Archive for September, 2007
It was a busy weekend, Mom had her procedure and came home from the hospital on Saturday. she’s sore but doing well. Two of my sisters came to visit for the weekend and I saw both my brothers too. The only one of the six not here was Deb.
Both Ann and Maureen quilt a little but haven’t worked on any big projects in a while – Ann had a couple things she wanted to do this weekend. We got one applique wall-hanging fused for her and she made a fabric postcard. She’s working on stitching the edges in the above picture.
Mom and I spent most of the day working up quilt kits for her. I modified several patterns she was interested in making and we pick out fabrics. We ran to Joann’s and found a couple border fabrics and some flannel that she likes to use for backings.
I was looking for a wedge ruler for making fan blocks but we didn’t find on at the quilt shop or at Joann’s. I have one I could lend her but it’s in Minnesota! Luckily, the quilt shop will special order it.
Tonight I sewed the border and binding on the green 16 Patch and Pinwheels, a HeartStrings quilt and a UFO of mine that will donated through my Mom’s church at Christmas. If anyone is interested, a brief instruction sheet is posted on my MaryQuilts.com site.
She has her surgery tomorrow and I’m taking my Crazy Doll Quilt to work on while I’m waiting. Thanks for all the good thoughts coming her way.
I have plans to work on 3 projects on my trip. I’ll be gone until Oct 5th so I don’t want to be bored!
When I get home I HAVE to finish putting together July’s QFAH project!
And even with everything else going on, I found myself pulling fabric for a new string quilt. Since I’ll be using a rail fence format, I’ll be cutting these from rectangles in a slice and dice kind of way.
I’m really enjoying the hand embroidery on the Crazy Quilt (my latest doll quilt) and bought a second book with some stitches at Borders today. I also had to check out the stitch library books that Amazon has so now I have a couple of those on order. I guess I’ll have to do at least one more project after this one to get my money’s worth. I did mention that I’m addicted to books didn’t I? My basket with all my supplies is pictured below.
Before I let myself work on this project today, I’m going to try and finish up Mom’s top that I started quilting yesterday.
These blocks are pretty busy so the stitches aren’t showing up all that well but that’s OK because it helps hide the flaws. My favorite thread so far has been the size 8 perle cotton but I don’t have but 5-6 colors of it. I did buy some more floss at Joann’s today. The size 5 perle cotton I have seems too thick but I did find some couching techniques in the new book where it might work.
Click on the photo to see a larger view.
How boring is that?
It’s nice to be back at work after a few days off. I loaded one of Mom’s tops – a log cabin quilt made from the same pattern but a different color scheme as this one I made (pattern is in the Best of Black Mountain Quilts book). I’m using Mereth’s Feather Me pantograph again. The donation quilt was a *practice* piece for Mom’s quilt but really it quilts up very nicely and that practice wasn’t even necessary!
I’ve been embroidering the blocks on the doll quilt too. Some of these *easy* stitches aren’t quite as easy as they first appear but I’m enjoying working on this project. I’ve always loved Crazy quilts but stopped making these blocks when I realized that I wasn’t going to devote the amount of time a decent size quilt would take. Not to mention the difficulty of handling something larger than this small one.
I’m so happy I finally gave into the temptation to make some of these. I just had to find a *practical* application for them before I gave myself permission. Now I need to go shopping for dolls but I think I’ll do that at Mom’s so I don’t have to ship them there. The dolls and quilts will be donated to Catholic Charities.
Just before I left for Key West I received a thank you note from a woman who received one of the HeartStrings Quilts I’d pieced and quilted. I can’t describe how touched I was reading her note and how strongly it reaffirms my commitment to making and donating quilts and to the HeartStrings Quilt Project.
I had lots of catching up to do today after being gone but did manage to squeeze in assembling the crazy quilt doll top. I had 6 blocks but felt that it was too long and skinny so I chopped off 3 inches off the top and cut squares to piece on the side.
Having just watched Ricky Tims Caveman Quilting Video, I decided to bind this using his *birthing* technique. I liked how much easier it was to turn the quilt using his method of cutting the back and resewing it leaving an opening for turning.
There is no batting and I’ll do the embroidery along the seams through the backing fabric.
I told myself I was just going to make a few blocks for the HeartStrings Project Pink. I decided I could make some blocks while I’m at Mom’s and them mail them off to Jennifer who’s going to coordinate this project for us. But then I thought wouldn’t it be nice if we did pink blocks at the October sew-in and I came back with a couple tops to quilt.
So today, I started cutting some pink and white strips. I’ll pull some pink strings to add to them and I have a feeling I’ll make at least one quilt myself even though those Chinese Coins are still calling my name! I just can’t resist these special projects.
I was rummaging through a bin tonight and came across 7 crazy quilt blocks – a very old UFO. Since I’m certain I won’t ever finish this as a regular size quilt I’ve decided I’ll use 6 of them and make a doll quilt. These small quilts are turning in to the perfect way to finish a few UFO’s and try new techniques on a small scale (I have a Hawaiian doll quilt planned too).
I have an extensive book library so I just so happened to have a book on embroidery stitches for crazy quilts – I knew I was going to need that book one day!
This book, A Passion for Patchwork has some seriously cute patterns in it. I can’t remember for sure but I think I picked it up at B&N or Borders on a clearance table (maybe a couple years ago) and it was the inspiration for my current doll quilt.
Unfortunately, I think I would have done better to have quilted this on my sewing machine because hand quilting this grid isn’t going to give the same definition that machine quilting it would. I should have realized that before starting but I was eager for another hand quilting project and just rushed into it.
I ordered a TOWA tension gauge for my longarm which arrived Saturday. I’m hoping it will help me set the tension on the machine without having to play with it so much. Today’s quilt wasn’t much of a test since it had a flannel back which always helps with tension as there’s a thicker quilt sandwich for the stitches to hide in.
After testing the bobbin with the guage, I only had one small adjustment to the top tension and everything was good! This is a donation quilt that will go to my Mom’s church – Mom and I pieced this top on my visit to VA in May. It’s quilted with a pantograph – Popcorn from Willow Leaf Studio.
You guys are great! Thanks for all the compliments, I’m really trying to listen to your comments and be less critical. Hopefully, less criticism from myself will leave me more open to venturing beyond my comfort zone and to trying more challenging quilt designs.
Keith came home this afternoon and we spent the day and evening together – I feel very blessed these days.