Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day meandering

Hope everyone is having a peaceful Memorial Day.
DH was called into work which is OK since it is sort of humid and ominous looking outside. Gives us a good excuse to forgo a cookout that I am pretty sure will involve lots of running inside and outside due to the weather!I can't believe I forgot to post a photo of my guild's latest birthday quilt...the pattern is by Kim Mclean (sorry if I misspelled that...) and the fabrics are Kaffe. It was for Ille's 60th B-day! So we know we have one quilt ready for the guild show next year!

Back to the iffy weather... it lets me play in the fabric piles again. The LQS had a big sale this morning...30% off if you got through the door before 8 am...25% before 9 am...and so on. So I got down there to buy some backing fabric for a quilt for my niece and picked up some thread...ok and some fat quarters. I hadn't really planned on going but when I was matching up tops and backs yesterday I uncovered a top I made last year languishing in the back of the closet. Oh, dear.
I also hung up this new piece on my Dining room is an invitation to a luncheon at Windsor castle from 1887. I love the engraving on it. I bought the invitation at an auction while I lived in England. Lately I have been going through "stuff" and telling myself if I don't frame it and use it then I need to move it on. So this went to the framer a few weeks ago...I really like how it came out!

Now off the play in fabric again....

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On the border

Not an international border...quilt borders!

I have several quilts that just need that one last piece of the quilting puzzle to move in to "flimsy" or quilt-top stage. This week I got two of them onto hangers with a back to boot! Now I just have to get some thread and batting and I can have real quilts!
I love the feeling of matching up a top with a backing. I pre-pieced some backs and have them piled in a large laundry basket on top of a cabinet in my sewing room. I pretty much can always find something in there that will work. Once matched they are hung in the closet in my sewing room and wait their turn on either the machine or the hand quilting frame.
Since both of these quilts are for the Quilts of Valor project they will be machine quilted. A good project for Memorial Day Weekend....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

World MS Day : National MS Society

I'm using today as a cleaning or worrying about stuff that needs to be done (like fixing the fence out back or getting the cats to the vet for their shots due next week.) Today I am going to put some music on and rev up the sewing machine...who cares about finished I just want to see fabric flying!

Within my own quilting group here in Augusta there are two of us with MS and at least three who have family members with the disease. Online there are several of us who both quilt and manage the daily "aggravations and challenges" of being a fiber artist with a disease that tries to take away movement, vision, and energy....I've compared it to sitting down to quilt with the wrong prescription sunglasses on after running a summer marathon. But we do it (and many do it really, really well!)
So here is to the quilters with MS who keep on stitching and all those around them that helping them to keep the pieces together!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back from the Beach...

Just to back from a few days down at Edisto Island which is just South of Charleston, S.C. It is a pretty quiet place so we spent lot of time walking, biking, and watching the dolphins. (oh ya, and eating...shrimp and grits is one of my all time favorite foods!) All and all very relaxing! There was a tiny quilt exhibit at the local history museum. All new story quilts reflecting the Gullah culture of the area. There was also an absolutely stunning Broderie Perse quilt top the is part of the permanent collection and worth the price of admission!(Sorry, no photos allowed at the exhibit....)
Now it is time to get back to work. I have to finish my application for AQS so I can take my appraiser test next April. It is 80% finished. My goal is to get it in the mail on Thursday. Should be achievable!
I went out to see a few more quilts last week. They were in pretty tough shape. It is difficult when I really like a quilt but know it doesn't have a lot of value due to condition. After the class I took up in Paducha I will never see a pineapple quilt again without thinking of Gerald Roy! Interestingly there was another quilt that was in good condition but was...what is a nice way to say ugly? (which by the way was the owners word...not mine!)
I'm finding working with these old quilts really exciting but also find it is another place that sets the project part of my brain on fire....take this red and green basket quilt....I could see myself making something like this...Grrr...this "no new projects until I finish a project rule" is tough!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Work in process....

The rest of this month is "clean-up" time. I finally sorted the projects on my sewing table and was shocked and amazed at how many I had started since the first of the year. Last year was a "finish" it year...helps when there is a quilt show and deadlines. I really boomeranged after the show...I must have a dozen starts lines up which equals about two a month. Even worse - 0 finishes...that is none, nada, not a one...I hang my head in shame....
So I spent the morning sorting and prioritizing. It only works for me if I hide the projects I am not working on - otherwise it is a few minutes on this then a few on that and really not a whole lot of progress on anything! Planning a project is my favorite part of quiting. I love the drafting of the blocks (on graph paper with colored pencils the old fashioned way!) and then the hunting and gathering of the fabrics. I also enjoy the test blocks...does it look like I thought it would? Is my math still working?
Then there is the actual making of the quilt-top. That has both highs and lows. At one point in every quilt there is a time I dislike it...or maybe it is I just get bored. Quilt-top ADD....So unless I really make myself finish it the quilt top migrates into the project void that leads from the sewing table to the bag to the top shelf in the sewing room closet. It amazes me how fast some of these move and how long some of them hide in there....

So I may not sew a lot today but I will get a lot done. I have pulled a couple that only need the borders sewn on so are quick finishes. I will not start any new projects in the month of June (hold me to that please) and if I can get three or four finished I will not feel like such a bad quilter after all....
An another is a photos of the back of the trapunto quilt I mentioned in an earlier post. Photographing a white quit is not easy! I am going to see it again next week and I will bring a better setup with me. Since the back of the quilt was off-white and had more texture due to the linen it photographed better though the trapunto looks much rougher on the back than it does on the top/good side. It has a center medallion with two rows of designs using flowers and leaves around it. There is no batting. It came from South Carolina. (the owner gave me permission to photograph it.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blue and white mystery

So I got a call the other day about some quilts. The owner just inherited them from her husband's grandmother and the family wasn't sure how to store them. Her brother-in-law said the whole lot should be plowed into the river so I wasn't expecting much. Just when you don't expect it...
Out of the laundry basket comes a crazy quilt in good condition. I think some of the blocks may have different makers but the center 5 are all really well done and has the names of her children. There is also a nice "delegate" ribbon in one block. Fun quilt but no mystery...that is reserved for the next one..
A very large indigo Rob Peter to Pay Paul/Orange Peel quilt also in very good condition. (Note on the phone this was described as a blue and white star quilt...we all see things through different eyes!) There is a lot of quilting which is done well particularly considering the thickness of the thread used. so what is the mystery you wonder? When I looked closed there are what looks like stamped marks on a few blocks of the white fabric. It had to be on the fabric before it was cut and used in the quilt since I find the corresponding fabric piece in a separate part of the quilt. Also one "motif" was in the copper color and another in black...both show up in several blocks.
Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

There were some more textiles from the same family. Which on top of having some great quilts also have a wonderful history to go with them. So glad she didn't listen to her brother-in-law!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Guild Meeting...

The guild I belong to has two groups: one meets in the evenings and the other in the mornings. Twice a year we all meet on a Saturday. Today was one of those Saturday meetings.We had several activities to get folks walking around and talking. These included a match the guild member's name to their childhood photo. Loved how the member coordinating this framed them with fabric!A "Who am I" Portrait Challenge that included wall-hangings and dolls!
A green "bring your own place-setting" (then we voted on a winner...) this was so much nicer than eating off paper plates!
And a place for folks to give input into the name/them of our next quiltshow.
Our program was on how a quilt judge works. Here is our member who studied to be a judge talking about the uhm...not so perfect y-seams on my quilt. (I was a willing victim!)
The winner of this year's Ugly fabric challenge was announced and new ugly fabric diva crowned. (she gets to go first in line at all the of covered dish events and for all show and tells plus she gets to wear a very fun crown but then she also has to make something using fabric from the traveling fabric bag which has many pieces of well...darn ugly fabric!) The quilt in the photo above was the creation of the outgoing queen...she says her dog loves it!

After show and tell we had lunch....isn't the vintage fabric used in the center of the quilt in the photo below wonderful. She did a great job of framing it with the braided border...
It was fun to have all the quilters in one place and for the newer members to meet.