Sunday, October 19, 2014

Funny Story

I met a guild friend at a Habitat for Humanity home dedication today. Jane and I were there to present this quilt to the family as a housewarming gift from Ninigret Quilters. I noticed on the program that the gift presentations would take place immediately following the homeowner's remarks, and ours was first. This was an emotional group. The volunteer family partner and the homeowner both teared up during their talks, and got everyone else going. And now it's my turn? Great.

I had the speech planned in my head that started with, "Jane and I are happy to be here..." Then the MC asked us to come forward and introduce ourselves. 
I said, "I'm Jane. Wait. No, I'm not! She is Jane." We all laughed! They called me "Not Jane" for the rest of the event.

As Bugs Bunny and my brother Vinnie would say, "What a maroon!"

Friday, October 17, 2014

Patchwork Batting

 It's Friday, and that means I will be machine quilting. I have four small tops standing by. As I sorted through the available batting, I found some big pieces and some not so big pieces leftover from other projects. Batting scraps are great for table runners and mug mats. 

This little black, white and orange piece is only about 39" square. Certainly I have a piece of batting big enough. Not. What to do? Piece some together.

I'm sure you've seen other people piece batting, but I'm going to show you again anyway. I'm stalling.

Lay out your batting scraps on the quilt top, making sure they overlap a little and extend a few inches beyond the edges.

Before you piece them together, you need straight edges, so trim them up.

I set my machine to a wide, long zig zag. Butt the edges together, do not overlap, and stitch. The zig will catch one piece and the zag will catch the other. You shouldn't see any space between your pieces when the stitching is done. (I pulled them apart for the picture so you could see the two pieces.)

I must have stretched one piece a little, even though I tried not too. Those baggy bits (below) will get quilted flat. It's OK. I make every effort to use just one type of batting, but I did need to use one piece of a different brand for this one. It will be a wall hanging, so no one will ever know.

That's all there is to it. Quilt as desired!

I joined another quilt guild recently so I made a new nametag with the guild logo. I made such a huge mess in that one hour! And my nametag is lopsided and enormous! I wore it last night and felt like a quilted clown. Oh, well. 

P.S. I'll tell you all about that orange quilt when it it done.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Baby Safari

 I pulled this project out again after a two week break. I was in my LQS recently, and they had a panel of adorable animals pinned to the wall behind the register. Julia had seen all four animals that week, so the fabric had to come home with me!

My original intention was to make two pillows for Julia's bed to welcome her home in December. But once I got going, Instagram decided they had to stay together in a wall hanging or baby quilt.

I've been trying to move them around and add various coordinating prints to make it large enough for a baby quilt, but it just isn't working.

Some zebra print sashing and the coordinating pink pennant print will work for a wallhaning. 

The collection is called Hello World  from Blend Fabrics. The animal panel is called Welcoming Committee and the pink print is called Glory Days. How sweet is that?

If you'd like to see Julia's photos of these animals and more (including treadle sewing machines in the tailor's shop), please visit her blog, Julia's Journey. The spike in blog traffic will freak her out!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Swap Soup

I seem to have settled into a new routine of quilting WIPs on Fridays. For the third Friday in a row, I have worked on a WIP. The border quilting took longer than I had planned so the quilt wasn't finished until today.

This quilt was named Swap Soup because it contains a hodge podge of swap blocks and fabrics. Kind of like stone soup, they seemed to take on more flavor when they came together.

Working out from the center, the 12 little paper pieced blocks were made over the course of three months in 2011 by the Teeny Weeny Paper Piecing bee, which is no longer active on Flickr. They were supposed to be 6" finished blocks, but not all were exactly the right size. I added borders to even everything out.

Here you can see the quilting on the 6" blocks and their borders. The next border row was cut from basket weave string blocks I made in a Bonnie Hunter class in April 2012.

For the next round (on the right below), I added the blocks from Crafty Blackbird's Siggy Swap in 2012. They were quilted with a leaf shape and a stitch-in-the-ditch vine to travel up the center of the rows. The next row is from a couple of rounds of the Mini Scrap Basket String block swap. I used an Angela Walters fill from one of her Craftsy classes to quilt them.

To the top and bottom, I added some blocks made from polka dot charms that I also got in a 2012 swap. They were a little long, so I chopped off the ends to fit. 

I was so annoyed with the outer border that I almost chopped it right off! My shoulders were killing me by then and I was cranky. I was doubting the border fabric, the quilting pattern and the thread choice. With some encouragement from Instagram friends, I just kept stitching! I love that green binding.

 For the back, I pieced together some yardage of Italian alphabet prints that had been in my stash since 2012. (Michale Miller Parole Italiano) Julia loved her Italian teachers, so we thought about making aprons for them. With all the excitement of senior year, that never happened. 

Here's a zebra and elefante in honor of Julia's adventure to Tanzania.

Swap Soup
65" X 86"
Started with a swap in June 2011
Top completed November 2012
Quilt completed October 11, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Throw Me a Curve

 I know it's not Throw Back Thursday or Flashback Friday, but I had to share this quilt from 2007. I was scrolling through Facebook this morning and saw a pic of my fabric box in a Mark Lipinksi post! Thanks for the link, Mark!

This got me thinking about the times I met Mark in person. In 2006, I took a mystery class with him called Throw Me a Curve. Thank you, Clamshell Quilters, for welcoming me.

I was that annoying girl in class who wants to be the first one done with each step to get the next clue first. I had all my units done before the end of the day, and Mark crawled around on the floor with me to lay them out. 

The blue and yellow top was fine, but a little flat. The 2000 print added a little sparkle. I added some (too many?) red hearts, covered some buttons, and quilted with red thread.

The arrow is pointing to a quilted baseball - a little nod to the class title.

 Oh, my! Look at my little baseball player with long hair! Whenever he pitched, he would take his hat off to flip his hair out of his eyes. After almost every pitch. So funny! Who would have guessed he'd grow up to be Marine?

 Julia and I got to see Mark again in 2008 at Quilters by the Sea. He asked if his PG-13 lecture would be OK with Julia in the audience! I believe in embarrassing my children equally, so here's my awkward middle school girl with braces! Who would have guessed she'd be in Tanzania now?

Throw Me a Curve
Started September 2006
Finished February 2007
60" square
Mark Lipinksi mystery class

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monkey Wrench

 It finally stopped raining, so I can show you the Monkey Wrench quilt that was finished over a week ago. There are not my favorite fabrics to work with, but I really enjoyed the process. I can't wait to tell you how these blocks were pieced, but you'll have to wait until my friend's instructions are published.

I bought most of the fabric on a shop hop trip last Spring, and picked up the border and backing fabric on a road trip a few weeks ago. From a pair of fat quarters, I was able to make four blocks - 2 positive and 2 negative. (Look for the green blocks to see what I mean.)

These are my favorite blocks. I love these red and blue prints. If you click on the collage, you'll be able to see the large stippling. I went through 9 bobbins with this quilting.

I made a huge Greek Cross block for the back. Isn't it cool how many different blocks you can make with the same shapes? By the way, hand stitching the binding was a nightmare. That red print blended so well into itself, I couldn't see what I was doing! That print doesn't look so pink in person.

The quilt is a little too big for Bill to hold up!

Monkey Wrench
Started Sunday, 9/21/14
Finished Saturday, 9/27/14
61" X 84"

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's Magenta, Don!

Friday has really been Finish it up Friday around here. This is the second finished quilt in 2 weeks. (No, I haven't shown you the finished Monkey Wrench yet.)

Magenta was started in April 2013 as a RIMQG challenge. We were each given a crayon as a starting point and I got magenta. When I worked in my cousin's photo lab in high school, we had a customer who always complained that his prints were too magenta. We heard "It's magenta, Don" every week.

I started with a yard of dahlia print from my stash- the only thing that matched my crayon color- and went from there. The only fabrics I needed to buy were the border and backing.

As I searched for a pattern to showcase the large print, Camille gave a sneak peak of her Sweet Life quilt from Simply Retro. I couldn't wait for the book to arrive, so I drafted my own block. My blocks are smaller than Camille's to suit the amount of fabric I had.

I thought about doing some custom quilting on this, but I just couldn't decide what to do in those large octagons. So I went with my go-to free motion loops. I was totally in the zone and finished the quilting in just a few hours. 

I wasn't sure about the dark brown binding, but I didn't want to spend any more money on this piece. I had just enough brown thread to hand stitch the binding. Don't you love the grapes on the back?

 It's Magenta, Don!
53" X 66"
Started April 2013
Finished October 2014
Inspired by Camille Roskelley's Simple Life