Monday, October 20, 2008


My Boo! quilt is finally finished. It took me 2 years to do it! Of course, there was moving in there too. This is my first one, kind of. And I have another one to finish yet. I made one of these tops (my original) and gave it to Purple Pam as a trade for something. Then I made one for my DD. Then I made one for me - this one. It didn't get finished that year, 2006 I believe it was. It got packed up for the move. Then last fall, I totally forgot that I had started one ('moving brain'), so I started another one! Then I found this one as I was unpacking this year.

Are you confused yet??

This top was already pin basted when I "found" it, so I decided to just quilt it and get it done. I stalled on this for awhile, because I knew that whatever I quilted in the border would really show, as it's solid black. But I decided that finished was better than perfect and just did it. I did a wandering meander and it came out much better than I thought it would! And it only took like 15 minutes to do the entire border. Don't know why I stalled so long on it! I don't think the border quilting really shows up too well in these pictures, so don't know if you can see it.

I did a new-to-me binding technique on this that I learned in one of my guild workshops. You sew an accent strip to the binding fabric, then apply the binding on the back of the quilt. When you turn it to the front, you just machine stitch in the ditch between the binding and the accent fabric and it's all done! The way to do the corners was a little tricky to wrap my brain around, but it worked and I'm happy with the way it turned out.

I just thought this fabric was so cute when I saw it, that I had to get it. Love these jack o'lantern faces!

I made these letters with some stencils that I found at WallyMart. The letters are 3 inches high.

I used a spooky tree fabric that I love on the back, and I used a fusible for the quickie label, and it worked like a charm. I need to do more of these labels!

This wallhanging has gone to live with my granddaughters. I may get the other one done this year, but probably not. It gives me something to look forward to! (riiiight)

I've been working some on my project for Tonya's Quilt Together. Here's what I have so far:

My 1st attempt at free-pieced letters. These were just a test. I think the "H" is too small and the "M" is too big, but not too terrible for my first try. I found it harder than I thought it would be!

I've decided to do a version of a witch's pantry for my project. These are my 1st attempts at making jars. They also are harder than I thought they would be. And not as "wonky" as I wanted, either. But, it's an on-going process and I expect I'll learn a lot as I go through this project. I'm pretty jazzed about doing this!
That's all for now. Happy quilting, everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Secret Project Reveal!

Finally! I finished the Secret Project for my sister AND she's received it, so now I can reveal it to the world. Well, maybe not the whole world. But you never know with the internet.

You can see my previous posts about the Secret Project here and here.

I used Gwen Marston's book on fabric books as my instructions. I think the little book came out pretty well. This book was supposed to be finished for my sister's birthday (in August). Didn't make it. Then, she was stopping by for the night a few weeks ago. I tried again to finish it. Didn't make it. I did manage to cut my finger real well with the scissors though! (Man, I couldn't believe I did that. I was aiming for the thread, but got my finger instead. Right on the tip of my index finger. Ouch!)

So, finally I said "enough is enough!" and sat down and finished the project. I was held up by not having spray starch when I needed it, and then just procastinated. I'm good at procrastination. I was hoping having a blog would help me just get past that. I'm trying, but I'm still procrastinating. Old habits. . . .

So, anyway, the picture up above is the front of the book. It was a hard call as to which page to use. I thought this one was eye-catching.

The next two pages. The page on the right is a direct copy of the one in Gwen's book. I was trying to get into the "zone" on how to do this. And I love that page!
Next. Sorry that dark red page just won't show up well. I tried stronger light AND photo editing, but it's just being shy!
Next, with another dark red page being difficult. (The piecing on the right-hand page just doesn't show up well. I had to cut it down too much.)
And finally the back of the book.

My sister was very pleased and surprised with the book. And I'm happy that she's happy!

It didn't come out as "perfect" as I wanted it to, but I learned a lot. The next one (if there are any more) will be easier. Next time I would do less piecing OR make the pages a little bigger. I had a hard time getting the block centered in the space when cutting down to the size Gwen suggested. Some of them look more off-center than I'm happy with for this rather formal-looking block. I think the next one I attempt I'll go more for the "wonky"!

On other fronts, I think I've decided what I want to do for the Quilt Together with Lazy Gal Tonya. I've tried some free-pieced letters and one jar. I'm not too happy with some of my letters, but I like the jar. Sorry, no pictures this time, but I'll have some for the next time.

My hands are starting to feel better. I've been taking it easy with them. (The house is looking like it too, unfortunately. But DH washed the large pile of dirty dishes today - Yay!) And I'm behind in commenting on blogs. I read blogs last night while I soaked my hand in Epsom salts, which really helped a lot. But I can't type with one (left) hand! So, I'm visiting, but lurking.

Oh, and I finished the other little fabric book, the one that was the 1st attempt. I'll show you that one in my next post.

And hey! A whole post without another fall quilt. But there's more coming. . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can You Stand Another....

fall/Halloween quilt?? It seems I never run out!
I purchased these hand-silkscreened blocks from a vendor at Pacific International Quilt Festival some years ago. I thought they were such cute folk art. (I actually bought lots more pieces, but haven't used most of them yet!) I put them with some pumpkin fabric that I really like. It's just big enough to fit a skinny piece of wall, which I just happen to have!
A closeup so you can really appreciate the detail in these little blocks.

I haven't been doing too much this week. I over-did on some hand work (quilting and applique) last weekend and am now suffering with a tendonitis flareup in my hands. Aside from the discomfort, it's just a pain to not be able to do much. I can type a little, and do the rotary cutter and sewing machine, but not iron or cut with scissors. So, I've sorted some fabrics and generally made a mess in the quilt studio. I did finally find an embroidery hoop! I have somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen hoops, and couldn't find a single one. But I finally found one in another project! Yay! Now, when my hands feel better, I can finish the block that I needed the hoop for.

I started quilting another Halloween wallhanging. (The "Boo!" quilt, Pam!) I've gotten the center done, but now I'm kind of stuck on what to do on the border, especially since my hands aren't really cooperating. The border is solid black, so any quilting will really show up well. So, both the quilt and my hands are resting whilst I cogitate on it. I may end up not doing free-motion and just doing simple lines with the walking foot. That should be easier on my hands. But boring, probably.

Our weather has turned quite fall-like this week. We've been cold at night - last night our low was 32 degrees! And the high isn't much above the 50 degree mark. Seems like we turned cold pretty quickly this fall. We're starting to get some good color on the trees, but have another week or more before it peaks. But just beautiful sunny weather yesterday and today. Yay for sun! And, just so you know, I really didn't expect to ever hear myself say that. I got over-done on sunshine in California. No problem with that here in Washington!

Just to show you that I'm not totally obsessing with fall quilts, here's one that doesn't even come close to fall.

This was a color challenge in which we blindly drew paint chips out of a paper bag to determine the colors we had to work with. I drew two colors pretty close to each other. At first it was hard to find the colors I needed, but after going to a couple of quilt shows (and the multiple vendors at each one), I was OK on fabrics. (Shopping for quilting somehow has never been a hardship, except maybe on the checkbook!)
I can't remember if I paper-pieced this one or not. It was a hard one to do as far as figuring out what I needed to do on each block, for color placement. I got easily confused on this one! I had a lot of false starts on these blocks. I also wasn't thrilled with the white background, but it seemed to work the best with these colors.
So, I added the buttons to the corners to kind of jazz it up a little. That was fun to do, figuring out all the different ways you could sew on a button!

I had a hard time deciding how to quilt this one. I ended up doing minimal quilting on it. It's just a little wallhanging, about the size of a placemat, so that's not a big deal. But I was quite pleased with how the border quilting worked. The first time I had tried that, and it came out better than I thought it would. Can't complain about that, can I?

I had so much fun with this challenge that I actually made 2 quilts! And my DD made one too. I think it was only her 2nd or 3rd quilt. Someday I'll show you my other quilt, and maybe DD will let me show hers too.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Frost Is On The Pumpkin...

Guess what? I love fall, and Halloween! Maybe because my birthday is this time of year, maybe because I like cool weather, maybe - who knows?? I love a crisp fall day, with the leaves falling and the smell of smoke. Something about it just really speaks to me and makes me happy. Every year I seem compelled to make yet another fall/Halloween wallhanging. Maybe someday I'll even make a full-size quilt! Because this time of year makes me want to cuddle up into a cozy quilt with my kitties and a good book. I've seen a lot of great fall/Halloween quilts around blogland this fall. They're very inspiring. Now, if I only had more time!

I made the quilt with the yellow kitty 2 or 3 years ago. The cat looks like my daughter's cat Hamlet, except I think Hamlet is perhaps more pumpkin-shaped than this. (sorry, sweetie!)
I started this quilt with the dark kitty not long after Hamlet's, but never quite got it finished. This one is Shade, because we didn't have Dunkel then. When I was going through my (many) bins of projects, I found this again. It only needed the eyes and whiskers added. I finally got it done! Yay! Another finish! But, after I took this picture, I changed the eyes to brighter green buttons. I forgot to take another picture. Oops! But just try to imagine how it looks, OK?
This is a little stenciled quilt that I bought one year at a quilt show. I think it's a great little quilt, and I love the little buttons. I have to be careful where I put it, because the kitties want to chew on the stick.
I found this link to a quilt show on someone's blog a bit ago. Unfortunately, I can't remember where. It's a quilt show put on by The Country Loft quilt shop in La Mesa, California. Actually you can see the shows from a number of years. (Just scroll down on the menu on the left to see "Quilt Show".) Very fun!
Crazy Aunt Purl had a very thoughtful post today about consumerism, credit cards, and "stuff". I really enjoyed her take on it, and mostly agree with her. Here's another essay on "stuff" by Paul Graham. Having just moved in recent memory, I can understand this "stuff" stuff. I have too much stuff. It can become a burden and a hindrance. I haven't even unpacked all of my stuff because I'm enjoying the minimalism. Don't get me wrong - I still have lots of stuff out. I just don't have it ALL out. We have sorted and culled many times since we moved into this house, and I still have more to do, in almost every room, not to mention the garage! We have more than we really need. I think we quilters often buy more fabric than we really need, just because it calls to us. We need to stock up for when we can't afford more fabric, or to have a choice of fabrics for our art, or whatever our rationalization is. I know I have. And not just fabric, but books, tools, patterns, toys - really, just about anything used for quilting. I don't have any answers. I've really tried hard to not buy fabric just to have it, but it's a hard habit to break. Sadly, it's my addiction. Well, besides chocolate. But, I'm out of room for any more quilt-y stuff. Like the bumper sticker says, "You can't have it all - where will you put it?"
I'm trying Tonya's suggestions on my photos this time and sized them to 800 pixels. I've used 3% of my space for photos in 9 months. One thing I've learned is that there's a bug in Blogger. If you load your photos in the center position, and then move them, they are no longer clickable to a bigger size. I don't know why. If you load them on the left or right, you can move them and then still click on them, but your text gets goofy going around the photos. So, hopefully this will work.
One last link for you. I found pictures of "liberated" churn dash quilts on Flickr. Very fun to see!