Monday, August 30, 2010

Two too big

Yep, you read that right. I've got two quilt tops to show that are too too big for my flannel wall.
The first is the top I started at retreat last spring, inspired from the book "One Block Says It All". I didn't get any further because as usual I had to add the borders. I already had the pieced borders pieced, but I wanted to get a different tan fabric. Once I did, it still sat in the pile. I'm not too sorry it's too big for my flannel wall, because that means it'll be a good sized quilt for my bed. Someday. I think these are great stash busting quilts because it uses a lot of fabric quickly. I hope to make more but I think before I do that I ought to quilt one and see how I like doing that.

This other quilt top is called Mothers Fancy Star, I made it for my sister about 27 years ago . She was always going to send it off to get hand quilted and never quite got that far. It sat in the corner of her bedroom on display for who knows how long and gathered dust. Now with the long arm, I am happy to quilt it. So I washed it this morning in the bathtub, and hung it on a line to dry. This one measures 104" x 128"! I would like to convince her to remove a row and make a quilt 104 inches square. This would not only make it easier for her to handle and launder and me to quilt, but also, if it were square she could rotate it on the bed for even wear. It's her decision. And I would be happy to instruct her how to use the same ripper. She is lucky she has a choice, because if it were 128 inches square, it wouldn't fit on my frame!I'll probably quilt this one now as soon as I get the batting and backing for it. I've already planned the quilting for it and there will be a minimum of marking to do. Thank goodness!

I also sent a small box of small quilts and quilt tops to an Amish auction. I don't necessarily expect them to do very well but I am hopeful that I will still be satisfied. I think that's the same outfit will have another auction again in November. If I am pleased this time around I might very well send some more for the November auction. Sounds like a great time of year for a quilt auction - just before the cold and before Christmas.

Well I guess that's about all the Quilty stuff this week for me.
Sew long,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Since last week

Another busy quilty week has passed. Last Tuesday was comfort quilts at church. We didn't work too hard that day. This sampler Lois put together. It was her first effort at putting all those assorted sizes together. I wish she had called me. It might have been easier for her. I brought another top home. It is on the frame and already half quilted.

Wed. I went with Judy to the Milwaukee Art Museum and saw some someones collection of antique quilts. Who's collection it was doesn't matter to me cause they didn't make them. Oops, I guess I ought to try to remember so I won't accidentally see them again. There were some awesome quilts there and of course most were made completely by hand cause they were mostly pre-1850. The 240 hours that gals put in their quilts using machines doesn't seem so daunting now after seeing those quilts.

Friday and Saturday the GLMPQA met in Elgin, IL. I only went down on Friday for classes with Diana Phillips. Now I have a few more ideas for freehand quilting. It's been interesting to take all these classes and compare teaching styles. Again disappointed in the teachers lack of samples. She had some glorious quilts, but they didn't support her morning class. And as usual, I couldn't sleep for thinking about how I would have taught those classes. This is a corner of her single Irish Chain and my thumb.

It will be nice to have a few weeks at home before the busy fall quilting season starts. This week I see my cousin and uncle. I haven't seen her since I was 14. We were penpals after that for a few years. Should be fun. Next week my sister will be here from PA. In between I'll quilt when I can. Wouldn't you?
Sew long,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another quilty week

Well, the inspiration from the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show has lasted. It certainly has helped that I have had other Quilty events on my calendar. I did a bit of practice,as you can see here.
I'm also just about done with another comfort quilt. I took the quilt off the frame to turn to quilt the other borders, and then it'll be done. I believe Rita donated this quilt top. She won the pieced blocks in a block exchange or drawing or raffle and put them together with the Snowball blocks. I was fairly pleased with how these feathered circles turned out.I've been wanting this stencil for some time and I finally got it from Pam Clark at the show last week. Pam likes to use the blue chalk, and then uses some special spray solution that she wipes across the quilt top. Well, because I'm so cheap I didn't want to do that but how was I to see white chalk on a white fabric. Then I remembered what I'd heard quilters used a century ago. So I used their little trick, anybody want to guess? I know I should've been able to quilt this with the laser light, but I don't like to work from the back of the machine. And I have trouble using the laser light from the front of the machine. I guess that's just one more thing I ought to practice.

I also had a lecture and workshop scheduled up north. And went to the Lutherdale quiltfest quilt auction on Saturday. I was mighty disappointed in what most of the quilts were going for. I feel bad for the gals who made them. But funny thing, I think I still am going to send some off to auction for myself.

This'll be another Quilty week. Tomorrow is comfort quilting at church, Wednesday, I hope to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see some antique quilts. And I have the classes in Elgin on Friday, should be fun.

Poor mom. I was so busy with my quilting, that I never stopped to see her all week. She thought I was mad at her. When I finally saw her on Saturday after the auction, I explained what I'd been doing and reminded her that I'll be busy yet again this week. The following week should be kind of slow so I should be able to see her then and she'll be happy. The week after that we are starting to see company from out of town. I'll have to remind myself then that I can't quilt every week.I guess I'll have to be satisfied with dreaming about quilting.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I took 3 classes at the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show in the last 3 days and that is what all three of the excellent teachers emphasized. My experience tells me they are right. To get good, you gotta practice, both on paper and at the sewing machine. I know this and tell my students this as well. It applies to both the quilting and the piecing. And yes, appliK too. I guess anything.
My problem is I wanna do it all and I should really be focusing on just a thing or two.

I took a swag class with Mindy Wylie Caspersen. Love swags. She has developed a set of tools with Quilter's Rule to make some nice swags. What's nice about them is that the set makes a variety of sizes too. I have seen several other swag templates around and I like these best. So I'll probably get them at their next Warehouse Sale in November.

I also took a classs with Dawn Cavanaugh - on Git-R-Done type borders. Some were easier than others. Good thing I liked the easy ones the most.

Jammie Wallens class was Cottontracks2. Lots of great ideas I hadn't seen before. I am anxious to try some of them, particularly on my OLD Infinite Stars quilts still unquilted from 1992! Okay, I have made a few since and they would be perfect in those too. That big star in the last post was a fairly new Infinte Star. And for those of you that don't know, that was the title of my first book.
I will be back to see the rest of the show tomorrow and shop the vendors, of course! Sew long,

Monday, August 2, 2010

mystery solved

I finally got another UFO done. It's this red and purple thing that I had no original plans for. I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out, though it is a bit bright. Mark couldn't believe that I actually had all those fabrics on hand. I don't particularly get excited about making a quilt completely from stash. With the amount of fabric I have on hand, I would expect to be able to do that easily.
When I started this quilt at the retreat last March, I simply stitched red strips and purple strips into strip sets . Then cut my triangles. I had no further plans. Then I searched for a background fabric, and I found this light blue fabric that was in my basket of new fabrics waiting to be washed. After I made that decision, I found the multicolored fabric hidden in my stash. I don't know that it was the wisest way to approach making a quilt, because I think it took longer this way. I think in the near future I will plan my quilts, in a little more detail before hand, and they will probably get done a little more quickly.

Summer is in full swing and I have been busy quilting, thanks to the AC and Lenni in the basement. I've gotten too small quilts done that I will be sending off to be auctioned. There is an Amish quilt auction in Amherst, WI where I sent quilts before. I don't send my best or those that scream "made by Gayle Bong", because you can't set a minimum bid and you never know what kind of money you'll get. You can always tell when I'm feeling overwhelmed with the number of quilts on hand, because that's when I start sending them off to be auctioned.

Last week I was busy volunteering for the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show that's going on this week. This is the 1st year for the show, and I thought they would be busy in the office. I really want this show to be a success because big shows like this are so inspiring and one that is close to home saves the expense of transportation and lodging. I'll be helping out a little bit more this week, besides taking 3 classes. I got a sneak peek at some awesome quilts. And if I go to the convention center this afternoon to help I'll get a closer look.

I do not entertain thoughts of ever quilting so well. The quilts entered in this show are clearly made for competition. That's just not my idea of quilting. That's not to say that I can't get some wonderful ideas and dabble at some of the techniques used in the show quilts. Someday anyways. Yes Judy, I had hoped it would be this year. But the year is not over yet.

No doubt I won't have time for personal quilting this week. And I won't be posting pictures from the show because I won't have gotten permission from the designers. But perhaps I can show pictures of what I did in my classes, so stay tuned. Sew long.