Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Catch Up and AHIQ - December 2016 edition

Merry Christmas to all my blog friends!  I hope you have a Happy New Year too!

Wow, what a busy month December has been.  Not a surprise at all, is it?  I am surprised that I'm managing one last blog post this year....Yay me!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  A little different, in that we did all our socializing on Christmas Eve which means we got to spend Christmas Day at home for the first time a in few years.  That was nice - very relaxed!  No schedule, no visitors, no stress.  I actually slept in until 12:30 in the afternoon!  It was the latest in the day that we've ever had Christmas.  We just had sandwiches for dinner.  And then we watched the Dr. Who Christmas Special.  A very lazy Christmas and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I haven't done any sewing this month, other than some little snack bags for the granddaughters.  *sigh*  I really need to clean the quilt studio before I can do much more.  But, I do have some sewing to share.

After my last post, I thought I would share my Bullseye quilt to show what the raw-edge applique looks like after a few washings.

This quilt is about 15 years old now.  It's been washed lots of times.  This is the pattern called Bullseye based on the pattern in the book "Quilts From Aunt Amy" by Country Threads (Mary Tendall Etherington and Connie Tesene).  I didn't have the book or the pattern with me when I made this at a quilt retreat.  I didn't even have any circle templates.  I just cut the center out of a paper plate and made it up from there!  All of the fabrics I used have dots or circles of some kind on them, even the background fabrics.  

Here is a detail shot of two of the blocks.  You can see that the raw edges have softened and frayed some, but not as much as you might think.  Every once in a while, if it seems as if there are some big clumps of threads, I'll trim those down with some scissors.  But mostly the fraying doesn't bother me - I really like it!

Now that I think about it, I guess this quilt also qualifies as an improv quilt!  It is my favorite way to make a quilt.

Even my candy told me to do improv!

all four placemats
In September when I went to retreat in California, I took along this project.  I wanted to make some placemats, I needed something to demo bindings at the quilt show, and Katie wanted me to teach her something new,  So, I taught her how to do Debbie at A Quilter's Table's Cross-Cut quilt!  We had a lot of fun doing this process together.  I still want to do even more of this technique!

a truer representation of the fabric colors
I used royal blue and lime-y greens because I love those colors together.  

Katie's flimsie placemats

Katie decided to use brights with black, her fave combo.  She also cut her insert strips wider, about 1 1/2 inches, I think.  I cut mine at 1 inch.  

my inspiration page
The Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild had a color challenge this fall. due at the October meeting.  They had us choose a magazine page instead of a paint chip.  It was folded up and in an envelope, so we couldn't peek!  This page above was my choice, which I was happy about.

We had not-very-big size parameters and just had to do something that was related to the page, whether it was shapes or colors or any emotions the page evoked.

19" W x 17" H

Here is my challenge quilt.  Those books in the cases really spoke to me.  I'm not entirely pleased with this quilt - but I don't hate it either and it's DONE!.

the back of my inspiration page
the back of my quilt
I had to do the IKEA numbers fabric on the back!

If you want to see some of the other TMQG challenge quilt, click here.

For my birthday, my husband gave me a book I really, really wanted - Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela.  I love her work - it really inspires me!

So, following her Building Blocks of Improv Design in the book, here is my first attempt at the Angled Stripes exercise.  I just picked the blues and greens that I liked, then added the hot pink for a zinger.

So, then I tried playing with various fabrics for the border.

the center is 10" W x 15" H
And you can see here that I tweaked my design some to be more interesting.

sorry for the terrible photo - it's so dark here
I think this is my final border choice.  I like the way the darker border color plays with the interior, making it more important.  Now I'm trying to decide on the final sizes for the sides.  I think they'll end up being 4 different sizes, just to make it more interesting.

Now I want to play with more of Cindy's exercises, particularly the curves!  I plan on doing more improv this coming year - it really is fun to do.  

I'm linking up with the Ad Hoc Improv Quilting.  Click here to see others' improv!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Show & Tell

I've never shown you the quilts I finished this year and displayed in my local guild's quilt show.  I've been such a slacker.

I wasn't as productive this year as I'd like to be, but I got 3 quilts done for the quilt show.  None of them are real big, but done is done!

First, I finally finished my 10 year old project!  It feels good to have this one done, and I'm looking forward to displaying this in my house after the holidays.

43.5” w x 54”h
This quilt is called "A Garden of Friends" and was made from blocks exchanged with my friends in California.  You can read more about this quilt here.

A closeup of the quilting, done by Shari Bahr, who also participated in this exchange.  All of the applique is raw-edge and it will fray when it's washed.  That makes even more lovely soft texture on the quilt!  

A detail shot of my liberated border. a la Gwen Marston.  Don't they look like little flags waving in the breeze?  I love those straight lines of quilting!

And a shot of the back, where I used up all the leftover bits from the border.  You can also see the lovely texture the quilting gives the quilt.

27" x 28"
This quilt is entitled "Love Notes From the Cat".  I know I've discussed this quilt on the blog before, but I can't find it to link for you.  I got the fabric from my sister, and it's so funny.  And too true.  I made the blocks improv-style, then had to use that cute cat fabric for the border.  I also used it for the backing.

left side of quilt

right side of quilt
These photos will supersize so if you double click on these photos, you can read the "love notes".

35" x 47"
And, just in time for the Christmas season, a new flannel quilt to snuggle with on the couch!  This was a "cheater" panel I bought a couple of years ago at a local quilt store.  I had planned on quilting this myself and never got to it.  And then it was "hiding" in a bag and got ignored.  So, when I was looking for quilts to finish for the show, I spied this one and decided it was time to get it done.  I added the red border and had Shari quilt this for me.  I briefly considered doing it myself, but I wanted it done for the quilt show and I knew that struggling to quilt this in August was really beyond me.  And Shari did a much better job than I would have!

A detail shot of the border.  Looks like there's a cold wind blowing!

And here's a photo of the backing with those cute ice skates and the wonderful flannel print I used for the binding.  I'm going to enjoy snuggling with this soon, as we've gotten cold weather now and actually had our first snow yesterday!

I fell in love with this fabric.  I had a pair of ice skates just like this when I was a kid in Michigan.  I inherited them from my older cousin Leslie.  I remember when I first got them, they were too big and I had to wear quite a few pairs of socks to get them to fit.  My sister and I went skating on the local lagoon.  Well, I mostly skated and she mostly fell down.  I wore those skates until they were so tight they were killing my toes!  Although, out in the cold while skating, my feet were numb anyway.  hee hee!   I was never really good at skating, but I had a lot of fun.

Well, I didn't get better from my icky cold last week, so I took myself to the Dr.  I was actually having an asthma-type thing going on as well as just being sick.  So I had a nebulizer treatment (a new experience for me), got some new inhalers and an antibiotic (for a sinus infection) and that helped.  I've been laying low ever since, and was starting to feel better.  I over-did yesterday, and didn't feel so good last night.  So, back to taking care of myself a little longer, I guess.  I need this to be gone before Christmas!

I did manage to do a little sewing for Block Lotto though!  It felt good to sew some.  Hopefully some more soon.  I have some Christmas secret sewing to do too!