Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Herschel and Friends

I finished piecing the top of "Dogs in Sweaters" by Elizabeth Hartmann. I am calling this one "Herschel and Friends". The second dog from the top in the green sweater will sport a pair of eyeglasses, yet to be made and added. I am off to the quilt store to get an appropriate backing fabric. I have something I like, but not enough. Maybe there will be more left at the shop. If not, on to plan B.

Kevin the Quilter taught a workshop recently that I had the good fortune to attend.  The project we made was "Sorta, Kinda Amish" and this is mine.

Before you think I went all crazy with the colors, here is the inspiration quilt I found on Pinterest. It is an Amish quilt from Lancaster County, PA circa 1930.

If you follow the link above to kevin's blog, you will find a photo from our workshop at the very end of his post. That's me on the floor in the center with my partially completed top.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Another Baby Quilt

Another baby quilt under my belt. This is the second in a series using this layout. Here is the first one:

It is not as successfully visually because I paid little attention to where the various fabrics were placed. It is still a nice baby quilt, but it could have been better. I was feeling my way here with fabrics I had at hand while at a Sew Day with other guild members.

Weekend before last, my guild had a three day retreat and while I didn't finish anything, I was able to make progress on several fronts. Here is one block of four that I need to make for a throw sized quilt.
It's "Dogs in Sweaters" by Elizabeth Hartmann.

I also completed another round of color on Bonnie Hunter's 2016 Leader/Ender challenge. Photos when I unearth the top from the boxes of stuff I hauled back from the retreat.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Falling Leaves

Leaves are falling here but the bright colors we expect in fall aren't appearing. The summer was very dry and a lot of the trees seem to be going directly from green to brown. Our guild's October optional block is a pair of leaves. In a nod to the "colors" I am seeing this year, I made mine in brown and dull gold. This is the corrected block.

And this is my first attempt. It's easy to get things turned around!

Which is why the blocks from Elizabeth Hartmann's Fancy Forest can be problematic. There is nothing really difficult about the blocks, but there are lots of mirror imaged stitch and flip pieces and it's very easy to get things mixed up. I became very conversant with the seam ripper. I am getting behind on baby quilts for friends and acquaintances. I saw an example in a LQS that was a light bulb moment. It featured one of the animals from Fancy Forest set into a large piece of background fabric, backed with Minky and quilted. This block will go into a similar baby quilt for my neighbor.

I found a gray Minky fabric with rabbits and it was a no-brainer for the back of this quilt.

Monday, September 25, 2017

There's an Elephant in the Room

I finished this baby quilt for a neighbor's little girl. The background fabric is a cheater cloth by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics purchased a couple of years ago at a local quilt show. The template for the elephants I found copyright free on the internet and I used my printer to enlarge the template to different sizes. The circles were drawn using Karen Buckley's Perfect Circle templates. The elephants and circles are fused onto the background with Pellon Wonder Under and then stitched down with a small zigzag stitch. I folded the edges of the strips under and then top stitched close to the edges.

I may use this idea on other baby quilts in the future. The squares on the background fabric are about 5" square, so a similar background could easily be pieced using those dimensions and low volume fabrics. Any animal shapes would work, according to the child's preference. Similarly, the shapes could be hexagons (don't we all have an acrylic hexie template?), triangles, diamonds, half hexies, half circles, squares,etc.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Working in a Series?

Yes, I took an overlong hiatus from blogging. It wasn't intended; it just happened. Here is a baby quilt for Nurses for Newborns made from neutral background fabric and some 2.5" charm packs. One was Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids by FreeSpirit and the other was Moda's Mixed Bag. It was super easy and fast to do. The Modern Solids charm pack has 80 pieces, making for leftovers. So, another was made.

I have shoe boxes of these little charm packs. They are inexpensive and are kind of like potato chips. One just isn't ever enough. Next up? I am thinking of nine patches set in an irish chain arrangement.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Busy, busy, busy

I have been busy but not blogging. I have started the 2015 New Hexagon Quilt Along by Katja Marek. It is an English paper pieced project and I am using the paper pieces from PaperPieces.com. This is the first rosette which has 37 individual pieces in it. These are the first 7 hexagons on the block; they are not in the place they will actually be in the finished rosette. There are 12 rosettes but not all are as large as the first.

I took two workshops with Lynn Harris - one on string piecing without foundation fabric or paper and another on tiny piecing. Here are the results from tiny piecing.

And the baby quilt from the string piecing class.

Last Saturday was a workshop with Candy Grisham, a talented local quilt artist and teacher. The workshop was Modern Dresdens. I had taken this workshop once before at a LQS, but Candy has tweaked the class with even more variations and I really don't like most of the earlier ones I made. The color palette just wasn't working for me. I did salvage a couple of the earlier plates though and have added them to the mix.

Since I began writing this post, the Dresdens have been moved to the design wall when I finally was able to take something else down. Candy mentioned that black and white prints make a good background for multi-colored bright plates. That reminded me that I have several yards of a black and white Ikea fabric, So here they are in no particular order.

Back in October our guild had a workshop with Teajuana Mahone. The project was 3-D Scrappy Stars. I finished mine just today, adding the border using Kaffe Fassett's Leopard Lotus in black. If you look at it up close, the border fabric has many of the colors that are in the stars. From a distance it looks as though it's Christmas fabric.

I am going to have to quilt this myself even though it's bigger than what I like to deal with. The stars really are "3-D" and have free edges. When I had my Halloween top long arm quilted last year, the quilter had a problem with the narrow little flange (about an eighth of an inch wide) that circled the rings. It caught on her hopping foot and she basted tissue paper over the flange to prevent that from happening. I can just imagine what kind of problem the free edges of the stars would present. 

Last but not least, I attended an applique class on Friday with Irene Blanck. She is an Australian quilter, teacher, and designer and the workshop was to learn her technique for making a clamshell quilt. Here is what we learned how to make:  http://www.focusonquilts.com.au/bl_portfolio/clamshells. I have always wanted to make a clamshell quilt but it always seemed fiddly and as though it would be difficult to get everything lined up. Irene has a slick technique and I have a new evening-in-front-of-the-television project. Irene was in town for International Quilt Market which was held here in St. Louis for the first time in 20 years. It is really disheartening to know that all your favorite people are in town for market, but that you can't see them because it's not open to the public. There was a call put out to the local guilds by the organizers for paid help. But they made such a doggone big deal of indicating that you would be working, that you couldn't buy a thing, and that there would be precious little time to even walk around and look that I passed on the offer.

Friday, April 7, 2017

April Optional Block

This is my version of the Optional Block for my guild's meeting tomorrow night. Maybe I will win all the blocks for once. I have good luck winning the fabric raffle, but despite the small pool, I have never one the optional blocks.

I promised to post photos from our recent quilt show, which, by the way, turned out to be successfully in many ways, including financially! Here's a couple to whet your appetite.

This is one of the six I entered. It is from a free BOM published by Gyleen Fitzgerald on her Facebook page.

This quilt is by Dolores Keaton, or featured quilter at the show. This quilt is on my bucket list; it's a pattern by Piece 'O Cake and was our raffle quilt  several years back. This is a duplicate that Dolores made.