Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Remember the Table Runners?

 On our drive this past weekend, I finished the last of the 14 table runners I made from my FIL's embroidered blocks. I do have a redwork wall hanging waiting in line at the sewing machine but it is ready to assemble tomorrow.  Good thing because he just called and told me he had lots more to bring with him next week.  Some are Christmasy, but others will be more fun to play with because they are sketchy flowers and brightly colored birdhouses.  I have a couple of thoughts in mind but time will be the determining factor.  I know that some will be on point with a log cabin type border and a few will be made into wall hangings.  The ultimate goal will be to have them finished for his  church craft show in early December.

Busy Day

Began the day by finishing the quilting of Deb's yellow quilt and loading a wheelchair quilt.  Plan to sew the retirement quilt rows together before bed tonight - only 10, so it should go pretty fast.  As I cleaned up the studio this afternoon, I moved on to embroidering many of the stars that will eventually be needle-turn appliqued onto Kevin's retirement quilt - location of each star will be determined after I have actually quilted the quilt.  Thank goodness the Navy uses lots of acronyms.  I have 15 larger stars listing his assignments and positions and have 6 smaller stars listing some of the major operations he participating in during his career.  May add a couple of small blank ones to help balance things, but is TBD.  The only star that will not be sewn on at this point is the one with his actual retirement date, but I have already selected its spot. 

***Did have a photo of the quilt in progress, but can't decide on the privacy issue of showing all of Kevin's assignments.  Will discuss it with him and decide how to post after I have the whole thing finished.  As Sue asked earlier, should I put everything out there on the World Wide Web,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kevin's Navy Retirement Quilt

 This is another quilt top made of all half-square triangles. 
Just graphed it out so that I had enough of each color. 
Fabrics are very scrappy and may need some more rearranging
  before I actually sew all the rows.The pillows you see
are not part of the quilt. 

 I have started Kevin's Navy Retirement quilt.  It is not a secret because I wanted his input.  He is actually going to receive it before the end of the year so that he can hang in one of his offices to remind him that retirement will happen next year.  He actually has to retire because the Navy does not let you stay more than 30 years.

The basic top will be sewn together and quilted with homework stars (something I do on Quilts of Valor to signify a job well done -- teacher in me).  Then I am going to do needle-turn applique stars with all of his duty stations and job assignments on larger off-white stars and then the more memorable operations like Desert Shield, Desert Storm, etc. on smaller stars.  If needed I will then go back an do a button hole stitch to help highlight the stars, but I decided that I did not want to do machine applique because I might want to add something else before his actual retirement.  The quilt will be 40 x 60.  The label on the back will list all the places we have lived during his service.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy 60th, Sue!

This pattern is called Fast and Fabulous and
was created by Sandi Irish

Sue's  birthday is still a few days away, but she got her package and opened it, so I can share what I made for her.  My idea is to make a 60th birthday lap quilt for each of my sisters and my brother.  As I stitched this one, I thought of lots of family memories and did a lot of smiling.  Maybe I chose the peachy color because of my own memories of the summer of peaches.  Sue swears we did not eat that many, but I remember eating them for every meal.  The flannel made me think about the fuzz on peaches.  Whatever the reason I chose the fabric colors, the whole quilt reminded me of Sue.
 It is a very soft, flannel quilt that is really more peachy than orange, but since the quilt has been sent I will just have to share this version.  The label has the right color peach.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Henry's Fish and Starfish

Henry is going to be one.  His bedroom is painted like an aquarium.  I made him fish quilts and now I have finished the fish.  The fish are not perfect, but they are fun.  There was a lot of fabric and stuffing to put inside the fish.  I used Fig Tree Threads pattern called "Stanley and Stella".  Each one I made was an improvement, but then again, no one will ever call them identical triplets, either.  I also made two starfish from kids' socks.  I found the basic pattern in socks appeal by Brenna Maloney.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wheelcar Quilt

Someone donated some shirting samples ~~~ definitely not all cotton.  Sharon and I decided to attempt to make a few wheelchair quilts for nursing home residents where her FIL lives, thought these shirting fabrics would make them feel comfortable, if we could work with the material.  This top is 36 x 45 and considered to be just the right size.  There are several features that will make this a fun quilt for guys - lots of textures, and manly colors.  My husband questioned a couple of the salmon-pink ones but we decided to put them in.  Sewing the slippery fabrics was a bit of a challenge, but when I finished, I added a stay-stitching around the outside to help maintain all the seams and general shape.  Would not like to quilt this on a domestic machine, but I think free-motion meandering on my HQ will be just fine.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Charity Work Day

Had some members of the guild over to cut HeartStrings and pillow cases.  We will be sewing the pillow cases during our guild's quilt show in Feb, but it takes time to cut and coordinate everything.  Last year we made about 300 during the workshop and with several small groups of friends.  We will aim for at least that many again this year.  We have made a good start cutting, but we will need a few more gatherings to put everything together.  The strips that were too small for pillow case parts were added to the HeartStrings piles.  We will put those kits together over the next few weeks as well.  Felt great to accomplish so much in such a short period of time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HeartString Quilts

The ladies of the guild brought back the 6 quilts they had taken for binding.  It is so exciting to see the numbers grow.  Thank you to all who helped.  With the help of the guild and my FIL we have now finished 11 quilts and have several more out there being worked on.  Tomorrow, I am having a string cutting, sorting, and kitting gathering so that we can have more ready to be sewn. 

Some of the Quilts and Table Runners Bound on My Trip

I would love to show you all the pieces that I bound while on my latest trip, but one is a birthday surprise, so...  I do not think that I do the pieces justice when I photograph then because they actually are rectangles with 90 degree angles and straight sides, but... The larger bright quilt is Henry's, just like the smaller one.  I used Yellow Brick Road to make the big one, but over did the blocks so he also gets a smaller one.  One is for cuddling on the couch and the other is a twin size for his room.  The large one was quilted using a pantograph called "Drips"  and looks great on the back, however, it was the FIRST time I used it and did not realize that all the forward/backward motion was pulling the fabric.  The front has too many places where there are puckers, but somehow I missed them while I was actually quilting.  By the time I spotted the problem I was almost done.  Once it is washed a few times I don't think I will be as aware of the issues.  Decided that the way the grandkids play with their quilts this would be okay.  Henry will undoubtedly receive many more that will be smoother in the future.

As I have written before, my FIL loves to do embroidery on his machine.  These table runners used up a small number of the blocks and will add a nice touch to someone's Christmas table.  The Noel is a wall hanging with tabs at the top where a wooden rod will be inserted.  I have 8 more table runners that are just waiting for me to hand sew their bindings.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Traveling and Stitching

My husband is still in the Navy, so from time to time, I have the opportunity to travel with him as he works.  This time we are in Great Lakes IL for his Change of Command.  While he works I check out the base library, do some walking, and always manage lots of stitching.   I packed up lots of binding to do and am impressed with all I have completed.  I will post photos when I return, but I managed to bind 6 Christmas table runners, Henry's twin-size and kid-size fish quilts, and two other lap quilts.  May manage to squeeze in a few more runners before we finish the trip because I enjoy doing binding while we drive.  The rest of this week will involve HeartStrings cutting projects, swimming, and working on a special quilt for my husband.  More on that later.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Table Runners

I shared the start of several Christmas table runners late last week.  I have plans to build about 10 more with other blocks created by my FIL and his trusty embroidery machine.  The runners are just the right size for finishing the binding when we travel.  During a four hour trip I finished one while visiting with my husband and listening to some good music.  We have quite a bit of traveling this month, so thought the "quick" bindings would satisfy my need to play with fabric. lol 
The ones I am playing with now will have the same design but will be using more country type themes.  The backs will be fun winter fabrics so they could be reversed.  Photos will follow in a couple of days.