Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Just a little peek at the quilting on the "best things" quilt. This is the first quilt where I have hand drawn feathers to fit an area, just freeform without templates, and then quilted what I drew. I like it! There is no way that this quilt shouts out "stencil!" at you. The diagonals in the border are only 1/2" apart. They are a bit wonky, but that's okay, the whole quilt is wonky. The two narrow borders, red and black, have zig zag lines, and the center has baptist fans. Everything is with purple thread and I'm loving how it is turning out. I need to spend more time on this project. I started quilting on the outside edge because of the way that the fans need to be quilted around and around. Thank heavens for machine basting! I can start at an edge and work either way without having to worry about puckers or fullness in the middle when I get there. I have two borders and their corresponding inner border areas and one row of the fans around two sides of the quilt center done so far!
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Just a little quilt (27"X32") that I've called Lil'bit Crazy. There may be a whole series of these the way I'm feeling about my life lately! I have a drawer for little snips and pieces that are too big to toss, too small to categorize (smaller than 2.5" square, short strips and odd pieces) and I like to pull from these pieces and make crazy free form blocks. The triangles are snippings from joining bindings and borders on the diagonal...not trimmed to any specific size, just sewn 'wonky'. I made this in an afternoon after an excruciatingly mind numbing day at school. Brainlessly piecing is very liberating! I squared my little blocks up using a 5" ruler, so they finish at 4.5" square, 4 rows across, 5 rows down, slap on some borders and voila! I want to hand quilt this, but it will have to wait, I'm still hand quilting on "the best things" quilt.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Frankly, I feel some quilt racism going on! Traditional quilt discrimination. Is there such a thing?
Maybe I should come up with a list guideline that says "While we enjoy and admire artsy fartsy quilts, this list, group, webring is not intended for quilters that focus on your so called artsy fartsy quilting if you can even call them quilts."
The quilt world is a strange section of society. There are groups for gay quilters, lesbian quilters, man quilters, wiccan quilters but one group that was the MOST discriminatory was a group of "conservative christian" quilters who would not let me join their group because my denomination was not christian enough, nor conservative enough for their likings. I was spammed with bible verses to supposedly set me straight, get me to repent, give up wearing pants and find the true way of conservative christian quilters. Good grief!
You know, I love quilting down to it's roots. Down to when people would share patterns, have quilting bees with potluck food, share fabric, life's stories, joys and sorrows...when things were not so divided. When quilts were made to cover people and beds, no matter how traditional or maverick they were (Just look at Ghee's Bend quilts and some of the other african american influences in quilts and tell me if they are not ART!) and copyrights were not to be feared nor claimed.
When did quilters start having to fit in to this category or that one? And what about those of us who are caught between more than one definition by the quilts that inspire us? What is the quilt world coming to anyway?
Friday, July 08, 2005
Sometimes ideas for big quilts end up as small ones when you lose the energy to keep going on them! A friend sent me a pic of a 9 patch quilt made in the 1870's and it had this poison green background and lots of madder browns in it. I loved it! I really wanted to make a bed sized quilt, but these 9 patches are only 3" and I got either bored with them, or intrigued by something else. They sat in a box for a year....I pulled them out yesterday after coming across that 1870's pic again and decided to just make them into whatever I could make them into and call it done. I think the small inner black border really frames it and the outter madder colored border warms the whole thing and tones down that green!
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Close up of border fabrics for house quilt. I think I'll use more of the blackcheck for the binding....And for what it's worth, I've never put black, blue and yellow together before, but I kinda like it! :c)
Borders are on! This is what I decided to do. I liked the blocks laid without sashings, but I didn't leave enough floating space from squaring up the blocks to put them next to eachother. Next time I will twist and turn them with deeper triangles so that when I square them up there will be more than 1/4" from the edge of the center block. I found the black-on-black checked sashing fabric at Joann's yesterday and it was 30% off and worked perfect. The blue cornerstones came from my stash, as did the yellow inner border. The outter border is a black/blue check with stars on it..daisy kingdom! I thought it was pretty horrid when I bought it, but walmart was closing it out at $1.00 a yard. I was using it on the back of neonatal intensive care quilts...They wanted dark backs to make the incubators darker when they covered them with the baby quilts. Long story short...I never thought this fabric would be perfect to show on the FRONT of anything! *LOL* Who knows when this will get quilted, but I'm thinking of what kind of quilting to do on it...
Monday, July 04, 2005
Let your patriotism shine with this scrappy red, white, and blue lap quilt. The use of simple 4-patch blocks and those with stitch-and-trim corners make it an easy quilt, but one that will dazzle the eye and warm the heart. Get ready to snuggle under the fireworks!
Quilt Size: 60” x 72”
The large lap quilt shown here is made using 80 blocks set 8 blocks across by 10 blocks down.
Two bold color families, medium to dark reds and blues, and a common white or light fabric will make this a spectacular quilt. Because it uses scrappy fabrics, it’s the perfect project for a collection of red and blue fat quarters.
BLOCK A (make 40)
Make four-patch blocks using (2) different red and (2) different blue 3 ½”
squares. For easy matching, press seams in alternating directions.
Completed 4-patch blocks should each measure 6 ½” square.
Block B Block B & Block C
BLOCK B (make 38, 1 red & 1 blue triangle) and BLOCK C (make 2, both triangles are red)
You will use the stitch-and-trim technique to make triangle in two corners of the B and C blocks.
On the back of the 3 ½” squares, draw a diagonal pencil line from one corner to the other. This will be your stitching line.
With right sides together, place a red 3 ½” square in the corner of the large 6 ½” square, lining up the edges and outside corner. Sew on the pencil line from corner to corner as illustrated. Trim off the corner, leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Press toward the triangle.
Repeat in the opposite corner using a blue 3 ½” square. Trim and press toward triangle. Blocks should each measure 6 ½” square. For Block C, use 3 ½” red fabric squares in both corners.
Assembling the Quilt :
Finish your quilt by arranging the A, B, and C blocks 8 blocks across by 10 blocks down (arranging blocks as illustrated at the top of this page—watch position of red and blue fabrics—the two C blocks are positioned in the center as shown here).
Borders and Finishing:
Border #1 is made by cutting (6) 2 ½” x width of fabric strips
Border #2 is made by cutting (6) 4 ½” x width of fabric strips
Quilt as desired and bind using (8) 2 ½” x width of fabric strips to make French-fold binding.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Have spent a good part of the day putting the 'twist and turn' sashes around the house blocks. Oscar found this a perfect place to take a nap! All of the blocks have their sashes now with 1/2 going up hill and 1/2 going down hill...now to decide if I want to set them block to block or put sashings between? (thinking black??)
A closer pic of the two houses I"ve slanted with twist and turn triangles. These houses were fun and used scrap 2" squares and bricks, with the house and roof rectangles being cut from 2" scrap strips.
4th of July Weekend....in the middle of an 'online retreat' with a group I belong to called "stashbusters". I had 34 houses done and needed 8 more to set them 6 X 7 so I thought this would be a good project for this weekend.
When I got the houses laid out, they looked SO uniform...boring. I was thinking of just regular sashes and maybe 9-patch cornerstones, but that didn't quite do it for me either. So...I decided to add 'twist and turn' triangles to the edges of the blocks. I think I like it. The two upper blocks are the 'test' ones I have added the triangles to so far. I like the idea of having 1/2 the blocks uphill, half down hill, and I still may use a sashing to contain the blocks. Much better than setting them straight!
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Yesterday I got a 98 on my anatomy/physiology exam on the anterior lower extremity compartment! I tell you I was so brain fried when I got home that I wanted something easy and small to throw together. This is the result. I have a bin of solid color 'amishy' strips and pieces all in different sizes...these all started as 'something in the center' and were brought to 6.5" size by courthouse stepping with strips around the centers. I was inspired by a quilt I saw in a book called "Kinder Komforts" by Bettina Havig, a book filled with antique doll and small (some hired man size, long and skinny) amish quilts. This quilt is about 39" square.
My big question or dilemma is now....how do I get all these things that I have pieced and want to hand quilt.....hand quilted? Some things are just not meant for machine quilting, and that includes anything amish to me. In the last few months I have pieced 4 amish type tops! And I am currently hand quilting on my "best things" quilt, but it seems that other things like bindings always take up my hand work time and the quilting doesn't get done as I dream it to.
I don't know what it is, but I can sit for hours at the sewing machine piecing away, but I can't seem to make myself sit for hours on the couch hand-quilting. It is just as important, and just as productive. Why can't I do it? I piece to music, and it is soothing to me, but I can't hand quilt to music, and the TV is too attention grabbing to be really productive quilting while that is on either. I'm thinking books on tape or CD might be the way to go. I need to check out the library.
I suppose I could always just give up physical fitness all together...maybe that hour a day I spend jog/walking with the dog could be better spent on my butt on the couch hand quilting? At least I'd have something to show for the limited free hours I have a day! :c)
Monday, June 27, 2005
I just realised these are all showing up in reverse order on my blog page! So I hope you don't mind reading down....Here is a shot of the borders I put on the zig-zag 9 patch. I think they give it an old fashioned feel and really frame it off nicely.
another view...kind of dark, because I have to turn the flash off to get the quilting detail to show. I love feathers!! This quilt is large, 106"X107" and will be great on my king sized bed as a coverlet. Scrappy scrappy and pretty much utilitarian, so I won't mind if the cats leave their fur all over it :c/
Quilting! Dave is out of town working in Chicago this week, so I decided to spend some time on one of my own projects. This is a detail shot of the feather and squash-blossom quilting I am doing on my zig-zag 9 patch quilt. This quilt was pieced completely as a leader-ender project.
Friday, June 17, 2005
This is the top I was working on today. The alternate blocks didn't
quite do what I had originally thought, but it does give an interesting
look. Kind of looks like braided brick bowties! However, I don't think
anyone can say that three times fast, and I am all out of ideas for names!
I'll try the other variation next by changing the altnernate block.
I think it would look cool with brights and a black background
and I have a couple other ideas floating around too...
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I think muslin is also completely appropriate for a vintage looking quilt back whether it's an 1800's repro, or a 1930's repro or anything in between or after. Muslin IS the stuff that many quilts were made of, and I love how it quilts up.
I love things that just appear "wrong" at first glance sometimes because it gives me a glimpse into the quilt maker's life and that is more interesting to me. Like the back of many amish quilts...they weren't ALL solids. Lots of them had prints on the BACK, or checks..they were allowed to use these as the BACK of the quilt (in some amish communities, not all) because it wouldn't be seen, and it was an appropriate back. I think it makes the quilts more interesting. A bit unexpected.
When it boils down to it...what is "appropriate" or "interesting" or "compatible" are ALL just OPINIONS that will differ with each quilt or each beholder. What "goes" and what doesn't is strictly a matter of opinion and always will be.
If I had a limited stash, and were new to quilting maybe I'd go back-buying after construction, but if I were dealing in minis of any variety, it doesn't take much for a backing and I'd likely have something that would work already in my stash. I was thinking of bigger quilts from lap size to bed size, and I still wouldn't march out there and hit the quilt shop for a back as an after thought.I love the vintage quilts in which flour/feed sacks were used for backing, many times with the label of the flour mill or feed manufacturer still visible on the back, in plain sight for all to see. This adds interest, and this is appropriate in my eyes. Using up leftover fabrics from the front of the quilt to construct an interesting back is completely complimentary to me.
If I didn't have as large of a stash as I do, if my mind hadn't been changed over the past few years to using what I have. (thinking more like our quilting ancestors and their resources)..If this were the way I shopped, Or maybe if my quilt were strictly for "show and tell" and not going to charity or for someone I loved to use until it fell apart, I can see buying a back after the top was done with these thoughts about being complimentary and interesting in mind. I guess then it wouldn't be about what *I* thought was appropriate for a backing, but I would be focusing on what "others" would think was appropriate for a backing. And again, we are back to dealing with nothing but opinions, that will likely change from person to person.
I'd sure wish I lived closer to Mary Jo's....and Id be heading for the sale fabrics first because "complimentary" or "interesting" does not mean full retail price to me either. :c) I am always on the lookout for sales for good candidates for backing fabrics so I *DO* have some on hand to choose from and I don't think because I buy them with no particular quilt in mind that they are uninteresting or uncomplimentary. I think it's just good quilt-cents.
Sometimes I will purposely put something "wrong" in one of my quilts, because even though I am making a vintage era looking quilt, I want it to be a representation of fabrics that are in my scrap-stash too. Scrap quilts of yesteryear were made with fabrics obtained through daily living, making clothes, making bedding, and they used fabrics from their own era that they lived in to make quilts that showed which fabrics they lived with daily.
My scraps and scrap quilts are from fabrics that I use daily, even tho I'm not clothes making anymore, I'm not using scraps from making aprons, skirts, blouses, dresses.....I do have scraps from all my sewing projects and the quilts I make with the scraps that I have are like a library of fabrics that have been through my hands and my life. I love the vintage "look" but I also like the feel of using what I have on hand, just as if it were as limited a scrap bag as I would be pulling from had I lived in 1870 or 1935.
It's okay with me if someone thinks my backing fabrics are just "wrong" or don't go with the quilt, or if the fabrics in my quilt are NOT all exact 1800's reproductions, as long as it has the right feel to me, and I have found a home for the scraps that I love, because it is my opionion that gives me the most satisfaction in the completed quilt, front and back.
Like always, just opinions :c)
I love the look of the quilts in the book, very antiquey vintage style, right up my alley. I've looked at the pics, but never stopped to "READ" the text in the book.
This statement on backings just made me guffaw out loud!
"Purchase backing fabric AFTER your quilt top is complete so you can select a fabric that complements the front of the quilt. Using fabric that you don't want anymore does a DISSERVICE to the quilt top. Remember the two pieces will be stitched together forever; therefore, they need to be compatible and interesting."
Of course, that's easy for her to say since she designs lines of fabrics, she isn't paying $9.00 or more a yard for beautiful fabrics for the back of her quilts!
Who says that my scrappy backings are a disservice to the quilt top? I find them completely compatible and more interesting than if I had waited until the top was pieced, went to the quilt shop, bought 8 yards of something not on sale and had it all matchy matchy!
I love to look at antique quilts and see that they used what they had on the back to make it big enough for the quilt top. To me this is VERY interesting and is a good clue into how the people lived in their lives. They didn't have quilt shops to march into to buy 6 yards of backing fabric that matched the front of their quilts.
I love scrappy backs. I do them all the time. I love the feeling I get from using something up, and the giggles that come from just using something that just DOESN'T go....to me that's the kicker..that's where the fun is. And I'm going to keep doing it!