Saturday, December 28, 2019

So Many Quilts (for 2020) - Part 2



What a lovely holiday season.  I love Winter, and I love Christmas.  I love that John decorates.  Here's what I look at every morning - the glam clam of shot cottons, the elliptical drunkard's path (relegated to over a chair since a quilted Christmas tree is in its place the the wall), and John's pretty little bird tree.

2019 has been a lot of hand quilting.  It's my new nightly passion.  Quilters are always looking ahead to their next projects.  And I am always making sure that I have something to hand quilt in my queue.






But in the studio during the day I've been working on various projects that I haven't necessarily been documenting.  It's been more important to sew than to blog.  The current political scene is just maddening and polarizing.  My escape and sanity has been my sewing.  Lots of period purses this year.  And lots of backpacks, the latest one is pictured here.  It's a great pattern, but you can not tune out or go on automatic pilot for one minute because there are so many sequential steps.  The total concentration they require has suited me in the past few months.  And these little koalas!!!  I tend to not do fussy or cute.  But these little bears - so so cute.  I can't decide which child gets the scotch...

In organizing projects that I want to start, I came across this quilt top.  It's 78" x 88".
 Now, should I add an extra border just to make it bigger?  or is this quilt complete.  I'm leaning towards the latter although I do have more of the lighter fabrics. One thing is for sure - I have a plan for quilting it!  And now I don't have to panic about what to quilt next.

The quilting of the black, grey, and white log cabin is going faster than I anticipated.  I am loving what the off-center spiral quilting is doing to the linear layout of the blocks.

As I put away remnants of previous projects and began in earnest to put projects into my queue, I think I go overboard.  But each one of the following projects is one I want to do.  Some will be for people, and some just because it's what I have to do.

Getting back to Sew Powerful purses is a top priority.  Here's a pink group - 

and a red-orange group.  Then various purse parts can be mixed and matched.

I'm not done with shot cottons.  Here's a Roy G Biv collection.  I'm  thinking about design and the accompanying quilting.

These are 5" squares.  Leave them whole?  Half-square triangles?  Mix of both? For a grandson

This pile of pretty Bella cottons will be a full-size Interwoven.  Still assembling colors

My Orlando nephew is having a baby girl this spring.  Thinking...

Baby Koala must be quilted within a week.  It will be heading to Australia.

I think this lovely jelly roll of Zen Chic's Mood Modern Background and charm pack will make for a terrific baby quilt.

2019 was terrific personally and tragic politically.  I'm both eager and afraid for 2020.  But I do have great faith in humanity.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

So.Many.Quilts. Part 1

 My love affair with peppered shot cottons has ended.  I took all my leftovers from various projects and made this Fence Rail design.  Since this quilt is going to my nephew in Orlando, I batted it with a very light polyester and then hand-quilted with No. 8 Perle cotton.
 This quilt is 75" x 85"
 And it's been a dream to work on.  I have held this quilt in my lap most evenings for the past 10 weeks.  It's so satisfying to see the dimension the hand-quilting adds.  
I just need a label and to wash it before packing and sending it.  Very satisfying, and a bit sad. Here's what will be taking its place in my lap for the next few months.
 These log cabin blocks were started last winter - 14 black and white, 14 grey and white, and 14 black and grey, each with a red center.  These diagonal furrows appeal to my eye.
 In looking over my various backings, one that I bought - I think by mistake - works with this quilt.  And more important, it has the right feel.  

 I love that my work tables are on locking casters and can easily be reconfigured, especially for pin-basting.
 The batting is Warm and Natural, an all-cotton batting that is fairly heavy.  I'm not saying the polar vortex is coming back again this winter.  But if it does, you'll know where to find me - right under this quilt as I work on itl.
A grapefruit spoon is a great way to work with safety pins and saves the fingers and nails.  

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Looking Around the Studio

This time of the year that makes me think about what needs to be finished before I start anything else. Many  quilters, including ones in my guild, are so good about setting goals for the year and then analyzing how well they accomplished these goals.  One Quilty - yes, I'm talking about Laura Hartrich - has even made a quilt of how well she did on one year's goals.  While I am impressed, I have no desire to even begin that sort of heavy- duty thinking! With some minor talk of moving and downsizing (no, it's not happening - yet...), I have begun to cull through books and gadgets I don't use to find new owners.  This book?  It's lovely.  My sister got it for me before we left for Kenya.  It' beautiful - it just needs a new owner!


I came across this quilt top I started last spring. Quilty Eileen used this pattern and shared her ruler with me. It was perfect for the cake layer of fabrics I had.  The gentle taupe, teal, grey, and whites appealed to me.  So did this unique way of working with hexagons.  It's all pin-basted and I'm doing my own machine-quilting on this.  The batting is Warm and Natural, and this quilt is heavy.  I can only work on it in small stretches.  But I like how it's turning out and am mostly glad it will be finished soon.
Here's the same family of fabrics used in a different way.  Ever since I discovered hand-quilting, I look for things I can work on in the summer.  Holding a quilt to work on in the winter is heaven, especially in this house.  But in the summer not so much.  Here's a link to my blog post from last January when these blocks were in process.  Now?  Each one is quilted and needs to be joined to the others.  Currently it's in three rows.  This will be 85" x 85".  One of my favorite things about this quilt and the reversible process is the back.  Each block is backed with a different Art Gallery fabric and batted with wool.  Now, what to do with these two quilts?  TBD...

And finally, another apology for all the times I have said I don't do cute.  Because I do!  Look at this little pink koala who eats red eucalyptus leaves.  My sister was holding her sick granddaughter Eloise when I was finishing the koala baby quilt.  Elo was curious if koalas could be pink or purple.  So in the midst of trying to downsize my stuff and finish up UFO's (another post is coming tomorrow...), I needed her to know that yes, Koalas can be pink.