the pot holders that I showed in the last post, I used scrappy sashing strips for my fussy cut quilt as "leaders and enders". I realized that I made enough strips for 4 more blocks. So, even though I should have been making more pot holders, I made up 4 more blocks, so that I could see what they looked like when the block was repeated, with 1 1/2" sashing.

     I was thinking about doing 3 blocks across, and 4 blocks down, however, since these blocks are about 24" inches across the center, from point to point, that makes a quilt which is 24" longer than it is wide. I usually like to make my quilts longer than they are wide, maybe 12"-15" longer or so, but, I think that 24" is too much, so I am rethinking this. Perhaps I will make the quilt square, or think of some other way to elongate the quilt that will make less than a 24" difference. I have a couple of ideas that I can try out, but that will have to wait until I get the quilt that is currently on the big design wall done, so that I can move this quilt to it.

     I really like using the fussy cut motif in the setting triangles. I am not sure what I will build up around it to complete the triangle.

     I am still not sure that I want the same block, and not some kind of variation in the alternate spaces between the blocks. With only 5 blocks I am talking about the center block, but really, I am referring to what will go between all blocks. I thought about doing blocks where I put the 3" bands around the fussy cut motif first, and then the 2" bands after to alternate what is happening in the original blocks. I also considered doing rows of triangles around the fussy cut motif. I had considered making blocks of more free form shapes with no fussy cut motif, but right now I am less enthusiastic about that idea.  

     Even though I made 4 more blocks, somehow my scrap box doesn't look like it is getting any emptier. They must be multiplying behind my back!

     What else have I been doing this weekend? I have been looking up guilds on the internet to send them information about my trunks how and classes.
      That is what I have been up to. Head over to to see all of the fun things that other quilters are working on.
     Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Pincushions and Potholders

     I have been working on items for my upcoming show. I got all of my pincushions stuffed. These are all that I plan to make, so I can call this job finished. There are 24 in all. It is hard to see the size difference in this photo, but there are 12 larger and 12 smaller ones.

     I have several sets of new potholders. Today I cut batting for all of the potholders that I want to make. When I run out of batting squares, I will know that I have made enough potholders. I am using leftover batting from quilt trimmings. I am using 2 layers of batting in each potholder. They are pieced, but not yet quilted.

     The weather here has been so pleasant that I am taking every opportunity that I can think of to work outside on the porch.

      That is what I have been up to. I hope you have been working on some fun things.Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pincushions and Wedding Gifts

      I sure could feel fall in the air here today. I went to a friends house to sew, and got all of the tails sewn on all of the chicken pincushions. I made 2 sizes. 12 of each size. Now all I have to do is stuff them and sew them closed, and they will be done.

     Once I got all of the tails on these guys, I allowed myself some fun, and sewed some strip sets for my "fussy cut Harmony Art quilt. Not yet trimmed, as you can see.

      This wedding I went to a very lovely wedding in North Carolina. I have known the groom since he was very young, and it was wonderful to see him married to such a special women. His parents gave them a quilt that I made for a wedding gift.

      So, I made  them 3 sets of pillowcases to coordinate with it.

      So, now I am off to get this months Porterdale Newsletter together.
      Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pincushions and Potholders

     I finished quilting and binding my pineapple class sample. I am generally not wild about my own machine quilting, but I am trying to challenge myself to do it more so I get better at it. I needed to get this to A Scarlet Thread so they could hang it up as an upcoming class. I will be teaching this on October 26th.

      The T-shirt quilt went to the quilters, so I am done with that for awhile. I did make a binding for it though. So, that will be ready to go when it comes back.

     My gardenias are very confused, They have been blooming! I have never seen this happen before. They usually bloom in early summer, and then are done for the year. I wonder, is this caused by our unusually wet summer? The last month has really been quite dry. It's kind of bad since I had gotten so used to not having to water anything.

     I having finally begun making small items for the art show that I will be in November 9th and 10th. I already have plenty of large quilts to make a nice showing, but I wanted to make some smaller "gifty" items to show also. The Southern Heartland Gallery near me has told me they have already gotten a request for my potholders.

      I started a bunch of chicken pincushions. I have made them in 2 sizes, but there is only 1 size in this photo.

     I made them out of scrap pieces of scarves and blankets leftover from the days when I was weaving those things. So, they are made from hand dyed, and hand woven fabric. I used jumbo red rickrack to make their combs. So far they are all blind. I plan to take them with me today when I sew with some friends, add their eyes. Then they will be ready to stuff. I bought some black beads to use for their eyes.

     I have also been working on some pot holders. I have tried to make them a different way this year. Last year, I used the flip and sew method to sew through the batting and backing at the same time as I was piecing them. Then I had to bind them.

     This year I am piecing the top layer separate, then sewing it to the back with right sides together, then inserting the batting, and quilting the resulting sandwich. This saves me the step of making a binding, put I have to hand stitch the hole closed, and then quilt it. I am not sure which I like better, or even which is faster, but this method is forcing me to machine quilt more. I think these large ones are better for hot pads, or decoration.

      The top set are the blocks I made in Victoria Findley's class at The Georgia Quilt show.

     Smaller ones are more practical for actual pot holding use.

          And, I just finished roasting another set of sunflower seeds that is almost as big as the first set!

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