Thursday, October 23, 2014

A is for Alphabet

 I finished a very old WIP last night. It is so satisfying to move this to the completed list! I must have started this alphabet quilt at least 12 years ago. I know I bought the daisy print in 1999 or 2000 when Julia was a Girl Scout Daisy. 


I remember making the letter templates on my computer, either in Word or Powerpoint. I can't find the file, so I'm not sure which font I used. I had a big collection of novelty prints at the time, so most of this fabric came out of my stash. The print for each letter represents that letter. A is for alphabet, B is for balls, C is for crayons, etc.


The letters were hand appliqued over the years at ball games and whenever I had a few minutes to spare. The applique was finished and the top was assembled in August 2013. Last week, I added the border and pieced the back from some Dr. Seuss prints. The blue binding is from the same Dr. Seuss collection.


I quilted around each letter, then added swirls in the background.


I like the way you can see the letters on the back.
 

A is for Alphabet
34" X 46"
Started c. 2000
Completed October 22, 2014
Original design

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hexies from the Archives

The theme this week for Tuesday Archives at Val's Quilting Studio is Hexagons. (Theme number 2 is Houses, but I don't have any house quilts.) Digging through my archives, I've uncovered more hexie projects than I remembered!

Nonna's Garden from 2011 is my favorite. You can read more about her here.



This hexie runner was a major turning point for me, which is one of the reasons it is still displayed in my blog banner. The modern prints and natural linen is so 2010 and I still love it so!
 

I dug out my mother's unfinished GFG blocks from the 1990's and finished the quilt for her birthday three years ago.


I really love this foundation paper-pieced table topper that I donated to a silent auction. I still need to make one for myself.


I do have this hexagon table topper that I made in 2007.


I made some rose stars for a swap in 2012.


This was the cutest pouch I've ever made and I gave it away. Some swaps are so difficult to part with!


My current hexie WIP. These fussy cut rings look like gears to me. I might applique them to a background, leaving lots of negative space.





Phew! That was a lot of hexagons! Head on over to Val's to see more.

http://myplvl.blogspot.com/2014/10/tuesday-archives-33-hexagons-houses.html

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