Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pin Blossom

I hope everyone had a warm, family filled, blessed Christmas day. I love the festivities. I also enjoy getting back to *normal*. Eating PBJ for lunch with cold milk and going into town to run errands. That's what I'll be doing after this blog post. =)

Since I'm on Christmas break from work, I decided to 'give myself permission' for a little off the beaten track project. One of those quick I-just-want-to-play projects... and so I did.

The pattern calls it a pin cushion, but I might just hang it in the window of the sewing room. Filled with sawdust, not poly-fil. Thanks Su for supplying the sawdust and company while I *stuffed* this puppy!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Strippy Update

Here are pics of my Strippy Leader/Ender quilt. I've been running these under the needle while piecing the blue-green Snail's Trail blocks. This is about a third of the total strips waiting to have the little red triangle added to the end.

I got the strips all pieced and it felt like I was pressing for days!

I'd just jumped in with the construction of this quilt without a lot of thought. Then realized I'd better stop and do some planning. So I drafted what I think I want it to look like in EQ.

Love that cheddar, red, sage green combo! It's a little bit like Bonnie's Strippy Leader/Ender but hopefully different enough to make it my own. Thanks for the inspiration Bonnie!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Doll Quilt?

'Member these colors... as a change from my blue-green Snail's Trail blocks? Su said, "Might keep dolly awake!" I think so. But Su's tastes keep rubbing off on me and I'm not complaining! We each entered a "Radio Flyer" quilt in our guild show, her's in red, orange and tan, mine in navy, blue and tan. Guess who got the better ribbon?? Yup! My friend Su.

Notice I just did a *small* quilt in these break out colors for me. *giggling* baby steps... So now I'm trying to decide if I need to sew the rest of the rows on, or stop now, border and quilt!

Luv ya Su!

More Mini-atures...

And while I'm talking about mini's and how fun they are, I just had to share this pic.

Entitled the World's Smallest Half-Square Triangles. =)

*Chuckling* Don't cha just love it! Sooo cute!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another Ornament

The women in my mini-group like to *tease* me about my minis. They don't understand why I'd want to spend all that time on something so small. And you can't sleep under it, so why bother? =) Last year when several of us went to quilt retreat I was often tweaked for the way I dug in their trash bags for 'useable' scraps. "Leslie...!"

During the retreat Su won the daily doorprize of Triangle Papers and spend part of the afternoon making little, tiny half square triangles. She said she didn't know they were going to finish at that size , or she 'never would've bothered.' Leslie, do you want them? Of course!

So partly to show there really was a use for 1/2" half-square triangle, and partly because I wanted to show 'it could be done', I made a Sawtooth Star block. It was so cute! I showed it around the group when it was finished and they just shook their heads - there goes Leslie again... The block was pinned to my design wall for many months until last week I took it into my care again. I bordered and backed it and now it's hanging on the tree in the living room.

Mini Trio

I like making mini's because I get to try out color schemes and pattern ideas without making a full-sized quilt. Sometimes the block piecing doesn't go any faster than a full-sized block, but if the block (or the quilt) doesn't turn out, I can throw it away without guilt!

These mini's are all pieced in the traditional way. I made most of my mini's before paper-piecing became popular, so I just use half-square triangle methods and away I go! This trio is hanging at my quilt guild's annual October show. It was fun to see them all together like that. When they're not at a show, they live in a drawer at my house. Too many quilts, not enough display space!

And no Virginia, these are not potholders and placemats. =)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Love These FPCs

I wanted to make a special gift for a friend who's going through his first Christmas season without his wife of 27 years. But sometimes you have to know a person really well before you 'bequeath' a quilt on them, don't want to overwhelm him... Still, I had that - I want to make something special for this person - feeling in me. So I made a fabric postcard.

He talks about the night sky. When he got back from Hawaii in November he commented on the way the Milkyway looked so completely different down there. He's told me about sitting in his hot tub on a winter night with the starry canopy for company. So I wrote this lyric on the back:

Catch a falling star and put in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away

He *loved* it. It's sitting on his computer monitor where he can see it daily.

Be well Steve.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What is the Opposite of Blue-Green?

I got re-energized at mini-group. My quilty friends all have very different tastes and piecing preferences, which makes it fun. Evette likes the "East Meets West" themes, Asian fabrics and motifs. Mavis likes anything Sunbonnet Sue. Judy likes machine pieced traditional, Kim takes on a Mystery quilt project maybe once or twice a year. And I like to see it all. I came home wanting to *sew*. Well... wanting to start something new. Remember my blue-green Snail's Trail? I've been piecing those blocks since June, trying to stay focused. I have 4o- FIVE out of 48 needed. But I need a break!

So I decided to make a quick doll quilt. Nothing flashy, just easy and satisfying. But what color scheme should I use? Hmmm... I have a bizillion blue and green 2" squares already cut. Noooo!
I asked DH for a color scheme idea and he suggested yellow-orange and red. (!) I pulled colors (with his help) and this is what we came up with.

I'm calling it "Firestorm". =) What a stretch for me.

Christmas Tea

I've talked about my mini-group before, the "Sew What's". We try to meet once a month for fun, food, fellowship and quilt talk. This week we got together for a Christmas Tea. The hostess does a beautiful job of preparing the right foods to set the mood. We all sat and ate finger sandwiches and Christmas cookies and drank tea. It was'lovely'. But seriously, it was so good to see everyone! We hadn't met since September. The show and tell of quilt projects finished and under construction was so inspiring. I came home all charged up!

The hostess has a fabulous collection of ladies hats, so we were encouraged to wear a hat, or chose one from her collection. I wore this bright green and yellow "British Invasion" cap I recently received at a Christmas gift exchange. We had a blast!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Baltimore Album Quilt

For some reason I only think to post new projects and quilts. But I love reading about the quilts others have done in the past and many of you haven't seen my stash of quilts. So with that in mind I offer these pictures of my hand-applique'd, hand quilted Baltimore Album quilt. I posted a picture of this back in June when it was finished, so this is the first year I can put it out in the living room for Christmas.

I finally finished it after fourteen years of fits and starts. At the time I was a die-hard traditionalist so I wanted a cotton batt. Well it was so hard to needle I could only get two stitches on my rocker needle at a time and it was *not* a pleasant quilting experience. The top was complete in 1995, cotton batts have improved a lot I'm told, but I don't think I'll ever attempt to quilt another quilt with a cotton batt!
These are friendship blocks created for me by members of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild, of which I was a member at the time. When my name was drawn I was allowed up to twenty blocks, with the understanding that I'd 'pay back the block bank for as many blocks as I asked for. So I chose twelve instead.
I have loved wreaths and floral spray designs for more years than I can count, so an "X's and O's" selection of blocks seemed like a good idea. I collected a few traditional patterns: Rose of Sharon and Laurel Wreath, found a few current day patterns and drafted a few of my own. I chose the colors and fabric, provided the pattern in a kit and my friends applique'd the blocks.

Then I chose the layout, pieced the top and quilted it. When I finished it, I attempted to contact the 12 women that had helped me create this beauty... I wanted to thank them for their part in the creation of this quilt and to share a picture; for it really is one of my favorites and I'll never make another like it. But so much time had passed I was only able to get in touch with about a third of the twelve. Some had dropped out of the guild, others had moved away and no one knew how to reach them.
Last year I entered it in three local fairs. At the community Redwood Empire Fair in my town, it received Best of Show and was displayed in the winner's circle in the Home Arts building. At the county fair it was up against some National ribbon winning quilters and it placed Second. And at the end of the summer I entered it in a local quilt guild's annual Show and it placed Third. =) So all this confirms what I've thought all along... I make quilts for the pleasure of the process, the beauty of the finished product and the enjoyment of myself, family and friends. Quilt judging is subjective at best.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Been too long

Hi! I'm still here. I just sort of dropped off the Blogland map for awhile. Life got in the way...

Here's a picture of some quick strip ornaments I made last week. I have so much blue, it was easy to pull strip scraps and zip these up.

I try to make pieced ornaments each year for gifts, and if I think ahead, keep one for me. Here's a picture of last year's ornaments. These were actually created in EQ5, printed on fabric, bordered and then quilted. That was a fun experiment.

I guess I like cool blue looking ornaments. =)

And 2004

What a great idea for using mini's. I have a few mini blocks that never made it into a project. Guess I could make them into ornaments, hmmm...