Sunday, September 26, 2010

'Tis the Halloween season.......

Is it too early for the Halloween decorations?  Fall is my favorite time of the year and it always seems too short so I thought I would get out the Halloween quilts early and enjoy them a little longer.

These two quilts were made by my friend Melanie.

And this quilt is one I made years ago.

My quilting friends know that I moan and groan about my inability to do machine quilting and yet I look at this old quilt - that I quilted on my machine - and am amazed at how decent my quilting looks.  When did I get so fearful and self deprecating?

Here is a close-up of the spider web I put in the corner.
Not the best spider-web in the world, but acceptable I think. 
 (The spider is plastic.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This old knitting project (see below), a sweater that I started in 2008 is once again on my project agenda.  I put away the project back in March 2008.  I had finished the back and was working on the front when I had to stop because I did not understand the next instruction.

In quilting, most patterns are for piecing and end up with the instruction, "quilt as desired".  For the novice quilter that instruction is daunting, impossible and frustrating.

In knitting, the same is true.  I can do a knit stitch and I can do a pearl stitch. Beyond that, I have to look at an instruction book, ask someone, or look it up on the internet.

Determined to figure out the instruction and not waste all that money that I spent on good yarn, I re-read the instructions over and over again until I was pretty sure I understood.  The stitch count was wrong, but I proceeded anyway and finished the front of the sweater.  (I hope it is correct.)

Today I started in on the first sleeve and the instruction said to "increase at the beginning and end of every fourth row."  The fourth row happened to be a pearl row.  Not one of my three instruction books had help for increasing at the beginning and end of a pearl row.  After looking at several You Tube videos and instructions from various websites, I came up with the method that made the most sense to me and went with that.  So far it is working just fine.

It has taken me years and years of being with other quilters to absorb knowledge, get ideas, and learn good skills.  I belong to the best Bee group in the world.  The women in my Bee group are so helpful and so generous in sharing good techniques, and I have learned volumes from them.

Perhaps I need to find a good knitting group if I plan to continue doing any serious knitting.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Top finished.....

Top finished just in time for Bee tonight.

This is a lesson in contrasts.  The olive green blocks do not have enough contrast and the blue with the large print does not work.  However, it is DONE (except for the quilting) and will be a charity quilt - and I learned that although some fabrics look good together, they do not necessarily work well if the block needs high contrast.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


All the sashing is sewn onto the blocks and the first two rows are sewn together.  Tomorrow I will be out of the house most of the day, so I hope to finish up this quilt top on Friday.  Border?  I'm pulling and auditioning fabrics, but may decide it is finished without a border.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quilting Practice

First thing this morning I made the binding for the black and white quilt.

Then I got out my new gadget - a Supreme Slider - and the new Magic Bobbin Washers - and set-up my machine to do some practice on machine quilting.
The stippling is getting better and the meandering circles aren't bad, but everything else is pretty sloppy.  It is easier with the slider, but I am just not steady enough, nor can I think fast enough to move in the right direction.  I tried following a drawn pattern and it was a disaster.  Not all of us have the same talents and I guess I just don't have the talent of machine quilting.  For now I'll stick to straight-line quilting.

In my inventory of unfinished projects are these blocks.  They are all kind of dark and put together make a rather dull looking quilt.  I decided that maybe sashing would help.  After trying out many many colors of sashing, I finally decided to try white.  I have seen many blogs from young quilters doing "Modern" quilts and they use a lot of white.  I cut some white fabric sashing strips to try it out and I think I like it.

In fact, the white sashing brightens it up so much it makes it like a new project and therefore will give me the incentive to finish it up!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another new project and NO quilting......

Another new project necessitated a trip to JoAnn's to get supplies.  I cannot show pictures of what I am making because it is a secret, so I am showing the bag instead.  (I'm so clever.)

However, tomorrow I have promised myself that I will work on an unfinished project.  No more new projects.  Promise.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Start and Finish

Although there are oodles of unfinished projects in my Quilt Studio, I was not in the mood today to work on any of them. So I pulled out my book of Quilt Ideas - articles that I have torn out of magazines.

I picked out this cute pattern of houses and log cabins. In my bedroom is a Grandma Moses picture of a checkerboard house, so I am making my houses in three different checkerboard fabrics. I got two houses/blocks put together and then I was ready to go back to something that needed finishing.

I put the borders on my black and white quilt -
and made a four-patch backing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome Sign

Finished this Welcome sign a while back and just remembered to hang it up on my porch. My other sign was faded from being outside several years. This one looks all fresh and bright.Now I need to get busy and make one for Christmas.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day labor......

My quilting labor today was concentrated on binding. It is a big quilt so there is a lot of binding to sew down.

On the table beside my sewing chair is this new little pin cushion made by my friend Brenda. Her stitching is always wonderful and I feel lucky to have many gifts in my home stitched by her.