Friday, October 31, 2008
I've finished the borders of the quilt as well as the outer cornerstones. I don't have updated photos yet, but will post them (if they come out) in a few days.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So I'm taking a short break from quilting today. The girls and I are visiting the library for more books for school, then I'm tackling the carpet.
Here's a photo of a quilt I completed back in 2002. It's from the book Rose Sampler Quilt. I hand appliqued these blocks using Eleanor Burns method of stitching interfacing to fronts of the applique pieces and slitting the interfacing, turning the pieces, pressing them and securing them in place on the block. My interfacing was a bit too heavy and I didn't like the results, but it did give me lots of practice with applique. I quit at 5 applique blocks and added these alternate blocks of which I can't remember the name of the block to save my life! I'll have to go look it up. This is also the first quilt I custom quilted on my longarm machine.
I started this quilt with needle turn applique and it was a mess. After appliqueing part of one block with this method, I switched to Eleanor's method which was better. Now-a-days I use applique almost exclusively in my landscape quilts, but I use my own glue-basting technique. It's much faster and for me I get better results. One of these day's I'll have to try needleturn applique again.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
This afternoon I worked on the Simplicity layer cake quilt. I knew I wanted lots of feathers in this quilt and since I'm best at freehand feathers as opposed to commercial pattern feathers, I decided to just "go for it" and started quilting. This first photo is of a feathered heart. I cut a heart template from a piece of printer paper and traced around it in the center of the upper outer border with an air soluble marker. Then I freehand quilted the feathers using 40wt. Signature thread in Parchment.
The feathers extended out from the feathered heart were a bit more difficult. I quilted and ripped out quilting 3 times before I finally got a feather that I liked. This border is 10 inches wide and I needed to add more extensions on the spine of the feather in order to fill up the space.
I think it turned out well inspite of the 2 hours it took me to do one side of one border! The other 3 sides of this border should go faster now that I have this first one done and the pattern is now imprinted in my mind. It also helps that I took photos of this border so I can use them for reference while I'm quilting the other sides of the border.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Yesterday afternoon, I moved things around in my studio again. I moved the metal shelving unit onto the wall next to the cutting table to give me room to move the ironing board to the right of the sewing table.
The idea is to use the flat-panel door (propped up behind the ironing board in this photo) as a "big board" on top of the ironing board. I have to get some cleats attached to the door before it will be used, or get some sawhorses to use as legs for the door to make it more stable. I was trying to press 5 yards of 102" wide backing fabric on my regular ironing board yesterda-ugh! What a disaster!
I did finally manage to finish the pressing job and get the fabric cut and loaded onto the machine.
You may recognize this quilt. It's the blocks that I had pinned up on the design wall for months waiting to be sewn together. Once I got the folding table for the domestic sewing machine I had the incentive to get the blocks stitched together. I decided it was time to get the quilt loaded and some quilting done on it today.
I have the quilt all stablized and hope to get to the fun part - quilting designs tomorrow. I'm thing of lots and lots of feathers :) This quilt is 91 X 103" and made from a Simplicity Layer Cake.
Above are the quilts I have finished for Quilts of Hope. They'll be mailed out to Karen early in the week. These are the flannel kids quilts. I wanted to finish them quickly and after doing a panto the first one, I decided I needed to switch to a large meander in order to get them done quicker. The binding took longer than the quilting on these quilts.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Yesterday evening I worked on more tops for Quilts of Hope - quilts for the survivors of Ike. I used a pattern designed by Anita Grossman Solomon called Super-Sized 9 Patch. It's quick to cut and quick to sew. I made 4 of these tops in less than 2 hours.
You can download this pattern from QuiltMaker.com
I used only 2 different fabrics in each quilt instead of 3 like the pattern directs. All of these quilt tops are made of flannel and will have a flannel backing fabric.
I love the speed in which these tops go together. What a great way to make a quilt for charity or a quick gift. These quilts are a good size for kids to cuddle under or to make a large baby quilt.
This afternoon I'm working on organizing my basement. The storage area next to my studio is starting to creep in on my studio space and has to be contained before it gets out of control!
Wish me luck!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Here is the first of the quilts I'm sending to the victims of Hurricane Ike. It's a one-patch quilt made with 5" squares in shades of pink and cream. It's a twin-sized or large lap-sized quilt. I quilted it with a pantograph pattern from Cheryl Barnes' Dot-to-Dot Quilting book.
Here's a shot of the back. Iused unbleached muslin for the backing and 6.6oz poly batting. The binding still needs to be attached at this point.
I have 2 more tops ready for the machine that are smaller - kid-sized for cuddling. I hope to get to them later this weekend.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Jerri's star quilt is finally finished! I spent yesterday stitching the binding to the front while the quilt was still on the machine.
After all the debating on what to quilt on this top, the pattern I finally chose was one of my own. The pattern doesn't have a name yet - it is one I have been working on for a couple of weeks and have just gotten it to the point where I felt it was ready to use.
I have 3 more quilt tops ready for the machine this week and I'll be trying out a different pattern on each one - all from the book I just purchased. All 3 quilts will be going to the people of the Texas gulf coast who sufferred through Hurricane Ike. If you would like to donate a quilt or 2, see Karen's blog on where to send them. There is a tremendous need for quilts for people who have been displaced and those who are sufferring from the damage of Ike.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
My inventory of pantos didn't spark my imagination, so I spent my Joann's coupon and bought a copy of Cheryl Barnes' "Quilting Dot-to-Dot". Ahhhh, now we're cooking! I've chosen 2 patterns I think will go well with the quilt and just have to chose between them. Hopefully I'll get some time tomorrow to quilt.
Today was a busy day with appointments, so no time for quilting. Once I get this quilt done, I want to finish a quilt or 2 for the people affected by Ike. If you are interested in donating a quilt, check out Karen's blog for details. The people on the Texas coast need a lot of help and quilts. Please help out if you can.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Here is the first step in remodeling my quilting studio. We bought a folding table and a student chair on wheels so I now have a place for my sewing machine! I'm so excited. No more running up and down the stairs to sew, press, quilt, etc. Everything can now be done in the studio. My youngest can also play with her playdough on the table instead of on the cloth cover of my ironing board :o
Of course I still don't have finished walls, but I can work in comfort all in one room until we get to that point. My DH and I priced drywall and other options for the walls this afternoon. Drywall is still our number 1 choice at this moment, but I wanted to see if we could find something that I could handle by myself and yet still be cost effective. Drywall sheets are too heavy for me to lift on my own and hang on the walls. Hubby's job is too hectic these days for him to take any time off to hang drywall and I'm getting anxious to complete the studio, so I thought we should try to find something I could manage on my own.
We put in a lot of sweat equity in our last home. We worked as our own general contractors and I did alot of the work myself - mostly painting staining, varnishing, laying and grouting tile, and laying hardwood floor. I think I can finish these walls if I can find a material that isn't so heavy. Is this wishful thinking? Probably, but my hubby is being supportive and helping me search out materials. We still have a couple of builder supply stores to look at so there may be something around. I suggested hanging up sheets of muslin if all else fails :D Hey, it's better than stud walls and the paper side of insulation!
You may have noticed the quilt blocks on the design wall. Yep, they are still there! Now I may be more motivated to sew them together now that the sewing machine is right in front of them :)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Here is the quilt top I am working on now. It's a star quilt that my aunt pieced. I'm still debating on how to quilt it. Her instructions were to do "as you see fit". I'm leaning towards a custom treatment that will highlight the stars with something subtle in the background, piano keys in the outer border and perhaps some continuous curves in the sawtooth border.
These photos are the embroidered pillowcases that I brought home from my mothers garage. The top 2 photos are of pillowcases my mother or her family embroidered. The last photo are cases that I embroidered as a teenager.
Most of them are well worn, but a few are in exellent shape. I have 3 sets of 2 and the rest are singles having lost the mates to them due to wear years ago.