Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clean-up Day

Today was a busy day. I had decided that I was going to have to straighten up my sewing area. I had stuff on the floor that it was hard to get from one end to the other. I was working on this for most of the week and I wanted it done by this weekend. I had gotten rid of a lot of items, yet I still have too much stuff. I had made enough room to finally be able to set out my second sewing machine. I had gotten it a few months ago but never had an opportunity to get it out and test it. I have the other sewing machine set up at another area and I plan to use it for my machine quilting.

I used the new machine when sewing my blocks together when I realized that the machine had a blanket stitch option! My other machine doesn't have it. I have blanket-stitched around my applique before but, I bet, machining it would be a lot faster to do. It's not a time to start a new quilt. Maybe, I can find a quilt I had already started and place some blanket stitching using the sewing machine instead!!
When I was pinning my quilt, my younger son had asked if he could have some fabric, too. He wanted to work on his quilt. I had purchased an old plastic toy sewing machine from the Goodwill store a while back. I had bought it for myself but he has claimed it as his. I had found him some fabric but he said he needed some pins in it, like my quilt. Once the pins were in, he was off to work.

I've always wanted a little girl. To share the things that my mom had taught me: sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking... Being blessed with two boys, they don't want to participate in such "girlie" things. So when he wanted to sew, I had gotten all giddy! I had watched him sew, for all about 15 seconds, and he was off playing with his Power Ranger toys again. My moment didn't last very long. Boys will be boys!

I'm planning to catch up on my sewing and will try to post my progress next time.

Jane

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh, Dear Me

I know that you know what quilt this is...the famous "Dear Jane" quilt. I had first seen it when the show "Simply Quilts" was still on television. I can't explain it. There is something about it that just called to me. The different blocks and the different fabrics seemed right up my alley.

Once I got the book, I went through my fabric stash, matching the fabrics with what I was seeing in the photos (a great stash buster!). I had gone crazy at first, making blocks after blocks, eventually tapering off. The quilt is now set aside. More fabrics have been purchased for other blocks, so it would be very simple to start again. I'm about half-way done with the blocks, yet it still seems, as if, there is still so much to do.

I will finish it one day it and it will be one of the most appreciated quilts that I have done.

Jane

Summertime

The last few days were beautiful, but a little too humid, for my taste. I love sit out on the back porch with my hand-work and soak-up some sunshine. Now that my youngest son is in Pre-Kindergarten, I can do it more often, before it gets too cool once Autumn is here.

A project I like to take with me to the back porch is a quilt using Susan Branch's fabrics. I had seen it online, about a year ago, and I knew I had to have it. At that time, I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with it.
I had come up with an idea about the first of the year and drew it up on the computer just to see if I looked as good as it did in my head. What do you think?
The quilt is coming together, the first two rows are now pieced together. This is a quilt that I don't work on that often, so perhaps it will be finished in about another year. I can only hope.

Jane

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Cheated

Today, I've been working on my Sunflower quilt. I'm trying to finish the last few of the pieced blocks and I still have to finish about half of the applique blocks.


I feel alittle guilty. Yesterday, I went to visit my local quilt store to show-off on of my projects. I intended to pick up some refill lead for my Bohin mechanical chalk pencil, but I had left the store purchasing more than just the pencil.


My older son will be participating in basketball this year and I will have to something prepared to take with me to practices and games. I had been collecting Gail Pans's free BOM called "Christmas Wishes." I think it would be perfect to hand embroider the blocks while I'm there (the black blanket stitching on the "Be Attitudes" quilt (shown in an earlier post) was done at games and practices, also).

I had told myself that I wasn't going to purchase another new project...was that bad?

Jane

Friday, August 21, 2009

Time for School

My younger son started school this year, well, Pre-Kindergarten. He has been watching his older brother going to school for years and now he is so excited that it's his turn.

The school he i going to is the same school my older son had gone when he went to Pre-Kindergarten. My older son had loved his teacher, so for a gift, I had made her a quilt, as a "thank you" for being his very first teacher.

The Pre-Kindergarten is not associated with our public school, it is in the neighboring town. Since my boys are six years apart, it has been six years since I had been that this school. And since it had been that long, I had forgotten about the quilt.


But there it was. On the first day of school, I had seen it hanging over her work area. I was told that she had it up every year. I'm so glad that she has it up in her classroom and I get to see everyday when I take him to school!

Jane

Quilt ADHD !?!

Is there such a thing as Quilt ADHD? Quilt Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? I may have it! I love the process of making a quilt. But once a new idea comes along, I have to set the current project down, to start the new one. But it doesn't stop there. New patterns are everywhere and how is someone to control one's self. The beautiful fabrics used, I've got to have it! The new technique used, I have to try it!! I just can't seem to stop! Next thing I know, I have, who-knows-how-many, quilts to finish. I intend to finish each and every one, but I never realized that it had gotten this far!!

This is a quilt that I am currently working on. I had seen it in a magazine and I fell in love with it. It took me about two years to locate all the fabrics used. I'm planning to replicate the quilt as it was shown in the magazine.

Here is another quilt from the "Quilt Shop Hop" in 2007. I had gotten frustrated with it once I started to put the bias strips as part of the sashing. I know I have to relax and be patient.

I had to set this "Origami" quilt down because I had gotten tired of folding approximately 200+ flowers. That doesn't include the folded flowers I plan on putting in the border. In the end, it will be worth it. The three-dimensional effect is wonderful.

This a pattern from Sue Garman called "Mama Said." The applique is so sweet and she has an adaption so you can change it from girls to boys. YET, I have to wait until I get the other quilts out of the way.


You know there is more!
Til next time,
Jane

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Machine Quilting

I am a hand-quilter. I find it relaxing and very therapeutic, even though it seems to take forever to finish one. Now, I have so many unquilted tops, I really can't picture them finished. I realize that I could send them out to a long-arm machine quilter, but I prefer to make my quilts from start to finish.

These are the quilts that I am going to attempt to machine quilt. It scares me to death because I would like to do some elaborate quilting, but I better keep it simple starting out.
"Mimi"s Sunny Garden" from Nancy Odom



I still have to put a border on this quilt. I want to continue the blanket stitching in the border, but I know it will take a long time to all that handwork. I know the effect will be worth it.
"Be Attitudes" from Nancy Halvorsen


I'll try to post some other quilts that I'm working on soon.

Jane

Shop Hop Quilt 2008

I work on a lot of projects at one time. I get frustrated on one and I have to change my focus on something different. Here is one of my quilts that I am currently working on.

The quilt store in my area hold a Quilt Shop Hop each year. Each store is assigned a quilt block and they sell their mini quilt kit at their store. The idea is to get all the the blocks and make a Sampler quilt. This one is from 2008.



There are twelve sampler blocks and I had made some pieced/applique blocks to go with them. Not sure yet how I will coordinate them together.

Will post another photo once it's all together.

Jane

Friday, August 14, 2009

When I Grow Up...

I've always told my sons to choose a profession they love to do, that way, they will love going to work everyday. Sometimes, it takes a lot longer for some people (me) to realize what they really want to do once they're grown up.

Yes, I love to make quilts - every aspect about it. It would make sense to make it a career, if it was possible. But what aspect of quilting would I specialize in?

I, first, thought it would be fun to be a quilt pattern designer, but the the patterns I would want to create would be too complicated for the beginner quilter. There were also thoughts of becoming a quilt teacher. I have yet taken an official quilt class, so I really don't have an idea on how a class is conducted. Then, there was an idea of being a competitor quilter - those who enter quilt shows and contests and win ribbons, awards, and prizes. Now, this sounded fun!! I had some luck at smaller competitions, like the county fair, but how well would I do in the BIG shows.

So, I had entered one of my quilts in to the AQS Quilt Show and Contest this year to see what would happen. I got this reply:

"With over 700 quilts submitted from around the world, and only a limited amount of available exhibit space in each category, it was a daunting task for our three-member jury to choose among this year's entries. We regret that we are unable to include the above named entry in this year's show."


Maybe it was a very nice way of saying that my quilt still needed a lot of work, I don't know. But I am planning on entering another quilt in the future and maybe then I'll be luckier!

Teaching is still a possibility and there are so many more aspects in this industry that I can fill. I just need to find out for myself where my heart is.

Jane

Here We Go!!

Hi! This is my very first blog post! I never thought I could get this "techie!" I thought this would be a good way to document my quilting journey. Now that my younger son has started school, it may give my more time to finally finish these quilts that I was once so excited in starting.

I plan on posting my progress and thoughts of the quilt, as I am working on them, along with photos. I jump around to different quilts, so I hope you can follow along with my progress.

Please, feel free to comment or make suggestions on the quilts.

I really don't have an idea of what I am doing, but I plan on having alot of fun!

Jane