Feb 24, 2009

String quilt

I'm trying to get over a virus bug that has parked itself in my digestive system. So, of course, I tried to do a bit of sewing. First of all, I'm waiting for an order to arrive with some fabric for the border of the half log cabin quilt. So that one is waiting for the moment. Meanwhile, I've made a string quilt top. This quilt is for Joe, a young man who happens to be going through some tough chemo-therapy. I made the border in navy blue. I like navy and I've decided to use it more often. The strings are mostly solid colors. For fun, I used some conversation fabrics in some of the squares.

Feb 19, 2009

Half Log cabin I spy quilt

Here's what I've been working on feverishly. It's a half-log-cabin-I-spy quilt. I love making log cabin quilts, in fact, a log cabin was the first quilt I made. This quilt, like most log cabins, has a dimensional aspect that I particularly like. I have to add borders and quilt this, of course. I like to cut my "logs" 1 3/4 inches wide. I don't cut widths, I add the strips to the sides and then I lop them off with my rotary cutter.

Feb 17, 2009

Baby surplice sweater

This sweater is the last baby sweater I plan to knit for a while--but please don't hold me to that, I have a lot more yarn. Anyway, this is a very old pattern. I have a stack of baby knitting books that go back forty years--wait--even longer, my Aunt Sylvia once sent me some books that go back to the stone age. I used some really soft yarn it's Paton's Beehive Baby Sport.
I'm experimenting with a quilt pattern now, for another baby quilt--not that I need another one of those either, but I can make whatever quilt I want--from potholder to king size, right? I'm not very interested in making those little doll quilts that people do, as they may make a cute table mat, but I like something I can "sink my teeth into." However, I don't rule out potholders--they are on my list. Speaking of list--my family members are "standing on line" so to speak for various projects of mine. I love that. The other day, my daughter asked me if it's OK to throw out a pair of socks that I knitted in 2001, and have been worn to big holes. Don't worry, I have another pair of those on the needles. I like to have a sock in my handbag, to knit on it odd moments. But I do the heel turning at home, while watching one of those police shows that I like. By the way, I wonder if real women police detectives wear that suggestive clothing that they make the actors wear? The only few I noticed who don't do that much is the great actress Kathryn Morris on"Cold Case;" and Kyra Sedgewick on "The Closer," but being prissy is part of her character.

Feb 13, 2009

My Happy Home quilt

I'm really happy to post this photo. My neighbor was kind enough to come out and hold the quilt for me to take the picture. I designed the pattern myself, so I guess I have the right to name it. I'm going to call it "My Happy Home." It reminds me of the house I lived in for thirty years. I decided to use some sashing for the quilt. I cut the strips 2 inches wide, to finish at 1 1/2 inches. The quilt uses 12 squares and finishes about 34 by 45 inches in all.
I made a free-pieced square 6 1/2 inches. The roof is 6 1/2 by 3 1/2 dark color. For the sides of the roof, I cut 2 squares 3 1/2 inches each. Draw a diagonal line and stitch to the corners. Trim and stitch to the house square. The sides are strips of white 2 1/2 inches. Finally, sew a 1 3/4 inch strip of green to the bottom of the block. Square up the block. Mine ended up 10 inches square (includes seam allowance).

Feb 9, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I usually plan a quilt ahead on a piece of graph paper or some kind of notes. Because I just charged ahead and made these house blocks with no clear plans, here are the blocks placed down on the bed. I must decide if I just want to set them end-to-end in "streets" or piece them with sashes? This looks like it will be a baby quilt. If I join them together without sashes, I can add some sort of border to make them the right size. I made 15 blocks--don't ask me why I picked that number. It was just so much fun to sew these blocks--they're like those famous potato chips that "You can't eat just one" of. Opps--ended with a preposition again, someone phone an English Teacher.

Feb 8, 2009

What a week. I had appointments and so forth. I'm still sewing on that house quilt. I've made twelve squares. I have to square them up and decide on a layout. It's been raining here in Southern California. This kind of rain anywhere else would be considered an ordinary thing, but people freak out here. The TV has it as the headline news story. Actually, heavy rain causes mud slides and can do a lot of damage. Hillsides were denuded in the recent fire storms, and the bare earth gets saturated with water. But no such problems in my neighborhood.

Feb 3, 2009

Donation quilt

I'm really pleased with how this quilt came out. I just finished sewing on the binding last night. I started making this quilt along with a bunch of bloggers on Martin Luther King's Birthday. I interrupted making another quilt that I was very enthusiastic about. Luckily, I still am feeling like working on that one.
Now, about the quilting. If you study the photo you will see little sewn diamonds on the quilt. That's machine tying! If you have been reading my blog, you will have noticed that I've been experimenting with different ways to tie a quilt. Now, my sewing machine is a Viking Platinum 750. I got it about two years ago, so the model may be out-of-date already. Anyhow, in the machine handbook (yes, I do read that sometimes) it mentioned that you could tie a quilt by using a certain setting on the machine. And I'd never even tried it. So, I got a bit of batting and some scraps and tried it out. Lo and behold, it worked fine. If your machine will do this, I have a couple of hints. First of all, the quilt I made is about 44x50 inches. So it's not too big to wrestle under the machine. And I used an ordinary polyester batting. That made it puffy. I sewed across the quilt each time, and went from spot to spot for my stitching, which I eyeballed at about 2 or 3 inches apart. After getting across the quilt, I would take the time to snip the threads between the stitches, because I didn't want to save all that snipping for the end. Besides, it helped to keep the quilt flat for the next row of stitches. Another hint I have is to keep your foot off the pedal between the stitches, it's sew, foot off, sew. I broke a needle learning that. And keep your eye on the needle. The stitch has to be exactly completed each time, and I broke a needle getting that. But after I learned, no more broken needles.

Feb 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day. Ever since I saw that movie, "Groundhog Day," I notice the date each year. The movie really influenced me, I guess. It's about living up to your potential. I try to do creative things, to help other people and basically to do the right thing. (I won't go into discussing my spiritual life here.) I may not accomplish as much as I would like, but I give myself a few points for trying. So who would think that a movie comedy would mean so much!

Feb 1, 2009

Quilters take a flying leap

The creative quilters in South Carolina have made very original bras to raise money for assistance of victims of breast cancer: