Sunday, September 25, 2016

Autumn Stash

I love autumn with its crisp air and its rich hues. So I was thrilled to recently receive this lovely fat quarter bundle of print fabric from Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. It's called Into the Woods, released in March 2016. I have the perfect project for this. 

Because the fabrics are mostly darker in value, I was graciously allowed to supplement the bundle with three light solids from their Painter's Palette line (July 2016). From left to right, the solids are Rice Paper, Mist and Azure. I also asked for a bit of solid brown, which they call Expresso. (Not coffee drinkers, maybe? Doesn't matter. The color is just right.) I loved that the colors were an exact match to the way they looked on my computer monitor when I chose them.

This project needs to be a secret for a little while. And if you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I'm kind of incapacitated right now. (I had surgery a few days ago to repair a fractured shoulder. It was a big success, but I have to take it very easy for awhile, and I have a lot of therapy ahead of me.) But keep in touch because I have a plan.  And I'll be sharing the project the week of October 24 in a special blog post (along with some posts from some special quilty blogger friends). Maybe I'll even give you a sneak peek or two along the way. 

Thanks for all your comments on my blog. I appreciate them so much. It's a little hard to keep up responding and commenting myself right now, but hopefully after initial recovery I'll be back at it again.

I'm linking up today with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. (I tried to put the button here, but my computer's not cooperating, so just click the link.)

Have a fun week everyone. (What's in your stash?) 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Blogger Quilt Festival 2016 Entry 2

Here's my second entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side. Such fun!

What do you do when you want a scrappy quilt and don't have what you need in your stash? You create a stash! I wanted a bunch of low volume fabrics for the background of the quilt, so I went around to all the shops in my area and bought some fat quarters along with many, many 1/8 yard cuts and built a stash! It worked!

The quilt is a wedding present for my niece and (now) nephew. The colors are based on a favorite poster they have, and the pattern is a resized version of Tone It Down by Lissa Anderson for American Patchwork and Quilting (February 2014). The block is also a traditional one known as Burgoyne Surrounded. My niece told me they preferred a vintage look, and this quilt design seemed just right. 

I constructed the quilt block by block using my design wall to distribute the "scraps." My blocks are 18 3/4 inches. 

The solid fabrics are Kona cottons. I used half yards, which gave me enough "scraps" to piece the back. I couldn't resist a more modern vibe. 

The whole quilt measured 71 inches square--66 3/4 inches square after washing. I pieced it on my Singer Featherweight with Superior Masterpiece thread and meander quilted it on my Singer 115 Treadle Machine with Superior King Tut Thread. The monogram block on the back was paper pieced.

Here are some more pictures. If you want to read more and see more pictures, click on the 2AM Quilt label at the bottom of this post or on the sidebar. There are only two posts because it was a secret project.

I'm linking this post to the Scrappy Category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Click on over and see what else there is. I hope you like (love?) my entry. 

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2016 Entry 1

Yippee! It's Blogger Quilt Festival time, hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. And do I have a quilt to enter this time around! It's my Big Quilt. That's how I referred to it the whole time I worked on it, and the name stuck. I made it for my son and daughter-in-law as part of their wedding present. They had to wait nearly two years for it, but that's okay. I started it in early 2015 and finished it in April 2016.

The design is original, but the center of the quilt is based on a screen-printed pillow on I expanded the rest of the design out from the center. The quilt is actually a giant 9-patch with each block made up of two 40 by 20 inch rectangles. Because the pieces are so large, I used a freezer paper technique to stabilize them and keep the seam joinings precise. I pieced the quilt on my Singer Featherweight using Superior Masterpiece thread.

I quilted the Big Quilt on my Singer 115 treadle with four motifs; straight lines and wavy lines with my walking foot, and stipples (meanders) and an abstract floral based on Flower Power by Lori at The Inbox Jaunt with my freemotion foot. I used two Superior King Tut variegated gray threads.

The quilt top measured about 120 inches square, and the finished quilt after washing was 115 3/4 inches square. (I was hoping for a little more shrinkage, but there you go.)

I'll add more pictures now, but if you'd like to see the rest of them and read more about the details and process, click on the Big Quilt label at the bottom of this post or on the sidebar.

I'm linking up with the Original Design category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. Although the design of the center is derivative, the quilt as a whole is my own design. Please go take a look at all of the quilts, and consider voting for this one as one of your faves. Thanks!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fall Slow Stitching

Or I could say "Slow Fall Stitching" or "Slow Stitching Fall." And any of them could be appropriate. It is the season of fall--well, almost. In my state, anything after Labor Day is pretty much fall. And the stitching I'm doing is fall, as in a fall wall hanging. And I am stitching. Barely. (More on that in a moment.) And I am slow. Oh, am I so slow. 

You see, fall has special meaning for me right now. About 10 days ago, I took a fall. It was a case of distracted bicycling. I was looking at a billboard while taking a ride on a path near our home. Then suddenly, I realized that I was headed right for one of those posts that they put in the middle of paths for I don't know what reason. Maybe for caution, or to keep cars off the path? Who knows? I overcorrected, and in a hot second that lasted forever, I fell over. My shoulder took the full force of the fall. My bike is fine, but me? Not so much.

I broke the ball at the top of my upper left arm bone. I'm told that's the humerus bone, but there's nothing humorous about it. (Yup, had to throw that in there.) Anyway, there are a couple of fractures there as well as some splintering. The usual treatment for this kind of injury is about 6 weeks of wearing a sling followed by therapy, but those splinters are something of a concern. So now I am waiting for review of results of a CT scan to determine if some surgery is needed. I'll find out late tomorrow (I hope). 

I am mostly right handed, but I write with my left hand, not that actual penmanship figures highly in my life right now. But really, most of what we do is two-handed or at least two-sided--even getting up from a chair or sitting down. So this has me in a pickle. I can't do two of my favorite activities right now: biking or quilting. A third activity is quickly zooming to the top of the list, too: washing myself. Instant road to insanity. 

But I do have a fall quilt I've been slow stitching on for quite awhile. It's pretty small, and I'm working on the outer edges. So, determined quilter that I am (aren't we all?), I've been figuring out a work-around subbing in lots of pillows for my left arm. I'm using a very small, square hoop (no, I guess, it's technically a frame, not a hoop), and if I keep the part I'm quilting only a hand's width from the bottom of the frame. I can get my left hand under it supported by the pillows and quilt normally with my right. 

Here's a picture to prove it.

And here's one that shows the border better.

I'm doing this pretty much free hand, and it's going to be slightly wonky anyway, so if I get a little off track, I'll just remember that I was doing this when I thought I'd have to lay off quilting for 6 weeks or more.

I've only quilted about 8 inches this way so far, but I'm determined to do it so, so slowly or not. 

Meanwhile, I've downloaded the Quiltography app for my ipad, and have been happily doing virtual quilt making with my index finger. I had read about this app from Bernie at Needle and Foot. You can read her post about it here. If I hadn't broken my shoulder I might never have downloaded it, because I'm a technophobe, so there's that silver lining. It's remarkably easy to use, and fun! And I'm not getting paid to say this.

I'm really hoping I get semi-good news tomorrow, and that I'll be able to avoid surgery because I'd hate to lose the progress I've made these ten days, but I have to focus on what will ultimately bring the best outcome. My blog posts might become more irregular than they already are, but please hang in there with me. I'll try to put something up sometime each week.

If you'd like to see the rest of this quilt, click on the Fall Maple Quilt label at either the bottom of this post or on the sidebar. Oh, and just so you know, I think from now on I'll be referring to fall the season as autumn. Don't need any more reminders of falling this fall--er, autumn.

I'm linking up today with Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts. I won't take time to put her button on my site yet. I'm having a hard enough time keyboarding with one hand on this post (I keep mixing up the Shift and Enter keys), but I'll put one up when I can. Just click on her link.

Have a good week everybody, and if you bike, don't bike distracted!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Throwback Thursday--Oops Friday Quilt Edition: Mini Geese

Happy September! One of my favorite months of the year. Why? Because fall is just around the corner--my favorite season. Rumor has it that our summer will be extended a bit in these parts, but I bet our evenings will still cool down, and that will be good enough for me. 

Thinking of fall makes me think of geese. Our Canada geese do hang around some areas here pretty much all year now (thanks, Canada), but as soon as there's a hint of fall, we start seeing V's and hearing the honks as more geese move in.

Anyway, I've looked through my old quilt pictures to see what I have in the way of geese, and you know what? Not much. Hmmm. Because I really like the look of the flying geese block. I do have a strippie quilt with geese hanging in my family room (I wrote about it here) and I remember that I later made a similar strippie pattern as a wedding present for a niece, but the only other picture I can put my hands on at the moment is a tiny quilt I made in June 1989.

This quilt was a wedding present for my husband's uncle. I did not know his wife-to-be, but I had heard that she liked antiques, so I made a sort of vintage-y looking mini quilt. I do not remember if I was paper piecing at that time--perhaps not, although if I were to make it today, I would paper piece the geese in a long strip. I can't find any sketches to show how I planned it. 

The quilt measures 9 3/4 by 13 1/8 inches. (Yes, I was that picky in recording my measurements.) Judging from the dimensions in the photo, the flying geese are probably 1 by 2 inches. The batting is probably Quilt Light polyester by Mountain Mist because that's what I typically used in miniature quilts. I hand quilted it with cotton thread. (My notes with the photo say 10 yards.)

Here's the back:
It looks like I quilted 1/4 inch away from the background triangles and then did a double row of wavy quilting in the border. 

My later attempts at flying geese in those other two quilts were not terribly successful and yielded kind of wonky quilts. But I do wonder if it's time to maybe give them another try. 

I meant to post this yesterday, but I had a little mishap--more on that later. So I guess this is a Flashback Friday instead of a Throwback Thursday. I will link up with Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday next time she has a linky party.