Oct 29, 2009

King Kong grows up

Cheers! King Kong quilt top is completed. You wouldn't call this thing a "flimsy," though. It's fairly heavy weight--being made of denim as it is. Now this quilt is by no means finished! It's time for my most dreaded task--ironing the 9 yards of flannel for the backing.

The photo below is of the flannel as looks when it emerged from the dryer. I washed it several days ago, and I just left the thing in a heap. Now comes the Moment Of Truth, as they say--I have to press it, cut it into sections and join the sections together to make the backing. I knew that the flannel would have to be washed because this fabric shrinks like crazy the first time the water hits it. At least we know that flannel only shrinks the one time---
After I press it (and the quilt top), I think that I'll spread the quilt top out on my bed, and roll the flannel over it and go to town with a scissors and cut it into 3 parts. I'm hoping that the 9 yards will be adequate. If not, I'll have to improvise and add some odd bit of flannel to the edge someplace. I had better buy extra safety pins as this thing is going to be a big job to pin baste. Meanwhile totally off the subject, I rented the movie "Easy Virtue" and I watched about half of it. It's so funny. Based on a Noel Coward play, and with lots of his music. I've got to see the ending today.

Oct 26, 2009

King Kong runs for the border

Isn't this cute, I have some fabric that's printed to look like denim. And I'm adding it to the border of my quilt. I think I'm naming this quilt King Kong. (Don't know why.) Anyway, what I wanted to say is please don't report me to the Quilt Police. I know that the usual instructions for quilts tell you to cut the border to a certain length, and pin it in place with a big bunch of pins. I never do that. I just cut a generous border, sew it to the side of the quilt and then I trim it to fit. Sometimes I don't even cut the border, with some fabrics, you can rip it the long way, and the edges of the fabric hold up pretty well. I have to add on an additional border after this one, too. I guess I'll be sewing for a while yet! Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide what quilt to make next.
Talking about deciding what to do next---Two nights ago, I was so cold I had to turn on the heater. Now, today it's about 90 degrees, and I had to put on the AC. Southern California, the place with the least weather, and we complain more than anyone----

Oct 23, 2009

Stained glass recycled denim quilt, number 2

It's time for me to do my happy dance. Today I finished the piecing of the second denim quilt. Now, I put this quilt on my queen-sized bed to take this photo. And this quilt is going to be king sized when finished--actually it's called California King Size, which is even bigger than a king size bed. So I plan to add some generous borders. I'm engaged in the higher mathematics of figuring that out right now. It will require a big calculator and a lot of scratch paper. I particularly want to find out if I have enough of the yellow left over after I cut out the binding, in order to add a bit of it in the border. All in good time. And I have 9 yards of flannel for the backing (no batting in this big thing). And I wonder if I have enough old jeans left to make a denim quilt for myself? Well, that's not going to be right away! I'll have to put the left-overs in a box and store them. I'm going to dive into a scrap quilt of some kind real soon! I'll have to look at my notebook. I keep a big notebook (well, one isn't big enough, actually there are now two) of quilt ideas and including the notes for quilts that I've made. And a few photos, too. And that's besides a photo album of the quilts that I've completed.

Oct 20, 2009

Still sewing after all these years

Here's the story--I've never made a king-sized quilt before. It's enormous! Anyhow, I'm getting to the outer edges, as this pattern begins in the middle sort of like a log cabin quilt block. It's a big quilt with a story. It's like this, my daughter has a medium size dog who is quite frisky. And the dog's inclined to jump up on their bed. Therefore, she wanted a quilt that could "stand up." And we guessed that denim would fit the bill. So I've been sewing and sewing ever since I finished the first denim quilt. By the way, that first quilt is on it's way to my granddaughter at the college--which is about 250 miles from here. They're planning to visit her, and are taking it with them. In this photo, I'm evening up the edges of part of the quilt, which I'm hoping to add on to the quilt today. Now, I have a hint for making an enormous quilt. That is, I didn't try to cut out all of the quilt pieces at once! I'd get a sore arm that way--I only cut out the parts as I go along. Bit by bit. And this is the sweater that I knitted for Kalista--my little grand niece. I got the pattern from the web--it's at http://www.redheart.com/FreePatterns/tabid/118/Default.aspx?tabid=118&patternid=LW1515.pdf

Oct 16, 2009

Be prepared

"Be prepared" is the old Girl Scout motto. I guess I really took it to heart because it's been a lot of years since I was a Scout--a lot of years. I made this quilt in August. And now I know. It's important to have a nice little quilt on hand. I found out that a dear neighbor's daughter is going for chemotherapy for breast cancer this week. And I gave this quilt to her. By a stroke of luck, I had put a pink binding on the quilt, too. A cozy quilt ought to cheer her up a bit. I sure hope so. I'm praying for the dear woman, and her mother, too.

Oct 13, 2009

Sunflowers wall hanging

I made this wall hanging first of all to illustrate what can be done with an old pair of cast-off jeans. The blue background is a pants leg! Because the jeans were still good, but a bit worn, I found that it was easy to sew on and to hand applique the flowers. And it proved to be simple to hand quilt, also. I was lucky enough to have a spool of navy blue hand-quilting thread handy. There was no picture or plan of the quilt made beforehand. I just had an idea in my head. But I must say that spontaneity requires forethought. I bought a couple of yellow fat quarters with this quilt in mind. After I made the flowers (see previous post for how I made them,) I just did a bit of "flower arrangement" to decide the placement. I think that old jeans would make good pot holders, baby bibs, and so forth. This is my contribution to recycling ideas. I've been doing recycling since the days when only ladies who wore long dresses and love beads cared about recycling and eating whole wheat bread!

Oct 10, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2009

Here is my free-pieced medallion quilt. The triangles are not even, they're free-pieced. I had no plan for this quilt, I just improvised as I made one border after another. The quilt was tied, not quilted. I must say a "Thank you" to Gwen Marston, as it is her wonderful books that inspired me. I did go off on my own tangent though and designed this quilt myself, so don't blame her for that, please. In her book "Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again" she encourages sometimes tying quilts, instead of quilting. And it gives quilts an old-fashioned look, I think. I did give details about how I tie a quilt in previous posts. Now this quilt is draped over the back of my sofa, to be handy on cool evenings.

Oct 5, 2009

Stained glass recycled denim quilt

I'm so happy that I completed this quilt. It's made from discarded blue jeans. There is an added border because my granddaughter wanted a big quilt. There's no batting in it, but it's lined with flannel. It's tied with crochet cotton that's the same color as the yellow joining strips. I picked yellow because that's the color that a lot of jeans are stitched with. The stained glass windowpane idea makes it possible to stitch the denim together without bulky seams. I'm so grateful to Alicia Wells of http://lucysquilts.blogspot.com/ for the instructions for the stained glass quilt. She has an area on http://www.flickr.com/ with some of these quilts, too. I bought a bunch of old jeans at garage sales, and it took no time at all to get a nice selection of jeans, especially when you don't care anything about the size or style. I had enough of the backing flannel left over to make a matching pillowcase. So it's another way to recycle. And I'm working hard on the next one, an even bigger size for my daughter.

Oct 2, 2009

Hurrah! I finished sewing the bias on the denim quilt last night while I was watching silly detective shows on TV. And I'm in the middle of hemming down those flowers on the wall hanging, too. Besides, I'm knitting two sweaters. And when I go out someplace, my knitting bag has a hat in progress that I plan to donate. So no shortage of projects. That's one reason why I get excited when I actually finish something. What's next? I started cutting out denim for another, even bigger denim quilt that I'm making for my daughter. By the way, the denim quilt with the flannel lining is cozy and warm as toast! I was getting hot while it was on my lap during the sewing.