Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ho hum quilt

After the board meeting and running some errands, I had limited time for sewing yesterday. The block parts were still on the sewing table, so I decided to sew them up and get them out of the way. This is a ho hum quilt. The selection of the cheddar color was so obviously wrong, but I had cut all the pieces and didn't want to start over. I pushed on and finished the blocks, sewed the rows together, and put them up on the design wall. Sigh...Maybe it will improve with quilting. We'll know later today.

BQ2 with too much cheddar!!

The focus fabric has the turquoise and cheddar, but I should have gone with a more subtle light brown color.

I found this fabric in the sale room of a shop in Dahlonega for the back. At least the quilt won't have cost me a fortune!
I will be going to a 'fabric frenzy' today where our outreach groups will go through the stash of a wonderful quilter from the guild who passed last year. Her husband has donated her fabric to the guild for use in charity projects. I'm going to represent the Quilt Camp group in the chairperson's absence. This group teaches sewing to students in local schools. In fact, tomorrow we are off to the Middle School for another fun hour of sewing drawstring backpacks with the sewing club there. I am optimistic that there will be quilters in the future, as long as there are people to teach them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

President's Day road trip

Yesterday, I finished the tee shirt quilt and it has now gone home with another happy customer.

This is how I left things on Saturday evening. The bobbin ran out while sewing on the final border, and I was just too pooped to deal with it.

I quilted the finished top on Sunday, using the panto: Diamonds

The view from my easy chair.

The finished quilt. I added Black binding instead of stripes. They looked too busy for the quilt.

Polka dot Grunge fabric on the back.
I also started piecing a simple BQ2 project, and will get back to it later this week.
Today I went to Dahlonega and Cumming with a friend to get some backing for the quilt being pieced, as well as correct colored solid fabric to match the muslin on the two repairs I have going. My friend called and said she was looking for certain fabrics and would I like to go, too. Duh...wheels are turning and fabric shops are involved, so of course I'm going!
We hit Dahlonega first, the first customers of the day at The Common Thread. Gail found some black and whites she was looking for, as well as a few tone on tones for a new quilt she's making. I bought a yard of Kona Snow for one of the repair projects. In the sale room, I scored three nice prints I have been looking at to try some Chuck Nohara applique blocks. They all have funky backgrounds like the fabrics I found.

I can't wait to try something like this! I found the block pictures on Pinterest, and will try my own with patterns I already have.

Aren't they crazy-wonderful!?
The second shop in Dahlonega was Magical Threads, a big house made into a yarn and fabric shop. The owner is a bit quirky (braless, barefoot, and sometimes in her pajamas) but very sweet and helpful. There was a sale going on that we weren't aware of for the shop's 17th anniversary. Gail found some bargains, and I got a couple of pieces for $5 a yard! Not bad.
The shop in Cumming didn't open until 2:00, so we had a leisurely lunch at Ruby Tuesday, then a go round at Hobby Lobby. All the fabric was 30% off, so I got some more colors of muslin for repairs, and some inexpensive backing fabric for charity quilts. Gail found a mermaid wall decoration for her sun porch, and more black and white fabric. The last stop is my favorite shop, Thread Bear. It is two shops next to each other in a strip mall. The husband runs the sale, pre-cuts, wide backing, and Christmas side; and his wife runs the side with all the latest fabrics, patterns, books, threads and notions as well as the cash register! These two sides are packed with fabric of all styles. You name it...they've got it. You would be so proud of me! I only bought the backing I needed for the new quilt, and two yards of a beautiful fabric I just had to have. The backing came from the sale side and was $6 a yard. Not bad at all. 
We had a fun day, and drove back over Blood Mountain in the thick fog that had been draped over the top of the mountain all day. It was a gray, rainy day, but we saw nothing but happy faces everywhere we went. Gotta love quilt shop owners!
Back to work tomorrow after a board meeting in the morning.
Happy President's Day!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fun with tee shirts

Last night when I was watching the Olympics, I played with a paper copy of the tee shirt blocks I need to sew later. It helps me decide what to do for the design instead of moving the shirts around on the wall. After some tweaking, and adding frames on the blocks, I am ready to go ahead with my design idea tomorrow.

Playing with the paper mock up

The actual blocks arranged on the design wall. You can see I hadn't taken the circles into consideration...oops.

This is the probable design. I'm still not happy with the circles and arrow...

Meanwhile, I took in this unbelievable tee shirt quilt my customer made for her daughter. Wow! Is all I can say about it. So many details and embroidered blocks to compliment the shirts. This is one lucky girl to get this beauty.

So much to look at and admire!! The details in this quilt are crazy good!

The go to tee shirt panto: Dazzle

A satin finish cotton on the back
I also worked on the antique quilts, taking off bindings in front of the TV.

The binding on this baby quilt is completely worn through on the edge.

I had to remove the front strip of binding...then the back!
I finished up the last row of the UFO quilt and will get it bound soon. Not a favorite quilt, but its going to be done and used. I plan to have it on the daybed in the office. (our over-flow guest room!) 
Now, a bit more ice skating and then off to bed!

Boy, I really wasted big chunks of my Kaffe stash on this...what was I thinking? I don't remember why I made it, so I can't answer that question!

I tried a new, and fairly dense panto: Sunflowers

Not as bright as the front, but I still like this backing fabric.

Tee shirts and baby quilts

Yesterday, I spent my time quilting the two baby quilts and prepping shirts for a new tee shirt quilt. Not a very exciting day, but a fruitful one.

Number one. The fabric line for the blocks is called Lullabye, by Moda

Panto: Splat

The ducky backing

Number two. One is bound and done, the other will be done tonight.
In the afternoon, I loaded and started a five year  old UFO of my own, and simultaneously started a tee shirt quilt quilt project for a customer. I really like the puzzle a tee shirt quilt poses, and figuring out how to best position the shirts in the size quilt requested is fun for me. Today, I will juggle shirts until they look balanced and get busy sewing the quilt.

The shirts are ready, and so am I!

Those small bits I sprinkle into the mix.
I'm off to the studio and another day of doing what I love best, sewing and quilting! Oh yes, The polyester knit quilt went home yesterday, and the owner was thrilled. It will hang over a railing of her loft. That's good, because it looks pretty good from a distance. Everyone is happy.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Next project!

Late yesterday we got the APQS put back together and today I quilted this customer's Valentine quilt. Perfect! Also, replacing the wheels and axels seems to have fixed the drag problem. I will load a quilt of mine to give the free motion quilting a try.
My customer is demonstrating this technique at guild next week. It looks paper pieced, but it isn't.

Panto: Locket

I like the backing, too.

Its time to turn the page with repairs, and do one that's beautiful, easier and fun! Take a look at this wonderful late 1920s Dresden plate quilt.

The binding was 1 1/2 inches wide!! Here, I've flattened it out to show the 80 plus years of fading. The original color was the dark green.

The border was also the dark green, now faded to light mint.

Someone did a really bad repair!

The thread used in the repair is really thick and quite strong.

The front of the repaired place looked like this.

I took out the bad stitching and this is the tear. This will be an easy fix and will look great when done.

Here's the fading of the pink inner border.

The quilt is in pretty good shape for its age, the repairs will be simple. I marked the blades with holes with safety pins.

I love the blades where they used two fabrics to make a blade.

Isn't this a great quilt? I bet when it was new it was colorful and snazzy. Now, it has that shabby chic look. What the new quilters call "low volume".

The hand quilting is lovely, too.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Giving the washer a workout

Mr W and I had a long discussion about whether or not to wash the Big Bertha quilt in the domestic washer. Both of us have fears of the machine taking off, or exploding during the spin cycle! After draining off the water in the tub, we let the quilt sit for the day to get as much water out as possible before washing it. My biggest disappointment was the Oxyclean did nothing to get the mold out. It is as black and awful as ever. I know bleach might work, but you don't bleach quilts!! Especially polyester ones...
Anyway, the quilt is in the washer, and so far so good. Let's look at where I started, and where we are today.

Everywhere you see a pink 'frame' of fabric around a square, I had to replace a block of fabric. Next to the dark blue, you can see some of the first row that have been sewn.
Its in there!! Tumbling and spinning without incident, so far.
Once I get it in the dryer, I will relax a bit.I'm supposed to be at a sew in at the fabric store in twenty minutes, but can see I'll be late because of the washing marathon. Oh well, the parts came for the APQS and Mr W is chomping at the bit to get the machine off the carriage and begin taking off the wheels and putting on the new ones. I need to help him with this, so I had better get on the stick and get going, too!! I will post later today with the washing results. Fingers crossed that nothing comes apart!!


Postscript!: The washing went well and the washer is still intact. The quilt itself looks so clean and smells fresh and clean. I am so happy, and I hope the customer will be, too!
The black moldy areas are much cleaner now. (the quilt underneath is on the bed, not the front of the repaired quilt)

Still a bit of black spots, but waaaaay better!