Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quilt Studio Graduation

Cristina finished her quilt today - this was one she began last summer. Today we figured out why it took almost a year to complete: she didn't need it. Now, as she heads to the University of Iowa, she actually needs it! I love this Amish "Sunshine and Shadow" design, also called "Trip Around the World." Cris's choice of fabrics are impeccable - this quilt has movement and is light and airy. Click on the picture to see the fabrics.

Check out my June 22, 2007 blog entry - it details the history of our friendship. I'm sure I'll always be in touch with her, but I think we both realized today that the completion of this quilt marks a definite end to a nice period in our lives. She will be formally studying art and will be a force to be reckoned with!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Scraps and a Scrap Mors Bag

No matter how economical I try to be with fabrics, there are always leftovers. Depending on the kind of quilt I'm doing, I'll go though my scrap baskets and see what I can use before cutting into fabric. I've even hired grandson Ryan to sort and organize scraps. Today's project was a Mors bag, mostly made with scraps from a quilts that Cristina and I did last summer. These scraps were pieced onto a foundation that is the lining of the bag. There's a piece of flannel serving as a batting, but here's a lesson learned. The three layers on fabric for each side were too much to sew together on the side seams.

We're going to Greg and Dorothy's for dinner today, and this bag will remain there.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brandon Rules!

Here's Brandon's quilt. It's fabulous and random. Since I can't do random, I'm especially impressed with Brandon's layout. I'm also impressed that he quilted his own borders when we thought his quilt might be too small. However, I'm most impressed with how secure Brandon is with himself - he's a manly boy who is not afraid of color and design.

I will admit to connecting the blocks and doing the binding, but Brandon chose his fabrics, created his design, quilted all 40 blocks and the borders. This first quilt looks great. That it's been done by a 5th grader makes it even more special.

Brandon definitely rules!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Natalie Rocks!

Grandchildren Natalie and Brandon did their first quilt workshop with me. Their projects involved quilting 9" blocks. Natalie chose greens for one side and yellow/golds for the other. Natalie did all the quilting - I just assembled her 48 blocks reversible-style. While I was doing that, Natalie pieced a sample quilt top, quilted it, and then finished the edges with a zigzag stitch. These past three days involved some invaluable skills: ironing, handling a sewing machine, and
sorting/folding fabrics. I'm proud of both of the kids (Brandon will have his own post once his quilt is finished).

Natalie's going to be a 4th grader. I think an experienced quilter would be proud of this quilt. And to think that this is her first quilt. Natalie does indeed rock!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Laptop Bag 3 for Virginia

This bag is for Virginia, my friend Dodie's daughter. Not only is Gin 33 in a few days, this month would have been Dodie's 60th birthday. Virginia is wisely pointing out that it's better to have birthdays than not to have them. Virginia has moved from Chicago to Durham, NC, and it's been good. I miss the occasional dinners with her, but I'm very happy she's in a good place and closer to family.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weaving with Fabrics: A Tutorial

I'm making another laptop bag, this one for a laptop that is 9.5 ” by 13”. Cut a foundation piece that is more than large enough for what you want to do. I've cut this foundation to 12.5” x 16”. You will also need 2 fabrics that contrast nicely. As you go through these steps below, remember that you can click on any picture to see the details better.

1. Cut 3" strips of fabrics, making sure some are long enough to lay diagonally across the foundation piece. Iron under a hem – ¼” – ½” - but no need to measure. This kind of weaving is quite forgiving.
2. Position your first piece of fabric. Bottom of piece sits at the corner and above. Upper portion of piece sits at the corner and below. You can change the angle of your weaving by how you position this first piece.

3. Position your second piece. Place a pin in the center to hold these 2 strips.
4. Fold back the first piece, and add a strip, snugging it right up to the first one. Place a pin through all three layers.

5. Continue folding back alternate strips and “weaving” in the new ones, using pins to go through all three layers.
6. Continue working your way toward the edges, turning the piece as necessary and always pinning.

7. At some point you may way to trim up the edges, being careful not to cut away any of the foundation.

8. Quilt (top-stitch) by sewing diagonally along all the folded down edges. Because this is a bag that will be carried, I want to secure all edges. The back of your piece will show diagonal rows of pairs of parallel stitches.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - even for a shower present

There have been several pairs of old jeans on my closet shelf. After a difficult day of cutting apart these jeans, I had a nice assortment of pockets and strips. My goal was to make shopping bags. Not the pretty Mors bags that I gave everyone for Christmas but the kind that could last a lifetime. July 5 is a wedding shower for Patricia Dieball Sigcho. I am making Patricia and Byron a quilt for their August wedding, but I didn't want to go to the shower empty handed. So I began to think about giving Patricia something utterly practical, a nice balance to the quilted wall art. About 10 years ago we bought canvas shopping bags and have been using them ever since. They've been washed many many times and continue to be sturdy enough to carry a gallon of milk and canned goods. So I used those bags as a pattern for my sturdy, denim shopping bags. Patricia and Byron are getting two of these bags (nicely wrapped in a MORS bag).These denim shopping bags will last for a long time and be useful.