Monday, April 30, 2012

Paducah roadtrip....

Needless to say I am still unpacking from the trip to the AQS Paducah Show last week.  Bits and pieces are stuffed everywhere in my car...luckily I found my camera to compter cord yesterday stuffed inside some comfortable backup driving shoes that were themselves stuffed under the front seat.
Doesn't the background fabric in this quilt just make it glow!  Is lime green now a neutral...could be!
My friend Paula made the trip with me.  She had a quilt in the show!  This is Paula with her quilt.  It was nice to hear other quilters congratulating her (those with quilts on display have little ribbons on their nametags.)

Taking photos at the show is no easy task.  Between being bumped by quilters and funky lighting many of my photos had to be deleted (try as I might I could not edit out all the elbows, other camera, and tops of heads....)  I did include the quilt tag in all of the photos.

Sandra Starley, and AQS certified appraiser out in Utah had two quilts on disply.

One was in the miniatures exhibit.  It is is the star quilt with the Pennsylvania Dutch colors on the left.

and the other was part of the Pilgrim and Roy challenge.  The challenge quilts are on display for a year then are auctioned off the next year to raise money for the National Quilt Museum in Paducah.  I had put some cash aside this year in hopes of bidding on one but by the time the auction came I was exhausted...I was glad to hear the next day that the quilt went for a lot more than I planned to spend so getting that rest didn't make me lose out on a quilt.  There were several I liked in this year's challenge so maybe next year!

I've gone to the show for the past three years but this is the first time I've had my photo taken with the "super quiltman" older woman walked by and said, "how drunk did you have to get to put that suit on?"  very funny...he is there every year as part of the tourist office.  The whole town gets into promoting the show and I think it is fun!  They even do a contest for window decorations....

I will post more photos this week of antique quilts and some on favorite vendors.  Things are a bit crazy at the moment though.  Mac, my Scottie dog, had some seizures while I was gone.  I had to leave him at the vet this morning.  He is going to need some TLC this is my husband who was panicking about what he would do if anything happend to my Mac on is watch.  And here I was thinking my husband just missed me...every time I called he asked if I could come home early!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Three crazies...

Everything is a bit catawampus at the moment...Blogger has sewing machine is eating camera losing photos...urhgggggg.

So I only had one more border to put on my Charleston basket flimsey when wouldn't you know it my machine stared protesting.  Maybe it thinks I've worked it too hard the past couple of weeks. So after my fiddling with it and only making it worse I decided my featherweight is on strike.  Tomorrow I'll bring it to the repair guy...if I get it there early I may even get it back on Saturday.  Until then I need to keep it hidden from Dobby...

I did get some friendship blocks finished just before the slowdown...I'm trying to finish a lot of last minute things before leaving for Paducah.

This week I got together with a couple of my quilting friends.  Julie had some great show and tell...
This blue and white applique top...

And this "mock applique"...isn't if fun to see one quilter do two such different projects!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dobby Home!

Just a quick update from my last post...Dobby finally came home. He was a bit dirty and very hungry but otherwise ok...perhaps a sore paw. Now that he has eaten, checked the house, and been washed he is asleep on his quilt.

There has got to be an easier way to give him flea meds...we go through "high drama" every month!

Anyway, I did get two borders onto the Charleston basketweave quilt so the day wasn't a total loss...just have a really long list of errands to do tomorrow!

The CB quilt reminds me a lot of this photo that I took during a garden tour in England...the leaves sort of weave and the colors are very close to what I used in my quilt. Funny how I've had this photo in my quilt-inspiration folder for years!

Almost finished basket...

I had a dozen errands to do today but instead I am waiting at home by the phone hoping someone calls about Dobby...last night he did a runner.

He hates having flea med applied. Last night when I put it on him he went right through the screen and out the window....we haven't seen him since. It isn't like him to miss a meal. We are worried. I put "lost cat" posters up around the neighborhood, called animal control, and am going to drop a poster off at the vet....

On the quilting front...I have finished the Charleston basket center...(sorry for the dog photo but he is staying close today.)

right now it measures 51-1/4 by 69-1/2...I'm amazed at how flat it lays and how even it measures. There was a lot of bias, setting in of seams, and quilt to wrangling!

I feel the need for a border...I almost always want to add a border so no surprise there! Right now I am thinking of doing a scrappy picture frame with miters....since I am staying in today I may work on this...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stars and berries...signs of spring

Spring is here with all the good food that comes with it! I love stopping at local farm stands. This strawberry farm is only a few miles away so the strawberries I eat tonight were picked this morning.
And I found an asparagus farm in South Carolina! While living in England I became asparagus spoiled...there was a farm walking distance from my house. Cannot eat "old" grus ever again...
Back to the quilting front. Each year my guild makes a donation quilt to raise money for Camp Rainbow, a medical summer camp for children with cancer. This year the committee decided to do a batik star quilt...I love the colors but am so nervous about how the heck this is all going to come together!

There are an equal number of stars being held by other committee members. We meet to look at the whole thing on could involve lots of coffee and or wine....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guild meeting

Went to my day guild meeting this morning. I hadn't been in a several weeks so it was nice to catch up.

Lots of fun projects (isn't show and tell the best part of every meeting!

Tara did the program. It was a trunk-show of quilts that used the same pattern but made by two different quilters.
It was fun to see how much they varied even if it was a block of the month!

I am still working on my basketweave quilt.
I think I have a name for it - Charleston Basket. South Carolina is knows for their seagrass baskets and a lot of the red fabrics I used in this came from a shop in Charleston.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Basket weave quilt - lessons learned (ing!)

Spent much of the weekend working on the woven quilt. After the first row or so this quilt comes together pretty quickly...very surprised.

Now that I am halfway through these are what I've learned about this pattern.

Fabric selection: I decided to use up scraps from my 1-1/2 inch basket but this is a "controlled" scrappy pattern. The trio of strips consistently has a red (mine go from dark pink or purple, through reds, to a couple of orange-y) then a medium value and then a light. The strip is oriented consistently through the quilt which gives it the "weave." The squares need to contrast with the weave. I used black but sort of wish I had gone with dark brown...oh well. I did do a test block using a light in the background and found it worked well as long as you replaced the last strip with a dark instead of light.

Piecing: I made a pile of three-strip sets. I am halfway through and the pile is gone. This quilt uses a lot of strips. Back to the basket for me! I am sewing this on my featherweight since I can control this machine to the individual stitch. That is important since on the areas that are going to have the block set in I need to stop 1/4 of an inch from the edge...too much and there may end up with gaps in the stitching but too little and the next seam has not place to set.
Pins mark 1/4 inch start and stop point

I am pressing towards the strip sets. This didn't come first few rows I tried to force it towards the dark block but quickly found when it came to setting the next row of blocks in they were easier to set if the seam went the other way. Also the dark fabric falls a bit further back this way and the "basket weave" is more pronounced....

I started piecing this from the upper left corner and and going across. This quilt is constructed row by row instead of block by block.
There are two different types of rows...the square and weave and then one that is just weave.
Weave row
Once that rhythm gets going it goes together quickly!

There are a few tricky places at the edges. I found it works best for me if I cut those strips a bit long and then pin the strip on from the black square out. Need to get some photos of this....

Also, I feel like this needs a border. The original doesn't have one but I am a border sort of quilter...tried a few ideas but not wild about any of them....yet!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter and Passover

Happy Easter and Passover...
It was wonderful seeing the children all dressed up this morning at church. Only a few chocolate smudges could be detected though the toddler in the row in front of me showed me the inside of her little pocketbook - she had filled it with jellybeans and other sweets. You never know how long these services are going to be so she came prepared (and she shared...what a sweet girl!)

I was trying to find some "Easter" quilts to post this weekend. Closest I could come was a 1930's basket quilt from southern Georgia.
I think the blocks were made by a group. The embroidery stitches and skills vary widely.

It is a fun quilt and I'm glad I took it out of the closet for a few days...need some spring decor around this place!

As for the woven challenge quilt, I continue to work on it. John, the challenger, is a church organist so is in the midst of his busy time at work. (My Dad was a church organist so I totally understand this!) So I am going to wait a few days before posting any more photos to give John a chance to get to his sewing machine...

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thinking...I don't think so...

Before you read any further repeat after me, "what was she thinking?" Good. We got that out of the way.

The last couple of weeks I haven't been too productive on the sewing front. A late season respiratory virus sent my MS into overdrive which left me tired, not too accurate with the hand stitching, and not steady enough to handle a rotary cutter. What I did do was spend a lot of time on the internet looking at quilts and reading quilt books. Oh know where this is going don't you...more projects!

A few nights ago when I crawled into my studio (and I do mean crawl) I started sewing together some strips. I knew I had been influenced by a series of Log cabin quilt photos I had studied that wasn't until the next morning when I was back on-line that I realized how much I had been influenced. (a new meaning for "under the influence....")

I sent off a message to the owner of the quilt I had seen asking permission to finish the one I had started. Roderick Kiacofe (who has an e-book coming out this month!) kindly said it was ok and to send a photo of it when it was done. So when I get some more of the solids cut I'll have this back up on the design the meantime....

Bill Volkening of Wonkyworld posted a "woven" quilt. I said that it wasn't that difficult a design to piece....oh know where this is going....

John Kubinec challenged me to a "quilt-off!" A proverbial fat-quarter face-slap...I'm in! Fortunately I have a bin full of 1-1/2 inch strips left over from the "Pensive" String Quilt. I begged my Dh for help cutting the black center squares...he consented to supervise only after I said "it's a challenge..." (he is sooo competitive...someday I'll post of photo of all those silly "ship on a sticks" he loves to win while on cruises....) Of course then my DH asked what the rules in how do you know if you win? I don't know...I guess you win when you have a finished quilt and get bragging rights? He just shook his head and blames the confusion on my new MS meds....which obviously are working since I figured this pattern out pretty quickly!

I shouldn't poke fun at my Dh. He did stop at a local fabric shop to pick up some thread and batting for me last week. He also brought home a new gadget...

You can never have too many seam rippers right? And a magnifying glass and a light on a seam ripper...that is good! So why is it part of this post you wonder? "It even rotates," my Dh bragged. Wow, I've never had a seam ripper that rotates. It seams (pun intended) there is a reason for that. I use a pretty small stitch. When I have to take them out it takes a bit of a tug to break the thread. Now you see it...instead of breaking the thread my rotating seam ripper well, rotates. (I did wonder for a moment if this had something to do with April Fool's day...)

After "playing" with it for a while I was able to grip it better and it rotated less. I do like the light and the magnifying glass so I think after a bit of duct tape and/or super glue my non-rotating seam ripper is all going to work just fine....

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Time to hide and stitch....

A bit off the topic of quilting but since I live in Augusta Georgia, home of the Masters, this week is pretty much all about golf...

which means of course that I stay home and quilt!
Sign made from golf club heads and golf balls....
This is the only week of the year that there is traffic in town and at certain times of the day it is bumper to bumper. Also, don't even think about going out to eat at night...all the restaurants are full. In some ways it is fun...heck it is only for a week.
Golf carts are used as lawn ornaments this week...

Each year I think I should do a golf theme quilt...then I think again....right now I am dreaming about log cabin quilts.
A facebook group I belong to posted photos of logcabin quilts this weekend that were amazing! Everything from very traditional to totally wonky....some of them are haunting me. As I was folding fabric in the sewing room today I found myself making piles for new quilt projects...oh no!

On the health front - Macbeth went to the vet today and got more meds...of course the minute we walked through the door he was all perky and way they were going to believe me that he is sleeping 18 hours a day and not eating well! I go back to my doc tomorrow...whatever bug this was really gave me a bad couple weeks but things are getting better. May even trust myself with a rotary cutter again soon!