Sunday, November 28, 2010
Purse? Not now. Work on one of the three quilts with Christmas deadlines? I'll save that for tomorrow. What I can do is make some Mors bags - simple and necessary. These bags are made with fabric I bought in Arhaus, Denmark over 10 years ago. Everyone else went to see some mummified remains (The Tollund Man), but I spotted a fabric store and just had to get a couple of meters of fabric. I loved the gold on burgundy. But the fabric was thicker than a quilting cotton, more like a home dec fabric. So it never made it into a quilt, but is perfect for festive shopping bags!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
This quilt has been an UFO that I started 2 years when I was teaching a class in Reversible Quilting. My best teaching method is modeling, and this quilt was my model. All the fabrics on both the front and the back have stars. And almost all of these fabrics were scraps from various other projects. I've been waiting for a good reason to finish this quilt and am glad to have finally found it.
My quilt buddy Wayne talks about 2 kinds of quilts - hangers and draggers. This quilt? Definitely a dragger. It needs to be used and washed and then used some more and washed some more. 48" x 60"
A final note: I love working on quilts that celebrate a life no longer with us, like the quilts for Christopher's brother Bradley. But these "life celebration" quilts take their emotional toll. The solution? Baby quilts, like this one.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Quilting is all about sewing through layers. And it's crucial to keep the bulk at seams reduced as much as possible. For every seam sewn, the trusty iron is sure to follow. A general rule is to press seams open whenever possible. And this is easier than it sounds - just keep the tip on the iron in the seam and the fabrics almost automatically fall open.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
After looking at a tentative layout of the 9" blocks from Bradley's shirts, Christopher came over this morning and worked on the layout of his mother's and sister's quilts. These quilts will be Christmas presents and a way for the LaGrand family to mourn Bradley's death and still celebrate Christmas. Christopher is good with layouts. In less than two hours and using one additional shirt, he created two distinct layouts. The one to the left is for his mother. The second one is for his sister. Both quilts will have a narrow navy border and will be backed with a dark blue fabric.
It's always easier to work on commissioned quilts when I know I'm doing exactly what is wanted. From a design viewpoint, the morning with Christopher was invaluable. From a grief viewpoint, I think Chris did some important work for his mother and his sister. As for me, I like working with Christopher because he's nice and he smells good!
These projects will be the focus of my work this week. And I'm eager to get both these quilts together!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
some Mors bags. Using a tip from my quilter buddy Wayne, I actually used cotton mesh handles instead of making my own handles out of fabric and batting. Talk about a time saver! (If you're wondering why the handles are different lengths, so I am. I must have cut one pair 28" instead of 18". )
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Bradley wore dark colors, mostly navy and greys. These blocks are 9.5" squares, and the quilt should finish at 63" X 72". Blocks were made from the sleeves, the yoke, front placket, and the shirt backs.
Christopher is coming over this weekend to work on the layout with me, and I welcome his input. I also have all of the cuffs from the shirts and am trying to figure out how I can incorporate them into these quilts.
To be continued...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Using 2" strips of fabrics (NOT cut on the bias) and a 25 mm bias tape maker (from Joann's for $7) and following these directions, I'm now binding quilts even neater and faster than I was before. And the look is tidy and sturdy from both sides. Following are pictures that illustrate each step of this binding process.
Weeks and Bill's new book Quilting Made Modern is just being released. I'm sure I will have to buy it.
This little bias tape maker is such a simple tool. Feeding a 2" strip through it starts with a diagonal cut. The little handle? Using your left hand to pull the tape maker, you hold your iron in your right hand. Very very clever.
Friday, November 5, 2010
When I return from the Jazz Cruise, I will work on three quilts with Christmas deadlines - 2 memory quilts from the shirts of Bradley and a t-shirt quilt from a young man who graduated from York High School. And I'm sure on the cruise I will doodle out a list of all the things I need to finish and quilts/purses I want to do. It's nice to have this break.