Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2014 edition

It's time for another Blogger's Quilt Festival!  If you've joined me through the link on the Festival, Welcome!  I'm so glad you came to visit!  If you're a regular reader, well, you're just as warmly welcomed!  And a huge Thank You to Amy for hosting this fun Festival again.  It is so fun to see all the wonderful quilts, get some inspiration, and meet new-to-me bloggers.

11-11-11 - The Corduroy Quilt

Regular readers may recognize this, although it's been awhile since it's made an appearance on the blog.  But, I'm happy to report, this is finally a FINISH!  Yay!  This quilt/comforter has been a loooong time in the making.  

I made the quilt top in 2011.  This quilt is made from corduroy, and it was made to celebrate National Quilting Day on November 11, 2011.  In other words, 11-11-11.  The Date That Most Closely Resembles Corduroy.  Hee hee!  That date just happens to be my birthday too, so it was my present to myself!

Unfortunately, then this quilt languished.  I got it layered and pin basted and started to tie the quilt . . . and very quickly got bored with it.  I've worked on it sporadically ever since.  This past winter I pulled it out to work on it again, and was determined that this was the year it would be finished.  So, I still had a few fits and starts, but I persevered!  

Detail 1

This quilt almost never happened.  In 2011, I read on some of the blogs I regularly visit about making a corduroy quilt and thought it sounded like fun.  But I didn't have any corduroy and I didn't want to go buy corduroy either.  But someone in my quilt guild was giving away fabric - and I received 2 2-yard pieces of corduroy from her!  Then I mentioned making a cord quilt and another guild member gave me her corduroy scraps!  So, I took that as a message from the Universe that I really should make a corduroy quilt!  Who am I to argue with the universe?

Surprisingly, most of the colors worked well together, but I ended up over-dyeing the green.  It was just too bright.  I used a blue/turquoise dye, and that toned down the green nicely.  In Real Life, you can see some variations in the green, but I don't think it shows up well in the photos.  I used up every bit of the yellow, the green and the purple, and most of the burgundy and the black fabrics.

Detail 2

I've entered this quilt in the 'Original Design' category of the Festival.  It is my original design.  My inspiration for this quilt was the quilts made by the Gee's Bend quilters.  (If you don't know about the Gee's Bend quilters and their quilts, you can read about them here and see some of their quilts here.)  In other words, I worked in an improvisational manner.  

I decided at the very beginning that I would only use scissors, NO rotary cutting!  After a while, especially for the longer pieces and borders, I just tore the fabric.  (I found out what a mess corduroy can make when you do that! Fuzz everywhere!)  It made a disaster of my quilt studio, but I worked quickly.  Just cutting and putting bits up on the design wall, then sewing without agonizing.  It was so much fun!  I ended up with big borders on the top and bottom edges just to make the quilt be long enough so that my toes won't stick out the end.  *grin*  The quilt ended up being about 50 inches wide by about 70 inches long.  I say "about" because, just like the Gee's Bend quilts, it's not quite straight or square.  I purposely left it "wonky" - because I love how it looks!

I used a poly batting (Quilters Dream Request polyester) because I wanted warmth without weight.  I knew the corduroy would be heavy enough.  And I used brushed cotton on the back of the quilt, which is so soft and cuddly.  In the manner of the Gee's Bend quilts, the brushed cotton doesn't match or even quite "go with" the top, but it was in the stash and it was the right size.  I used regular quilting cotton for the binding.  I chose to go with black, but added a few touches of yellow in places too.

a glimpse of the backing fabric

I was afraid that quilting this would be difficult, so I tied it with black Perle cotton.  But it turns out that the needle goes through the corduroy and light batting like a knife through warm butter!  I will quilt the next corduroy quilt I make.

I love the way the corduroy almost looks like velvet.  It is so soft and snuggly.  And I really like how the fabrics change color depending on the direction that the nap of the corduroy is running.  I love running my hand over this quilt, not to mention snuggling up with it!  It will be my quilt to cover up with this next winter when I watch TV in the evening.

on the couch

I don't think this will be my last corduroy quilt!  I still have a few bits left, another 2-yard piece in tan, and friends are still giving me their corduroy scraps!  And I've discovered how much I love working in the Improvisational style.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Playing with Flowers and Fabric


The weather here has been just beautiful this week . . . up to 84*, sunny and so beautiful.  All the rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming and are so gorgeous.  So, instead of doing much sewing, I went and got seduced by the pretty plants at Home Depot!  I've gotten half of the plants in the ground, and the rest are sitting out on the deck, waiting for me to do something with them.  I'm so easily swayed into buying the flowers, and am not really good at the planting part.  Most of them will go in the pots on the deck, which won't involve me getting on my sore knees. 

I'm discovering that many of the plants that I've put in in previous years aren't doing very well because we have too much shade and not enough sun for them.  So, now I'm rethinking what I'm getting AND where I'm putting it.  

Tonight the weather is starting to change, and we're supposed to have rain and highs only in the 60's by Saturday.  So hopefully tomorrow I can get some of those pots planted.  I've got a guild workshop tomorrow afternoon, so I'm not sure how many I can actually get done.  On second thought, I guess some rain won't hurt them.  hee hee!  

I made seven of the Bars blocks that Block Lotto is doing this month.  I found them difficult to do accurately, but I prevailed.  I'm going to be donating these this month.

This is where I am at now with my Cherrywoods project that I showed here.  I've got blocks for another project on the design wall, and so these were on the floor of the quilt studio.  I got tired of walking on or around them, so I finally got them sewn together.  Now I'm stalled until I go get some more of the brown fabric that I'm using for the sashing.  I only had 1/2 yard to start with, and I don't have enough left to finish those two edges that don't have the brown.  Not a problem (I LOVE buying fabric!), but it involves a trip back to the store where I bought it and that is about an hour's drive from here! I know I could put another brown on those two sides, but I want the entire outside to be the same fabric to "float" the blocks.  

Here is Shade inspecting my work.  This should give you an idea of the size of the piece.  Shade seems to approve!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Sally's Vintage Quilt

My sister Sally received this lovely quilt from a friend in Boston recently.  She brought it to show to me when she visited in March.  I thought you might like to see it too!

We couldn't get all of it on the design wall for the photo!

The Boston friend (I don't know her name) is a collector of quilts, but not a quilt maker, who's decided she wants to specialize in floral applique quilts.  So, my sister was gifted this quilt.  Lucky duck!

A closer view

The quilt is a large quilt, close to a queen size.  Sally and I thought it might be from the 1950's, although some of the fabrics look to be from the 40's and even the 30's.  It is in very good condition.

Even closer

Those big white diamonds are actually 4 diamonds that are the same size as the print diamonds.

Look at these wonderful old fabrics!  This is a true scrap quilt - lots of different prints and colors.

We have no idea what the name of this pattern might be.  Any ideas?  We'd welcome input.  I've been calling it the Diamond Quilt.  

I love looking at these old prints, don't you?  

p.s. Also, if you have a better idea of the age of this quilt, please leave me a comment!