Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fat Quarter Wash Day

'Member this eye candy stack I received at my birthday bash? It was time to bring it into the family, time to prewash.

I like to submerge my new fabric one at a time in a tub of hot water in the kitchen sink. I get to know 'em... it's my first chance to be with them. But I also get to see which fabrics bleed or are fully set. This stack of Hoffmann fat quarters did really well till I got to the reds, they ran pink. Makes it worth the effort somehow.

Lookin' like colorful nappies on the line.

Now they're washed and folded on the shelf ready to use. I know a lot of quilters don't want to bother with this step, they want to get right down to it... but I've had more than a few heartbreaks in my quilting with bad bleeds. And this is the nicest laundry I do!

Autumn Bliss

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Was Old is New Again

I like working in the original 1930's pastel palette of fabrics... much better than working with the reproductions. I surf e-bay for UFO blocks at a fair price. These were being offered for a song! Maybe you can see why:

The seam allowance was wonky, the plates didn't lay flat and the backgrounds were cut without attention to the grain of the fabric. I think I paid $4.50 plus shipping for 25 blocks.

The salmon background is a great classic color from that era but it completely drowned the soft prints set against it.

I frogged the plates from the background, the applique had been done with brown buttonhole twist and the stitches were 'toenail catchers'. I didn't feel guilting reworking these blocks. Once the plates were off the background I frogged the blades, pressed and recut them into a different shape. When I started appliqueing the plates I was so glad I chose pointed blades instead of rounded. It made the hand stitching a breeze.

It's been pick up work off and on for a few years, I have 17 out of 20 complete.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Classic Quilt Show '08

The LQG holds their annual show the same weekend our town has the annual Classic Car Show. It makes a good pairing. The men look at the cars and the women go to the conference center near by and look at quilts.

Casting Shadows - Linda McCallum

Mystery Quilt - Linda McCallum

I loved the piping and binding detail on this one, very fun!

Graduation gift - Dede Lediford

I know I've photographed this quilt at another show before. I just love how striking it is.

Lone Star - Kim Sechrest

Kim Sechrest

Traditional Sampler - Betty
This was almost king sized, hand quilted and on sale for $350.00!

Thimbleberries Sampler - Betty

This was a king too, also for sale at a low price. The applique-like blocks are pre-printed, but the patchwork blocks are pieced.

Home and Harvest - Barbara Little

This is felt applique', the contrast was stunning. I recognized it as a block of the month pattern in one of the quilt magazines. I'd considered doing some of the blocks but couldn't imagine taking on the whole quilt!

Manatee's Paradise - Sherry K

Each circle has a manatee cameo.

Marian Drain

It looks like I took a lot of orange-red quilt pictures. I must've had autumn colors in my mind that day. :cD

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Thank you for the comments on the blue quilt in the post - Heat Seeking. Here's a photo showing the whole quilt.

The year was 1992 and I'd been a quilter about nine years. I offered to make Frank a quilt for our anniversary and he was really interested. We talked it over and he said he really liked the Bear Paw pattern but had an idea he'd like to play with to try and make it his own. He was doing tile installation at the time and thought there ought to be a way to get the blocks to appear to visually flow from one to the other.

click to enlarge

This is a scan of his draft. Back then it was quad rule graph paper, colored pencils and a ruler. As you can see I calculated the number of each piece I'd need and from there, set to work.

The blocks set right next to each other and in order for the color to flow the way he wanted, I added more seams and pieced quarter square triangles - the old fashioned way, not speed pieced... and then had dozens of seams to try to match. I got about half the blocks pieced when I figured there was bound to be a better way. We call it BearChase because it looks a little like Bear's Paw and a little like Flying Geese.

Since this was an orignal design I've always thought it'd be fun to draft it out in detail and submit it to some quilt magazine for their consideration... but I just never got around to it. So finally 15 years later I decided to draft it in Electric Quilt to see what the simplification would be.

I started in EQ5 because I wanted calicos. But EQ5 doesn't have all the nice draw tools EQ6 has and I needed those for the border. I created it in 5, exported it, then opened it in 6, which brought in the fabrics I'd used. Once saved as an EQ6 file I added the borders.

Now I think I should make it again with the new piecing and updated colors. I don't think I've made many quilts twice, once made is once enough. But this has possibilities. I could forget the block piecing approach and sew it in rows.

And it's nice to know I really do learn as I go along!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heat Seeking

Mornings are frosty now. I climbed into a cup of Lady Grey. Lila saw a warm lap.

She becomes so social and affectionate as days grow short and nights grow cold. Time to take that room ac unit out of the window!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Double Four Patch Strippy

The house was empty this weekend so I decided there was time and space to layout the Double Four Patch Strippy.

The blocks've been done for over two years and set aside because... I can't exactly remember why. I thought it was because I was stalling on the math for the set triangles. They needed to be cut from quarter square triangles so the straight of the fabric falls along the edge of the row. But when I finally knuckled down to the task of figuring out what size square I needed, the yardage was just right! Two years ago I must've gotten over that hurdle and done the math, but I didn't remember. *yeesh* silly me, stalling all this time when I didn't need to.

I got pretty excited when I finally got it laid out. Woo-HOO! I'm back at it!

(Note: I just read my original post about the DFP blocks and it all came back to me. Wow! This blogging is a great quilt journal thing)

Autumn Jacquard

My extended family is coming for Thanksgiving so I decided to make napkins. I thought an all-over autumn leaf print would be nice. But then I saw this, woven, not printed:


Washed and ready for cutting. I always pre-wash and in this case the yardage shrunk three and a half inches in the width, better before than after!

Launching DS2

I went down Friday morning and helped Hollin bank his last paycheck, run errands and pack. It turns out it was a good thing Frank didn’t come with us, there was no room in the car! He stayed home to try and throw off his cold. That evening we gathered at Nathan’s for dinner with Hollin’s friends. I cooked and served, Omar, Hollin’s best friend did the dishes.

We were leaving at 4:30 am with a 12 hour drive ahead of us so I went to bed at 9:30. I travel with ear plugs but even so every time I woke up I could hear the five of them wailing away on the video game “Rock Star” on into the small hours.

Hollin and I got on the road home at 5:00. When we got to the house Frank was up and packed and they took off for Oregon. I was glad not to have the long leg of the trip. Frank called that evening to say they'd arrived at BIL's house. I talked to them this morning and they were headed west for Cannon Beach about 11:00. Ecola college had a short window of time allowed for moving in, 2:30 t0 5:00 and they wanted to get there with time to drive around the town to get a feel for it. It turns out I had the camera so I won't get pictures of the campus or dorm room until later.

Best Wishes DS!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blue Placemats

They're done! Machine pieced, machine quilted, machine bound, washed and ready to go to New York as a wedding gift for our nephew and his wife.

Binding is my least favorite step, but with eight bindings to do, I got lots of practice. By the seventh and eighth one I'd figured out a few things (preapply with pins, don't finger pin as you go) and they were turning out better with less frustration. Hey! An old dog can learn new tricks. :cD

Shhh... it's a surprise.