Friday, June 24, 2011

Call for Quilts

 Machine Quilting Today is looking for quilts for their competition and show this August in Milwaukee.  Entries need to be in by July 1st  I think. Sounds like something I gotta do.  I am not much of a show off, but I want the show there to be a success so I guess that means entering the show. If you like, you can enter a quilt too and we can show off our quilts together. It'll be fun.  A link to the Milwaukee Machine Show is in the sidebar to the right, you can find entry forms there.

I thought I'd put a few kits together, but my scraps keep calling me and beg to be used.  I didn't plan an actual quilt with them, but I started sewing anyway. I guess that means I am doing a mystery with Gayle Bong. I had half-square triangles in two sizes. The 3" I just paired light to dark in matching sets of 4.  I did the same with the 2", but those I joined into Birds-in-the-Air units.   It'll be an on-going project. As I acquire more triangles, I'll make more units then I will turn it into a fabulous quilt. Right? Well,that's the plan anyway.

I also started cutting triangles from my 1800's reproduction prints for a 1000 Pyramids quilt. That pattern is typically a charm quilt where by definition, every patch in the quilt (all 1,000)  is cut from a different print fabric. Can't wait to see how many I have already. Since I started cutting this, I bought two more charm packs of 40 different reproduction prints. It all started cause I counted a little stack of  fabric and was surprised when  my guess was off by half. If there were as many as 60 in that little pile, I must have 100's in that one drawer... I might need to trade for the last 100 or so.

 I started loading another quilt on the frame last night but couldn't continue when I discovered the batting was 20" narrower than the package stated.  It was too late to call the customer so it was put on hold till tomorrow probably. You'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quilting Forever, Housework Never

Yes, I'm still quilting.  In fact, I am more likely to actually be quilting with Lenni rather than piecing. Last week I quilted the Pinwheels on Parade raffle quilt for church. I brought it in with me to church on Tuesday and Rita took it home to put the binding on. Rita's Irish chain is the next quilt to go on the frame. Tonight I hope to get it loaded.  Before I did the quilt for church I quilted this little piece just to try another freehand pattern.  I think it turned out pretty good.

 Deanna Treadway sent me a picture of the quilt she made from my book, Save the Scraps.  I thought it was so nice of her to share a picture with me, especially since she won a free copy of the book in the giveaway that I had last year.  This is the picture that she showed me, but there are more pictures on her blog. Didn't she do a great job? I like this quilt so much that it would be on my to do list if I hadn't already made it.  Actually I was thinking of making it again and just sorting may scraps between medium and dark and not having specific colors like blue and brown.  And then I think I would rather go downstairs and quilt with Lenni.

I've had a wee bit of trouble with Lenni and I found I had to clean the wheels. Who knew? And then there was still some vibration and I decide the carriage needed to be re-leveled.  I'm thinking of upgrading the wheels, but trust me.  I won't be going the $3000 route and getting the new track,carriage and frame. We'll see how I feel about it since I have made these adjustments.
It seems much of the USA has had unusual weather this year. Ours has not been especially seasonal, but that's fine with me.  It has usually been a little cooler than normal, which makes for great weather for gardening and quilting. There was a time when I spent so many hours a day out in the garden.  I was too exhausted to do any housework.  I used to pray for rain so I would be forced to stay indoors and could take the time to clean the house.  And then I got smart.  I prayed for a cleaning lady. Well I never got her and I suppose my interests changed a bit.  At least, I never let my house get out of control. What am I praying for these days? Well,why just a cleaning lady, how about a wife of my own? One that quilts, of course.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Adrenaline rush

St. Peter's raffle quilt is ready for the quilter and this year that's me. 2 weeks ago I brought it home to finish. The rows just had to go together and the borders added. I don't know why, but sometimes I procrastinate and then it is never as bad as I think. This time it was the borders that held me up.  The borders were all done and ready to go, but I reworked them a bit cause some of the fabrics we used in the border weren't in the center of the quilt and they clearly clashed! Didn't see that till I spread it out on my wall at home.

The pattern is called "Pinwheels on Parade" by Pat Speth from her book, More Nickel Quilts. This pattern was a great choice for a group quilt. It didn't matter that everybody sews a different width seam allowance. After the blocks were done, we squared up the blocks to 8" instead of 8 1/2".  The border treatment was my idea. I don't think I could find a single print that I'd  like more. I've never made a border like this before. Besides being easy to sew, it was easy to adjust the length to fit. On 3 sides I had to sew a deeper seam between 3 pairs of strips. It sure would have been a pain had they been diagonal seams.I hope to have it ready for the binding before we meet again on the 21st, cause I ain't doing that part.

While I was procrastinating about that border, I took a half-day to sew at Benny's. Instead of summer quilt club meetings, they are having an all day,once a month, come when you can open sewing session. I thought a mini retreat was in order. They're like adrenaline for quilters. So I packed a suitcase (it's got wheels)  and machine and headed out. Attendance wasn't the greatest, but that just meant more room to spread out.

I cut all the strips for two lap sized quilts using the Accucut Studio Cutter. Then I made these 3 blocks. It's the start of a quilt called "Bali Sea Star" from Kim Brackett's book Scrap Basket Surprises.  Also sewed some random triangles together. Now I am thinking ahead about going next month and using the Accucut again. I will have to put some more kits together.I think I will go do that now.
 Sew long.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fun is better than perfect

It was sew much fun, who cares how good it is? I guess the saying goes 'Done is better than perfect" but I've been saying this quilt is done for over 10 years. And it was quilted and bound, but I'd left the big 6" squares unquilted!  I was sorting through my quilts and found that this one needed more quilting. I think I felt bad about that every time I showed it.  I''m pretty happy with it now with the added quilting. Even Mark  said " I guess it needed more quilting".  Lately instead of crowing "The quilt is finished when the top is done.", I'm singing "The quilting makes the quilt." And I still have 100 tops waiting to get quilted.

Actually I was sorting through my quilts looking for something to practice on. I wanted to try Diana Phillips "Flower Power" technique. I love that book of hers. So many variations on an idea. I think I will use it often.
The quilt is a variation on my pattern "Briar Patch" in my book, Quilts from Skunks Hollow.

Did you notice the new link on the right  to the Milwaukee Machine Show put on by Machine Quilting Today.
 I'm just as excited this year that it is so close to home. And I'm scheduled to teach. Check out the schedule. There are classes for everyone, even piecemakers.

 I'm still digging thistle, and I haven't planted all my flowers yet either.  It's not uncommon for us to have frosts this late in the spring. In between I have been finishing the quilt top for our next raffle quilt. I hope allergy season has been good to you. Adios.