Saturday, October 31, 2009

All fired up.

When I got up yesterday I was all fired up and I was going to accomplish something. In the end I grocery shopped, did laundry, took a nap, and I can't even remember what else. Last night I had three TV shows to watch, Ghost Whisperer, Medium and Numb3rs so I worked on journal covers that were started previously. On this first one I ran into the trouble I had when I first started making them. I made the cover too tight for the notebook to slide in easily.
This one is for the cheap little composition books that you can get for 50 cents most of the time. I solved the "too tight" problem by trimming a sliver off the top edge of the front and back covers. I like the cover to slip easily when you open the book to write in it.
Here is this size with the size that I usually make. The little notebooks cost me anywhere from $1.29 - $2.50 depending on where I can find them, so even though they take less fabric to make, there is still about the same cost in both sizes.
The braided border part is made from samples from the time period when I taught that as a class. I am pretty sure I will never teach that again so I decided to use them up. Thanks for all of the positive response to my "wordy" post yesterday. Some of you may remember awhile back I asked whether my readers just skimmed or really read the posts. About a third admitted they rarely read any of the words. Now if my glass was half empty I would have decided to only have pictures, but since my glass is half full, I know that 2/3 DO read the posts and there should always be words.
There are several of you who regularly leave comments, but you are no reply bloggers because you either don't have a Google account or you haven't enabled your email in your profile. I just want you to know that even though I can't reply personally to you, that I really enjoy and appreciate your comments.
Today I have to work at the sewing machine store, and when I get home the little ghosts and goblins will be roaming the streets. And I have to remember to change my clocks back one hour before I go to bed for the end of daylight savings time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I cheated!

I sewed the binding on this quilt all by machine. I sewed it on the front, flipped it to the back and stitched in the ditch from the right side to catch the binding on the back. This quilt is 92" x 115.5". It is for my daughter and she has asked me a couple times why I sew the binding by hand when it is machine quilted. I decided that gave me permission to finish it all by machineThis is one of the favorite quilts I have ever made. I love paisleys and floral fabrics with big roses and star blocks. I didn't have a pattern; I just started making blocks and designed it as I went.
I started this quilt in 2004. I had the black background large print that was more than 10 years old at that time. I pulled most of the fabrics from the color in that print. I remember the time period that I made this because I had a purple bump on my lip near the corner of my mouth and it was getting bigger. My dentist recommended that I have it removed. I started this quilt while waiting for the day of laser surgery to try to keep my nerves calm. The bump turned out to be a varicose vein. I continued sewing on the blocks while the incision healed and the stitches dissolved since I didn't want to go out in public and I had time on my hands.
I had a lot of the cream background with soft red paisley and I was really happy to finally use it. I also like the one that looks like tree rings for texture.You can click on these pictures to see a larger view and really see the fabrics. The brown swirly fabric was one of the last ones I added. I know I will make more star quilts because I love them so much. A couple friends have commented that this quilt doesn't look like my style. I don't like to be pegged as using only one style of fabric. Since most of you have met me (through my blog) I have been working a lot with batiks and Kaffe fabrics. That is because I owned a lot of batiks but they were always too precious to cut into. I finally made the decision about 4 years ago that I was going to make several all batik quilts and then the Kaffe Fassett fabrics hit the market and I fell in love with them too. I found the 2 types work well together and I have been concentrating on using them.
In my 52 years of quilting I have used lots of different types of fabrics from plaids and stripes, to calicoes (1980's), to scraps left over from dressmaking, and even Amish color solids. I guess I would like to be memorialized for being able to take any group of fabrics and make a beautiful quilt out of them.
Sorry I got so wordy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good day for sewing

I couldn't get excited about working outside on an overcast day so I stayed inside. I sewed the binding on the quilt I showed on Mon., ripped out a small section of quilting where the tension went goofy and re quilted it, did the math and figured I had enough of the purple fabric for the setting triangles for Fractured Pansies 2 and went ahead and cut the triangles. I may have to piece the fabric to be able to cut the corner triangles but I don't think it will show in that deep purple color..

Then I made 2 more journal covers. These are really wonky looking. When I sewed the leftovers from the Strips that Sizzle strata together I thought they looked OK. Then when I got them bordered with this alphabet fabric I wasn't too sure I liked them. I like the illusion though of the purple bars over the green in the background.
I delivered Dad's shirt to him and he was really excited about it. Whew!! He didn't try it on while I was there so I told him not to cut the tags off until he tried it on and was sure he liked the way it fits. I told him it was an early birthday present since his birthday is only 22 days away.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I didn't feel like doing math

I just couldn't make myself do the math and figure out if I had enough of that purple print I showed Monday. Instead I finished 2 more pillowcases for charity. Now there are 5. I'm hoping to make a dozen.Then I quilted this quilt and located the binding that I had cut a few years ago. I'm ready to sew binding on today. Tonight I will take the shirt I bought over to my dad when my brother and I take supper to him. We have been eating out on Wed. and Sun. nights but Dad has decided he really doesn't want to go out when it is colder. Today is supposed to be warm but since it is getting dark earlier I think it is safer that we bring the meal to his apartment no matter what the weather is.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Setting triangle audition

This is the fabric I want to use for the setting triangle for this Strips That Sizzle quilt. I only have 3/4 yard of it so I am going to figure out today whether I have enough of it. Here is a closer picture of it. What you can't see here is the sheen. It is a sateen fabric that is more than 10 years old.
We had rain almost all day yesterday. I had to drive to church (23 miles) for our sewing circle to work on the preemie layettes for the hospital. Afterwards I went to Farm and Fleet looking for a shirt for my dad. He likes snaps instead of buttons and they carry the western style there. I only found about 6 size Med. shirts to decide between. They had lots of Large Tall, XL, XXL, 2 XL and most all tall. (My dad is 5'8" tall and weighs less than 150 pounds.) I haven't been able to find shirts with snaps anywhere else this year. Last year W*lmart had them. Now I have to hope he will like the one I picked out. He doesn't like bright colors or stripes so that eliminated 3 of the 6.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sewing for charity and nature's beauty

I started making some pillowcases for a couple different charities. I have a lot of pieces cut but don't have the right combinations figured out for most of them. I got 3 sewn together yesterday. This is the view from my kitchen window. The redbud leaves have all fallen and now I can see my maple tree. I love the red tree in the distance too.
The viburnum is pretty again this year but has lost half of the leaves already.
I dumped the birdseed that was in the bottom of the feeders because it had gotten wet and I was afraid it would get moldy if I just poured new seed on top. This squirrel thinks he has hit the jackpot.
When I showed the quilts from the Disappearing 9 patch class I mentioned that I didn't have a very good picture of this one that turned out so pretty. She brought it to my Saturday class so I could try again. This close up shows how pretty the fabrics are.
I took this picture outside but again I think the beiges look washed out even in the daylight.
Guess what our weather is going to be, more rain! The farmers are never going to get their crops in if we don't get a dry week pretty soon.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Students' layouts

Here are some of the layouts that were tried at the class yesterday. This first student is making a queen sized quilt so there wasn't room to layout the whole quilt. Her daughter will help her make the final decision.Oops! the top right corner in the picture below is turned the wrong way. I didn't catch that before I took a picture.

This red, white and blue one was one of many layouts she tried and I didn't get a picture of her final layout, the star. She got her top all sewn together in class. Below are just some of her light blocks.
The rose and green is coming along nicely. She has a lot more strip sets to sew.
While I was helping some of the other students, the turquoise/orange lady played with several layouts. She liked my red/blue one and wanted to try a similar style.

She liked the star too but didn't have enough blocks. I suggested filling in the blanks with her turquoise large print that is in the strips.
This layout is like my purple/yellow one that was in the book (Fractured Pansies). The fifth student was babysitting and couldn't make it to class. I hope I get to see hers when she finishes it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Class today and color in the yard

The last class of Strips that Sizzle (Margaret J. Miller) is today at the quilt shop in town. I did one more layout to show them. I hope they have a lot of blocks made to play with.My burning bush is the prettiest red. It was still drizzling when I took this (1.75" rain in 2 days). Last year's picture was taken with the sun shining on it but I wasn't sure the leaves would still be there by the time we get a sunny day this year. They said on the news we have had some rain on 17 of the last 23 days. Most of it was light rain.
the lightest color hostas all turned a deep gold this year as they started dying. I think we usually get a heavy frost and are just gone and they have had a longer dying season this year.

There is warmer weather coming back the middle of next week. Maybe I can get a little outside work done, like bringing in the hoses and moving all of the porch pots.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Successful class

Here are the students' quilts from the Disappearing 9 patch class. This first one was a beginning quilter who decided to just make a small piece to learn the ropes.This student used patriotic colors. She only had 4 blocks done to photograph so there are 3 of one kind and one of the other kind.
There are lots of cheery colors in this one.
My photo does not do this one justice. It is really pretty but my little camera couldn't capture it. I guess I'll have to start taking the big camera to classes with me. Maybe if you click and enlarge the photo you might be able to see some of the nice fabrics.
The blocks are a little wonky in this one but the owner loves it and I think it really came out well. She is going to add a brown border.
I finished this journal cover that I showed part of a couple days ago.
The photo below is the open cover before I slipped the notebook in.
It rained all day yesterday, mostly light rain but almost an inch by evening. All of the leaves fell from the redbuds in one day. Now I can see through to some of the more colorful trees in neighbors' yards.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fun day with Diane

My visit yesterday was with Diane from Persnickety, the person responsible for my blogging. She casually mentioned she had a blog so I started questioning her about it and next thing I knew Exuberant Color was born. She and I used to work together at a quilt shop and we were both teachers there also. If you follow the link above it will lead you to the post where Diane talks about her inspiration for the quilt top shown here. If you read further you will read that Diane has MS and is no longer able to do a lot of things. I finished sewing this top together for her while we had a good time talking about everything we have in common. Diane has such an upbeat personality that it is a pleasure to visit her and help her with a few things. By the way her Internet has been down for a few weeks and that is why she has not posted lately.

I have had a lot of questions about my journal covers, like what do I do with all of them. Well Diane had asked me to make a bunch for her to purchase that she could use for Christmas presents so I delivered 8 of them to her. I sell them as fast as I can make them so I continue to make more. Maybe I can get ahead on them at some point and will be able to put them on my Wandaful site.
Today is the second half of the Disappearing 9 Patch class so I will try to get some pictures to post tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Journal covers again

I was playing with the leftover ends of the yellow stratas from Strips that Sizzle and made them into a journal cover last night. I also finished the one I started the night before.Here is the first one opened up. It was just a fluke that the border at the 2 short edges ended up the same width as the top and bottom borders. These covers are so unplanned when I work on them.
I sliced the strip set from the night before and flipped it. I was paying more attention to TV than the cover though because the stripes in the little sections aren't lined up perfectly with the stripes in the center. I guess I'll have to keep this one for myself, the little reject (which I happen to like just the way it is).
I have started another one with the purple and pink/red scraps.
Today I am going to visit a friend I used to work with. She likes my chocolate chip cookies so I am surprising her with 4 dozen of them since she isn't able to bake any more. I put a dozen in each baggie so she can freeze them and pull them out a little at a time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a fun day!

The art quilters came and we inspired each other again. Then in the evening I went as a guest to our local quilt guild meeting because an old friend and her partner (Blue Underground Studios) were the program. I love the combinations of fabrics that they put together for their quilts, lots of Kaffe and batiks and black and whites.To unwind after all of that inspiration I sewed this strip set together while I watched CSI Miami. I am going to slice it and insert strips and flip some sections and make it into another journal cover.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This was the view out my kitchen window yesterday morning. It was a beautiful day and the beginning of a 5 day warm spell. It's going to be in the 60's tomorrow, unbelievable after all of the cold weather we have had.There is nothing else to show you unless you want to see the vacuum cleaner or the cookie sheets going in and out of the oven. My art quilters group is coming today so yesterday I finished cleaning the basement and baked my 2 batches of cookies for them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Student's blocks

Yesterday was class 1 of the second group of students for Margaret J. Miller's method, Strips that Sizzle.

They all had good color choices and good value ranges. I had them group fabrics and sew enough to get at least 6 blocks so we could play with layouts before they left. They have a lot of sewing to do before next week to get as many blocks done as they can so we can just have design time and maybe sewing their piece together next week.