Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wall Projects

When I started this project, I had nothing but a picture I'd taken of a friend's antique quilt that I had completely fallen for. After years of wishing I had that quilt, I decided to make one. (Now that I want to do a post about this, of course, I can't find any of the pictures I took.) So I started to cut up little strips of fabric, ties and my husband's shirts (old, of course). I think Bonnie Hunter would be very proud of me LOL!!
Well, all that cutting resulted in this. It's wonderful log cabin wall hanging and it hangs in my son's room. I guess my camera wasn't set right because this picture does not capture the color of the quilt.
This second picture shows the quilt exactly how it looks. It has a very warm feel to it with the gold center blocks. My father made the frame on one of their visits from High Point, NC. as I knew I'd never find one to fit.
The tinier I cut the strips, the better I liked it. I didn't really care about straight grain, color placement, etc. This is kind of like liberated quiltmaking Gwen Marston style. And I loved it!!
Since I had no pattern and no directions (I seem to do that alot I guess) there were no rules. So I ironed very stiff, fusible interfacing to the back and that was it. There is no quilting in this at all. When I look up close at the individual blocks, I think there's no way this could look good, but from a distance, it works. At least it works for me.
This is the second wall project in this room. Our Guild has a program called "At Home in the Guild". A member teaches a technique for any where from 6 to 10 people and we pay a very nominal fee that goes to the Guild. This was a technique where you took 1 piece of fabric and cut it up into little squares. You sorted by light, medium and dark and then started to make a picture.
This fabric started out as men riding horses, dressed in riding habits with hunting dogs all around. Of course, I don't have a picture of this one either. My idea was to create a scene from the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, a place my husband and I love very much. I was hoping it would look like a sunset over the mountains. I made this for my DH one year for Father's Day.
It's not very good, but I'm just proud I finished it LOL!! It actually took a guild challenge for me to finish it and it was the second thing I ever machine quilted. Sometimes it's good to remind ourselves that as Diane Gaudynski says, our quilting gets better every day. At least I hope that's true.
So until next time,


Friday, April 23, 2010

Distraction Update

Late Wednesday night, after almost 24 hours of travel, my DH got home. Thank you for all the good wishes. I believe the way it happened was almost a miracle. God is good and he's home. I know there are still so many displaced and our thoughts and prayers go out to them until they are home with their families. While he was gone, I was very ADD - bouncing from one project to another. I am happy to show you the very first piece of Kaffe I've ever owned!! Yea!!! I bought this piece last week and have been staring at it. It just makes me happy. :)Here are the fabrics I have pulled so far for my new project. My friend Kim and I are going to do another joint project :). We haven't done one in a while. We use a lot of the same fabrics, share fabrics from our stash and then do our own quilt using the same pattern. It's always interesting to see our individual tastes come out. The quilts look different even though they're using a lot of the same fabrics. Once we get our strips cut, I'll share. We are not 100% sure which pattern we're going to use. Aren't these fun and happy?? So far, I love it!Just so you know I'm not completely abandoning my previous project, I thought I'd share my progress on the hand quilting on "Beauty for Ashes". After machine quilting, hand quilting does seem verrrrrry slow.
But every part of this quilt makes me smile. These colors are so soothing and restful.

So until next time,


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Volcanic Diversion

My DH left 10 days ago to celebrate his 60th Birthday by playing golf at the Old Course in Scotland with 3 of his closest friends. They are still not home yet. The volcano in Iceland has touched my little world here in Pensacola, FL. The last 4 days have been very stressful, and I knew I needed to surround myself with something lovely. About 8 years ago, this project got started. It's from the collection by Robyn Pandolph for Moda, Secret Garden. It still is one of my alltime favorites. I started with 12 blocks, added some additional strips and created a small quilt.
Aren't these fabrics still beautiful??? I added a panel of appliqued flowers on the side (I also love applique).
I won't show you the whole thing yet, but I am machine quilting the main body of the quilt and hand quilting the appliqued panel. I've been listening to a lot of music and trying to trust that this will soon be over.
Hand quilting soothes me. It's quiet and comforting. While waiting for the ash cloud to move, this has been my comfort. I'm not sure what I will name it, but I will never forget what was going on around me while I was making it.
Hopefully, in a few weeks I will show you this beauty. Maybe that's what I'll name it, Beauty From Ashes.
Until next time,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mocha Leftovers

I'm sure everyone is familiar with this wonderful book by my friend Kim Brackett. I'm a little afraid to say this, but I must admit I was not a fan of the whole jelly roll thing when it started. Mainly because I don't like someone else making my fabric choices for me. I like to pick my own fabric for a quilt. I want my quilts to look like me. The beauty of this book is that you can cut your own stash into strips or you can use a jelly roll. This is my quilt - Mocha Swirl. It was great fun to make, and almost every piece was pulled from my stash or Kim's stash. I did have to buy some darks as I didn't have enough variety.

Here's the quilt out on my front porch the other day. I'm not the best photographer, but I guess it doesn't look too bad.
The colors really are rich and warm. I knew what fabric would be used for the border, and so I worked from the outside in, pulling the color for the blocks from that focal fabric.
This is another favorite from the book. And since I had so many strips left over, I decided to make this one. Actually, Kitchen Sink uses the exact same unit as Mocha Swirl, so it was a natural fit for all my extra units.
I call this quilt Mocha Remix. No additional fabrics were purchased except for a few more darks. I seemed to run short on fabrics that were either a deep brown or black. All the lights are the same.
One thing I realized early in my quilting journey, is that I have a hard time following directions. I almost never make the quilt exactly as it is in the pattern.

So, if you'll notice the border, I did not use any setting triangles or a border like in the original quilt. I figured the scrappier the better. I just made some double dark units and continued around the quilt. That's probably why I kept running out of the dark browns. The only problem was that these units have a bias edge.
So the very last row is cut on the straight of grain, with a diagonal seam to join the random pieces.
This quilt went to live with my sister, it was her Christmas present last year. She let me borrow it back to use in this post.

Then there's the problem of what to do with all the little corners from all the points. So I made little triangles. These are the extras still on a design board.
Here's a close up - aren't these just the best colors?? I still love them.
Here's what I have so far. The border fabric is actually the backing of Mocha Swirl. It's not quilted yet. I think it's going in a guest bathroom we've just finished renovating.
I'll share when I get it finished and hung.

I hate to even tell you I still have more strips left. I do have one more idea for the rest of the little triangles. Not sure if it will look good. I'll let you know.
Until next time,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Graduation Quilt

Since I'm fairly new to "Blogland" I hope it's okay to post about past projects. This is a quilt I made for my youngest niece when she graduated from Florida State University. I love Karla Alexander's books. I've made several quilts from these books and they are fast and fun. And, they look much more complicated than they really are.

This is the pattern I used. It looks so different done in soft earth tones.
This quilting design is based on the methods in Meandering Magic by Suzanne Earley. I'd never done it before, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

You can draw a stem line freehand, but I drew one out on paper first and then traced it. The feathers are done freehand and I promise you, this looks so cool.
For each graduation quilt, I have either appliqued or embroidered the name of the school and the year.
She and her husband still work and live in Tallahasse.
Until next time,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tree update

Thank you for your opinions about the inside quilting. I have decided to leave well enough alone. Since I hung this quilt on Monday, I've become very attached to it. It's so different from what I usually do and it just makes me smile. There have been a lot of positive comments from my co-workers. I may have also picked up an order. One of my friends here may want me to do a custom piece for her (same design, different colors). I've also had some ideas about another tree .... so keep watching :)

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It looks like a tree to me.....

Here is my newest office art. This quilt represents my accomplishment of several things. First of all, I really can't draw much of anything, but I drew this all by myself (I sound like I'm in first grade LOL). I tried not to over-stress about it, but I do think it looks like a tree. Since I will probably never get to Australia, I'd like to thank Kellie for her wonderful blog Don't Look Now and for providing the inspiration for this quilt. How I would love to attend one of her classes, but for now, this may be as close as I'll ever get. My hanging system is not perfect for a piece this small, but considering I get to hang quilts at all, I am not complaining Secondly, I've never done a piece using only fusing techniques. I bought this book about 3 years ago and have not been brave enough to try any of the projects. Being a hand applique' person, fusing just seemed foreign to me. Laura's quilts are so wonderful and this is a great book. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I charged ahead.

Thirdly, I've always wanted to try this quilting design from the book. So after many, many doodle pages I felt like I was as ready as ever. It's amazing to me, that when you actually start quilting on a "real" quilt instead of a practice sandwich, your quilting does improve. The pictures in this book are incredible. Thank you Laura for a great book!!

Lastly, I didn't buy a single piece of fabric, but used only those fabrics already in my stash (that feels so good sometimes). Not all the fabrics really worked, but I was running out of Wonder Under, so I left them in. Now that I'm looking at these pictures, my quilting isn't exactly the same as Laura's, but for my first try, I'm pretty pleased. It looks really happy and springy in my office.

And finally, I need an opinion. Should there be any quilting inside the branches between the leaves? I outlined each leaf and branch, but nothing else. I'm not sure what to do. Any advice??
Until next time,