Sunday, August 29, 2010

Feeling the Christmas Spirit

My FIL made a number of blocks using the Christmas Collection 2008 from OESD.  I decided to make table runners and wall hangings from them.  These are the tops.  I plan to stitch in the ditch on all of them.  The binding will be the same as the border fabric.  I have a few more to make as well, but this is all the energy I had for this afternoon.  The wall hangings will have 3 tabs across the top and then I will do some type of hanger using a wood dowel and wire.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Finally, E and R's Wedding Quilt

The pattern is called Star Trek. 
The photo does not do it justice.
We found out in February that our niece was getting married.  Shortly after, I asked her what colors she wanted for their quilt.  She said "brown, just brown" so that is what she is getting.  I struggled with coming up with an idea, but purchased the batik fabrics in March and even cut it out then. Their wedding was March 13.  I am usually more prompt with wedding gifts, but life got in the way of getting it done.  I finally finished the binding tonight.  It will be mailed on Monday. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Now I can share because the packages have been received.

The first three quilts are ones made by my niece's MIL or other relative.  They were found in storage.  The first seems to have somewhat of a logical pattern.  The second one actually looks like several different quilts and would be what I call a "very" utilitarian quilt.  It has cotton, wool, satin, embossed and some other fabric that I could not identify.  Based on certain aspects of the fabrics, I could tell that the pieces were from used clothing.  Obviously, this quilt top was made by a thrifty, early era recycler. Basically, it was made to keep someone warm. 
There was another part on the quilt, but I had to remove it because my niece plans to use these, and the part I removed had tears and worn areas that would not have held up. 
From the part I removed I made a doll size quilt, so that nothing was left unused. 

The last quilt has not had its binding stitched because I left that to my sister.  She has read my blog for months and has also checked out Mary's site on a regular basis.  That is where she found the Framed Rectangles pattern.  It will look great in her grandson's new bedroom. 
Now I am working on some other personal projects and a few of my FIL's embroidered works.  More pictures will be posted soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sorry but you have to wait.

I had intended to show you photos of the quilts that I did for my niece and for my sister, but decided they should see them in person first.  They have been mailed, so I am planning to share the photos on Thursday.
In the meantime, I am working on finishing other projects.  That means that after going to the dentist, I had to go and buy a little more fabric -  backing and binding for two of the quilts.  I am washing it as I type.  I am also working on a couple of other surprises for several people, but I can't unveil some of them until the end of Sept.  Don't you love mysteries?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update on My Current Efforts

With the end of this weekend, I will have finished quilting and binding two more quilts and quilting 3 others with the binding attached, and while doing it, I did a great deal of thinking about life.  I also read the book The Shack  and am trying hard to really process  what it means to my life.  Thanks, Deb, for recommending it over and over again until I accepted the challenge.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE!

There are some real changes happening in this home.  My husband will be doing more traveling for work, but never like when he deployed on a ship.  I am no longer working at the quilt shop because I decided it was time to make some real positive changes in my life.  Not sure where the whole thing will go, but I am thinking I will sleep better and get more done of what I really enjoy and/or need.  These changes may occasionally be mentioned here, but many are personal and not really about quilting. 

Watch for a few photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Enjoying Myself and Going Through the Process with a Smile!

I am in the process of quilting a number of quilts that will eventually end up with my niece.  The first one (a cousin quilt) was completed and even bound last week.  The second one (E's wedding quilt) came off the HQ on Saturday.  The third has just been pinned and will be mounted in a few minutes.  I will finish the other quilting this week.  Then comes the binding.  I love the final process of sewing on the binding, but it takes me as long to bind a quilt as it does to prepare it to be quilted and the complete the actual quilting.  That means that I will be working on these for a few weeks.  I enjoy the process!

Two others of the quilt tops were found in E's mother-in-law's home.  They are utilitarian quilts with lots of "orphan" blocks made from what appears to be parts of old clothes.  Parts are hand sewn and others are machine pieced.  One quilt needed to be revised so now there will be a lap quilt and a doll sized quilt, but I tried hard to maintain what had been done by the original quilter.  It always amazes me to see what people can do with what is available to them.  Whoever made these tops was a true recycler even before we used those words. 

Photos will follow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

One of my favorite things - Blue and White

If you have spent any time with me, you will know that blue is my favorite color.  Therefore, while I am working at figuring out what is next in my life, I decided that I would start to use some of the blues to make a string quilt with a white center star.  I am just playing at the moment, but this does feel like what I want to make.  This is a foundation pieced approach similar to some seen on Mary's website and on several others.  The squares are 9" finished.  I am intending to make this be large enough for a queen size bed and use little weight, "fluffy" batting that we are now carrying in the quilt shop.  I have lats of other quilt projects underway, so this is not something you will see finished for some time to come, but I am planning to make 144 blocks so that I will have 6 stars across and down.  I am not planning on a border, but will probably have a little wider binding and a backing of what else but blue.  Therefore, whenever I just need to touch fabric but don't want to have all the stress of being "perfect, I will work on this.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What will I do now?

My FIL left for home today.  He is planning to return for more doctor appointments, etc., on Oct. 3.  Until then, my time is my own for the most part unless I am hanging out with my best friend and husband.  I do have a part time job at a quilt shop that I enjoy, but that only takes up about 8 hours a week.  Tomorrow I will be in the studio, sewing and quilting a large long-overdue wedding quilt.  After that, I need a plan.  Most people reflect and make resolutions at the beginning of the new year, but I tend to do it whenever we have major changes at home.  I want to make good use of the rest of my time, so I am going to spend a couple of hours this weekend reflecting on what happens now.  I will keep you posted.

Monday, August 9, 2010

HeartString Quilts

Dad, aka FIL, is leaving for his house in a couple of days so I made a major push to quilt all of the HeartStrings quilts (54 x72) that we created together.  There are several others that have been sent out to others to piece and quilt, but these were the last five I had on my shelf.  I will take a picture of all the quilts once the hand sewing is done on the bindings. 
With Dad's help and the efforts of the guild members we have finished 12 HeartStrings quilts since we started working on them this Spring.  There will be 7 more finished in the near future and we are making more kits next week for those guild members who need some "mindless" sewing that eventually will make a wonderful gift of warmth and comfort for others in need.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

3 in One Day

Decided to really get crack-a-lacking and quilted 3 lap quilts today.  I am going to add the binding tomorrow and try to quilt a few more tomorrow.  Then I am going to take all the charity quilts to guild to see if I can find others that would be willing to do the hand sewing of the binding.  I will do the whole binding on Emily's baby's "cousin quilt." 
I just got a new camera so I will take some photos tomorrow after I add the bindings.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Besides working on the actual quilting, I have been preparing backs, making bindings, and trying to piece a quilt.  The trying part is when I admit that it would be together, but I just "assumed" I knew how to put the blocks together.  Now I have to do some more cutting.  Fortunately, the kit had lots of extra fabric, so I will be able to make it all come together!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Playing with Leftovers

I had 47 red,  white/tan, and blue squares leftover from the alphabet quilt.  There were not enough to do anything large, but this little quilt which measures 38 x 48 and will be quilted with red thread using one of my pantographs that I have not tried, yet.  The top row may look off centered but it is because of the dark blue sides on the blocks.  Since this is just something I wanted to play with, I see no reason to re-arrange anything now that it is sewn.  I started with 4 patch blocks and cut off a three inch strip.  Then after looking at the blocks, I realized that I needed on more complete block to make it a 3 x 4.  That is when I started playing with the dark blue.  I cut one 5 x 5 block and used the last three squares from my leftovers to make the 12th block.  However, I then realized that the blocks were not squares anymore because of that second cut.  I decided to add the blue to each square.  Then I decided I needed a border.  Did not notice the top row issue until everything was seemed.  decided that if someone saw the quilt in person it would be self-explanatory so not RIPPING!
It is too small to be a Quilt of Valor, but Kevin and my FIL both said it would be a great wheelchair quilt, so once it is quilted it will head to my VA Home pile of quilts.  The back fabric is a flannel patriotic with flags and meaningful words.