Sunday, September 30, 2012

DWM: housing project

The Liberated Quilters are having a house block swap. The instructions said "any size," and mine are all different.   I needed to work on them this weekend because I'll be out of town October 6-15, and they are due October 15.  My blocks aren't as wonky as Tonya's (because I just now found that tutorial link) but they are my first effort.  I sliced and stitched and it didn't take long to get the hang of it.  The swap is for 10 blocks and that's how much background fabric I had.  BTW, that background print had a selvedge date of 2000.  I don't know if it's good, bad, or just embarrassing to know long a piece of fabric has been around.

 Two weeks ago when I posted a photo of the Cake Stand flimsy I said I hadn't decided about a border.  Here's what I came up with. It took longer than I thought it would to make all the HSTs. I discovered that I needed an inner border to make the HSTs fit--note the additional pair of HSTs in the upper right and lower left corners.  I would have finished it a half hour sooner had I not realized that the left border was on the wrong way--after all four HST borders were sewn on.  (All the dark triangles are on the outside.) The HST borders have so many seam lines that I added the outer border for stability. This is about 70 x 70 and used 4-5/8 yds of fabric.

See what other quiltmakers have on their design walls at the beginning of October at Judy's Patchwork Times!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

DWM: Challenge quilt

This year's guild challenge is "Tradition with a Twist."  The original block must be recognizable on the front of the quilt among the twisted version.   Maximum perimeter is 144".  My interpretation was just a wisp of a thought until late last week.  Since Saturday morning was taken up by the first session of the Zion-Benton Leadership Academy (which I am co-coordinating), the afternoon by a wedding, and the evening by the reception (for which occasion I made the second quilt shown here) that meant I spent Friday evening and a good part of Sunday in my studio. 

When I worked on the "disappearing" blocks for the guild's schoolhouse demonstration night in June I discovered that 3" nine-patches "disappear" nicely.  Just about any block looks terrific in batiks.  I combined both ideas.  I tried to keep the batik squares subtle. The nine-in-nine patch design should be evident at second glance.  It's just under 36 x 36.

(A couple of the blocks are oriented incorrectly, which I discovered after the quilt was assembled and basted.  I declare that a design element!)

The challenge reveal is October 3.

See what other quiltmakers have been working on at Judy's Patchwork Times .

Sunday, September 16, 2012

DWM: dots and scraps

Saturday morning was the 7th annual LibraryPalooza, our celebrate-the-library event.  There were 27 "discovery stations" where people learned about e-resources, programs, and other library services. Kids made treasure boxes out of old CD and VHS cases.  The "creme de la creme" used booksale was outside.  It was a grand day! 

I took two beach walks this weekend -- Saturday and Sunday afternoon.   On Sunday I went to a less-used stretch of our lakefront. Few people realize that the park district has a patch of beach between the north and south units of Illinois Beach State Park.  I had it all to myself!  (And the water is still summertime warm.)

Cake Stands
Bear Paws: a new quilt sprouts!

And, yes, I sewed!  I made more polka-dot Cake Stand blocks to go with those I received in the Bag Lady Swap.  The idea for the string-pieced setting triangles came to me in church on Sunday morning.  Divine inspiration?  **If anyone has suggestions for the border, let me know!**

I have a box of 2.5" half-square triangles made as leaders-and-enders.  I received a package of 4.5" half-square triangles from the Block Swappers.  These units are the basis of the Cake Stand blocks and I decided to see what would happen if I sewed them together.  And so another scrap quilt is born! 

See what other quiltmakers are working on at Judy's Patchwork Times!

Monday, September 10, 2012

DWM: dots

Pfrieda, the Pfaff 1472 that I use for quilting (and for most piecing and general sewing), has a problem with its tension discs. There's a burr or  obstruction of some kind so that the thread does not feed smoothly.  That means I can't quilt the flimsy I have basted (and for which I have figured out the quilting pattern).   I won't be able to take the machine to the shop until Wednesday.    In the meantime I've set up Sweetness, the Singer 301, which is superb for piecing.

I pulled out a stack of polka-dot fabric and have added two more (thus far) Cake Stands to the Bag Lady blocks.  In my head I'm planning a design for the guild challenge, "tradition with a twist," which is due next month. Nothing like an imminent deadline to provide inspiration. 

See what other quiltmakers are working on at Judy's Patchwork Times.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wisconsin Quilt Expo

"Eternity" by AGD Pat Hilderbrand
With Karen D.
This was the first year that my schedule permitted me to go to the Wisconsin Quilt Expo in Madison.  I picked up Mary B., whom we met on our Isle Royale trip, at her home in Milwaukee.  We arrived at the Alliant Center just after 9 a.m.  We spent the morning looking at quilts and the afternoon shopping.   The exhibit ranged from exquisite to ho-hum.  There was quite a variety.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a quilt made by an Alpha Gamma Delta sister from my own chapter--I hadn't known that she is a quiltmaker. 

I met Karen D. from western Wisconsin. We're on several online quilting lists and had not met in person.

I take quilt photos because I want to remember particular techniques or designs.  I usually forget who made them.  I also have a 4" stack of printed photos from quilt shows in years past.  I can't bring myself to throw them out even though I only look at them if I happen to come across them in the box where they are stored.   

There were fabric bargains to be had. I indulged in batiks (6 yards and 30 FQ) and others (9 yds and 4 FQ) for an average price of $6.23 per yard.
This was a nice show. I hope I can return next year.

Ugliest fabric ever? and a new flimsy and garden bounty

Few fabrics are truly ugly.  I think this is one of them. This Marikmekko print was on the giveaway table at the guild meeting on Wednesday.  I took a yard and another guild member took a yard. We're having a little challenge to see if either of us can make a silk purse out of this sow's ear.  
The other Marimekko print is more appealing, though still unconventional.  It was also on the giveway table. 
Here is Rick Rack Batik with borders!  The orange border batik is a new purchase.
Tomatoes from our garden
Parsnips from the farmer's market. We love parsnips!

Monday, September 3, 2012

DWM: leading up to Labor Day

 We were up early enough on Friday to go to the beach to catch the sunrise (6:16 a.m.)   The remnant of Hurricane Isaac gave us less than a half-inch of rain -- but also a high surf yesterday.  It was almost like the ocean! (But, as my husband points out, fresh water doesn't smell the same.)

Labor Day is a day "on" for me and by extension for my husband.  The Mayor's Prayer Breakfast is from 8:00-10:00. (The event is theologically to the right of us, but this is a politically important event in the community.)  The library has a float in the Jubilee Days Parade in the afternoon. We have 100 lbs of candy to toss at the crowd, which numbers as high as 15,000. 

Of course I'd rather be messing with fabric.  Here's the update from my studio.

If I can't resist adding to my stash, at least I can try for bargains. These came from a thrift shop--9-1/2 yards for $12.00.  

I was channeling Bonnie Hunter when I scored these sport shirts at Salvation Army--$4.16 for both of them.  Many of you know that Bonnie recently led a quilters' tour of Bali. This shirt may have been a souvenir from a previous trip.  (Take a look at the label.  How often can you identify the original owner of a thrift shop item?  Here is more about  Helmuth.)   This orange Ralph Lauren print was too good to pass up.
 And, finally, here's what's on my design wall. 
These are the batik 9-patches I mentioned last week. The pattern is Bonnie Hunter's Rick Rack Nines, but set horizontally.  I had one yard of yellow/orange batik for the setting squares and that determined how many 9-patches I needed. This is 44 x 54.  I have to attach the corner triangles and trim it.  I don't know what the border fabric will be.

Check out what other quiltmakers are doing this holiday weekend at Judy's Patchwork Times.