Friday, April 29, 2011

Spiral II

On Sunday and Monday I worked on a new spiral.  This one is smaller than the first and made from scraps from my batik stash.  More different colors.  The hardest thing is getting started.  As this progressed, I decided to finish it in a hexagon shape.  I actually drew out a 11 inch diameter hexagon and pinned the spiral in progress, then added strips to the edge a la paper piecing, so it would end up the right shape.  This one will be machine quilted.  I'll clean up those outside edges after it is quilted.  Here it is basted and ready to go:
I don't feel like I got much else accomplished this week!  I continue to hand quilt the first spiral;  it will be ready to show again soon.  I'm also thinking about some new string pieced ideas.......

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend Projects

I'm in the process of quilting the spiral with pearl cotton.  I had some bright red and navy blue, so that's what I went with.  I like the quilting, but once it is done, this project will definitely need some embellishment.  I'm not sure what that will be!  So, I'm thinking of the quilting as just the "first step".

I finally got around to finishing the quilt top started in my mystery quilt class.  Then I had to completely re-write the instructions, changing them from the mystery quilt format to a straightforward set of steps.  It took longer than I thought it would, considering that I already had everything "figured out".  Then came time for the cover.  I cheated, since the top is not quilted yet.......tried various ideas inside and out and finally took it's picture on the porch railing (of course I'll change the picture when it's quilted).
I've got the morning "chores" done, so I think I'll sit down at the machine and try out another spiral before my non-traditional guests arrive this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spiral Update

I loved making the spiral!  There will be more.  As it turned out, once it's started, it's hard to more more strip.....  Here it is pinned up on the wall.  It needs to be trimmed but I've added enough to make it a rectangle.  Next time I will use more colors to 1) add interest and 2) lessen the chance of running out of a given fabric.
I didn't say anything about "Dear Jane" last week.  Here are last week's (blue) and this week' (green) blocks.  Now I have ELEVEN.  Top right was totally paper pieced.  Bottom left was partly paper pieced.  The other two were fanatically appliqued using freezer paper.

And now for something completely different...

Monday, we had a meeting of people interested in forming a non-traditional quilt group.  I should have taken pictures - Nancy brought an interesting quilt ala Gwen Marston incorporating black and whites with bright prints.  Mary brought a batik wall hanging in earthtones.  Both are in the process of quilting with pearl cotton.  I showed them my little strip pieced project (fully intending to launch into more strip pieced blocks after everyone went home).  We hope that we can get a few more people to join us (Mondays, 1 PM).  There is a large and active modern quilt guild group operating in the Chapel Hill area.

When my guests went home, I did an internet search on the general topic of non-traditional quilts and up popped a link to a quilter named Kristin Miller (Canada).  I was interested in what she had to say and THEN, in her gallery, I found a number of quilts with spirals!  I printed a picture of one of them, not to copy but to study.  When normal people were going to bed, I started my first spiral.
Not the most beautiful fabric, but hey, I didn't even know if I could make it work!  I learned several things, one of which is that it takes an enormous amount of fabric.  There is a lot of waste as you sew and flip and trim.  I like where this is going.
The next puzzle will be where and how to end it.  Square or free-form? 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Strips and Peep

All I had left to do today was stitch down the binding by hand on the little strip quilt.  This was so much fun and went together so quickly that there will definitely be more strip blocks.
Here's a close up:
I pieced these blocks on tear-away paper so they wouldn't end up too bulky.  But now I have an even better idea!  Every time a new phone book is published, we get 6 copies because we are a business account.  Now I can recycle and use that nice thin paper for strip piecing.  Waste not, want not!

Remember this little gem?  I made it years ago and it was the inspiration for a recent paper piecing class. 

I couldn't imagine making the exact same thing twice, so after class, I made the word "peep" to add to the chick and eggs. 
Here's the new PEEP quilt, basted and ready to quilt:
Today I saw a free form spiral quilt (actually several) made by Canadian quilter Kristin Miller.  It's mighty tempting to see if I can figure out how to do it..... 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Goes Around Comes Around

The other night at a quilters' gathering, someone told about the latest thing, a "Ten Minute Quilt Block".  When she went on to explain, it was nothing more than the three dimensional bow tie block that I learned about YEARS ago, from the pages of Traditional Quiltworks Magazine.  Basically, a fifth square piece is inserted in a four-patch, so you get the bow tie without weird pieces and y seams (which make some people nervous).  Here it's a little easier to see the 3-D effect:
As a new twist, some people are turning back the edges of that center piece and hand-stitching to get a curved effect kind of like a cathedral window.  Guess what?  That turns a ten minute block into a two hour block!  I think I'll skip that option.  Here's a picture of my little quilt (about 36" square) that the label tells me I made in 1996.  Wow, don't forget the labels.
Last night I finished the quilting and started the binding of the little string pieced project, so it will soon be ready for public viewing.  Same thing for the "PEEP" quilt with the paper pieced chicks and eggs.  After that, I have two larger piecing projects that definitely need some attention.  If I don't get side-tracked again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Yesterday I worked on my little string pieced wall hanging all day.  Sometimes something just WORKS.  After I put the blocks together and got it layered, I began stitching with #8 black pearl cotton.  Admittedly, this is another small project, just 16" square  It won't take long to finish.
Watch for some buttons.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Short Attention Span II

WHAT HAPPENED??  I should be working on my "Chick and Eggs".  There's another challenge coming up and I've been mulling it over for a month or so.  I've figured out what I want to do, so I decided to just jump in and get started.  Here's the fabric selection:
Here's what I've done with them so far:
This idea came from the Sept./Oct. 2010 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine (always give credit where credit's due!)  I'm trying it out on a small scale for this challenge, but I think I'll go ahead and make a larger quilt, too.  What caught my attention was the addition of the prairie points that add extra interest to the strip pieced  blocks.  Now, back to the machine...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chicks & Eggs

Today we had a paper piecing class in the store.  The project was based on a little wall hanging that I made several years ago.
I re-created the blocks on my E-Q program, with a finished size of 4".  I made blocks along with the ladies in the class but now that the class is over, I don't want to do the exact same thing twice!  I got out Tonya's book to get me going and made the word "PEEP".  That's enough for tonight.  I'll need to add some spacers to make the rows the same length, but that won't be too difficult.  Here is a preview of the coming attraction:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Selvage Flower Complete!

I started this little wall quilt on March 24.  I enjoy working with selvages and have made quite a few other small selvage projects.  This is what the flower looked like in the beginning:
 Tonight it's finished!
This piece is embellished with recycled items.  The flower petals are plastic bread ties.  Here is a close-up of one of the butterflies made from cut up zippers and some wire thing-a-ma-jigs (can't remember where they came from).
 Here's a close-up of the little ant that was the final touch.

Just for fun.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More "Dear Jane"

If it's Wednesday, it must be Dear Jane Day (from the book Dear Jane, Brenda Papadakis, 1996).  Two more people have expressed interest in our little group.  Here are my blocks so far:
I made the block with the X in the morning.  Very easy, probably ten minutes.  I wanted to balance things out and also work on a more challenging block while the group was here.  The block at the bottom was the one I chose and it turned out to be a real stinker!  I cut out freezer paper diamonds but was VERY unhappy with the points.  When I do freezer paper applique, I baste the fabric to each paper pattern piece, applique, then remove the paper from the back side.  I could not make the points pointed!!!  .I studied the picture of the original in the book and finally figured out what to do.  I appliqued two sides of the diamond onto each of the quarters of the block.  Then I appliqued another colored piece on top of the other two sides of the diamond.  It worked!
The diamonds turned out nice and pointy.  After I sewed the four quarters together, I appliqued the square in the center of the block.
Dear Jane forces me to use a lot of different methods, a lot of problem solving.  Remember the size is only 4 1/2" finished.  But it's satisfying to solve the puzzle and have a pretty little block.......only 218 left to go.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mobius Scarf Update

The first mobius scarf is complete!  The finished project is more of a cowl, you can wear it over your head and around your neck and would be very cozy on a winter day.  I'm not going to model it.  Of course, it is spring here in North Carolina and I don't think it will do much to protect me from the pollen (if you've never experienced it, the tree pollen here is so thick that EVERYTHING looks as though yellow baby powder was dumped out of the sky - a LOT of baby powder!)
I believe in sticking with pattern for the first one of anything.  Now I'll try to branch out.  For everyday wear with a sweater or turtleneck beneath, I think I'd like my next mobius scarf to be a little longer and narrower.  I've got the yarn picked out.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shop Sample

Returning from the quilt show last night, we had a lot of unpacking to do.  Most of today was spent putting things away and rehanging samples in the store.  As my "reward" when I finished, I put together a new shop sample, another project from Quiltsmart.  With Quiltsmart, the pattern is on fusible interfacing.  You iron it on the wrong side of your fabric and instantly you have all of your cutting and sewing lines!  I haven't tried any of their big quilt patterns (yet), but this is the third different bag.  This one is called the Market Bag.  (It is fully lined, reversible, with two pockets.)
I think it might become a knitting bag!  Speaking of knitting, the mobius scarf is almost finished and will be unveiled soon.

Here's a treasure that I found at the quilt show.  There was a booth selling vintage fabric and buttons and I bought a box of feed sack scraps.  I already have an idea for them too.
 Not everyone would understand the attraction of this little box of scraps!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Quilt Show

On Friday and Saturday we attended the Colonial Quilt Lovers quilt show in Elizabeth City, NC as vendors.  Here is the view as you walked in the door.  The lovely quilt you see up front is the "Best of Show", pieced by Pat Forsyth and machine quilted by Joy Danforth.

This quilt show was held in a recreation center multi-purpose room that was large and well lighted.  The Colonial Quilt Lovers is a talented quilt guild and there were a broad variety of styles on display.

One of my favorite things is buying a chance on the fat quarter baskets.  I didn't win one this time around but one of my friends did!
Here are a couple of views of our booth.  (Apparently, I forgot to sign up for a double booth, so we were kind of scrunched into a small space).