Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Help ~ A family quilt, what to do...

This quilt my Auntie gave me to repair. She was given it from her Great-Aunt, who presumably made it.

I do believe the pattern is called Drunkard's Path. The fabric is in fairly good shape and it has been hand stitched -- the piecing that is. Because, interestingly enough it was NEVER quilted~!

I am astounded, but it's true there is NO quilting on this quilt whatsoever. And because of that, the batting is shifting all over the place. There are places on the quilt that have no batting at all. Yet, it hasn't balled up as much as I would expect so the batting must be fairly good quality.

Now the real question is what to do about it. Should I dis-assemble it and give it a rework. Fix the seams, give it a new back and have it quilted properly? Should I just fix the seams and quilt it as is? Seems unlikely.

I'm just not sure what to do at all!

It would also be great to get the full story about the quilt. I always find that stuff interesting.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Godmother's Love...

...this week I've been a bit blue. My girls are both gone and it just been the boys (my little guy and my HH - Handsome Hubby) and I. We had a really nice time. There was an art festival downtown. A really big deal, it takes up a very large portion of the town and we go every year.

But still, I've been missing my girls and I found that every spare moment I could squeeze away from the boys, I've been up in my sewing room addressing the trickiest of problems. Those challenging quilting skills that I've wanted to tackle but have put off for so long.

Throwing myself into a huge difficult project seems to help. Still I get to thinking about family and friends and how much all of the effort and love we put into these relationships really matter in the end. (I suppose it might be that my girls haven't phoned... but they are young and busy and having fun.)

When I put my son to bed last night, I covered him, as I always do, with his two favorite blankets. The bottom is the fuzzy dinosaur blanket that I made him Years ago, and the top is always the schoolhouse quilt his godmother made him when he was baptized. We have long since moved away, and don't see our old friends as often as we'd like. But Cameron talks about his godmother - whom he doesn't remember, with such love and kindness because of this quilt.

And I realize, perhaps things don't turn out the way we want, and maybe friends, family (and daughters) don't show their love and appreciation the way we would like. (as in phone calls to their mom who misses them dearly!) But our love is still there, keeping them warm, whether they know it or not.

By the way, Cynthia (my very close friend and godmother to my son) is a very accomplished hand quilter. Her stiches are beautiful and her works are such masterpieces. A skill I always love to appreciate. One of these days I'll post some pics of her brilliant work.

I wish these pictures of Cameron's quilt came out better, they don't do it justice!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If I were ever....

... to start my own quilt shop. Which I wouldn't because a bricks and mortar store with three kids and a handsome hubby (HH) would drive me around the twist!

But, if I were ever to open my own quilt shop I think I would call it 'At Piece' Because that is all I'm ever looking for... a little piece.

As in.... to find beautiful big pieces of fabric, cut them up into wonderful little pieces of fabric, to think about all my lovely pieces and all the spectacular ways I can piece them together... to sew my pieces, and sometimes even pull them out (or un-sew as my child says). And then, to think about them some more... thinking and playing with my brilliant little pieces of fabric!

Yes, most days, as my life whirls around me in a fabulous vortex of diapers, homework, housework, dinners, sports and recitals all I'm ever looking for is a little piece.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quiltworks NW Summer Quilt Challenge

Last night I was so tired, I went to bed shortly after my 4yr old son, and slept right through until he woke me up at 5:40am. I got a great night's sleep! I did, however want to get started on my latest inspiration.

Every so often, I think quarterly... or seasonally perhaps, my local quilt shop (Quiltworks Northwest ) runs this challenge. I've never participated before. Well yesterday I was driving down the freeway and all of a sudden I had this inspiration... I made a few sketches while cooking dinner. But I was so tired that I didn't have the time to work on it any more than that. Here is the challenge:

"Quiltworks SUMMER CHALLENGE due August 31st - We've selected a fabric and wrapped it in a brown paper bag. All you have to do is be creative! Come in anytime between May 1st and August 20th, purchase a Fat Quarter of the contest fabric for $2 and use it in your entry [the FQ is wrapped in the bag and you can't see it until you've committed!] All entries must be at least 48", but not more than 160" in totral perimeter measurement, and must be in keeping with the theme, "Summer Fun: Sink or Swim" Please submit with your quilt a short explanation of how your entry is in keeping with the challenge Theme and your contact information. Winning entries will hang in the shop so every can admire their wonderful creativity. The grand prize is a $100 Quiltworks Northwest gift certificate."

The picture is of the challenge fabric. Not something I would normally choose for myself. So? I think I know what I am going to do. But if anyone has any great ideas, I would love to hear them!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Teaching my daughter to quilt

So this spring I taught my oldest daughter how to quilt. She found out that her teacher's wife was having a baby and he mentioned how his wife was hoping to receive a handmade quilt for her little baby when she was born. Being extremely thoughtful, Kayleigh decided she wanted to learn how to quilt so she could make the baby something beautiful.

I had already shown Kayleigh how to do basic sewing a month or two earlier on an apron project she finished for herself.

In the end, Kayleigh actually decided to make two quilts. Her first quilt she pieced all by herself, making up the pattern completely. She arranged the 5" squares in a flower pattern.

The fabric on the back of the quilt is from some extras I found in my stash -- thus it has a bit of piecing done. I helped her with the binding and the actual quilting. This first quilt she gave to her new little cousin (Fraser) in Scotland.

Then she started on her second quilt, for her teacher's new baby girl. For this quilt she used a pattern and a fabric grouping. Here is a picture of her second quilt. I am so proud of her! She learned to sew, then finished an apron and two complete baby quilts in the span of two months.

Isn't she a beautiful baby girl!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thangles, BOM '07-'08

This year, for the first time, I have participated in my local shops 'Buck-A-Block' Block of the Month club using Thangles. It goes like this (at least at my store, it may differ from shopt to shop): At the beginning you buy the pack of thangles - for more info check Then every month your store supplies you with the material and a pattern for to make a square using Thangles. As long as you show them your completed block from last month, you only pay $1. At my shop, if you need back months, like I did for this go round, you pay $3. You also pay $3 if you didn't finish last month's square but you still want to buy this month.

My shop goes from July to July so we just finished the last year of blocks. I came at it a few months late. We were choosing from oriental fabrics and batiks. I went with batiks.

I was really using this project as a 'sew-between'. I hate those dangling threads that come everytime you pull something out of your machine. So I keep a 'sew-between' project on hand. It needs to be a project that requires little or no planning. I just chain stitch a square, piece or thangle in after I'm done with my main project, and leave it in the machine until the next time I come to sew. This way I am always chain sewing and never have pesky dangling threads. (Many people call these pieces 'Leaders & Enders'... I think maybe Bonnie Hunter came up with the term... But I've always called the project that is continuously underfoot a 'sew-between' because it's the project that you are sewing between the times you are working on your 'REAL' projects! LOL.

So for this project, I got a little sloppy a few times. Using thangles, every single individual triangle always comes out perfect. But I wish I was a little more careful when I was sewing my pieces together. Now that I am assembling my quilt top, I'm noticing my sloppy workmanship.

Lesson for me: Even 'Sew-Betweens' deserve good workmanship!

Here is a picture of my progress so far:

Don't look too hard or you will see my SLOP! :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Botanical Shop Hop Quilt

This is a quilt I just started. I got the idea from the Western Washington Shop Hop Fabrics. This years fabrics are really beautiful:

I'm using the focus fabric and the top four fabrics in blues and greens, then I've added another fabric to the mix to add some additional interest.

I took a quilt pattern that was designed by Jason Yenter called Botanica and modified it. His pattern can be found in the book Floragraphix II. I think he might have also designed the fabrics as well.

I will post pictures of the quilt as I get further along.

Sisters, OR 2008

My son and I went to the Sisters Quilt Show in Sisters, OR last weekend. It was very warm and the quilts were beautiful!

Some of the beautiful quilts on display.

Above my son shows off his 'temporary tattoo'

Below is the square I made for the Stichin' Post's Monthly Challenge. The Stichin' Post is the quilt shop local to Sisters, and the host of this wonderful Quilt Show. Every month they supply you with a pattern and one fabric selection to make a square. You submit your square back to the shop when you are finished. If your name is drawn, you will receive enough blocks to make an entire quilt top. It's part quilt challenge and part sweepstakes. It costs you $18/year or $1.50/month and you could potentially go a whole year without ever winning. (here is the link to this "club" )

The above square is called 'A Tree Grows in Sisters'. They supplied the tree trunk, and I supplied the sky-blue background and the tree-green fabrics. I hope whoever wins it will like it!