Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Little Overwhelmed

Yeah - I'm a little overwhelmed in the quilting world these days. Maybe life, in general.

I have 2 queen sized quilts that need the binding put on. Hopefully today I will get the binding machine sewed on both of them. That will make me feel better. I can take my time with the hand sewing, which I love to do at night. I figure it will take most of the summer to get these babies completed with the binding. That I can handle.

My sampler quilt is almost done. Tuesday is the last class and we put the sashing on. Then I can add the boarder, measure out the backing and get it to the quilters. I just have to finish one piece of hand applique, which I should get done tonight and/or tomorrow night. Of the three appliques blocks, only one got hand finished. The other two I did on the machine. I was going to hand turn one small piece, but felt too much pressure to get it done. My machine applique definitely needs a lot of work, but I enjoyed it and I am enjoying hand stitching using the blanket stitch.

The baby quilt keeps getting pushed to the side. Hopefully, tomorrow I can get the blocks completed. I only have 8 more to go, so it won't take long to piece them. Sewing the blocks together won't be bad, either, but where's the time? I want to take both the sampler quilt and the baby quilt to the quilters at the same time. It will be a relief to get them out of the house!

It's nice weather this weekend. I have gardening to do, too!

I need to retire so I can get things done! Only 14 months and 24 days, but who's counting?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Think He Likes It ! !

I think Paul is laughing because he knows Lucky ain't getting anywhere near this quilt!

Poor Lucky.

Lucky Paul. He loved the quilt and it made me feel good!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sad Day

I am not a political person. Those who know me well know that I hate politics and I do not intend to use this blog as a "soap box" to voice my views.

However, today I find it necessary to speak out.

I find it extremely sad that the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on gay marriage. I find it even sadder than the people of California voted against gay marriage. Wishy washy.

To the state of California I have this to say:

"Shame on you."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quilt Fit for a Cat

When I was in Atlanta last March I was talking about quilts when my nephew Paul said, "Hey, you should make Lucky a quilt." If you read about Lucky in a previous post you will remember that Lucky is Paul's cat.

Well, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was make a quilt for a cat. I am extremely allergic to cats and therefore, not overly fond of them. A cat could literally kill me by its dander shutting down my respiratory system. But, the very next day after my return home I was in The Patched Works quilt store and saw this great cat material on sale. And, there was matching material on sale. And, there was great red material for the sashing. It would work into a great lap quilt. How could I resist? It would be masculine, not cute. I thought Paul would like it.

When it was pieced I went back thinking I would use a cheetah colored fabric for the background. Instead, I saw this great piano keys fabric. Paul has playing the piano since he was a kid and besides working a full time job, he is currently in 2 rock bands in the Atlanta area. So, how could I resist? Plus, The Patched Works had a great quilting design with musical notes.

A purrrrfect quilt.

I had one square extra (how did that happen?) so I made a pillow for Paul and used the cheetah fabric for the backing.

This Memorial weekend I am in Atlanta. It was Paul's 39th birthday on the 19th so the quilt will be the given to him when I see him. I'll post a picture when I get back.
I hope he likes it!


OK, a seamstress I am not! But I can sew a relatively straight line, which is why I love quilting. I can be creative without having to sing, draw or play an instrument.

A big part of quilt is (or can be) applique work. This is a design layered on top of the fabric of the quilt. It can be machine sewed or hand stitched, with different methods of both.

Last night as part of my sample quilt class, our very patient and talented instructor, Diane, taught Terri and me three different versions.

First, using all scrap material, was a blanket stitch using the sewing machine. Luckily, my machine has that stitch on it. It worked out good and practice will make perfect. I liked it. Terri's machine only offers her a zigzag stitch and she had trouble getting it the size she liked.

Next Di taught us how to hand sew the blanket stitch. Turns out we both knew this stitch, but Di gave us very helpful hints and techniques. I enjoyed this very much.

Last - oh, God - is the hand turned (also called needle turned) applique technique. Now - I had taken part 1 of a 2 part hand turned applique technique class so I knew what I was in for. Let me first say that when the day came for part 2 of the applique class I awoke with a terrible headache and the thought of sitting there for 4 hours doing tedious sewing did not appeal to me in the least so I skipped out of the class. You use a needle so small and thin that Thumblina would think it tiny. The hand stitches are so carefully set in that the best hand turn applique work the stitches cannot be seen. A tooth pick is used to turn under the fabric before the stitches are made. Boy - did I mention it is tedious? Peg, the instructor of the 2 part class, is a master appliquer. One of her quilts in progress is hanging at Ye Olde Schoolhouse it is a work of art. She is an excellent instructor. However, I learned quickly that this was NOT for me.

So, when it came time for poor Di to show us hand turned applique I was bitching. And, guess what? I kind of liked it! Maybe I felt more relaxed. Maybe I learned two other techniques that I could do and I enjoyed so I felt the pressure was off me to learn this - I don't know.

The sampler quilt we are making has three different appliques in it. One is a small heart set in a square of a block, one is a block of a trailing tulip design and the other is 12 small leaves that go around a square within a block. I have decided to use all three techniques. After all, it is a sampler quilt and I should show a sampling of all three techniques. The little heart will be hand turned (least amount of work). The trailing tulip block will be hand sewed using the basket stitch and the 12 leaves will be machine sewed basket stitch.

I learned more than applique techniques last night. I learned I need to be more open to new ideas and techniques, even if I think I don't like them. I will never be as good as Peg or Di when it comes to hand turn applique, but I do really enjoy hand stitching and I will not be afraid to try it when the opportunity arises. Or, just do the basket stitch!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bluebirds on a quilt

Click on pic for a much better view.
I said I would not purchase any more fabric. However, I couldn't resist this.

I saw this bluebird fabric on a sample lap quilt kit at the Quilt Show last month. It is from Fern Hill Quilt and Antiques. I fell in love with it and while at the show, asked the designer if I could get the material and pattern, but for a queen size quilt.

The ladies at Fern Hill are very helpful and adjusted the pattern for me and sent me the material. I'm thrilled. The material is called Bluebird Dishes by Lily Mae for Fine Line fabrics. It is based on old bluebird dishes.

My grandma had several Homer Laughlin bluebird plates and I have them, along with others I have found over the years. So, this fabric called to me. I picture the quilt on a bed with the plates hanging over the bed and maybe a few other items of my grandma's in the room.

So, now a few projects might fall to the wayside while I make this quilt. But, it will have to wait until after the Friendship Star quilt is completed, as well as the Broken Dishes wall hanging and the lap quilt for my nephew.

So, many quilts and fabrics, so little time.
NO MORE FABRIC. I PROMISE. I promise. I promise. I promise! I promise!!!!

Plant ID Needed

I planted this pretty little plant a few years ago and forgot what it is? Does anyone know? It sits low on the ground and is almost a complete circle. It blooms now and turns darker green later in the year.

Here's a pic of the flowering Louisiana crab apple tree Phil bought me 4 years ago. It is loaded with blossoms and I should have taken the picture yesterday when the sun was shining. It is really lovely and smells sooooo good!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

More projects

Here's what I'm up to these days in "quilting land."
My Elizabeth's Sampler class in now full gear. Tuesday will be week 4. Here's a pic of what we have done so far.

And, I am still plugging away at the baby quilt for Gianna, Phil's granddaughter. Maybe she'll get it by her first birthday. hehehe
It is a Peter Rabbit themed quilt.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Kid and a Firetruck

Saturday night we made steaks on the grill and had my nephew Patrick, his son Aaron and daughter Shannon over. Pam, Patrick's wife, was at the Brewer's game. There was a small accident on the corner and Engine 11 responded. So, of course, we had to check it out. Aaron is 17 so the firetruck didn't impress him, but little Shannon thought it was great. Since I knew a couple of the guys, they let us put Shannon on the truck.
Personally, I think she's adorable. Dirty face and all.