Friday, September 23, 2016

A CHALLENGE

I decided to revisit some of the patchwork techniques I've enjoyed from the past ----- all in a small table runner.
Challenges:
Medallions, fussy cutting, Y-seams, machine piecing using hand piecing techniques, templates, paper piecing, odd shapes requiring some geometry, and bias binding for non-45-degree angles.
In the process, my frugality gene popped up using only fabric scraps from previous quilts.  This proved to be the biggest challenge of all -- finding pieces of fabric large enough to fussy-cut the number of pieces required.
In the end, the idea was to have a small top on which to practice more machine quilting.   After miles of hand quilting in the past, will I ever be satisfied with my machine quilting?
No pattern available -- this was definitely a design-as-you-go project!

I'm joining the following:
What a Hoot Quilts for BOMS Away Monday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
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Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Sunday, September 18, 2016

THE DEMISE OF QUILTERS NEWSLETTER MAGAZINE AND A QUILT FROM MY PAST


  I'm sadden by the demise of "Quilter's Newsletter Magazine" in print form --- the last issue is the current Oct./Nov. magazine.
I've had a subscription since the 1970s, and have eagerly looked forward to receiving my issue every month for years. They have always stressed the importance of the tradition of quiltmaking; but still pushing us into the modern movement of the art/craft. 

 In addition; the editors, including Bonnie Leman, were so kind and encouraging to me over the years.  I've been honored to have been published in 14 issues of the magazine and in 7 issues of their sister publication, "Quiltmaker". I was further honored with a one-woman show, "Quilts in Print" in 2002 in the gallery at their offices.

Our quilting community has lost a true class act, and their expertise and excellence will be missed.

- - - - - - - - - - 

From my archives, here is a quilt called Sunday Drive that was published in Quilters Newsletter Magazine Issue #294.

When I was a child, one our family activities was to go for a car ride on Sunday afternoons.  Actually, it was so my father could check out the headgate for the arrival of the irrigation water for our farm.  The headgate was located about 20 miles from home, and I hated this trip looking at nothing but farm land and then prairie and sunflowers!
My mother would often appease me by buying me a pinwheel to hold out the car window for entertainment.

As a quiltmaker, I always knew I wanted to make a pinwheel quilt.  Thus, in 1995, I made this quilt using the stripe fabric to simulate the dusty country crossroads as an alternate block with the pinwheel block.
The quilt measures 65" x 65", and is machine pieced and hand quilted.  

 I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
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Monday, September 5, 2016

CRAZY QUILT TABLE RUNNER

This was fun --- something different for me --- crazy quilting on the machine.  
 My machine is two years old, but nothing fancy with just a few embroidery stitches built in.  I had never fully experimented with the embroidery function.  It gave me some fits along the way, but I think I finally proved that I was the boss!
My original purpose in doing table runners was to practice some simple machine quilting skills.  And with this runner, I think I've finally mastered quilting-in-the-ditch.
 My inspiration for the Fall colors was my great-grandmother's punch bowl.
Nothing better than Fall in Colorado -- I'm ready with my first table arrangement for the season.

I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
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Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or not Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Saturday, August 27, 2016

TABLE RUNNERS CONTINUED

After almost a month absence from my sewing room, it has been fun to have time to sew again.  
I'm still in the table runner mode in an effort to practice my machine quilting skills.  I quickly made up this pink and brown runner as I have in mind to practice quilting it with cross-hatching.
However, it remains unquilted. 

  I have had a project bubbling in my brain for awhile; and couldn't wait to start it.  For the quilters out there, you know what I mean!

Here are some hints ---
l.  A table runner to use this Fall.
2.  Colors inspired by my great-grandmother's punch bowl.
3. Design inspired by crazy quilts, but done on the machine.
4.  Using fabrics only from my stash/scraps.
Pickard Punch Bowl
Here are some of the fabrics I pulled --
And, a couple sections in progress ---
It may take me awhile, but it is always exhilarating to do something different.

I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
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Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday
What a Hoot Quilts for BOMS Away Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday

Sunday, August 14, 2016

QUILTING ONLY IN MY DREAMS

I've been absent from the blog world and my sewing room for two weeks due to a 3000 mile road trip to California.

And, now I have a class reunion with a brunch at our house next weekend.  That means some serious cleaning and cooking this week -- another week without any sewing!

I couldn't stand it any longer so this afternoon I spent 40 minutes pulling out fabric for another table runner.  I was using my Mother's 1940s Franciscan Desert Rose dishes for inspiration.

 Hopefully, the drought in the sewing room will end week after next.

See you soon!

I'm joining the following:
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Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday
Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

FRIENDLY VILLAGE TABLE RUNNER

I'm retired from quilt making, but I still make quilts.
Does that make sense?
I'm retired from the BUSINESS of quilt making -- I no longer travel, teach, publish, do shows, etc.
But that doesn't mean I don't still like to make quilts.  Only now, they are smaller and their only purpose is to satisfy my creative urges.
I still try to set some goals occasionally to keep learning, be inspired, and try something different.

My current goals are to:
  1. Practice simple machine-quilting techniques.
2. Use up some of my stash/scraps.
3.  Be inspired by one of my other passions -- collecting antique and vintage dishes.
So now, I'm into making table runners that are easy to machine quilt, use up fabric, and are inspired either in color or design by my collections of dishes.  (See my previous table runner inspired by my 19th Century transferware  - click here.)

This week I finished my Friendly Village runner.

 This is the platter from my set of Friendly Village dishes by Johnson Bros.  For the runner, I pulled out the grays, red, green, and black from the dishes.

I'm still just practicing straight-line, in-the-ditch, and wavy-line quilting with my walking foot.  Still room for improvement!
Next, I think I'll pull out my pink, green, and brown fabrics for a more traditional runner inspired by my mother's Franciscan Desert Rose dishes.

I'm joining the following:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
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Quilting Readers Garden for WIPS Be Gone Friday
What a Hoot Quilts for TGIFF Friday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday

Saturday, July 16, 2016

STRIP PIECING, ANYTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN?

In the 19th century, the Seminole Indians began using long strips of fabric out of necessity to make their clothing.  I'm no expert on the Seminole Indians, and there are many images on Pinterest and Google Images of the patchwork clothing they made.  An internet search will bring up lots of inspiration if you are interested.
I was first made aware of this type of patchwork in the early 1980s when Cheryl Greider Bradkin published this book.
 At the time, I didn't even have a rotary cutter, but I tried several of the techniques with my basic tools.  After this it seemed that new ideas were exploding in the strip piecing arena.  

Oh my, this is scarry!!  This is me in 1982 at some quilting event.  At the time, you didn't dare show up at a quilt show or symposium without a quilted, stripped-pieced vest.  This particular one I did some Seminole patchwork on the back!
 
 Cheryl issued another book, "Basic Seminole Patchwork" in 1996. 
And, we all know how in the 2000s we have learned all kinds of speed piecing techniques; many are just like the examples from the Seminoles in the 1800s.

And, now I'm exploring a few of those old Seminole piecing methods again.  I'm working on another table runner.  It contains several 6" blocks with some Seminole ideas incorporated.
I was working at night, and the light for photos was bad.  But check out my 1980s rotary cutter.  It is the only one I have ever had, and I use it constantly.

More later on my table runner.

I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Saturday, July 9, 2016

DA GAMA TABLE RUNNER

A couple of weeks ago, I posted (click here) about my Da Gama textiles from South Africa; and that I had decided to make a table runner after holding the fabrics in my stash for 15 years.

The piecing all went as planned keeping it simple to showcase the fabrics.
Because my favorite hand-quilting method has become laborious from old age, bad eyesight, and arthritis, I decided I really needed to practice some machine quilting on this piece.  I've long admired     http://quarterinchfromtheedge.blogspot.com/'s  method of curvy lines done with a walking foot.  I decided that this was something I could possibly manage on my domestic machine.
With the use of a variegated thread; I, more or less, let my machine do what it wanted.  I'm pleased with the result and found it fun to do, but I have a long way to go to match Jenn's expertise.
 And then, flush with success from the machine-quilting part, I decided to try doing an all-machine binding.  I watched several tutorials, and decided to cut my binding 2" as opposed to my usual 2 1/2 inches.  I sewed the binding onto the back of the quilt to enable bringing it to the front to machine sew it down.
After sewing it down on the front for about 6 inches, I could tell I wasn't going to be happy with my skill at this point.  Ripped that out, tried again, still not happy, ripped it out, and knew I better just hand sew it down.  It is now passable, but I'm still not totally pleased with the hand sewing edge on the front.  Next time, I'll probably revert back to the methods I have used for 40 years -- a 2 1/2" folded double, stuffed with extra batting, and hand-sewn to the back.  
You never know until you try!
 The minute I discovered these fabrics in my stash I knew I had to make a table runner to go with my collection of 19th-century brown transferware.
Nothing like a little sunlight to show the quilting pattern (and my rather wonky binding).
I've added a new page title under the header photo for Table Runners.  I hope to make some more runners in the future as I practice machine-quilting.

I'm joining the following:
What a Hoot Quilts for BOMS Away Monday
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Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
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Quilting Readers Garden for WIPS Be Gone Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Thursday, July 7, 2016

JULY'S THROWBACK THURSDAY

Flying Geese quilts have always been among my favorites.  After making a couple quilts using the usual vertical FG design, in 1989 I tried one on the diagonal.
Flight I
1989, Machine pieced, hand quilted, 38"x 38"
 

And, then another for a quick wedding gift in 2012.
Flight II
2012, Machine pieced, machine quilted, 28" x 28"
Owned by Katie Masimer-Ramirez
My first try at machine quilting -- just simple in the ditch with my walking foot.  Not very happy with my results!  I haven't tried much machine quilting since then; but I'm working on something right now.


Every quilt is a learning experience!

I'm joining the following:
Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Sunday, June 26, 2016

AN AUSPICIOUS BEGINNING

About 15 years ago, I bought these twelve different brown and white fabrics at some quilting event -- possibly at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  As I recall they weren't that expensive, but I guess I've been saving them for THAT perfect quilt project.

I learned years ago that there is not a perfect quilt, so I decided today not to wait any longer.  I figure an imperfect quilt is better than no quilt at all!

 I discovered the pieces were mostly stamped on the back with interesting information about being designed in England for the Da Gama Textile Co. in South Africa.
After all of those years in a box, the process has begun.  I washed and pressed the fabric; began thinking about a possible simple design; and searched for a companionable fabric to help showcase these unusual fabric designs.  And, I decided to make a table runner.
I'm ready to go.
Sometimes, a start is as momentous as a finish.

I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Saturday, June 18, 2016

STORING THE QUILTS

My real passion for quilt making began in the 1970s.  My first intention was to just make enough quilts to cover the beds in our home.  But, that is not where it ended.  Soon, I was asked to teach some classes which required some class samples.  More quilts were needed when I began publishing patterns in magazines.  Then came the writing of books, trunk shows, lectures, and gallery shows --- all requiring more quilts.  All along the way, I held onto all the quilts because you can't do lectures and shows without quilts to view in person!
My most asked question is where do I store them????

This is my favorite: An antique wardrobe with glass doors in my dining room that holds 63 of my smaller (under 60" square) favorites.
 I'm so familiar with each and everyone of them, I can see just parts and visualize the full quilt enjoying them each day.
 We have UV protected windows in our house, so I don't worry about fading.  I try every six months or so to refold and rearrange the quilts in the cupboard.

And, here is the UGLY storage; the quilt closet that stores the large quilts, the antique quilts, the family quilts, the utility quilts, and the manuscripts for my books.  I'm thinking I can get rid of the book manuscripts and stack more boxes of quilts.
 Only one bed in the house currently has a quilt on it.  My mother-in-law hand quilted this whole-cloth quilt for us in the 1980s.
My favorite antique log cabin quilt hangs on the wall in another bedroom. 

This is not the end of the storage issue -- I haven't shown the sewing room which has the 'stash/scraps' closet.  Plus, there are baskets full of UNQUILTED tops, which are much easier to store.  That's my lame excuse for not getting around to quilting them!  Oh, and I forgot the buffet that holds numerous quilted table runners.

Do you have quilt storage problems, too?

I'm joining the following:
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Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

JUNE'S THROWBACK THURSDAY

With so much interest in mini-quilts recently, I thought I would dig out this mini for June's Throwback Thursday.

GOSLING FLIGHT

I made this in 1983; it is 10" x 12", and is machine pieced and hand quilted.  I haven't made a mini since then.

However, I've been thinking about doing another.  I'm sure my piecing skills and fabric choices have improved.  Let's hope so!

I'm joining the following:
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Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I REALLY MUST STOP

Yes, I really must stop making tops.  They are starting to pile up in the basket of ones that need quilted.  I've never been much of a machine quilter; so, consequently, I've never really learned.  Until arthritis, bad eyesight, and old age set in; I always thoroughly enjoyed hand quilting and would like to continue, but it is a slow go!
   
At any rate ----- here is the latest top finished:
Sixty-three little medallions in a 'strippy set'.

I had been wanting to use some of Moda's Grunge fabrics as I think the colors are scrumptious and I love the slight variation of pattern.  So I used a navy blue and a teal from Moda for the setting strips.  Also, I'm enamored with the name, grunge.  That sent me on a long internet search; and as expected, it led me to all of the Grunge Bands of the 1980s.  But, I was looking back further than that, and found nothing.  When I was in college in the 1950s, we would call our outdoor, hiking clothes "grungies".  We would wear our "grungies" to go on "woodsies" in the Colorado mountains.  Is anyone else that old and remembers that word?
Just a little off-subject------

I really do love this quilt, and want to hand-quilt it.
This is the wild fabric I have chosen for the backing.
So, hopefully, after the month of May quiets down; I can get it basted and sit in front of the air conditioner this summer and hand quilt.  No more "woodsies" in my "grungies" for me.  This is as wild as I get.

I'm joining the following:
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Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for May's Scrap Problem Party

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

MAY'S THROWBACK THURSDAY

This month for Throwback Thursday I thought I would show you the first quilt I had published in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine way back in March 1984 ---- my, that was a long time ago!

Here it is as it appeared in the magazine.  It is a traditional quilt done in the 'strippy style'.  I think that it is funny that they included it in the "Modern Quilting" section.  Compared to today's modern quilting movement, there is nothing modern about it.  
The quilt is queen-sized, machine-pieced, and hand-quilted.
Times certainly have changed in the quilting world, but some things remain the same.
I still like a strippy-set quilt, but today they are turned horizontally and called a row quilt!!!

I'm joining the following:
Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
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A Quilted Passion for Whoomp There It Is! Saturday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday

Friday, April 29, 2016

HERE'S A HINT -----

It's been snowing like crazy; plus, I've been trying to stay out of the way of workmen remodeling our bathrooms.  It is a win-win situation as I get to hide out in my sewing room.
I'm getting close to the finish of setting my Little Medallions into a quilt top.
 I'm ready to put a border on it.
Next week ---- hopefully, the finished top.

I'm joining the following:
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday

Thursday, April 21, 2016

THE LAST OF THE MEDALLIONS

The last couple of days I have been sewing up 19 more little medallions that I had cut recently while organizing my scraps.
That brings the total up to 62 4" blocks.
Which means I have used more than 180 different fabrics from my stash bins.  That is not even making a dent --- I'm guesstimating that I must have over 2000 different fabrics accumulated over the last 40 years in those bins.  In my defense, some of those scraps are no bigger than 3-4 inches square each.
How did that hoarding habit happen????  Over the years, my purchasing mode of operation has been fat quarters. I always preferred 4 different fabrics rather than a yard of one fabric.   When I would travel to quilt festivals, etc., I set a budget and would buy as many fat quarters as I could ---- enough years and quilts equals a lot of scraps.

This has been a fun project for me as it really feeds into my love of fabric design, color, scraps, and fussy cutting.
I have an idea for setting these medallions together --- hopefully soon for my next blog post.

I'm joining the following:

Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday
Quilting Readers Garden for WIPS Be Gone Friday
A Quilted Passion for Whoomp There It Is! Saturday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday

Friday, April 15, 2016

STASH BUSTING

Slowly, I'm making headway on my many bins of scraps.  I'm still working on my boxes of greens; plus I opened that old box marked 'paisleys and plaids'.  I've discovered more fabrics that cry out for some fussy cutting to make small medallions.
 I've made 15 more medallions.
 And, now have a total of 43.  
I'm getting anxious to decide on a setting option and a color to hold it all together.
My goal is about 60 of these 4 1/2 inch squares.

I'm sure I have at least 15 more boxes to go through -- slow going as I'm trying to sort, press, and refold.  Then I get distracted and make more little medallions!

I'm joining the following:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday
Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday
A Quilted Passion for Whoomp There It Is Saturday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday