Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fun With My Sister

As I mentioned a few posts ago, my sister Sally recently came to visit.  She lives in the south part of Washington and we're only about 3 hours apart, but still don't get together as often as we'd like.

Sally said it was her vacation, and she wanted to PLAY!  As in - Sewing Fun!  So, that is what we did.  I set up my two little machines in the living room and we hauled the design wall down from the quilt studio.  And then we spread fabric and projects all over the place!

Wool work #1

She brought some fun things for me to see, like her wool projects she's been doing.  She's been playing with these for a while now, and finally got them to a "finish".

wool work #2

She was thinking of making these two pieces into pillows, but I suggested maybe wrapping them around a small canvas and making them wall art.  (No final decision was made at that time)  I love these!  They are so cheerful, and all those stitches make them very appealing to me.  Maybe I need to find some wool to play with!

Here is a quilt top that she has been doing.  Her color scheme is based on a tree by her front door.  It has the red-violet branches and the new leaves are a beautiful lime green.  This is quite different from what most people would do, but it's very "Sally" to me.  She's always loved those large floral print fabrics of the 1940's!  She just brought this to show me, and no progress was accomplished.

This is her "vintage baskets" quilt that she brought last year when she visited (see my post here).  She bought the border fabric last year and while she was here this time finally got it put on, with the addition of a little flange between the center and the border.  I just happened to have the right shade of turquoise for that!  Yay for stash!

detail of the border with flange

While Sally worked on her basket quilt, I worked on my liberated baskets.  I haven't touched these baskets in a while, but I did make a little progress.  I haven't decided yet just what I'm doing or where I'm going with these.  So poking along is just right for me at this stage.  I really like the basket in the upper right corner.  It looks "fizzy" with all those dots in the background!

I had made a bag for my sister, last year, I think. ( I can't find any photos of it anywhere to show you, and it came out really nice with batiks.  How could I forget to take a photo?!) She wanted to learn how to do that bag, so I helped her make this one.  You can find the tutorial for this bag called "Open Wide Zippered Pouch" here.  Sally used an old curtain from the thrift store that was bark cloth.  Very fun!  But it was also quite soft, so the use of interfacing was a necessity.  I think it came out cute!

She used a soft pink polka dot for the lining.  

I also made a bag (with cotton fabric), but neglected to use interfacing on it.  No photo, as it's doing a darn good imitation of a puddle!  (I think I learned my lesson)

about 18 to 20 inches square at this stage

This is a little wall hanging that Sally has in progress.  Never mind that it has been in progress for about 20 years!  Progress is still progress, right?  The fabrics date this work, but it's still cute and it will get finished.  Sally's planning on adding more borders, and still has the fabrics set aside with the top.  I do this all the time . . . do you?


Sally and I have always been slow about getting birthday and Christmas presents to each other in a timely manner.  It's a family trait, apparently.  Or so we're claiming anyway.  So, these are some of my Christmas presents from Sally.  They are kitchen towels that she added the decorative strip to.  The blue with the red strip is special to me, as that red fabric was a skirt that my Mom owned.  And, just so you know, I am actually using these!  They make me smile.

After I showed Sally my photos from my classes with Gwen Marston in March, she wanted to learn how to do a liberated star.  This is her first star!  She struggled to get the concept of how to trim those star points, but finally got it.  Isn't this cute?  I hope she'll make some more!

We had a blast while she was here.  My dear, dear husband cooked meals for us!  What a sweetheart he is!  I can't wait for her to come back to play some more.

I'm leaving for California in a few days to go to a quilt retreat with my California quilting buddies.  I can hardly wait!  I haven't been in two years, so we'll have a good catch-up while we sew up a storm.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Liberating Some Stars

As I mentioned in my last post, I took two classes with Gwen Marston recently.  Today features the second class - "Liberated Stars".

Gwen's Liberated Stars quilt

Some of the students (like me) had already made the liberated stars, and some were new to it.  When I've made stars in the past, I've always cut the background fabric away after sewing and trimming the star point.  Gwen said she doesn't do that very often anymore, so I tried not trimming.  It didn't seem to make a big difference for 6 inch stars, but seemed too thick for the little 3 inch stars as well as the 9 inch stars.  Maybe it's just because I'm used to trimming?  I haven't made up my mind which I prefer yet.

Here are all the students' work that I managed to get photos of.

Some fun bits going on in these stars!

Love what the striped fabrics do!

fun background!

Do you remember the string blocks from my last post?  Well, this student added the stars to her string blocks.  Cute, huh?

And here are my stars - I did a 3 inch, a 6 inch and a 9 inch star.  For this project, I decided to use my hand-dyed fabrics.  Most of those fabrics have been "aging" in my stash for a number of years, waiting to be used in the right project.  I think this is it!  I'm using a Kona Snow background, with a couple of low-volume black and white prints to mix things up.  

I found the 3 inch star fairly challenging to make, but I think it's really cute.  I'm sure they will get easier as I make more.  

I haven't made any more stars since the class, as higher-priority things have claimed my time.  But I can't wait to get back to making stars.

One of the students brought a liberated log cabin quilt to show off.  It is made using mostly solids, but the print fabrics in there are a fun touch.

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to post.  I have lots to share with you.  I hope to do another post soon.

See ya soon!