Monday, December 31, 2012

The Pea Green Quilt

This quilt has nothing to do with peas. Or really green either.  But it is about me being pea green with ENVY for the new home my cousin just settled into.

House Warming Quilt for a Montana Cabin

He divested himself of city life and is now settled on a nicely appointed piece of property in Montana, back to his roots.  The side of the family we have in common are all Montana folk.

There are lots of acres to the property.  With a river running thru.  And deer.  It's an awesome place for a guy that is perfectly happy hunting and fishing when he's not thinking about hunting and fishing.
The quilt unfurled (sorta)

There are bears on the property too (yikes).  They like the apple trees in the yard.  I could do without bears, but I guess they come as part of the package deal.

So, the quilt . . . .

There are three bears paw
blocks in homage to the bears so maybe they will just be happy with the apples in yard and not wonder about the food in the house.

And a few flying geese blocks, just because I like their zippy factor.

And the rest is filled in willy-nilly with variations of 3, 6 and 12 inch blocks and some sew-the-scrappy-bits-together blocks.

There is of course fish fabric.  It wouldn't be a Montana guy quilt without fish fabric. And fish hook fabric.  And cord wood fabric.  And leafy fabrics with teal greens, just in case a girl should wander by.

The FMQ is a geometric meander.  I've finally gotten over you-can't-cross-over the quilting lines.

I'm growing very fond of liberating myself from rules
and embracing 'my quilt, my rules'.

Which is expanding out into 'my life, my rules'.

Which makes me think of Jenny Joseph's endearing poem "Warning"

Video Courtesy of Neil Astley
As laid out in EQ.  I didn't follow the EQ design layout
but did use it for reference for cutting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tsunami Quilt: Descent Into Chaos

This is the quilt I was working on over the Christmas holidays 2004.

It started out as a study in half square triangles which I decided I needed to master, well, at least try to tame.

It started out with the name Bali Star.

Once I had the top sewn together, I took a look back at it and thought gee, the center looks a bit muddled, the center detail just didn't show as crisply as it did in the EQ design.  It looked chaotic.

Tsunami Quilt: Descent Into Chaos
And then the terrifying images began to air of the destruction that was unfolding in Indonesia and the all the countries of the Indian Ocean.  It was heartbreaking.  The quilt got it's name that Boxing Day in 2004.

This quilt reminds me how fragile life is and to make the most of every moment, however humble it may be.  You never know what the next moment might bring.

The back . . . very large Bento Box squares

I tried to add a wave aspect to the quilting.  I had a few areas of broken threads and skipped stitches (grrrrr) and had to redo those areas.

Wherever I had to fix, I added an 'eratic' circle like the one on the left side of the purple fabric.

That seemed fitting too for a Tsunami Quilt.

Detail of the Friendship Stars.

I like these little stars, I should use them more often in projects.

The Tsunami Quilt as designed in EQ6

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A New York Beauty Christmas Quilt

My favorite quilt and my best work to date,
the New York Beauty Christmas quilt.

The full quilt.  I used wool batting (wonderful!) so there is good
definition on all the quilting lines.

All of the quilting was done on the Bernina.  The echo quilting was done
with the walking foot and it's very helpful guide.  And the outline quilting on the beauty points was done free hand with the FMQ foot.

The quilting, up close

The back.  I love the back fabric.  I'm very fond of big boisterous
fabrics on the back of quilts.  And the quilting really shows up nice.

. . . . and then there were all the many many many many! little bits of fabric trimmed away during paper piecing.  There was so much!  I had to use them somehow . . . I call it eXtreme scrapping.

eXtreme scrapping . . . A table topper. A little tree for my sewing table.
And two little stars for the tops of the table top little Christmas trees.

Think about all the cute little things that get thrown into the waste basket.

And yes, I have been known to waste basket dive at quilt retreats.

The sewing room tree.  It has a little pagoda thing going on.
These scrappy pieces were made by sewing the scraps directly onto a piece of batting, with a backing . . . it is quilt as you go.  I'm sorry I don't have pics of the process, this was done well before I thought about creating a blog.

The scrappy bits were simply butted up to each other and then a decorative stitch anchors them to each other and to the batting and backing at the same time.

Very few pieces were cut to fit and I didn't worry if there was overlapping.  I just wanted to use as many of the scraps as possible and  I just kept sewing until all the scrappy bits were all used up and then cut out the final shape I wanted

These pieces are reversible . . . leave an opening so they can be mounted.

And remember about mirror image, I had to do one of the stars twice, because I didn't remember about mirror image for the reverse side.

For the tree and star pieces I made templates from freezer paper.  And then cut the shapes once I had a big enough scrappy piece done.

On top of one of the trees . . . with one of my little knit hat ornaments

The dark fabrics were used around the edges.  This topper
it is just the size of the top piece of an old treadle sewing machine cabinet.

By the glow of Christmas lights

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mabel Lucie Attwell Baby Quilts

There are two quilts, one crib size and the other is a good size for a stroller or car seat.  Both are available for sale in my Etsy shop.

I found the Mabel Lucie Attwell fabric several years ago and it was love! at first sight.  There were 2 fat quarters of each fabric except the large print which was only 1 fat quarter.  And I've used up all but a smidge of the green check to finish these quilts.

The smaller quilt is in front with the large print, and
the larger crib size quilt is at the back.

The fabric is from 2001 and was made by The Woodrow Studio in London.

Strip piecing . . . hi ho, hi ho, it's off to quilt I go

For quilting the circles, I used freezer paper templates and
then carefully ran the Bernina around to created the quilted circles.

There is double quilting along all the seams.
This is a durable quilt!

Both quilts have the same quilting with a quilted circle in the center
of each block, and double quilting on the seams.

They are darling companions!

But I have listed them separately on Etsy for economy reasons so those with modest budgets have options.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Thanksgiving Quilt: Ohio Stars Quilt in Civil War Fabrics

My favorite star block is still the Ohio Star,
even after making as many as I did for this quilt.

All of the block pieces in this quilt are 2 inches finished, including the little hourglass blocks that make the Ohio Star.

Using up scraps with the pillow shams . . . flying geese from the border.
The quilting on the shams is the same as done on the quilt border.

Neckroll made with leftover blocks.
I always do a neckroll for my bed sets to hide the top of the sleeping pillows.  The neckroll is made by whip stitching 2 little roll pillows together.
The little roll pillows are from JoAnn.

This neckroll is closed with a tie that I made from fabric from the quilt.
Sometimes I do a drawstring closure for the neckroll . . . but this is the easiest, and I like the little frilly look . . . looks like crackers!party poppers the English have on their Christmas tables.

No scrap shall remain unsewn!  The very last little fabric bits were sewn together willy-nilly with no real forethought.  I love these little projects . . . and no scraps in the waste basket.

 . . . on the bedside table

The Ohio Stars quilt as designed in EQ6

This is the quilt that goes on the bed at Thanksgiving.

There is no Christmas quilt, yet.  At this point the Christmas quilt is
a stack of fabric and a plan. It will be very red. With dragons. Oh my!