Friday, June 29, 2007


This quilt was made in 1984 for my oldest son, who was three at the time. It's the second quilt I pieced and handquilted.

It's gotten a lot of use and the colors have that soft pateena that quilts get after 20+ years of being loved. Recently DS1 asked if I would put a hanging sleeve on it. He said he still wanted to use and enjoy it, but he thought it would live longer if he stopped using it on his bed. While I was at it, I replaced the binding, by far the most worn part of the quilt. It has added new life to the piece.

I like this quilt for it's simplicity and charm. But I can see now all the things I didn't know at the time. If I made this quilt today, I'd feature the star points in the Ohio Star more by varying the contrast of color. I'd make the rows an even number so the alternating set doesn't look off balance, and I would add borders. But still and all... for a second quilt, the hand quilting is pretty darn even.

And it makes a good Fourth of July post too. :D

Monday, June 25, 2007


Here's my second attempt at this satchel... and if starting with a 12" square is too small... using an 18" square is almost too big!

But it went faster, I knew where I was going with it and I didn't futz myself so much. 'Cept for having to top stitch the left side of the zipper *FOUR* times. First it was too close and the zipper would jam, then it was too far away, then the top stitching was wonky... *Yeesh* The things we go through for our craft.

I think I like the little one better.
Little is cute.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The First One Always Takes the Longest

I just fell in love with Fiona's little satchels. I've been wanting to make one of these since I saw her's in May. I went stash diving for the fabrics first thing this morning, ran to the LFS for zipper and grosgrain, made a few modifications on the original instructions, put the zipper in backwards, *twice*. Felt like I was sewing blind a couple of times. Right side? Wrong side? Inside out? But I'm still pleased with the way it looks. If it just wasn't so darn *small*. I had in mind a man's toiletries kit... well this might work as that for Ken of Ken and Barbie!

Oh well... now that I've worked out all the kinks in the assembly the next one will go much faster. I think I'll start with a 18" square instead of a 12.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another Top Complete

The leader-ender Strippy quilt is now a top. :D

I took it to quilt guild for Show and Tell, I dragged it to work to share with a few co-workers. I held it up last night at mini-group and they of all those I've shown it to enjoyed seeing it the most. (click to enlarge)

"Oh you finished!"
"It's stunning, I *love* it!"
"I LOVE that *green*. It just makes it. Well so does the *orange*... and so does the *red*."

Maybe it's because these ladies know and love me the best. Others said things like,

"Did you *cut* all those squares??" ~ Yes.
"What a lot of *work*. ~ Honestly, do people say that to other great artists?
"How long did it take you??" ~ Well if you have to ask that, you don't understand.

Love me, love my quilt. :D

Monday, June 11, 2007

Her Highness

Another composite image created by DH; this time featuring our own Miss Lila.

The ocean is from one photograph, the quilt and pillows from another, Lila from a third and the rest of the image elements were created from recycled electrons. Click to enlarge.

Thanks HB. :D

Maverick Blocks

I was clearing out this weekend and decided I'm willing to part with these vintage blocks. There are 44 hand-pieced six inch blocks in fabrics from the 1920's and 30's. Each one is a little different and includes a variety of plaids, stripes and calicos. It has alot of charm... but it's a little too Maverick for me. :D I bought them at an Estate sale a few years ago.

They're featured on e-bay if you're interested in adopting them.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sew Good mini-group

The mini-group that I belong to has been in existance for almost five years. Many members have come and gone, some have moved, new members have joined. Recently we got together after five months without a meeting to 'regroup'. We revisited the names on the roster and those that were interested renewed their commitment to the group. We agreed to meet a *minimum* of once a month and try to manage a 'Sew day' in addition as time permitts.

It felt like this incarnation of the group called for a new name. Lynn and I were in the front room talking about possibilities: Bag Ladies was taken and sounded negative. Hens and Chicks was too 'cutsy', Pointless Sisters? Nah... then during a pause in our brain storming we heard Evette in the family room telling a story to Judy, in that moment she said, "It was soooo good!" Lynn and I *lit* up. That's IT! Sew Good!

A few weeks later Su hosted the first Sew day under our new name. The new roster has eight, six said they would be there, three of us showed. :D It never matters how many come... it's always delightful to slip out of the every-day to-do's and get together with GF's for sewing, talk, food and laughter. There was a lot of each.

This is Lynn's current project, she's creating 1930's Butterflies as her contribution to the 'sew a row' project from her guild. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of Lynn!

Su was sorting her scrap bin in preparation for cutting into light and dark squares and strips for use later. Her scrap bin was more like a *hamper*. She kept grumbling about the tediousness of the task, but it was great to see her scrap stash and watch the progress she made.

She sorted and cut *all* day!

And then there was my project. I'd gotten all the cheddar borders on the columns and was ready to take the plunge. Here it is laid out for the first time. Su's living room floor is large enough to lay it out comfortably. This is a *big* quilt.

And I complained about the tediousness of assembling all those lonnng columns with all those muslin strips. We were glad for the company and conversation.

This is Su's huge marmalade cat, Cuevo. He appointed himself "Chief Quilt Inspector". Every time I picked up a pair of strips to piece, he'd move to the next column and stretched out. It was the funniest thing.

Finally, by the end of the day, missing only the outer border. I could hardly believe it! I was exhausted...

And there's Cuevo, down in the right hand corner, probably disgruntled that his nap pad was no longer on the floor. :D

Strippy Update

Well the leader-ender part of the Strippy quilt was completed shortly after I finished piecing Big Blue. I got the columns together and then it just sat. I found the right 'cheddar' for the border and no longer had that road block as my excuse. But I just wasn't gettin' to it. I was already musing on my *next* leader-ender. Now that the Strippy was being assembled, I needed something to sew off on. This is a never ending loop!

Finally I bit the bullet.

I decided rather than cut off all the diagonal ends in order to create my columns, I would sew the end to the beginning and make straight cuts across the column. That saved me an amazing amount of time and effort.

Another never ending loop!

I cut the borders from the cheddar. I was laying in bed one night after working on it, calculating the totals: Eighteen yards of continuous Strippy colum and *thirty-six* yards of cheddar border.

Then it was just a matter of putting the pedal to the metal. I'd used Adela - my ftwt for all the piece work, but she was sounding tired. So I got out my mid-sized machine which was just back from a tune-up.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wash Day

This was the scene at my house a week ago. I just love the homey look of freshly washed quilts on the line. I made this quilt years ago from a ragged top I found in a collectible shop. I loved the colors and prints. The fabrics range from the 1920's to the 1960's.

The owner was asking 15.00. (!) I snatched it up. He said, "I had another one just like it in the van that I was using to wrap the furniture... I don't know what happened to that one." Yikes!

I took it apart piece by piece, the stitching was *awful*, large stitches using thread that was coarse and heavy. I didn't feel like I was destroying history.

Then I made 3" ninepatches out of the nicer prints and set them into a Double Nine Patch layout.

Here's a close-up of some of the prints. The one above has little clown heads in the top block. The top block in the lower picture has cat footprints. Too cute! Click to enlarge.

And a hand printed label that reads:

This quilt was made from fabrics that were recycle from a scrap quilt that was found in a collectibles store. The fabrics range in date from 1920 to 1960. Only the muslin, border fabric and backing are new. It is quilted in the Bishops fan pattern. Machine pieced by Leslie Roberts and hand quilted by Lil Barton, both of Santa Rosa, California. Begun April 1990, completed November 1992.

Pieces from the past.