Sep 29, 2007

Blue, my neutral color

I've had a few rest days. Now back to my blog. Today I was just sitting on my patio and reading for a time. I have been making a pink sweater for my littlest granddaughter, and ran out of yarn for the second sleeve. I sent for more. It's a no dye lot, so it should be OK.

I don't get out shopping for fabric and yarn much, so I often order things on the Internet.

Well, about those boys' quilts I have been working on--I had to change my plans. The fabric I purchased for the alternate blocks simply will not do! Luckily I had also bought about 5 yards of some mottled blue, and that looks so much better. Oh well, the "best laid plans" and all that. I'll think of some other use for the fabric I purchased eventually (probably a baby quilt or something.) If you read the book "Collaborative Quilting" by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston (I bought the book after it was recommended to me by Joyce) they call the color red their neutral color. I guess that medium blue is my neutral color. I seem to use it frequently.

Sep 25, 2007

Well, I made it. The White House Steps quilt was ready for the birthday party, which was on Sunday. And I'm maybe halfway through the blocks for the boys' quilts. And my cousin, the one I made the baby quilts for, should be having those twins this week. Sometimes my quilting life is great.

Sep 21, 2007

Busy, busy

I cut out the rest of the fabric for those two quilts yesterday. I had only cut out about half. That's the way I do things--first a sample block, then piece a few blocks, and then I really get going. It's a bit of math--how many squares made and how many to finish. I was hunting through my stash for pieces of suitable bright colors. I don't want any calico flowers for the boy's quilts. I'm planning to order something special for the outside borders.

Sep 18, 2007

Triple play

It's a triple--three quilts at once! How did I get myself into this? OK, I'm still making those 400 puffs I've been going on and on about. My puff quilt isn't nearly finished yet. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as the old cliche goes--where do I begin? OK, my dear cousin "Y" (names have been changed to protect the innocent) sent me an adorable photo of her baby with the quilt that I made for him. But also, in the same photo, are two of his darling brothers, "A" and "N" with their old falling-apart baby quilts. They still take their old baby quilts to bed with them--and they are grade school age, and sleep in a bunk bed. So I've been thinking and thinking--what to do? And guess what--Gwen Marston's book, LIBERATED QUILTMAKING, came to my rescue. I decided to make two quilts at once, each a different block from her book. The boys' quilts will have alternate squares of coordinating fabric.
While the white parts of the quilt block are 4 1/2 inches square--and so is the center square--the remainder of the parts require 5 1/2 inch squares. And 5 1/2 inches is exactly the size of block required for the puffs! Therefore, I can cut the parts required for the boy's quilt and use any left over 5 1/2 inch squares for puffs. Boy, I hope these plans work out----
Anyhow, I went to the store today and bought a frame for the photo, and hung it up near my sewing machine--nothing like seeing 3 kids enjoying my quilts to brighten my day. And the kids never check for mistakes in my sewing, either.

Sep 16, 2007

A race to the finish!

Hurrah! I finally finished sewing the binding on the quilt. A full sized quilt is done. And it's not really finished until it's signed. I hand embroider on the back of the quilt.

Knitted Child's Sweater

I knitted this sweater for a neighbor's little girl. Good neighbors are so important. When I had an emergency, they pitched right in.

Sep 10, 2007


I have been honored to join the Modern Quilting Ring. One of the questions asked was who was my favorite artist. I don't really have a favorite per se, but Henri Matisse is one I particularly associate with my quilting. Not only are his colors so bright, but he uses many colorful fabrics in his paintings. And his paper cuts are an influence on my applique. I often cut out a design in paper to experiment when I'm designing applique. He frequently depicted fruit and flowers, which are favorite designs for quilters.

Quilting free motion

Good news, I have the quilt all assembled and just have to free-motion down the last seam area. Then I'm going to measure for the binding.
I was having a problem with my blog yesterday. My teapot picture vanished. I learned the hard way--if that happens to you--you have to totally erase the html for the picture and start over. I also revamped and got a new template. Let me know if there is any problem reading my blog with the new, wider page.

Sep 7, 2007

Joining quilt sections

And here's a picture of the back of two joined sections. I have my tiny craft iron all set to be plugged in. I press the seam, trim the batting, and hand hem the sections together. Then I machine quilt over the seam.

String quilt progress

My "White House Steps" string quilt is coming along and I'm really pleased with how it looks so far. Here's a photo of how two sections look joined together.

Sep 4, 2007

Get up and keep on skating

I ought to post that motto somewhere on here. It's something I realized a long time ago. I was watching figure skating on TV. My husband was just passing by. He remarked, "That skater just fell down, now why doesn't she just get up and go home?" But figure skating fans, you know very well--a skater who fell down can still get up and win a medal! So I wrote "Get up and keep skating" on a piece of paper and stuck it up on my bulletin board. I have a couple of bulletin boards in my sewing room, one for info on work in progress, and the other is for important notes and cartoons cut from the newspaper, and so forth.

Sep 2, 2007

Shake and Bake

Two posts in one day, I guess that's my record. Today is a "Shake and Bake" day. That's what we call it around here, earthquake and very very hot weather. We have a threat of a thunderstorm this afternoon. Oh well.

Pinning up

OOPS! Little earthquake! Near here too. But as we say in California--"only" 4.7 on the Richter Scale. String on the window blind swayed.
I've been diligently sewing the blocks together all week, and today I was able to pin the center section together with backing and batting, all ready for my mad free-motion quilting. I've explained my method of quilting in sections before on this blog.
Anyway, the first thing to do is to hunt through my stash and find a piece big enough for one third of the back. (I have an inherited stash--it's a gold mine. Left to me by my friend's grandmother. To a scrap quilter like me, it's about equivalent to inheriting money.)
Anyway, first I eat my breakfast. That's step one. Then I move aside the Sunday paper and wash the table. Step two. Press everything--and get out some pins. What's my rush? Well, my grandson--who is the recipient of this quilt has his twenty-first birthday on Sept. 23, and I'd like to be able to give him his quilt at that time.
The other day my daughter took me to the big fabric store--you know the one--the one that put all the little stores out of business. Even though I have a stash, I still need to buy thread, batts, focus fabrics, knitting needles--you know--the usual. I make a list. Then I mutter to myself in the batting aisle, reminding myself what I need--checking the labels--trying not to make a mistake and buying the wrong thing.