Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Finished UFO: A Deconstruction

In trying to make room in my cabinets for piles on the floor, I found this sort of completed quilt. It's from my Jinny Beyer/batik period, probably 2012-ish. Jinny Beyer is a genius with texture, color, and light; I have learned much from her. But then I get cheap about buying kits for patterns. So this quilt is her pattern but from my stash. And I love it. But as I was quilting it, frustration set in. Let me sing this quilt's praises but also point out its issues and what I intend to do.    
I practiced my stippling technique, working with thread color that blended right in.

But since I quit stippling, this quilt still needed quilting.  So I got out my No 5 Milliner's needles and my No 8 Perle cotton

The stippling and machine quilting look great from the front.
But look at the back.  I don't mind the stippling but the tension for my straight-line quilting was obviously off.

So the stippling and hand stitched will live side by side.

Should I take out these icky stitches or just call it finished?  All I know is that its out of the cabinet and looking for an owner.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Baby Quilts: Get Happy! and Two Little Koalas and Bright and Sunny

Baby quilts are one of my favorite things to do.  They are small, fairly easy to quilt, and - most importantly - keep me focused on possibilities of the future. My nephew Chris and his wife are having a little girl pretty soon.  Pink was the color of choice.  Guildmate and current Chicago Modern Quilt Guilt president Laura McDowell Hopper posted this quilt, "Get Happy!" on the We All Sew website.  There's a second Get Happy! quilt in the works for my niece who is having her baby a month later!

Two Koalas, an Elizabeth Hartman pattern, is complete.  I struggled with how to quilt this and finally took a tip from Lady Macbeth:  be bloody, bold, and resolute.  I dropped the feed dogs and free motioned the background.  And I must say it is spectacular.  The wool batting makes the quilting pop.  A word about Elizabeth Hartman patterns:  they are terrific.  I was a bit taken aback when friends with a pregnant daughter in Perth, Australia, asked for a quilt with an animal on it.  I wanted to say, "Wait, I don't do cute."  But then I found this pattern and have fallen in love with the cuteness.  So I guess I do do cute!

Evenings I am working on this beautiful log cabin.

And another baby quilt!  I'm quilting it right now - it will be for Helios's new little sibling.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Three in Process and One Actual Finish!

These peppered shot cottons are so gorgeous.  They will be a special quilt for my little Cristina.  I am finally deciding - I think - to do 12" clams.  This project won't be a quick one...

Cristina's little nephew Helios is getting a new sibling soon.  Helios's baby quilt is pictured here .  His parents seemed to like these fabrics, and I just happen to have more!
This baby quilt for my nephew and his wife just needs binding - I'll do an official post soon.  

Last, every year quilty Beth find a linen calendar for her friends.  Every year I come home and hem this tea towel.  They then are mounted on the kitchen door.  I was a bit slow on the draw this year, and John had to ask me twice to get this done.  I think he really likes this year's calendar.  I do, too.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Sew Powerful

My work for Sew Powerful for 2020 has begun with this pretty six pink purses.  The goal of Sew Powerful this year is to have 2,020 purses ready for the November 1, 2020 deadline.  I'm thinking 6 purses a month is a good goal.  These 6 purses represent 3 days worth of cutting, interfacing, and sewing.  How perfect to be able to sew, aid a community, reach out to young girls, and be a part of this Sew Powerful team!

Monday, January 13, 2020

ADD Quilting: A Usual for January

January I get nuts. I want to do everything. I want to make everything. So my wise sister said "Focus." This is my attempt to focus.  
A year ago the Canadian Quilters Association began a block a week. See #52blocks52weeks. Every Tuesday a new block would be released. And pretty soon I couldn't get on with the week until I had that Tuesday block made. Because I have so many scraps, I worked strictly out of my scrap pile. I do love the blocks individually. But I put them up on the design wall against a lovely background. And...I don't love it. I don't hate it either. Would these blocks be better featured in an Attic Windows setting? Maybe... They are coming down. I think they need to rest.
What's going up on the wall is this little happy quilt of exclamation points designed by the current Chicago Modern Quilt Guild president Laura McDowell Hopper.  Laura designed this block to be paper pieced but I just pieced and now have 28 blocks.

While starting new projects and putting fabrics away, I came across this quilt.  Years ago I was trying to learn to free-motion quilt.  And this was my practice piece.  It's maybe half quilted, and I realized two things.  One:  I don't like doing free-motion quilting.  Buddy Wayne is a genius at it and tried to coach me through.  But I am not happy doing it.  Two:  I realized how much I didn't like the tension of the machine I was using.  So I just put it away.  I do think it is pretty, and it's a good size, maybe 70" square.  So I am adding some stitches with No 8 Perle cotton and will then bind it.  I think it might belong in my sister's house.
And speaking of adding stitches, Nikki's quilt was finished for a couple of weeks. And the delivery was postponed several times over the holidays. A few days before gifting it, I decided it need some hand stitching, and I was very happy with the results. It was a peaceful way to welcome in the new year!