Friday, January 30, 2015

I Haven't Abandoned You, Mystery Quilt

 Well, the mystery quilt,
by Di Ford is officially over.

What that means is everything
 has been revealed.
It's no longer a mystery.
The last installment was in the latest
Quiltmania magazine # 104.

I had been waiting for the ending
to finish.  Not because I was concerned 
about what it was going to look like,
but because, borders 5 and 6, of course,
had applique pieces that I thought
would be difficult to place correctly
if the borders weren't attached to the quilt beforehand.

So I waited and
now I'm working on the last two borders together.

 First I added border #5 which is a 
2" strip, finishing at 1 1/2".
 Can you see how close those applique pieces are
to the edge?  I know I would have had a hard
time keeping the applique out of the seam allowance.

So instead of appliqueing those,
 I pieced border #6 and 
added that to the quilt top.
Granted, the top is now bigger
and a little more difficult to handle,
but worth the extra bulk
to get the appliques centered properly,

so they won't being gobbled up
in the seam allowance.
It makes it easier for me figure out.

Border 6 will take awhile.
Lots of English Paper piecing to do.

No problem.
there's still plenty of winter left.

Until Next Time-

Monday, January 26, 2015

Birthdays and Polka Dot Cake

 There are certain life markers
that indicate the passing of time.

Like getting an invitation
 to a high school reunion and thinking 
40 years?  Really?
retiring from a career that has
been the majority of your lifetime.

Sometimes it's birthdays, 
it can be your own,
or the birthdays of your children.

It seems like only yesterday they were babies

and now they're  grown 
with a family of their own.

And you say, "When did that happen?"

This weekend we headed to Denver to
celebrate the birthday of our oldest daughter, Elizabeth.
What a joy she has been to our lives.

 5 years old

A birthday celebration
always requires a cake.
And in this case, it needed to be a polka dot cake.
Here's how you do it.

First, you make some polka dots.

Bake them in a cake.

Have a good helper.
Then smear big globs of chocolate frosting.

Add few decorations.

Along with a candle.
(Any one will do)

Sprinkle in a few hugs and kisses.

And you have a fun birthday celebration.

Then next year,
you'll wonder again,
"Where did the time go?"

Until Next Time-

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blue Tumblers

It really didn't take me long
to get that tumbler quilt top basted and quilted.

I wanted to be able to turn it in at
tomorrow's meeting.

The color just fit with the
color of the sky and the foothills

The color might also be on
beaches of the Caribbean, but for now
I'll  have to stick with the snow and mountain.

I love how this pattern
from the Missouri Star Quilt Co.
was so easy and fast to piece.
The blocks can be laid out so the tumblers
go every direction.

I used this polka dot flannel for the backing
and at the quilt groups holiday party,
 I received a piece of this blue fairy frost fabric
which was the perfect color for the binding.

I quilted straight lines in the white background to
make the seams less noticeable.
I didn't mark anything, I just stitched
along the edge of some masking tape.
I didn't even quilt in the tumblers.  I wanted
the fabric to be the star.
It's nice to have my obligation done,
but I hope, it will be even nicer for some
new baby boy to enjoy a little quilt from me.

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 16, 2015

There's No Stopping Me Now

 It sure helps when you
have encouragement from friends.

You feel like you can do anything.

 Just so you know, I did have a great aunt who was a bareback rider
for the circus.  So it's in the genes!

I have been working steadily on
my giant wool applique quilt.
The pieces are now all whipped into place
and the scalloped border determined and marked.

I've even done some embroidery.
Today it's all about basting.

So not even another buck-a-roo can stop me now.

Especially, not a cowgirl
carrying a six shooter and a guitar.
(And yes, it's me.)
Until Next Time-

Monday, January 12, 2015

Something New, Something Blue

I'm not the kind of person who
let's obligations or commitments
slide to the last moment.

Remember those big science or
Social Studies project in school?
I would get right on those as soon as
the assignment was given.
 (The other kids hated me for that)

Even now
I still can't put things off
 especially, if I've promised 
something would be done by a certain time.

One of the quilt groups I belong to
has promised to make baby quilts for a church's ministry.
This has allowed the quilt group to meet in the
building for insurance purposes.

So when the calendar page flipped,
I decided to get a baby quilt made.
(I'm not totally deviating from 
the wool applique.)

I friend gave me an
 unwanted charm pack and

I knew it would make a fun
modern baby boy quilt.

The pattern I decided to use is from the 
Missouri Star Quilt Co.
It's called the Tipsy Tumbler Quilt.
You can watch a video here.

I used the cardboard from the back of the
charm pack to create a tumbler shape
and cut out 25 pieces.

The whole idea of Jenny's method is to
start with a tumbler shape, set it on
a 10" square and iron and fold
the square over the raw edges and sew.

The raw edges are
enclosed in a seam.

Then do it again 
with the opposite sides.

Look a tumbler block.
Trim the outer edges to make an 8" square.

Here's the back.  You can see
how those
seams are all enclosed.

I was afraid it would make the seams
feel too thick, but it didn't.

Doesn't it look like I had to cut out a lot 
of different shaped pieces?

I laid out the blocks on
my design floor and 
I use these nifty preprinted
plastic lay out squares
by Quilt Dance.
(I couldn't find them online anywhere, sorry)

So here's the quilt
sewn together.
 You could add a border if you wanted,
but I wanted to keep it under 40" so
the backing would be one piece.

I'm hoping those
seams fade away more once the
batting is laid underneath.
(I think they're showing up more being on a wood floor.)

My neighbors have been gone for awhile,
so I went next door for a photo shoot.
They have Grecian statues
next to their pool.
Doesn't she seem thrilled with the quilt top?

Until Next Time-

Friday, January 9, 2015

Love It or Leave It

This project has been lurking 
since 2004 or 2005.
Nevertheless, it's 10 years old.
It's time to either love it or leave it.

Each year
 I continue moving
this wool applique over
 to the next new year to finish.

Every once in a while,
 the guilties
have surfaced
 and I've stitched a little bit more on it.

But the question is
why haven't I finished it?

 Are there things I can do to
make me keep going or
is this year for a final good bye?

It's a design that was is the Spring/ Summer

Quilt Sampler Magazine, 2004.
The wool applique , I think,  is patterned after
an applique kit

 called Poppy Wreath by
the Progress Company.
(This photo is of the quilt Mary Schafer made in 1953
which is from the book Mary Schafer, 
American Quilt maker by Gwen Marston.)

I really like the pattern, but there's a whole
list of reasons why it's been neglected.

First, the finished size is about 55" x 70".
It's all wool and very bulky to work on as one big piece.
Fun factor = 0

Secondly, I originally didn't want to fuse
 the wool pieces onto a wool background.
I didn't want the top to feel too stiff.
(Remember, products have changed in the last ten years.)
  So it was a challenge
placing the pieces and then keeping them in
their proper places.
Fun factor = 0

We, meaning my other quilting friends
who wanted to make the same quilt,

 had to create a giant plastic overlay pattern
in order to place the pieces properly.
The pattern got slightly skewed
so when it came to using it, there
was quite a bit of adjusting that 
needed to happen.
Fun factor = 0

I decided to use wool that I already had.
I liked everything but the gold wool.  It
had a looser weave so it tends to look ravely
 around the edges even though all
the wool had been prepped properly.
I should have gotten a different piece, but I didn't
Fun factor = 0

The pattern suggested buttonholing
around each piece, but I decided,
in my wisdom, to just whip stitch

around each piece.
It would be fast.
 Thinking back, maybe if I had buttonholed
the edges would have been more defined
and less ravely looking and 
maybe I would have gotten it done....faster!
I have way too much done to start over.
Fun factor = 0

I also decided to use DMC wool embroidery thread to do the stitching.
It blends in nicely, but
again doesn't create crisp edges.
Fun Factor = 0

Oh, one more thing,
when I do eventually quilt this,
 probably with black perel cotton using a big stitch,
it will be black on black.
Fun Factor,  a great big = 0

Okay I know, it doesn't sound like I want to go on,
but I'm going to see if I can.
Really, 10 years is way too long to have something lingering.

I have to start with more whip stitches around the pieces, which are all
in place.  I think, I must have glued the final pieces.

 Sounds like I did one thing right!
I'll keep you posted if the fun meter changes.

Until Next Time