Monday, January 23, 2017

Elephant Parade

Welcome 2017!
WOW! I see I only made only two posts in 2016 - both in July. How can that be - 2016 passed and quilting has definitely not been my focus. I have done some quilting in the second half of 2016.

Here is the completed Elephant Parade quilt! (began and finished summer 2016). Daughter hand embroidered the label and I tried my hand at machine quilting and binding again - it's been awhile and I've only tried 2-3 times before.


This quilt was lovingly sewn by daughter dear - with me as assistant/consultant but daughter's idea and actual sewing! The quilt was given to the very appreciative "mum" of a little boy who was the director of a research program at City of Hope that dd participated in for two summers. DD developed a mutual fondness and respect and is also appreciate e of the mentoring. The happy recipient proudly displayed the quilt on FB.  She also noted the DNA-like quilting in the borders - not surprising from a scientist (it was really a free-hand flowing cable design).

 See Elephant Parade original pattern at Sew Fresh Quilts Quilt blog. Layout, number of blocks and borders were modified a bit by my daughter. We used mostly scraps from the stash and had so much fun sewing together!

Let's go quilting 2017!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quilting Review: 1st half of 2016

Although, I have not posted anything quiltish much since October last year, I have done a few quilt activities and been otherwise busy in addition to working too much as usual. No time to post about quilting for sure with current job responsibilities, teaching on the side, taking a few classes, trips to see daughter and travel lifetime trip to Alaska with my mom. (I should be doing something else now, but will get up early to catch up on other computer assignments). Here are some highlights beginning last fall, where I left off...

In October with hubby and college friends who planned this trip to celebrate their 30th anniversary. We made is our 30-year anniversary celebration too (about 6 months early for us) and had a blast driving to and cruising from Galveston in torrential rain, flooding, and strong winds that delayed our sailing out of port until the following day. Still the trip was SO Awesome! Since I am finding my photos of people right now, here are some fish seen while snorkeling in Roatan Honduras. What a wonderful trip! Ready to go there again!

In November I updated my office with a quilt! I made this in early late 1980s or early 1990s if I recall (I'll have to check the label on the back :) I love the colors and ocean waves always! It is named Flaming Ocean as a blend of my former and current life at the time I made it. Ocean Waves pattern for California where I grew up and red "flaming" for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma whose native tribal emblem is fire, Pottawatomie also the county I'm in..., not to mention RED dirt in these parts! It is made of old scraps and pieces from dresses of my mom and me as a child, and scraps gathered from local garage sale clothing - looking for just the right warm reds and tans. A large shell design is quilted in the centers of light yellow blocks. Machine pieced and hand quilted. Full of many wonderful memories of quilting with friends in my early years of quilting. Still one of my favorites and the perfect art for this wall!

December was time for family in California. No quilting that I recall, although I take my handwork with me, not much gets done. Instead we play family games by the hour (Cared game Capitalism was the biggie this year). I also indulged in the annual cousins cookie decorating event!

January: I worked on Cheddar Cheese & Crackers - a mini-quilt from Lori at Humble Quilts. She offered a sew along a few years ago and I did not participate but kept this in mind to make sometime - modified a bit of course to go along with the fabric I had and enlarge a bit. I sewed off and on many evenings in between many house guests. I just love the old-time style and appeal! Plus she used a creative sewing approach to avoid setting in any seams.

Other big news for January is that ds moved out (after having returned from college a couple years ago). He is enjoying his job and moved closer to it. We are happy for him, but helping him move a HUGE sofa to his second floor apartment was NOT fun. Where are all the young strong college aged guys when you need them? Somehow, we out-of-shape 50+ year olds (+ son) managed without getting hurt.

February: A quick weekend trip to watch dd run, and jump, throw, and hurdle, in pentathlon and open hurdles. She is amazing! First time I have seen her compete in track in college (3 yrs). Had a great time using my voucher from previous trip last year when I gave up my seat for $700 worth of travel - YEAH!

I also attended the Quilts and Color exhibit at Oklahoma Museum of Art. A spectacular, up-close look at these lovelies visiting from the east coast. There was even one applique quilt!

I also spent a professional day at the State Capitol in March and stopped by to see many arts in the building including this lovely quilt of Indian Blanket quilt.
Attended Seminole Piecing Workshop of Shawnee Spinning Spools Guide (few hours as observer) with local Seminole piecing legend, Cleo LaValley - maybe her last class as she is 91 years young. Bought her book just in case I decide to try it out sometime. 
My cousin had a bridal shower - I did not get to go out west to attend, but saw the lovely pictures AND surprise, this quilt was part of the decor! I made this quilt for Kelsey when she was a little girl. Hope I signed and dated it but likely not, back then. But she and her mom recall who it was made for and who made it :)                                                                                                                                

April: Road trip to attend a beautiful wedding in the Ozarks at this lovely chapel for daughter of great family friends since college. We are honorary "aunt & uncle" to each others' (now grown) children. Congrats Tara & Matt!

May took me from coast to coast. Said goodbyes to dad who passed away a few days later in San Diego. Two weeks later I was in New York, (via Pennsylvania and Cleveland) to "fetch" daughter from college (really to help her pack up apartment and drive back to Oklahoma). She will be here all summer - a real treat for us since she has been away at school or internships since the week after she graduated high school.
We also worked on a quilt together! Her request :) What a thrill! One of her mentors from City of Hope recently had a baby and so she found a pattern online she modified it to her liking, we sorted through scraps, and I cut and pinned while she sewed and pressed. We worked about a week solid every night after work until 12am or so to get the top finished. Last time we quilted it was making her quilt as a child about 10-11 years old.

June was also a lifetime Alaskan adventure, dream come true for my mom, me and my daughter! Thousands of photos later (don't worry, I only posted three), it is still unbelievable! We all even did a zip line through the forest while there and I managed to find a few quilt shops to browse and learned about qiviut! (exotic arctic yarn made from muskox). This was planned as mom's trip with me, but she graciously allowed granddaughter to come too at the last minute (2 weeks in advance) once granddaughter's ability to travel overseas to Kenyan for internship tanked. Three generations and a lifetime of memories, most good :)

July started out in San Diego with family on the 4th. Enjoyed excellent food and a celebration of life after my dad's passing in May.
Dad, Mom & Me (2013)

I has been HOT now! Plus the yard has needed a good amount of attention for plants to survive! dd had knee surgery (only reason she stayed in OK this summer) and is re-cooping well but required some extra TLC (being waited on like a princess!) and still has her limitations. She's here for about 6 weeks until returning to east coast in NYC this semester). While here, she has decided it is her duty to help us empty cupboards, closets, garage shelves and everything to get rid of stuff. Great idea, just very hot and messy and not what I want to spend my after work and weekend hours on at this point. Still doing it.

Thinking about a baby quilt now that needs starting for a boy due in October. Bought the pattern while in Alaska. It will be fun! I am looking forward to what is ahead...I often have quilting on my mind at the end of the day with a quilt magazine or pattern book by my bed to flip through the pages as I fall asleep with the beautiful images in mind.

Friday, July 8, 2016

We have a winner - and it's me!

I have enjoyed many quilt projects and patterns from Gaye and had fun reading her blog at Sentimental Stitches Most recently I have even been collecting the 1857 Album quilt block free patterns she offers each month, although I have not made any of them. I also have Beyond the Cherry Tree patterns and have some progress making them (love those old red and green quilts!. Now she has blessed me with yet another treat by selecting me as the winner of her 20th Anniversary prize of EQ7. I can't believe it! Thanks Gaye! Next, need to take some time and post a blog update.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rescue Quilt #2 Wedding Ring

Rescue quilt #2 is rather ugly in terms of color and fabrics. Just the perfect strangeness for me - which are quite obviously pieces of old dressed and shirts! It has returned from the quilter. This is unusual for me to hire out quilting - but it seemed fitting for these rescue quilts and I am pleased with the results. The wedding ring has been trimmed and and binding selected and cut while listening to online conference proceedings. It's great getting to accomplish both of these activities at once! Now for pressing and sewing on the binding in this curved edge quilt with inside corners. Should be a fun and interesting challenge.<>

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Rescue Quilt

It is quite fashionable for pet rescue and a worthy endeavor. Not being the biggest fan of furry pets, I have opted to attempt an old quilt top rescue. I have several old quilt tops given to me. This old quilt top was give to me by a friend. I've had it for awhile but thought to perhaps get some use out of it. It is many shades of lovely light pink with equilateral triangles design, but has some stains and imperfections, too.

I found a suitable sweet background print for it and took it to a young machine quilter to get an idea of her work. I have an idea for some custom work later, but this is just some simple pantograph curves and feathery leaves to compliment the angles of the pyramid shapes. I am pleased with the result and have already cut and pressed the matching binding that I will machine sew on - with the goal of getting more practice to improve this skill. Also in the photo is my new rotary cutter - with a big 60mm blade.
It is something new in my tool box and a gift from current guest resident in our home. It came in very handy for trimming this quilt in preparation for binding. AND.... I did it!! A binding - start to finish - machine binding on a full size quilt in one weekend (Fri-Sun) this past week, washed and fluffed an on the couch (for now). This was the most painless binding ever!
And what do I have here? Just what I don't need! More fabric - a little treat on a recent trip to a state-wide meeting with my boss. She was interested in stopping by a quilt store (to look at embroidery machines) since we just happened to be traveling on the road through Hennessey, OK. WOW! It's been awhile since I have been to Prairie Quilt and they have expanded quite a bit into a whole new sewing studio across the back alley. The previous classroom space upstairs in now all the sale items ... a sample of which is pictured here. I also bought some filled "lead' for my marking pencil. With so much applique in the past 2 years, I was almost out of my favorite product. For the fabric, I have a few specific ideas. First thought was the "Sticks" quilt that a couple friends are trying to find a time to get together and do (Maybe November?). Next was "Honey" (pyramid/hexagons honeycomb like design from Modern Patchwork magazine). With my new rotary cutter and some great rulers that I've had for while and not used yet, I am really itching to make a choice and CUT this fabric! Stay tuned for the results.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cherry Tree, CCC #33 progress, & the countdown for SVBA quit

With several project in progress, what fun it is to be able to do a little of this and that as the fancy strikes me! Most attention has been given to Cherry Tree blocks. Mom bought this pattern for my birthday this year and I am making big strides with these beautiful large blocks (18 inch background).

Beyond the Cherry Tree
While the first block I began is still in progress (shown in previous post), I cut out three more and basted some pieces on the background while other pieces are still pinned. I sewed a little on the pineapple stems and one pineapple crown - just because they were calling me to sew them instead of just put in a few basting stitches, I sewed now!
Choosing the fabric and getting in this state of readiness then allows me to pick up and sew or take with me if there is an opportunity for hand sewing. I am using the many green and reds and a few yellows that I have in the stash from other circa 1850s applique work.

Next, the Shennandoah Valley Botanical Quilt block Sew-Along type blog is kicking off on Oct. 1st. As shown previously, I have printed off patterns and prepared a folder for all blocks. Now I have begun to trace off my desired 14" sized blocks. All the time it takes tracing on freezer paper makes me wish for the ability to copy the pattern directly on freezer paper using the printer...but I have neither the proper paper nor the proper printer (it is a laser printer and I think not amiable to freezer paper pages). If someone knows something different let me know. Tracing is at least a mindless easy task when I am too tired to actually put effort into any decent applique work - works well for the late night TV keeping family company (basically that just means politely staying in the same room, LOL!)

CCC #33 Half-way mark
Here is what Chester Co. Criswell quilt block #33 looks like today. I have sewn about one circle at a time now and then. It is difficult to make each the same, (impossible?) but I see that overall it will look fine despite many imperfections. Maybe it will be finished by the end of October :) Then I am looking forward to laying the blocks out and sewing together. However, my design wall will be VERY empty since these blocks have held the place of honor (covering the entire design wall) since mom and I installed the cloth covered feature a year or two ago.

Finally, I must admit that I have also worked on the Bible Quilt animal block a bit more - just s stitch here and there to finish the elephants and begin on the panthers/foxes? Not enough progress to show this time. Now back to some quilting before the work week resumes!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Needle turn fruit circles & SVBA debut

Needle-turn circles in Bible Block #3 - Garden of Eden
I did a little quilting this holiday weekend while listening to book on tape historical fiction from WWII and a couple TV shows/movies with ds. Hubby was gone all weekend to a family reunion out of state and I vowed NOT to work (much) this weekend, leaving me with lots of time to just relax ad enjoy!

I cut a few more pieces for Bible blocks and based two blocks. Also tried some free-hand needle turn on the circular "fruit"in the Garden of Eden block in Bible quilt. Since this is a primitive style quilt - I thought it would be a good time get in some practice for small circles that would be less than perfect. The circles for the fruit are a hair larger than 1" inch in diameter. I am pleased that they turned out great! (4 circles sewed on so far -and I expect to keep getting better). I have many cherry circles to do on my work upcoming with Beyond the Cherry Tree pattern, of which I also began free hand needle turn circles. If I can master this skill, it will save much time in pre-sewing (gathering and restitching) circles for this project. If I need more precision circles I can gather around a little cardboard and press for future projects which has worked fairly well in the past.

The other quilt project I worked on this weekend was getting organized with Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt blocks (SVBA). This pattern is from the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, VA. The original quilt was made in 1858 by Esther Blair Shaw Matthews at age 82 in Lacy Spring Virginia. The pattern is now a fundraiser for the museum. Quilters are invited to make the quilt one block at a time beginning in October and there is a blog set up for support! Very fun! (See small quilt button - icon link I made on right side of blog feed). I think the blog support part (plus only getting the pattern one month at a time) helped me with the last delightful applique project Chester County Criswell quilt.

This weekend, I printed the patterns (from electronic download purchase). I assembled into a flexible plastic cover notebook made with plastic sleeves for each pattern and a clear cover so the full quilt picture is visible. I did this with other patterns as it works well for me keeping things together, visible and easy to manage.

For the quilt, I decided the size enlargement I wanted - of course different from sizes offered! I made a few printouts to see what I liked. The quilt is 25 blocks in a 5 block X 5 block pattern with no sashing and no borders. The pattern that is sold is 9" an just shows the applique floral design with an asterisk in the center (sort of some were not centered when I went to sectioning each block into quadrants). There are no edges or quadrants marked, no real instructions (I suppose the blog will address this).It calls calls for enlargement of pattern to 20 inch blocks like original. But, I am enlarging to 15 inch.                    The pattern has 9, 16 & 

Background option Shenandoah Botanical Album
20 inch enlargement options although when I tried the pattern's 16 inch size, the patterns seemed to be too small, floating in the background. The actual quilt blocks look very full. The pattern calls for enlarging 160% for 16 inch blocks, but I enlarged 170% to make mine 15 inch blocks and there is still adequate space around the applique. I will cut background 16 & 1/2 inches to allow for 1 inch of "shrinkage" from applique and trimming, and 1/2 inch for sewing blocks together. I also marked each original pattern (9" size) into 4 inch quadrants for ease of enlargement - this way I can print two 11x14 pages that will give me a full size pattern for each block. The next step will be to trace patterns onto freezer paper. I will probably do this one block or two at a time as I go. Watched/listened to some DVDs checked out recently from the library of the series, Berkley Square. It is set in a similar time and fashion as Downton Abby and so far is delightful.

Now, I am contemplating the background fabric for SBVA. Since I have about 3 white background appliques for this era, I think I might try something different for this bright quilt. These are two tonal prints that I might use. I would use both and maybe even additional tonal prints (not enough of any one of them - plus variety make for more interest! Still thinking... :)
Happy Quilting!