Saturday, May 30, 2009

For Baby Elle

Who isn't even born yet - she's still incubating in Laura's tummy. But when she comes out, sisters Amelia and Olive will be there with their quilts and this quilt to welcome her. (Not to mention her grandfather and grandmother, Poppa Doug and Memaw Kim!)
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

For Laura's Baby #3

It's one thing to number purses. It's quite a different story to number great-nieces. Niece Laura is having her 3rd baby in August, and she knows it will be a girl. So, Laura, choose the palette for the new baby's quilt: The bright jewel tones or the pretty mod softer fabrics.

Update: Laura chose the pastel mod dotted fabrics for new baby Elle!

Purse 9

I know - I know. It looks like Purse 8. Purse 8 now belongs to niece Leslie. Purse 9 has a cell phone pocket (see the phone peeping out? The pocket is much deeper than that, but I did such a good job of integrating the pocket into the design of the purse that you can't even see it). But I'm putting away all things connected with purses and going back to flat things for a while.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Purse 7 and 8

If you're thinking, "So? More purses," you're right. But there are a couple of differences with these two. First, I used for the first time a fusible batting/interfacing. It combines 2 steps into one, so for time alone I like this product. And it feels right. The second difference is that the inner bigger pocket has been moved up 1.5". And I think this is a good move (although I moved it up a bit too much on #8. Lesson learned). I can't believe I'm about to write this: I need to play with Purses 6 and 7 and see if the 2 aforementioned differences are worth institutionalizing.

Here is the big lesson I've learned from purses 6, 7, and 8. And it's a lesson in design. I don't care for the light-colored purse 6. The darker colors are more striking. And with 7 and 8, the same fabrics are used but reversed. I prefer the purse sides, handles, and tab in an accent fabric with the front and back of the purse being a plainer and darker fabric.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Purse 6 - The Madness Continues

Purse 6 was another experiment - notice the stitching on the tab and the purse sides. It looks nice enough, but it's gilding the lily, I think. These batik fabrics really speak for themselves. In using a stiff interfacting for the purse, the dimensionality of the quilting is minimized. And I'm liking the use of a lighter interfacing for the lining of the purse. I have the fabrics for Purse 7 ready to go but need to shop for interfacting and zippers.

I not only am getting the zippered pockets right, but I'm learning how to do them efficiently. This picture gives a rough idea of how these pockets look.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Purse 5

Purple is definitely my favorite color. Purse 5 is for me, and wouldn't you know that I finally got it ALL right. I figured out the bigger zippered pocket, which parts must be interfaced, and which batting I like the best. I also have Purse 1, which has a velcro closure. Purse 2 with a magnetic closure went to Paula. Purse 5 has a magnetic closure. So I'll be able to test for myself which works better.

All together it was a 6 hour project. I'll see with Purse 6 whether I can do it as nicely but in less time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Laptop Bag for Laurel

Combining what I've learned from purse making and the technique I learned making Morse bags at Christmas, I made a computer laptop bag for friend Laurel, the travel agent. We were at a friend's house for an informal meeting, and Laurel came in clutching her laptop to her chest and dangling the power cords. She explained that she does have a laptop carrier but that it's big, bulky, and complicated. I actually get her point about the laptop case. This bag is sturdy, roomy enough for additional papers and power cords, and pretty. Perhaps the handles should be a bit closer together. Laurel will help me figure this out.

And a word about this fabric. I've had this terrific green for a couple of years. But it's too strong to be combined with other fabrics in a quilt top. However, in purse #4 and this laptop carrier, it's perfect.

Purse 4 for a Lawyer

My niece Candace White graduates from Kent School of Law Sunday. There's a graduation party at a Sushi bar on the north side. Although I know we'll give her money as a present, I think Purse 4 is a great gift box.

I like a lot of things about this purse. I got the bottom and the handles right. The centered zippered pocket is still giving me fits. I hold out hope for purse #6. I used to wonder why artists would number their works rather than name them. I think now I know why.
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

India Quilt Taking Shape

The 48 log cabin blocks are finished. But what layout to use? Because the colors are so commanding, the layout must be as simple as possible. The diagonal furrows work nicely. The one outer border for this quilt will be a goldish/burnt orange fabric that relates to the center of the blocks and will gently frame these vivid colors.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sometimes You Just Want to Know...

My "India" quilt will have 48 blocks, and each block has a total of 13 pieces. So I've been cutting and sewing and pressing and then cutting and sewing and pressing. I still have to do the outer 3 layers on these blocks, but I need to see how these blocks will fit with each other. So
here's something very tentative. I think the result is going to be striking. The bottom picture is the reverse side of one of the log cabin blocks. Count out from each side of the gold center - there should be 3 logs in each direction. Each block will be 12.5" by 12.5"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quilting a la Goldilocks - Purse 3

So why would I start a new project when I have 2 perfectly good ones in process? Wendy's black/white jacket is ready to be assembled, but this is a teaching model and needs to remain as is for a few more days. The India quilt - well, I guess I haven't been in the mood for the "assembly line" sewing that 48 log cabin blocks require. So doing a new purse seemed just right. A new batik (purchased on line and on sale) is the inspiration. It does have 2 zippered compartments inside. The bigger zippered compartment was still hard to do and required some unsewing and resewing. I used a stiffer iron-on interfacing and quilted the pieces with Warm N Natural cotton batting.

The result is a purse that has a real shape to it and is very pragmatic. I did include an outer pocket for a cell phone, but I'm not sure I like the overall look - kind of makes it look "too quilty."

Final Verdict: Purse #3 - it's a winner!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Trick of the Half-Square Triangles

Quilters spend a lot of doing repetitive tasks. And whenever I discover a way to reduce the time involved in any repetitive task, I am so there. There are several wonderful designs that start from the half-square triangle. And if you're asking what a half-square triangle is, then do this:

Draw a square. Then draw a line from one corner to its opposite. Shade one-half of the square. Poof! Half-square triangles. Now, here's the magic trick part (you can click on any of these photos to see the detail).

Cut two squares of different fabrics the same size (picture 1). It doesn't matter whether you start with 6" squares or 2" squares, as long as these 2 squares are the same size. Place right sides together. Draw a line from corner to corner with a pen or a pencil - that will eventually be your cutting line (picture 2). Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew a seam on either side of your drawn diagonal line and press (picture 3). Cut on the line you originally drew (picture 4) and press open (last picture).

Presto! You now have 2 half-square triangles! Cut off the little tiny triangle parts that are sticking out - some quilters call these rabbit ears. Now you have a square that can be sewn to another square.

Isn't this a great trick?