Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Baby Quilt

I have written earlier about trying to decide on a pattern and fabrics for a baby quilt for our 6th grandchild who is now expected to arrive on September 1. Mom-to-be-again Kristi is scheduled to have a C-section that day. She, her DH and 2 yr old daughter Reilly live only about 10 minutes away from us and are preparing to welcome Emily Ryan Stephens into the world that day, unless Emily decides to come early. Kristi is an elementary teacher and started teacher workdays this week. She will have 3 months of sick leave saved up to take after Emily comes, and is planning to work until the day before she is scheduled for the C-section. More power to her! Hope it works out just like she plans for it.

In the meantime, we have been looking at patterns and fabrics to see what we can come up with. I think we have narrowed the pattern down to Winding Way, with using just 2 fabrics for the main part, with perhaps a 3rd fabric for a narrow inner border, and somehow using the same two fabrics, or maybe just one of them, as the outer border. It needs to go with this nursery set so needs to have lilac, teal and lime green in it. I have bought way more than enough material to possibly use for it, but still we haven't decided on which ones to use.  I found some online that I bought to see how they would do, but the main one I wanted to use has a background that won't do - sometimes you just can't tell how the fabric looks by seeing it online. I even called the shop that I ordered it from to confirm that they sent me the right one, but they did. I hope that DD and hubby realize that just because I made the Quilt of Valor quilt in 2 weeks, I won't be making this one in that period of time! I like the Winding Way pattern, but the curves will be tricky. Here are two blocks in that pattern.  
  The one on the left I have sewn together, the one on the right has not been sewn. Here is the other pattern I could use
  Only one of these "flowers" has been sewn, the rest have not.  I would probably want to hand sew this one, and I will hand quilt whatever pattern I end up doing. This uses the Spinning Star template from Come Quilt With

No decision will be made for the next few days. Dave and I are off to New York to see the Braves play the Mets this weekend with about 30 other members of the Braves 400 Fan Club. We'll be home late Sunday night, then he leaves Tuesday morning for a week in CA with his brother helping him measure for new drapes at hotels in several different parts of the state. That is my brother-in-law's business, Dave is just going along to help out - and maybe see some new sights along the way. I have several things planned for the week so don't expect to get bored at all!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Quilt of Valor

Less than 3 weeks ago our guild got a request to make some Quilts of Valor for a group of 30 injured Marines who recently returned from Afghanistan to Camp Lejeune, NC. A week or two before that we had been sent 20 blocks from the Just One Star project that Moda promoted with a request to complete a quilt using them and adding sashing, borders and backing. The gal who got the request and I had both contributed blocks to that project - here are mine.
 Moda wanted enough stars to make 100 quilts, using 18 stars per quilt. It is our understanding that they got about 12,000 blocks  -- so they have farmed them out to various state organizations for further distribution. I've searched but have not found any information to confirm that number. Also, not sure my guild friend got info about finishing the particular quilt shown on the Moda page. Anyhow, she got permission from the person sending her the blocks for us to use the blocks she received to make a quilt for our specific request.

We scheduled an emergency sew-in for July 13 at our local quilt shop - A Scarlet Thread. There were probably 15-20 of us there during some part of the day - this is out of a guild of 35-40 members - good turnout I'd say. Our plan was to send as many as we could collect by that Friday (July 15) and then send more by today.  I did not have any red, white and blue quilts finished, or started, to contribute, but I do have lots of red, white and blue fabrics. For our particular project they were willing to take some that were not those colors, but they did want them to be no longer 70" with a width of 55-65", so I still didn't have anything finished to contribute. On Monday night I started looking for a pattern to use to make one from scratch. I looked at some that had larger blocks, but didn't find anything that struck my fancy. Eventually decided on Bonnie Hunter's Starstruck pattern. I had made a few blocks for another charity quilt using this pattern and really liked how it turned out. Unfortunately, it takes 16 pieces to make one 8" block and I thought I needed to make it 7 rows by 8 rows with one border. Hard to believe now, but I got enough pieces cut to make all those blocks out of my red, white and blue scraps, and to make two blocks to see how I liked the pattern. That is about 900 pieces cut in 2 nights. I must say here that although I am retired, and would therefore appear to have plenty of quilting time, my husband is now also retired and has lots of ideas about things he wants us to be doing - and none of them have anything to do with quilting! So mostly my quilting time comes after dinner and into the wee hours of the morning. Most nights during this project I was up until at least 1:30, and several nights it was 3:00-3:30.

On the Emergency Sew-In Day I managed to get two rows of 7 blocks each sewn together - that was with my being there from 10:30 - 7:00. So, only 1/4 of the blocks done - still lots to do. I let the leader of this project know that I wouldn't have it done by that Friday, but promised I'd get it done before today. After auditioning a single dark blue border I decided to put 2 borders on instead - a narrow red one and a wider dark blue one. That would allow me to only have 7 rows of 6 stars each, so it would take less time to make the 8" blocks. Of course now I have lots of extra pieces cut, but ... so be it.

After staying up several nights til at least 1:30 and sometimes as late as 3:30 I had the top finished, and the backing sewn together, in time to take them to the leader of this project the following Friday, July 22, so she could give it to the guild member who had agreed to do the quilting on it. The quilter was able to give it back to me on Sunday afternoon, and I added the binding, which I had made earlier, stitched down the binding and added the official QOV label by Tuesday night. I also made the required matching pillowcase for it, and washed the quilt, also required by the Quilts of Valor program. Here are pictures of the finished quilt front
 and back,
  a close-up of the quilting that was done on it,
 the pillowcase
  and the label

A word about the pillowcase - it is really pretty easy to make. I followed this pattern on Quilting. It looks really neat when it is done by the special trick with the cuff, and the French seams stitched on the one side and bottom. I used some of one of the reds from the top for the narrow contrasting flange; the cuff is made from the backing material, which is an official QOV fabric. The body of the pillowcase and the inner border may also be official Quilt of Valor fabrics but I can't say for sure - they are definitely patriotic though. The labels can be purchased in panels of several at quilt shops that carry the QOV fabrics. The binding fabric is also patriotic, and may be a QOV fabric. I made it using the continuous bias process described in this video - I love the way striped fabric done this way turn out to be diagonal!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Looks like I am back in my old ways ---

but here I am posting on my blog.  The most important thing that has happened to us in the last couple of months is that WE CLOSED ON OUR HOUSE IN VA LAST WEDNESDAY!! We had it on the market since February 2010, and moved back to GA in late June, so this day has been a long time coming. It had just been 5 weeks before then that we got the call from our agent that a prospective buyer wanted to make an offer, but during some of that time we've been very nervous about it all working out. And we didn't say anything to anyone outside our family because we didn't want to jinx anything. I am now beginning to feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It is really nice to own only one house!

Quilting-wise I don't feel like I've done much, but I have been working some on the handquilting on Allie's quilt.
  I also now have a design wall of sorts. I am in the process of organizing the closet in my quilting room, and have managed to move the stack of plastic containers that was where I wanted the desgn wall to be. A couple of days ago I hung up a big piece of batting and now have 14 blocks of the Simple Simon quilt on it. This is the one I started in the Stashbusters class at A Scarlet Thread in March.

After seeing the Just One Star project mentioned on Vesuviusmama's blog I decided to make 4 stars for that.
  They were due to Moda by May 1. Hopefully they accepted mine as I didn't get them mailed until April 29.

Our middle daughter is expecting her second daughter in early September. I made this quilt for Reilly,
   who is now 21 months old. So now we have started thinking about what to do for new baby. The colors they are using in her room are purple, lime green and teal, using this nursery collection. We went to A Scarlet Thread last week and saw this pattern that she liked - then we noticed it was by the same designer as Reilly's quilt! We also liked this one and are considering a shadow box design or this Spinning Star. Yes, they are quite different, but I am going to try making a few sample blocks of each to help us decide what we like best.

Nephew Eric graduated from high school this past Friday - we went to his graduation and to his folks' house the next day for a big family party. Our 2 GA daughters were there with there families, and DH's two sisters and his brother-in-law, along with all of his brother's family and several from the brother's wife's family. Another Braves game last night - and an exciting win at the end. Our Beach Week is coming up beginning next Saturday. We'll be going back to Hatteras Village in the Outer Banks of NC for the 13th year. This year only our middle daughter and her family will be coming, but we expect to have fun as usual. I'll be taking along the hand-quilting, and perhaps some of the Grandmother's Flower Garden flowers to work on. I only have about 13 whole flowers and 10 halves to make and attach to be finished with the top of that one. When I just now looked back at my older postings to see what I had said about it last, I realized that I've only finished one new flower in the last couple of months, but I've made a lot of white hexagons and attached most of the last ones I've made to the quilt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stashbuster Club Report, and Two Aprons

I didn't go to the Stashbuster Club today expecting to make any purchases, but by the time I left the shop I had 5 new tools: a Wing Clipper, a 12" Quick Quarter II, a Sixth Finger Stiletto, a package of Clover's forked pins, and a 12 1/2" square Creative Grid ruler. new tools You're wondering if I did anything besides buy toys - well, yes I did. I was only one of two students in the class, and the other one works in the shop so was only in the class about 1/2 the time because the employees were busy getting ready for Shop Hop which starts tomorrow morning. But she still got as many blocks done as I did  - I know, it's not a race, but still .......... 

Here are the 4 blocks I made today. Simple Simon - first 4 blocks The last 2 are sewn together but not the others. Next time I'll try taking a picture in the daylight, but you can get the idea. I think I will make the rest of the blocks first before deciding which ones to put where. The pattern we used is "Simple Simon" from Stash Pot Pie, which sounded like a computer program that the shop purchased. I've laid the blocks on top of the fabrics I plan to use for the two borders, so you can see that I am alternating the centers that are from those two fabrics. The Y-seam does not seem daunting at all now, so that is good. The blocks finish at 9" - I'm leaning towards making it the larger size - 6 X 7 - instead of 4 X 5, but we'll see.

Now I can show the two aprons that I made recently. 2 tea towel aprons One I kept, which I posted a picture of a few days ago, and one I sent to Erin. After last week I thought she could use a little cheering up!

We are probably going to leave tomorrow going back to VA for DH to run in a race on Saturday morning in Charlottesville, with a stop each way in east TN to stay with my mom, unless he decides his cough is too bad for running 10 miles. So, handwork for a few days in the car but no sewing machine.

The Process Pledge ... and the Stashbuster Club

I've seen The Process Pledge on one of my daughter's blog about her knitting projects and when I ran across it this morning I decided to do it for myself with my quilting. I got the button, which you can now see on the right margin, from Rossie Blog. I like the general idea of blogging about the process, and try to do that some because I think of my blog as a digital diary for myself about my quilting adventures.  Here are her thoughts about it and the pledge itself (highlighting is mine):

I have made a process pledge. The goal of the process pledge is to create a new sensibility in quilting blogs where we don’t just show finishes or occasionally confess about our moments of indecision, but chat openly and often about our works in progress, our inspirations, and our moments of decision. I know that many of us are already posting about our thinking on quilts and the processes involved from start to finish, let's do more! And let's post about quilts as we work on them. I want to see more half-done quilts, not just the finished thing with a journal entry about the process.

I think part of the reason I really like the blogs from quilting bees is because a lot of the process gets documented...from original concept, to raw materials, to each block in turn, and often a few drafts of the final layout. It's awesome!

So, without further ado. Here's the process pledge. Take it, shake it, make it yours.  

I, ________________, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

So, the first thing I'm going to blog about the process of is the Stashbuster Club. I have been going to most of the Busy Needles guild meetings in my new town since August but I've not gotten to know anyone very well. With encouragement from DH, I visited my LQS, A Scarlet Thread, to check out the classes they offer there. The one that appealed the most to me is their Stashbuster Club. It is taught by one of their employees, who is also in the guild, so I signed up for the class. It meets the 4th Wed of each month, so tomorrow is the first meeting for me. Here is the quilt we will be making. simple simon sample. Since it is a "stashbuster" I didn't want to have to buy any fabrics - just wanted to shop my stash. So then you have the question of what fabrics to use. The possibiities included:
1. Christmas - I still have lots of Christmas fabrics, but I am already making the Scrappy Mtn Majesties quilt with some of them
2. Butterflies - I have lots of butterfly fabrics but they all seem to be to big a print to be seen in the fairly small pieces of this quilt
3. Veggies and fruits - turns out I don't have as many as I thought. The small size of this quilt requires 20 7+" squares and I think I want them all to be different
4. Florals - I have a gagillion because I bought a lot to use in my Grandmother's Flower Garden, but I want to have a border that colors inside the quilt can coordinate with and I couldn't find something that I thought worked for that
5. Blues and yellows - my old stand-by colors, but I wanted to try something a bit different
6. Green, blue and purple - I have enough for a border of this fabric from the Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar collection, and I found a bunch of greens and blues and green/blues that I thought would go with it. Also decided on a purple from the same collection as the inner border. fabrics for simple simon  As you can see from the sample, these fabrics will look a lot different when all the white gets in there. I still have a difficult time visualizing it, but by this time tomorrow I should be pretty far along with it!

OK, so green/blue/purple - white with little white flowers for background - need 80 3 7/8" blocks for that - cut them last night. Then I looked over the 30+ fabrics that I'd pulled out to go with the border and eliminated all but 20+ - 10 mostly blues and 10-12 green, blue/green or green/purple. Not so sure about what to use for the centers. In the sample the centers of the blocks are the same as the outer border. That might work for some of the blocks in mine, but I don't think there would be enough contrast for some of the others. What about the outer border fabric for some of the centers and the purple inner border fabric for some of the others. I've cut more than 10 of each to take to class, along with some extra fabric of each. Just spent the last 2 hours cutting the 20 big blocks so I think I'm ready to pack up my stuff in the morning. The class is from 10-3, and I may be the only student, or maybe one of two. It is a busy week quilt-wise in ATL - Shop Hop is Thursday - Sunday. I came down from VA for this 2 or 3 years ago and took a bus that one of the shops arranged to do all 11 shops in 2 days. Sadly, this year we are planning to be back in VA for DH to run in a race and we'll be leaving Thursday afternoon, not back home until Sunday or Monday. So no Shop Hop for me this year. One of the reasons I decided to participate in the Stashbuster Club was to meet other quilters - that goal won't be met tomorrow, but I expect I'll get to know Mary, the teacher, a lot better! We will be using a new ruler I've not heard of before - the Flying Geese X4 No Math ruler - sounds good doesn't it? And she will be showing how to make Y seams - something I've done very little of.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quilts for Japan, an Apron, and Allie's Apple Quilt

Bonnie Hunter posted yesterday about a way to get some quilts to Japan. One of the comments on that posting was from Beth, who says she is collecting blocks to make a quilt, thinking that blocks might be easier for folks to contribute than whole quilts. Check out Beth's blog to see what she has in mind. I woke up early this morning because DH is volunteering for a race in Atlanta and had to leave home at 5:45 to get there on time. I thought I'd go back to sleep for awhile, but had several quilt projects rolling around in my head so I got up. On the way to the quilting room I checked my email and read Bonnie's blog and saw Beth's comment. So this morning I made these 5 blocks to send to Beth. beths blocks for japanHopefully they will blend in with the other blocks she has been promised. She's had about 40 replies so far, and everyone is saying they'll make one or two at least.

Next, I made this tea towel apron. tea towel apron I wear an apron everytime I cook, and though I have several, this one looked fun and quick to do when I saw it at Little Quilts in Marietta a few weeks ago.

A few days ago our daughter who lives in Seattle told us she is moving into an apartment of her own. She's been in Seattle almost 1 1/2 years and has lived in several places but not had an apt of her own. In the spring of '06 she decided to move from the Bay area of SF, where she was a Montessori pre-school teacher, to an organic farm in KY. For the next few years she worked there, and then on 2 different organic farms in the Hudson Valley of NY before moving to Seattle in Nov '09. When she left the Bay area I had been working on a quilt for her - piecing finished It was the first quilt I started after I retired in June '05, and is hand-pieced, but she told me to put in on the back burner until she had a place she could hang it since it is to be a large wall hanging - or a good-sized throw. Well, now I've decided maybe she is ready for it so I have gotten it off the back burner and have started hand quilting it again. She will be here for a visit in mid-April. Don't think I can have it finished by then, but I'll be working on it. Here is part of the border where I am outlining the individual apples apple quilt border and this is one of the corners where I have a basket to quilt in some way. apple quilt basket I have quilted part of the basketweave border, but now can't find the template I used for that, so will have to draw one to finish up that part. In the 6 squares where the appliqued apples are I have done echo quilting - still have 2 of those blocks to do.  There is a reason why I made her a quilt with apples on it - read here to see our family connection to apples. I made that webpage after our visit to San Francisco in May '05, where I was able to view Allie making her "real apple" quilt in a window at her art school.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Babysitting, Baseball, Not Much Quilting

Hard to believe that it has been a month since I wrote a blog entry - falling back into my old ways! Last month I babysat for 3 grands while their mom and dad took a well-deserved trip to NYC. After they went to bed I was able to do some sewing on my Christmas version of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties that I started at her workshop in VA earlier in the month. I've sewn two rows of blocks together, but not the rows to each other. Here are those two rows at the top and some other blocks that I have tentatively put together.scrappy mountain majesties  I think I will make it at least 2 more blocks wider than I had originally planned to make it a full size. I've added in some lights that are more patterned than what I started out with, and have to look at it awhile to see if I really like it. I think when I get more blocks sewn together I'll like it better because the two blocks that are mirror images of each other can be more separated.

When I got home from the babysitting I had a packet from Erin that had 4 light background Christmas blocks in it, so I will definitely be adding them to my design. Thanks again Erin!

The day after I got home from the babysitting DH and I drove to FL for a week of Braves spring training games. We saw games in Kissimmee, Ft Myers, 2 at the Braves home ball park at Disney World, and Viera near Cocoa Beach. Braves fans Also spent time with DH's sister and BIL, one of his cousins and her DH that he hadn't seen in years, one of my cousins and her DH, and my DH's brother and his family who live in the ATL area but just happened to be in FL the same week that we were. Besides 5 games and visiting relatives we had time to spend one day at Universal seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, rode the River Adventure at Jurassic Park, ate dinner at Mel's Drive-in, saw a Mardi Gras parade and a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. You can see more pictures from that week on my Flickr page.  Since that time I feel like I've just been catching up on non-quilty things here at home.

I did finally put a hanging sleeve on Celtic Sunrise,  a wall hanging I made as a challenge quilt while in the guild in Lexington, so it is now hanging in my quilting room.  celtic sunrise  This pattern  is from Quilter's Cache, and is a tribute to my DH's Irish roots.  While we were traveling to, from and around FL I worked some more on my Grandmother's Flower Garden hexagons. 4 more GFG flowers I still need to make 13 more whole flowers and 10 halves to fill in at the top and bottom of the 5 shorter rows, but after almost 4 years of working on it now and then I can see the end of the piecing. When I finish I will have 95 whole flowers and 10 halves. The centers are the same but the outer rings are different in each one, and all are florals.

I've signed up for the Stashbusters Club at A Scarlet Thread, my LQS, next Wednesday. The quilt for this month is called "Simple Simon" simple simon The idea of course is to use some of our stash to make the quilt, so I've got to decide which of my fabrics I want to use for this one - I'll be trying hard to not buy more fabric to make it. And you all know I need another project started!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quilt Block Choreography and Wonky Log Cabins

So I am combining two separate topics today - but they are both quilt-related. First, if you have not seen this video you MUST watch it! I don't understand how they do it at all, but I sure have enjoyed watching it. Thanks to Nann for posting it on her Facebook page; I reposted it on mine, and sent the link to my former guild in VA.  It is 6 1/2 minutes long and such fun to watch. And the music is not bad either!

Next, I have finished my 3 Wonky Log Cabin blocks for the ALA Biblioquilters project. We are a group of library-related quilters who make quilts that are auctioned or raffled at the American Library Association conferences each summer. I have been donating blocks to this project since I heard about it 3 years or so ago. This year one of the quilts is a T-shirt quilt with library/book themed t-shirts. I donated 3 of ours that we got when we participated in Fun Runs in New Orleans and New York City and in a day of service in New Orleans the summer after Katrina. Another of our quilts this year is another Wonky Log Cabin. We made one last year that I showed in my previous blog entry. This year we are using the colors of pink, brown, teal and green. Here are my 3 blocks for that. wonky log cabin blocks I had to go shopping to make these blocks - very few of these fabrics were from my stash. They were fun to do, and I can picture my making more of them. I can see especially putting some randomly on the back of a quilt using some of the scraps from the blocks on the front. These are 4.5", 6.5" and 8.5" blocks. Some are also making 12.5" ones. We are kind of following the directions from Quilt Dad - check it out if you want to make some too.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bonnie Hunter Workshop Report

I'm now back home from the fun of a Bonnie Hunter workshop. Bonnie was at my old guild in Lexington, VA - the Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild. I drove from south of Atlanta to my mom's house in east TN Thursday, then on into Lexington Friday morning. Met with our realtor, since we still own a house there, then met Bonnie and some of the officers of our guild, and Erin, for dinner. Great conversation flowed and it was soon time to leave to get to the Virginia Horse Center where we were meeting for the evening. After a brief business meeting we had Show and Tell. Erin and I both brought a quilt we'd made using one of Bonnie's patterns. Erin brought her Scrappy Mountain Majesties that she made for her mom. Erin and Bonnie with her Scrappy Mountain Majesties This was the quilt that introduced her to Bonnie a few years back.  (I felt honored to get to sleep under this quilt at Erin's house later that evening!) I brought my Orange Crush top - finished as of the day before I left for the trip. Bonnie Hunter with me and my Orange Crush Bonnie presented a great trunk show, showing many of the quilts from her books. It was so cool to be able to see them up close and actually touch them. When Bonnie asked for volunteers to fold the quilts after she showed each one Erin and I jumped up - we're too short to hold up big quilts, but we can certainly fold!!

Erin was gracious enough to let me spend the night at her house, and I felt honored to be sleeping in her younger son's bed with her mom's quilt covering me. Thanks Donald for the loan of your bed!

Bonnie's workshop - Scrappy Mountain Majesties - was such fun. Everyone brought different fabrics and it looked like everyone made real progress. Bonnie posted on her blog about our workshop - and here Here are Erin and I in front of Bonnie's large Scrappy Mountain Majesties Erin and me with Bonnie's Scrappy Mountain Majesties

I think the one thing that stuck with me the most was Bonnie's idea of what constitutes "neutral."  She goes by the background of the fabric, so even if there is a lot of colors on the fabric, if the background is white or pale then she counts it as a neutral. Others may have this idea as well, but I will remember it as hers.

As a result of her idea, I have decided to add more of her version of neutrals to my fabrics for my Christmas version. Here is what I have done so far. Scrappy Mtn Majesties first layout  and a closer up look at it Scrappy Mtn Majesties first layout closeup I'm not sure that I will stick with this design, and I'm sure I will spread out the darks more as I get more done. This is one of the fabrics that I think I should have made be with the print as the light and a dark as the dark. Scrappy Mtn Majesties first layout closeup 2 It is a fabric I got from Erin so I'm not sure if I can get more or not.  Here are some others that I have pulled from my stash that are Christmas-y but that I had previously thought would be too light to use. It's hard to tell how they are going to look until you sew. slice and sew again. I may have several to go on the back of this quilt!! Here's some of the "new" neutrals I'm thinking of adding, along with some of the darks that I haven't used already. Scrappy Mtn Majesties fabrics 2 These will certainly give it a different look. I'll have to use a good many of them interspersed with the lighter lights. More to come on this project I'm sure.

 Before I continue on this project, or any other, I need to make 3 blocks for the ALA Biblioquilters group. One of the quilts we are making to donate to the American Library Associations silent auction at their annual conference this summer is a wonky log cabin done in pinks, browns, teals and greens. I had to buy some fat quarters for that - couldn't go shopping in my stash for any of it. We made one of the quilts using this tutorial last year, except each of the blocks was monochromatic, so some were blues, some were greens, some were yellows, etc. And the blocks are different sizes - 4.5", 6.5", 8.5" and 12.5". ALA wonky quilt 2010 I have volunteered to make one each of the three smaller sizes. More later on the Wonky Log Cabin.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Orange Crush Top Finished -- now on to Scrappy Mountain Majesties

I finally finished the Orange Crush top late last night so it is ready to take to the Bonnie Hunter workshop this weekend in Lexington. VA. Orange Crush top finished I always seem to delay putting on borders because I think they will cause me problems but I was working under a deadline so I just kept going. The corners are extra units that I had made for the center of the quilt, and the pieces in the middle of each green border were for the corners as Bonnie had originally designed the quilt, but I didn't need them for that with the arrangement of the blocks that I used. 

The next question of course is how to quilt it. If I were to do it on my Brother I would just outline the orange and green blocks, and maybe a line thru the light diagonal lines, but I could also get someone to do it on a longarm.  It sounds like DH likes it, so it may be one that we actually use.  I had no plans for it when I started making it, and of course since it was a mystery quilt I didn't know what it would look like in the end.  I was drawn to it in the beginning because of the name - orange crush used to be my favorite soft drink when I was growing up. I bought some of them when I started making this quilt, but it didn't taste as good as I remembered.

After I finished the borders on the Orange Crush last night I started cutting out more 8 1/2" blocks for the Scrappy Mountain Majesties that Bonnie is teaching at the workshop this weekend.  She is doing this workshop for the Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild, the guild that I belonged to when I lived in Lexington. I was the program co-chair, and arranged for this workshop about 1 1/2 years ago. Even that far out, Bonnie's schedule was pretty well booked, but we were able to get a date in between some of her other trips since we are pretty close to her. So far I have 56 different "darks" that are mostly Christmas fabrics. fabrics for Scrappy Mountain Majesties When I started cutting the "lights" it looked like some of them had slipped into my quilting room without stopping in the laundry room first so I am washing and drying them now.  I may be sharing some of what I have with Erin, so I will take all that I have of these fabrics to see what she wants to use.  We need 32 of each for a lap size and 66 of each for a full size - guess I'm aiming for something in between. I may decide when I start assembling the blocks that some don't work - but if they don't work on the front they could work on the back - right Bonnie?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Our Frayed Edge Quilt Finished - Now It's "Bonnie Week"

I managed to get our frayed edge quilt finished - and washed, dried and vacuumed - in time for the guild meeting on Thursday. Here is the front  Front of our frayed edge quilt and the back. Back of our frayed edge quilt And as soon as I got home from the meeting we covered up with it on the couch to read a bit - it was a chilly and rainy day here on Thursday.  That night we went to see a local production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Friday I tried to catch up on some email and chores, then DD#2, SIL and Reilly came over for dinner - cornbread and minestrone soup made in the crockpot. Don't you love crockpot cooking!

Yesterday we were up early to go to nephew's wrestling regionals - over an hour north of here, but well worth the trip because he won both matches yesterday and is now the heavyweight champion of his AAAA region - way to go Eric! Unfortunately we did not get to see his championship match as we had reservations for the Braves 400 Fan Club Gameboree at the Georgia World Congress Center. It was a fun evening celebrating Bobby Cox, the recently retired Braves' manager.

I say this is "Bonnie Week" because my former guild in Lexington, VA is having Bonnie Hunter give a lecture and workshop this coming Friday and Saturday. She is doing a workshop on the Scrappy Mountain Majesties pattern. I am planning to make mine a Christmas theme, using these and few more fat quarters I picked up at A Scarlet Thread this week.  scrappy mountains majesty fabrics  We are to have our fabrics cut into 8 1/2" squares - 32 lights and 32 darks for the lap size, 66 of each for the full size. I'm aiming for at least the lap size, or maybe a bit bigger. I also still need to finish the borders on my Orange Crush top - one of her mystery quilts that I want to show her. And I will be bringing my BargelloBowl quilt - a Bonnie project from 3 Super Bowls ago. Blue BargelloBowl I'll be leaving here Thursday to go to my mom's in east TN before going on up to Lexington on Friday. I'm spending Friday night with Erin - will we get any sleep??  The workshop is Saturday, then I'll go back to my mom's that night, and back home on Sunday.  Hoping for good weather all the way up and back, but the forecast for Thursday is a little dicey right now.

Here is what I am thinking for the borders of the Orange Crush quilt - Orange Crush border possibility I've got the black border on one side, and the others are cut out ready to sew on. For the corners I am planning on using some of the extra little blocks you see there, and maybe some of them in the middle of the green floral border as well. Not sure about that, I'll have to see what it looks like when i get the black border on. Also not sure about the binding, but that doesn't have to be decided yet since I don't know what I will back it with, or how I will quilt it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Emilie Richards -- and another Weekly Themed Quilt Contest

Emilie Richards, author of the Shenandoah Album series (Wedding Ring, Endless Chain, Lovers Knot, Touching Stars, Sister's Choice), and many other books, is a FaceBook "friend." Several of her "friends," including me, have been asking recently when another of the Shenandoah Album books was going to be published. A few days ago Emilie blogged about the publishing issues involved with that series, and others of her books as well. Some of us offered to write the publisher asking for another book in that series. In her most recent blog entry she gave us the address of the publisher. I intend to write them shortly, and hope that if you like her books you will do the same.  I would never have imagined a few years ago that I would be able to correspond directly with a favorite author like Emilie, or a favorite quilter like Bonnie Hunter. But thanks to email and FaceBook I get updates from other favorites like Sharyn McCrumb, Pat Sloan, Earlene Fowler.

Speaking of Pat Sloan, she and Emilie have teamed up to present a "novellini" by Emilie (that bridges the gap between the current book Fortunate Harbor and the next in the Happiness Key series) and a quilt that Pat will design to go along with the novellini. This interesting project begins February 8 on their blogs. I am reading Fortunate Harbor now, and will be finished with it before the novellini begins. No quilts in it, but some inteesting characters who are growing on me.
I entered one of the butterfly quilts Reba's butterfly quilt in this week's Weekly Themed Quilt Contest I'll post more about my butterfly quilts in another entry. I'm sure I won't have anything to enter most weeks, but it is certainly fun to see what the entries are. Last week there were 32 entered in the bargello contest; this week there are 17 in the Unusual Shapes contest. You can go see what they all look like - and below the pictures of them all you can vote on your favorite if you want. Voting is only open from Friday until Sunday night of this week.  Next week the theme is Half-Square Triangles - you can check here to see what each week's theme is.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lily's Frayed Edge Quilt Delivered

I finished Lily's frayed edge quilt and took it to the new mom Wednesday night. Here is the front, Front of Lily's quilt finished and the back, Back of Lily's quilt finished and the label. Lily's quilt label We were all at my nephew Eric's Senior Night for wrestling at his high school. He won his match in overtime - very exciting! Here is the new mom with the quilt. Brooke with Lily's quilt  She posted on my FaceBook page the next day that her 7-year-old son was wrapped up in it and wanted her to tell me that it is "the softest blanket ever." That's pretty cool!  Here is Brooke with her sister, her mom and aunt with the quilt - Brooke and Angie with Lily's quilt I'm holding Lily.

After the wrestling match we drove to my daughter's house in Marietta to spend the night, then yesterday she and I quilted together. She is working on her first quilt - she blogged about it here a few months ago. It is the Bundle of Bricks pattern - looks like a good one for a beginner because there are no seams to match until she sews the rows together. I worked on our frayed edge quilt, Nancy working on frayed edge quilt at Becky's house and now have the bottom 4 rows sewn together. Becky got at least half of her blocks chain-pieced, pressed and trimmed.  Becky working on her Bundle of Bricks Here we are with our projects. Nancy and Becky with our projects We've not worked together like this on quilt projects before - hope we can do it again soon, but she is a lawyer who works out of her home and she just got a project that will keep her busy the next 3 weeks.

My next goal is to finish our rag quilt by next Thursday when my guild meets so I can take it to Show and Tell. Then I will go back the Orange Crush to get the borders finished in time for my old guild's Bonnie Hunter workshop February 11-12.