Saturday, February 27, 2010

Patchwork on Ice

As much as I love our Canadian neighbors, how can I, as a quilter, not root for these guys? Perhaps their stylist is a quilter? Did they re-purpose a thrift-store find?

Do you know that these pants (yes, the pants, not the team) have 1/2 million friends on Facebook?

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Prefer the Real Thing

Diamonds like the ones in this triangle are not my favorites. I much prefer the real thing instead.

This is "BR13, Argyle", an intermediate-level triangle that I mostly paper-pieced. The diamonds are a bit wonky, but they'll do. I'll just consider them to be practice for all of the upcoming triangles with diamond-shaped pieces.

At this rate, it will take me just about a year to finish all of the triangles...

Again a reminder...if you're using the software for this, be sure to change the size of your triangle to 5 inches by 8 inches...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

She Keeps Going and Going...

I recently quilted another fun quilt for a friend of mine. She had leftover fabric from a fish quilt that I showed here. Here's a closeup shot...

I have another one of hers on my frame now...I think I know what I want to try on it, but I plan to buy a blacklight first so that I can see the thread. You can see all of the quilts I've quilted for my friend by clicking on the "Moddy's quilts" label on my right sidebar.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Disappointing

I hate it when movies change the books I love into something totally different!

Read this first...
Then, if you want a different story, maybe see this...The movie is OK, but the book is so much better... I can't believe the author let them change the story so much...






Monday, February 22, 2010

From the Heart(land)

This has already arrived in the recipient's mailbox in Iowa, so I can blog about it now...

It's just a little thank you postcard that I made for my blogging friend Vivian, who blogs over at Quilts and a Mug. Vivian makes all sorts of lovely quilts and is working on a Jane Stickle quilt as well. I thought the postcard colors would go well with some of the fabrics she's using in hers.

Vivian recently held a blogiversary (or is it blogaversary?) giveaway and I was one of the lucky winners. The three great books she sent are full of ideas and inspiration...

If you want to see more postcards like this, just click on the "postcard" label on my blog's sidebar...You can also find a tutorial there...

Thank you so much, Vivian....

Friday, February 19, 2010

How Sweet It Is

This is "BR4, Candy Dish", an intermediate-level triangle that I chose to paper piece. There's a small knot of green thread on the edge down by the bottom right, but that should be covered up once it's sewn together with the dark triangle.

When I first looked at this pattern, I thought that perhaps it should be labeled as beginner-level, but once I started working with those first teeny little pieces, I understood exactly why it's not!

If you're making this using the DJ software, be sure to resize the triangle to 5 inches by 8 inches.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tolerance

I have a new obsession....this is what happens when you spend time surfing quilting blogs....all sorts of new ideas find their way into your head...

Over the last year or so, I've seen many quilters use (gasp!) vintage sheets in their quilts, not only for backings, but for tops as well. They've talked about visiting thrift stores and finding all sorts of great deals. The quilts they've made out of the sheets always look so bright and cheery in the photos. So I thought I'd join the party.

These are the sheets and pillowcases I've found in some thrift stores over the last few weeks. Don't they look pretty? The sheets cost me $2-$4 each, and one of the pillowcases was a whopping 39 cents (hey, there's no cents key on my laptop, only a $ sign).

Now I know that the quilt police insist on 100% cotton, so they're probably on their way over to my house right now...I'll just pretend my doorbell's not working...I know for certain that many of the sheets I've found are not all cotton. But who cares?

I know that members of The Modern Quilt Guild don't care. They've been having some very interesting posts discussing "what does modern quilting mean to you". One of the recent posts (read it here) summed it all up for me "Modern quilting = Tolerant quilting". What a great attitude!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Green Wrapping

For the last year or so, I've been wrapping gifts in fabric whenever possible...it's more fun that way and it cuts down on the amount of paper that just gets wasted. The baby quilt and book that were mentioned in previous posts were wrapped in their pillowcase wrapper and the two other pillowcases were rolled up with no need for a paper wrapping either.


I hope the new owners like them...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Triangle of the Week

This is "BR2, Leigh's Woods", an intermediate-level block that I chose to paper piece. These triangles are definitely trickier to piece than the blocks, but they're doable (at least so far). Some of the members of my DJ support group recommeded that I use the DJ triangle ruler for these and they are definitely right! I borrowed one from my friend Dori to try it out and I have definitely put it on my "need to purchase soon" list. (thanks, Dori!)

I still need some practice (I see that there is at least one point that will be chopped off a bit when I sew it to the adjoining piece), but now I know what to watch out for as I cut.

This triangle is shown upside-down because it is on the bottom row.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Gifts

Books and reading are very important to me and to my family, so when I make a baby quilt for someone's first baby, I always include a copy of "The Quiltmaker's Gift" in the package. The second baby in the family gets a quilt and a copy of "The Quiltmaker's Journey". I like to think that this helps with making reading a regular part of the child's routine as he/she grows up. And hopefully the parents take the time to be involved from the very beginning. The baby who is getting the quilt that I blogged about in the previous post is the second baby....

I also included a pillowcase for when she graduates to a "big kid" bed in a couple of years. Luckily, I had some fabric from "The Quiltmaker's Gift" line that was out several years ago still in my stash. It worked perfectly with the book.

And whenever I send a gift for a new baby, in order to prevent unnecessary tears from older siblings, I include something handmade for them as well. This time, older brother gets a couple of fun pillowcases. His room is decorated in a fun kidsy lodgey decor and the family spends several weeks each summer at a cabin in Maine, so this fabric was perfect, don't you think?


Now it's time to wrap the gifts....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Curved Piecing? NOT!

Remember the fabrics I showed here? Well, I finished the baby quilt for my cousin and his wife...their little girl arrived last week...

The pattern is called "Candy Cane Lane" from Christmas at Bear's Paw Ranch by Eleanor Burns. It went together very, very quickly. And it's so easy...no seams to match! (the picture makes the quilt look a bit wonky, but believe me, it's much less wonky in person)...

Here are a couple of closeups of the quilting....

I love how the quilting almost makes the rectangles look like hourglasses...in certain light, it looks like I did some curved piecing, but it's really all in the quilting. You can see a similar effect in a Project Linus quilt I blogged about here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Out of Control

It's time now to do something about this...

My selvages are getting out of control, so I'm planning a project that I hope to have finished in time for my guild's exhibit in September.

I've taken the first step and organized them a bit...

We'll see what happens...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Can't Help Myself

First of all, a big thank you to all who commented on my completed DJ top. It's been great fun sharing my journey with you and I am very grateful for the support and encouragement I've received both from the members of my guild's DJ support group (the Laurel Janes) and from everyone who has commented on my blog posts. I couldn't have gotten this far without you!

At first I thought I'd take a bit of a break before starting on the DJ triangles, but I'm afraid I can't go cold turkey. I won't be feverishly working on them like I had been on the center blocks for the last couple of months, but perhaps I can regularly make one each week or so.

I'll be showing the triangles in the direction in which they appear on the quilt, so you may occasionally see one on its side or upside-down like this one. The dark background is the fabric I used for the sashing in the center of the quilt and I will be using it for the solid triangles inbetween the pieced ones.



This is "BR-1, Rosemary's Rainbow", a beginner-level paper-pieced block. It was quite easy.

Just a word of warning to those who are planning to use the DJ software for this one. If you want yours to look like Jane's, be sure to mirror the image before printing and if you want it to fit properly, be sure to change the size to 5 inches by 8 inches. For some senseless reason, the software uses the 4 1/2-inch square size (which is the finished size of the center blocks) as the default size for the triangles.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Are You Anxious?

Yes, I know...you were hoping that now that I've finished all 169 of the center blocks, you would get to see the finished center all put together. NOT. As least, not today...my DJ support group gets to see it in person today first before I post a photo on my blog...

In the meantime, here is a picture of "G-7, Indianapolis", a block that I first blogged about here back in the summer of 2008. Click on the link if you want to read the story of how I made it.

Although I have a number of blocks (well, a good number) that are not perfect, when I was finished with them I decided that only this one needed a "do-over". Well, sort of. I actually decided not to re-do it, but to "fix" it. That is, I took it apart a bit and used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method using monofilament thread instead of being embarrassed by my pitiful hand applique skills. Especially since this block is smack-dab in the middle of the quilt, probably at everyone's eye level when hung on the wall. Now I think I have a quilt (well, at least a center) that I will not be ashamed to show off, even with its flaws.

Stay tuned tomorrow....