Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's that time again . . .

Blogger's Quilt Festival!  Yay!  And a big Thank You to Amy for putting together and hosting this fun on-line event again. 

Welcome to Indigo Threads, if this is your first visit here.  I hope you'll enjoy my entry into the BQF, and that you'll visit again!

Amish Center Diamond
28 inches square
 My entry into the BQF is in the "an oldie but a goodie" category.   I made this waaay back when, in 1988 according to the label I actually made and put on.  (That's a miracle in itself!)  That's 23 years ago!  Wow, I can't believe it's been that long.

I had been quilting about 8 years by then, and Roberta Horton's book about Amish quilts, "An Amish Adventure", published in 1983, had gotten me excited about Amish quilts and their use of color.  I made two quilts in the Amish style,  a smaller, simpler wallhanging for my Mom and a doll quilt, before I decided to do this one. 

When I started this quilt, it was before rotary cutters and the nifty plastic rulers that we have now.  This was all measured with a yardstick and marked with a pencil, then cut out with scissors.  Practically the Dark Ages!  But somehow, it all fit together.

Good cottons in solids were hard to find then, so the purple and the black are both poly-cotton, I think.  I used a polyester batt, which was all I could find then.  Now, the black is suffering from some migration of the batting through the top.  It's not super visible, fortunately.

It took me 2 years to hand-quilt this quilt.  When I was working on the black borders with black thread, it was so hard to see what I was doing that I could only quilt on this sitting in bright sunlight.  Nighttime was too difficult to see to quilt - again, long before Ott lights came along.  I quilted this without a hoop or a thimble, as I never got the hang of using either.  I felt like I had better control of my stitching without the hoop.  And whatever finger I put the thimble on just seemd to end up sticking up in the air, well away from the quilt top!  LOL 

This quilt is starting to show it's age now.  I had it hung on a wall for a long time, and thanks to the bright California sun, it has faded some.  But it's still one of my favorites.  This was the best and most extensive hand-quilting I ever did.  Now, I quilt either on my Bernina or "by check" (longarmer).  I love the feel of the quilting - it's so soft and cuddly.  I suppose this quilt is my "heirloom" quilt, just based on the work and love I invested in it.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  It's so fun to see everyone's quilts and read their stories!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some random stuff . . .

Autumn in Western Washington
I saw this tree the other day and couldn't resist snapping a picture.  Most of the trees haven't done much yet, but a few are in full swing.  Love it!

Back during the 1st week of the month, one day I got a surprise squishy in the mail.  Sweet Belinda over at Brown Dirt Cottage sent me these cute Halloween fabrics to use in the Halloween quilt I'm making.  Thanks, Belinda, I love them all.  Especially those skulls!

This month I was lucky enough to win the Block of the Month drawing at my local quilt guild meeting.  I didn't know it at the time, but these are Antique Tile blocks.  Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville had this pattern in her Addicted to Scraps column for Quiltmaker magazine in the Sept./Oct. issue.  My DS has decided he likes these, so this will be one for him.  I also received one  extra block kit to sew up, so I think I'll let him pick which fabrics he wants for one more block, and then we'll swap out that blue block in the 3rd row.  Add some borders to bring it up to a good size and voila!  Another quilt top.  Pretty cool! 

I've managed to get in the quilt studio a number of times this week.  No photos yet, but I'm making progress.  Hopefully I'll have some photos for the next post.

Giggle for the day:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ta Da!

Doodle Bugs
26 inches square
Doodle Bugs is finished!  Yay!  It was actually done weeks ago, but I couldn't get a decent picture.  Finally, when the sun came out, I could get it.

Edited to add:  You can read all about how the Doodle Bugs came to be here.

I did a scrappy binding.  Mostly because I didn't have enough of any one fabric for the whole thing.  Besides, I think it's more fun, and this quilt told me it wanted to be fun.

You can see the great quilting that Shari did better on the back than on the busy front.  And this is why I sent it to her, instead of doing it myself.  Something this wonderful is way beyond my skills at this point.

Of course, the Quilt Inspector had to come and do the Softness Test.

And the Warmth Test.

The other evening, right before sundown, the rain let up some and the sun came out.  When I went into the Quilt Studio, I saw a rainbow.  So I ran downstairs, grabbing the camera, and out the front to see that it had become a double rainbow on the right hand end.  It's faint . . . can you see it?  We haven't seen a rainbow for a while now, and I love them.

I'm starting to feel a little better, but still am not quite up to snuff.  I've just started on the second antibiotic. I hope this will do the trick.  Right now, I have a good day about every other day.  So, I'm starting to be able to get into the Quilt Studio occasionally, and I'll hopefully have something more to show in a few days!

Question:  how do you feel about the new "Lightbox" feature that Blogger has started?  Do you like it?  I turned it off on my blog, because I don't care for it.  If you prefer it, let me know.  I don't think the photos enlarge well enough with the Lighbox and I like being able to see the details on the quilts.

Fall seems to be off to a good start here.  It's most definitely cooler, it's been raining, and some of the trees and  bushes are starting to turn color.  But what really tells me that it's Autumn is that we're having lots of noisy flocks of geese flying in to land on our pond and then noisily leaving again.  They don't stay long . . . they act like they're in a hurry to get South!  And it's sure getting dark a lot sooner now, and I've had to put a warmer quilt on the bed.  I love Autumn!  Happy Fall, y'all!