Monday, August 30, 2010

Things Found

During my house clean-out, I've discovered a lot of forgotten items.

I had saved a lamp that I had used in one of my son's nursery. I was wanting to use it in my sewing area someday.

Since I had found a quite a bit of fabric, I used a few favorites in re-covering the lampshade. *please excuse the mess in the background* I still have to place the "binding" on the shade. That shouldn't take too long.

I also found some companion fabrics that will match the lamp shade, so I'm planning to make some sewing machine covers, maybe some more. We will have to see how for the fabric will stretch.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now That They're Gone...

I haven't been doing a lot of quilting lately... why? Now, that both boys are in school, for majority of the day, I have been finding other things to do besides sewing.

Top on my list - Cleaning.

I've watched a few of those "hoarding" shows on television and I am finding that I have a lot in common with them. Since the knee problems that I was having before surgery, I've just let my home go. It was easier to put things off than doing them right away, because it was difficult. Now, that my knee is feeling better (not 100% yet), I am going to gut this house.

While cleaning, I did find that I had some red and white fabric for my "Round the Block" quilt, so I didn't have to purchase more after my doctor's appointment. But I still needed a small amount of striped fabric for my "Yoyoville" quilt and.... (oh, the guilt) I got a few civil war fat quarters to start on the "Runaway Quilt" from the Elm Creek Quilt series. I just had to. I'm weak!!

I'm going to continue getting my house back in order but I'm still going to have to take some breaks from time to time. At the last doctor's appointment, he still says that I'm doing too much (the swollen knee didn't help either). So I'm hoping to be able to catch up on a few more projects, slowly.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Name: Round the Block

Although it is one of my favorite quilt blocks and designs, I do not like its name. Without going into detail, I don't like referring it to as my "Drunkard's Path" quilt. So for my quilt, I'm going to call it my "Round the Block" quilt.

I now have 11 rows sewn together and it is about 1/3 done. I have ran out of red fabric and I can't go any further. I am really impressed on how fast it is piecing together.

I have a appointment with my knee surgeon again on Friday and I'm taking that opportunity, while in town, to get more fabric. I hope to not lose my enthusiasm in this quilt until then. But it will be a few days that, perhaps, I can get some more UFO's done. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Day of School!

It finally happened! Both of my boys are now in school! My little one is starting his first day of kindergarten today (oh, boo hoo...) and my oldest is now in 6th grade (a senior in elementary school!)

I am enjoying the peace and quiet. Aggghhhhhhh! I can now relax without interuption and I can actually get some housework done without having to stop and referee. I'll be missing those days!

And the extra time free time, when they are in school, I should be using it to get some of my UFO's out of the way. No excuses now!

I know, I know, it's been awhile since I've been home alone.............

Is it 3:00 yet? I miss my babies!!!


Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6 - A Special Day

Happy birthday to my beloved hubby. He my biggest supporter and I could not pursue my passion, thus far, without him. He never asks for much for himself but would give anything and everything to help me and his family. I give thanks for all he's has done for us.

Happy Birthday, Baby! I love you!!

Drunkard's Path Progress

As I had promised, I was really working on my quilt.

Working with white (or light fabric) can be very tricky. Once the pieces are sewn and the seam allowances pressed, you need to watch out for shadowing. Shadowing is when you are able to see the darker fabric through the lighter fabric.

To prevent it from happening, you should always press towords the darker fabric. But when that isn't impossible, you can trim a scant 1/8 inch, or less, off of the darker fabric. This will narrow the seam allowance and it will be hidden behind the lighter fabric once it is pressed.

A close-up of the marks for the quilting. Please excuse my pins and stabilizing stitches. I use these stitches to keep the seams from moving. I hate it once the quilt-top is ready to be quilted, when a seam allowance has flipped over. I had initally wanted to machine-quilt this. But I'm not ready to do all these curvy, feathery wreaths quite yet. I think I will have to hand-quilt it to achieve the vision that I have.


p.s. I hate calling it my "drunkard's" path quilt. I know that it's the blocks official name but I'm going to have to think of another name.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Last Fair Entry Peeks

I may be all done with the competitions this year. I need to get to work on some quilts (I'm hoping two) ready for next year. The Grouseland Museum's Festival of Quilts, in Vincennes, Indiana, will be in October of this year. Perhaps, if I get really serious, maybe I'll have another finished by then. Yeh, right! I'm being very optimistic.

A close-up of my quilt with it's ribbons.

Close-up of the vest and it's blue ribbon.

Once I had brought them back home, I had noticed that the judges had attached comments cards to them. Both had very kind remarks:

Quilt : Beautiful! Great colors!

Vest : Very creative. Colors are great. Creative quilt stitches

Another reason I enjoy quilt competitions, I love seeing the reaction of my family. My two little boys proudly saying "Mommy won a blue ribbon!" And my dear hubby walking around with a big grin on his face. It's priceless!

Work has been accomplished! I have been piecing. I will have my sons help me lay the pieces on the floor so that I can see if it is working out like it should. Hope to have a photo soon.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Elm Creek Update

Currently, I'm at:

#1 : The Quilter's Apprentice
#2 : Round Robin
#3 : The Cross-Country Quilters
#4 : The Runaway Quilt
#5 : The Quilter's Legacy
#6 : The Master Quilter
#10: The Lost Quilter

So far, my favorite is "The Runaway Quilt." And close second is "The Lost Quilt." Without giving away too much, it is about how quilts were used in the Underground Railroad. I love the history that is used in these two stories. I find it fascinating, although there isn't any real, concrete evidence that quilts were used in helping slaves find their way up north to Canada. I would still love to make a quilt for my son, when he is studying about slavery and the Civil War at school, that would be a great example of a quilt that could have been used as a signal quilt.

If time permits, I'd like to make the quilt that was used in "The Runaway Quilt." And I have the perfect fabric to use with it. Some Civil War reproduction triangles that my friend, Suzanne, had gifted to me. Thank you, Suzanne, I think I found a perfect place for it!

And speaking of Elm Creek quilts, I would also love to make Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from "The Master Quilter." And you know me, I would look to make it just like the photo. It was made from Jennifer Chiaverini's (the author) first fabric line, Sylvia's Collection. Once I started searching for it online, I could only find two prints. Since it debuted in 2003 (?), it is already obsolete.

I have been working on my Drunkard's Path piecing. It has been going a lot slower than I want it to. Other duties, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry... it just takes a lot more time than it had before surgery. And by the time I'm done with the day, I'm wiped out and may only get a little bit of quilting done. Or I may elevate my knee with some ice and read some more. Ahhhhh, that doesn't sound to bad right about now!


Another Fair Visit

I had entered my quilt in to another county fair and, this time, the outcome has been a lot better!

My quilt had won a 1st place ribbon in the Applique category and a Champion ribbon in the Hand Quilted category.

I had also entered another one of my quilted vests and it also received a blue ribbon!

Here is another blue ribbon winner (Champion ribbon, also), by Sue Harrell, in the Quilt Novelty category. Do you remember this quilt at the other fair?

Another blue ribbon winner blue ribbon winner (plus Champion) by Susan Young. She won in the Quilts Machine category.

I loved how she quilted a number in each square. Very clever!

And some other quilts that caught my eye:

A whimsical applique quilt by Beth Ray, which won 2nd place in the Applique category.

I've always loved heart on quilts. This one, by Susan Young (again, very talented), received a 1st place ribbon in the Unlisted category. I think this a lady that I need to watch out for!

I didn't care for how the quilts were displayed because you could only get to look at a small portion of the quilt. But it was well done for the small amount of space that was allowed for the quilts. For example, this quilt, by Emmy Schmidt, which won a 2nd place ribbon on the Pieced category. It looked beautiful hung up high up on the wall, but I would have loved to see it unfolded just a little bit more. More of it needed to be seen.

From the Piecemakers, their quilt won 1st place in the Group category. A simple design but I tink I does a lot in bringing out the fabric. I'd think to make this one sometime.
And in different areas:

A button collage, by Milly Buell, which won 2nd place. It's all done with buttons. I just couldn't keep my eyes off of it!

Some zipper flowers, by (again) Milly Buell. Very creative, I'd love to see what goes on inside her head!

And this quilt was in an area where the articles were made by young people. This quilt was made my Kelsi Droste (she's in 7th grade) and she had won a 1st place ribbon and an Honorable Mention Ribbon. I think we have a future award-winning quiltmaker here! Well done!

And I think this was my favorite in the whole building. Believe it or not, it is a suit made from.... Duct Tape!!! It was made by Joe ???? (I'm so sorry but the photo that I took for his name was too fuzzy to read his last name) (and he's in 12th grade) and he won a blue ribbon for it.

I was told that he had worn it to his prom this year. And as you can see, his date also wore a duct tape dress! How adorable! I would be thrilled if my son would be creative enough to ask me to help him make a duct tape tuxedo for his prom!

Concerning my quilt, as you can plainly see, each venue can have a different outcome with different judges. You can't take it too seriously. But it's just for the fun of it, right? And now, time get back to quilting so that I may have another quilt for next year's competitions.