Wednesday, October 24, 2012

November Approaching......

Where does time go???? So much has happened since March, I don't even know where to begin with an explanation. I got involved in civic activities in Coleman: Business People's Association, Chamber of Commerce, 4B Economic Development Board, Heritage Hall, plus I got a part time job in April. I still managed to participate in our local Quilting Guild for awhile, but that, too, got put on the back burner. We sold our house in town, and unfortunately Frenchy has been packed up in boxes since late August. I have some catching up to do in journaling all the quilting I've done prior to packing, but that will wait until another day. I am now living out of a suitcase, so to speak. I do have my traveling Janome and have managed to work on some small projects during this 'interim'. Our new house in Granbury is progressing smoothly (knock on wood), and Jimmy keeps reassuring me that we'll be moved in early November. Then I can unpack Frenchy and get back to my passion in my new sewing room! I can hardly wait!!! So, there's my absence explanation. Stay tuned, and I will resume posts in November.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

Finally finished this queen size named "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden".  It is a modified "Garden Maze" pattern.  The original block pattern called for a 7" block in the center, but this fabric's motif was large so I changed the dimensions to accommodate these gorgeous roses.  This was my first attempt at a pantograph, which is a uniform pattern from one edge of the quilt to the other.  It takes a lot longer than free motion quilting because 1) you quilt from the backside of the machine and have to look at the pattern instead of the quilt and 2) after you finish each row, you have to line up the next row so it is of equal distance to avoid large spaces between the rows and to avoid sewing over the previous row.  It takes uninterrupted concentration, of which I have little!  I had a couple of "oops" show up on the back so I decorated the back with embroidered rose applique patches. 

At this point, I have a number of projects in various stages:  a Red/White/Blue ready for borders and a Purple in piecing stage, both for Virg to use as fundraisers this summer; the Pink Sampler is ready for quilting, but I haven't decided on a backing fabric yet; a Block of the Month (12 blocks) waiting to be sashed together; a Stonehenge kit beckoning me to cut; and I have a 'landscape' quilt on my ToDoList.  Sew many quilts and sew little time!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March - Where Does The Time Go???

I can't believe it's already March!  I've been super busy with quilts and lots of other stuff.  So, today I catch up: 

I completed the kaliedoscope "stack & whack" that I started ....mmmm?....2 years ago???  It is hand-pieced and alot of fun putting the 'pinwheels' together.  I chose the gold sashing to bring out the yellows in the inspiration fabric.  It worked!!!  I don't much like the gold, but "que sara sara".  By the time I figured out that it was too much, it was too late.  So be it.    The backing is a gold leaf motif fabric; the machine-quilting is free motion loops & circles in gold thread on Frenchy; the binding is done by machine on Janome; completed in February 2012.  The label reads in part.... "Thorp Springs Birds of a Feather; dedicated to Virg & Lora Bird".  If you don't know me, then I'll clarify....Virg & Lora Bird are my paternal grandparents, and they lived in Thorp Springs, TX. 

I also worked on a modified "Garden Maze" pattern.  The pattern calls for a center in the block about 7" square, but the fabric I wanted for focus called for a bigger square, so I drew out my plan on graph paper which resulted in about a 9" square.  The lattice is white on white which is difficult for my aging eyes and took some effort on my part to make sure I kept the right side on the right side.   This is machine-pieced and machine-quilted with red King Tut first experience with a pantograph.  I like the pattern, and it was a learning experience; but it took longer due to having to re-align the quilt to make sure the rows were evenly spaced.  I did have a number of thread breaks (perhaps due to a faulty needle).  Completed with hand binding in March 2012.

I am a member of the local Quilt Guild and last year we started a project where each of us took turns bringing our 'favorite' block and instructing everyone else on completing it.  We ended up with 20 blocks.  This was a fun experience and resulted in learning some unique methods that I had not tried before like paper piecing, applique, and "Y" seams.   I started the project with some pink and maroon fabric in my stash.  As time progressed, I discovered that I had quit a bit of coordinating colors in my stash collection.  I also added some blocks on my own to make a total of 30 blocks.  This is yet to be sashed, so stay tuned.

As a result of the success of our Quilt Guild project described above, I asked my fellow-quilters to each make their 'favorite' block for a local museum fundraiser quilt.  They were all most agreeable.  So, I purchased an 'inspiration' fabric in blue (our football team is the Blue Cats), as wellas a soft blue for background.  I cut the fabric into large swatches, enough for 20 blocks, and passed them out to those who were willing to provide a block.   Everyone has blue fabric, so I asked them to just add any blue from their personal stash to complete their favorite pattern.    When all were completed, I sashed them together with a navy blue, backed the quilt with a navy blue, and stitched it (free motion loops & circles) on Frenchy in navy blue King Tut thread.  Upon completion, we had a photo made.  It is now up for raffle at $1 a ticket or 6 for $5.  To be awarded during the scheduled art show in May....just in time for Mother's Day.  Here is a photo of our guild members and the quilt.

I have a number of UFOs (Un Finished Objects) ready for my attention, as well as several NEW projects that are calling my name.  BUT, I plan to stay focused on completing some quilt tops that have been stored for a year or two; plus Trish and I have an extreme 'QBOM' to work on together....when we can schedule it; a promised fundraiser quilt for my son; and on, and on, and on.  Hopefully, I'll be reporting back before another 3 months have passed.