Monday, December 31, 2007

Why So Similar?

I just looked at my last two posts via Bloglines. It's fun to try and view your own stuff objectively.

Yes the Dbl Nine and the String Along quilt look remarkably similar. I noticed that when I was making the string blocks. That's because both of them were born out of the same 1 and 1/2" strip bins I was trying to make a dent in. Halfway through the string blocks I realized - 'this quilt doesn't feel any different than the last one!'

Time to freshen the strip bins... I know I'll never see the bottom of those. :D

String Along sets

The living room has been de-decorated and the boxes stored until next year. That cleared the deck for some block play. With 36 string along blocks finished I tried to decide on a layout.

I wasn't looking forward to removing all that tissue paper from the blocks, considered leaving in fact; then thought better of it.

So I spritzed each block to soften the paper and ran a latex gloved finger down the channel of each row. Zip! Man, it was fast. When I sewed the borders on there was a little distortion to the top, but nothing ordinary borders couldn't settle out.

Photo taken December 31, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Flimsey Finished

The Double Nine has been finished for awhile as well as the pieced back. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas but then I got caught up in the holiday swirl and I didn't get photos until yesterday.

It's an unusual 74" x 100". I think maybe another row in the width would've been good. *shrug* I seem to rarely make quilts for beds.

Click to enlarge

So simple but I just love it...

Fits Like a Glove

It's been a wonderful quiet, restive week sitting in the recliner by the fire looking out at the cold and damp. I've been reading and hand quilting and knitting. My first pair of socks are done! Just in time for the cold weather we're having.

I love how they feel, so soft and squishy. And they fit so well! No bumps along the little toe like ready made socks. Jo, now I'm among the initiated, I understand. =c)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Many Trips Around the World

Recently one of the ladies in blogland asked if we'd ever made a Trip Around the World quilt. I raised my hand! That was the very first quilt I ever made, the year was 1983.

I still remember wandering around the fabric department stacking and restacking bolts of blue cotton, trying to find the total number I needed. The clerks gave each other knowing looks, must be a quilter. I didn't really know what I was doing! When I ran out of solids to choose from I jumped to a calico.

It was made from hand traced, scissor-cut 5 inch squares. I hand quilted it and at the time it seemed like a lot of quilting. Then I made binding out of kettle cloth (gak!) and used a machine embroidery stitch to sew it down. I had a lot to learn. We still use it on our bed, it's just down a few quilts from the top.

Silent Auction quilt

That year I must've made four or more TATW quilts. Each one got alittle I better I think. The pastel silent auction quilt was a bust; it's hard to get much contrast out of baby pink and blue! I apologize for the poor photo quality but I think these were taken in 1983 and 84 with a 110 instamatic.

Bridal Shower gift

This one was king size as a wedding gift for my brother. I used Blanche Young's notched method and machine quilted it. The two quilt holders are standing on kitchen chairs. I knew I wanted a good picture of this before I mailed it away.

This one I made for DS2 when he was two. Machine quilted and machine washed almost every week for awhile. Man, over the next twelve years he loved that thing to *shreds*.

This was for my Mom for Christmas. Handquilted. It hangs in the guest room at her summer home in New Hampshire.

This was a Baby Shower gift. Ooo look! A two color theme. :D I must've felt adventursome.

These were class samples. The center of these two quilts is the same, only the borders are different; always amazes the Beginning Quilt class.

In 1988 I did a variation called Navajo on commission. My first and *last* commissioned quilt. She asked for a red and pink quilt and to enhance the layout I added cream and tan prints. Once it was all done she asked why I'd put *tan* in it? I explained tan was a neutral and didn't change the color scheme, but she said she didn't like it and reluctantly paid the balance due.
There was also a pink, orange and red (!) pillow when the boys were little, but it got used up and thrown away. Thank heavens!
All these quilts were made before rotary cutting, that's pretty amazing. But I think I was learning about color and contrast.
I haven't made a TATW quilt in almost 18 years so I thought my love affair was over. Then about five years ago I saw this 1930's reproduction by RJR.

Wow! I think there's one more in my future. And I can use my rotary cutting tools and skills. ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

This post's for my DS2. He said Christmas 'snuck up' on him this year. He's got his shopping done, he knows it's a week away, but it still seems a long way away. DH and I decorated the house last Saturday and that perked me up. So here are postcards from home!

Lila in her chosen spot by the fire. She's not stretching, she's sleeping in that pose. We call it "Cat on recreational drugs: heat!"

As Bing Crosby sings, "And the prettiest site you'll see, is the holly that will be... on your own front door."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

More String Along Blocks

I'm having the best time making these little blocks; easy sewing, plenty of color play and visiting with lots and lots of fabric friends. I've pieced 30 blocks out of an intended 36.

These are the bins after I've made all these blocks. *yeesh* Not a dent!
Since they're like Log Cabin blocks I've been playing with different layouts.

EQ's great for some things, but there's nothing like laying out the real blocks.

But I can't decide, so I just keep makin' em. :D

Monday, December 03, 2007

Let the Season Begin

The weather has finally turned cold and rainy, making sitting by the woodstove a cozy delight.

But yesterday I received a call from a friend who offered us two free tickets to the Ukiah Symphony's performance of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. That was worth going out for.

It's been *such* a long time since I've been to the symphony. I enjoyed sitting in the theatre listening with eyes closed to the familar passages. It was nice to *listen* and not be distracted by dance as well. I could enjoy each instrument as it added its' voice during the performance. Just let the mind go...

What a wonderful way to ring in the season. Bring it on!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Family and Friends

A few pictures from Thanksgiving Day:

Lft to rt: Frank, Hollin (DS2) and me

Nathan (DS1) is taking the picture.

Frank Roberts family, 2007

And Mom in the kitchen, of course!

Small is Beautiful

I don't remember when I first saw this quilt store done to scale. But it is a charmer. I come back to the site again and again.

I think it should be listed among the seven wonders of the modern world. From the tiles in the floor to the patchwork quilts on the walls, everything in this store is made from polymer clay.

You can see more photos and read about the creation of this storefront at Sarajane's Polyclay Gallery. Sarajane gave permission to post this on my blog. We had a delightful exchange of e-mail about the Christmas version of this same shop, currently under construction.

I can't wait to see it. Visiting this miniature quilt shop is almost as good as browsing the LQS!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nap Attack

Lila and I Sunday afternoon by the fire.

She's resting her chin on the arm of the rocker. I'm sure that's cozy. :D

There's Gotta Be a Better Way

I had a wonderful four-day holiday; two days with my sons over Thanksgiving and two days sewing the Double Nine together.

This one had outgrown the design wall long ago. It was really fun to lay it all out and see the colors play together.

I'm not the fastest sew-er in the west... but I'm not the slowest either. Sewing this top together took me *forever*. There's just no good way to 'web the top' when it's on point. I love the look of diagonal sets, but it's a pain in the neck keeping track of which row you're on and which way the set triangles go.

I'd been optimistic about getting all the short rows together Saturday and the long rows plus border on Sunday. Didn't happen. After hours of up and down to the floor and machine, I had to call it done late Sunday with just the top together. I still have to trim all the outside triangles and square it up. I do like it though. I think the outer blue triangles gives it sort of a lacy appearance.

So lemme ask you... when you find intersecting seams have flipped while sewing the long seams, do you go back and redo them? When I'm tired I usually say it's good enough. But later I always redo each one.

Monday, November 19, 2007

GF Time

Su declared November 17th a Sew-day. The minigroup members were invited, but we had three. It doesn't matter how many show up. We always have a good time; sewing, girl talk, food, fabric... what else could we want??

We love meeting at Su's house 'cause she has this great big sunlit room that can fit all the tables and gear. Love, love, love that LoneStar, doesn't the color of the wall just make it *pop*?

Here are the last three Paintbox blocks being laid out.

Lynn delcared she hadn't sewn since the last time we all had a sew day... *three* months ago! That's what happens when you retire. You get too busy to do the things you want. :D

And me making more sunshine and shadow string along blocks.

I think they're getting more interesting now that I'm not holding back so much. Been throwing in purple, hot green, orange... it's great fun.

Su pulled out a tub of UFO's and laid out project after project, showing us what she's worked on in the past and things she might not finish because she learned and then moved on.

This was the only one that was on the table long enough to get a pix. Fun stuff!

We potlucked homemade Minestrone soup, tuna salad on greens, marinated cucumber slices and pickled beets. I went home late in the afternoon; tired by happy.