Friday, July 31, 2009
In my dream world, Moda would realize that those stretchy jelly roll strips, while easier for them to produce, aren't half as easy to work with as cuts that run the length-- rather than width-- of the fabric. Cutting the borders this way makes sure that the edges don't ruffle and instead lay flat. I got this tip from my favorite quilt shop owner when I was buying the aqua and brown Snow Flower for Mr. and Mrs. D's quilt, and sure enough, it made a big difference.
I still need to piece the back, making sure to include four of these little girls to represent Carolyn and her three sisters. The backing is a really soft faded denim-colored blue, which I think will make the quilt a bit more dimensional (I didn't realize how green the top was until I put it all together).
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This quilt isn't very large, but I'm hoping it gets used while on the couch, or as a picnic quilt. Nicole and Max go to a park and listen to jazz with a bottle of wine pretty frequently. This one is surprisingly heavy, because of the home dec fabric on the front, and the yellow on the back is also pretty thick. It killed my fingers while binding, especially with the dense stippling, but it was so worth it.
I've also just added the final borders on to the Carolyn quilt and will be basting it shortly. It's really coming together, and I'm liking it a lot more.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This is for my brother's lady friend, Nicole. Her birthday is coming up, and she loves yellow. I used a cheater panel for the middle and I'm totally in love with this little quilt. I used some of my solid scraps to make a wide border around it, and went around 1 1/4 times (see the double wide border on the left-hand side?) That made it as wide as I wanted it to be, and also I liked that the panel was now a bit off-center. I ran out of yellow thread when I was about 80% done quilting the top (the part where Cassidy is standing) is unquilted.
Here's the pieced back, again, all from my stash:
There's a tiny strip of leftover Patchwork Promonade from the front on the back. The wrinkled part hasn't been quilted yet. Am I the only one who can't lay out a quilt without a dogfriend joining the party?
I've decided that I need to buy Dual Duty XP thread in color 7310 in bulk. It's the same thread I used (and ran out of) on Rebecca's quilt, and I did the same thing here. It's a pretty butter yellow color, and I've gone through no fewer than 5 spools of it in the past month. Yikes.
I'm unsure what colour I'll use for the binding. Maybe I'll make it scrappy, just to add to the whole thing. I totally adore this quilt-- I told Max that if he and Nicole ever break up, I want the quilt back (I kid, I kid... mostly.) Once the quilting is complete I'll post better and brighter pictures. I think this is just what I needed to go back to working on the Carolyn quilt.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Normally, I'm in and out in about 30 minutes-- I make decisions pretty quickly. But yesterday, I needed to pick out fabric for the Carolyn quilt. I decided on an easy pinwheel pattern from Material Obsession called Cowboy Baby. Since the quilt in the book was tiny, about 40" x 48", and I have limited time, I decided to make my blocks twice as large (you know how I love the big blocks).
But I had the hardest time picking out the fabric. My eyes always go immediately towards stripes, dots, brights, solids and contemporary prints. I knew that those wouldn't do for a lodge-inspired quilt living in the Adirondacks. This is probably the first time ever that I've been continuously second-guessing my choices. I had a lot of help from the women at the shop, which was great (though one thought I was nuts for not putting dark binding on every quilt I make, but that's another story).
Since the quilt is surrounded by a large border, I had help picking out the print used as the border in this pattern as my inspiration.
I haven't bought the border yet because I want to cut it parallel to the selvedge as opposed to the way it's shown in the picture, and I need to know the length first. It's actually pretty cute, with half moons and red flowers on a dark blue background. Most of the fabric I picked for the middle of the quilt is from the same line, American Primer:
I'm not in love with this, though I did like it much more next to the border. Maybe I just need to wait and see.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I also joined the Cult of Mettler yesterday-- that thread is amazing. I used nearly 3 spools (and nearly $10) of the silk-finish. I picked aqua, and it blends into the border and the flowers in the backing perfectly. Between using a ton of safety pins, superpremium thread and a new needle, this quilt came together really easily, despite all of the little pieces.
I quilted diagonal lines 2" apart. I always forget how much I love straight line quilting. Because this quilt is pretty busy, I thought that stippling would've been just a little too much.
Once I put the binding on, I'll be ready to send this to southern California. I know they aren't expecting this, so it'll be a nice surprise.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The one thing (besides time) that's making me nervous is that my stepmother's sister (my step-aunt, I guess?) lives in a log cabin/lodge house on a lake in upstate New York. The quilt should evoke a lodge, and my stepmom wants me to also incorporate the theme of "sisters". There are four girls, all with first names that start with the letter C.
So, I think the quilt will be much more traditional than I typically lean. Which is fine-- good, maybe, to test my boundaries. Do you guys have any ideas?
My first thought was to make four patchwork girls, but I'm unsure what else I should do. Trees? Those houses that are so popular? My mind is really reeling, but the timing is great: my husband is going out of town for the weekend with his brother, so I have the whole weekend to sew. And the weather is really cooling down, so it should be a good time to quilt.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I tried my hardest to match all of the colours of crayons to scrap fabric, and I think I did an OK job. The red is some linen I had in my stash that is unfortunately not quilt-friendly, and the back is some of my favorite Alexander Henry. Amazingly, the crayons were the only thing purchased for this. I had fun arranging the crayons and finding little scraps. Each piece is about 2x6". I trimmed them down to about 2x5 after sewing all of the colours together.
I hope they both like it!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
You can see there are 12 HSTs across, one of each fat quarter. They are trimmed down to 5.5" square. I decided to lay them out in diagonal rows, and am pleased with my original placement. Here's a close up:
This is for my good friend Rachel in Wisconsin, who just bought a house. Her style is a little more traditional than what I choose, and she said she's decorating in red and tan-- next to purple, those are the least popular colours in my collection.
I had a hard time deciding what solid to use. My original thought was white, but I wanted to make it a little more exciting. My second thought was dark brown, but I still wasn't happy. Then, I wanted a blue, but this blue is very tricky to match, and it made some of the prints look muddy. Luckily, with my fat quarters in hand (still fresh from the Fat Quarter Shop, in their great plastic bag), the woman at my local quilt shop was able to steer me towards this color, which I'm calling pumpkin.
Does it work? I've been staring at it for a few days now, unsure of what I'm going to do for the back. These Deer Valley colours are so specific, and while I absolutely adore them, they're nearly impossible to coordinate with other lines (or, ahem, cheaper JoAnn fabric for the back). I might actually have to spring for the good stuff. But which print?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
There were goodbyes and decisions about giving away her quilting supplies and the jigsaw puzzle collection that inspired the patterns of her one-of-a-kind pieces. She consoled her biological sister, who pleaded with her to do whatever it took to stay alive.
Even as her prognosis gradually improved from hours to weeks and even months, Sister Dorothy's goal was not immortality; it was getting back to quilting, as she has. She spread her latest on her bed: Autumnal sunflowers. "I'm not afraid of death," she said. "Even when I was dying, I wasn't afraid of it. You just get a feeling within yourself at a certain point. You know when to let it be."
I read the New York Times daily, and found this mention of how an elderly woman near death is still concerned about her quilts and quilting pretty touching. Not to get too sappy or deep, but I like to see when and how creating and sewing provides an outlet.
Thanks also for all of your love on the Rebecca quilt. I'm glad I get to hold on to it a little longer, as she doesn't need one more thing to pack!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
It didn't photograph well, but the back is orange with white dots because orange is Rebecca's favorite color. I stippled it in pale yellow thread:
I'm also particularly proud of the binding and my mitred corners! I think this came out so well because I used a lot of pins while basting, and I also consciously chose to quilt one big square before moving on to the next. Those tips are probably obvious to most of you, but they were lessons that took me a silly long time to figure out.
As I type, the Sarah quilt is in the washing machine. I can't wait to get that one sent off!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This was the largest quilt that I've stippled to date, about 65" x 94", and it went fairly well. I decided to add some curlicues in the quilting, just to make it a little more interesting. My cousin's favorite colour happens to be my least favorite: purple. I realized that I really didn't have much-- if any-- purple in my stash and subsequently the quilt, so I bought lavender polka dots for the back:
Here's a close up of the center stripe, which is my favorite part of the quilt:The binding is the same that I used for Maggie. I still need to attach it to the back, for both this quilt and Maggie's. The purple backing and the batting were the only purchases made especially for this, and there are over 150 different fabrics in the top.
This will be living with my cousin Sarah in Michigan. She's the oldest cousin on one side of my family, and after seeing our Grandpa Fred quilt, she wanted one. I was happy to oblige.
I'm happily surprised that this is my 10th finish of 2009. Also, looking back at the other nine, I realized that more often than not, I choose polka dots for the backs. I think I'll consider it a Park Ave. Sweat Shop signature.