Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I don't belong to a guild, so I have few opportunities to show and tell my work. A couple of quilty friends have seen my work, and the comments were good. I have donated a quilt to the church and it was displayed for a few weeks, and suprisingly earned quite a bit of money through a donation and draw program. But still...this is the first time one of my quilts will be thrown out there to the quilty world in general. I will feel so much better when they are gone, out of the house, and out of my control.
I went through each this morning, checked for threads, cringed a few times at tiny things that went wrong that was little I could do about, attached labels and samples, and had Mike check them while he helped me fold them. I then said, well - there is nothing more to do. Yep, he said, and you're not allowed to open those bags while I'm gone for the next few hours. I know, but it will be so tempting to take on more look, or what if I have one more thought about something to check? And then he walks by a piece of scrap fabric and puts it on the table - ack! - its one from the sample baggie for Folk Art Finery. Was it a duplicate? or did I not include ?fabric at all? did it fall off my zig zagged strip? I will not look, I will not look. What will be will be.
I have no idea how prizes are announced - so I don't know what the next few days will bring - stay tuned!
Monday, September 29, 2008
And then what, he asks? How do you find out if you win something, and what do you win? Well, first they are judged and then they are all hung on display, with the winning quilts having ribbons attached. What do you win, he asks? Uhhhhh...maybe $10, or even $5. And you *paid* $5.50 to enter these? He was shocked and appalled, as the saying goes in our house. He is the biggest supporter of my quilting habit, and I know he knew I wasn`t going to win a fortune if I did win, but I do think he`s quite amazed that I might be lucky to just get my money back! I said, look at it as investment in the arts and culture future of our children and grandchildren.
[I've just looked it up, the first prize for tied quilt is $20, fourth prize is $8; for the machine quilted quilt its $30 for 1st price and $15 for 4th - but I'm competing with hand quilters which for some reason I think is favoured at this fair; so...must inform hubby that the prizes are much grander than I first said, lol]
So, on to the labels. I have never been a happy label maker. Just write the information on a piece of muslin, with a pigma pen, try to make it legible, slap it on the quilt with fusible web after pinking the edges. But lucky for me Pat Sloan is having a virtual retreat weekend all about labels! So here are my efforts - still not as wonderful as one could make them, but a huge improvement over what they could have been.
So I`ve mailed in my form and fee, washed the quilts, counted the hours, made the labels, and now the nonsense of `samples must be attached`. Because some people with more ego than brains have in the past entered quilts that they bought instead of made, we are all now required to attach samples of the fabrics used in the quilt. But - the samples are generally smaller than the 1" size required (the At Home and Away I didn't decide to enter till after it was done - I had trouble finding anything! - lesson learned:)) This is what I came up with :
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Folk Art Finery now has a total of 35.5 hours which includes 14 hours for quilting.
At Home and Away is whole other story. I just don't know how to begin. I designed this myself, so I was done over a period of almost a year...working on EQ, planning blocks, sewing them and then testing their placement and maybe not using them. For a while, I had two more borders which aren't there now!
At Home and Away is a tied quilt, so lets say its quilting took about 8 hours. There is no applique, but lots of piecing. I could say there are 9 groups of blocks, an average of about 4 hours per group - now I'm really guessing! - so 36 hours plus 8 equals 44 hours.
Hmmm....I think I'll say 45 hours for Folk Art Finery and 54 hours for At Home and Away. I never will keep track of hours, as who really wants to know?
Saturday, September 27, 2008
All day yesterday she was not answering her phone, and without my sister I was worried - although I knew deep down she was likely fine and just doing her thing. A sleepless night, then waking up and realizing I had a few hours until I could phone her after 8:00. So - I pieced. A charm square table runner.
I phoned at 8:15 and she answered - I calmly explained that I was worried that she hadn`t answered her phone, or called back, yesterday. She says, ``oh, that`s sweet....you know that area that`s being rebuilt near my home, they have lovely stores....`` and she launches into a story about her shopping adventures, purchase of a new bench for her hall, and blah blah blah. Not an apology or explanation. Again, this is typical of her and I fell for it :)
So mad at myself - I should know better - I quilted that table runner - and its lovely! It will always be a reminder to me to not worry when there`s nothing to be done - except quilt, lol.
I have mixed feelings about the finished block - its very large (to me, who usually works on smaller pieces), I don't like the flower and especially its leaves, and I'm not happy with the solid black I chose for the butterfly body.
What I'll do with the next one is try a 9" block instead of 12", try a black and white print fabric for the body, and use a different flower and leaves. The Piece O Cake book Applique Delights has a few ideas, and so does Janet Pitmans' Applique, the Basics and Beyond. I may end up making the quilt from 12, 9 and 6 inch blocks, with various flowers and leaves or none at at all on the smaller blocks.
I also completed another 21 birds block, and got everything organized and fused - and even started sewing - the next Cherry Berry Album block.
Friday, September 26, 2008
How many hours.....wow, have you ever kept track? I guess if you quilt on commission you might, but the best I can do right now is guesstimate.
So, first up is Folk Art Finery -
9 blocks, machine appliqued - 20 minutes prep each, 15 minutes sewing each - so, about 1/2 hour each block....4 1/2 hours? I'm sure it took much longer than that!
machine appliqued border swags - 14 total, about 10 minutes prep, 10 minutes sewing, 20 x 14 is about 4 hours
yo yos - 1 hour
quilting - days and days!! I guess I could say to myself that I did an average of an hour a day total, for about two weeks, so about 14 hours?
binding - lets just say about 15 minutes for each third long side and half short side, so about 2 and half hours
This has got me laughing - as I could never sit and do anything for longer than a half hour at a time, I really have no way to know if it really might be possible to do any of the above in the amount of time I've come up with.
The total hours at this point in the game would be 35 1/2 hours. One full work week! Is this at all a realistic estimate?
Tomorrow, I'll do the math on At Home and Away, and see if I can come up with some numbers I think might be reasonable.
Monday, September 22, 2008
On the left, "assorted flexible thimbles", 3 in a package, Unique
In the middle, an old metal thimble with open top
On the right, "fingertip thimble", Dritz
Friday, September 19, 2008
This morning I got to basting the Sally Post sampler, from sentimentalstitches.net. I've promised this quilt to the church, as early as September 30 - so I thought I better get going! I so enjoy the fusible batting that makes life so much easier. As I'm basting, I'm thinking....how am I going to quilt this? The only thing I could think of was something somewhat traditional, but after that I was blank. Rolled it up and put it aside for now.
Meanwhile, while I'm very happy with 21 Birds and Cherry Berry Album, I want something to needleturn applique - I keep thinking of vines. I've been flipping through my patterns, books and magazines, drawing on eq, when I remembered the Nancy Page Club Magic Vine quilt - another great applique design put together by Gayle at Sentimental Stitches. Well, this will fit the bill for me exactly - small easy pieces that my motor/brain skills can handle! (And, to confess, I've also been planning on a butterflies quilt from a summer issue of Fons & Porter - but that one will be done very slowly as I collect the right kind of large prints). But now I'm thinking - I don't want to go through this fabric grief again.
Off for a rest, when I thought of a "set" of fabric from Connecting Threads that I had put away - got it out, and within a half hour I'm working on the first Magic Vine block :) Then, while I'm working on that, my brain is quietly chugging away on design possibilities for the Sally Post quilt - and voila! - I've got it. Laid it on the floor, measured out the grid which I'll do with the machine hand quilt look stitch, and now I just have to pick out the right thread - as I'll be sewing over red, green, and peach
I just love these days! The sun is shining, my brain is in gear, and even if I don't get much sewing done, I've had fun.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Here's my first block of the Cherry Berry Album, design by Betty Alderman.
I used 30 wt sulky blendables cotton thread to do the hand blanket stitch.
Meanwhile, I decided to do some clothing sewing. I used to sew a lot of my clothes, now its just some shirts, blouses, and pants. Believe it or not, my pants pattern is so easy, its faster than trying to buy ready-to-wear, and they fit too. So this week I'm just doing a couple of longer sleeve t shirts and a blouse. I'll do a pair of pants and tunic for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks.
Monday, September 15, 2008
There are ten blocks here - and these are just the ones I found in the drawer. I think there might be a couple more lurking around elsewhere - and I'm almost certain that some backgrounds I re-used after unstitching a piece or two. And don't forget - these represent not just sewing a patch or more, but planning a quilt layout colours and drawing templates or preparing a block for backbasting.Even I was suprised to see just how much trouble I've been having with making a decision on applique.
I'm not indecisive on planning piecing - I find a block or quilt I like, change it or tweak it a bit, pick the colours, and get going!
I did get some piecing done this weekend - three more flannel peaks blocks, and one more block from the 30s sampler.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Meanwhile, I've discovered that I can't needleturn applique Cherry Berry Album. I tend to have eye fatigue, hand shakes, and some coordination problems and the small details in this pattern are just too much for me to do well. So I've ended up deciding to do that one with a hand blanket stitch as well. With the blanket stitch, I can just keep poking at the cloth until I'm sure I'm where I want to be, there's no risk of fraying, the thread is easy to see. I've started stitching it with two strands of sulky cotton blendables 30 wt. I think it looks good so far. Hopefully a picture will be here by the end of the weekend.
So now I'm without a needle turn project, which is disappointing. Perhaps I can keep looking and find one with very easy curves and points.
I still haven't turned on a sewing machine all week - today I would really like to get going on some piecing or quilting as I do enjoy it so much - if I don't get caught up with looking for yet another applique pattern!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Indecision seems to rule my quilting life. Once I get a "good idea" in my head, I can't seem to let go of it until I have come up with a plan to incorporate it into something. This often leads to a domino effe ct amongst my list of quilts to do.
I received Betty Alderman's book and was still very happy with the Cherry Berry Album pattern. I quickly discovered though that some of the pieces would be challenging for my experience with needleturn, and perhaps I ought to look into other ways of making up this design. Betty Alderman uses fused pieces and hand blanket stitch.
Onto an email group, Applique Addicts, where I got great help. Into my books and patterns and samples, where I had more ideas to think about. Wool applique for this quilt was definitely calling my name.
All said and done, I think I've decided to stick with needleturn for Cherry Berry Album, redraw some templates to make it a bit easier for needleturn and embellish where necessary with hand embroidery stitches. I've also found enough batiks and hand dyes to use on this project, with just a bit of supplementing from the quilt shop, as I do think they will behave better on the tight curves and long narrow inner points.
I'm still in a stage of not feeling up to much, I haven't turned on a sewing machine or an iron, or picked up a rotary cutter, since Friday. I hope that I can get to work on something today - even if its finishing my EQ lessons, or starting on one of those birds! I might even get the templates and overlays done for one of the Cherry Berry blocks.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
So, I will sit and ponder what I've got in my definite would like to work on projects for the remainder of the year -
- Almost Log Cabin - I've started quilting this, and really only have about a day's work left
- Sally Post Floral Sampler - an almost queen size quilt that is ready for basting, and I would like to have ready for the church at the end of September
- Three small Christmas/Winter theme quilts - these are small wallhangings or table toppers that I started as gifts for my sisters and sister in law last Christmas, they're basted and ready to go - they're definitely headed out the door this year, but to whom I'm no longer certain
- Sudoku - this one I started quilting when my Sapphire came back to me, reincarnated as an 870. Practiced and got my faith back in using the Sapphire before starting the fair quilts - I'm in no hurry to finish this by any specific time
- Strippy Basket Sampler - this just needs wide borders added, to make it a bit bigger for my Mom, and needs to be quilted by Christmas!
- Redwork Christmas and Jelly Roll - I have to start giving this some serious thought - I have a machine embroidery disk for the Snowman Collector quilt by the Stitch Connection, and a winter themed jelly roll bought last year - should this be a lap quilt or a wallhanging? This Chrimas or next?
- Flannel peaks, the delectable mountain pattern that has the preliminary cutting done - I'd like this top done in January but its such an easy one to pick up the odd block or two I just might have the top done much sooner
- 30s sampler - long term project that I'd like to work a little bit on each week or two
- two BOM quilts - Jan Patek's 2008-2009 girl gang, and Liz Lois' Just Plain Nuts
For me, this list is too heavy on the quilting and too light on the piecing. I have a few other ufos and wips that I might get into this fall, and I certainly would like to make a new small (20 x 20) wallhanging for a certain area in my home; and also, a new Christmas wall hanging (36" square or so) to replace a wreath wall hanging that's been in use for too many years.
- Applique - the Cherry Berry Sampler pattern book arrived, and I'm still in love with it. Some pieces look a bit challenging for needleturn, especially if not using the firmly woven batiks or handdyes. So I'm thinking about whether to indeed go with batiks, or stick with the fabrics I've chosen and do fusible applique with hand blanket stitch.
- Hexagons - yep, I'm still slowly working with those vintage fabrics and english paper pieced hexagons
- Hand piecing! - I would very much like to explore this a bit more, especially as I have a small collection Australian Patchwork and Quitling magazines that have a number of patterns that can really only be done well by hand piecing, and I think I'd enjoy learning
Wish me luck - and please don't tell me how many days until Christmas!
Friday, September 5, 2008
binding done, washed, and safely put away.
Folk Art Finery, designed by Lydia Quigley (The Rabbit Factory); machine piecing and applique; machine quilting
At Home and Away, designed on EQ6, machine pieced and quilted.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Yesterday, after months of searching I finally found my hand applique project. And then I needed to piece!
First up is a delectable mountains pattern that I found in an older issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting. Last fall I made my first and only flannel quilt and the family has fought over it ever since - our house can be very cold in the winter. I promised to make another. I bought a flannel layer cake (10" squares) on super sale in January - no wonder they were on super sale - the colours didn't have much range, nor did they have much range in light to dark. So I've been puzzling over this for a while, and this pattern seemed perfect. It is easy easy sewing - brilliant method for making rectangular delectable mountains (unfortunately, I can't give it here as that wouldn't be nice to the designer).
From very dull to very bright, next up is a Lori Smith pattern. 30's Sampler, that a quilt elf delivered to my sewing room. She must have snuck in one evening and found my leftover 30s fabric, from the Sally Post Floral Sampler, and came back and delivered the pattern into the box. Wonderful! I like to have a loooong term project with lots of variety. The picture here is of the first block, somewhat pieced, and with a little mistake in one corner!
Monday, September 1, 2008
Now, the bad part. First I found the pattern itself. Ready to order...then, when looking for the best place to order it from, I found a book of Betty Alderman's patterns, including this one but also including some others that look interesting. Please I hope I won't change my mind when it arrives - and it cost me more than just the pattern or the book as I have an agreement with the kids which is they get a book each when I get a book from Amazon or Chapters/Indigo.
Now that's settled, I think I'll clean up my fabric mess, maybe do some piecing, and get back to the binding.
I'm not sure what I'm looking for - something challenging, but not so hard that I can't sew at night while a little tired :) Not necessarily floral. Something that will adapt to everyday quilting cottons, and doesn't need batiks or hand dyes to give the effect - I just can't afford these usually, and I don't usually work with these and have them in my stash. Something with solids would nice, too. I tend to like small blocks, less than 12", rather than larger ones. I don't know - I've played with vines, borders, samplers, florals, traditional cut work shapes as in oak leaf and reel, hawaiin cut work, combined pieced and floral....what on earth do I expect to find out there, or to dream up?
This is my latest gathering of fabrics that I would like to put into an applique pattern,
The pattern I've settled on - but still wishing for something else - is this sampler from Applique Delights by Piece O Cake. I've even set up a block ready to sew, but I'm still hestitating as I can't quite get the feeling that I *am* settling. So much work goes into these needleturn applique blocks that I really want to know that I'll be happy with each piece as I work with it!
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- southern Ontario, Canada
- I began quilt-making in January 2001, as therapy following diagnosis a chronic autoimmune condition. I enjoy creating and exploring hand and machine applique, machine piecing, english paper piecing, machine quilting, and machine embroidery. I have been working with Electric Quilt for several years and I'm comfortable with just about very aspect of using EQ to design pieced, applique, and embroidery quilts. I'm an early retired Mom with two teenager and a son who'll be married in Fall '09. My husband is my biggest quilting supporter.
album of vintage sewing machines
Groups and Websites
My Blog List
- folk art finery
- At Home and Away
- cherry berry album
- machine embroidery
- works in progress
- 30s sampler
- pick and choose
- piece o cake
- somewhere in time
- 21 birds
- Sally Post
- back basting
- flannel peaks
- jan patek girl gang
- laurel leaf
- strippy baskets and stars
- top done
- Elm Creek
- Lori Smith
- basket quilt
- basting the quilt
- butterfly garden
- fall fair
- five cent fairy garden
- log cabin
- praire vine
- redwork snowman
- ► 2009 (56)
- Okay, so now I'm nervous
- Fall Fair Entry Madness
- How many hours? continued
- Theraputic Quilting
- Butterfly Garden
- How Many Hours?
- Creativity strikes!
- An Applique Block Done - and its a keeper!
- A Picture of indecision!
- Wonder Blocks
- Hand Blanket Stitch
- 21 Birds
- Where I'm At - Current Projects
- They're Done!
- I found it! THE applique pattern!
- Applique Planning
- ▼ September (18)