P.I.N.K.

Thanks to BF, this quilt will forever be named P.I.N.K.

After sewing this top together, I spent almost a week pondering various ways of enlarging it via more sashing/various borders. Also in the pondering were my thoughts (negative) on sewing together large expanses of fabric, and my thoughts (negative) on quilting large quilt tops vs. my need for a larger quilt if I wanted it as a bed quilt. In the end, I decided I liked this quilt just as it was, and that I did not actually need another bed quilt right now. I love this quilt, and I know it will be my favorite large lap quilt to snuggle under this winter (if I ever get that cold again.)

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Can you see the square with the pale blue background, and the lady walking a dachshund and a Standard Poodle? That was one of my scrub tops. I loved it because at the time, those were the two breeds of dogs that I owned!

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I wanted to make it into a sandwich right away. I had a piece of extra wide muslin that would be just right. However, after laying it out, it just looked like a huge white sheet (it was bleached muslin.) Too new for this somewhat old fashioned looking quilt. I found another piece of muslin that was “tea stained.” JUST RIGHT. I measured it, and had three yards. I spent all night trying to figure out how three yards could be reconfigured to use for the backing. It was just not enough, no matter which way I turned it. The next morning, BEFORE I went to church, I hit up Joann’s, where they just happened to be having a big sale on muslin, and bought two yards of the same tea stained muslin, and was SO PLEASED with myself. Got home to find that the original piece was five yards?! What the what?? Oh well… NOW I have three yards of the stuff for the next project…

Made my sandwich, and yesterday I wanted to start quilting it. But first I had to play around with what thread to use. It just so happened that I had a bit of batting and muslin in the circular file :), and a LOT of leftover squares and half square triangles from the quilt. I tried out different weights and colors of thread. In the end, I liked my first choice, which says its color is “natural.” But it is a glazed cotton, and I don’t think that that will be very pleasant to sew with. I don’t like the tension/unevenness of the stitches. So I went with the second best, and quilted one square. This morning, I think I am going back to Joann’s or Walmart, or the Sewing Cottage to try to find “natural” in a 40 weight cotton thread.

Trying out threads:

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Even Artists Need a Holiday

About this time of year, I start to feel a bit of angst. All of this celebratin’ puts a cramp in the forward movement of my art. I want to enjoy working on mindless projects. I want to have fun decorating and celebrating. But I also want to keep working on my art. And then I usually give in and work on the fun mindless projects, and I realize its only a few weeks. My art won’t just disappear in three weeks time. And its such a relief. I was discussing this with my BF, and she came up with that brilliant statement, “Even artists need a holiday.” I need to have that tattooed on my forehead, because evidently I can’t remember it from year to year.

Anyway, the first thing that I worked on was this quilt that I started a couple of years ago, when I took a class from Pepper Cory on the “Manx Roof Tile Quilt,” a type of folded log cabin. (And I just want to say that if you are interested in learning this technique, Pepper was an EXCELLENT teacher!) I wanted to use my dad’s pendleton shirts to make a memory quilt. You might remember that last year I used his shirts and ties to make pillows for my brother and sister. My quilt project got put away when construction on the new studio began, and I just found the box of blocks a few weeks ago.

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Like most handwork, once you get into the rhythm of it, it moves along quite quickly. I began to think that if I could do one block each evening, I could finish it before Christmas. I didn’t do one EVERY evening, but I did work consistently on them, and when it looked like I could complete the blocks, it got quite exciting!

I was so excited the evening I put them on the design wall, and saw the pattern emerge. When I was working on the blocks, I wasn’t sure I had enough definition between the “darks” of the shirts and the “lights” of the reproduction fabrics. (I decided NOT to use the ties for this project because silk is just a pain to work with. And I do love reproduction fabrics.)

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I wanted to make a border by adding an extra large “binding.” Looked in my stash, and there it was–one of my most favorite “repeater” fabrics. Repeater fabrics are those fabrics that I love so much that I just keep buying a yard or two every time I see it.

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It took a little figuring to figure out how to make this binding, but in the end, I am so happy with this little quilt. It will be the quilt I cuddle under all winter.

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The finished quilt:

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The next fun project I let myself work on was a little table runner out of those darn Christmas fabrics that I can’t resist buying! I’ll be back later to share that with you.

The Quilt Show–Wanted to mention that my episode of The Quilt Show will be airing this Monday, December 8! If you are already a member, you can watch it then. If not, on Monday the 15th, I will be able to give you a code so that you can watch it. Also, I will just add that I am a huge fan of The Quilt Show, and it is a super good deal to pay $42.95 for a one year membership, and get access to all 200 shows! They have a wide range of quilters from traditional to abstract, with lots of good techniques demonstrated. Its a great resource. Plus its just fun to watch with a bowl of popcorn 🙂

Another Big Quilt Finished

I finished this big quilt before I took my trip. I showed some close-ups of the quilting in a previous blog post (here,) and here is a picture of the finished quilt. I have been enjoying it on my bed. The colors are quiet and peaceful.

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Here is the little quilting design I made up for the large triangles on the border. I like it a lot.

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Oh, and here is a picture of a pillow cover I made for an oversized pillow. I discovered that I sleep a lot better with one of these big pillows! So I bought one at Home Goods, and decided to make a cover for it. I used some blocks that I had been experimenting with. I love how it turned out.

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That’s all for now. I have been having some great creative days since coming home. I’ll share more later!

Finishing Some Quilt Tops

The other day I was looking for an empty plastic tub and I came across some quilt tops that I LOVED when I completed them. One of them was already basted into a quilt sandwich. So I am in the quilting and finishing mode lately. Here are some of the squares from the big one I’ve been working on. I have the center complete now, and still have 2 borders to get done. I’ll show you the whole quilt as soon as I finish it! This was another quilt that I loved the process of making. I had all my favorite reproduction fabrics and a lot of ‘fancy’ fabrics pre-cut into the shapes that I needed. And then I would sit and put together each square JUST SO. Choosing the colors is one of my favorite parts of quilting.

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I’m including this picture as a reminder to myself. And maybe to solve a mystery to someone else. Sometimes when I am quilting/sewing a lot, my sewing machine will start to squeak. It squeaks with each stitch. So I know it is one of those moving parts. The sewing machine repair guy showed me how to take the top off my machine and oil the moving parts. So I do that. Nope. Still squeaking. I take the front off, and try to find parts to oil in there. Nope. STILL SQUEAKING. So finally I take the bobbin out and oil in there, even though I know that’s probably not it. So exasperating. So then I sew a little bit and just STARE at it. And I finally remember. It is this part that squeaks. Just the little shaft on the quilting foot with the spring thingy on it. Ahhh, peaceful silent sewing at last. It probably was a good thing that I oiled all those other parts anyway!

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And lastly, a shot of the girls coexisting peacefully. These two can have some pretty intense “arguments.” But when it comes to comfort, they are birds of a feather.

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