Quilt Projects

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Monday, February 21, 2011

I Love Making Pot Holders

I had an overwhelming urge to make a couple of pot holders to add to my stash, so that's what I did .

Sorting through my fabric, I was thinking of making something with a spring theme but when I ended up with this selection, I decided they were more representative of full-blow summer time.

The blocks I used this time were "Right Hand of Friendship" on the right and "Gentleman's Fancy" on the left. Both were easy and fun to do. I can definitely see using "Right Hand of Friendship" in 30s prints for a baby quilt.

I liked these two fabrics so much I used them as solid backs for the pot holders.

I'm gonna get back to my daughter's spring wall hanging one of these days very soon. She and I picked out the border fabrics this weekend so I'm ready to go on that next part.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ahead . . . For A Change

Spring up here in the north woods is more than a month (maybe two!) away but I'm happy to report I've gotten a head start on the spring time wall/door hanging for my daughter's office.

Once again she picked out the pattern from one of my quilting books.

This is a picture of the wall hanging she chose. It's in Mary Hickey's book, "Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts." So to be more accurate, I suppose we have to say it's not a wall hanging but rather was meant as a baby quilt.

It's comprised mainly of eleven squares of appliqued flowers. Here all the squares are laid out. All but the one in the top center row still need to have the stems embroidered on and I haven't stitched the appliqued flower petals or leaves on yet. I'm thinking I'll probably do that by machine. So far they're just bonded on.

The only problem is that by the time I put the "Welcome" rectangle on the piece, it's going to be too long to look good on the door. So . . .

I'm going to have to cut the length by taking out three of the squares. In comparison to the full sized pattern, it doesn't look so pretty good right now. But I think when I get the "Welcome" part added and the outer border on it will look a lot better. I sure hope so anyway. Time will tell. For now I'll just call it definitely a work in progress!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pot Holders Ready to be Mailed

I made two pot holders as a small thank you and they are ready to be tucked into an envelope and wing their way southward.

Front and back of the first one.

Front and back of the second one.

If you're anything like me, you can always use a couple of new pot holders. Seems like they're kind of pricey at the store if you can find ones you like, so I get a kick out of making them for myself and others.

It's a quick project and lets me try out different patterns of the old-fashioned blocks on the front of them. Doing seasonal ones are also fun.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Wanna Do It Again!

My three-day quilting retreat at home has been a smashing success. And, boy-howdy, did I accomplish a lot. My main aim was to finish the winter wall hanging for my daughter's office and I did that early this afternoon.

As I mentioned, it took me all day yesterday to do the machine quilting on it (which I am very happy with) so all I had to do today was the binding and hanging sleeve.

This is a close-up of the left border and part of the center of the piece.

Above is the top portion. Sure wish the machine quilting would show up better in the pictures.

The appliqued "Welcome" lettering across the bottom.

And the whole wall hanging completely finished and ready to be delivered.

I used the remainder of the day today to work on a couple of quilted pot holders that I wanted to make as a thank you for someone who did something very nice for me. I have to hand stitch the binding on them tomorrow and they will be all set to go. I'll post a picture or two of them before sending them off.

The one single problem with my three-day quilting marathon at home was that now I want to do it again . . . soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Home Quilt Retreat - Day One

The weather today couldn't have been better for hunkering down in my quilt studio

A bad picture taken through window and screen, but this was the scene this morning out my quilt studio window.

I had a couple of things to do in there before I got down to any actual quilting.

I did a mending job on a duffel bag of hubby's.

Then I cleaned off my cutting table so I would have a place to . . . well, do some cutting.

Next I cleaned both my machines. A little task long overdue.

I was close to plumb out of wound and ready bobbins so I sat and replenished my supply of ecru, gray and white ones.

Finally got on to the quilting. Worked on my daughter's winter wall hanging which had better get done quickly or it won't be winter anymore.

Previously I'd spent a lot of time trying to choose fabrics for the borders. Then I did what I probably should have done in the first place. A couple of days ago I asked her what she preferred . . . and that's what I did.

Tomorrow I'll get it sandwiched with batting and backing and start the quilting on it.

'Twas a good day!

Yippee-Skippy, I'm Doin' It!

I did a post on my personal blog yesterday putting forth my intentions to spend three whole days (THREE WHOLE DAYS!) in my quilt studio starting today.

I'm on a quick lunch break right now but if you wish to hear more about my very exciting adventure, you can go to A Home Grown Journal and read all about it.

Back to my quilting . . .

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moving Right Along . . .

I've got the main body of my daughter's winter wall hanging put together.

Here I'm auditioning fabrics (on the left of the picture) for the borders.

A close-up of the piecing. Lots of cutting, but the piecing itself went fast.

I still have to construct the usual "Welcome" addition to the hanging and get that attached before I can proceed on the borders . . . if I ever decide on the fabrics for the borders, that is. Sometimes it's so hard to tell if they'll look right before actually getting them on. Then if you decide you've made a goof . . . well, back to the drawing board. Or maybe I should say seam ripper!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Winter Wall Hanging

I finally (finally, finally, FINALLY!) have gotten a start on the winter wall hanging for my daughter's office.

She looked through some of my pattern books and came up with this Pineapple Block pattern that she liked a lot. This is a (poor) photo of the quilt from a page in the book. Not very good, but I think it'll give you an idea of the basic pattern. I'll have to do some re-figuring to make it the right shape to fit on her door, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

The pattern is in this book by Darlene Zimmerman.

I searched through my stash of blue fabrics and came up with these to use. I also pulled out an assortment of whites and off-whites that combined with the blues should give a feel of snow and the chill of winter.

So far I've got a running start on the first nine blocks of the pattern. They're going together rather quickly and I'm eager to start on the other block that makes up the pattern.

It's great to be back at the sewing machine again and seeing a quilting project taking shape.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crocheted Rug -- Finished!

I finished my crocheted rug last night.

I thought I wanted it to be about 24" x 36" but when I hit 19" x 32" I stopped. Even though I had a bunch more strips of fabric already cut that I could have used, this seemed like a good size. (Now what to do with the extra strips?!)

As I mentioned before, it reminds me of a cross between a rag rug and a braided rug.

It's going to be very substantial and I think will hold up to lots of washing.

But it is rather thick and heavy so I'm wondering how easily it will dry. I'm thinking my preferred way of drying it would be to lay it out on the metal deck table on a sunny day in the summer time. That way I could keep flipping it over and pressing/stretching it flat so it retains its shape.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quilt Studio Tour

I had a request on my personal blog so I gave a tour today of a trip around my quilt room over there. If you're interested, you can pop over to, A Home Grown Journal, to take a peek.

"Life" continues to give me too many things that must be done so I'm still not working on my quilting as I want to do. You'd think I'd be on top of things and organized by now after the holidays but I don't seem to be. Sat at my desk most of the day today paying bills and doing other tasks which had to be done. The house isn't very clean, but dagnabbit, it will just get dirty again if I take the time to clean it so I may just overlook that for a while. I keep thinking I'll quilt when I get "caught up" but that illusive state of affairs never seems to arrive.

Since I can't figure out how to get more hours in the day (short of giving up more of my beauty sleep --- and we do NOT want to see that happen), I'm just going to stomp on off into my quilting studio and QUILT!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Repeat for Some of You

I posted pretty much this same spiel on my personal blog, A Home Grown Journal, back in the first part of December. But in case any of you quilters missed it, I thought I'd give it a little more exposure (Show and Tell?) here. This is where it belongs anyway, but I wasn't able to be posting on both blogs at that time.

My daughter, Chicken Mama, had asked me to make her a wall hanging for the Christmas season to hang on the door of her office in town. She had an open house on December 4th so that was my deadline for getting it done. I made it. Just barely. Finished up the night before at 5:30 p.m.

It was a pattern she picked out . . . and one I didn't have a lot of fun doing. (I'm not really complaining, I could have told her to pick out something else.) She's always been particularly fond of watercolor quilts, and I'm not. This had a lot of iron-on applique, and I prefer hand applique. But I digress.

Let's get on with it. (And stop your whining, Mama Pea.)

Here are some pictures so you can see the whole process of making the wall hanging.

First I laid out all the 2" squares on my design wall, stood back and took a good look. Changed some squares. Squinted my eyes and studied it again. Some squares needed to be changed and rearranged, but I quickly realized that I could stand there and make changes until the cows came home if I didn't say "good enough" and step away from it. Next step was to start sewing the squares together. The size of the thing sure did shrink right down when I started putting the squares together with quarter inch seams.

Okay, all squares sewn together and ready for the applique on top of the background. The plain blocks in the center are just muslin "plugs" because the applique will completely cover that area.

A big, green evergreen tree was cut out and went on first. That was easy.

Then started the painstakingly s-l-o-w process of fussy cutting out all the decorations for the tree, putting them on bonding material, cutting them out again and then bonding them to the tree. Doesn't look like that much now that it's done, but believe you me, it took days.

Chicken Mama asked that I put a "Welcome" block on the bottom of the piece so I constructed that to fit as part of the wall hanging.

After the tree was fully decorated, there were wrapped gifts to make and arrange under the tree.

Here's a detail of the applique on the tree. Darn good thing all the individual pieces were just bonded on with heat; I would never have lived through traditional applique sewing them on by hand. You can see they were too detailed to do by machine.

And here is the finished piece. Dear daughter was pleased with it and I was, too, when it was done. They say it's important for us to work outside our comfort zone now and then to keep the creativity flowing. I was outside of my comfort zone for the better part of this one!