Thursday, February 26, 2009

Signal Lights - Doll Bed Quilt

Showing another of my doll beds and it's quilt. I named this quilt "Signal Lights" and it was made for the "Out of the Blue" challenge the Nebraska State Quilt Guild had at the 2005 state convention in North Platte.

This next photo shows it's relative size next to my hand. The blocks are 1" square and the quilt is hand quilted.
The challenge guidelines were:
1. Create a quilt, garment or doll that uses only blue and white.
2. Project can be any size, use any pattern or any fabric.
3. Project must be quilted and finished by hand, machine or a combination.
4. Embellishments may be used but must be in the blue and white theme.
5. Attach a permanent label, identifying the quilter and city to the back of the project.
6. You must create a new item or finish one of your own UFO blue and white projects.
7. The finished piece to be displayed during QNE 2005 in North Platte, Nebraska

I chose to design my quilt in EQ5 and found a block called Signal Lights by Nancy Page from the Kansas City Star in 1942. I picked that block because the theme for convention was based on the WWII canteen in North Platte so wanted something that reflected that time period.

The blocks are paper pieced and I inserted a light blue 1/8" piece of folded fabric in between the white border and the dark blue border.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Superior Threads

Check out Mother Superior's blog   and sign up to win some free merchandise.  I love their Bottom Line thread as well as King Tut thread.

Another UFO- Dragon Fly

Isn't this a great applique block? I am not necessarily talking about my execution of it but the design itself.

Note about the block - the wings are of a shear fabric and the body is made of 11 different pieces. I eliminated a couple of the body pieces - as it is some of the body pieces are less than 1/8" deep.

I made this in a class I took at the 2008 Nebraska State Convention in Omaha. The class was taught by Jane Twonswick - a great applique teacher and quilt book author.

We learned how to use shear fabric and a second applique to give the appearance of the dragonfly flying over the leaves. I finished the block after I got home but have never finished it into a quilt. Love the block but don't know how I want to finish it so it too resides on my flannel board where I can look at it. Any ideas?

If you ever get a chance to take a class from Jane - do it. She is a very good applique teacher that explains things very well and in great detail plus gave us lots of hints to improve our applique and her quilts are stunning! You can read about her on this website.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ribbit - Frog Wall Hanging

Am not sewing now so will show you a gift I got for my birthday last September.

A good friend made this cute frog wall hanging for me. It has a secret compartment in the belly of the frog to hide my valuables. You lift the mouth and there it is - oops, I should not have told you that!

She corded a strip of blue fabric she stitched on the inside of the binding - lovely accent don't you think?

The front legs and back legs are loose too so it looks like it could jump off of the quilt.

This makes another wonderful addition to my frog collection and it has a home on my flannel board in my sewing room where I can look at it every day.

Need to "Hop" to more quilting soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More Purse Fabric

I told you in the last email that I had some other fabric I had purchased for a purse last fall. Well, this is it - isn't it great!

Hobby Lobby had their drapery and upholstery fabric on sale one time when I was in the store and thought these fabrics would make a luscious purse. I am not sure what pattern I will use yet for them so just made a good guess on how much fabric I would need.

As I was waiting to get the clerk to cut my fabric the gal ahead of me was buying some of this great big tasseled trim. The more I looked at it I knew it would be wonderful with these fabrics. I could use one tassel on a purse flap or a row of the tassels along the side or bottom of the purse. Another idea would be to put one on each end of the purse strap. As you can see some of it had to come home with me and I will decide later how to use it.

Happy Presidents Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Purse Fabric and Pattern

I just love the fabric purses you can make now. I bought this "Mini Bow Tucks" pattern and fabric when I was at Quilter's Delight in Holdrege a couple of weeks ago for a new purse for myself. The pattern is published by Quilts Illustrated. Janet had one made up with the green paisley by Hoffman and I just fell in love with it so selected the same fabric for the top part of the purse as she did but liked this brown poke-a-dot by Moda for the bottom section. The light green will be the lining of the purse.

Now don't ask me when I am going to make it - I don't know yet. Janet did say it doesn't take long to make so that is good.

Have some other fabric I bought last fall for another purse that is yet to be madet too. Maybe I will just collect patterns and the fabric to make them and someday when I am gone my girls will have to take care of these "purse kits"!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I can knit.....

Maybe that title is stretching it a bit but I can knit squares and rectangles. My 13 yr. old niece was visiting for about a week 3 years ago and was knitting on a 4-H project. I watched her for a day or so and asked her if she could teach me to knit. My mother used to make the knitted dish cloths and I always had a ready supply but since she can no longer knit due to her Parkinson's disease I needed to find a new supplier or learn to knit them myself.

My mother had tried to teach me when I was in high school but I really didn't catch on and never liked doing it back then. I am left handed so that presented another problem in my eyes at least. Never felt the urge to knit again until the last few years.

We went shopping the next day and I purchased a set of knitting needles and some yarn to make a dishcloth and C. set about teaching me to knit. She knits using the English method where you carry the yarn in your right hand. I learned with her help to knit and to purl and made my first dishcloth, just knitting back and forth until I had a square - I was so thrilled!

After she and her sister left to go home I spent time on the Internet looking up beginning knitting websites and came across this wonderful website with short videos. It was here I learned there was another method called Continental where you carry the yarn in your left hand. I never felt the English method was comfortable and used so much wasted motion and the Continental method was more on the lines of crocheting. Watched a few of the videos over and over with my needles and yarn in hand and I finally got the hang of it. This was the method for me.

Another thing I found on the Internet was the pattern for the dish cloth that my mother knitted on Knitting Pattern Central which is full of free patterns. Click on Dishcloths, then on Grandma Black's Dishcloth for the pattern. My mother could probably talked me through if we were sitting side by side but she lives 2 1/2 hrs away and I wanted to do it RIGHT NOW!

I could knit a dishcloth in one evening while watching TV after a while. I knitted and knitted and knitted dishcloths. Gave them to all my friends and family members. Now some of my friends are disappointed if I give them a gift and a dish cloth is not included!

I have probably knitted 60 to 70 dishcloths in the last 3 years and most of them have been with that Grandma Black's Dishcloth pattern. Lately I have been experimenting with other ideas. I really didn't know how to purl with this Continental knitting method so made myself learn to purl by watching the videos on that stitch over and over. The checkerboard dishcloths are 5 knit stitches and 5 purl stitches then change stitches every 5 rows - the peach colored one is just like ribbing with 3 knit and 3 purl all the way.

I really would like to learn to knit something else now. I did make scarves for our kids, son in laws, grandchildren, and my mother a couple of years ago plus the one for the youngest grandchild this Christmas. I am seriously thinking of learning to make socks. Not sure I can learn that from the Internet or books or if I need to find a class.

I am presuming I can use something other than wool as it makes me itchy (think I am a little allergic to it). Will have to check out the yarn shops in Hastings and Grand Island and see what they offer for classes.

Until later....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black or Navy?

Which sock is black and which is navy? I am always having trouble after doing laundry matching up black and navy socks. I also have trouble when choosing socks to wear and have to carry them close to a bright light and then sometimes I am not sure unless I lay them next to something I know is black. On one occasion I looked down at my feet when I was away from home and could tell that I had one navy sock on and one black - how embarrassing!

Well now I have solved my problem. I used blue embroidery floss and do a tack stitch in the toe of all my navy socks and used green embroidery floss to mark the black socks. Hope this helps! At least I won't have to guess which is which when I am in a hurry getting dressed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

On the Mend and Beautiful Sight!

Ended up going to the Dr. today and now am on an antibiotic. No wonder I just didn't feel up to par lately. First time I have had sinus infection since I had sinus surgery last fall. Have a couple of other complications but should be feeling better soon.

I did take the Dr. orders to heart and rested most of the afternoon. I did do a few loads of laundry but mostly laid around on the couch and finished reading a book.

Hope the rest of you have had a chance to sew today since I didn't feel up to it.

I did see about 7 deer this morning running for all they were worth and cross the highway in front of me on the way to my Dr. appointment. Glad I had time to slow down as they sure didn't stop or slow down and jumped over the fence on the other side without breaking stride.
I also had the privilege to see 3 bald eagles about 4 miles from home along the river on my way to Hastings this morning. This year we have not spotted very many until the last week or so and that was one lone eagle circling over the river and highway. They are majestic birds and I am excited and thrilled every time I see one.
These two photos below are not of any of the birds I saw this morning but photos I took in March of 2006. That particular morning when we got up and looked out the sewing room window this bald eagle was sitting in one of our old ratty black walnut trees just on the edge of the yard - really, really close to the house.

I grabbed my camera and got two photos of it sitting in the tree then it looked at me and flew off and I got a photo of it leaving. We were so excited to have one so close. If you look very closely at the in flight photo you can see it's head is turned toward me and you can see it's eye and beak.

We have not had bald eagles in our area for that many years. They started showing up around the time our youngest daughter was a senior in high school. At that time we would see them all winter long and knew which trees to look in to see if there were any roosting. They tended to roost in the same trees all winter long.

I was asked to do a lecture yesterday at a local museum during their annual quilt show. Most of the women there had never seen any quilts as small as mine so had fun telling them how I made them and showing them off. There weren't too many quilts on display for their show so that was sad as the museum tries hard to have activities of local interest. It wasn't a long drive and was nice to show my quilts off and get a chance to talk to a few of the local women attending the show so was worth it.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thread Experiment

I purchased some Sulky Rayon thread the other day to see how I would like it on the tiny fused applique I am contemplating (thinking about, planning, hoping to do?)
Fused a simple flower to try out the threads. The pink and green are the Rayon threads and the center of the flower is buttonhole stitched with YLI 100 wt. Silk.

I was really surprised at how much more bulky the Rayon thread looked compared to the silk. Not sure yet how I feel about that but it will definitely be a consideration when stitching. The photo below is of the new flower and the tulip applique done all with the silk thread. (Don't pay attention to the stem of the tulip as it is the trial block where I determined it was too skinny.)

I am really leaning towards the silk but finding a supply of thread with lots of colors to choose from is a problem. Most quilt shops around here only have just a few basic colors of the silk so may end up ordering on line. I am a hands on person and like to hold fabrics and threads together to see the true colors so prefer to not have to order online. If there are any Nebraska or Kansas quilters reading this blog that know of a shop that carries a lot of different colors of YLI silk thread please let me know.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Roads Home" Quilt Finished

Finished quilting the border and got the binding on this small quilt yesterday. It will also be one that I am donating to our guild for our miniature quilt auction. It isn't too fancy, but hopefully someone will want to bid on it.

Had a wonderful relaxing day today. Road along with two friends to Grand Island where we picked out fabric for our guild's raffle quilt. We had more fun pulling bolts of fabric and finally made our selections. Of course we had to shop for ourselves too, had a long lunch, shopped at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's Fabrics before we headed for home. The temperature was almost perfect today - not positive but think the temperature was in the low to mid 70s F. (21 to 24 C.) There was no wind or even any breeze so it was just a wonderful day to be outside.

It is still in the upper 60s here at 5:30 pm. I keep thinking every day we have of nice weather during our winter makes it one less cold and nasty day. Keep hearing we might get some snow/rain/ice the beginning of next week but who knows, maybe it will pass us by. I would take all my winter days like today - think I am living in the wrong part of the US for that though.

Am hoping we have another beautiful sunset this evening like we have had the last several days. Have my camera ready just in case it is one of those spectacular ones.

Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stuhr Museum Quilt Show

A couple of friends and I attended the annual quilt show held at the Stuhr Museum on Sunday afternoon. There were some great quilts on display and we got a chance to shop at the several vendors in attendance too. Saw and visited with several quilt friends from other places that I don't see too often so that was another plus for the day.

It is always fun to get together with quilting friends - you can talk quilts until you are blue in the face and they do the same and no one is bored or gets that glazed over look in their eyes. To top off a wonderful afternoon we stopped at the Dairy Queen for an ice cream treat for the ride home.

Tomorrow we are again going on a "quilt trip". Actually we are driving to Grand Island to shop for fabric for our guild's raffle quilt. We are short of time so wanted a simple pattern and we decided on this pattern from the Moda website called "Pathway Batiks".

I used my EQ6 program and drew up the blocks then the quilt even though you can download the pattern from the moda website. We wanted a queen sized quilt so added more of the blocks, arranged the different sized squares in a different configuration but kept the scattered look. Another thing we are changing is the number of fabrics we will be using. The original pattern uses 30 fabrics for the colored squares in the center section. Our quilt with 63 blocks is only going to have 9 fabrics. Wanted to make it as simple as possible and keep the hassle of finding so many fabrics to a minimum.

My plan for the quilt has each of the 9 fabrics used 2 times in the large square blocks, 3 times in the med. square ones, and 2 times with the small square in the block. We are looking to find blue and green batik fabrics and a wonderful batik print using both greens and blues for the 10" border.

If you have not done so before check out the fabric manufactures web pages. They have lots of free patterns, tips plus you can look at their different lines of fabric. Good for inspiration if nothing else.

Off to sew now....


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