Sunday, October 31, 2010

More UFOs

My snowflake block is done and after a hot cycle in the washer and drier, it has an amazing texture that only happens with hand quilting.  It was sized to fit over my living room throw pillows, and will become a pillow...someday before the snow falls. 

The facets on the snowflake are quilted 1/8 apart with green thread.  The echo lines around the flake are also in green thread.  But it matched so closely that I had to quilt it from the back as I couldn't see the previous stitches.  I varied the width of the echo lines b/w 1/4" and 1/2" and took slightly longer stitches (12/inch) than those in the flake (14-16/inch).  My theory was that the stitch length would alter the amount of wrinkling, but the width between the stitching is what really made the difference.  

What I spent most of Saturday working on was this UFO.  (Sorry about the blurry photo).  It's a center panel and 4 outside panels that are based on Ojibwe bead work.  This is the point I was at when it got stuffed into the UFO basket.

While on a trip to E. Canada and New England with the family in 2005, I purchased Ojibwa Crafts by Carrie A. Lyford .  Skater Girl and I went back to DC that fall for a surprise birthday trip and I took millions of pictures of beadwork at the National Museum of the American Indian.

My niece Ashley was engaged at the time and I started this as her wedding quilt.  Part way through, I really started disliking the quilt.  At the time I thought it was the repeated design, which was annoying to me.  In retrospect, I think it was that I realized that the design was a better fit for me than for them.  That wedding was cancelled and the project set aside.  She did, however, get a hand appliqued, hand quilted beauty this summer before she married Jay.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finished Objects

I've had some time this week to cross some UFO's off the list.  The crazy strip project are now officially pillows and destined to be a Christmas gift.

Tic-tac-toe, Angels in a Row had stitching added around the angels and stars before it became a pillow as well.

But the BIG finish was Hillary's quilt.  I machine quilted it at the UFQ weekend and was continually frustrated with thread breakage.  I changed needles and tension...everything I could think of without success.  Yesterday, when I sat down at the machine, I decided that Guitar Girl's Halloween costume, made with fur, had probably linted up my machine.  Perhaps it was the 1/4 cup of lint I dug out of the depths might have caused the tension problem.

After much debate, I hand appliqued the hexies on after it was quilted and think that the pink centers really make the flowers pop!

Time for me to get back to UFO's.  The snowflake is in the drier and I think I'll tackle quilting the Broken Glass now that my machine is lint-free.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Santa Domingo Birds

I made this quilt in 2006 and it remains one of my favorites.  I love how the birds look super modern and hip, but the designs came from traditional pottery patterns from Santa Domingo.  At the time, we were spending a lot of our vacation time in New Mexico and I had started to collect pottery from each Pueblo.  I found the birds particularly appealing.  At a gift shop on our travels, I picked up a Dover Clip Art book of Native American designs that included these groovy birds.  I printed the birds out on 8.5x11 paper and  used them as patterns for back basting, needle turn applique.  It was hand quilted and has cotton batting.

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uh Oh

I was looking for another Mayan creature to go with my frog and my lizard.  And since there wasn't one in the clip-art book I had.... well, that means that I needed to buy this one.
But since I was buying from Amazon, I needed something else to push my order to the "free shipping" level.  Unlike the ones I own, this one has the CD so resizing them into applique patterns is oh-so-easy!

They both arrived in Monday's mail.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I've had UFO's on the brain lately.  It started when I reorganized the sewing area.  Then I had to decide what to take to work on for the West Yellowstone UFQ weekend.  There are a lot more than I thought I had.  I found the angel and star blocks that my girls made in early grade school.  I sewed them together this weekend with the long lost items.

I also realized that my projects fall into 4 categories:  UFO (Unfinished Objects), WIP (Work in Progress), Archive (things I'll never finish but will keep for historical value) and a category I'll call NEP (Next Evil Plan).

I have a pile of UFO's I plan to get finished by Christmas so I can get a move on with other projects.  The good news is that when I pulled all of them out recently, I liked them again.  I think they became UFOs  because I started disliking them.  The Ojibwe beadwork inspired quilt was annoying me because of the repeated elements.  I've done more annoying repetitions lately, so it looks reasonable now.  A round robin project was abandoned as it didn't seem to go together well.  I've done more free-form / abstract quilts now and think it looks great.  My new trick is going to be finishing the old UFO's without having my WIP become my new UFOs.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Applique :)

I started my day with good intentions to finish up some UFOs.  But I knew I was going to spend the afternoon waiting.  Guitar Girl has started cosmetology school and Saturday was "Live Model" day for haircuts.  So I traced the pattern on the back of the fabric for back basting before I left.  I got the basting & cutting out done while waiting for Skater Girl to get her hair cut as well as stitching down one side and one set of "fingers".   I finished up the rest during the BSU football game (the final score was didn't take full attention to watch.)
However, I was distracted enough that I  cut through the background as well as the green fabric.  A section on the bias, of course.  I had some white silk thread with me.  In the end, I had to back it with a scrap cut from the corner and darned the eyeball back together.  I'll pretend that it just adds a "twinkle" to his eye.

This is a Dover Clip art pattern.  I have plans to put this Mayan Frog with a Mayan Lizard for a quilt.  This is the same book that the Santa Domingo Birds came from.  This may be the May 2011 workshop in West Yellowstone.

Oh, and I did actually finish a project in the morning.  However, it's one that I claimed to finish in January.  It's the purple quilt that I helped Skater Girl to make in 3rd & 4th grade.  Over the last Christmas break, she quilted it and I sewed on the binding thinking that she could sew the binding to the back by hand.  She got bored and quit after 5".  I finished the binding and had her sign it Saturday.  It's now washed and on her bed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Camera Retrieved (at least temporarily)

Skater Girl took her my camera to the last lightweight football game of the season.  I kept it after I took this shot.  It's hard to imagine someone 5'2" and 118 pounds being a starting left defensive tackle...until you see her teammates.

Here's some catch up photos on the state blocks.

A Maple Leaf block for Maine.  Skater Girl and her Grandma picked up the fabric when they were in New Hampshire for my niece's wedding.  As previously noted on the NH block, it is one of my only repeat fabrics...I picked it out for another state while we were traveling.

This pattern is called Belle of West Virginia.  Lucy picked up the fabric for me.  The quilt shop saleslady suggested this fabric to represent the WV Wildcats.  I've been worried that the blue & yellow may stand out with all the other fabrics being mono-chromatic.  Perhaps people will be distracted by my un-even piecing instead.  Or the 2-tone background.

I'm rather fond of this Michigan Beauty block.  The fabric might look familiar.  The dots are also in the NH block (familial fabric picking syndrome).  And I really liked these colors with the fabric that Anne sent from Alabama, so I borrowed some since the Southern Belle block pattern I had used 3 fabrics.

I took some replacement photos of the blocks in the last post, and will update the USA Quilt page with the improved pictures.

I'm planning to remove the 6" pattern links on the sidebar, but can send a PowerPoint with the patterns to anyone who inquires via email.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New State Blocks

I managed to work on a few of the state blocks this weekend.

Road to California was made with fabric sent by my sister-in-law Rita.

My high school friend Lisa sent this fabric from New York.  The pattern is called Empire Star.

I bought the fabric for the Texas Rose this summer while we were on vacation.  I thought it needed some contrast for the "vase" so I used some scraps left over from the Montana block.

This is Water Wheel, which I chose to represent New Hampshire.  My mom & daughter picked this fabric up for me when they were at my niece's wedding in August.  They also bought some fabric in Maine.  The funny thing is that these are the only repeat fabrics so far.  I bought this fabric in Michigan too.   Perhaps there's a genetic component to fabric preference.

That brings my finished count to 16.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crazy Pillow Tops

Skater Girl's camera is officially dead, and mine is spending the weekend in a Junior High locker.  In bright light, however, the cell phone pictures aren't too bad.

Here's how I spent my Saturday morning.  This one is destined to be a pillow sham for a standard pillow.

And this will be it's partner square throw pillow.  It was deemed "Crazy Awesome" by Skater Girl...but then again she might be sucking up (for obvious reasons).
Dritz Tracing <em>Wheel</em> - SerratedI have to admit that I may never "eyeball" seams again.  I marked the 3/4" lines with a dressmaker's wheel.  I'm not even sure why I have one of these in the house as I'm a horrible seamstress.   (I may have bought it when I made my leather chaps.) worked like a dream.  I've never had straight stitching lines like this before.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Winner Prize Photos

I finally got Skater Girl's camera to work (kind-of) since she stole mine.

Here's Kasey's prize.  Helene Knott's Broc-Kitty pattern, 5 fat eighths of olivey prints and a big chunk of a blue/green batik with little dots that remind me of broccoli.  This prize is already in the mail.

When I discovered that Frouke was the winner of the batiks, I edited my selections to include the two fabrics on the right.  They have a really modern vibe that remind me of her style.   It was hard to let them go, but I know they'll have a good home in Germany.  And I'm likely to see them some day on her blog since she's an oberblogger.'ll have to wait for the other photos....the camera worked for only 2 photos then died.

And the WINNERS are....

Hurray!  It's October 1st and that means give away time.  Since there weren't a kazillion entries for this giveaway, I pooled all the entries and used and used for the number generator.

Winner of the Broccoli Cat pattern:  #33 (for leaving an encouraging post for Lucy)
Kasey said... AWESOME QUILT!!! And I love your little helper-- I have my own, a bull terrier. Aren't "helpers" fun? Keep quilting, it only gets more fun!

Winner of the Green Batiks: #7 (Marjorie's blog follower)
quilthexle said... What a wonderful, lovely idea! If you ever do that again - let me know, I would LOVE to jump in from across the pond! By the way, I'm a follower of your blog ;-)) I'll try to post on my blog about your giveaways, will let you know.

Winner of the Batik Friendship Squares: #19 (Marjorie's blog follower)
QUILT ROUTES said... Congrats on your blogging success.

Winner of the lime/raspberry/green fabric: #22 (Marjorie's blog follower)
Nadine said... oooh, thanks for letting me know about this. I have been a follower for some time.

Winner of the Grand Prize Grab Bag: #25 (Victoria Rose blog follower)
rubia said... Gorgeous! It intimidates me but wow is it beautiful!

OK Lucky me with your mailing address so I can send you your goodies!