Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For My Friend Susan

Even though I am an only child, my parents did teach me to share, so I've given this bag filled with selvages to Susan in order to keep her from embarrassing herself while going through the trash cans on Main Street in Wellsboro (see her post here). Our town is too pretty to have a crazy quilter running around town mumbling something about needing the scraps that others throw away...We want to make sure that the tourists don't see something like that, so I feel like I've done my civic duty. Hopefully this will keep her away from the trash cans for a while...

My quilting friends have been very generous to me and before she realizes it, Susan may be knee deep in selvages soon...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Goose Poop

I think that's what I should call my version of this block instead of "B-6, Wild Goose Chase". It is labeled as an advanced-level block and rightly so. I did an amateurish job with keeping the narrow strips the proper width, but from a distance it will look fine, so on to the next one...

I guess it's appropriate that I made this block on the day that my husband had his colonoscopy...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Just Don't Get This

Have you ever tweeted? I never have, and never intend to. This video pretty much explains how I feel about Twitter...

I'd rather spend my time making a twilt.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life Is Good

The raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method allowed me to finish this block in half an hour! I also didn't want to deal with making the background out of 4 curved pieces like Jane did, so I cheated by using just one piece of background and I'll quilt in some lines later (maybe).

The melons were cut out as one piece, not four, and the buttonhole stitch around them takes care of making them look like four separate pieces. (More cheating?)

This is "A-3, Hunter's Moon", a beginner-level applique block.

I have now completed the equivalent of 9 complete rows of the Jane Stickle quilt. I have not made the blocks in order, but if you click here, you should be able to see the completed blocks in the order that I've made them. (it also gives you a sneak peek at two blocks that I haven't posted about yet). Picasa coincidentally places photos in rows of 13, so it gives me a good idea of how I'm progressing, even though the blocks are not in the places where they will wind up in in the final quilt.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It Was a Busy Year

My, I was busy in 2004. This was the 9th quilt I made that year...all of them pieced and quilted by me (except for the machine quilting done by my friend Janet on this quilt). And it was before I had my HQ16.

This was just a quick baby quilt that I whipped up in a weekend for an elementary-school teacher. Very, very simple design, but I loved the fabrics. There were several baby batiks in there...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No More Snow?

The last of the snow in our yard melted just this past weekend (we had a big pile at the end of the driveway that just wouldn't go away), so to celebrate, I made this block.

It's "H-9, Snowflake Melt", an advanced-level block. It wasn't really too hard. Maybe it's the size of the diamonds that made it advanced. I paper pieced most of the block and then used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the diamonds. They were the smallest pieces that I've attempted this method with so far, but I worked carefully and am happy with the result. This would have looked horrendous if I had tried needle turn.

Although all the snow has melted, that doesn't mean that there is no chance for any more this spring...April often surprises us in this part of PA...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Don't Knit, But...

I love fiber of any kind, so several weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Yarn Hungry Piggett's blog and I won!

This is the lovely yarn that she was giving away -- it looked too pretty to pass up, so I entered. Shortly afterward, a nice squishy package arrived at my house (it's even prettier in person than in the photo).

I immediately went to my sewing machine and put together this postcard as a thank you for Yarn Hungry Piggett. It's a bit hard to see in the photo (and in real life), but I couched some of the yarn along the seams underneath a zigzag stitch using gold thread. I was quite
pleased with how it turned out and from what I've read, Yarn Hungry Piggett likes it, too.

This yarn now belongs to a friend of mine and she offered to knit me a pair of socks. Sounds good to me as long as she also knits something for herself -- there is plenty of yarn there to make a number of projects, I would think.

Thanks again, Yarn Hungry Piggett!

If you are a knitter, you must also check out Tropical Screamer's blog. She has offered some free dishcloth patterns and is working on a website. Visit her blog and check out her past knitting projects. I especially like the lace sampler.
P.S. If you haven't seen it already, you must see my friend Susan's selvage bag on her blog!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Three In A Row

This is what happens when you try to do things the "easy" way.

At first glance at the software pattern for this block, it looked like Y-seams would be required in order to make it look like Jane's block. The center could be paper-pieced and then four pieces of background fabric would have to be sewn in using Y-seams, followed by appliqueing of the outer two diamonds.

Although I don't dislike Y-seams as much as I used to, I'm always willing to avoid them if I can. And definitely the same goes for applique...

Anyway, I decided that instead of sewing Y-seams, I would just sew large pieces of fabric on all four sides of the center (paper-pieced, yeah!) and then tilt it, square up to 5 inches and whack off extra fabric. I should have looked carefully at Jane's block before I whacked, because as you can see in the photo on the top left, the angle is completely off. I don't know what I was thinking when I did it, but I messed up. But I didn't realize it yet.

Then I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method to secure the outer two diamonds. At that point I decided to compare mine to Jane's. Not the same. So in order to avoid starting from the very beginning (life is too short for that!), I decided to follow Brenda Papadakis' rules -- "Cut it big and whack it off" and "Log cabin around it". And my favorite -- "This is your quilt...Add and take away blocks and change the patterns as you wish. Use whatever fabrics you desire."

So I did!

This is "C-2, Streak of Lightning", an intermediate-level block.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Deja Vu

Just like yesterday, this block was made using the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method. Didn't take long at all. I need to find more of these to do so that I can get my total number of blocks up higher.

This is "E-11, Wagon Wheel", an intermediate-level applique block.

Before I forget, I'd like to thank Karen Griska of Selvage Blog for featuring me on her blog again this past weekend. If you haven't visited her blog, you must! Even if you never plan on making anything with selvages, you'll find her blog so inspiring.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back To Regularly Scheduled Programming

It's been way too long since I've posted a photo of a DJ block (one week). I have to stop reading blogs and going to fabric shops and reading quilting magazines and admiring show and tell at guild meetings. There are way too many fun projects that I'd love to do. I keep getting distracted. The problem is that I like to have a completed project once in a while, and since the DJ quilt is not something that I can finish quickly, I interrupt my journey once in a while for a quickie or two (not that kind of a quickie -- get your mind out of the gutter!)... Hmmm... now that I think about it, that kind of a quickie gets in the way of my quilting once in a while as well. Uh oh, I better get back to being a G-rated blog before someone reports me for adult content...

Back to quilting and DJ -- this is "I-6, Viewer's Choice", an intermediate-level applique block. Again, I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm In Need Of An Intervention

Instead of working on more DJ blocks, this is what I've been busy doing...I made a Sassy Bag (by Lazy Girl Designs) that I will use when I go to the Quilters' Heritage Celebration show down in Lancaster in 2 weeks. The bag is the perfect size for carrying just the few things that I need while keeping my hands free (to fondle fabric at the show).

My current addiction is to selvages, so I used them for the front flap, the handle and the back pocket. You may be able to see some of the detail on the selvages if you click on the pictures...the handle has a selvage from some fabric that I bought at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in 2007 (especially designed for the 2006 show by Valori Wells) and the diagonal piece on the front is from a fabric line called Under the Influence of Fabric. I bought several fat quarters in that line at the Lancaster show a number of years ago and just recently discovered what was on the selvage!

While on the subject of selvages, here is a postcard that I made for another friend who had a birthday earlier this week.

My name is Anya and I am addicted to selvages...I suppose admitting that is the first step on the road to recovery...
And I guess the next step is asking my friends to stop supplying me with selvages, but I'm not strong enough for that step yet...I'm an addict who can't quite keep away from her dealers...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Now This I Can Do!

Our guild has begun the raffle quilt for our September 2010 exhibit and this time I can participate without feeling like such an amateur!

The chosen pattern, called Dressed to the Nines, was in the November 2003 issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. I can't find a photo of it online, so I don't think it would be kosher of me to post a copy of the page from the magazine. I don't want to get into copyright hot water. If you have that issue, you can look it up, or you can wait until our guild finishes our version and I'll be sure to post a photo then.

The center of the quilt consists mainly of 9-patch blocks and half-square triangles, with an outer border of flowery applique. The kits were passed out at Monday's guild meeting, so I took one home and made 4 half-square triangles. Now they're done! Once the quilt is finished, it will be hard to tell my blocks from the others, but I suppose that's a good thing.

The fabric we're using is Wildflower Serenade II by Moda.

Here's a photo of our 2008 raffle quilt -- isn't it gorgeous! The leaves were appliqued by many of our guild members and although it was a beginner-level project, I decided to sit it out. I had a good excuse...since I was chair of the 2008 exhibit, I was too busy with other things....

You can check out the other quilts from our September 2008 exhibit on our guild's website. The slideshow is on the home page. Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

She's At It Again

My friend that I blogged about here, here, and here has been at it again -- she's been busy making quilts for others -- this time it is for her daughter's friend. She asked me to quilt it, so I was happy to oblige.

She said I could do anything on it, so I just free-motioned some loops and hearts. The borders on this one were just screaming for some special treatment, but I'm afraid I was suffering from quilter's block this past week and nothing came to me (at least nothing that I was willing to try on a quilt that isn't mine). I think I was suffering from quilter's block due to the concentration that I had to do on Saturday's DJ block!

Guild meeting tonight -- can't wait to see what everyone has for Show and Tell!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Pieces Than States

This is "I-13, Sweet Harmony", an advanced-level paper-pieced block. If I counted correctly, it has 53 pieces! (again, the colors are washed out)

I was joking with my friend Susan that this little 5-inch block has more pieces than her entire quilt that she blogged about here. As a matter of fact, it turns out that my block has more than twice the number of pieces as Susan's quilt!

Her quilt is really cute, isn't it?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bear With Me...

...I'm working on a 5-inch DJ block with 53 pieces...it may be a while...

In the meantime, go read a few other blogs...there must be something interesting out there...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Generous Bloggers

Back in January, I won second prize in a giveaway from Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works. The prize was edge-to-edge quilting on a baby quilt (very generous, wasn't it?). Since I didn't have any tops of my own that needed to be quilted, I just quickly put one together from my guild's stash for donation to our county's Project Linus program. I used a disappearing 9-patch pattern -- you can find some tutorials here, here or here (using heart blocks).

I sent the top and backing to Jackie and within a week, it was back at my house waiting to be bound. She did a really nice job with the panto, don't you think? I think it works perfectly with the quilt.

As a thank you, I made Jackie a postcard in my current style, using selvages. Jackie is in charge of the Black and White Quilt Challenge, so I thought I'd match the theme.

Thanks again, Jackie!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Simple Patchwork

When a friend of mine (former co-worker) retired in fall 2004, I made this quilt with another quilter who was also a co-worker of the retiree. The retiree and the other quilter both lived in the DC area, so it was a long-distance project. The fabrics were cozy flannels that had outdoorsy things on them like leaves, dragonflies, canoes, and hiking shoes. The other quilter and I made the blocks and then I quilted it on my Bernina with monofilament thread. I still had not gotten my HQ16.

The other quilt is a quilt that I made for my family using leftover fabric from the first quilt. It's just made with randomly placed squares and then a patchwork border. I think pieced borders add so much to a quilt, especially one that doesn't have busy blocks.

I had enough fabric left that I made 3 pillows to go along with the quilt.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some Sewing Machines Are Just For Looking At

Have you see this yet? There are some amazing artists out there...this is a sewing machine carved out of basswood. If you want to see more pictures of the entire process, check out this site.

It reminds me of the talent I saw in another artist that I blogged about here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Easy Decision

It was easy for me to decide which applique method to use with this one. I chose my current favorite -- raw-edge machine-buttonhole-stitch. If the quilt police had come to my house and forced me to use a non-raw-edge method, I suppose I would choose reverse applique as I did in the block on this post. However, I think I have enough friends who feel like I do so that if the quilt police did come around, we'd made sure they left very quickly...they need to find another job...

This is "G-11, Decisions, Decisions", an intermediate-level block. I chose to paper piece the 9-patch because I like the (relatively) straight lines that I get, but if you are allergic to paper piecing, it can easy be done with just rotary cutting and then your favorite applique method.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Obsession -- Fabric Postcards

I've been using selvages for more projects.....here are a few postcards that I made recently. The pink one was for a fellow blogger who picked me as a winner in her lovely pink giveaway...

The other three selvage cards are for some dear friends who are celebrating birthdays this week. A couple of these friends have been very generous with giving me their selvages over the last several months...
Two of them are in my DJ group, so I used selvages from fabrics that I thought fit the theme of their blocks...

Janet loves bright colors, so I made this one for her. I especially love the name of the fabric line on the last selvage.
I've had my Bernina for more than 7 years now and only recently started exploring the various fancy stitches that it has. I used the alphabet feature for all of the selvage cards...I thought it added a nice personal touch.
This last card with the batiks and fancy stitches is for my cousin who lives in Florida...she had never heard of fabric postcards, so I sent this one off to her this week. It looks like a Florida card to me. I'm curious to find out what condition it arrives in.