Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Finishing a Flimsy

I've gotten back to my Halloween Trips quilt top.  I need to get this one finished up soon.  I've had the top put together for awhile, but the holdup was the border. I finally decided what I wanted to do for the border.  Then I decided to find some fabric in my stash that would work, rather than go buy fabric.  I finally found a piece I've had for at least 10 - 15 years, and I had enough of it, if I was very careful.  Yay for shopping the stash!  The border is a little skinnier than what I usually like to do, and I did have to piece together some strips to have enough on the last two corners. . . . I just squeaked by!

I took my inspiration from Joe Tulips' awesome Zombie quilt, making some "stealth-mode" flying geese.  I have them by every corner, and they are all made with all the different black fabrics that are in the body of the quilt.  They're not all that easy to see, but fun to find when you do see them.  


I'm actually making this Halloween quilt to fit my bed, instead of being the same size as my design wall, which most of my quilts turn out to be.  When I was putting the top on the bed to check the size, I had some "help", of course.  So you're also seeing the quilt that is on the bed as well. (you can see the photo of that one here)  Sorry for the blurry photos - the kitties are getting good at avoiding the camera anymore.


Because this top is way too big for my design wall, I had to move furniture and lay it out on the living room "design floor".  Here I am starting the pieced back of the quilt. I just started putting pieces on top of the quilt top.  That way I'll know when it's the right size without having to measure.  Lazy?  Maybe.  (Yes, this photo looks weird.  It's upside-down from how I took the photo while I was standing on the staircase.)  I decided that I really don't need all those Halloween panels hanging around in the stash, but I still like them.  So putting them on the back of this quilt is a good way to use them.  Besides, I like 2-sided quilts.  

I'm almost done with the back now - it has taken me 2 weeks, off and on, to get this done.  Of course, the cats have frolicked though this layout a couple of times now, but it's generally the same.  The worst part of this whole process is trudging down the stairs to measure and lay out the pieces, then up the stairs to cut more pieces and sew, repeating endlessly.  This is much harder than just piecing the top, and I've often wondered just WHY I'm doing this! *sigh*  I know it will be worth it in the end, and I'm using up lots of bits from my stash, so I persevere.  I hope to have this done and in the mail by tomorrow. 

I wonder how many more trips up and down the stairs that will take?  Does that count as an aerobic workout? 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bold Quilts and New Friends

This past Friday, I got to meet a new friend!  Kathy from Quilted Under the Influence blog, was in the Seattle area for her son's graduation and we got together for the day.  We toured the Bold Expressions exhibit of African-American quilts at the Bellevue Art Museum, lunched and then visited the local quilt shop.  A huge Thank You to Michele of With Heart and Hands for the heads-up about the exhibit!

Kathy was so sweet and brought me this great mug rug as a gift.  I think this will probably never be touched by a mug!  It'll be hung on the wall and enjoyed as the art that it is.

The exhibit is a private collection of African American quilts, mainly from the American South.  The quilts are mostly early to mid 20th century.  Most of them were made of cotton, some were wool, at least one was all polyester, and many were a little of everything.  

We visited the gift shop and we each bought the catalog of the show.  It was fairly inexpensive as these things go and it shows most of the quilts that were in the exhibit.  My only regret is that the photos in this book are rather dull not as bright as I've gotten used to in quilt books and don't really show the truly bold colors in these quilts. Also, my favorite strip quilt is not shown in the book.  But the photos are clear enough to  see the quilting in many of the quilts.  The quilts are totally inspiring!  I'm so glad that the book was available!  

Edited to add: I had a question about this book from one of my readers. Yes, I DO recommend the book!  It's 96 pages, softcover and over 50 photos.  If you cannot get to the museum exhibit, you can still get the book!  Go to the Mingei Museum (the publisher) here.  The book is under US$20.

This Mandala quilt was the first quilt I saw and it just knocked my socks off!  Love those orange ties!

I think this strip quilt was one of my favorites.  This photo really doesn't show the true colors - it was quite striking.  Again, I love the ties.  Many of the quilts were tied, some with wool and some with what appeared to be perle cotton.

This Housetop quilt really was bold.  I think the sashings are fun.  It was fun to see that there was at least some orange in most of the quilts, and many of the quilts were constructed in strips of blocks.  There was definitely some resemblance to the Gee's Bend quilts as well.

This all-wool strip quilt was so inviting.  It was hard to resist the temptation to touch it.  Most of the fabrics were what appeared to be wool suiting, but those pieces of red were a very fuzzy wool fabric that reminded me of a lady's coat.

It was a wonderful, fun exhibit, and I'm planning on going back to see it at least one more time.  If you are anywhere near or will be visiting the Seattle area and are interested in this type of quilt, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit this show.  It runs until October 7, 2012.

Friday, June 08, 2012

If It Follows Me Home, Can I Keep It?

No, this isn't my quilt (I wish it were!), but I love it!  This is a charity quilt that I brought home from guild meeting to bind.  It was suggested that I put on a black binding, but I had other ideas.  I'll show you when it's done.  This was made by a volunteer from scraps left over from the quilt show.  (We sold scraps next to where we were demonstrating crumb blocks, and we made over $50.  We still have scraps left!)  I think I recognize some of my scraps in this quilt!

Here's a detail shot.  P. did a great job on these blocks.  She started quilting in the early 1980's and she's still using templates and scissors.  Everyone was completely shocked when P. admitted that she didn't know what a rotary cutter is!  

I've been on a couple of field trips in the last few weeks.  Some fabric followed me home.  These are all the black and white fabrics.  I can't seem to stop buying them.  I need to make a black and white quilt, but can't decide on a pattern. Oh, and the black with white stripes in the upper left corner was a gift from a friend.  

The fabric on the left was purchased because I have a plan for it. You'll have to wait a while to find out!  The fabric on the right is a Lotta Jansdotter fabric and I fell in love with it. I think it looks like dandelions, or maybe sea anemones. I might just stick it up on the wall just as it is!  It would look great in my bedroom on my dark blue wall.  It reminds me of the Marimekko fabrics from the 60's and 70's.  I always loved those great graphic fabrics.  Now, I guess I'd have to say that they look like IKEA stuff.  Maybe that's why I like IKEA, aside from the wonderful Swedish meatballs!

Looking up Marimekko, I discovered they're still out there, still making those wonderful graphic fabrics.  And I still love it!  Look at the cool bedroom linens!  I love the purple graphic, and the blue ginko, and . . . pretty much all of it!  And, even better, they have fabric!  Now I want some, darn it!  (Sorry for all the distracting links, J!  Hee hee!)

More fabric followed me home.  I love that chocolate batik with the turquoise!  So far, I just like to pet it.

And some beads came to play too.  They'll go into stretchy bracelets.  That's the only jewelry I'm any good at making.

Mount Rainier at sunset a few weeks back.  That was the last time we saw the sun for any length of time.  Summer hasn't come to the Northwest yet.  We're not getting tans - we're getting rain freckles!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

My 15 Minutes

No, not playing with scraps.  My brush with Fame.  Hee hee!  (As an aside here, I have to say that Andy Warhol had no idea of the internet when he said his famous quote.)

After my post on my little quilt I made in class with Gwen Marston, Kathie over at Inspired By Antique Quilts blog was inspired to make a little quilt using the same colors as mine.  She was nice enough to ask me if I would mind (I didn't), and then she blogged about all this.  Well, my stats went through the roof!  I got so many visitors, and also some new Followers.  Thank you, Kathie!!

And then, I discovered that my new Liberated Log Cabins quilt (see previous post) was featured on Craft Gossip.com!  Woo Hoo!

This has been fun!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming now.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Two Finishes!

Lib Logs (and Prosper)
31.5 inches square

Ta Da!  Here is my liberated log cabin quilt - all finished!  I had this done in time to take to my class with Gwen Marston a few weeks ago, which was my goal.  I wanted to show Gwen my finished project from the class I took with her on Liberated Log Cabins last year.  

You can read more about this quilt here and here.

I've just been calling this "Lib Logs", but that's not a very catchy, creative title.  I need to come up with something better before I do the label for this!  Anyone have any suggestions?? 

Edited to add:  Thanks for all the suggestions for the name!  I've decided to go with something I came up with at dinner the other night:  "Lib Logs (and Prosper)".  It's silly and it makes me smile!

I did all-over "organic straight line" quilting . . . which means there's not really any straight lines. *grin*  And I'm really happy with how it worked out.  The quilting seems to unify the whole design.  The whole quilt top is rather flattened from the quilting, which I think lets the design of the piecing show up well.  When Gwen saw this, she asked me "Do you want me to show you how to keep your quilting lines straight?"  She had a great big twinkle in her eye when she said that!  Love it!

I quilted around the big dots in the aqua.  It just seemed like emphasizing those dots was the right thing to do!

Here's a detail shot.  I like how the green border fabric that is in the log cabins makes that part of the block seem to be transparent . . . like there's an empty place in the log cabin and you can see the border fabric "showing through" there.  

One of the triangle borders.  Can you see that subtle triangle?

One of the pieced insert borders.  And more "transparency".

This was a fun class to take and a fun quilt to make.  It's my new favorite!

Indigo & Cheddar
21 inches wide x 19 inches high

I also finished Indigo & Cheddar, from the Small Quilt class with Gwen this year. (see previous post)  I machine quilted this with the "fake hand-quilting" stitch on my machine.

Here's a detail shot.  It doesn't really look like hand-quilting, but it's different from plain machine stitching. 

I went outside my comfort zone with the binding.  Gwen suggested I use this red fabric.  I was dubious, as it wouldn't have been my choice at all.  But I decided to trust Gwen and I love the way it looks!  I also tried the binding method I saw at The Quilting Edge blog.  I didn't do a perfect job, but I think with some practice it will go better.  It was slick and I can see me doing more of this!  It's certainly faster than doing it by hand, and easier on the hands as well.

Kathy over at Inspired by Antique Quilts has been inspired by this little quilt to make one of her own!  Isn't that fun?  Go check out what she's doing.  I can't wait to see what she'll come up with.  I know it will be wonderful.