Thursday, October 28, 2010

BIQR Floor Quilt #2

Finished the quilting on this one by doing some free motion in the blank places [after outlining the stacks of coins].  Then I made binding that started with 1.5" width strips, which meant that rather a tight fold was needed to cover the first stitching [I do that first one from the back.].  Caught the label in one corner of the back of the binding.  Finished size is 18" x 16".

Now what on earth is that size good for?

Well, anyway I finished the last assignment that Gwen gave us.



An excellent cantaloupe for breakfast
Kept the knitting on the right needles today
Marti recovering from surgery

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Circular Socks

After reading about two-socks-at-a-time from both Mary Johnson and Judy Liquidara, I decided to try this method during the time Charlie took his turns driving to and from St. Louis.  Above you can see the book from the library and how much progress I made.  I took their advice and followed the instruction VERY carefully at the start, and then I got cocky.  Seems I really canNOT do three things at once.  I can knit and I can listen to the radio, but knitting and being in a serious conversation with give and take was too much for me.  Twice I found that I had three segments of the four on ONE needle, which is really not OK.  Then when I tried to "fix" my problem, I made it worse.

I've learned my lesson:  ALWAYS check that I am using the two ends of the SAME needle.

Tonight I am trying to knit and watch the World Series.  We'll see how well I do with that distraction.

Today I added three mini-blocks onto the Chinese Coins floor quilt from BIQR.  This is as big as it is going, since I have used up all my scraps from the floor!  Now to get it sandwiched and quilted.



Helpful sectional rehearsal last night
Jo's poem about October
Homemade pesto-pasta for dinner

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

St. Louis athletes

Granddaughter Samantha was on the podium directing the High School band in one of their numbers at the football game halftime.  Can't see her from the front unless you are on the opposite side of the field.

Grandson John plays as a pass receiver and the center for kicking situations with the 7th grade football team.

SaraRachel plays "stopper" [defense] and goalie for her recreation league soccer team.  Love those socks!  and they made her easy to spot on the field.


Before going to BIQR or St, Louis, I made another doll quilt.  This will go into the collection for Santa Claus Girls at our Guild next month.



Memorized [almost] "arise" for Chorus rehearsal last night
Safe trip home, enjoying the Illinois farmland
Wind and rain, but no tornado yet today

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Webster Groves games

Charlie and I are in St. Louis, MO for three days visiting DD Martha and family. All three grandkids had sporting events for us to observe.  Samantha is one of the Webster High band drum majors, so we were able to see her directing one of their half-time numbers as she stood on a high platform.  John, Jr. had a 7th grade football game on Saturday morning and Sara Rachel had a soccer game at the same time on a different school's playing field.  We begin to see why there is so much traffic congestion on Saturday AM within the suburb!  Each field has games scheduled every hour and a half, and all the fans have to move themselves (and their kids) from place to place.

No photos because I forgot my camera cable.  But I AM taking pictures!



A good weekend for the Orange and Black: Webster Groves, Mizzou, and the SF Giants!
Time to have longer conversations with Martha, John, and Sammi
Free breakfast at the motel

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BIQR Floor Quilt #1

At the Beaver Island Quilt Retreats Gwen Marston tells us to just drop our scraps on the floor.  Later we can all go around and pick up other quilters' scraps to make a small "floor quilt".

Donna, the quilter closest to me in the sewing room, was making baby quilts with bright fabrics.  She was learning to cut the blocks off center.  She cut off a lot.  And then she threw the large scraps right at my feet!  Most of these scraps were from her.

I also made a scrappy liberated star and several asterisks, using some of my own muslin for the background. With these "parts" I have made a placemat, 12" X 20".

As we were driving home from Elk Rapids,   I was trying to explain to Charlie why I can get so much work done on a quilting retreat -- much more than I do at home.

As we discussed this is realized that I could use each Tuesday as a Quilt-Retreat-At-Home-Day.  Tuesdays I try not to leave home by combining my errands on other days of the week.  And Tuesdays Charlie is gone for much of the day.  And Tuesdays Charlie cooks dinner.  Hmmm.  Why hadn't I put all that together before?

So last Tuesday I started a new Tuesday routine.  And I finished the Amish Lib. quilt.

Today I gave myself the task of finishing the borders for "A Difference of Opinion".

I bought the fabrics for the border up in Elk Rapids, but never got any further.  Today I finished the borders.  Now I have also completed the pieced backing, and this project is ready for the LA quilter.  I am going to have her use a different color of thread and/or special stitching to accent the widening separation of the column on the right from the other two columns.



Gardening help came and cut down the garden for the winter.
They forced me to make use of the last basil - 4 more pkgs of pesto.
Good pork chops cooked on the grill by Charlie.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Photos of "Amish Lib."

Here is the quilting that I have been working on.  First I decided to overlay the wonky triangles with an even cross-hatching.

Then I put uneven feathers in both of the side borders.

Next. on the bottom and top borders. I echo-ed the words and filled the background with straight lines, one inch apart and then 1/2 inch.

The last step, after conferring with Dianne, was to put "footballs" in the narrow pink inner borders.  These are wonky borders, so they had to be treated a little differently as I dealt with each one.

And here's the final result, 26" x 41".

Since the words had to be PIECED, I decided to make the year in Roman Numerals because they have straight lines.

This quilt was made to Tonya's Amish Challenge.  It was supposed to be finished by July 1, but I took it to BIQR and managed to finish the words and all the borders there.

Now it is quilted and bound, and hanging on the wall in the kitchen.  Hooray!



Report that Martha was in the hospital was a false alert.
Beautiful red maple color along our driveway.
Survived the exercise class after missing for two weeks

Friday, October 15, 2010

Amish Lib progress

Okay, Okay!  This is pretty lame with no photos, but I DID manage to quilt my version of feathers on both SIDE borders of the Amish Lib quilt.

For the first I drew it out on freezer paper, ironed the paper onto the border and sewed right through the paper.  Well, having tried it, I don't really recommend this method.  It took me a lot of time to remove the paper.

The second one I just took my old dress-making chalk and drew my feather right on the border fabric.  Went equally well on the sewing, which means I wasn't totally accurate on the re-sewn lines.  Some bobbles in there, but it is black thread on black fabric, so ....... both hard to see while sewing, and pretty hard to see after sewing [unless you peak at the back of the quilt].  After all, I'm not in the business of pleasing Quilt Judges.

Now the top and bottom borders, which have the pieced words in them.  How to quilt?  My decision is to "echo" once around the words, then quilt straight lines from side to side, jumping over/past the words.  Hope I can find my camera soon so I can show you what I mean.



- By pretending to be on a retreat, I am making progress on Amish Lib rather than dropping it on a pile of other unfinished projects.
- Handed Emerald Forest over to Lynne and Peter tonight after a nice restaurant dinner together celebrating their 15th anniversary.
- More library books from inter-library loan

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Camera Lost!

Can't take pictures without a camera!

Where did I put that thing?  Couldn't find it for BIQR, and still can't find it.

Just finished the binding on Peter and Lynne's quilt Emerald Forest-- so it is ready to gift for their 15th anniversary.  We will see them for dinner on Friday.

Trying to figure out how I want to quilt the Amish Lib. quilt.  So far I have put cross-hatching all over the middle.  Seems like "Amish" should have feathers on the side borders.  Oh, my!  Am I up for that????



The dropped sewing machine is still working [but not the light]
No camera doesn't stop me from quilting
Have been able to thread the needle, even without the machine light!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BIQR return

Some how failed to pack my camera when I left for the week 5 Beaver Island Quilt Retreat.  AND as I was packing up to leave I fell down an odd step while carrying my sewing machine. Ooops!

I now have a scraped right elbow and knee, and a painful left wrist and thumb muscle pad in my palm.  Can't really do much with my left hand that requires pressure.

When I get a little better, I will get out the projects I worked on, and will show you  photos.  For now I will just say it was a lovely four days of sunshine and warm weather, lots  of congenial co-workers, and much accomplished.



Running out of a certain fabric is an "opportunity"
Gwen's motto for this year: "Don't commit too early", meaning just make the current decision, not all the long line of decisions
Great fall colors up north, and on the way home

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Quilt Show photos

First: The Viewers' Choice [that's the maroon ribbon]

Lots of flowers and butterflies.
This Guild loves applique!

But here's a striped set of baskets I enjoyed.

And a lovely modern piece with close lines of quilting.

Of course, I'm going to show you some more of the ones I liked, whether the judges did or not:

Item: Wheels made of dotted fabric. Just so much FUN!

Item: a strippy quilt of autumn colors cut whacky widths and with one stripe of appliqued flowers, mod style.

Item: complicated piecing, but all in black and white. Very geometric.

And then this Zig-Zag made from scrap stips and old jeans. Very heavy, but very cosy.



Off my feet at last!
Soup from my Secret Sister in the crockpot for dinner
Going north this week for more quilting with Gwen Marston

Saturday, October 2, 2010

WOW! Quilt Ribbons!

But first, another Art Prize photo ---- Charlie sitting next to Jesus. You too can have your picture taken with Jesus in the lobby of the Waters Building. Don't miss this opportunity!

[Better art further into the building, in my humble opinion.]

West Michigan Quilt Show this weekend, 250 quilts on display. I went over to do two working stints, and found a ribbon on one of my quilts! This ribbon was placed by an "Honorary Judge", not one of the Real judges, but nonetheless an art professor at the local state university. He picked my "Falling Shoo-flies" as his favorite, for the use of various sizes of blocks and for the border treatment. [Made for SpoolSpinners mystery]

Hmm, I think I like him.

And right around the corner, another judge's choice ribbon; this time from one of the "Real" judges of the show. My "Summer Sun" was his pick after all the judging was done.

I was so sure that this would not be judged as high quality that I sewed the sleeve on the back by machine, showing the stitches straight through onto the front. I mean, it's just a Rail Fence with one snowball block!

Hmm... I think I'll take this one too.

As you can probably tell, I am mostly interested in the design of a quilt, and getting the pieces together. I am not "into" the details of perfect piecing and perfect binding. So I am never going to get a ribbon in the regular judging. Therefore it is certainly nice to get some recognition from judges for my design sense.



Other quilters congratulating me
Enjoying the other quilts, quite a variety
Seeing more Art Prize entries before the symphony concert tonight

Friday, October 1, 2010

Play! and Doll Quilt

The Grand Rapids Women's Chorus sang downtown yesterday for the dedication of a statue of Rosa Parks. The event was outdoors, in front of the new Art Museum. As we stood around waiting for the start, we noticed behind us one of the installations for Art Prize [local two week event of 1700 artful items on public display].

By waving your arms and moving toward this sculpture, you can make the "strings" sing different tones.

We had plenty of fun before the "real" event started!


Two Fat Quarters of fabric and half of today, resulted in this doll quilt. Well, I did add that little inner border of white to the FQs.

And here's the back with some added purple fabric.

These are the scraps left from the fat quarters, not much!



A day to play with fabric
Enjoying sauerkraut with various dinners
So quick to get laundry done now [with laundry in my sewing room]!