Friday, August 31, 2012

Painting progress and 32 blocks...............

This is the darker of the 2 quarts of paint and therefore is my accent wall.  The room is a big L shape so this wall is in the dining area.  It is a smoky purple and this is a little bluer than it really looks.  It looks like charcoal gray with a purple tint at night.
This is the lighter color and the photo was taken at night.  You can see how the lamp on the left has affected the wall color.  It is almost impossible to show you what it really looks like.  Again it is not as blue as it looks here.  I looked at a smoky blue purple but thought it would only look like gray at night and went with the red purple instead.  It is a little more purple than I want so something halfway between would have probably pleased me more.  With that said, I think I'm going to go ahead with this color for the rest of the room while the paint is on sale.
I finished 12 more blocks 2 nights ago but didn't press them until last night.  I'm sure I'll do some rearranging as I add blocks.  I cut more triangles last night but haven't paired them yet.  I need to decide today whether I will put my bookcase back where it was (left of doorway in top photo) or move it to the other side and hang this large wallhanging (first photo) on the left side.  I can see I need to get a better photo of it now that I have a better camera.  That photo was taken 5 years ago.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pushed into action........

Ace Hardw*re gives away free quarts of their Clark and Kensington paint every month or so.  I have 2 quarts, 2 different colors which I need to try to see if I like them so I can paint the living room.  Paint is on sale this weekend so it's time for action.  A quart will cover 100 sq. feet and I have 2 walls that qualify in my living room.  I started taping the corners and ceiling lines so it will be a nice clean wall of paint in case I don't get back to the rest of the painting right away.  What was I thinking though on this wall.  I'm only a little over 5' tall and there is no way I can get near the ceiling line over the fireplace.  I had the room professionally painted in 1996 and before that there was panelling on this wall.  There is a piece of glass on the mantel so even if I wanted to get up on there I can't and the glass is a 2 person job to remove.  I have put a call out to the family (left message) and haven't heard back yet.
On to plan B, the other wall.  There was a bookcase with all of my quilting books on it in front of this wall so last night I moved all of the books over to this unit, 10' away, organizing as I did it and now this morning I will tape the corner and door frame and hopefully be painting by 10.  I think I got my load bearing exercise moving all of those books.  It is amazing how heavy they are.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reward for a friend, More A's and B's............

I have a friend who did a favor for me and I asked what I could do in return. She thought for a day or so and said 'cookies!' and a day later 'and fudge'. Well I'm always looking for an excuse to make fudge! Yesterday morning while it was still 60 degrees outside I baked the cookies. I made the fudge last night, and friend, it is in the mail to you today! Enjoy!!
I had to go shopping yesterday to use some reward certificates that would expire on Friday. I was lucky and actually found something to use them on. Tuesday and Friday are my days to visit my dad; my brother goes on Sunday and Wednesday. So after I got home from visiting Dad I tried to find a backing for the hand dyed Streak of Lightning but didn't make any decision. I wanted to sew so I made 4 A blocks and 4 B blocks for the print fabric Streak of Lightning. Follow the link if you want to see all about A and B blocks.
Here are the 20 blocks that are completed. I will need at least 63 blocks for the size I want to make.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Backings chosen, squares sewn...........

This is one of the quilt tops that came off a hanger while Julie was here.  I started looking for a border fabric but I really couldn't find anything that has the same flavor so it will be borderless.  It is about 78" x 96" so it is pretty good size already.  I found the piece of fabric on the left in my backings box and I think it looks good with it.  I bought it for $4 a yard on the sale rack and I will have almost 2 yards left over to go into my regular stash.
This one is just a wallhanging size. I have had this backing fabric in my stash for about 20 years.
I made this Bento Box quilt top when I was teaching the class to show them how it looked being made with narrower strips.  I have enough of this backing fabric to do borders and binding although I will probably come back with red or blue for the binding.
Yesterday was church sewing circle so I spent the morning cutting pillowcases to take at 1 p.m.  As long as I was 20 miles from home and in a larger town with some big stores I ran some errands and didn't get home until almost 5.  Last night to unwind I sewed squares for 18 blocks for my print zig zag (Streak of Lightning) quilt in progress.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lots of things.......

I told you I had a visit from a blogging friend Saturday and here we are.  Do you recognize her?................Her DH was the photographer................

OK, we turned around......................and it's Julie!  She and her husband planned a visit to my house on the way home from their trip.  We had 4 delightful hours talking about fabric and quilts and tools.  It was so much fun!  Thanks Julie and DH for taking the time to come to cornfield country.  I unfolded several quilt tops while they were here so I spent some time yesterday choosing backing fabric for them.  That's one step closer to finishing. 
I promised an update on the Streak of Lightning hand dyed blocks.  I talked to the friend I am making it for and she likes the look of the 'hired hand' quilts from the past.  They were long and narrow.  All of the blocks are made and now I just have to decide if the layout is done and then I can sew it together.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Still sewing, playing with blocks.......

Last night I sewed some more triangle squares for the hand dyed zig zag.  I also cut more triangles for the print version and paired fabrics for another 15 blocks.  I have 37 blocks ready to sew on the print one.   I know now that will be the larger of the 2 quilts and the hand dyed will be more of a couch throw size.
I had company yesterday, another blogger friend.  You will have to wait to tomorrow to find out more.  Her husband took photos of us with both of our cameras and I have to wait to see hers to find the best one.
I have been looking for my leftover Prismatic Garden series triangles since I got back from North Carolina.  I took them with me thinking I might design another piece while I was at the gallery after my classes.  I played at it but wasn't inspired and I brought them back home and put them in a 'safe' place.
While I was cleaning my studio last week I found them.  The same blocks are in both photos, just reversed where the light and darks are.  I would love to teach a class on the design possibilities of this one but most people aren't willing to piece at least 15-20 sets of 4 strips before the class.  I know that sounds like a lot of prep work, but why pay me to watch the sewing of the strip sets.  The design part is the fun part and where I can help them the most.  I like to keep the class fee as reasonable as possible.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My film debut..........

Wanda S. Hanson presents her quilts at Ciel Gallery from Zach Burkhart on Vimeo.

This is the video my grandson filmed and composed for me from my show in North Carolina in June.  He is very talented and does freelance filmmaking.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

One block, 6 fabrics......

When I cut the fat eighths of hand dyed fabric with my Studio cutter I get 12 triangles and I only need 9 per block.  That is my little pile of leftover 3's and a block made from 6 of the 3's.  It is fun to go back through and see how many similar ones I can find to come up with 9 of each color that I'm using.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lots of sidetracks........

Some days are full of sidetracks, things that keep you moving but aren't worth blogging about.  I did sew some more groups of the hand dyed fabrics and cut some more triangles for the other quilt.
The plants in pots are still doing great.  That makes up for the sick fried garden in the back yard.  Where I usually had big lush hostas, I have crispy edges on all of the leaves and some have died back totally.  Lots of them didn't bloom this year either.  I think they will all come back OK next year if we get some decent rain in the spring.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A little more zig zag........

I made 8 more hand dyed blocks yesterday and  I have 15 more pairs waiting to be sewn into blocks.  The layout will probably change many times by the time I get all of the blocks done.
I only did 2 more blocks for this group but also have 15 pairs ready to sew into blocks for this one.  I will concentrate on the hand dyed one this month and probably won't report on it again until Monday.  I have company stopping by on Saturday and I promised myself that I would have all table tops cleaned off.  I really need an incentive to get it done.  I only have a couple things still on the dining room table, the kitchen table is almost cleaned off and my cutting table is about half way there.  My other goal yesterday was to get to bed at a decent time.  Midnight is just too late!
I have listed some mug rugs for sale in my blog shop (right side bar).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cutting, cuttting, more cutting........

I spent a large portion of the day yesterday going through all of the hand dyed fabrics and choosing the next ones to cut.  Those 2 stacks are each about 3" high.  I sewed triangles into squares for 4 more blocks but ran out of steam before I could sew the blocks together.  Here is a preview of them next to the stacks.
I also went through the box of triangles and chose 6 more pairs of fabrics for the other quilt.
I put my single hole needle plate on my machine to make the triangle sewing easier; no triangle corners pushed down through the throat plate.  I also put in a new size 70 needle.  You can't be hesitant when you are starting the seam of 2 triangles.  You need to take off with a little speed.  Going too slow punches the fabric down through the throat plate.
If your 2 triangles sewn together aren't square after sewing it might be because the corners (that I am pointing at) aren't lined up.  I line up that corner first and then line up the ends of the seam that I am going to sew.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I *need* to make another zig zag.........

I went back through my archives of photos and came up with 9 zig zag quilts I have made so far.  The top left and the one to the right of it are made with blocks made of 2 rectangles.  One is a log cabin, one a quarter log cabin string block, and 5 are made with 2 triangle squares.
This is the next one that I just have to make.  I have seen it on many blogs but after Sujata posted her quilt AND full directions for the 2 blocks needed, including pressing directions I knew I wouldn't wait any longer.  I have only sewn blocks from the triangles I already had cut so a lot more variety will be added.  Here is another on Nifty Quilt's blog, and another one
When I was cleaning off the longarm table I came across all of the hand dyed fabric by Vicki Welsh from her stash packs.  They are fat eighths so you can get a lot of variety and just a little of each. (I bought several packs.)
After cutting triangles from them I have pieces this size left over to use in another project. 
Here are the first blocks I made from the hand dyes and I have a lot more variety yet to sew.  Now if you are shaking your head and wondering why I didn't just make 20 blocks for the first quilt, well for me the excitement is seeing how a group of fabrics work in a pattern.  I used to make up several small samples for a class so people could see the project in different kinds of fabrics.  I can see I like both of these groups so I'll continue both of them and they will probably be lap size quilts.  I have 4 queen size tops waiting for quilting so I don't need any more that big.  One of these may make it to twin size.  We'll see.....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quilting progress........

The quilting in the center is finally done.  I am stalled now until I make a decision on the border quilting design.
The monofilament thread was the perfect choice for this quilt with all of the different colors.  It behaved perfectly with the Superior Threads Rainbows in the bobbin.  If you have trouble with the monofilament thread it might be the combination of the 2 threads you are using that is the problem. 
You can see in this photo that the angle of the pieces in one block isn't always the same as its neighbor block.  That is because I used uneven width strips and the angles changed dramatically in some of the blocks because of that.
I am starting a new project (more on that tomorrow) that will use the triangles that I have been cutting with my Accuquilt Studio die cutter.  I have been cutting up pieces that aren't full width any more and therefore don't stack nicely with the stash.  I will be pulling pieces out of my stash and cutting triangles too so I get a really good variety.  Stay tuned.......

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A little more progress.........

I have 3/4 of the center quilted; the bottom right quarter is unquilted.  I have to quilt the border too and choose a binding.
This is the backing fabric.  I'm using Superior Rainbows in the bobbin.  I hope I can finish this today and get onto something else tomorrow.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Niece's first quilt, quilting finally......

My great-niece stopped by last night to show me her first quilt.  She said she was the only one in the class that chose batiks to work with.  I was very impressed with her choices.  She was lucky to have a talented quilter for her teacher too.  I recognized her name and have heard a lot of good things about her. 
I finally made some decisions about thread and how I wanted to quilt this quilt and got about a third of it done yesterday.  I'm not a big fan of clear monofilament thread but with the number of color changes in the fabrics and the irregular width strips I decided it was the best choice.  I am following the angle of each strip so as I go from one block into the next the angle sometimes changes midstream.  This photo was taken by a window with natural light coming across the quilt.  It has some distortion from diagonal quilting and will look much better after being steam pressed from the back when I am done.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Sew Zone......

Yesterday morning I had to have a plumber come and fix a toilet and a faucet on the bathroom sink. Then I ran errands.                                When I got home I decided I needed to clean off my long arm table so I can be ready to quilt there too.  I had all sorts of stuff draped over the bars and the plastic that I covered it with at the end of May was still over it.  One of the things on it was these 3 pieces of hand dyed fabric that my daughter bought for me at a quilt shop in the wine country in California.  The fabric is a cotton sateen and the colors are rich and vibrant.                                        Last night my great-niece came over with my sister-in-law to choose a quilt.  I didn't know it but she had already made a quilt  and she loves batiks.  I may be helping her out with her next quilt with my die cutter.  This is the quilt she chose.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cleaning off the sewing cabinet.......

Yesterday I started cleaning off the sewing machine cabinet to prepare for machine quilting and this piece was on there.  Since the raw edge strips were just pressed on the fusible batting and were starting to come loose I decided I needed to stitch it now.  Laying on the table with it is a page of photos from the last time I made something like this.  Go here to see it better.
A close up of the stitching and raw edges.
All of the strips are sewn securely in place so I can put it aside until inspiration hits.  I have no ideas right now.  The top of the cabinet is clean and I can start quilting today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monitor check......

Several people yesterday commented how they liked the red fabrics I showed.  Actually there isn't a red in the bunch.  I put the red/pink group from 2 days ago and a gray strip of fabric hoping the camera could pick up the true colors on the group on the right, rust, gold, fuchsia, purple and a few touches of green.  It still looks a little red in the photo but in real life it is rust and almost brown.  I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.  I know computer monitors aren't all alike and some will emphasize colors.  My really old laptop in the basement reads the colors pretty true as it is not as bright as the new computers.
I sewed the last 2 borders on the twin quilts.  I think they really needed a border to contain all of the shapes.
Here is the other one.  They won't get quilted right away because I have about 7 that need to be quilted first.  I had hand basted 2 several months ago and they are laying on my guest bed.  I don't like to fold them after they have been basted because the layer on the inside of the fold gets a big ridge in it and layers shift.  Since I don't have anywhere else to put them if I need the guest bed for a guest, they need to be quilted.  I also have a potential sale on another piece and need to finish it right away.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another stash group...

I was looking at the fabrics on the top shelves in my main floor studio and I ran across the beginning of this grouping.  I added 6 more fabrics to it.  I had a migraine most of the day yesterday so I'm not sure if this is a good group or a migraine group.
The porch pots are loving the cooler weather we have had the last few days, nights from 50-60 degrees and daytime highs only in the 70s.  I am enjoying it too!
This coleus is taller than the railing.  It is the same variety that I have in the pots in front of the garage.  I will have to be sure to take cuttings from this one to keep over the winter.