Thursday, April 29, 2010

Babies on quilts

Why I love quilting:
Just got this from my friend who received her quilt.  Adorable!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finally finished!

I started this quilt in January of 2009.  It's been hanging around, getting left at the bottom of the to-do list for too long.  I finished the binding and trimmed the thread, and it's done!

I think we'll use it as a picnic blanket. Of course, it's still a little too cold to have picnics right now, but it'll be ready whenever the weather decides to change.

Here's the back:

And a close up:
Ignore the bad quilting...I got rid of the walking foot I was using because I had so many issues with it. My new walking foot is much better!

That makes two finishes off my list!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ticker Tape Finished

I finished my ticker tape quilt!

Rather than starting and stopping for each bit, I just sewed between them.  I know some people have thread cutters on their machines.  Alas, mine does not, so without it, something like this would be incredibly tedious.  It was a fun exercise and I can't wait to see everyone's at next month's meeting!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quilt Show Part 2: The quilts!

There were some really beautiful and inspiring quilts at the show this year. I am always amazed at the creativity of the artists. Here are some that caught my eye. There were more but I think most people have posted my favorites already.

Polvs Articvs (North Pole) by Gloria S. Daly

The White City by Zvia Strahilevitz-Klein

I love this clothesline! She found little clothespins. Super cute touch.

"I Pray" by Harumi Iida

Emerald Treasures by Barb Forrister
The embellishment on those turtles is amazing!

Woodland Spring by Lisa Ellis
I found this one very peaceful.

Spring Field by Akiko Kawata

Building Up by Kathy York

The International Quilt Show will be in Cincinnatti next year, so I doubt I'll be able to make it.  It was such a treat to have such a big show in my own town.  But it's quite a lot of money to travel and get a hotel, etc for a quilt show.  If I'm going to travel, maybe someday I'll get to the quilt show in Sisters Oregon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Getting Motivated

Jacquie is doing another Spring to Finish Challenge. We have until May 31st to get stuff done. I like how this year she has made people decide how they'll reward themselves if they complete everything on their list. I think it's made people be much more realistic about their lists!

Here is my list:
1. Finish this quilt.  It is so close--the quilting is mostly done, and I just need to put on a binding.
2. Quilt and finish the disaster quilt. Then at least it will be complete and I can donate it.
3. Ticker tape quilt.  I just need to sandwich and quilt this.
4. Paintbox quilt. I need to make the backing with the color swatches, quilt it, and bind.
5. Blocks for my quilting bees. I have two due this month. I just finished one but the other one I need more fabric for.
6. Prepare my block for the ICE exchange with the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. I have mental sketches about what I want to do.

It's a lot, but I think it is do-able by May 31st.  If I complete everything then I am buying myself the extension table for my machine.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quilt Show Part 1: What I Came Home With

Everyone knows that quilt shows are great for inspiration. There are so many amazing quilts and ideas swirling, you can't help but come home wanting to make something.   But fully half the size of the show area is all the booths for shopping! I spent quite a while there (believe me, it was a mob scene, and pretty overwhelming).  I ended up being not too bad.
A bunch of pre-cut yardage just because. 

A new sewing foot! It is called the "Curve Master" and it is meant to help you do curves in your quilts with NO pins. As soon as I saw the demo, I immediately knew I had to have it! I will report back once I've tested it out a bit.

A jelly roll called "Silk Road". Lots of Asian-themed fabrics.  I am not usually a jelly roll kind of girl, but if I didn't buy this I would have spent WAY more on all the yardage I wanted in these fabrics.

Two fat quarter packs. One is Tula Pink's Nest (the green one on the bottom) and the top one is Califon.  Again, not usually a fat quarter kind of girl, but they were just calling my name.

Finally, some Shweshwe fabric from South Africa.  These fabrics are really gorgeous in person.  

They only come in three colors, and they use a resist process that includes copper presses from the 1850s.  I was quite excited to learn that the factory where they are made employs lots of local people, buys cotton locally, and the employees own 45% of the factory.  I try to be socially conscious in my purchases in other realms, but I am not always so good when it comes to fabric.  I was thrilled to hear that this fabric I love is socially responsible too. Here is more information about the fabric and the process.

Look for more posts about the actual quilts I saw at the show!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Chicago Modern Quilt Guild Meeting

We had a really fun meeting today.  Angela led a fun workshop where we each made our own "ticker tape" quilts.  Everyone brought in a pile of scraps and boy, did we have a lot of scraps!!  It was really fun to see what everyone chose as their background colors, and then how they laid out scraps, or chose different color schemes.  I went with the "I'll choose what I like" scheme.

After I put it together, it reminded me of Freddie Moran's motto: "more is more".  I can't say that all the fabrics go together or complement each other, but in a weird way, it works.  I like it! Now I need to actually do the quilting, and do it by the next meeting on May 16th. I also have to prepare my block for our challenge.  I better get back to work, as I've got a couple quilting bee blocks to take care of too.

Quick note: I went to the International Quilt Show Chicago yesterday and it was fabulous!!! I'll be spreading out my posts over the next week or so because there is so much to say!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Paintbox Quilt-a-Long Top Finished!

I finally put together my quilt-a-long top!
paintbox quit along top

I have to admit I am not crazy about the grey I chose for the sashing, but by the time I realized it, it was too late and I had already cut up 3 yards of fabric.  Alas.  I am sure that I can give it away to a friend of mine who will appreciate it.
paintbox quit along top

Another shot of the whole thing.

I haven't really been home lately as I was in Iowa (my husband was teaching dance there) and then I was in Texas for work.  I'm starting to think that I may need to take up some handwork, as at least that is portable.  Do you have a favorite type of handwork? English paper piecing? Applique (I was thinking about one of these)? Hand quilting? Hand piecing (I saw this and thought it was gorgeous!)?

I'd love to dip my  toe into the handwork pool but I don't want to try something that will quickly leave me discouraged.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quick baby quilt is done!

I finally had some time after all the Easter busy-ness to finish this quilt.
baby quilt finished

I ended up quilting in random straight lines, inspired by Kate and Jacquie.
closeup of quilting

I really love it. It was so fast and easy too. But it needs to go off to a little baby girl in Seattle.


A quick shot of the backing and binding.

For those of you who may wonder why my Easter was so busy, I'll just leave it at this: we had 7 people total for dinner (not too many) and we had this for dessert (in addition to the other courses):

 My husband and I don't mess around when it comes to food! :) It's a chocolate and hazelnut souffle--individual ones for guests. There's no flour, so it was safe for my gluten-free friend.  And incredibly delicious too. We had some leftover mixture so we baked a "leftover" one last night.  Yum!

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Bee Blocks

My Hip 2 Bee Square ladies have really come through this month. Here are some blocks I've received so far:

H2B square blocks from Becca
These are all from Becca. I really love them! Especially the flying geese hiding out in the block. Fabulous.

H2B square block
Here's one from Corey. I love the denim bit--it reminds me of the fabulous work clothes quilts from Gee's Bend.

H2B square blocks

These are from sweetposie. I really love the Japanese prints she's added here.

H2B square blocks
Kerry sent these along. Very nice. I think it will be good to have some smaller, "filler" blocks like this when I am trying to get them all together!

H2B square blocks

These are from Kim. They have a lovely flannel that I just love to touch.  The whole quilt is going to have so many interesting textures in it!

H2B square blocks

H2B square block
These blocks are from Nicole. She added a lovely red damask to the blocks, and was even kind enough to send some extra. I may use it when putting everything together.

There's more coming, but I am starting to wonder what I got myself into! It is going to be a bit of a challenge to put everything together, but like I said before, I'll be posting process pictures as I try to figure it out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Slow and Steady...

I'm slowing making progress on putting together my paintbox quilt. Here are the blocks before I sewed them into rows.
Making progress

I probably won't be able to put the top together before next week because as you may know, this weekend is Easter. My friend is becoming Catholic on Saturday night (which is a very long service), and I am singing in the choir Sunday morning. And of course, I am hosting Easter dinner as well. Whew! So there will be very little sewing this weekend. Happy Easter everyone, or Passover if you prefer, or just have a nice weekend if you are none of the above. :)