Monday, May 26, 2014

Pillows for Boutique

Pillows made for my quilt guild's show boutique.  The four all in a line are quilted and pieced. The big one below is not quilted, it is a panel with the same design on both sides, designed to be a 21-24 inch pillow, the selvage label says "Liberty" but I think this is a bit of a scam, making one think it is Liberty of London when I think it is some other fabric manufacturer.

The four pillows are 12x12 and have solid backs.  I put zippers in all of them so the pillow form can be taken out if one desires. I ran into a problem which is that my newish sewing machine didn't come with a zipper foot and I have not needed one for a long time having stopped making clothes quite a while ago. I have an ancient (isn't one definition of antique 50 years old or more?) Riccar that is now 51 years old. It's mechanism for lifting the foot is broken and it has other problems. It has sewn probably hundreds of zippers and maybe a million miles of seams for me and I couldn't bear to throw it away. And, yes, I resurrected it and struggled with the foot lift and put in the zippers.  I'm very, very glad that for once I was not sensible; I kept it out of some kind of sentimental attachment.

I also struggled with the IPhoto program to crop the picture of the four quilts and couldn't do it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New top done

A new red, white and blue top finished for the Quilt Bank of the Bayberry Quilt Guild which is trying to get some 50 quilts for a veteran's charity. They finish the tops - which is wonderful for me because I don't enjoy the quilting part and usually get in a rush and do a sloppy job.  This design was inspired by Karen Griska's "Cabin Quilt" which she posted on her Selvage Blog a couple of weeks ago.   (see side bar) The sewing, even the half-square triangles, goes quicky if you have a good stash in the colors you plan to use.  I had plenty of reds, whites and blues. 

I'm not sure if Karen cut all her strips the same width, she probably did because she's a very precise quilter. But I did not attempt to keep them all the same width. I love an ad lib method of quilting. Even with a simple design that might be called traditional, it feels like being an artist and making decisions constantly.

This method of working is my preferred one even though I do only a few quilts I actually call art quilts.  But my friend, Dottie Moore, of Rockville, South Carolina works much that way and all her quilts are art quilts.  I was browsing magazines yesterday and came upon the the current issue of Machine Quilting Magazine with Dottie's name on the cover. Inside is a wonderful article  showing several of her signature quilts with trees and an article by Dottie talking about her entirely intuitive way of working.  I haven't seen her for six or seven years but I see her work published regularly and never get tired of her iterations of landscapes.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stash -- in Grace's Basement

This is not Grace's basement -- after having been to Grace's basement I am not ashamed of my sewing room and my stash, they are as a child's sandbox is to an ocean beach.  Grace is cochairman of our guild's Quilt Bank.  She has been making and collecting from the guild members charity quilts for many years.  Fabric gravitates to her, that is to say, to her basement. It's an ordinary suburban house and it has a nearly full size basement which as of Wednesday, when it was opened to guild members, probably didn't seem to have decreased in stash amount. She estimated over 3000 yards of quilting fabrics.

So my stash closet (bottom photo) may be kind of messy but the fabric stored on the shelf and the one above it that is only partially visible and in shelves and containers below, really is not much fabric ... in comparison.  But I felt guilty enough about my stash that I took only a few pieces from Grace's basement meant for the red, white and blue, unfinished quilt top that is lying on the floor as if it were a rug. That top will be finished tomorrow with another border of half-square triangles and another fabric border. Then it will be given to Grace at the next guild meeting since a current project if patriotic colored quilts. Her committee does the quilting.

The pile of stuff on my bed that rarely gets used as a bed are what we call UFOs, unfinished objects.  Four are pillows and a fifth piece will become a pillow cover, all for the guild's show boutique. The miscellaneous and indistinguishable things are quilts to be quilted.  And on the design wall are my nearly complete blocks for a show quilt that will have 42 embroidered and embellish circular designs -- I have a few more to do before it is sewn together.   So this is where I'll be many days the next couple of months.  When I finish the red, white and blue top, I'll have a morning of straightening and the room look better ... for a while.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Potourri of Blocks

This twenty block quilt top will go to the Bayberry Quilt Guild's "quilt bank" charity committee which finishes tops. They said at the last meeting they need quilts in colors and patterns that appeal to men more than women. These black, white and red blocks were mostly send to me in block exchanges on Swap-bot. A few use the same pattern but all use different fabrics. I added the red stripping and I think it will be a strong statement on some guy's bed.

I really enjoy making quilt tops but do not enjoy quilting them so this is a good arrangement for me. They also said they were looking for several tops in red, white and blue for a veteran's charity. I looked at the "cabin quilt" on Karen Griska's Selvage Blog today and thought that would be easy and quick and pulled out a bunch of fabrics I could use in red, white and blue. It should be quick.  Of course, I always think a quilt top will be quick and it rarely is. This one took longer just to piece the stripping than I imagined. But that's okay. I enjoy doing it.  I have other quilts waiting to be quilted but piecing a quick (?) top appeals to me at the moment.