Quilt for a Cat

Thank you all for your comments last post, including your encouragements to join the NoBuy in August...sigh...which begins in two hours my time, oh goodness, and I couldn't visit the LQS today, last day of July, because I had to work on a very disagreeable home project today. Well, maybe I could do the NoBuy with the exception of BOM Saturday at the LQS. Wait, wait! I don't have any more muslin in case I get another top put together. Muslin. Do you all use the muslin from Joann's/Wal-Mart or do you think it's important to use a better quality muslin?? And Bonnie, Bonnie, I totally agree with you, it would be a shame to miss any good fabric sales in August. And wait, wait! I have two 10% off coupons to the LQS just burning a hole in my purse. Oh well, I'll try. There are probably one or two scraps of fabric around here that I could amuse myself with during August. Just one or two.

A few days ago, I made the leader fabric strips for my hand quilting frame and put the 4th pole on for the batting; got a quilt all loaded on there just the way it's supposed to be and it's great. At first, because I already had a few quilts sandwiched and basted, I stuffed the whole thing into the grooves on the poles, so hard to do 'cause it was so thick and I got so mad. It's certainly easier to stuff the fabric leaders into those grooves :-).

I got this mini-quilt done for my cat Jack to sleep on at the foot of my bed. This was the $3 bundle from the sale. Doesn't show up, but there's meandering and outlining in the center portion and you can see the feathers a bit in the border.

This is what I've done so far on the Halloween wall hanging...

The plan is to make a scalloped edging with the outer fabric, the black that has what looks kind of like fireflies on it.



Wow, Vicky has 13 comments already on her August challenge to Buy No Fabric. I admire you all for participating, but Dear Reader, as you will see from the following photos, I did not join the challenge :-). The LQS was having a Flea Market sale, so I got the bottom three fabrics at 50% off and the top two at $1 a fat quarter:

This stack was $3; I hope to make a "lap" quilt to put at the foot of my bed where my black cat Jack likes to sleep:

These 17 antique hand-sewn blocks were $25; aren't they nice? I especially like the four red plaid ones:

I was looking for some Halloween fabric to go with four vintage-postcards-printed-on-fabric that I finally couldn't resist from eBay (have you looked at them?), and found the $1 fat quarter at the next LQS, plus the fabric for the Halloween outer border (not on sale :-) ):

And the final item in my Haul for today is the FedEx delivery of the following fabrics, Jo Mortons on half-off sale and the top fabric from Rosie O'Day line, not on sale. The sage Jo Morton faces fabric is supposed to be beige for the JoMortonStitchers list swap. Dang. It needs to be light enough to write on, so I think I'll try the Blackbird Designs ladies' idea of using Color Remover to manipulate the color. Wish me luck, last time I tried this, I got white fabric.

Gail, chintz sounds good for the leaders/enders. Hanne, I have one of those Fiskars sharpeners....if I could just find it. Finn, most fortunately, I set up Bloglines a week or so ago (Blogarithms before that, but I'm finding Bloglines more enjoyable to use). Thank goodness, I'd be in withdrawal without Bloglines. Amy, I probably have a few more quilt tops like this LOL.

Explain and Ask

Oh dear, it does look as if the alt-web ring may be permanently gone. They aren't answering emails and are still kaputzo. Stash Quilts has moved over to Ring Surf and I wonder if Quilt Mavericks should move to a new ring, too? I don't want us Mavericks to lose sight of one another!

SewCatherine asked about making the Yo Yos; thank you, Catherine...well, looking at this photo , I fused the square to the circle (cut circle twice as large as you want the yo-yo to be). I used a circle of fusible netting smaller than the base circle I'm about to sew, then sew a circle that is a bit smaller than the size of the final yo-yo. This is so that the yo-yo will still have its nice fluffy outer rim rather than being all sewn down. Then sew a large stitch 1/4" from the outer edge of the circle, leaving some ends to pull, knot the two threads on one side, then pull the two threads on the other side and secure. If I do any more of these, I would put a tiny circle of fusible underneath the gathered-up center to hold it in place, then sew around the center circle to secure the yo-yo. I'm intending this to be a frequently-washed quilt, so I was trying to make the yo-yos as secure as possible.

Does anybody else use a Grace Z44 hand quilting frame? Do you use the 4th pole for the batting and did you make leader and ender fabric strips? They recommend unbleached muslin for the leader/ender; is that really strong enough? I have quilted a few quilts on my Grace, but they were already sandwiched and pinned or basted, so I put them on as is and in fact have never put on the 4th pole.

As long as I'm asking questions, has anybody had any luck sharpening their orange Fiskars? Mine don't seem to sharpen up at all.

I pulled out this quilt top yesterday. Put together a few years ago. Obviously, I have experienced a quilting learning curve over these past few years, because I would never end up with such a goofy quilt top these days. Can you see the block centers pouf up into the air?? And the sashing strips are a bit puckered.

Because the blocks are billowing into the air like clouds, I have decided to hand quilt this one in crucial patterns, at least until it is tamed. Then maybe I can machine quilt in the ditch or whatever. My seams were not a consistent 1/4", because the blocks are 7 3/4" rather than 8", and the strips are oh my 3" in some places, 2 7/8" in other places, too confusing to figure out what the border strips should measure but I got them on last night and it looks very nice. The border is a very nifty crackled dull green that is supposed to look sort of like an antique book cover to go along with the centers of the blocks.

Oh, for a longarm so that one could just toss on a quilt and meander it that very day. I'm getting sort of fond of hand quilting on a quilt, though, it's just that it takes a long time to do.


Yo-Yo Method

It has been so interesting to read everybody's blogs this late spring and summer. I had planned to spend my summer off doing as much quilting as possible, which I did, and doing my own blog has certainly helped me accomplish more quilting than I would have otherwise. It's a great accompaniment to quilting, isn't it? I thank everybody who has posted comments; it is most appreciated. I finished the next three blocks in the Folk Art Applique quilt pattern, which makes 7/12 so far:

Had to try out the Large Yo Yo idea; here it is with feedsack yo-yos on 4" squares:

I started off doing a lot of the yo-yo by hand, including attaching them to the backing along the yo-yo edges, which made them flat and horrible looking, but then a Method for doing them came to mind, several in process using the Method shown here:

I'm so proud of myself for coming up with it. This way, I sewed them all by machine, no handwork, and they're poofy around the edges like a yo-yo is supposed to be. So far, it measures 20x24". I'm intending this to be at least sofa curl-up-with size...does anybody have any ideas on what to add next?


Hiding from the Heat

Sweet Jack joins me for a sewing session as I bind the embroidered birds wall hanging.

It's completely finished, even down to the label. A cornerstone turned out very crooked and surprisingly I had the willpower to remove the binding and seams in that area and correct it. I'm so glad I did.

This is the fourth block in the Lori Smith Folk Art Applique quilt pattern.

The latest Gooseberry Patch catalogue showed the cutest quilt with large yo-yos. I love the idea so much, with even bigger ones. Here's my version with yo-yos on 4" blocks.

So has everybody seen the October issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, with its "new look" as it says on the cover? According to "from the editor", they really took readers' wishes into account. Lots more examples of alternative version quilts by Laura Boehnke; how cool is that? They're also beginning to include details on ideas for quilting the quilts in the issues instead of the usual "quilt as desired".


Antique Basket Quilt

Thank you all for your comments on last post. Judy and Laura, yes, it is great fun to take a look at old projects – well, most of the time, sometimes it’s awful and it would be nice just to get wild and throw the project out. Here’s an old project...that I wouldn't throw out, of course. An antique quilt that had ruined, lumpy batting, coarse quilting, and bad backing, so I took it apart and gave it new batting and backing. It awaits quilting and binding. Isn't the basket design adorable? The fabrics are a hoot.

The purple fabric above is a stretchy polyester ha! and is used for several baskets.

The basket fabric above is some sort of loose-weave linen or homespun.


Embroidered Bird Blocks

I came across this little stack of 5" machine-embroidered blocks yesterday and put them together into a small wall hanging today, using a variety from the supply of hand-dyed fabrics. I'm getting addicted to those fabrics, they are sooooo attractive and feel so nice to the touch. I stitched the blocks out a few years ago, when I first got my Designer 1 and was roaming all over the internet looking for free digitized designs. Can you believe these lovely designs were free?


Saturday Break

Thank you for all of your comments, including observations on the possible settings for the vintage blocks from 7/12; quilt design...love it! Endlessly fascinating and one of the best parts of quilting.

Housework, yardwork, and "paperwork" has been calling these past several days, so just would like to share this small 18x18" wall hanging:

It was designed around the upper right block, which is the cutest vintage 30s or 40s embroidery of a landscape done on bright yellow with blue and white thread. The other blocks are miniature 36 patch.

This is the entry to my bedroom hallway. I just love the still life quality of this shabby chic table (picked up by the road), gourd, and poster.


July BOM Blocks and Antique Blocks

Got the alternate 6" blocks done for LQS BOM for this month:

And just got these seven 10" vintage hand-stitched square-within-a-square blocks:

A bit faded, so maybe a print with a similarly faded-out look would be nice for sashing. Seven blocks, not eight or six! How to set them....one notion...:



Aurifil Thread

to Judy: Little Quilts recommends the 50 wt. Sand thread M50-2325 as a good all-around color. It blends in beautifully and is a luscious color. That's all I've gotten so far and I've been using it on everything.

The $2.75 was for any type of quarter yard. Maybe this isn't unusual and I just never noticed it before.

Busy Ladies Quilt

I got the binding on my Busy Ladies quilt! It has in the ditch machine quilting and it still needs some meandering or maybe criss cross (which I've never done) or scallop quilting (ditto) in the blocks; criss cross or scallop would be more in keeping with the 30s look of the quilt. Here are some individual blocks:

I really enjoyed settling on the rather drab colors for the sashing and border, as opposed to the cheery feedsack type of fabrics in the individual blocks. It's supposed to look like the maker had to use burlap or something to sash and border her quilt. I digitized the designs and sewed them out on the machine. I just love the Depression era feel of this darling design (by Laurene Sinema). To fit in with the era and with the subject of ladies going about their activities, I added the quotation by Eleanor Roosevelt ("When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die").

I was driving past Intown Quilters' new location in Decatur yesterday, so stopped in. Their new spot is in a little separate shop next to a mall and is very bright and airy, although I really liked the old location, which was in a sort of mini industrial area that interesting businesses have moved into. Close to the Emory University campus. Anyway, got these fabrics:

They had a pricing feature that was a new one on me. They charge a higher price for a quarter yard off the bolt, a flat fee of $2.75. Which works out to $11 a yard for a bolt that is actually $9.25 if you purchased more than a quarter yard. Have any of you encountered that? I don't think much of it. Although come to think of it, maybe other shops do that and I just never noticed.

Thank you for the kind comments on the table runner design (hope I can get that made, I LOVE it) and my folk art blocks: Bonnie, I'm doing the blocks by machine applique. I'm using Aurifil thread, which the good ladies at Little Quilts have recommended at the monthly BOM meetings for years. I finally tried it this summer, and they are right, Aurifil thread is fantastic. It lasts such a long time, the bobbins hold so much more thread, and it is beautiful. There's less fuzz. It's thin, so that your blocks work up more accurately.

Better get to work!



Yesterday, at the LQS' BOM morning, we saw Marti Young's trunk show of her original-design quilts. There was a very nice table runner, for which unfortunately, no pattern is available. I drew as much of it as I could remember:

It has more vining and flowers. And the urns are shaped differently.

Got some blocks completed, two for Lori Smith's Folk Art Applique and one for the LQS BOM (to Nancy, Hi, the fabrics are a mix of batik and some gorgeous hand-dyed cotton that went on sale for 40% off at the LQS; the hand-dyes are pretty much a solid tone but are the most heavenly colors and the cotton they used is very delectable, I've been wondering what it is exactly because it is very very cool :-) ).

The LQS pattern this month is Bow Tie, but I didn't feel like making that, so made this star block instead with the kit fabric.


Quilts Early and Antique

These are some of my early quilts that are hanging in my "dressing room" (a small work room like a closet built by previous owner to house part of his wedding video business; it has lots of shelves that are now for clothes). The snowman...

and this is a wall hanging that I made for an apartment front door. I was so much in love with the fabric that had the seed packets on it and had a few yards of it. My neighbor asked to borrow it and I foolishly handed over the whole length assuming she would return it quite soon minus a few seed packet squares. Well, I never got it back and I had lots of ideas for those perfect seed packets. So all I ever got to use were these four. Let's see, that was about 1991.

Then I made this largish wall hanging featuring my toddler son's hand outline and using lovely reproduction fabrics (sorry, it's too dark to see), dated 1993:

Gosh, does anybody know the secret of adding photos and inserting text in between them on this idiosyncratic Blogger?? I've tried all different ways and they are all difficult. Anyway, here are some antique quilts I want to show you sometime. They were bought at a very, very country auction in southern Indiana, close to the Kentucky line. There were gazillions of quilts, but most were recent and not interesting. There were only a few older ones. I got the top one with the "big stitch" quilting that is so popular just now. The bottom pieces are sections from a quilt that is very interesting, I think, a large version of the vase and bouquet pattern. It was in sections for some reason, but I just treasure them anyway.

Well, let's check in on the June Goals:
--June BOMs for LQS (main one but not the alternates)
--Lori Smith Folk Art Applique Block #2 (YES)
--Finish "Neighborhood" (YES)
--Quilt "Busy Ladies" (argh)
--Finish rug hooking (almost!)
--Do quilting on quilt on the frame (there isn't even one on there just now, must rectify)
--Do some work on Lillebet's Garden (YES)

Toe Trauma

Oh, I was doing so well this morning. Did some yard work in the drizzling rain about 7am. It is so blazing hot here in Georgia that a rainy day is a happy day. We’d had rain the day before, too, guess a lot of the country did and had trouble with their fireworks getting spoiled, but anyway, it was a good time to transplant the poor hosta, which no longer had the shade from the tree that was cut down earlier in the summer. Moved them to a better spot, got them all mulched, got the garbage and some discards to the street, changed the kitty litter and got that to the street, got a shower, and began straightening up the sewing room and other rooms. Rushing around. Jammed my toes headlong into a vintage suitcase. I can't even walk now. My son's friend has lent me his pair of crutches.

Baby Dear at the Beauty Salon.

Baby Dear cuddled back into her cleaned clothes. Her body needs more treatments but she is a happier baby now.

Found the perfect background for the hooked rug. A pink and dark grey large check jacket, only a size 8. I only used the strips that had pink in them, so it was only half of the recovered fabric. Amazingly, there wasn’t any fabric left at all after hooking the circle. I’m finishing it up with a grey curving line and solid Dorr pink wool for the outer section.

Aaah, Second Saturday Sampler is this Saturday at the LQS, so I must work on my alternate quilt blocks.

The Fourth was nice. I made potato and egg salad and three-bean salad and had loads of fruit. With tasty burgers. Yum.