Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The baby quilt is finished!

I used a pattern from the book "Big-Print Quilts" by Karen Snyder. It was originally made with racing cars and bright fabric. My husband suggested this pattern and I'm glad because I like the way it came out. If you notice the three duck blocks are a little different. The printed blocks were given to me a while back from a friend and when they were cut they were not all even. So you make lemonade with lemons, right! The ducks were a little too small so I trimmed them down smaller and added a tiny blue border and white border then squared them the same size as the others. The fact that I used three makes it work. I'm real pleased.

This is the back. You can see the quilting I did around each shape and block. I used some new batting that I wanted to try. It is "Dream Green". Put out by "Quilter's Dream Batting". It is made using recycled plastic bottles. I thought it would be great for a baby quilt because it gets washed so much. I like the fact that it is thin and it feels soft and not real stretchy but when I had pin basted the quilt and started to quilt it the batting did not grab onto the fabric the way cotton batting does and so there was some slipping of the fabric. That is why it looks wrinkled. There are no puckers but I'm not convinced that I will use this batting again. I think I will stick with my cotton batting.

A close up of the back.

Close up of the duck block. You can see I did a continuous line quilting around the ducks and the wheels. It was easy using free motion quilting.

Close up of the center rabbit block.

This is my label. I had this idea to use grosgrain ribbon and my machine's monogramming program. It took me a little while to figure out I needed a stabilizer on the back and the size of my letters but I'm happy with it. I sewed it into the binding by hand.

Now off to work on another project!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I've been tagged!

by Art and Soul

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I do not like water in my face- it feels like I'm suffocating. (Probably due to #2)

2. I'm claustrophobic- I found this out when I had to do an MRI. I thought I was going to lose it in there.

3. I hate blue cheese. The idea of it (mold-even good mold) grosses me out. Not just blue cheese but any smelly moldy cheese, yuck!

4. I only eat one brand of mayonnaise-Blue Plate-other brands don't even taste like mayo to me (and I love a mayo and mustard sandwich -nothing else just that on it).

5. I have a very strong sense of smell-lots of times others can't smell it and I can-particularly bad smells like, smelly feet, spoiled milk, moldy cheese, etc.

6. I only like to watch romantic comedies with a happy ending. I refuse to watch a movie if it ends with a death. There is enough bad in the world every day I just want to watch good stuff in my leisure time.

7. I have to have some quiet, leisure time right after I get out of bed to gather my thoughts for the day (even though I just woke up from resting all night). I feel out of sorts for the day if I don't have this time in the morning.

That's it. I'm breaking the rules (because I'm just that kind of gal!) I'm not tagging anyone in particular but if you want to play along, by all means, do! Send me a link to your blog so I can read it. Thanks Art and Soul, this was fun and kind of hard!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Top finished...

The Christmas quilt top is finished. I got the pattern from Bonnie Hunter's website. I love this pattern. It was so easy and so fast. I'm not even bordering it. I will put a black binding on it and call it good. It measures 66 x 90. The person it is for is tall and I wanted him to be able to cover completely. I'm glad for this to be done. I'm also putting fleece on the back and no batting. It will be cozy and not heavy. The fleece will be a novelty sports print. It is his favorite team. I like to make it personable if I can. Now I need to get busy with a baby quilt. A family relative asked me to make one. Her friend is having a baby. She needs it in 2 weeks. I don't know why I always say yes to these things but I do!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I have been working...

despite the fact that I have not been posting about it. This is what has become of the 4-patches. I have all the blocks assembled and I laid them out on my design board then stacked them up and numbered them. They are ready to be sewed together into rows. This has really been a fast and easy quilt. And I love how it looks all laid out.

This is a quilt I quilted last week. A friend of mine owns a Tin Lizzie18 quilting machine. She offered for me to go over and quilt a quilt on it because she knows I want to purchase one. I was not blown away by it. I guess my expectations were too high. There are a couple of things I really liked about it and a couple of things I didn't like about it. I am rethinking buying one. I have done some research and I'm going to Houston Quilt Festival at the end of this month, I will try several machines out and see what happens. I may end up just staying with what I have. Which is a shortarm system using a B-line frame and Juki TL98E.

Here is a closeup of the quilting. I hope you can see it. I did big loopy flowers in the outside border and inside border. I also did a small loop-d-loop around the blocks. BTW, the center is a panel and the borders were added on. I purchased this several years ago and it was just sitting in the stash so I put it together earlier this year at our guild retreat and thought it would be the perfect project to practice on. It is not finished however. I will do some more quilting in the blocks around the redwork and flowers.

And last but not least this is a christmas gift for a member of a small group I belong to called the Woolie's. We, of course, work with wool. I will show a finished picture when it is done. I did the embroidery and added the pieced borders. Now I'm adding wool accents with the buttonhole stitch. I have not decided if it will be a table topper or wall hanging and I'm not sure how I will back it and if it will have batting or not. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 26, 2008

What is this?

Could it be?------Yes, there is piecing going on!

See the long chain of black and white?

It became 120 4-patches! Too bad that's only half of what I need! What is it for, you ask? Check this quilt out from Bonnie's site.

And...I also pieced this zig-zag block. I got the inspiration from Material Obsession. Check them out! I want to make this quilt but it will have to wait til later.

Well I better get back to making 4-patches. Lots more to go!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hi everyone! Sorry I have not posted in a while. I have not been doing a whole lot of any particular thing. Some hand quilting (which I am doing without a hoop and loving it!) and some hand embroidery for a Christmas gift.

After the two hurricanes we had in this area I just felt lost for a while. We came back from Pennsylvania just in time for the first one and I had not settled into my home routine yet. Then the second one hit. We did not have any damage to our property but the emotional damage was there albeit, temporary.

I worried about the family and when something like a dangerous hurricane happens I begin to think about what is really important. Like when packing things up for safety (important papers and pictures, etc). But I also think about how I have been spending my time. Was it doing something important, something that could make a difference in someones life. If I would die today who would have been affected by me being here. Thoughts like these, throw my everyday routine into a spin. I begin to rethink things I am working on and am I doing enough for my family? I felt kind of lost not only in my everyday routine, including quilting, but in my thoughts.

Are the quilts I'm making important to someone other than myself? Is it bad that I neglect my domestic chores (dishwashing and cleaning, etc)? Should my quilting be going in another direction? Like maybe more charity quilts. I have not found the answers to these questions and it is a daily journey to find out but with the changing of the seasons comes feelings of change.

I don't know what it is about the fall but it makes me want to cook (things from scratch like my mother and grandmother used to do. Using their recipes) and also to clean. Maybe it is that old feeling of "Spring cleaning" but in the fall. So for now not much quilting is going on but, I will continue to enjoy the renewed feelings of cleaning and cooking while I have them (because I know they will not last!) I guess it is all part of the changing seasons.

A friend said maybe I had just lost my "Mo-jo". I don't know, but I am hoping to find it again soon. I had lots of projects planned for this fall. Many Christmas gifts to make. We'll see....

Friday, September 12, 2008

2 posts in one day! Wow!

I must have way too much time on my hands. Actually I do have other things I should be doing but thought I would take pictures of my last two paintings from paint class for you to see. Last night was our last class and I'm sad and happy. I learned a lot and built up confidence in my abilities to paint but I'm really glad to have my Thursday nights back. I'm very much a homebody and getting out at night to go to a class across town was not my cup of tea!

This is a painting I did from a picture in a magazine. It is not finished but this is as much as I got done last week in class. I have not made the time to tweak it. I think his mouth looks like the "Joker" from Batman but the paint would not dry fast enough to add the color for his tongue. Overall, I'm happy with it. The teacher was very generous with his critic and said this was good enough to be entered in one of the art contest going on right now. NOT what I am interested in doing. Just like my quilting-It is all just for fun!

This is what I painted last night. I can not tell you how much I was dreading this class. We were doing portaits and I don't usually do people as I stated before. But this teacher pushed me to do what I did not think I was capable of. He handed out a drawing of a man's face and said paint this or use a picture you brought. I had brought pictures but was less intimidated by the picture of this man. I started painting and at first it was not much to look at. The colors were wrong ( I used grey and browns for the shading) but after I started to put some flesh tones and add detail it was looking ok. After I did the eyes then he came alive to me. I am most proud of this painting because it is something I did not think I could do. It makes me think what else is possible. Now, can I do it again? That is the question.
The teacher said it was a very strong portait. A great compliment (at least as far as I'm concerned)!