Thursday, April 30, 2009

High Energy

This is a bit long, but maybe if you watch the whole thing, you'll burn off that brownie you had earlier today...

Imagine how much quilting I could get done if I had this much energy...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Practice Makes Closer to Perfect

This is "C-4, Tic Tac Toe", labeled by the software as an advanced-level block, and rightly so in my opinion. Probably both for the small size of some of the pieces (notice mine are of various sizes), but also for the Y-seams in the outside triangles. I chose to paper piece the center and then rotary cut the outside triangles.

I could have made things easier on myself and paper-pieced the outside triangles, but the seams would not have been in the corners. Anyway, this gave me a chance to practice Y-seams, which I don't mind anywhere near as much as I mind hand applique (apologies to my regular blog readers who are probably tired of hearing me whine about hand applique...).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Can't Believe I Did This

I still have lots and lots of blocks and triangles to go with my Dear Jane quilt, but this book was calling my name when I stopped in at Barnes and Noble this past weekend...(that's a very dangerous place for my family's wallet).

This is a book of patterns and instructions for a quilt made by characters in the Elm Creek Quilters series of fiction books by Jennifer Chiaverini. For more info, check this website.

Thankfully, unlike the Dear Jane book, this one has patterns and instructions! And a whole lot less applique!

I don't plan on starting this quilt until after my DJ quilt is finished...from the looks of things, I should have plenty of fabric left over to at least get a good start on this one...maybe even for the whole thing.

This is giving me more reason to get moving on my DJ block tomorrow...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Applique Can Be Fun

This block was a lot of fun to do. When I first looked at it months ago, I dreaded having to make it because of all the applique, but I have since discovered an applique technique that I enjoy doing.

This is "C-5, Eye of the Cyclone", an intermediate-level block. Again, I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paper Piecing Delight

I made this quilt in the summer of was another block-of-the-month project from Our Gathering Place in Montoursville, PA. I had enjoyed making my first BOM from that shop (see my post about it here) so much that I jumped right in when they had this one on display.

Like the first BOM, this one required paper piecing and consists entirely of batiks. The instructions were perfect...I had no trouble at all understanding what to do. Quilters who are new to paper piecing are often turned off and discouraged because of inadequate instructions. That was not the case with any of the BOM's I've made that were designed by Veronica Jones from OGP (I made 3 total).

I believe the title of this one was "Summer in Bali"....yesterday certainly felt like "Summer in Wellsboro"...I'm hoping that the temperatures will soon be down to springtime level -- 70 is fine by me...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

For A Hot Day

It's been way too long since I blogged about a DJ block. Here is my latest.

This is "B-5, Hot Cross Buns", a beginner-level pieced and appliqued block. The points are far from perfect, but I'm certain that they would have looked worse if I had attempted to do hand applique rather than raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch.

I guess making a "hot" block is appropriate for today since the temperature is supposed to get up into the low 80s! Too warm too soon.

BTW...if you haven't already, check out yesterday's post on Selvage Blog. Scroll down below the German Patchwork item...My friend Susan and I have infected another guild member with selvagitis...there's no stopping the spread now...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Long Overdue

I have been embarrassed to have anyone over for dinner lately because of the condition of my hotpads. My collection includes three with Holly Hobbie fabric on one side...I'm not sure how long I've had them, but I'd guess they were from my first apartment in the early 1980s. I like to think of them as "vintage", not "old".

But enough is enough...they are stained, the binding is coming off, a lot of the quilting is long gone and they are just plain ugly (sorry if you're a Holly Hobbie fan).

Since my supply of selvages seems to be bottomless (thanks to generous guild members), I decided to use some in a new set of hotpads.

I sewed the selvages to squares of Insul-bright and then picked out ugly fabric from my stash for the backing/binding.

The new hotpads made their debut on my family's dinner table last night. My son's comment -- "Who cares what they look like, they're covered up anyway"....sheesh, teenagers....male teenagers....

I wonder if I can sell the old hotpads on Ebay if I list them as "vintage"?...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours...

Karen Griska, creator of Selvage Blog, asked her readers to send her photos of their selvage stashes. I'm looking forward to seeing how others organize theirs.

Here is what mine look like...

Right now I just have them in 3 clear contains Christmas selvages, one contains short (less than 18 inches) pieces and the biggest contains selvages that are longer than 18 inches.

This adds up to 3.25 pounds of selvages that I currently have at my disposal.

I did a quick calculation and came up with a ballpark figure of about 100 yards (!) of selvages that have been used in my various projects. Yikes, somebody had to buy 100 yards of fabric to get me those selvages...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Amazing Work

This is for all my knitting friends who may be looking for a new project to work on...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mail Call

Here are a few more selvage postcards that I made for some quilting friends this month...

Nancy is in my Dear Jane group and is progressing very well with her quilt. I know that she has more than 100 blocks finished already. The quilt is looking great with the 30s reproduction fabrics that she is using, so I decided to use some appropriate selvages for her postcard...

The other two postcards are for friends who are just as bright and cheery as the selvages I used! (especially when we are all on a Stash-Enhancing eXpedition...)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Orthodox Easter

Today is Easter Sunday in most Orthodox churches, so I am celebrating with my family.

I made this tablerunner and hotpads in 2001 -- they will be on our table.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Join Me Today

Since most of us can't go to Quilt Market, Park City Girl is sponsoring a Bloggers Quilt Festival today. We're supposed to post a photo of a favorite completed quilt project and the story that goes with it...

So here is mine... it's one that I recently blogged about...

This is a quilt I made in 2006, just in time for my guild's September exhibit. The pattern is "Shakespeare in the Park" by Judy Martin. I call mine "Trails to the Stars".

The entire top and binding are made from scraps of previous projects. It was one of the first quilts that I quilted on my HQ16 mid-arm machine. I just did an overall meander using Rainbows thread by Superior.

This quilt is special to me not only because I love how it turned out, but also because it has been displayed in 3 larger exhibits. First at the Quilt Fest of NJ in March 2007, then the June 2007 NQA show in Columbus, OH and finally at the Quilters' Heritage Celebration show in Lancaster, PA in spring 2008. It now hangs on the balcony from the second floor of my house overlooking our living/dining area.
Be sure to visit all the other bloggers who are signed up for today's bloggers' quilt festival. Just click on the picture at the beginning of this post (I hope it works...).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Haven't Had a DJ Fix in a While

This block looks so much better in person. The melons are a nice pink, not too pale and not too bright...unfortunately, they are way too pale on the computer screen...

This is "C-6, Ashley's Aura", an intermediate-level block. Once again, I used my favorite applique method -- raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch. That made it very easy...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For A Dear Friend With A Big Heart

A dear friend of mine (who doesn't read my blog) opens up her family's lake house several days per month and welcomes her fellow guild members in to spend some fun time sewing and visiting. The DJ group meets there and other times we work on charity projects or our own quilts. We've even had mini-retreats there. As a matter of fact, I'll be there today...

To thank this friend for her generosity, our guild decided to make her a quilt incorporating two of her favorite themes -- the color pink and scrap fabric. Guild members who wanted to participate were given a square of batting and a pink strip of fabric to use as the center strip of their block. They were then asked to use the "stitch and flip" technique and add strips of various fabrics from their stashes until the square of batting was all covered up.

Last week, a small group of us (Susan, Dori, Peggi, Rita and I) spent some time putting the top together. I then took it home and quilted it on my HQ16 (hearts for a guild member with a big heart) and now Dori is working on the binding. After she is finished with that, Rita will sew on the label, which was made by Peggi. We had a few blocks left over, so we quickly sewed them into a table topper and Susan is finishing that up. The label is also made from one of the blocks. (I'll show the label and table topper in a later post, after we give the quilt to Moddy).

A big thank you to all guild members who participated...the quilt will be a treasure, I'm sure. Moddy doesn't read blogs, so I think it's pretty safe to show all of this here. I'm sure guild members reading this can keep a secret until Monday...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Finished

When I get working on a project, I don't often want to put it down, so I finished this latest one more quickly than I expected. I have now made 4 of these bags, 3 of them for me.

The pastel one is made from a charm pack that I picked up at a quilt show last year (in Chatauqua). I had some variegated thread that I wanted to use up (I've since discovered better variegated thread from Superior), so I played around with the fancy stitches on my sewing machine and stitched along the seams.

I made this one about a year and a half ago using fat quarters that I had picked up at another quilt show (Lancaster, I believe).

The lining (from my stash) is wilder than the outside.

This is my third one, a little more subdued, but still fun.

And this one I made for my cousin who lives in Florida. She tells me that all her friends love it and they all think that I should go into business selling them and my postcards. Hah, they don't have a clue about how long it takes to make these. If I sold them, I'd probably make 50 cents an hour, if that much.

Can't sell them anyway, because it's from a pattern by Penny Sturges. I first saw it in the August 2007 issue of McCall's Quilting magazine.
Now, what do I work on next?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sneak Peek

This is a project that I hope to finish this week...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't run out of the variegated thread...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I wish a Happy Easter to all my blog readers who are celebrating today.

Most Orthodox churches will celebrate Easter next Sunday, so today is Palm Sunday for my family. As I explained in my post from December 19th, many Orthodox churches use a different calendar than the Western churches, so our holidays are often on different days. Once in a while, the two coincide for Easter, but they can also be anywhere from one to five weeks apart.

Easter means spring and spring means daffodils. These are some of the first from my yard...I found one of them on the ground after some animal (probably a deer) had chewed it off, but spit it out. I'm grateful that this is one flower that the deer do not like to eat... (it was a different story with the crocuses, although the rabbits could also be suspects there).

The vase is from the Wood was one of the goodies that I brought home from the Lancaster show.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Progress I Can See

In addition to making the block I showed in yesterday's post, I had a chance at Monday's DJ gathering to finally put a small section of my quilt together.

This is the upper left of the center section.

And this is the fabric that I'm using for the sashing. It's actually darker than the photo shows -- the sashing in the first photo shows it better. I also plan to use it for the solid triangles along the outer border and if there is enough left, it will be the backing as well.

Now I feel that I am actually getting somewhere...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Making Me Crazy

I spent a good part of the time at Monday's gathering of my guild's DJ group making this block, "L-6, Maze of Madness". It is an advanced-level block that I chose to paper piece. I suppose you could make it by rotary cutting, but you'd have to cut awfully small pieces. The little purple squares are 1/4-inch finished. It's enough to make a quilter go mad!

This is #120 for me...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009