Sunday, August 2, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Binding for Sunday Morning - Binding Blitz

I do a generally good job of keeping up with binding my quilts as I finish them.  It just takes me a while to get around to choosing and layering a quilt top, then hand quilting it.


This is the first quilt I've finished this year and, therefore, the first quilt I've bound this year.  I'm pleased to be able to participate in Julie's July Binding Blitz at JulieKQuilts.

This quilt is "Sunday Morning."  The perimeter is 316½" around.  The binding strips were cut slightly off-grain at 2" wide.  I folded the strips in half, carefully laid them on the edges of the quilt, stitched ¼" seam, turned the binding to the back, pinned it in place, and hand-stitched it.  It took about 6 hours to sew, but then I'm a slow stitcher.

Because the quilt is scrappy and uses light-colored fabrics, I chose a scrappy binding.  It doesn't call attention to itself nor overpower or detract from the quilt itself.

My last post was about "Sunday Morning" and you can see more photos and read details about the quilt there.

I'm linking this post to Julie's Binding Blitz at JulieKQuilts.  Thank you, Julie.

Thanks for visiting.

--Nancy.
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good Morning, Sunday Morning!

At long last I can welcome "Sunday Morning" into true quilthood (if there is such a thing).  With top, back, and batting layered and stitched together it's a real quilt!

Both the front and back are scrappy.  My husband likes the back better than the front.  It seemed like a bear to put together but I do rather like it.


From the photos above it looks like I quilted on the diagonal in only one direction but look at the close-up below and you can see a double line of diagonals in both directions.  I used masking tape as a guide to stitch from corner to corner then added a square in the middle of those.  I wasn't too concerned that the center squares were exactly square or exactly centered.  It's a scrap quilt, after all.


I wish I could say I love this quilt.... When I saw the pattern in the book, Sunday Morning, a few years ago I took an inventory of my strings and thought it would be a great quilt to make.  Perhaps if I'd been more particular about the colors I used I might like it more.  I'm not a white-white person.  I like naturals, creams, and tans much better and this quilt has a lot of white.  But it will keep someone warm in the winter.

Details
Timeline to Completion

spring 2012 - quilt begun
 5 Jun 2013 - all blocks laid out
15 Jun 2013 - top stitched
19 Jan 2015 - scrappy back finished
21 Jan 2015 - hand quilting begun
 9 Jul 2015 - quilting finished
17 Jul 2015 - binding stitched
23 Jul 2015 - washed and dried

Batting was Cream Rose 100% cotton

Measurements
74½" x 90"  - top before layering
73½" x 88½" - after quilting
73½" x 88¼" - after binding
72"  x 86¼" - after washing & drying


I'm linking this post to
> Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts 
> WIPS Be Gone Week 31 at A Quilting Reader's Garden
> Creative Goodness Linky Party - July 31st at QuiltShopGal
> Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
> Link a Finish Friday #179 at Richard and Tanya Quilts

Thanks for visiting and, if you leave a comment, thank you for that, too.

I hope you've had a great week!
--Nancy.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Exuberant Horses - Color Inspiration

Our local zoo has a restored, vintage carrousel with beautifully painted horses.  I think the colors and color combinations are bright and exuberant, and that some would make beautiful quilts.
 




Sadly, I didn't take any photos showing whole horses.

This is another image from the zoo that made me think of a quilt, particularly an appliqued quilt.

And then there were the pale flamingos with their creamy eyes and coral feet.  (They weren't interested in posing for photos, hence the incomplete face/head in the photo.)

I often see color combinations for quilts but I sometimes find it difficult to find fabrics like the colors I see.

How about you?  What are the sources of your color inspiration?  Do you ever have trouble finding fabrics for the quilts you imagine?

 --Nancy.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My First Double Border

It's a terrible photo (which I'll try to replace) but I'm so excited about having this top ready to quilt I couldn't wait to post.


I've been without a computer for nearly a month.  I thought my old one could be repaired but it couldn't, and then I took time to deliberate about which computer to buy.  Then the company lost the boxes before they ever left the factory.  The computer finally arrived last week and a few days later my computer-geek-friend came over and transferred everything from my old computer to this new one.  It's been a bit of an ordeal but now I'm good to go.

The good thing is that I've spent more time quilting and reading.  (I'll post about books and a local quilt show another day.)  I finished hand quilting "Sunday Morning."  My hope is always to have a new quilt layered and basted before the last one is done but I didn't succeed this time because I didn't have a quilt top ready.

I decided on a narrow red border and a wide brown border for this quilt.  It's the first time I've put two borders on a quilt.  The side borders are narrower than the end borders.  The quilt just seemed to need a little extra length and I felt like the borders worked for the quilt.  At this point I like it a lot.  (Those tan squares remind me of caramels.)

I'm doing simple diagonal quilting using the corner squares as a guide.  I'm not sure what I'll do about the borders but I have time to decide.  (That's probably what I said when I was approaching the finish of "Sunday Morning," too:  I have plenty of time to get another quilt layered and ready to quilt.  Ha!)  Still, I think about the border as I quilt, wondering if continuing the diagonal lines into the borders will be good or whether I should consider a different kind of quilting around the outside of the quilt.

Apologies for the poor photo.  I'll replace it with a better one if I can.

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog.

Thanks for visiting. 

--Nancy.
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Slow Stitching

"Stitching on the Terrace" by Henri LeBasque

Wishing you a pleasant, relaxed, refreshing Sunday.

--Nancy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

This Week's Work in Progress:  Ironing and Organizing

It doesn't look like much now, but it was a stack of fabric -- several dozen washed and cut-apart upcycled shirts -- folded loosely in quarters.  (Most of the fabrics on the top of each stack were the ones I worked on this week.)

I spent two days ironing those shirts.  Ironing takes a lot of time!  I hope I've learned my lesson to keep up with it as the shirts are washed and dried instead of letting them pile up.

I cleaned out and rearranged the closet a few months ago and hadn't gotten around to moving fabric into it.  It's a wide closest -- 10 or 11', but the shelves are only 11" deep.  One side has paper supplies, family history notebooks, and some other things.  This side I will devote to fabric.

But that's not all of my fabric, of course.  I have a bookshelf with mostly fat quarters in it.  (My least favorite color is yellow.  Knowing that you must wonder about that yellow box, and the tall stack of yellow fabric.  I think I ignore that box.  The yellow fabric is the result of a search for cream fabric.  At the store it looks cream, at home it looks yellow.  Sigh.)

For the most part it's neat, but there are a few messy stacks.

When I don't know what to do with a piece of fabric I just put it on the stack.  There are some odd-sized pieces that I can't bring myself to cut but I don't know how I'll use them.  I sometimes have a hard time just passing fabric along.  Do you?

I have more fabric upstairs in an armoire in our bedroom:  some long pieces for backs, more shirt and clothing fabrics, and some short yardage.  They are organized by color in large boxes.  I have so much fabric and I'm such a slow worker.  I'll die before I use half of it! 

As I worked at ironing the fabric I kept thinking about the possibilities of quilts to make.  The more I thought, the more undecided I became.  I think Indecision is the thief of creativity.

I've also been quilting my Sunday Morning.  The more I work on it the less I like it.  I think that's the cycle of my quilting life:  love it, not sure about it, don't like it, think it's okay, love it.  I also laid out the string snowball to think about a border.  As I near the end of quilting Sunday Morning I'll want to have another quilt ready for quilting.

That's been most of my week.  I'm eager to begin another quilt or two but for me it's better if I finish at least one I have in progress.  (Or maybe not.)

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog.  Thanks for hosting, Esther.

Happy quilting (or organizing) to you!

--Nancy.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gone So Long

It seems like I've been gone for years, though in reality it's only been a few months since a real post.  I actually wasn't gone I was just away from quilting while I took a full-time job to earn social security credits.  I'm a night owl and those 6 a.m. mornings did me in pretty quickly.  I came home too tired to do much other than hand quilt for a little while each evening.  I finished work a few weeks ago, my daughter came for a week's visit, and then I promptly got sick.  I'm feeling a little more energetic now and am ready to get back to quilting.

After two months of hand quilting on Sunday Morning (you can see more of it here) you'd think I'd have finished it by now but no, it's still in progress.  I finished all of the diagonal lines across the whole quilt and then realized that I definitely needed smaller squares inside the larger ones.  I'm bordering the larger 4" squares with 1" masking tape to make 2" squares inside the 4" squares.  I'm about half finished.

If I'd planned more carefully I could have used wider tape and would not have needed to do the smaller squares inside the larger ones.  I think this is the first time I've used masking tape to mark a quilt.  It's effective enough but it does shift a little and needs to be repositioned.

On a different topic....  The room where I have my fabrics and sewing machine is getting piled high with fabric despite the fact that I haven't done any sewing.  How does that happen?  Sometimes I get used to what I see and don't notice what a mess it may look like to objective eyes.  I do notice that it's hard to focus and feel creative when I have a mess around me with too little space to work.  (I have photographs but I don't want to show them.  It would be too embarrassing.)

I have so many scraps and I'm itching to start another quilt -- or two or three -- but I really need to finish some of the other ones I've started.  One needs a border or two.  One needs a few more blocks.  Another needs many more blocks.  Others....  Too many others (aside from the tops that need quilted).  Not to mention the strings and scraps that are calling my name.  When I have too many works in progress I either lose interest or lose momentum.

How about you?  Does a mess in your your sewing impede your creativity or ability to work?  Do you lose momentum or interest on a quilts? 

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thanks for hosting, ladies.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Changing a Block Pattern to a Setting Triangle

If I decide to piece this quilt on the diagonal and
if I decide to use half-square blocks like the blocks in the quilt,

then I need to know how to cut the pieces of the half-block so the edges (on the diagonal now) will be on the straight grain when finished.


I think I can leave most of the block the way it is.
I think I can cut the center square (which will be a triangle) with the straight grain along the long edge, and cut the two light squares (which will be triangles) on either end and the two red squares (which will be triangles) near the center on straight grain.

I'm just beginning to investigate this change but are there any experienced quilters who want to weigh in on this idea?  I would be ever so grateful.  Thanks in advance!

I'm linking this post to WOW at Esther's Blog and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Thank you, Esther and Lee.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Current Works in Progress

I'm sewing more of these

to make more of these.
I have 41 of these 9½" blocks.  Depending on whether I choose sashing or not, choose alternating blocks or not, straight or diagonal placement, I may need more.  I haven't laid them all out together yet.  Looking at this photo, maybe sashing would be a good choice.

On the hand quilting front, when I finally reach an edge, even for only one section, I feel like I'm making progress.

Those are my works in progress at the moment.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
> Let's Bee Social #63 at Sew Fresh Quilts.
 Thank you, Esther, LeAnn, and Lorna.

--Nancy.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Staying Indoors

by Jean Edouard VuillardWe're having more snow today--enough that church was cancelled.  Sundays (and the rest of the week) just aren't the same when I can't go to church.

I think the colors in this painting  are beautiful.  Some of the pieces of linen I've collected are in this color range.  A linen quilt is in mental progress, pondering quilt patterns, colors, and color placement.  One of these days....

I hope you having a great day despite the lionishness of this March 1.  Since it's come in like a lion, I hope March goes out like a lamb.

--Nancy.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Square and Triangles = Circle?

When I first saw this quilt block I couldn't get it out of my mind.  (For copyright reasons I'm not posting a photo but sending you to a pinterest image with the link to the blog post where the image appears.)  I'm not keen on appliqueing and kept thinking about how I could make a similar block using only squares, triangles, and rectangles.  I doodled some sketches.


Then I saw this block and wondered if little triangles around the center square would trick the eye into seeing circles, at least at first glance or from a distance.  I'm fascinated by angular shapes that sometimes give the impression of circles.

So I laid out some possibilities in fabric creating 12" squares.  Forget the colors and just look at the shapes.  I could go with one color in a range of fabrics, or more colors in a variety of fabrics.  So forget the colors.  Also look at the backgrounds.  From a distance do the center shapes look like circles?

With a center figure.

With a plain center.

With a second "circle" around the center and a printed background.
Those little rectangles would need triangles at the corners to truly give the impression of a circle.

With a muted background.

If I were to make blocks like these I ask myself if I would like all the "blank space" filling the four "corners."   Either the fabric would have to be interesting or the the quilting would need to fill and enhance the spaces.

Is this a real block, already created by someone else?  If so, does it have a name?  Anyone know?

So, that's what's on my design wall this week.  It's all play right now.

What are you playing with?

I'm linking this post to Design Wall at Patchwork Times.  Thanks, Judy.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hand Quilting Sunday Morning and Two Bibs

I thought I was making good progress on this quilt.  Then I took the hoop off to look at the back and, well, I have a long, long way to go.  Winter is a great time to quilt -- and it looks like we'll be having another 6 weeks of it.

I'm quilting diagonals across each block using masking tape for a guide.  With so many seams I knew I didn't want an intricate pattern to hand quilt.  The parallel lines are 1 1/2" apart and create a 4" square between two blocks.  I'll probably quilt another square inside that one using 1" masking tape.  I sure hope the masking tape doesn't hurt the fabric.  I've seen other quilters use it and they haven't mentioned any problems because of it.  

Looking through my fabric cupboard I happened upon this delightful fabric with vintage Valentine cards on it.  I've had it for years, probably bought on sale after Valentine's Day, and I've never used it.  Click on the image to see it larger or follow on Feedly and look at it there.  (Feedly makes the photos large enough to see details.)  Oh, and I took a few photos of some of the "cards" which you can see below.


I decided to use it for bibs for my grandbabies.  It's great fabric to camouflage all the food that doesn't quite make it to the mouth.  Can you tell which is his and which is hers?


I made scrappy backs.  I'll put the snaps on the backs tomorrow and then I can send them off.



I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and
> Let's Be Social #58 at Sew Fresh Quilts.
Thanks, Esther, Lee, and Lorna.

I hope you're staying warm (in you're in the northern hemisphere) and working on something fun.


--Nancy.
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