Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Auditioning borders

So now I can't decide on which border to use on this Kings Beauty quilt top that I made about 25 years ago. I ran out of the light peach for the setting triangles.  OOOOps what a liar.  I just remembered that I cut them too small. That is why I added some of the last border fabric to each triangle and it appears that the green corners overlap the narrow rust border a bit. A mistake?? no. Let's call it a design opportunity.   I have other rusts, but narrowed it down to this top one.  I have plenty of matching light green, but won't use that very wide cause it doesn't work. I like the last one with light green middle border and plain dark green final border because the quilting would show up nice with it. I didn't get the proportions just right and that can make a difference, but this helps too.


This top is 82" already and I love it so I want to make it big enough for my bed (as opposed to my balcony).
I've had the quilting planned for years and just may move it from the dormant phd pile to the actively waiting pile. Okay, not a pile, a list. A list in my head AKA a fantasy.  I have lots and lots of those. Don't we all?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

3 down, 6 to go

 Sometimes I don't know where I find the time and other times I know I am addicted to the Internet. I need to try harder to balance my time better. At any rate, I put another quilt on the frame and started it.  I am finding that while it is nice out I like to work on my quilting after dark.  We live 2nd shift here, so I will often go to the studio after 9pm. I guess it rained or I wouldn't have gotten the new borders on these old tops. 

This first one is called Friendship Chain.  The blocks were from a block exchange in the Crazy Quilters guild I belonged to at the time.Each block has 12 set-ins. The girls didn't like me much for that, but they did a great job. At least it didn't have 50  pieces. Linda Bohling had the foresight to date her block 1989. Thanks, Linda.
 I'm not so sure I like the dark green, but it's not going anywhere.  I didn't audition the green on the wall first cause there was stuff in the way. It's sure hard to get nice pictures with the quilts on the flannel wall when flannel doesn't cover the whole wall. The big ones are hard to get up there as it is, especially when they are too big for the space. That pile of stuff is gone now, so I intend to audition several options for another top. I will be looking for input from all of you about that.

This next one was a sample for a magazine article I wrote years ago. I never named it, but I recall that I set 6 little arrow units in a 9-patch with 3 blue squares. Does that help?  I know how everyone tries to decipher how the pieced quilts go together. I've given plenty of lectures where everyone looks at my quilts kind of perplexed. Now this one I like better with the new brown border. And now it's a decent twin size. Sure beats a gazillion lap quilts.

 Well, it's 10pm, time to work in the studio for an hour. Sew long,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

If Only

If only I wasn't too lazy to add another pieced border to this quilt when I  first made it. Wouldn't that have been pretty? I mean, if only I hadn't run out of fabric when I was making this quilt, I could've made it bigger to begin with. I mean, if only  I had bought more fabric in the 1st place.  Really, let's get it right. That's the real problem.  I tend not to buy large enough pieces of fabric.  Lesson learned?  Probably not.

I'm pleased with the addition of these 2 plain borders in this quilt top.  At least now it's big enough for a twin or double sized bed. This is Alien Star Flower and was originally shown in my book, Infinite Stars.  I just checked the publication date and that was 1992.  That means this quilt top is  20 years old.  I'm still not in a real big hurry to get it quilted. I'm waiting for my doodle quilting to get better.

If only I got more of the borders done in that pile of 9 quilts I decided to enlarge - I could be starting another top. But I just got one done. And I did go shopping and find the fabric  I need for the border of one other quilt.  And it's washed, pressed and ready to go.  I also finished 2 bindings.

I think that's enough sewing upstairs for a little while.  Now I think I'll rummage around in that pile of tops and see if I can't find one that I have a back for and put something on the frame downstairs. I will save the other borders to work on when I am on the phone.  I use the speaker phone feature so I can chat without holding the phone and can get lots done at the same time. I find it helps to plan ahead,  and will probably have figured out how wide I can cut the strips from the fabric available before I even pick up the phone.
Sew on and sew on. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Staying Organized

I guess in order for me to get anything accomplished, I like to keep things organized.  My mother seems to think that I am very organized and could put my fingers on things in my sewing room rather quickly.  I wonder what she would've thought if she had seen me yesterday.  I spent nearly 5 hours organizing again. When my sister was here just  2 weeks ago, we spread out all the quilts on the extra twin beds upstairs.  My quilt tops were left  in a drawer and a pile and I knew I would get to them soon.  My thoughts were that I would go through  them to decide which ones I would want to quilt next.  But recently there was a discussion in the Yahoo group, Stashbusters, about what size quilts we make. The discussion made me realize something I've known for some time.  I have not been making many quilts big enough for beds.

 So yesterday I ended up pulling out 9 quilt tops that I decided I could still make larger.  I rummaged through all of my fabric, and I mean all,  looking for any remaining matching fabric or other fabric that I might want to add to these quilts to make them larger.  One of the great things is I think I will only need to buy border fabric for one of the quilt tops, and binding for one other.  I guess I'm glad I hadn't quilted them yet.

I also organized my binding bin. I was dismayed to find  many of the bindings were not labeled and there were perhaps 8 quilt tops that I had not set aside binding  fabric for.  So I'm glad I took care of that.


I don't particularly enjoy adding borders, but I want to take care of these soon.  Most of them will probably just get a plain border, but 3 of them will get pieced borders.  I've always wanted to participate in a round robin and now's my chance.   Here is one quilt top I'm thinking of setting on point, and making it larger with additional blocks and borders.  I only have one of the original fabrics left, but  I don't really think that matters. These fabrics look pretty good with it. I'm sure I can find more.

I got a few bindings done, and I have a few more ready to sew on.  Also, I really enjoyed getting acquainted with Karen at the quilt show in Madison.  It turns out we enjoy pretty much the same kind of quilts. And if that wasn't enough.  I went into the Whitewater shops today with Lucrecia.  There was a sale I just couldn't miss. Well, I'm glad it's never ending.  I hope your glad too. Sew long.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My sister's dirt and Congrats to Karen

Well, my sister has come and gone. I would never do this on my own, but she gave me permission. So here it is - her dirt! 27 years of it.

The Mothers Fancy Star quilt top I'd made her that long ago was on display in her home this whole time. There was some yellowing due to aging and possibly stains from wood. I asked her to send it to me as is. When I saw just how dirty it was, I knew it needed a cleaning before quilting it. I did not want it to agitate in the machine though, because I did not want the seams to fray. So in the bathtub it went with hot water and Borax and a little detergent. I gently squeezed the water through it. I couldn't believe the dirt and ran for the camera. Then I called Mark to see it and his 1st comment was "Did you take a picture?" It came fairly clean. And perhaps had I soaked it a while all the stains would've come out. Quilting it and binding it will be quite a chore and I don't intend to start for a while because I want to get some work done on other projects before the holidays.

While my sister was here, she helped me rearrange my quilts in storage. This was a very rare opportunity for someone to see my quilts here at the house, and I knew she'd be interested. It is recommended that once a year you refold your quilts, folding it in quarters in even years and in 3rds in odd years. Of course the best way to store quilts is flat, but most people don't have room for that. but I happen to have a spare twin bed up in the quilt storage room. So we spread out about 30 quilts on that bed. We left 2 big piles of quilts folded for trunk shows, and draped perhaps another 20 over a couple of simple quilt racks for wall hangings. I had also sorted out quilts and tops that I'm willing to part with. The quilt tops that I'm not using in lectures or classes will get stored in a huge dresser until I am ready to quilt them. It sure felt good to get those things organized. Now, I think I'll be able to set some goals for getting some of those tops quilted and perhaps sold.

Imagine how excited I was, when I went to our county fair and saw that a quilt made from one of my patterns was on full display. It is often a bit of a disappointment to see the quilts at our fair because unlike a quilt show, they do not have the space to hang every quilt open all the way. I knew right away that the quilt must have won something, and as it turned out it was won a blue and the grand champion. I was so excited for whoever had made it. As it turned out, a neighbor of mine, Karen Walters made it. It was a surprise to her as well because she had made it for her granddaughter,Megan and her daughter, Nikki entered it in the fair for her. I thought for sure, I had a picture of this quilt from the fair. I didn't think to bring my camera and never expected to need it, but golly gee, I have a new camera phone. I guess I need to read up on how to use it. Congratulations, Karen! Karen lives just 4 doors away, but here in the country, it's a good half a mile and with our busy lives, we never got to hanging out together.

I got a few lap quilts bound and got these 3 ready for binding. (that means I quilted them) I've made each of these two several times for church. Dorinda donated the tulip blocks
(below)to our efforts at church. Another gal put them together and I quilted it.

That's it for this week. Friday I will be going with Karen to the Madison Quilt Expo. Should be fun getting better acquainted with my neighbor that quilts.
Sew long,