Friday, October 30, 2009

Weekend Quilting

Since my quilting time is very limited.... to weeknights after work, Saturdays after housework and Sundays after church.... I can sometimes feel stressed out trying to do it all. This week I felt the need to step away from all after work quilting to catch my breath a little bit.

But, now that the weekend is almost here its time to quilt!

This weekend I would like to finish "Sweet Savannah". Here's how it looks so far.

You can see in the picture that I need to sew the already pinned on bottom border, and cut and sew on the top border. This will only take a few minutes and this quilt top will be finished. I should be able to do this tonight. Then tomorrow I plan to pin baste and begin machine quilting it. If all goes well, I might be able to bind it on Sunday.

Do you have weekend quilting plans?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thank You Ms. Georgia Bonesteel!

Recently I did an internet search to see if Georgia Bonesteel had a website or blog and discovered that she has a blog HERE. I left a couple of comments and I was so thrilled to receive a personal email from Ms. Georgia Bonesteel and even more thrilled to receive this signed copy of her latest book in the mail.

If you aren't familiar with Ms. Bonesteel, she is a well known quilting author and teacher. She is the inspiration that got me started in quilting and I still to this day go back to her original 1980s book, "Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel" when working on quilts. She is also famous for her many quilting shows shown on PBS.

So, thank you Ms. Bonesteel for this great book and for all the inspiration you have given me over the years!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quilting... A Workout?

The bigger the quilt gets, the more the workout! I never knew that making a quilt was such hard physical work, until I actually made one. But, once the quilt is finished, its worth the work.

Saturday, I worked on preparing "Early Autumn" for quilting. The quilt is queen size, so it needed a big empty floor space to be worked on. In the living room I have to move furniture out of the way and I knew if I didn't finish by lunch time, I'd seriously be in the way of other family members coming and going, watching tv, etc.

So I decided to use the floor in hubby's and my bedroom, upstairs. There is just enough room at the foot of the bed, if I moved a few small things on the side of the room out of the way. But, the ironing board was set up in the sewing room downstairs. I used a covered tv tray to sit the iron on in order to be able use as much of the ironing board surface as possible. My hubby and I are planning a bigger ironing surface, but don't have it done yet. :o)

Ironing a big quilt top and the quilt backing is a hard job using a standard ironing board, but it can be done:

I can't tell you how many times I ran up or down stairs while working on this quilt Saturday! If I was upstairs, the scissors were downstairs. If I was downstairs, the scissors were upstairs. LOL. Once I got the backing fabric ironed to my satisfaction, I ran upstairs with it before it got wrinkled again and proceeded to spread it out. This means walking around, and around it. Bending over, bending over, crawling around, crawling around and each of these things over and over until it was right. Then you start taping the edges down. Then the walking, bending and crawling repeat themselves many more times until this is done to my satisfaction.

The taped down quilt backing:

The special quilt batting I wanted to use, Hobbs Heirloom, was stored in a storage space in the attic. I opened the door and couldn't quite reach it without crawling around in there. I finally used our "grabber" tool to drag it out. Then, the batting had to be spread out and trimmed to fit the backing. ..... more walking around, bending, stooping, and crawling .... in between going up and down stairs.

At this point, it was time to start ironing the quilt top. After I got it ironed to my satisfaction, I ran upstairs with it to keep it from wrinkling and ALL of the walking, bending, stooping, crawling, going up and down stairs repeated again. The quilt top has to be spread out from the center and kept very smooth.

THEN I started crawling around on the floor pinning the quilt with curved safety pins made for this purpose. I did this off and on the rest of the day, right up until bedtime, when I FINALLY finished it. By this time I was barely able to move from exhaustion. One more final trip around the quilt, walking, bending, stooping and crawling to remove all the tape from the edges and then VERY carefully folding the quilt sandwich so that nothing would get wrinkled.

I was so tired by the end of the day, I was about to die!!! There was no way I could begin machine quilting as I had planned.

So if you are trying to lose some weight like I am, quilt making is just what you need to get a good workout. The muscles in my derriere, can attest to that this morning. I am sore!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sweet Savannah

I am working on an "unscheduled" baby quilt! A friend requested that I make a quilt for a baby girl whose name will be Savannah. Who can resist a sweet baby girl named Savannah? So, my name for this quilt is "Sweet Savannah".

Two Strips Made Last Night:

I found a cute pattern and tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts on the Moda Bake Shop website, called Stacked Coins Baby Quilt. This quilt is going together extremely quickly. I cut out the rectangles and sewed two of the five strips in about an hour last night. I hope to make two, and possibly three more of the strips tonight.

The pattern calls for 5 inch charm packs. I had some of these in my stash and pulled all the pink ones from them. Then I cut 5 inch squares from other pink floral fabric that was in my stash. So, if you don't have the charm packs or don't want to go to that expense, its very easy to make your own 5 inch squares. The 5 inch squares are cut in half to make the rectangles in the strips. Easy!!!

Rectangles to be sewn into more strips:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Early Autumn Quilt Top

Today is Whatcha Working on Wednesday at Leslie's blog, My Country Home.

I finished adding the borders on Early Autumn over the weekend. Please excuse the wrinkles in the quilt top, as I didn't have time to iron it before going to work today!

I REALLY wanted to get the quilt pin basted and start machine quilting it this past weekend. Pin basting a queen size quilt like this is a job that is very physically draining to me because of all the crawling around on the floor that it requires. Also, it requires moving furniture out of the way to make room for this process.

So, I have saved this part of the quilt making process for this Saturday morning. I will vacuum the floor well, tape down the quilt backing, make the quilt sandwich and pin for periods of time, off and on, all morning, until it is done. That way I can put the furniture back in place in time for afternoon College Football tv watching time. :o)

I hope to have made much progress toward completing this quilt by next week this time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Want more quilting inspiration? Check out Quilters TV!

I have started a small library of quilting and sewing books,

collect quilting magazines that I can't part with,

Checked out about all the quilting books from my local library and the county branches.... some of them twice.... and

Have read so many quilting blogs, I'm getting cross-eyed...

But, I still want more inspiration, so I found QUILTER'S TV!!! Remember when quilting shows were on tv on channels like HGTV? Well now you can see lots of quilting shows on your computer. Check it out! You can watch the current show that comes up or if you look in the right hand corner, you will see lots of other choices of videos you can watch when ever you want.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Etsy Shop Winner

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the drawing for the Apron and Fabric Bag!

I really appreciate each and every person who reads my blogs and wish that I could send the prize to each one.

Here is the stack of names who entered:

The names in a pot:

Hubby drawing out a name:

The winner is CARAPACE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quilt Stories - Another of Grandma's Vintage/Antique Quilts

This quilt belongs to my daughter and was made by her Great Grandma. I really don't know how old it is, but it is very old. I've been told that to be considered an antique, an item must be over 100 years old, so it might not qualify as an antique.

This is a pattern that I would like to duplicate in a future quilt!

The backing fabric was made from a salt bag, not feed sacks. You can see the "Morton Salt" imprint in this picture, if you look really closely. Its kind of faded.

This is a picture of my Grandma holding my newborn daughter, who now owns this quilt.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quilt Stories - My First Real Quilt

In 1998 I made my first "real" quilt for my daughter. She had just left home for college and I wanted to make something special for her.

I had always dreamed of making quilts and quilt making was a part of my soul, even before I actually made one.

My first memories of this quilt obsession was when I was about 10. I collected squares of fabric in a box, but never made the quilt. I Don't know what ever happened to that box of squares.

In the early 1980s I ordered Georgia Bonesteel's Lap Quilting book through the mail. I would sit and study this book for hours. I didn't have a quilt frame, so lap quilting was the answer!

So my first real quilt was a Sampler Quilt made from the patterns in this book. The anchor fabric was a "cat" print in blues, browns, and beiges. My daughter liked cats and the color blue a lot when she was young.

Here are close ups of a few of the blocks:









Not shown is the top right hand block which is a friendship block. In the center is a square that I cross stitched my daughter's name, the date and my name, with love, of course.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quilt Rows and Borders Tips

Today is Whatcha Working On Wednesday at Leslie's blog, My Country Home.

Blocks, blocks, blocks.... they are everywhere!!!

Over the weekend, I finished the 72 blocks needed for "Early Autumn" and here they are arranged on the bed, aka, the design wall:

Every time I make a quilt, by the time I move them from the bed or floor to the sewing machine, ironing board and then back to the floor or bed, the rows gets turned around and/or upside down. This time I devised a method for keeping them straight.

I worked on sewing two rows of blocks together at the time, so I put one safety pin in the top of the middle block in the first row and two safety pins in the top of the middle block in the second row. This way I always knew which was the top and which order they were to be sewn in. After I sewed all the individual blocks together in a row and then sewed the two rows together, I would go get the next two rows, marking them with more safety pins.

If you look closely, you can see the safety pins in these blocks.

Blocks pinned and ready to be sewn together:

My plan for the week was to work on sewing the borders on the quilt top every night after work and I've been able to sew the first inner 1 inch black border on and three sides of the second inner 3 inch brown border. I hope to sew the remaining brown border on and then the outside pink 6 inch border before the end of the week.

Here is the quilt in the process of having a border pinned on.

I followed the directions in all my books for putting the borders on this quilt. You know, the part that says to measure the quilt through the middle, place a pin where the two edges and center are, cut the border a little longer that that size and then sew the border on the ends. If the border doesn't fit exactly, you are supposed to "ease" it on. This is supposed to prevent that wavy look you sometimes get with borders. So far, so good. Every time I see that part about easing the border on, I remember that song, "Ease on Down, ease on down, ease on down the Road" :o)

I even put a couple of rows of the quilt top on the table to see how it would look for a table runner. I'm not too sure I like this pattern for a table runner.

I REALLY hope be able to start free motion machine quilting this quilt this weekend, but we will see!

Etsy Shop Give Away!

Its time for a give away! I previously listed these two hand made items in my Etsy Shop, but the listings expired before they were sold.

The first item is a ruffled half apron made from chocolate covered strawberries fabric. The second item is a pink and white calico reusable fabric grocery/storage bag.

You can enter the drawing for these items by leaving comments on either or both of my blogs, Homemaking Dreams or Angel Scraps Quilting until Monday Morning, October 19th. Each comment will place your name in the pot, so comment each day to improve your chances of winning. Signing up as a follower is another way to put your name in the pot. Just leave me a comment letting me know that you are already a follower or that you have just signed up as a follower.

If you don't have a blog or if I don't know you, you can still enter. Just leave your email address in the comment so I can let you know if you win.

I will announce the winner Monday Morning, October 19th. Both these items will be sent to the lucky winner.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grandma's Vintage Quilt Top Ready To Quilt!

After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that since this is a vintage quilt top, I should hand quilt it. Here it is in my Ulmer Quilter:

This quilt top is bigger than I thought. Its a generous quilt size. When I was pin basting it I had to move furniture in order to have room for taping down the backing fabric and pin basting the sandwich together.

I used white muslin for the backing and Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting. Once the quilt is washed, it will have that wonderful crinkly antique quilt look.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Quilt Festival

I am joining in the Quilt Festival hosted by Park City Girl.

Its so hard to make a decision as to which quilt is my favorite. Its like choosing which child is your favorite. But, nonetheless, the quilt I chose to showcase is my Fall Scrap Quilt.

The picture above shows it hanging on my sewing room wall. I have draped a sunflower garland across the top. I love sunflowers and fall, so this picture says a lot about me.

More pictures of it hanging on the clothesline:

More Quilting Dreams

I am planning a new quilt! This will be a wedding gift needed by January 16, 2010. As usual, it needs to be a quick quilt, but it needs to be "cute", too. This pattern is in the November, 2008 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts.

This simple pattern only requires 5 inch squares, but by carefully arranging the tan/beige/cream blocks, the quilt has depth. The darkest squares are used on the outside and slowly fade to the lightest squares in the center. The tan/beige/cream blocks are alternated with various colored squares.

I already have what I hope is enough of the colored 5 inch squares that were a gift to me from a friend. They are 5 inch charm packs!!! No cutting at all needed.

I will have to purchase some tan/beige/cream fabric to make the alternating squares, but that will be easy and I already have some in my stash to get me started.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Grandma's Vintage Quilt Top

This is quilt top made by my grandmother at least 50 years ago, if not more. I've been trying to figure out how to finish it in a way that looks right. I originally planned to hand quilt it, but now am considering free motion quilting. What fabric to use for the back is also something to figure out! Maybe a plain white or beige muslin?

Yesterday when I was thinking about this, I imagined my grandmother looking over my shoulder while I worked on it. I'm sure she would approve of anything I come up with, to tell you the truth. She loved so many of the same things that I do..... quilting, gardening, cooking, home life.....

This is a picture of the whole quilt top on a bed.

These are close ups of some of the fabric. Can you see the little Chinese men?

This quilting project is on my 2009 Sewing To Do List, so I better get busy on it or it will be rolled over to my 2010 Sewing To Do List!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What to do with Curious George?

I recently hit the end of a yard sale when the seller was ready to get rid of everything and picked up five yards of this Curious George fabric for $1.00. Yes, that's right, 20 cents a yard! At the time I envisioned it as a backing fabric for a baby quilt. I'm not sure what colors to make the quilt top from. Any ideas? It would definitely be a baby boy's quilt.

Sorting Fabric Strips While Watching Football

I have found a way to work on the Early Autumn Quilt Top that doesn't involve the sewing machine.

Sorting the strips into sets for each block:

Stack on the sewing machine ready to be put together in spare moments:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lori's Beach Quilt - D. Morgan Print

This is a quilt I made for my daughter a few years ago. She was living near the beach at the time and picked out the D. Morgan beach scene panel and matching fabrics. I'm not sure how I came up with the surrounding block design, but it was my own concoction. I machine quilted it with diagonal parallel lines. She has washed and dried it numerous times and it has held up well.