Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Blogger's Quilt Festival

     It is time once again for The Blogger's Quilt Festival, over at Amy's Creative Side. 

     I am entering a quilt that I finished just a couple of months ago, called Lightning Strikes. I made this quilt as a gift for my best friend from high school's son, for his graduation from college.

     It measures 72" by 96". I hope it will come in handy for him, since after graduation he moved to Chicago! He does not see some colors very well, so I organized the design into lights and darks. All of the strips for this top came right out of my scrap bin, so I am entering this quilt to the scrappy quilts category.

     I am not the greatest at machine quilting. I am trying to force myself to learn, but really, I usually just send my quilts out to be quilted by my very excellent long arm quilting friend, Regina Carter. I joked though, that to get a professionally quilted quilt from me, you have to get married. Graduating just gets you one that I quilted myself. I quilted it on my domestic machine. It was about as big, or a little bigger than I can comfortably handle on a regular sewing machine. Here is a close up of my quilting, such as it is. Anyway, it was quilted with love, and won't be any less warm for some imperfect quilting. 

      Don't forget to check out The Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side. There are always lots of beautiful quilt to see, and you can vote for your favorite in many different categories.

         Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Trying Something New, and Some Cooking Too

     A couple of years ago I made this quilt:

     Then I made a pattern from it. I have been teaching this as a class, and folks really seem to enjoy it. I loved it because most of the quilts I make take many months to make. but I was able to piece this one in under 2 weeks. When I was writing the pattern, my friend, and long arm quilter, Regina Carter, suggested a more efficient way of putting it together. I decided to make another quilt to try out her ideas. Then I thought, why make an identical quilt? Why not do something totally different with the colors? So I made this version:

     I have been curious to see what it would be like to make a quilt out of several smaller blocks instead of one quilt size motif. I wanted to give my students another way to use this motif. So, I tried it. 

      The blue, and green ones are the left are blocks in progress. I started working on 2 at a time, so I could chain piece them on the machine. I will always cut the block off the back of the chain, and add to it next.

      Did you notice the difference in the black and white print in the new blue and green blocks versus the red block? I decided that I didn't have enough of that fabric to make the entire quilt, so I had better start working something else in now. Here are the two stripes together side by side.

      Not sure how I will use the 2 prints. Maybe all of the red and purple blocks will be one stripe, and all of the blue, and green blocks will be the other color.

      I have now cut strip sets in every color.

       I now have a whole box of them that are ready to go anytime. When I go sew at a friends house, I can just take this box with me. I can grab it and go anywhere I can bring a sewing machine, and iron.

     I pull out a strip set, and arrange the strips in the order I think they should go.

     I have also been cooking this weekend. I made some sausage, potato, and spinach soup.

    How lucky was I to find asparagus this thin! I couldn't pass it by!

     And here is my latest yard sale find. We had a big group one in my town this weekend. All kinds of goodies.

     Cute huh!

     So that is what I have been up too. I plan to link to Patchwork times tomorrow. You won't want to miss seeing all the Design Wall Monday fun going on there!

     Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Booth at the Madison Show

      Last weekend was the Madison show, and I promised I would show photos of my booth, and the new potholder display piece.

      It rained intermittently. Not nearly as bad as last time though. Nevertheless, I spent the week hanging the quilts out over my loom to air out any residual dampness. The booth pieces too. 

     What else this week? Sent program info to more quilt guilds. 

      Roasted the sunflower seeds.

      A friend came and helped me pressure wash my deck. I had never pressure washed anything before. I wish I had taken before and after shots. I didn't realize the difference was going to be so amazing!

     The weather was perfect this week! Sunny(finally), neither hot nor cold. Cool mornings. Wish we could keep this for awhile, but it will be gone in a jiffy!

     Planted my fall garden this week, a bit of lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, beets. It's about a month later than I wanted to plant, late, even for down here in Georgia. Hope some of it makes it!

     That is what I have been up to this week. Hope it has been a productive, pleasant week for you too.

     Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

An Unexpected Show and a Bit of Quilt Progress

     I will be displaying my quilts at the Madison Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival on October 10th. I have always wanted to be in a show in Madison, Georgia. It is a beautiful little town. I have tried a couple of times, but the weather has not cooperated so far. I was in a show there last spring; the weather forecast was so bad that they TOTALLY cancelled it! Worse yet, they cancelled it AFTER I spent 3 hours setting my booth up. (I am a slow poke when it comes to getting that tent up, and the older I get, the longer it takes) I had not applied to the show this time because I was afraid I would be out of town, but it turns out I will be here during the show after all, so I thought I would give it one more try. Fortunately, they are able to fit me in at the last minute. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. There will be lots of other artists, live music, family and kid activities, local produce, and fall plants for sale, and of course chili-yum. I am really looking forward to it. Wouldn't it be lovely if we had a crisp, sunny, beautiful fall, October day. Oh please please! Here is a link with all the official info in case you are in the area, and are interested.

     A few weeks ago, I went to a auction with my friend Rhea. They had this piece if slat board display, and I was the only one who bid on it, so I got it for $3! I thought it would be a good thing for hanging potholders in my booth. It sure is heavy though! So yesterday, I drilled a couple of wholes in the top. That way, I can tie it to the top cross bar of my tent. I got a couple of milk crates for it to rest on, I found a piece of fabric to hem, and cover the crates. I will take a photo of it in the booth later. 

I need to buy more "S" hooks that size, or I would have put more potholders on it. I am thinking that the milk crates may be deeper than I want them to be, but I hope I can push them back in the space between the booths, so they don't show so much, otherwise, I may have to find something that is narrower. I will let you know how it all turns out.

     I also worked a bit on my Dresden Plate background. Mostly, because that is the quilt I have made most of the decisions on, and I needed to finish just a bit of background, which was already cut, and waiting to be sewn together.     

      It seems like I used to be better at getting more of the quilt in the photo, when it is on the design wall. But for the life of me, I couldn't get that to work this morning. If I moved back, I just got more loom. Anyway, I made the rows of equilateral triangles you see on the top,central part of the quilt. There were also 2 more rows of equilateral triangles on the bottom left of the quilt, that you can't see because the loom is in the way. The background is all made, though, I still have to sew the sections to each other. I will not do that until I have all of the applique done that I can. I don't want to start holding that whole big thing while I am appliqueing, until it is absolutely necessary. I have 3 full plates left to applique. The light green plate in the top center, under the new section of triangles, the yellow one in the center of the 3 tiered plate, and a light blue one on the right side of the quilt, that you can't see in this photo. They are all the smallest 2 sizes of plate. Plus several half plates where the plate straddles 2 or more sections. I am enjoying seeing this quilt near it's completion. It has been fun, and therapeutic, having some hand work to carry around. I went a lot quicker than I thought it would.

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