Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On with the Borders

It didn't take long to get the borders on this thing. Now it is officially done. It will officially become an active PHD again when I have pieced the backing. And I think I have just the fabric. I could almost quilt this next. Sounds like fun, I have been wanting to quilt a sampler.

I have a 4-patch with sashing going in the studio now. I think I will play with some techniques that don't require marking. Cause really, if there is something about quilting I don't like to do, it is marking for quilting. This 4-patch is perfect for some freehand quilting. You'll see. Nothing elaborate mind you. It is a comfort quilt.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oldest PHD (UFO)

      Opening my cedar chest is something I rarely do. I opened it to look for a few things I couldn't find anywhere else. Wow, I had no idea I would find these 5 sampler blocks.

       I made them more than 28  years ago. I remember because I drafted the blocks myself with no instruction and then used templates and scissors to cut the fabric. I had been quilting for two years when I got my first rotary cutter. I remember not finishing it cause the fabrics weren't lively enough. Never mind the fabrics back then left alot to be desired. I am really glad I learned the lesson of having enough contrast, both in scale of print and value of color.  Some matching fabric was still with them and I raided the church's stash for the navy. It looks a little too dark in the photo -darn. Anyways Friday when the girls were here I made the alternate Thirtysomething  star blocks. Still have to get the borders on. . .

      When I found the blocks I immediately knew I had to do something with them quickly. The gals on the yahoo group,  Stashbusters are all about finishing up those old UFO's. Thanks to them, I like to think that I have none older than 5 years. Not counting the tops up in the warehouse, and those don't count. (My house, my rules.)

Mark is home cause of the holiday but he is relaxing watching tv for the night so I am going to go  put a quilt on the frame down in the studio. Have a good one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two finishes

         It's always nice to report a finish. Today I have two to report. I made these blocks a year ago or more. I never gave it a name, but I kinda see it as a split Bear's Paw. I was inspired by the Rosebud block. Since I have made it, I did see it somewhere else though.  This isn't how I planned to arrange them, but I wasn't keen with the blocks after I made them. I guess I am just not fond of the 1930's pastels. So rather than make more, I set them on point with the alternate plain blocks. Then it needed the pieced border, but I ran out of muslin. I finally got some more muslin 2 months ago and just now got around to finishing the top.  I might have to actually quilt it to convince my hubby (and me) that it'll make a nice little quilt. At least I can check the top off my list.

Also finished is the quilting on the orange star tabletopper I pieced earlier this year. I will add it to my pile of quilts to bind. I need to start thinking of tackling that pile. With one top quilted and one top completed, I still have 104 tops to quilt. Yikes!
         I planted some old flower seeds today. Some annuals just come quick enough from seeds or don't transplant well that I find it best to start them from seeds. I spent little on flowers this spring. With such a mild winter, lots survived or reseeded. I have  lots of flowers I want to move to the prairie next year and then I want to rework much of the flower garden. I've been feeling pretty good lately and love the garden work. I just wish it were kinder to me and my back because then  I could dig in the garden all morning and quilt the rest of the day. Wouldn't that be grand?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quilt Festival Time

I am waiting here for a delivery and should be getting some work done. But I remembered it is Blogger Quilt Festival this weekend so thought I'd hang out here for  a while. I participated once before and was amazed at all the links there were to quilty blogs. Amy asked us to share a photo of any quilt. Could have a story, or be a favorite or taught us something - whatever. 
 I made this quilt about 4 years ago. I enjoyed it for only a short while before I had to send it off to the publisher for photography. It's featured in my latest book, S is for Scraps. I really like the quilt. The quilt never came back to me, because one of the editors at Martingale bought it.  Now I am trying to decide if I like it enough to make again. It's not like I need it or there aren't other quilts I want to make. And, it's rare that I'd make the same quilt twice. Probably all in good time. Patience is a virtue and I wish I had MORE. And where is that delivery man????

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dress Rehearsal

I finished my Thirtysomething Stars quilt; unless I decide to border it. It is an enlarged version of my quilt, Dress Rehearsal from my book, Thirtysomething. I thought it would be a good idea to make a few Thirtysomething quilts with some fresh new fabrics. Some of the first quilts I made almost 20 years ago and it shows.

I've made several of this quilt, always changing values of the sashing, background, border and setting triangle fabrics.  It's a popular one in classes and I have seen it in every style of fabric made. That is always fun.

I wasn't able to make it to quilting at church this week because I was on my way  back from Michigan. I hope they made progress on the raffle quilt. The girls moved quilting from last night to tonight. I'm going to go look for something to work on.  Sew long.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quick trip to Michigan

I'm back from my trip to Michigan. Darn, I would have liked to stay longer and have more fun with the ladies.  I had great driving weather and little traffic for the drive over. I stayed at a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Grand Haven. I wouldn't mind staying there again. The 24 ladies in class were a fun bunch. I was pleased with all they got done, even though only one actual  block was completed by most of them. They had much of the other work done, just not together. This was my "Savor the Scraps" class where they learn the basic Thirtysomething unit and 3 different borders.  I didn't have the camera ready in time for show and tell at the meeting in the evening when they all showed them, but here are a few. And there was a great crowd for the evening program. What's not to like about my job? Thank you Lighthouse Quilter's of Grand Haven, MI.

Paperwork piled up in the few days I was gone. So I hope to take care of that tonight so I can get back to some quilting. I want to finish the Dress Rehearsal/Thirthysomething Stars quilt first.  I had it along when I went quilting last Friday. It has sashing and it's diagonally set, so it was difficult to work on with all the distraction and without spreading it out on a bed, flannel wall or at least a clean floor. So I put it away and worked on a handful of bowtie blocks using the extra squares Sue cut last month. For all the kits I have together, few are cut out so I am going to have to get in the mood to do some cutting soon so I will have a greater variety to choose from when the mood strikes to do some piecing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Having more fun

Does everyone equate having fun with shopping? With Quilts 'n Such in Delavan closing it's hard to stay away, but fabric is down to 50% 0FF I only bought staples- light backgrounds, blacks I was out of and a few quilt backs. I emptied 10 bolts and Lucrecia emptied 11. Sue has lots of control.
 I have the quilt with orange stars on the frame. I will probably finish it tonight. I like how I decided to quilt the small stars.

So far I have only attached the sashing to each of the Thirtysomething Stars. I need to get back to getting ready for class in Michigan next week or I'd finish this too. I still might have a chance before I go.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

He told me to have fun

             Sue brought back quite a pile of scraps after she finished her top last month. I sorted through the box and made these few blocks for another sampler/orphan quilt with reproduction fabrics.Well, some for me, some for church.  Then I decided that later I will make a random width log cabin with the rest of the scraps in the box. Some of the scraps I made, so it's just another ongoing project that doesn't count as a PHD. 
        Before we left for the show on Sunday, Mark told me to have fun. So I did - buying more fabric. I thought I'd fill the void Sue made in my drawer when she used my Civil War fabric for her quilt. That is why I had her use it. So I could add all these new prints to my palette. Most of the gems in this drawer are fat quarters and halves.  I can add a triangle from each to the charm quilt, too. Just about ready to get back to that.
        The show was good, but the vendors not so much. I really don't care to buy bundles or kits and lots for modern quilts  too. Then we had lunch and hit the two shops before they closed at 4. That was worth it.

        At first I didn't think I'd care to go to the show because I didn't want to be buying more fabric I didn't need. Silly me. I wasn't thinking how a girls just gotta have fun. And NO, I don't feel any guilt for all the fabric I have that is not being used. I really don't understand it when I hear other women say that they "will never use it all". Who said they had to? I get so much pleasure just having it to say nothing of the good time I had buying it. Then comes all the plans and hopes and dreams. Well, I feel I get my money's worth before I even cut into it. I did when it was $8. per yard anyway.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

another puzzle together

Really, it isn't because I like blue. It's just that we have very limited choices. I chose the solid blue to calm it down. The scrappy blocks were so busy that I had to include some plainer blocks, too. Once I decided to use the blue, the other decisions were easy to make - like replace the blocks that didn't contrast  with the blue. I will be quilting this one before I take it in to church.

I also put together 5 more kits for church. 2 of them are orphan blocks with all the blocks the same size. That one will probably come back soon. I can't make it to the church meeting this month because I will be teaching in Michigan. I will have to drop things off there before I go.

I'm going to the Sun Prairie quilt show with the girls tomorrow. Sure do wish I could think of some fabric I just gotta have. I don't really want to be buying fabric just cause it is pretty. But then, Mark must not care or he wouldn't bring home storage cabinets for me to store fabric in.  I guess I know what I am doing tomorrow. And to think we will be going to one of my favorite shops besides. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

104 and counting

      Yesterday I took this quilt off the frame just in time to take to quilt club.  It's the only longarm work I did in the last two months. It's one of the options for my Twin Peaks class. Most of my classes I offer at least 3 variations for the project.

      Last night Judy reminded me that when I got my longarm, I had over 100 quilt tops waiting to get quilted. It would seem I hadn't made a dent in that pile. I just counted and I still have 104 quilt tops waiting. That is not counting two antique tops.   I also have at least 4 tops waiting to quilt for church. I hope to get to those soon. I don't really track what I do for church.  Otherwise in that time  (3 years) I probably pieced over 3 dozen tops for myself, wrote a book, quilted a few for customers. . .
Not as much as other years, but that is okay. I'm still having a good time.