Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I have been unhappy with the way this quilt hung from the time I finished it.  I didn't know if I had the binding on too tight or if there was too much quilting in the border or what it's problem is.  I spent many hours yesterday carefully un-binding this wallhanging.  If it is going to hang in an art gallery it needs to hang straight and flat.  I will spend some time today figuring out how to fix it and then re-bind it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Older Kaffe fabric.........

This is one of the older more unusual Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  You get many different designs in one cut, or if you are cutting small pieces, just a variety of prints all from one fabric.

I have used this last one in the pink/red colorway in one quilt here.  I have both of these prints in several colors and hope to work them into more quilts.  These are 6.5" squares and the stripe in this last one is a 5" repeat so you could easily have squares (or other shapes) of just one print.

An update on turning off word verification:  I have had about 20 spam comments but Blogger has caught all but one and put them in my spam folder for me to delete.  If they start showing up on my blog I'll have to go to moderated comments which means your comment won't show up until I allow it to.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The one that didn't make the cut........

This is the first table runner top that I made.  I decided it was too busy with the strip piecing and that it wouldn't make a good gift.  Then I made the one I showed yesterday.  I will finish this one for myself because it's not too busy for me.  I think the bride liked my gift to her yesterday.  I gave her a box of Color Catcher sheets too because I wish I had something like that when I was first married and just learning to do laundry.
I had a couple other things I needed to do first though.  Today is church sewing circle so I had to cut 10 receiving blankets and sew the neckbands on 23 little gowns.  We make 4 sizes for the preemies and provide a full layette of gown, knitted hat and afghan, receiving blanket and satin heart. It is hard to find places that sell preemie clothes so we are happy to help.  Our leader told as the last meeting that there is a request we do this for full term babies now.  We asked why (since clothing is easily available for purchase in that size) and she said because parents are showing up with no clothes for their baby to go home in.  Now when I had my kids I had the impression babies came with no clothes and I had to provide them.  Now I guess some people think the babies are born with their first clothing.  Am I out of touch?  Do hospitals provide complete handmade layettes for every baby born there?

I rarely watch the whole Academy Award show because I haven't seen any or maybe only one of the films.  I really don't even know a lot of actors names.  Last night however I had 3 blocks left to quilt on this quilt and I knew it would take about 2 hours or more so I watched it and finished the quilting.  Now I have to decide if I'm going to go back and quilt down the center of the widest strips.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I have a wedding shower to go to today.  I went to her registry and it looks like her kitchen is red, or at least has red accents so I made a table runner and 2 mug rugs.  I hope she likes them.  I have a red kitchen.  I wonder why I don't make something like this for myself. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A little winter.....

This is what we woke up to yesterday morning.  It was a heavy wet snow so it piled up on everything.  The little juncos come to my forsythia bush for shelter between bites at the feeder.
The snow melted off the areas where it was plowed or shoveled but there is still some on the grass. Today is supposed to be in the 20s and then in the 40s tomorrow.  What a strange winter we are having.

On the quilting front, I quilted 6 more blocks of the quilt I showed 2 days ago, 4 blocks to go.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Comparision of daylight vs. night....

The top one is daylight today, the bottom one is flourescent lights last night.  Daylight emphasizes the pink and the lights, the green.

Another this title getting to be old news?

The name of this piece is 'Jumbled Library 2' and I finally made the decision on the binding fabric.  I wanted it to be a neutral color and very narrow.  The batik I chose goes from taupe brown to purple and has a little blue squiggly line in it.  We didn't have any sun yesterday so I took this photo under fluorescent lights in my studio and it is pretty true for color.  I will take another photo though when we get a sunny day. It finished at 28" x 29.5".
I took this photo back in 2008 when I had just finished sewing #2 top and on the right is 'Jumbled Library 1' which I finished in January 2007.  My daughter owns it so it is already in North Carolina.  Here is the post where I talked about #1 and showed all of the individual strip pieced sections that went into it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Next in line.......

This quilt was next in line to be quilted.  I basted it in May last year.  I pieced it in Feb, 2010.  In case you missed all the layouts I tried, you can check them out here, here, and the final layout here.  The main thing that keeps me from finishing them when I make them is that I can't decide how I'm going to quilt them.  I finally decided that I will ditch quilt this on every seam.  First I ditch quilted between the blocks and then I quilted 6 blocks of the 16 last night.
I am using Superior brand Rainbows thread.  You won't see the quilting from a distance but when you get close you will see the pretty multicolor thread.  I see a bit of lint from the batting on the black fabric too.  I'll have to take a lint roller to this one when I'm done quilting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finishing # 5 and 6

Crooked Cobblestones 5 and 6 were partially completed on design walls for the last few weeks.  I needed to make more blocks to finish them so this is what the work table looked like yesterday.
I have sewn #5 together.  I was trying to make smaller ones but couldn't decide if I liked them. That is when I went on to make #7, 8, and 9.  Number 9 is still waiting to be quilted.
I still need at least one more block for this one and I can see at least one that I need to flip for a better value flow.  I may still change out a couple blocks but I need to make more blocks to do that so I have at least one more day at this.  Then it will be time to tackle the machine quilting on one of the larger pieces in line for quilting.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Official portraits.......

It was a nice sunny day yesterday so I set up a design wall in the living room and had the east light from the picture window lighting my quilts.  This is Crooked Cobblestones 7.  It is 20" x 24".  You can really get a good look at all of the batiks now.
This is Crooked Cobblestones 8.  It is 19.25" x 24".  I sewed on some labels by hand yesterday.  I don't usually label my quilts but for the show in June they need to be all labeled for easier identification if for no other reason.  I will have 38 pieces in the show so I have a lot more printing and hand sewing to do.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Questions about printer fabric.....

There were lots of questions about printer fabric this morning.  It is called Inkjet printable fabric (not label fabric).  You can use if for any photos you want to print, also labels that you type into a word document.   You will have to find the one you like best through trial and error.  My favorite may not be your favorite.  I have ordered another brand that I had never heard of but it was recommended by a reader.  EQ also makes printer fabric and I hear it is good but I think the most expensive.  The one on the front of the pile prints with the most vivid colors but is the stiffest and hard to sew through by hand.  The middle one is OK, not as vivid but OK.  The bottom one prints OK but it was almost impossible to get the paper backing off in one piece or even 4 pieces.  Then I experimented and found that if I ironed the paper side with a warm iron it peeled off in one piece (not in their directions however).  All three are rinsed in water to get the excess ink off and/or to make them colorfast.
I scanned real leaves and printed them on printer fabric for this piece.
On this Journal Quilt for September 2008 I printed a photo I had taken.

Labels and binding......

This photo shows the label fabric drying on the counter.  This brand says to hold it under running water for 1-2 minutes and then lay flat to dry for colorfastness and excess ink being rinsed away.  I designed these labels in Word instead of the label program and was able to get 6 on one piece of fabric.
Then I used 2 of the labels and finished the binding on both of these small crooked cobblestone quilts.  I will take their official portraits today.  I didn't want to take my blocks off the design wall last night so I could use the wall for photography.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Here are some of the quilts started in my class yesterday.  It is the Stack and Slash pattern.  There will be 2 of these child size quilts from one student.  The one with the big "I" in the top left corner was a mistake in piecing but her name starts with I so she put it in there for the photo.
I couldn't get my camera to catch the beauty of this purple and red one.  It is a little deeper toned than the photo. She got the top sewn together but in that photo the color is even farther off.

I finished my blocks in class and then put it on my design wall at home.  I had the floral print in10 of the blocks so it had to touch from block to block in a few places.  I don't think that is a bad thing though.
I sewed the orange top together last night but didn't get it pressed yet.  This is closer to the real color but a little pale.  I have found orange almost as hard to photograph as red.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Last block, binding, bloom......

I cut the final block out of the large print and then rearranged the blocks again.  I'm pretty sure this is the final layout and I'll sew it later tonight.  I have an all day class to teach today.
I started hand sewing the binding on one of the small crooked cobblestone wallhangings.  I have to print a label before I can finish the bottom edge.
This is the very last bloom of the season.  I think I will re pot some of the plants that are crowded.  I bought the soil mix that is prepared especially for cactus.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Not a stitch was made..........

I am a second shift person now.  I used to be a morning person and got right into projects.  Now I spend the morning reading blogs, reading the newspaper and my mail, picking up and putting away (all the stuff on the table and counter tops) and running errands.  I rarely start sewing before 1 p.m. and many days not until after 4.  Yesterday I knew I had a 1 p.m embroidery club meeting to go to, then visit Dad and at 7 a computer club meeting.  When I got home I watched "The Mentalist" and read magazines.  I should be ready to work on some projects today and it will all look fresh and exciting.

I turned off the word verification on my blog for comments.  The 2 word new version is ridiculously hard to figure out.  If I end up with spamm*ers I may have to go to moderated comments.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just one more block.......

I made 4 more 16 patches and 3 more tiny 16 patches and cut one more square of the large print. I could take the easy way out right now and add one more square of the large print.  But then I could make some more tiny 16 patches like I originally planned.  It is an odd size, 40" x 64" right now.  I might add borders to make it a little larger.  I'm ready to move on now that I know what it looks like.  You know, the attention span of a 4 year old.....
I finished sewing the sample for my crosses class.  I added 4 more rows on after class to make it square, 18" square.  It will make a nice table mat.  It might be fun to add a lot of straight line quilting to this one too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fun day.....

Yesterday was the first time I had taught the crosses quilt class so I was happy that it went well.  I love playing at a design wall so it was fun to watch 4 students as they played.  They all got to the sewing part too.  I wasn't sure how long it would take for them to design so it was hard to decide how long the class should be. 
I didn't do much when I got home.  I guess I could say I took the rest of the day off.  While I watched 3 hours of TV last night I sorted through my batik scraps for a bunch to send to my niece in Arkansas.  She has a die cutter and a long arm too.  I wish I lived closer to her because I think we would have a lot to talk about.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

View in the morning.......

As I walked into my studio yesterday morning I saw the beauty of the quilting as the light from the window came across the quilt.
I thought I only had 3 strips left to quilt but as I looked I kept finding more so I started marking them with pins.  There were 5 more in the center too.
The quilting is all done now and this is my view from my chair.  There are 2 or 3 tiny little spots that I chose not to quilt.  Now I have to block it, trim and bind it.
First though I am teaching my crosses quilt class today.  I cut some pieces to play with last night to refresh my memory.  I cut these from 2" strips so this may become a table runner.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A lot of quilting, a little orange......

I spent 2.5 hours Saturday night and 3 hours last night and I'm down to just 3 little strips that still need quilting.  I'm using rayon embroidery thread for the quilting so the shine from the overhead lights makes it look white in some places but it really is colors matching the fabrics.  I may have to wet this one to block it but I'll try steam first.
I cut the 8.5" squares from the large print so I could do a trial layout and see what I need to add to make the quilt a little larger.  There are 2 blocks of each combination except the printed tiny checkerboard of which there are 4.  I realized right away I wanted more of that in there.  I have only pieced one small checkerboard with 1.5" strips so far but I will do at least 5 more so there will be 3 spots with 4 patches created with them and the large print.  I have one more set of strips not sewn yet and I'll look through my fabrics to see if there are any more oranges hiding.

Today is church sewing circle so I cut out 8 little gowns from flannel yesterday and packed my bag.  I have a couple errands to do as long as I'm that far from home too.  It is supposed to snow toward the end of the day so I hope I get home before that starts.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A little more orange......

I have added 4 more blocks to the mix and opened up the large print to see more of it in the layout.  I don't think I want that much of it showing and I only have a little over a half yard.  I can get 5 squares out of one strip of 8.5" so I can only have 10 squares total in the quilt.
Here is an alternate fabric that I tried for the plain squares.  I like the contrast but there is too much brown in the print.  Dark orange is rust which goes into brown and I don't want to go there.  I want the quilt to remind me of orange juice.
This is one of the best parts of a new project: seeds for more original art.  Some of it will make its way into crooked cobblestones, the rest - more fun.
Here is the yellow quilt I made in 2009.  I still haven't taken a better photo of it.
I made this red quilt in 2007 from triangles I cut in the late 1990s, mostly calico type prints.  It is another that I need a better photo of.  I need to put something gray next to it so the camera can read the color right.  Then I will crop the gray out of the photo.  I guess you can see my favorite side of the color wheel, the warm colors.  I have blues, turquoises and greens cut but don't have enough of any of them yet to start the quilts.  I am making the one color quilts all lap size.