Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Making progress on Old Tobacco Road

This was a mystery on Bonnie Hunter's website Quiltville.  I finished most of the top last winter, then my sister-in-law Carol helped me pick out the border fabric when we were in New Braunfels in April. I finally got around to attaching the borders today.  This is the largest quilt top I've made in years - it's a long queen - 84 x 104.  I guess I'll try to get around to making the backing and getting this quilted.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gypsy Wife plus 2 Spinoffs

When I went to the Silver Thread Guild's quilt show in Creede a couple of months ago, I picked up Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife pattern. It looked like something that would be fun to make. It was!  You select your own fabrics - no directions are given for that - and you plug your blocks into whichever size spaces you want.  I like how there are 1 1/2" strips running vertically through the quilt that give it some continuity. 
Gypsy Wife

When I finished Gypsy Wife, I thought that Jen's concept would translate easily to designing more quilts like hers, so I grabbed some graph paper and planned out one that would use up some of my orphan blocks.  I'll be taking it to the longarmer's tomorrow, but thought I'd post a pic of the top.

As I was looking around on the web for sites about designing your own quilts, I saw this page, about making a crocheted blanket using different sizes of squares. I thought it would translate well to a quilt, and grabbed my bags of 1.5" strips.

I think that I can teach a class on doing this, so I'll be talking to my local shop folks tomorrow about that.   Wouldn't that be fun?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fabric Postcards - My Newest Obsession

Last month, our guild invited Judy Stevens to do a workshop (and then a trunk show the next day at our meeting) on making fabric postcards.  She moved to our area recently, and is in a different guild that I'll be joining next week. 

Her workshop was wonderful, and I'm hooked.  Now I have two obsessions - piecing and fabric postcards!  I've been exploring Pinterest and Etsy, as well as the blogging world, and have accumulated tons of wonderful ideas for cards.  Here are some of the first ones I've made.

More Charity Quilts Finished

While we were in Colorado, I made a lot of tops - I think the total was 10. Some of them have been quilted and bound. Thanks to a few friends from my guild, they were sandwiched and quilted, and then I did the binding. There are three others that have been handed off to friends, and they will complete the binding as well - so I won't have photos of them.
Peaks and Valleys from Scrap Basket Beauties (Kim Brackett)

Generations from Scrap Basket Beauties (Kim Brackett)

Start Struck - a Bonnie Hunter pattern from Quiltville.com

I call this one Rectangular Split 9-Patch Star

Yet another String Quilt

I call this one Split 9-Patch Medallion - I started with the star and then added tons of pinwheels to make it large enough.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First and Most Recent Quilts

My friend Laura West Kong has started Quilt Bloggers Collective on Facebook, and today she decided to offer a "seed" for August. I just had to give this one a try. She says, "August Blog Seed: write a post featuring your first quilt and your last quilt. Its quick, fun, and interesting. Takes two photos and a paragraph or two about how your quilt making has evolved over the years."

This faded and out-of-focus photo is of the very first quilt  I ever made. It's from 2009.
I was a cross-stitcher who decided to learn to sew and make quilts. I took a class at JoAnn on how to use a sewing machine, and then got some books from Barnes & Noble to teach myself about quilting. I was afraid of triangles at first, so my first few quilts are squares and rectangles.  But here's the thing - I didn't know about pinning to match seams!  So my quilts from back then are wonky, with mismatched seams. I have 4 like that.  Also, I didn't know how to quilt, so this first one is tied. The next couple quilts I tried quilting in the ditch, and wasn't really satisfied with that.

I spent the next couple of years making miniature quilts and paper-piecing. I participated in online mini-quilt swaps, and grew tired of that because I really had no use for them.  I have a couple of drawers full of mini-quilts and don't know what to do with them.  I tired of paper-piecing, as well - but will paper-piece occasionally if I have to.

My passion now is piecing and using up scraps. I'm in two guilds, and both of them have community service programs which take donated quilts and give them to shelters, veterans, sick children, etc.  I have a few friends in the guilds, Laura included, who take my tops and do the quilting - most of them also provide the batting and sometimes even the backing - then I put bindings on them and turn them in.  I've made quite a few personal quilts - for family - and have several places and friends who will quilt them for a fee.  But my community service quilts are all "scrappy."  I use EVERYTHING - pieces even as small as 1" x 1.5".  I'm known as the "scrappy lady" at my guild, and at every meeting, someone will hand me a bag of scraps. I cut them into strips and squares, and use a variety of patterns to turn all those scraps into tops. Sometimes I'll use Kim Brackett's Scrap-Basket books, sometimes I'll use a Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) pattern.  But there are times I'll design my own.   This one below is the most recent quilt I've finished.  I took a regular Ohio Star and elongated it - I did this on graph paper.  Then I used a concept from a designer/author named Karen Combs, called split 9-patches. 

This quilt is made up of 2.5" squares and HSTs that are first sewed into 9-patches.  Some are all neutral or all scrappy, and some are split like a giant HST between neutral and scrappy.  If you look at the quilt, you can see that the top row is made up of two all-neutral 9-patches and six split 9-patches. The sandwiching and quilting was done by Cathy Kreter, and I will be donating this one to community service at our guild. All of the squares and HSTs are from donated fabric, and I got the border fabric on sale for $5 a yard at a shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

5 Quilts Finished

This one is for my guild's community service project.  It's made from 2.5" scrap squares, and was quilted by Judee Koda, a gal in my guild. 

 This one is called Pink Charlotte - it's from the book Three Times the Charm.  I used a charm pack.
 Jessica Cook quilted this one for me. It's a gift for my great-niece Cadence.

 This is made from 2.5" scrap squares, and all I did was design a star and then elongate it. Jessica Cook quilted it, and it's for community service.

 This was my very oldest ever UFO - the second quilt I ever made.  It was back when I hadn't learned about pinning to match seams, but it's good enough for community service.  Jessica did the quilting.

This one is called Town Square, and it's from the book Scrap Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett. It was quilted by Cathy Kreter, and is for community service.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Easy Wonky Tree for Sew Bee Wonky

This is the July block for Sew Bee Wonky.  It's from the book Modern Quilts in the Blogging Universe

My wishes for this block: 
Background/Neutral - anything from solid white to beige.  Any white-on-white or cream-on-cream or beige-on-beige or solids in white/cream/beige will do. 
Trees:  BRIGHT rainbow colors in modern prints which can include dark pastels (say bright pink but not pale pink, for example). Please do not use black, brown, or any civil war or 30s repro fabric. I'd like my trees to be as bright and modern as they can be. Multicolor trees are fine, too - as long as they're bright and modern.

So here goes.
1. Start with a tree - a triangle shape (wonky or even - doesn't matter) that's no taller than 8" and no wider than 4". 
2. Cut a piece of neutral background fabric about 11" tall and any width from 5" to 8".
3. Lay your tree on top of your background fabric as I did below.

4. Using your ruler, cut the background off the bottom even with the bottom of the tree. Set aside for later. 

5. Slide your tree about 1/" to the left of its original position. Use your ruler to cut the background fabric along the right side of the tree. Set the piece of background fabric aside for later.

6. Slide the tree to the right so that it extends about 1/2" past the edge of the background fabric. Use your ruler and cut the background fabric along the left side of the tree.  Discard the little triangle of background underneath the tree.

7. Lay the tree along the left piece of background fabric as shown. Sew together. 

8. Press the seam allowances open.  

9. Repeat with right side of background fabric. 

10. Press seam allowances open. 

11. Attach the bottom piece of background fabric. Press seam allowances open. 

DO NOT TRIM THESE BLOCKS. I will trim them to shape and size that I need.

Note:  If you'd like to get fancy and add a trunk to the base of the tree, that's fine. It's up to you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Some scrappy tops I made last month

My own design - I just took a star and elongated it. This uses the split 9-patch technique. All 2 1/2" squares and triangles.

Swoon; uses the split 9-patch technique.  2" squares and triangles.

Using up some 3' squares and triangles.

This one is called "Six Degrees South of the Equator." It's from Scrap-Basket Beauties, but I used 2" strips instead of 2 1/2"

"Lake Cabin" from Scrap-Basket Sensations

"Over and Under" from Scrap-Basket Sensations

Top made using Diamond Ripple block from 100 Modern Quilt Blocks

Monday, February 3, 2014

Things I've been working on lately

I haven't posted in a long while, but I've been busy!

Used up a bunch of low-volume strings - a smaller version of "Sunday Morning" from Sunday Morning Quilts

"Parachute" - inspired by Jacquie Gering

"Fake Geese" - actually pairs of HSTs

Top made from blocks acquired from a swap

Star Struck

"Christmas Swoon" - hanging at my local quilt shop - I taught a class on this one

Baby quilt for my great-nephew