Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I made this baby quilt for a silent auction that is a fundraiser for an organization I support. It was a spur of the moment idea. I am reluctant to make quilts for these sorts of things because the money they bring in is usually a pittance compared to the amount of work it takes to make it, let alone materials. But I had a set of pre-cut 4” squares I bought on eBay a couple of years ago so it was pretty quick to run up. I machine quilted it in a grid pattern using my walking foot.
This may well be my last project on my old sewing machine. Tomorrow, I’ll show you what I bought!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Looking at this quilt again got me thinking about my approach to quilting. In the early days of my quilting career, I always had an application (bed, wall, etc.) or recipient in mind when I started a project. The next step was color scheme and pattern or design, then I chose the fabrics from the LQS for that particular project. Of course, any time I was at the LQS, I bought for my stash too, because there was always something that was just to good to pass up and that I would use "someday." As my stash developed, I would still work in this same fashion but often pull at least part of a project's fabric supply from my stash. Then fabric companies began selling broader, more coordinated collections of fabric from a single designer, and stores began displaying them as a unit, instead of breaking up the line and merchansing with other, like colors. So I began buying more coordinated sets of fabric, either yardage or fat quarter bundles, and later the pre-cuts that Moda is so famous for offering. (I have a rather extensive set of Robyn Pandolph's Folk Art collections for Moda that I acquired this way, and though I've used it several quilts, there always seems to be more in my stash!)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
This is an easy-to-make quilt but I just love how it came out. It combines three blocks: nine patch, rail fence, and plain squares, and is set on point with setting triangles and borders. It would be quite easy to vary the size.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I used a Moda University pattern called Hexagon Magic and two jelly rolls. In this close-up you can see how the top is pieced in strips, with two sides coming together to form the hexagon shape. They are not real hexagons because all six sides are not the same length but this technique is a lot faster than dealing with real hexagons. I like it as an alternative to basic squares. I think the seams will disappear after quilting. The fabric collection is called Fig and Plum (also from Moda) but looking at this, I see cabbage. I’m thinking of naming it Mon Petit Chou (French, literally means my little cabbage but used as an endearment, especially for babies). I need to decide on a name soon because I’m going to piece the label into the backing, using the technique explained here.
This was my first jelly roll quilt and I have to say, my experience with the jelly rolls did not make me a fan. I had a hard time dealing with the pinked edge, accuracy-wise. But the bigger issue was that the strips had not been cut exactly perpendicular to the fold of the fabric, consequently were very noticeably V-shaped. This would have been a disaster if making a pattern that uses the full WOF strip. Mine involved cutting the strips in small segments plus the quilt did not require using all 80 strips so it worked out even though I could not use the middle of each strip. I have two more jelly rolls but plan on using them in a design that involves piecing the strips together into strip sets then cutting. I hope it works out okay. By the way, I haven’t had a problem using the pre-cut squares (charm packs and layer cakes); I’m a big fan of those as a way to get a scrappy look without a big $ investment in yardage.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The photo above shows the flannel spread out on the bed with some blocks in place.
Friday, March 13, 2009
- Bernina 440QE
- Husqvarna Sapphire 830 850/870
- Janome 6600P
Bernina - does everything and I like that stitch regulator. I could see myself doing some machine quilting with it though would probably still send larger quilts to the longarmer. But the space under the arm seems a little cramped and it is the most expensive of the machines.
Husqvarna Sapphire - Three different versions of the same basic model. It is really between the 830 and the 870 because the 850 is the 830 with a broader selection of fancy stitches and I don't need them. The 870 has some built-in self-adjusting items like tension control and can run without using the foot pedal but is about $700 more than the 830 model. There is a good amount of space under the arm. I like this dealer; I take my current sewing machine to the local Husquarna Viking dealer for service and they have always provided excellent service; pleasant people, too.
Janome 6600P - I tried this machine while I was at the quilt show and liked it but the local dealer is a bit of a concern to me as I had a negative experience with them over a vacuum cleaner a few years ago (its seems that sewing machine and vacuums are sold together in stores; I wonder what the origin of that is!) and one of my quilting friends got into a bit of a flap there too, so I am concerned about service should anything go wrong. They are rather high-pressure and while the basic price is reasonable to me, the cost of all the extra feet they say I need will add on considerably.
I am thinking of going back to each of the dealers with some of my fabric scraps, to sit and do a seam, a little machine applique, and a button hole and then comparing experiences and results. In the meantime, I'd appreciate any advice you have - your experiences with these or similar models, etc. Just leave a comment or send me an email message. Thanks!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I made Valentine Hearts in 2001. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted. Each heart is a different red/pink fabric. I made Aquarium in 2006. It is machine pieced and hand quilted. It is based on the techniques covered in Strips 'n Curves by Louisa L. Smith. At the time, my daughter loved visiting aquariums like the ones in Baltimore and Mystic, CT. She had plans for becoming a dolphin trainer and living in Bermuda (we had plans for visiting her there in our retirement years, LOL!) so I made this quilt to commemorate what I thought would likely be a passing phase - though you never know.
I used two different dolphin prints with a "watery" looking hand dye and about 20 other fabrics cut into narrow strips and sew in sets from which the various pieces were cut. This was a lot of fun to make, though not speedy. I keep meaning to try another quilt using this technique and will probably make one from the Stratavarious Quilts book I bought last week at the show.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Today, I have some of the pictures I took of the quilts exhbited at The Quilt Fest of New Jersey. The first two won prizes at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in VA last month.
This quilt was paper-pieced. I especially like the borders: trees on two sides, the mountains at the top, and the fish at the bottom.
Extremely detailed and realistic.
This was stunning, both from a distance and close-up. The wedding ring arcs are embroidered, not pieced. I'd like to try a border similar to this sometime.
Making "Christmas Pickle" has inspired me to try more curved piecing. I thinking of trying something like this using a Moda Layer Cake.
I really liked this quilt and the next, which have appliqued flowers against a pieced background of neutrals.
Here's a close-up; the background is pieced rail fence blocks. The applique was all plaids. I think the artist is Elsie M. Campbell (I didn't think to take notes at the show). She had a pieced quilt make entirely of plaid fabric taken from men's sport shirts.
This paper-pieced block was part of the "Herding Group" quilt. The artist paper-pieced a block depicting each of the AKC recoginized dog breeds then joined the blocks in quilts for each division of the dog show (Working, Herding, etc.). We have our own Corgi, Reggie, so I am interested in all things Corgi!
Hope you enjoyed this very abbreviated show.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I got three fat-quarter packs from another vendor, The Fieldstone House. They're at the show every year with a great selection of fat quarter packs and lots of conversational prints. I also got a pattern and that wooden thing is the base for a pin cushion - my bargain of the day at only $1.50!
Here is some more fabric - some silvery, snowflakey pale blues (for eventual snowflake quilt), some neutrals (I've used them a lot lately and my stash needs replenishing) and at the bottom is a panel of a variety of floral motifs on black, very antiquey looking.
And lastly, a little bundle of white wool (this vendor had fabulous hand dyed wools ), two Clover bias makers, some needles, and a purse frame and pattern.
The local Janome and Pfaff dealers were there so I checked them out. The Janome 6600P might be a possibility for me but I want to check out some other brands.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
My hands get very dry from handling fabric so I tend to use a lot of hand lotion, especially when I spend several hours working on a project, like yesterday afternoon. My current favorite hand lotion is this Aveeno product (I say current favorite because I am a sucker for new beauty products). It is very effective but not greasy, doesn’t leave residue that might mar the fabric, and doesn’t smell like perfume – perfect for quilting.
What works for you?