Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quilted Spiral

I just finished the quilting!  Tonight I'll add facings and hanging sleeve. Here's a close-up, so you can see what I did. 

Check another thing off the list!  I'm working hard on the SECRET shop hop quilt ... when I get it sent off to Lilly the Quilter I'll be free to try out some new things.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry SPIRAL Christmas

Another progress report is in order.  I finished the spiral quilt top last night, layered and basted it.  Ready to quilt when the Christmas excitement is over.

And, after much consideration and consultation with Rayna, I believe that this is the best way to view the latest strippy quilt.  I had to live with it for a while.

Wishing everyone a very, very Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Spiral Progress

The spiral is growing.  The target size is 24" square, so I taped off a place on the table to refer to.  Looks like I'm almost there!  Maybe I can finish up the corners and get it basted today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finished at Last!

Way back in October, my friend, Mickie, gave me this:

I've shown a few progress reports along the way.  Glad to announce that I finished the facing over the weekend and all that's left is to add a hanging sleeve.  I like it very much.  Size is 24 1/2" by 30".  Yet to be named. 

December 18 is a special day around here.
Happy 70th birthday to Keith Richards.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Free-Form Paper Piecing Without the Paper

What?????  I'll explain the title in a moment.

Holy cow, it's been a month since the last post!  When I last checked in, I had just taken my trip to NYC. Since then, there has been a trip to Iowa, Thanksgiving, and a BIG SALE in the store.

When the sale was over, I needed to do a lot of rearranging and restocking. Christmas, along with a little bit of Halloween, was moved to the second room, where I created this little "holiday corner".  

Out front, where the Christmas had been, I made a display of the newest fabric arrivals (plus some of the many baskets in stock).

The batting was also moved to the second room, where I had room to make a larger display.  Right next to the extra wide backing fabrics.  Logical.

More fabric shelves were moved to the front room to take the place of the batting.  It also makes a great place to show off more of the baskets. 

I have another challenge due soon.  It is part of the "Graffiti Challenge", that I've talked about in earlier posts.  I have one completed project, but still had another idea rattling around in my head.  On the left is the fabric we has printed at Spoonflower, made from fabric painted during one of our Artrageous Quilters meetings.  On the right are random fabrics I chose to coordinate.

The biggest challenge is getting the center of the fabric spiral started. This is about my 4th or 5th spiral, so I didn't have too much trouble.

There's an enormous amount of waste.  Sew, trim, press, over and over again. That is when I thought to myself that it's a lot like paper piecing. Except I don't know quite where it's going.  There's a required size, so I know that much.  Right behind getting started, is the difficulty of  ending the spiral. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Busy Times

The posts have been few and far between, not because there's nothing to show, but because there has been so much going on.  First of all, the quilting on the latest free-form string quilt has begun.

Temperatures here dipped into the 20"s last night, so I'd better hurry up with this knitted vest.  The back is almost finished.

A little bit of work has gone into the "Shop Hop Quilt", but I can't show that until February. 

There's a class coming up on Saturday.  It's the "Pagodas" pattern from Maple Island Quilts.  I've made it before, but gave the quilt as a gift.  I'm liking my sample blocks so well that I think that I'll make it at least throw size.

Yesterday, things really went crazy.  I had a fabric rep in to visit in the AM. While she was there, a massive delivery arrived.  Before I could get all the new fabric processed, customers came.

And right in the middle, a man came in wanting to buy a quilt!  It turned out that he wanted a big quilt to hang on a big wall and he liked one that I had back in the closet (a sample from earlier days).  It needed a sleeve though, so that's what I did last night.

Whew!  So that more or less brings things up to date.  The kitties are cold too.  This is what greeted me last night when it was time for bed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Favorite Author

Remembering Kurt Vonnegut (born 11-11-22) on what would have been his 91st birthday.    My favorite author.

And master of profound statements.

OK, OK ... that might not be enough to make you understand why I like Kurt Vonnegut so much.  One of the points that he made over and over was not to take ourselves too seriously.  So there.

Here are two more quotes that you might find a bit more profound:

And, finally ...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Still Wondering Which Way?

Most of my week was a continuation of catching up after my trip to NYC.  I placed a couple of online orders, met with a fabric rep, VACUUMED, cut and folded about 100 fat quarters and prepared samples for a demo I'm giving for the Tar River Piecemakers Quilting Guild in Rocky Mount, NC tomorrow.

Last night, I finished appliqueing the circles to the latest free-form strip quilt. I'm still not sure which end is up, though!  I selected a backing fabric that includes birds, so I'd like to decide before I put the layers together to quilt.

While I sewed last night, "the girls" and I enjoyed a concert that included a Rolling Stones video, then CD's by Lou Reed, John Cale and John Hartford.  I think "the girls" enjoyed it.  I did. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


The Artrageous Quilters met today at Cotton Fields Quilt Shop.  The subject was "adding text to quilts".  Quite a number of methods were discussed, but Katherine presented one in particular that was FUN and EASY

Using peel and stick letters meant for scrap-booking, we spelled whatever we wanted and then applied fabric paint.  When the paint is dry, the letters are removed.  I "cheated" and started with a drop dead gorgeous batik.  Then I used a paint dauber to apply yellow paint.  Before I removed the letters, I also added curvy lines with a Sharpie marker.  Now I have a new trick up my sleeve.  Thanks Katherine

I don't have this many, but this is what the daubers look like.  Fine round sponge on the end of little cylinders.

New York, days 2 and 3

Yesterday was "Catch-Up Day" at the quilt shop.  No time for sewing.  I hope that changes SOON.  I have several works in progress and two others that I really want to start.   Plus an idea from a book I saw in NYC that I want to try. 

Day two in New York was quilt and craft related.  I really fell down in the picture-taking department!  We started the day at Bead World on Broadway. The name says it all!  I made a purchase but forgot to take a picture.

We met our friend, Pam, at City Quilter.  What a lovely quilt shop.  I've been there before;  it's the only actual quilt shop that I know of in New York City. No picture.  Then we went to lunch at a place Pam said she had always wanted to try - the Malibu Diner.  It didn't disappoint.  What, no picture again?

Our last stop was at the American Folk Art Museum.  There was an interesting exhibit contrasting antique quilts with some very modern (some paper) interpretations.  They didn't allow picture-taking inside.

Day three was SHOW DAY!  In the afternoon, we went to a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. 

Again, no photos allowed inside.  We also went around the corner before we went in and I had my picture taken with Rupert at the Hello Deli.

The day ended in a spectacular way.  I attended my very first Broadway Play. "After Midnight" was performed at the beautiful Brooks Atkinson Theater.  No photos allowed inside.  Jazz musical with wonderful costumes and dance.  We loved it!

Those are the highlights of my New York City visit!  My sister did a fabulous time of rounding up FREE tickets and organizing our time.  It's so easy to jump on and off subways and buses when there is someone there to tell you what to do!  We packed a lot of fun into three days.  

Thank you, Jami!

Next time you hear from me, it will be BACK TO NEEDLE ARTS!

Friday, November 1, 2013

New York, New York

I just got home from a trip to New York City.  Here I am, outside the Amtrak Station in Wilson, NC, waiting to depart.

Here are a couple of obligatory shots of NYC skyline.

With my sister as my guide (she's a NYC resident), we were off to the Bronx Zoo on my first full day in the city.  We wandered around for just a bit when we got off the train.

OK, actually we were LOST.  Anyway, we finally found the zoo:

We saw a lot of birds and reptiles.  The monkey house was CLOSED.  I don't know why they have two cement rhinos.

Anyway, anyone who knows me knows that I was thrilled to get this close to two bald eagles.

Polar bears are also favorites.

And turtles, anytime and anywhere.

I probably took over 100 pictures at the zoo, but I'll spare you.  With tired feet, we finished up the day with supper at the Westway Diner. 

Thanks, Sis!

Enough for this post.  Don't worry, I took the most pictures on the first day!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Borders and More

Finally!  The "TAKE 6" quilt top is complete, with borders!

I'm not quite sure when it will be quilted.  Right now, it's going up on display, along with it's pattern. 

The latest strippy quilt is really taking shape.  Remember when I said that I'd be adding circles?  I cut some circles out of freezer paper and moved them around until I liked the arrangement.

Then I pinned them in place.  I remove one at a time when I'm ready to applique.

I'm back to liking the vertical orientation.  On it's side, the brown lines look too much like H's.