Monday, November 19, 2018

Projects on the Design Wall

Our guild makes "tummy time" quilts for a local organization, Nurses for Newborns. The visiting nurses include these small quilts (24" x 36") in the items they take when visiting a new mother for the first time. Since babies now sleep on their backs, they sometimes do not get enough "tummy time" which helps to strengthen their necks and upper back. These are the ideal size for newborns and they are also small enough to tuck into a diaper bag. The moms can use them in public restrooms to cover the baby changing table as well (I wonder how often those things are cleaned) as using them as a cuddle quilt in the car.

I have lost track of how many I have made. Probably upwards of 50. This is the latest one. The green dog fabric has been in my stash for years, dating back to when I first started quilting and thought collecting dog and cat fabric was just the ticket. The small Chinese coin strips are cutoffs from a raffle quilt I recently finished for the guild to donate to the retreat center we use each fall. The backing and binding fabric is the very last bit of a bolt of fabric I bought when a quilt shop near me closed years ago. The print has the name of many different dog breeds printed on it. Other than my time in making it, this cost me nothing and used up some fabrics that needed some love.

I recently acquired Pamela Goecke Dinsdorf's  (Aardvark Quilts) latest book, "Parallel Lines." This is the cover quilt and it is hand appliqued. Very easy because the curves are gentle and the pieces are large, about 10" in length. The book is published by Quiltmania, which means that although the quality is good, the book is pricier than normal. And now I can't find it. It's here somewhere (I hope) although I have taken it to guild meetings and gatherings with friends, so it could have been left behind somewhere. I don't think so because my name and address are on the inside cover and I would like to think that someone would have found it and let me know.

I collected as many striped fabrics as I could find at a recent quilt show in Springfield, MO. The blocks are on the wall in no particular order. I just threw them up there as I finished them. If memory serves, the pattern calls for 24 blocks, each with two of the "petals". After the blocks are sewn together, the horizontal pieces (just pinned on at present) are appliqued over the horizontal seams. The books is wonderful and as the title implies, features projects made with striped fabrics. I love nearly every single one in the book and frankly don't think there is a dud among them.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I'm Back!

Yes, it's been almost a year since I last posted. I started this blog the first year that I participated in Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt in order to have a vehicle to join in Linky Mondays to show my progress on the mystery. Since then I have found that Instagram more and more suited my need to post pictures of my quilting projects and I let this blog slide.

Last year I sat out "On Ringo Lake", Bonnie's 2017 mystery. The 2016 mystery, "En Provence" still sits in parts and pieces although all the blocks are made as well as the sashing. They need "only" to be sewn together. I was hesitant to join in this year because of all the other projects that I have going on.

I was going to skip this year's mystery as well, but have decided now to jump in. But then I watched QuiltCam last night in which Bonnie joined with Holly Ann of String & Story. Holly and Bonnie discussed how to change out colors from the published ones that Bonnie has chosen. I felt more confident in being able to choose my own colors this year after watching QuiltCam. Plus Holly Ann has a weekly get together on her blog Friday evenings and she is going to focus on making the mystery quilt with her Rock Stars. It sounded like fun and there will be a community every Friday during mystery season that sews together. It will (hopefully) keep me on track to get the quilt done this year.

I have tweaked her colors a little bit to give me a Christmas vibe. I really like the colors in Bonnie's "Carolina Christmas" which was originally a mystery quilt (2009?) and is now a published pattern in her book "Scraps & Threadtails II". That quilt is my inspiration for the color palette I have chosen. I may only do half the clues each week, just to keep things sane and because the quilt is not as large as in past years (72" x 72") so it wouldn't serve as a bed quilt for my queen size bed in any case. Here is my fabric pull, all from stash.

Red is red, light/bright green is green, yellow subs for orange, dark green subs for blue, neutrals are neutrals. A number of the fabrics are sparkly or have metallic gold in them and several are actual Christmas prints. I think it looks fairly Christmasy.

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.