Sunday, January 30, 2011

Woo Hoo!

Another bed quilt in the 'finished' pile!  At left is a close-up of the back.  The quilting was done by Anne Spiotta of Blue House Quilting, Wheaton, IL.  I couldn't be happier with the results - I love the heavy quilting in the quilt top alternate block.  I don't have a nice place to hang quilts for picture taking, so hubby stepped in.  Pictures are a little fuzzy (sorry), but the hired help wasn't interested in 'Take 2'.  The picture on the left is the top - picture on the right is the back.  You're probably tired of seeing this one, but it's finally finished!

           A couple close-up shots of the top -

Jan and I had a great retreat weekend - my personal accomplishments:
binding attached to two bed quilts
six pinwheel blocks
four log cabin blocks
small start on Lori's Midnight Stars

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Retreat Report

Well, we failed to get the gang together for our annual Shipshewanna Retreat. Vicki and I headed off alone last Friday. She discovered this wonderful B&B. We had an entire walkout basement to ourselves - this was the living room that we used to sew in. This picture was taken before we got down to work. We had a great time, but are always surprised by our small accomplishments. I made the blocks for Lori's Quilt-Along, and then worked on my Braid quilt (Bonnie's pattern). That's it! We spent the first day fabric shopping, and having the traditional hot pretzel at Jo Jo's - so yummy. I'm sure you quilters caught the antique quilt that was on the wall. Here is a better shot of it. Maybe I would have more to show for my time if I wasn't spending so much of it staring at this! The innkeeper shared that she purchased this at a local auction. It may be a partial quilt as this is the entire piece; it isn't folded. The quilting is by machine and is in simple, straight vertical lines. This is a great block, and so easy to piece. There may be one in my future!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I finished the binding on this quilt this weekend while watching lots of football.It is now on our bed, and was put to use for the first time last night. While I like the looks of it, it's kinda crunchy sleeping under a freshly machine-quilted quilt! The others that we've used on our bed were hand quilted, and are quite snuggly. I wonder if it will soften with use, or not until it's washed? Here is a detail of the quilting, which I love! It was quilted by Anne Spiotta of Blue House Quilting in Illinois. Vicki and I took tops to her recently, and Anne spent all the time that we needed selecting designs.
Here is the Fons & Porter pattern that I used for this quilt. Can you see the date at the bottom of the magazine page? Yes, I made this top that long ago (1996), and it took this long to have it quilted! The tops waiting for hand quilting just pile up too fast, so if I expect to see quilts instead of tops, it's off to the machine quilters they go!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

All Sewed Up

Finished - last night around 8:30.  I like the stripe running vertically.  Little quilts have their own set of benefits - the sense of accomplishment from just one day's sewing and packability (to name just two).  The plan is to layer today for evening hand quilting.  This might be a pipedream as hotel lighting is subpar - you know what I'm talkin' about.  

 I have a quilt hoop that breaks down for travel and offers two hoop sizes while lifting the quilt off your lap - creating space for your 'stab hand'.  

Jan is probably surprised at this post, as I usually work on full-size quilts.  To add to my list of vices, doll beds are now included in my 'just browsing' list.  My first official doll bed purchase was made New Year's Eve day in Princeton, KY while visiting family.  My sister and I were given doll bunk beds for Christmas years ago (one set to share).  Now where did I stash my half? 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snow and Sew

Today's weather forecast is for snow, snow, snow.  What better way to spend the day than piecing!  Following a breadcrumb trail from Barbara Brackman's 'Civil War Quilts' blog this morning, I found this sweet doll quilt (circa 1895) in the North Carolina Museum of History quilt collection.

Most of last year I exercised constraint on starting new projects, but lately I've done an 'about face'.  Today I'm focusing on recreating this simple, yet graphic, doll quilt.  The original computes to 2" squares (23.6" x 23.8"), but I'm leaning toward 1 3/4" sq (21" sq finished) or 1 1/2" sq (18" sq finished) - whichever scrap strip pile is larger.

Barring an electrical outage, I'll post later today/tomorrow with progress - hopefully, a completed top!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some Gifts

You may remember this as a top from a post a few months ago. It was recently quilted by Susan Atwell of the Fat Quarter Quilt Farm. This was a gift for new son-in-law Adam, the hockey player. After I made this top, Adam retired from playing, and is now on sports radio in Corpus Christi, Texas. These were the team's (Corpus Christi Rays) colors. They also happen to be the Chicago Black Hawks team colors, so it was a win-win! One of his former college teammates plays for them. This was his Christmas gift from me this year.
The border and binding used up many of my black strips.
Jessi asked after some of her quilts that she used to have in her bedroom. She asked if they could go home with her - they drove from Texas! - and I was happy that she asked, and happy that it freed up a bit of space in the quilt/linen closet.
This was maybe the fifth quilt or so that I ever made in the mid-90s. It was also the first quilt that I ever machine quilted. I remember going about it fearlessly, and really didn't encounter any problems. It was quilted with invisible thread which I still really like. I think that it gives a hand-quilted appearance because only the texture is noticeable. People don't seem to quilt with this type of thread much anymore, do they? Do any of you have experience with the invisible threads? I remember that this was nylon, but I know that Superior makes a polyester, too. Perhaps this is the new generation of these threads?
Just some simple, straight line quilting. Free motion still scares me silly!

This was Jessi's graduation gift. She went off to college in North Carolina, and became a marine biologist mainly because of her love of dolphins.

I also machine quilted this one, but used an invisible thread here, too, but with a bit of sparkle to look like light reflecting on the water. I used a walking foot, and had no problem with these narrow curves.
Another gifted quilt that I made recently was for my niece, Betsy. She and her husband, Richard, welcomed their first child, Fiona in October. They are both art majors, and seem to enjoy modern and 60's retro designs. This fabric had to be purchased for this quilt. I certainly don't have anything like this in my stash! Her is the back where I was able to use leftover strips, and one width of yardage.
This was inspired, and, frankly, copied from something that I saw online, but can't recall where. Susan quilted this one, too. It was fun to use fabrics that are completely different than what I normally use, but I am anxious to get into the sewing room, and work with some of the dark, and depressing that I so love!