Sunday, May 20, 2007

More Catching Up

I finally finished these pillows for Ann. She has been waiting for them for quite a while now, so she will really be glad to have them. She wanted them extra firm, so I covered the pillow forms with a layer of batting, and made the pillows an inch smaller than the forms. I made a ruffled cording for the edges, and really like the results.

I have a t-shirt quilt to work on next. I have all the t-shirts cut, just need to finish the fusing, then I can do the sewing. I'm sure it won't take me all that long once I get to it.

Meanwhile I have finished piecing the outer arcs for the squares and hope to do the curved piecing tomorrow to comeplete the corner squares. Then it's border time! I have to get some backing for it - there was a pretty greenish blue on sale at the shop that would work nicely I think, but I better get it quick before it's gone!

I've also started paper piecing blocks for the smaller version of Memories of the Titanic. I've taken the comments that the judge gave for it and have adjusted my design to reflect them. I don't want to make another full sized quilt, so I am making a smaller version (about 40"). I may make a miniature version eventually, just for the challenge of it, (can you tell that I am obsessive?). I have more projects than I will ever finish in my lifetime, but I am having a ball trying!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Catching Up On Some Delayed Projects

Haven't done a whole lot of quiting in the past couple of days, but I have been working on some of those guilt producing projects that I should have finished long ago! The first one was just covering a little bench seat with a needlepoint piece. Easy as pie and didn't take really long, but it was a bit tough to make sure it ended up straight.

The second thing I call a McGuyver project. You know, you need some duct tape, paper clips, and voila! It's a fabric covered message board to put over an aged cork board glued to a wall above a desk. I used foam core board covered with batting and fabric. Then I criss-crossed that with brown grosgrain ribbon. I fastened the ribbon on the edges with straight pins, then reinforced that with hot glue on the back. (Which is also how I fastened the batting and fabric.) I also made 1/4 inch piping to go all the way around for a custom finish. I plan on installing it with double stick foam tape, and if that doesn't hold we'll tack it down and cover the tacks with fabric covered buttons. If I wasn't mounting it directly to the wall I would cover the back with fabric for a nice clean finish. It looks very elegant, doesn't it? You could do several of these and mount them as a decorative room accent, or even make one as a headboard for a bed. Fun and easy!

This is how the back looks.

The last but not least project was this valance. It is made in two pieces and mounted to the 6" board with velcro. Not really defficult, but it was time consuming to get all the little details right and have a nice professional look. I added boards to the sides to make sure the corners wrapped around like I wanted them to. Looks pretty nice. I need to make the drapery panels to finish this job off, but we need some more fabric for them as they are really wide sliding doors.

I want to get these other things done so I can work on some quilting and not feel guilty - I have a lot of ideas I want to try out, but can't do it with all these other things hanging over me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Paper Piecing is Fun!

I've made great progress on the Hawaiin Star this week. I have all the lone star sections pieced and I'm halfway through the paper pieceing on the corner squares. The instructions for this pattern are terrific - and the fact that you actually only have to make 8 of each piece really makes it go by quickly without feeling tedious. I'm still loving it at this point and am thinking about how I want to quilt it!

I put the lone star sections on the floor to take a picture and the Miss Cat had to come and sit on the points to hold them down for me. Isn't that sweet of her? She is such a good helper, I don't know how in the world I would manage without her to sit on all of my projects! (Just kidding - she doesn't get to sit on all of my projects, just the ones she gets to before I catch her!)

Here it is with the corner sections laid out:

I'm hoping to finish the paper piecing on the corner squares by Thursday and start the curved piecing. With a lot of hard work I think I can get the border sections done next week, and hopefully spend the last week of May quilting it. Don't know how long Sharan will keep it at the shop, but when I get it back I plan on hanging it in my bedroom. I have learned so much about paper piecing, and actually even designing something for paper piecing, how to make it all go together logically.

1" Charm Squares

These are the 1" charm squared I did for the swap on Etsy. I had fun doing them, but the next set I am going to do a little bit differently. I want to do some with some machine work on them, and some piecing. These came out really cute, though. I especially like the ones with the fish beads on them, they are soo cute! They are one of those things that can take a lot of time if you really want to be elaborate, but you can do one fairly quickly if you keep it simple.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Next Big Project

There are times when it really pays to work in a quilt shop. My boss decided to carry the new Judy Niemeyer kit and pattern Hawaiian Star. And guess who she asked to volunteer to make the sample! I am so excited - this is one gorgeous quilt!

We got the kit in last week, so I have been industriously working at it. It took several days to cut out all the patterns (it's all foundation pieced!), and another two days to cut out the fabric. I took yesterday off to do some other sewing, but today I started on the sewing. I got the central star finished today -so pretty, as you can see!

I am trying to get the top finished by the end of May. If possible I would love to be able to get it quilted also, but realistically, I know that this is going to be a lot of hours worth of sewing. So far the instructions are fabulous - very easy to follow, and the newsprint it uses for foundations is great, it should be very easy to take off later (one of my dislikes about paper piecing).
I really love the fabrics - all Hoffman batiks. They are a little different from the ones in the original quilt, but I actually prefer them. They are a little more blue and pink, with the oranges and greens being not quite as obvious. All in all it will be a stunner when it's finished! What a privilege for me to be able to work on this project, I am really thankful.

Taking the Scenic Route

Memories of the Titanic made it to Denver, but according to UPS tracking it took the long way around! When I looked on Friday my quilt had left Oregon, gone to Kentucky, to California, to Illinois, then to Colorado. I just wish it could have picked me up some souvenirs along the way! I was relieved in the extreme to see it marked delivered Monday morning. So, if anyone out there happens to be going to the Denver National Quilt Festival, please tell my quilt that I miss it and looking forward to it coming home again (hopefully be a less circuitous route!).

This quilt was inspired by (surprise!) the movie Titanic. Specifically it was inspired by a glimpse of a floor tile that just begged to be made into a quilt block. After drafting the block I realized that it looked like a negative coloration of a storm at sea block set on point. I decided to make a Storm at Sea on point, using the negative coloration in the center and framing it with the normal coloration of the block. After completing this part of the quilt I decided that it needed something a little more exciting in the center. Something like a Mariner's Compass. So, the compass was appliqued over the center.

Then the quilt started growing, it wanted waves around the outside, so I used a Snail's Trail block around the outside, but colored it so it looked like waves swirling around the outside. After putting this much thought and energy into it I wanted to make it special, so decided on hand quilting. It took many months to decide how to quilt the white border, but finally decided to keep it simple, just some windblown swirls.

I finished it just in time to enter in the Coos Sand and Sea show in 2005, where it was awarded Best of Show! At this point I put it away and was busy with other projects, but decided that I should enter it in a larger show, just to see what would happen. I was really happy to have it accepted and am anticipating to see what the judges think about it. I know there are things I would change about it, particularly the quilting, so it will be interesting to get another opinion on it!