Sunday, August 30, 2015

Resolutions part II

It is August 30th and I have not finished as many of my tops in the tub and the cupboard as I had hoped, but I am making a dent in my stash.  

The Rest of Bill's White Shirt

I have pieced a few tops and quilted a lot of customer quilts. 

Detail of Line Dancing I use on the little crib quilts

My vacations every quarter have not included much of my own quilting.  I did 3 in March but I did none in June.  I have a week off coming up in September but I think I might be up to my armpits in alligators and the bathroom redo upstairs should be in progress if the mid -September start happens as promised. Mid to late July got backed to September because of the weather slowing the crew down on the job before mine.

I have almost finished sewing the bindings down on my pile of quilts and I thought I’d get the girls to help me hang them on the port-a-stand so I could get pictures of them to post. I have one left to sew the binding down and I will have to motivate myself to start quilting something of my own again for continued hand work in the evenings.

Red and Blue Big Block Log Cabin Queen size

The first quilt I pieced this summer was the red and blue queen sized log cabin.  This big block pattern has captured my attention and I have made 5 so far.  #4 is the R&B one and I also got crazy and cut tumblers out of reds, white/creams, and blue from fabric that finds its way into my house and made the backing from the tumblers. 

Tumbler backing for Red and Blue BBLC #4

I was delighted with the outcome so I forged ahead and cut out a green and brown pile of tumblers and sewed big block log cabins from my green and brown bags of 2” strips.  I found when I did the R&B one that the little log cabins I did for the border didn’t work out as well as I had hoped because the short sides of the quilt used an uneven count of blocks and the little log cabins wouldn’t pattern out properly for me. I put a plain block on each short end to solve my dilemma.

Green and Brown Big Block Log Cabin Queen size
On the green and brown big block log cabin, I made the small block border into Court House Step blocks and I was much happier with my results.  The tumbler backing on it is stunning and the border fabric I found in my stash was a perfect blend of the correct brown covered with little squares of color that were in the quilt blocks.  It was serendipitous to say the least.

Tumbler backing for BBLC #5

The twin quilts are from my box of bricks and my box of 5 inch squares.  These will find their way to new homes in the next run to the quilt shop to drop them off. It seems there is always a disaster or a person who could use some TLC and a quilt hopefully conveys the thought that someone “out there” is thinking of someone for a moment in time.

Brick sidewalk tile design Twin

I still have at least 2 dozen crib quilts in my tub of tops my sister made for me several years ago (she did about 250 tops for me from 5” squares) that await quilting and then I think I will be done being charitable for a while.  

5 inch squares Twin

I will need to think up a new quilting resolution for 2016 that involves getting the fabric out of here before I can’t see the door anymore.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

And That is a Wrap!

I am working on a custom quilt this week.  I scheduled 6 days for it but by Friday I was thinking I’d better work on it Saturday so I won’t be overwhelmed on Monday.  I’m glad I made that executive decision.  This quilt is just a bunch of blocks, but there sure is a lot of quilting on it. 


I have never made a quilt like this, many of the small blocks are the same size, but there are various sizes up to at least 36” square for a single block.  I think my brain would have been on overload trying to work out the logistics of assembly.

The quilting could have been daunting as well, but I asked my client just what exactly did she have in mind.  She told me the inspiration quilt for this project  was done in modern quilting.  She did not like the quilting on that. I did breathe a huge sigh of relief, as I’m capable of doing straight line quilting, but I don’t think my inaccuracies would have been unnoticed in this quilt with only plain fabric.  There is no pattern on the cloth that would detract from a wobble in a straight line!

My favorite block is this yellow and white one.

It was still a study in patterning for me, though; mixing stencils with feathers and some back fill.  The quilt itself lends itself to a creative mindset and it has been a wonderful challenge to mix it up and make it beautiful.  It was already beautiful; perfectly pieced.  There is not one point that is lost or cut off.  This woman is a master sewer.

Decades ago I amused myself with drawing.  I favored pen and ink.  Looking back at the self-taught artistry, I realized that medium lent itself to no fixing mistakes.  So I either didn’t make any, or I found creative ways to overcome them. This realization of what I choose to do to amuse myself makes me see I set pretty lofty goals for satisfaction.  I am pleased with the outcome of this quilt.

As I mused over the progress I kept thinking of the drawing and how hard it was to know when a picture was finished. It's all about balance. I knew then, as I am aware again, there is a time to stop with the process, as you can do too much.  It is a fine line to know when you need a little more, or when it is just right.  I hope she is pleased.  I love how it turned out.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Happy Birthday Tom

Today was a special milestone for Tom, he turned 70.  I tried to tell him he was going to be 80 a couple of days ago, but he was slick enough to catch my error.  Thank goodness for that, it means I’m younger, too!

We went for a day trip today for a fun birthday kind of day and did some things we both enjoy doing together.  One of my favorite quilt shows is in Coshocton, Ohio each year.  It isn’t a big show by any means, but I try to go each year because there is usually something special going on that always makes it worth the 2 hour drive there and back again.  I have gone with several different people over the years, and the show has been held in a few different venues.

Last year and this year (and possibly a year or two I missed the date for one reason or another) the show has been held in a church in town, right across from the town square.  Something fair like is going on in the square at the same time and the street gets blocked off and it’s hard to find the entrance to the church parking lot, but there is always plenty of parking and the church is a nice venue. 

You get to wander through almost the entire church and you get to see lots of beautiful things.

The special display this year took my breath away.  Walking into the chapel, the pews were covered with an amazing collection of antique quilts.  I was so taken by the display I forgot to read the labels.  Tom was talking to one of the white glove ladies and she explained that many of the quilts were made by “unknown maker” because they had no identifying label.  I took lots of pictures and tried to get close ups of the ones that spoke the loudest to me.

After we exhausted ourselves looking at the quilts we decided to walk the square and see what was going on.  When we had pulled into town, we stopped to ask directions of a couple of ladies waiting to set up their booth.  The place we wanted to be was on the other side of the blockade and we had to figure out how to get around it.  The ladies had 3 goats in the truck.  One goat was in the front seat and 2 in the back of the truck bed. It was the goats we went looking for, but alas, we did not find them on the square.  (Of course I did not think to take a picture of the goats in the truck.) The heat was oppressive and the street fair was full of children getting faces painted and singers on the square; it was noisy and we figured the best thing was to work our way back to our parked truck.  We drove around town looking at all the business that Tom used to deliver product to in the good old days.  Most of the businesses are no longer in business!  The town is quaint.  The houses are magnificent Victorian mansions in various states of disrepair.  A whole lot of them need TLC.

We wandered the back roads to the freeway and came home.  It was much greener in that part of Ohio and we could see a marked difference in the lushness of the trees about the time we crossed into the county just to the south of us.