Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lucky Me

Look what showed up in my mailbox yesterday. A yard of this lovely fabric that I won in Quilt Taffy's recent giveaway. It's called Stripey in the Farmers' Market line by Sandi Henderson. This goes into my stash for use as a future bias binding...and the selvage is quite usable, too...Thank you, Quilt Taffy!

Check out Quilt Taffy's blog and shop sometime... lots of good stuff there...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Relaxing Work

This is how I spent some of my time this past weekend. The friend that I've blogged about many times before gave me yet another quilt to play with. All I did was an all-over meander of loops and hearts using Rainbows thread by Superior. Compared to the Irish Chain that I did a few weeks ago, this was a piece of cake!

P.S. Thanks to all who offered encouragement on yesterday's post. Nick called in the afternoon and still seems to be enjoying himself...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Keeping Busy

This is the third batch of nine-patch blocks that I've made up for the online swap I blogged about here. The purples are really much prettier in person.

I've now made it through one week without having our son around the house...why doesn't he call more often?

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Very Soulful Place

What's a college town without a used bookstore?

My family discovered this place outside of Ithaca, NY when we dropped off our son at Cornell for the summer.

All I could say was "Wow!" All three of us could spend hours and hours in a place like this. Books on all sorts of subjects lined bookcase after bookcase in every nook and cranny of this old barn (see the stone wall peeking through the shelves in one of the photos further down?)

Sorry about the poor quality of some of the photos, but I took them without a flash. I didn't want to disturb anything that might be living in there...

As they say...A room without books is like a body without a soul. This place must certainly have quite a soul...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You've Got Mail!

These lovely nine-patch blocks recently arrived in my mailbox from Anina of Twiddletails. She is hosting an international nine-patch swap and I was lucky enough to get a spot. I blogged about my first and second month's contribution here and here. Anina says that there is enough interest for a third month, so I better get cracking on making another 16 blocks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He Knows How To Warm My Heart

My favorite quote from "college boy" so far -- "The food is good. Much better than high school, but not as good as home cooking."

Monday, June 22, 2009

What's a Mother To Do...

...while waiting for a phone call from her only child away at Summer College?...

Start yet another project!

I suspect my house will be spotless and I'll have oodles of quilting projects finished by the time the next 6 weeks are over...it's either that or watch soap operas and gain 75 pounds from depression.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scrap Happy

I made this quilt in December 2005 without buying anything for it. All the fabrics and batting were leftovers from previous projects. The backing is two large different pieces and the binding is made up of around 20 different fabrics. The batting was pieced from 3 leftovers (maybe even 4). Even the monofilament thread was leftover from previous quilts. This was one of the last quilts that I quilted on my regular sewing machine before I purchased my HQ16.

I am always intrigued by log cabin quilts. The layout possibilities are endless. I was quite pleased with the effect of this one.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yet Another Project

At this rate, my Dear Jane quilt will take years to finish...

I spent a good part of the day yesterday with three of my good quilting friends putting together a raffle quilt for a local charity. It was one of those "how quickly can you get one finished?" deals.

In the last year or so, our group has made a good number of charity quilts and we've pretty much settled on a disappearing nine-patch as a quick pattern that works well in a hurry, especially with scrappy fabrics. It looks complicated to the untrained eye, but goes together very quickly. See a few tutorials here and here.

This is a sneak peek of what was on the design wall. The fabrics have all been donated to our guild (a lot of them from one very generous member), so the only thing required of the rest of us is our time and effort. After several hours of sewing, we had a good part of the top sewn together, so after just a few more hours we should have the borders on it and ready for quilting and binding.

Then I can hopefully get back to a Dear Jane block or two...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Becoming Predictable

Here are a couple more selvage postcards that I put in the mail recently. One is for a fellow guild member who sent me some selvages in the mail and the other is for a guild member who is celebrating a birthday this week!

My friends can now probably guess what kind of card they'll get from me when their birthdays come around...

It's hard to believe, but postcards like this take about 2 yards of selvage each!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Delightful Evening

Wow, what a delightful presentation Ami Simms gave at our guild meeting on Friday evening! I don't remember an event where I laughed and cried so much. It was 2 hours jam-packed with slides, anecdotes, giggles, door prizes, tears, and hugs. If you ever have a chance to attend a lecture by Ami Simms, run -- don't walk -- to sign up. You will not be disappointed, I assure you.

As I mentioned in my post here, my guild surprised Ami with a donation of 30 small quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. These quilts were made by our guild members to help raise money for the research effort to find a cure for Alzheimer's. Ami seemed genuinely touched.

Thank you, Ami, for coming to visit us in Wellsboro. You're welcome to come back anytime.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quilts on Wood

When I win the lottery (or when my son wins a full college scholarship), I'll buy one of the tables made by this talented man. In the meantime, I may settle for a trivet...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ami Simms Is Coming, Ami Simms Is Coming!

Today, my guild welcomes Ami Simms for a lecture on "How Not To Make a Prize-Winning Quilt". Should be great fun!

Many of you may know that Ami is the founder of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a volunteer effort to raise awareness and raise funds for research on the disease. One of the ways that the organization raises funds is by auctioning small art quilts.

My guild decided to thank Ami for coming by making our own AAQI quilts to be donated to her at tonight's meeting. This is my contribution. Just something I made up using selvages.

If you have never read Ami's blog or newsletter, you must. They are a fun read!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mail Call

Not only do I get bags of selvages handed to me at guild meetings, I now get them delivered to my door by the U.S. Postal Service!

My selvage stash seems to grow faster than friendship bread dough -- I can't seem to keep up.

Hmmm...I wonder what a Dear Jane quilt would look like with selvages? Don't even go there, Anya...
P.S. Thank you, Carol, if you're reading this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Birthday Presents

My husband's twin grandchildren will be turning three next week, so I made these pillowcases to be used as wrapping for their gifts.

I usually use my serger for pillowcases, but it's currently having some issues. It's probably just operator error (incorrect threading), but after spending 2 hours trying to perform "sergery", I gave up and went back to my trusty sewing machine. Not as nice a finish, but acceptable. One of these days I will take the time to learn how to make the pillowcases with French seams.

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Selvage Fun

A good number of my fellow guild members have been giving me their selvages over the last several months. I've used a lot of them in previous projects, but sometimes some of them are very, very narrow, like the one you see here.

I decided to use the narrow ones to make a tissue holder like the one seen here on my friend Susan's blog. I had to sew them very carefully onto a foundation (I used a used dryer sheet) to make sure I caught all the edges. This is the result.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thread Play

When I finished quilting the quilt shown here and turned it to see the back, the first thing my husband said was "My word, you must have used $50 worth of thread in that"!

I, too, was amazed at how much thread went into the quilting of this quilt. The cone on the right in this picture is brand new and the cone on the left is the one I just took off my HQ16 after quilting that Irish Chain quilt. The label says that there are 3,280 yards of thread on the cone when it's new. From the looks of things, I don't think I could quilt another quilt like this with just the remaining thread (it will be a long time anyway before I quilt another one that big, so I won't worry).

The thread that I mainly use in my HQ16 comes from Superior Threads. If I need a solid color, I use So Fine and if I need something more interesting, I use the variegated Rainbows. Their Bottom Line thread is great in the bobbin.

Yes, the thread from Superior is a bit pricey, but I believe that you generally get what you pay for.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Will the Tuition Money Pay Off?

In just 2 short weeks, my husband and I will drop our son off at Cornell University for a 6-week summer college session. I wonder if he will learn to do this by the time he is done...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Easy Work

Yeah, another one that only took about an hour!

This is "D-8, Dee Dee's Delight", an intermediate block made using the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

As Promised

Here are some more detailed photos of the quilt I've blogged about several times in the last couple of weeks.

Everything was done freehand except for using a ruler for stitching in the ditch along the rows and borders and the beadboard quilting along the outermost border. The center white sections contain a spirally flower design surrounded by stippling.

All of the scrappy squares (a million at last count)are quilted with continuous curves (I think that's what it's called), which results in an orange peel design (more visible on the back).

When I spread this on the floor in the good light of my friend's house, I was quite pleased with how it looked. I just made sure no one looked too closely....

A few of us have convinced my friend that the ideal binding for this quilt would be a prairie point border made out of the fabrics used for the squares. At first she was reluctant, but we talked her into hosting a "Painless Prairie Point Pizza Party (Purple and Pink Pajamas optional)" for our monthly sewing session next week. Everyone who comes will help out with making the prairie points that will be needed, so we should have them done in no time at all...it will also serve as a learning session for those who have never made prairie points.

The backing is a very pretty yellow which doesn't show up too well in the photo unfortunately.

Although she doesn't read my blog, I want to thank my friend Moddy for allowing me to play with her quilt without any pressure. Although the process was often stressful, it was an extremely educational and ultimately liberating experience.