Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wave runner day two and stuff

I've done a bit more work on my wave-runner....there is acually a pile of half-made blocks growing next to my sewing table. I decided this morning to start paying a bit more attention to what had so I didn't end up with enough blocks for two w-runners! Also the photos help with making color choices...I'm being a bit more careful with how I use the goldenrod and the ice blue since they seem to be grabbing the eye..I can either group them in one area or spread them evenly throughout the quilt...not sure I've made a decision yet.
I picked up a copy Intuitive Color & Design of yesterday (sorry it me in my files it is right side up but blogger isn't playing well with others today.) Really a good read and lots of inspirational project ideas. One that I have been doing but not as well as I should is an inspiration journal. In some ways I use my computer for that - lots of photos and links to websites and blogs - but I think I will spend a bit more time on my sketchbook and see what happens.

While my iron heated up a new reservoir of water (I'm using a lot of steam on this quilt-top!) I played with some layouts for some vintage blocks I got at the silient auction table at our show. These may look familiar...yes these are some of the blocks I washed and ironed for the guild. I got a bit attached to them and bought one bag. I think I will piece a background with some blues or pinks (much better than beige carpet don't ya think!)
and then applique the fan-circles down.....I'll have to go into the stash and see what works but I'm thinking I like the layout....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waverunner Fabrics

I signed on to make a waverunner quilt with some other bloggers who visit V at bumblebean quilting. It is a very freeform approach to piecing. I love the look of it and am slowly coming around to enjoy the process.
This has sort of been like a quilting I just cut through the fabric without using a ruler I can almost hear my older sister who taught me to sew take in a deep quick I run the fabric through the sewing machine and see the varied width of my seams I can feel Mrs. Lynch my girl scout leader's hand on my shoulder...and when I wipe the steamy hair off of my forehead and check to see if the now damp pieced block is finally laying flat on my ironing board I can almost see my first quilting teacher with her lips pressed together asking me if I used steam when I pressed my slightly wonky block. Well, after 5 or 6 blocks these quilting ghosts are all gone. My strips are getting wonkier and more wave-runnerey. I took V's advise and just slashed the block I didn't like into a couple of strips and am using it elsewhere. (You can see it in the right hand side block below) Orininally I use the Jones painting at the top of this post as my color inspiration but now I have tossed the original yellow and went for one that is more brown/gold and pulled a few more very, very light fabrics and one very, very dark red.

(I'm sure the ghosts are still there and just hiding in the applique drawer....where they are very much needed!)

Boots and quilts....

Today I did my bit for the economy...I am not a natural shopper so getting me to go into a department store usually means a major event. This time it was just an ad in the Sunday paper claiming to have boots to fit anyone. Ya right...even when I was running miles a day and wearing silly little dresses I couldn't wear boots off the shelf.

Well I am happy to say I was wrong. These are real honest to goodness grown-up boots (as to say not my red handmade cowgirl boots or the funky wellingtons I got in England.) My Dh didn't even flinch a the price...he was the one that first suggested boots like these while we lived overseas. Now I just have to look for a reason to dress up in the next couple of weeks so I can wear them!

I have started working on the waverunner quilt that is being led by V over at Bumblebeans. Fun - but more work than it looks...having to break lots of very deeply ingrained sewing "habits."

Here are a few more photos from the show. I've been cutting some CD's with the photos for the other members of the guild. I love the colors in this first log cabin by Sandy....

The lone star is by Margaret Hunt from a Piece of Cake pattern. Wish the photo could show the machine quilting. I think she got the blue ribbon for applique on this one.

I love how Sharon's poppy came out...and it photographs so well.

We had a couple of very fun dolls in the show. The blue fairy was done by a member who taught ice skating for years.

This is the wicked witch of the west's rebellious daughter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Orange Peel Quilt

Don't you just hate it when you see a post in blog-dom and want to get back to it but forgot where it was and who posted it? Duhhh....I so need more coffee.

Anyway, it this post mentioned Orange Peel quilts and it just happened I restacking my closet today so had one of my Orange Peel vintage quilts available to take a photo. It is on a queen size bed so you can see it is pretty large. It is all pieced though I think the blog group is going to applique (definitely what I would do!) The curved triangle between peels is quilted in the curved shape. I bought it in western Maryland in 1991...just realized that is almost 20 years ago!

I'll post more show photos tomorrow...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day after the Quilt Show

Moving is tough this morning...guess it is a good time for me to drink lots of coffee and post some more photos from the quilt show!
We have a lot of Kaffe Fasset fans in our guild. I'll show some of those quilts today.

His fabric showed up in lots of different patterns.
On a different not I thought I would include my King size log cabin (goes down to the bed skirt on three sides and to the top of the mattress under the pillow shams...we are talking a big, big quilt.) It is quilted with Baptist Fans all over. We didn't have as many repro quilts this year as we did in the past...guess I have to go out and recruit converts again!

A few from the show...

All and all it was a good show...I can barely keep my eyes open so I'll post a few photos tonight and more during the week.

Best in Show went to Margaret Hunt for her Lady Nolly which is painted, then thread painted and heavily embellished.

Judges Choice went to Rachel Thomas for her Character Crusty that I think was called Under my hat
Rachel also was awarded best use of color for the amazing quilt above.
Best hand quilting was much more impressive in person. It is so hard to get good photos in a gym!The skater quilt is one of my favorites. It was a group quilt for Betsy Cade given to her when she hit a certain age....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Almost finished...

Well it was a slow set up day for the 4 pm I was wiped so came home early. There were only 6-8 more large quilts to hang. I also had to frost the peach cake and make Greek Pasta Salad for tomorrow. Two more days than a long sleep-in!

The show looks great though. Really varied group of quilts so something for everybody.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quilt Show Set up

I love when my guild does its quilt show but it also wears me out! I tell myself I am only going over to the activities center for a couple of hours to help out and before you know it the whole day has passed and I have to run home to get the baking done for the next day....zikes!

It looks like it will be a really good show though. Some great quilts are piled on the judges table waiting for her to do her thing today. We hung the two challenges yesterday. The Breast Cancer awareness challenge which had us decorate/design a bra is very fun.

The second was our vintage orphan block recycle challenge. These also were very creative! We got good participation in both which is encouraging!

Overall we have around 250 quilts in the show plus a couple of exhibits like some antique quilts and a soldiers quilts display which will be given to the residents of the local Veterans Home (The Grey Goose) when the show is over.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scarf Project

I was looking for some quick Christmas project patterns when I picked up the holiday edition of Art Quilts. Inside was a fun pattern for free-pieced scarves using a variety of material. (my apology for not including the name of the is pouring rain out and the magazine is in my quilting tote out in the car.)
They are fun to make. I used some wools that I had put in my stash while living in the U.K. and some ethnic prints that I loved too much to cut into... Sewing time is less than two hours - how long you spend playing in your stash a bit more than two hours (but time well spent!) I used the pattern for inspiration (ie I didn't really follow it other than making the scarf 7-1/2 inches wide finished....)

I have a couple more ready to go...including one using a lot of denim! I hope my sisters and nieces like them...

One the halloween front...the costume is done! I can't believe how difficult it was for me to follow this simple pattern. I pinned the trousers three times before getting it right! Grrr.....anyway my niece is ready to be ni hao kai-lan...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One more quilt

It is late and my legs are too jumpy for me to sleep. Now I just have to wait for the meds to kick in so I thought I would use my wait-time to post the last of the vintage quilts from Beech Island.

This one has some fun materials in it...check out the pink-ish striped border fabric! The piecing is really well done but the quilting is very rough. Makes you wonder if perhaps they were done by two different people. Unfortunatley the owner doesn't have any information about the quilts. This one was found in her aunt's closet and was being claimed as a bed by the house cat!

I love this pattern but it isn't one I'm rushing to try and reproduce...I save my curved seams for the Drunkard Path. (Which I had been told was called Rocky Road to Dublin....)

I am almost finished costume duty for this year. Tomorrow I just have to make a pair of capri pants then box the costume up and get it in the mail so it will be in New Mexico for what seems like a week-long Halloween celebration!

Friday, October 09, 2009

More vintage quilts

With only one week to go until our guild quilt show I am planning on making one last PR push tomorrow so instead of quilting I am making copies and cutting up bookmarks to place in shops around town. Since that would be pretty boring to show I am going to share some photos of the antique Irish Chain quilt brought into the retreat last weekend.

First is the one the owner thought was made by the same maker as her album quilt because of the green calico. The print is just slightly different (one has a larger yellow center, much larger petals, and more defined leaves.) The quilting also is very different. The album was roughly quilted but this Irish Chain has beautiful small even stitches...Baptist Fan of course. One interesting thing is how the alternate block is done. The three blocks are machine appliqued! It always surprises me to see machine applique or a machine binding in antique quilts even though I know the sewing machine predates the quilt I am looking at! (I learned to quilt before it was "acceptable" to machine quilt!)

I am really, really tired. Yesterday our tour of a quilt exhibit, guild meeting and then board meeting pretty much wore me out. But of course I stopped at the fabric store on the way home to pick up fabric to make a costume for my niece...have you heard of Ni Hao Kai Lan? I had to google her to find out what this character wore. Fortunately it will be so much easier than the yellow Pokemon costume I made years ago for her older brother!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Beech Island Mystery Quilt

Like so many mysteries (or blind dates) this started out with a friend telling me of a friend of a friend. Seems this friend was doing genealogy work on her family and was given a quilt by her aunt. Her Aunt told her the quilt was made around 1890 and had her grandmother's signature on it. Very cool, right? The quilt has some great fabrics and is in fairly good condition but the signatures...well, she couldn't find her grandmother nor greatgrandmother. Her Aunt has since passed away so thus it became a "mystery quilt."

She brought this quilt and a couple of others that "maybe from the same maker" to our quilt retreat. I'm hoping we were able to find enough clues to help.

First, the signatures are all from Beech Island South Carolina which was a fairly well-to-do area prior to the Civil War with access to Charleston. After the civil war it became agricultural until textiles manufacturing moved into the area. Now it is the home of the Savannah River Site - a nuclear and power research station. Many of the surnames on the quilt can still be found in the local phone directory. The pattern is grandmother's choice set on point with sashing. The quilting is crude. The binding is front to back. The backing is muslin with a large flour sack that still has printing showing.

So there is lots of conflicting data in this quilt. Beautifully constructed blocks with fine fabric that looks to be circa 1860 paired with a later fabric in the sashing which is then roughly quilted with poor quality backing. (Also some of the blocks which have signatures were cut in half to make the setting blocks on the side!) All of this points to me that the blocks were put together at a much later date than they were made. Could be as much as a 30-40 year difference. Checked Brackman's "Clues in Calico" and she says it is not uncommon for album/signature blocks to be put together later by someone other than the recipient.

As to the other two quilts having a relation to this one. Doubtful. She was basing that on the green calico used in both quilts. The quality of workmanship is totally different and the calico though similar was printed by different mills. (more on those quilts later....)

With that new date the owner was able to identify not one but two names that may be her relative (small town!) She is going back to the town records for prior to the civil war and try to match the names against the new time period.

So what do you think? I am open to suggestions on what to do next or if my dates seem off to you. Have you seen some of the fabric before and would date it differently? I, like my hero Sherlock, am an amateur detective but unlike him take input well!

She is also going to let us show the quilt at our Quilt show on the 16th and 17th. It is nice to uncover and share a bit of local history!ps...check out the "fall-out shelter fabric" in this block!

Monday, October 05, 2009

October Overload!

October is going to be one busy quilting month....

This past weekend my quild held a "mini-retreat." We have the large room at the church from Friday afternoon through late Saturday night. Some quilters stay the entire time and others just a few hours. I was able to get a scarf finished and two sleeves put on...that and eat a lot of cookies and look at fun stuff the other quilters were working on!

Today we hung a small quilt exhibit at the new North Augusta Heritage Center. Glad I am not the one on top of that ladder! The large quilts will be hanging from those wires in the ceiling...
Thursday we will have a all looked really nice.
And I know it is early for Santa but I love the work my friend Rachel does!

In addition to this exhibit we are putting on a show in two weeks...yikes. I am happy to say the last of my promised quilts was finished last week and I only have to make some clothing for my autumn sprite doll....phew.... Now off for a quick nap before guild meeting tonight...