Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soup and Christmas Presents

 Our beautiful sunny fall days are over - today is grey, rainy, and cold. Split pea soup is perfect for a day like this, and I made a ton - enough for my parents, a friend with a broken foot, my favorite body-work massage therapist, and us.

And I used today in the studio to finish the 8 bags for Dorothy - she wants to give them to her office mates at the Department of Labor for Christmas. One of her co-workers has a thing for eagles, thus the picture printed out on fabric.

 These 10 bags were in all in various stages. After purchasing more handle material yesterday, I was able to finish them and hope to sell them at a neighbor's church holiday art fair. Details to follow!

The heart of Mors bags is "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle." These last three bags are all from recycled fabrics. Someday I'll get around to making bags out of all the blue jeans I have in bags in the studio!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Quilter Friends

On Sunday October 23 QFF Wayne and I lead the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild in making Mors bags. Despite the advanced quilting abilities of many in this fabulous group, the simplicity and usefulness of this project really struck a chord with everyone. Towards the end of the afternoon the girls just assembled themselves into this cute little picture. Thank you, Robbi Ecklow, for snapping the picture!

Need directions for Mors bags? Here they are! Just look for Make One!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Little Help from my Friends

My shower present is ready to assemble. Thanks to Ebony of Love Bug Studios I have finally learned to wind binding on empty toilet paper rolls, a great tip from my friend Ebony. And my binding method is the one that Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr demonstrate in their book Quilts Made Modern. I get by with a little help from my friends!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


That's what quilting is about. Of course color and design are factors. But for me quilting is really textural. Today I started working on a shower present for QFF Wayne's son. The first step in making this casserole carrier is simply to quilt two fabrics. Maybe it's because I haven't had much studio time lately, but today was joyous. The process of quilting and laying in rows of stitches after rows of stitches was satisfying. Tomorrow I'll continue working on this and put the studio in order in preparation for leaving town for a couple of weeks (doing a Rhine River cruise - woo hoo!)(missing the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild retreat - boo hoo).

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Winter is a'comin in...

The temperatures are dropping. That means swapping our summer quilt out for our winter quilt, which is dark and heavy and changes the whole look of our small bedroom.  Bottom line - it's warm. So the summer quilt, made with shirting fabrics from Beijing, is packed away for the winter.

I'm unsettled. The studio has piles all over - prep for my guild's work on Mors bags next week, fabric combinations for projects, and finishing my second vest.  And there's something in me that wants to start a big quilt.  But the calendar is packed, and we're leaving the country in two weeks.  Hard to get my mojo working... It'll happen. Just not today.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

62nd Birthday

This morning I walked - 2 miles in 30 minutes - and it was a lovely morning. To be 62 and feel great - what more can I ask for? I think about roommate Dodie, who died when we were 57. It makes me think these last five years have all been a fabulous bonus.

And here's the icing on the cake. I'm working on a project, another vest, that I'm crazy about. AND I got a new Husqvarna, a Sapphire 870 (used, from eBay, excellent condition), to add to my existing cadre of machines - a mechanical Husqvarna Daisy, a computerized Husqvarna 500, and a Husqvarna Sapphire 830.

Monday I'm heading to the Heartland Spa for three days. Both the new machine and the spa visit are with John's blessing. See what I mean about what more can I ask for? I truly do have it all.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flush with Success

 My sewing guru and good buddy Marge H came back so that we could work on our vests. We both had to do a dart/tuck thing with the armholes (yes, these were in the directions). I had to do mine after I had bound the armholes, but I figured out how to do it. And my good friend Mr. Steam Iron, a close relative of Mr. Seam Ripper, added the finishing touches. Then - and this is big news - I did the collar all by myself. And more importantly, I finally understand the process.
So flush with the success of this vest, I am going to try this pattern again using these terrific fabrics.  I love textured look of the top  and the color gradation of the bottom fabrics.
I'm quilting the feature fabric and using Texture Magic on it. 

Because I'm all about the process, there will be several more pictures to come. I'll just leave the piles of Mors bags on the studio floor and continue to walk over/around/on them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Shout Out to Samantha

Isn't this a great baby quilt? Just cut strips from quilting cotton fabrics (which are all 40 - 44" wide) and sew them together. The strips can be any width you want. Stick on a border (or not), quilt, and bind. Poof! Instant baby quilt!

Samantha, a student from Coastal Academy in California has tipped me off on a great site that serves as a fabulous introduction to quilting. Look at the Bedroom Furniture Spot and their quilting guide. This is some great information about quilting basics.

Best wishes to Samantha, her classmates, and their Home Ed teacher Allison Smith during this 2011-2012 school year. I'll be eager to see some of their projects and am volunteering to be an e-coach for any of their quilting endeavors!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Catching Up and Getting Ready

I love making Mors bags. They are practical, they are quick, and they are always appreciated. These are all for a friend who is giving them as Christmas presents to her office mates.

I've talked my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild into doing these bags for our October 23 meeting. In addition to providing the strapping for the handles, I've been going through a donated box of fabrics and preparing "kits", a very cathartic exercise for me and my studio. My QFF Wayne, the person who started me on Mors bags, is coming to the meeting as a guest and to help explain/demonstrate how simply these bags go together.

The teacher in me wants to have every step in visible demonstration. Here are set demonstrating the first two steps.

And I finished this Abbie's Hobo bag. I now have four of them ready to sell but am still deciding on a price.
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

What a difference a good photo makes

Mary P, the first and former president of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, let us know a few months ago about the 100 Days of Modern Quilting project. I submitted 3 of my quilts and got very nice thank-yous for two of them. The third one was "Out of Africa," pictured here. I asked Marc (see his quilts here) to take a photo of "Out of Africa," a quilt I gifted to the Salt Creek Wine Bar in Brookfield. It's where John and I had our birthday party two years ago. Here's the original blog post from two years ago. I love this quilt and think it would be pretty neat if it became a part of the 100 Quilts project!
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