Mar 30, 2008

Butterfly quilt

At last! I was sewing a lot today and I have the butterfly quilt all quilted and I'm hemming down the binding. I'm very proud of this quilt. And I have the first part of my tea cup quilt pin-basted, too.

Mar 26, 2008

A bit of progress

So, I've finished appliqueing those flowers and leaves by hand, unto the side edges of the tea-cup quilt. And I've pin basted half of the butterfly quilt. It's time to lower the feed dogs on my sewing machine and go to town with the meandering quilting. As per usual, I'm making two quilts at once! Well, not always. I'm planning to make the next quilt all by it's own self. That quilt is something I keep tossing around in my mind. One thing I'm sure of, I know who the recipient is. She doesn't know about it, though. Lately I've been thinking about making a half-log cabin or some other kind of string quilt. I reserve the right to change my mind, that's part of the fun. I have a pretty good sized library of quilt books. But sometimes I read a lot of them, and then embark on my own idea, anyhow.

Mar 23, 2008


It's been a couple of days since I posted anything. I've been busy with family visiting. I have six grandchildren. And three were here from out-of-town. This month I had my seventieth birthday, and my daughter managed to make two parties for me, one for when my sister visited, and one on the actual day, when my little grand kids(ages 6, 7 & 8) were here. The littlest ones were here on my actual birthday, and they were thrilled to be at a "Birthday Party." The family also took the little kids to Sea World in San Diego one day, and that was a lot of fun for them.
I've been reflecting on my life as I reach this age. It is wonderful to have lived this long, but I really feel my mortality, too. My husband and I had a busy and creative life. But things, no matter how happy we are, don't last forever. Therefore, I have vowed to enjoy each day as much as I can. There's a very inspiring daily prayer, "We thank You for the miracles which daily attend us..." and to me that signifies that there is some true meaning in each day, if we only look for it. It could be nice people, lovely natural surroundings, or music, art, even loving thoughts.

Mar 18, 2008

Easy applique method

I'm still working on my teacup quilt. I decided to applique a few scattered flowers and leaves on the side edges, as the border looks rather wide. I think that appliqueing on the top and bottom edges of the border would probably be a waste of time, as the quilt is going to be used on a bunk bed. I like to use Eleanor Burns' method of applique. I follow an old book of hers "Sunbonnet Sue Visits Quilt-in-a-Day." ( I inserted those hyphens myself--in case anyone hasn't heard of Eleanor Burns and her Quilt in a Day books.) It 's very easy. I use fusible interfacing (the stuff for sewing, as opposed to the fusible stuff for quilts.) I face each piece. I trace the pattern on the back of the interfacing, and place sticky side to the right side of the fabric. I use a clear see-through foot on the machine and a short sewing stitch. I can turn down the speed of the sewing on my machine. I sew on the traced line. Then I trim the edges, and snip the concave curves. I cut a little slit in the back of the interfacing and turn right side out. I find that the back of a plastic crochet hook and a piece of a soda straw help with the turning. I press the edges with an ice-cold iron. Then I use a pressing sheet underneath, position the appliques and using a press cloth and steam iron, I press in place. And they are all ready to applique with whatever sewing you want. I slip stitch by hand, or embroider with pearl cotton or embroidery thread. Or I machine sew with a fancy stitch on my machine.

Mar 14, 2008

Quilting supplies, borders

I purchased a new quilter's marking pencil the other day. I thought that I might need it for marking lines on my quilt where I'm embroidering antennae on my butterflies. I'm just freehand marking the the lines. In the book, Jan Mullen quilted them on in a dark color. But I decided to hand embroider them. However, I couldn't see the pencil marks very well. I tested out a couple of my other markers, and they were not very satisfactory. So I'm back to my usual method--I just use a stub of blackboard chalk. I purchased a small battery-operated lamp, and that helps, too. If I were making an ambitious embroidered picture, that required a lot of detail, I wouldn't use the chalk. I have a light table. My light table was a discarded toy that I bought at a yard sale many, many years ago. The box has a picture of Mickey Mouse on it. It was intended for children to use for tracing. A toy like that would never be sold now-a-days. It would be considered hazardous or something, or be recalled, or I don't know what. But what a great buy for me, especially when they were not making light tables for crafts back then.
I sewed on a border on the butterfly quilt yesterday. And I found some flannel on sale that is a blue background and butterflies--what luck. Flannel can shrink a lot, so I wash it before I put it on the back of my quilts. It's in the dryer right now. And they had another flannel with tea cups and tea pots on it, which will be so cute on the teacup quilt. I measured the teacup quilt for borders yesterday, and I have a good piece of yellow gingham in my stash to use on the border. I might applique something on there, I don't know yet. I love to improvise as I go along. I usually use a pieced scrap border on quilts, so I can still change my mind on the teacups yet--

Mar 11, 2008

My butterfly quilt under construction

I'm excited about how the blue background looks. You know, I got the idea for the background at my doctor's office. The assistant was wearing one of those colorful nurse's blouses. Her blouse had butterflies against a blue background. It just goes to show--I have to keep my eyes open for new ideas. I've half of the squares joined together now. I have to embroider antennae on the butterflies. I thought that it would be easier, and prevent too much stretching of the fabric if I joined the blocks first. I'm just going to make all the antennae the same color of brown, which is one of my favorites--DMC 918.
I've had a busy weekend because my sister was visiting from out-of-town. And we got together with some family and friends.

Mar 7, 2008

Decisions, decisions--I was debating on the lay-out for this butterfly quilt. I've decided that I'm going to make alternate squares of my usual color--blue. I have a nice piece of "Moda" in a mottled blue color.
I still see those hummingbirds flitting around sometimes. I guess that these birds are territorial. A lot of plants are starting to bloom here in the condos. So they will have lots of flowers to visit. That is, if the gardeners don't come and cut the buds off like they did last year. I keep complaining about things like that.
I'm going to be very busy the next few weeks, as some family members are planning to visit. It sure will be great to see them again.

Mar 3, 2008

I'm happily making butterflies. Only a few left to go. I've been surfing around looking at other blogs, and there are some busy quilters out there. Sunday when I went to the store I met some Brownies out in front selling cookies. I don't eat cookies or want to support the cookie baking company, so I just gave them a donation for their Troop. The little girls were very amused when I told them, "I used to be a Brownie, a very long time ago." I told them that when I was in Brownies a very nice mother came and taught us how to knit, and that I've been knitting ever since.