Mar 31, 2009

Welcome progress

It's been a struggle. I have to work hard to get the letters to approximately the same size. And they're not there. Maybe next time. This is as close as I could do for now. And it's difficult to figure out the spacing between the letters. I've done a lot of cutting and cutting again. However, the result looks artistic to me. So if I like it, boo to the quilt police. Now on to the borders. First of all, I'm planning to put a solid stripe down the sides. After that, I keep changing my mind every few minutes. Right now, I'm thinking of patchwork squares, maybe.

Mar 29, 2009

I'm doing the free-pieced lettering one more time. I've been wanting to do a "Welcome" thing for ages. This is coming along, but needs a lot more work. I think that I'm only beginning to learn how to do it. It takes patience.
Meanwhile, I've been having fun. My family took me out to dinner last evening to celebrate my birthday. My actual birthday was ten days ago. But it was worth the wait. We went to the beach at San Clemente and had dinner in a lovely restaurant on the pier. I'm saving some photos of the beach for Wordless Wednesday.

Mar 27, 2009

Water tower crochet cozy

I've been up to my elbows in Spring Cleaning. Three cheers, I did the oven today. Not as bad a job as I had expected. I'm so arthritic, it's difficult for me to bend over like that. The house is shaping up, though. I just do a bit each day. As far as my quilting is concerned, I'm planning my next project. I'm thinking a neutral background and bright lettering. My little mascot doll is sitting on the ironing board supervising and giving an opinion. When I made her, I only had that lavender yarn in my stash. So she has lavender curls.

Mar 24, 2009

No-bias pot holders

Well, I can't be doing serious stuff all the time. I like to have fun with little projects. The bottom photo shows the finished backs of the pot holders. Pot holders are such a good way to use orphan blocks and scraps. But I hate to think of sewing on all that bias binding. So I pillowcase-turn them instead. I bought some insulated lining. That's my only investment. Since the lining stuff comes in a 36 by 45 inch piece, one package will make a lot of pot holders. In addition, I cut up an old towel and put that inside also. For the loops, I cut a strip 2 inches wide, and press under the edges 1/4 inch on each side, fold in half and press again. Stitch the edge, and cut these to the desired length. I cut the blocks (or use one plain piece of fabric) 9 inches square, plus cut the insulation and piece of towel 9 inches square. Set the sewing machine to sew something thick (if your machine has such an adjustment). I quilt by sewing an "X" from corner to corner. Sew the loop to the bottom edge, but be careful to give room for the 1/2 inch seam line. The backings are 7 1/2 inches by 9 inches and 6 by 9 inches. Just turn under one edge and hem on the machine. Place the lining pieces right sides together to pot holder. Smaller piece on top and covering the hanging loop. Stitch all around in 1/2 inch seams. Trim the edges. Turn and press. Done.

Mar 22, 2009

Peace Breaks Out Banner

Good news, I have completed the Peace Banner. It is both hand and machine quilted. I hand quilted the letters with blue perle cotton, and meander quilted the clouds by machine.
I had a busy day today. I spent some time with my relatives. It's great to get together with our cousins.
I do want to say by this banner that we all need to achieve some peace of mind. And my needlework helps me to get to that place.

Mar 18, 2009

Peace breaks out

In reply to questions, the Peace banner is 16 by 41 inches. I meant "Peace" with a spiritual meaning, rather than a political one.

Peace breaks out

I so enjoyed making the free-pieced "Life" wall hanging that I decided to make another one. This is my Peace Banner. I always keep some blue fabric that looks like denim, but isn't, on hand. It's sort of something that I require for my palette of fabric. And fortunately, I found that I had enough sky fabric left over from the Tree wall hanging that I made a few months ago. I had no idea that I needed it until I got to the point of deciding what kind of border to put on. This will need some quilting next. I'll think about that tomorrow!

Mar 17, 2009

It's been a few days since I posted. I was away! I went to a baby shower for my niece. What fun. They live near San Francisco, in the suburbs. So that's a picture of my plane. We flew from the Long Beach California Airport. It's a small airport. And the lovely bird mosaic is on the floor there. Everyone walks over it and few notice it. At the Shower, I gave my niece two quilts and two knitted sweaters for presents. That's her with one of the quilts. All of the gifts I made for her have been posted on the blog here at one time or another.
My sister hosted the Shower. It was so delightful. The refreshments were all home-made. My sister bakes the greatest cookies. And tea was served the old-fashioned way in lovely tea pots. The people brought so many wonderful gifts. I'll tell you this--the baby is fully equipped for baths, with baby bath tub, towels, terry robe, and numerous cute bath items. There were gifts there of things I never heard of before. Imagine, a thermometer in a pacifier.

Mar 10, 2009

This is my life

Well, once I had my needle threaded with pearl cotton, I just couldn't resist running a couple of rows of embroidery across, above and below the lettering. I love to feather stitch and herringbone stitch. And then, that utility quilting that I talked about in previous posts, just worked out great here. I added a binding, and a hanging sleeve. I aways put a hanging sleeve on my hangings, but I don't use them. I hang them up on a pants hanger. That's life!

Mar 8, 2009

My new Life

I tried making a "Life" wall hanging before, but I never liked the result. Here's effort number two. I wanted to use a leafy green background, to symbolize life. And I think that I'm getting the idea of the free-form letters. I'm not sure how to quilt or not-quilt it. There's so many seams, that hand quilting seems to be out of the question. I just may tack some flannel on the back. Suggestions are welcome. Now about the "jag" border--it's not paper piecing. It's not using a template either. It's a free-pieced thing. I got the directions from the book "A Passion for Patchwork" by Lise Bergene.
Now on another subject: the wonderful movie "Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School" just wow. And you wouldn't believe the stars in this picture.

Mar 5, 2009

Half-log-cabin Baby quilt

Finished the quilt. And thus my quest for the "perfect" pattern for a baby quilt pattern rolls on.
Last night as I was sewing on the binding, I had a mishap. I was watching that TV show "Lie to Me'" and they just got to the point where they say "We saw that vicious scowl on your face, and because of that, we know that you're the murderer! You're the one who knew the victim was allergic to peanuts, and you slipped some hot peanut butter into his chili!" And instead of the accused saying "Are you nuts? Where's the evidence--I'm calling my lawyer from the law firm of Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe!" He says, "Well, you got me now--I'm the one who did the dirty deed." It reminds me of an old Perry Mason show--where Perry has a woman on the witness stand, and asks her, "On the night of February 30th, did you go to the home of your husband's mistress' boyfriend and stab him to death?" And she starts crying, "Oh, Mr. Mason, you asked me question after question--I can't take it anymore! Yes, I killed the guy. He was ruining all my husband's fun!"
Anyhow, at that pointed point, I stabbed my finger with the point of the needle. Luckily, no Bad Fairy had cast a spell on me, so I didn't fall asleep for a hundred years. I hurried to the bathroom and used a white towel and some peroxide to get the blood spot off of the quilt.

Mar 4, 2009

Beautiful downtown Rancho Santa Margarita. The City Hall is where I go to attend the weekly meetings of Nifty Knitters. We knit and crochet (and I made quilts) for The water fountain is in the front of our movie theater. I went there this weekend to see "Slumdog Millionaire." It was a pretty good movie.
I'm finishing up that half-log-cabin baby quilt that I posted the other day. I decided to machine tie it. The other quilt that I machine tied came out pretty well, and I enjoyed the process. It's a learn by mistakes project. I learned yesterday that I should always use a blunt pointed scissors to cut the threads! And I have to install a new machine needle oftener.
Speaking of learning--luckily I always keep a couple of new toothbrushes in a bathroom drawer. I went into the bathroom yesterday and an ant was crawling on my toothbrush. Well, it's a sure sign of Spring. These ants are interested in the ant trap I had adorned the bathroom with, so some luck there.

Mar 1, 2009

Completed String Quilt

Thank you very much to the kind folks who have joined my Followers section. I was prompted by First Time Grandma and Periwinkle Pumpkin to add a Followers section to my Blog. And Isabella and Clare were kind enough to join in. I'm not too familiar with the info from Google on the Followers thingy. So, I kind of leaped in, and I hope that I did it correctly. I plan to learn more about this Followers thing as I go along. It should be fun.
And I have a personal Quotes section. This section is not something I have subscribed to from any of the "Quotes" things on the Internet. The quotes are things that I have picked out by myself. I want to change them every weekend. So I will be publishing about 50 quotes a year. Some will be serious, and some funny. I'm very fond of poetry.
And now, we come to the string quilt. It was made for Joe, and he has just gotten home from the hospital. I hope that he is feeling better! If you look closely, you can see "JOE" hand embroidered on the top. I free-motion quilted the quilt using a Sulky thread in a shaded grey color. I used plain grey thread in the bobbin. The backing of the quilt is that plaid that is in the top row, just under where the name is embroidered. For the binding, I cut strips 1 1/2 inches wide. I decided to forgo making the binding double, like I have been doing for a couple of years now. I sewed a quarter inch seam, turned to the back, and hand-hemmed, turning under as I went.