Monday, September 28, 2009

New Project Time

Finally after months of sewing on bindings and sleeves I let myself start something new! Ok, part of it is I've been too sick to do anything but some handwork but it is a new start none-the-less!

I have had Kristie Steiner and Diane Frankenberger's "At Piece with Time: a Woman's Journey Stitched in Cloth" since it was published back in 2003. I think I have pulled fabrics from my stash to start this at least three times. One of my challenges is my color pallet is very different from the one in the book and at times it throws me off. Anyway, this week I am a bit color-blind so decided to just take a pile of fabric I had grouped together for some ealier project (heck it may even have been for this...but I doubt it) and just start...I mean there are no rules that I can't change a fabric or a block or whatever as I go along right?

Since the eyes are wonky right now I am focusing (or not!) on piecing the backgrounds and will do the applique when I am overall steadier. I have a wild orange and blue flowered fabric for the border and I am pulling colors from that for the blocks...this quilt will get a bit of everything - some hand-dyed, some civil war reproduction fabrics, a bit of Kaffe Fassett and some Piece of Cake plaids. I am purposely not limiting myself to pulling from only one side of the quilting room! It will be all hand pieced and appliqued since that is what I feel like doing right now...I may hand quilt it...or not!

I had a few questions about he railway fabric in an earlier post. (You are not set up where I can reply to your emails!) Those blocks were donated to my guild by a family who were clearing out a relative's house. Most of the fabric was from the 1940's and 50's so it is doubtful you would be able to find it online (unless someone posts some on ebay?) There are still a few bags of things the family donated and I will check to see if there is any of it there.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

catching up

Last weekend I worked at my guild's stall at the Arts in the Heart Festival in Augusta. We raise money by raffling off a quilt for Camp Rainbow (a camp for critically ill children) and try to raise awareness of the guild. This year we were also giving out bookmarks to remind folks about the quilt show next month. It was very hot and steamy...sort of like standing in a swamp...for most of the weekend. That and it being crowded with people is probably where I picked up this virus...So what is worse than having the flu? Having the flu with MS...even worse than having the flu and MS? Having the flu, MS and a husband coming down with the flu. (we all know that men suffer more from the flu than women right? grrrrr.....)I spent some time today sewing labels onto my quilts for the show and sorting some more vintage blocks. I love this bowtie block with the railroad fabric on it! The vintage blocks are all going into the silent auction. I've been sorting, washing, and pressing a bagful of blocks donated to the guild. Sound like work but really it has been a lot of fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

too many th do's

I have been remiss in posting lately. My list of to-do's (estimate on windows, maintenance on car, fix the slow computer, get the house ready for Dh's poker party, and more binding and sleeves for the quilt show.) Anyway, it all kept me away from posting for a bit.

I am happy to say I finished the last quilt that I promised for the show. Which is good since I just got back from the doctor's who diagnosed me got it the flu. All the cleaning and organizing I did this week is for nothing - poker canceled at our house due to illness!

So I guess it is back to the sofa and yet another episode of I Claudius, Sherlock Holmes or Harry Potter.....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tonya Update...

Just wanted to let folks know that Tonya (aka Lazy Gal Quilter) is going fine after her surgery and may be home as soon as tomorrow (but more likely on Friday.) Test results all sound good.

Her cousin was even able to get Pokey to the vet for her treatments even though it meant crawling under the bed and through the boxes....(the cat wallhanging above is one Tonya made years ago....Halloween and cats are so very Tonya!)

Surprisingly the only photos I have of T is this one from Evesham about two years ago...I have a bunch of photos of her cats!

Tale of the cursed binding....

I was thinking of holding this story off until Halloween but I am sure by then I will have forgotten it...or at least hope I will. How many things can go wrong binding a quilt? It is a much longer list than I ever expected and I believe I have hit every bump on that road at full speed the past few weeks. Even more unexpected is just how many of those things can go wrong with just one of the quilt!

First in the interest of fair disclosure - I dislike binding at the best of times and really dislike binding with deadlines. You can guess where I am at right now!
I have only two quilts left to bind to be ready for the show in October. One of those quilts has taken more time than the other 8 combined! It is my Scrappy Bargello - Vale of Evesham Quilt. The irony is I loved making the quilt. Relatively low stress pattern with lots of fabrics. I love how the quilting came out with just a continuous line leaf and vine all over the quilt. It was all just too easy so the quilt gremlins declared war on the binding of this quilt.

First, when I bought the border fabric for the quilt I also bought some fabric to make the binding. I didn't do a great job of labeling the fabric and promptly used it in another project. Whoops....

No Problem...I rustled up a piece of dark brown that that worked as well and went to town making binding. I even started to pin the binding on....when it hit me. I hadn't measured. So of course the binding is 6 inches short! A run to the more of this fabric and absolutely nothing that worked well with it. grrrr.

So out comes another fabric - an old dark green mottled batik. There is a full yard so I know it will make plenty of binding. I cut the entire yard up into strips...I sew the strips together. The pile is on the ironing board when the phone rings. When I come back the pile is on the floor and the cup of water that my Dh left on the ironing board is sitting upside down on top of the wet fabric. (On the ironing board is a cat.....) When I pick up the pile I notice a green spot on the carpet...heck there is now a green spot on my khaki pants...could even be a green spot on the gold cat pulling on the other end of the wet and wrinkly and dye discharging binding. (And yes I had washed this before putting it into my stash!) Three rinsings it is still bleeding green...even worse it is stretching into a bias edged sink monster.

Deep breath and trip to the quilt store later. I have some brown and green is in the washing machine. Today I think I will work on the 1930's trip around the world....On a totally different subject...does anyone recognize this little sewing machine? I bought it at an auction in England but it doesn't have any name or even country where it was made on the the machine or the case. It is entirely made of metal and firmly attached to a wooden base. The wooden base fits into the case exactly so I assume the case to be original.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day

This is what I call a holiday...Dh is out golfing and I get to sew all day without feeling guilty. Bonus - we are going to a friend's house tonight for a cookout so I don't have to get dinner...more sewing time.

And I need this time! This weekend I finished two quilts - binding, sleeve, and labels. The one in the photo is my MS Blues. I used a variegated/strip-pieced binding. I like the look of it but it is tricky to work with. It seemed to stretch more then even my bias binding and of course twice a seam ended up directly on a corner so I had "cut and paste" the binding. Of course that can happen with regular binding...but twice in one quilt? I don't think so....

Hope you all enjoy what is left of the holiday weekend....

Friday, September 04, 2009

What to do....

Only 45 days until the guild quilt show and I still have 4 quilts to bind and sew sleeves onto. Yikes! So what am I doing? Dreaming about the first project I will start after the sleeves are finished....
I've had this vintage quilt for years. I bought it at a street sale in Gettysburg, PA. There was some serious cedar hazing/stain on the entire quilt. Most of it has come out but it still has a sort of badly done tea stain look to it. (It looks much brighter in person than in the photos...)I think I liked how simple it is. At the time I was working hard on my first Baltimore Album quilt so this was about as far to the other side as I could get! So I may make a repro of it using a few more blues (of course) but try to keep it fairly understated.

There are two more project jumping around the design wall...first is a wonky word quilt. V at Bumblebeans sent me this will be a bakery-centric quilt!

The next quilt will be appliqued but I haven't decided on which of the project to go with yet...there are 4 on the shelf and I like them all...oh well, back to binding. Not like that applique decision needs to be done in the next 45 days!