Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BJ's Kaleidescope

It took several weeks to complete this quilt owing to my restricted activities post-operative of total knee joint replacement. I found myself limited to short periods of quilting even using the ergonomic saddle stool, very frustrating for someone who just likes to "git 'er done" LOL. This is the third of this design that I have quilted, including one of my own. Each received a different quilting design and color of thread.
  Superior's Fantastico trilobal thread in a dark grey shows enough without being "in your face", my favorite thread now for black quilts. The batting is Heirloom black 80/20.
 The same thread was used in the bobbin. 
 Freehand feathery flowers edge to edge, BJ does not like tight, formal or modern style quilting but prefers the more casual free flowing look.
Now I am back to working on the Hunter Star quilt, managed a few more blocks yesterday at my MeetUp group.......
 as well as the April BOM for 35th. Ave Sew 'N Vac.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. I had an Aussie friend visit  and while she was here our little Aussie Terrier Button got into my friend's open suitcase and ate 310 gms. of candy while we were out for the evening requiring another rush to the local 24/7/365 vet hospital. About $2,500 a couple of days, lots of prayer and anguish later she was out of danger! Little minx, she now appears to be back to her usual bossy, charming self! PTL! We had other plans for those $$$$ but there is no counting the cost when it comes to our furry kids!
After that, my total knee joint replacement almost two weeks ago at Mayo was sort of a non event LOL! I am now at the point when I expect to survive, but still not sure how well this Smith and Nephew knee will work for me. My excellent Mayo surgeon assures me it will fit with my lifestyle, which is very active- we had to go with the ceramic version because of my metal sensitivity. After the first few days I became fairly independent just because that is my nature, in spite of the pain that has been a major factor due to my intolerance of opioids etc. Ibuprofen has been only a minor help, but the last few days I notice less severe pain, PTL! I am rather limited in activity yet and moving more slowly than normal, not allowed to drive either so long suffering DH has to take me to PT and to Mayo for labs every couple of days. Hopefully after the hundred plus staples [we are calling it "the zipper] are removed next Wednesday I will be allowed to drive and that will be a happy day!
Obviously as there's been minimal sewing/quilting, boredom has been my companion, but I plan to be back at the LA Thursday to get BJ's beautiful BOM quilted and out the door.
 This is 2017 35th.Ave.$10 BOM. The colors are disappointing but it will be a charity quilt and someone will love it! I can see I need to press my blocks with steam!
This shows my progress on the Hunter Star quilt, it will be Queen Size and I have until July to complete it. I am using the large Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Ruler.
 I was excited to use it rather than the more complex traditional method and eagerly signed up for the class offered at 35th.Ave Sew 'N vac. However, we discovered during the class that there appears to be a conflict in the measurements for the 10" block. The instructor had not made the 10" block previously so was unaware of the issue, she had only used the smaller size block and we were not able to understand how the listed cutting directions would come up with a full 10" block. Consequently I have to adjust the cutting sizes and try to keep very clear about what I am doing so it's a bit more tedious than expected and I have wasted about a yard of fabric so far, drat, just as well I ordered more than I thought I would need! However I am happy with the result you see above and hope to be back to it the end of the week after finishing BJ's quilt.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tatum's Baby Quilt

Finally have this bound but no label yet, I cannot find the paper I wrote it on and I'm drawing a blank on her sir-name! She is one of several new babes at church and I will have to wait until I can ask the preschool director who checks in all the kids on Sundays, she knows everyone!
The back is a lovely soft Minkee so I omitted batting, this is Arizona!
 The thread is Superior So Fine pink and the quilting an E-E  freehand folk art flower.
It's a scrappy quilt so the binding is also, most of it left from other projects

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Two More QOV's

Hot off the long-arm yesterday and already in the mail to the quilter who will bind and label  and see them to the veteran recipients. 
 They are both custom quilted with lots of ruler work
An Edge to Edge design would not have looked as nice I think, and although this took longer I like the result.
  Ruler work again..........
and feathered border I call "under and over feathers that are really fun to quilt.
 Working with rulers requires an extended base for the machine and of course takes much longer to do but these quilts would not have benefited from an "all over" design. In the first one I used a neutral thread and in the second a very pale blue. Quilter's Dream poly batting inside that looks and feels much like a cotton batting.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Great Grandmother.........

Going to be one in October...........

Monday, March 6, 2017

Another Wedding Quilt

The couple requested "blue" and this is the result. Since Logan is joining the Navy the blue can represent the ocean and I quilted Baptist fans because they sort of look like waves.........
 I am very unhappy both with my phone camera color depiction and the iPhoto adjustment limitations I have no hope of getting close to the true color, there are absolutely no pink tones in these fabrics. I may try using the actual camera I bought about three years back to see if it does a better job, can't do much worse!
The colors are quite bright blues and I like how it turned out but not the photos! After I had the top together I realized it was longer than necessary so I removed one row of blocks. That worked out well because the wide backing was not wide enough so I inserted the extra blocks into the middle of the backing, perfect!
Construction was a challenge because of the size of the quilt[KS] and the much smaller size of my design wall, so I put it together in three parts, center first then matching up left and right sides. Joining these parts was another challenge because the blocks are not square, more a parrallelogram.
A few photos may help to demonstrate. Two pieces make one block and I had to sew this zig zag together to join the two sides to the middle section.
 In these two pics you can see how it is pinned, I sewed the long edges together the length of the quilt then went back and sewed the short horizontal bits. It was a little tedious and needed to be very accurate.
This is how it looked once I got it all together, whew! Then I had to trim all off all the little triangular bits  down each side.
I am happy to say it is all done and now I can finish off the backlog before my total knee joint replacement in two weeks.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Rescue Quilt

Wow here it is almost a month since I posted that has never happened before! The explanation, I was working on Logan and Kelli's quilt to get it done before he leaves for Navy basic training, IT training and some other training, he will be gone for maybe 8 months I think!
I will not have all the pics for that post until Tuesday, so I will post a couple of other projects that have kept me busy.
The rescue quilt was brought to me by a Mom who had begun it for a daughter and abandoned it about 10 years ago- it had been bundled up in a bag and perhaps made several moves? And when I got it my heart quailed a little but as much as Mom wanted it done for her daughter I knew I had to take it on!
I did not take before pics but a partly quilted item is a challenge. The original quilting done on a domestic machine with a stretchy fleece backing makes for numerous potential issues for any machine but I am pleased with the result. I had to add additional backing on three sides and fortunately there was plenty of the backing. Because a few of the blocks were already partially quilted I needed to replicate that quilting as closely as possible on the rest of the quilt. I made a template to reproduce the design begun on the solid blocks, and it worked quite well.
 On the right side below you can see a line where I needed to join in additional fabric to make the backing fit, but it hardly shows in reality.
Using a ruler I simply outlined the large triangles. The backing being a stretchy fleece is heavy, so the quilt does not hang flat against the wall but looks great on a bed and the fleece is a nice cuddly feature! It's a light purple color and actually looks really pretty but the photo does not do it justice.
 Here is a better picture with the recipient with a big smile on her face- enjoy your quilt for many years young lady, you have a devoted Mom, and may you have sweet dreams under it!
A second project just completed is this delightful Grandmother's Flower Garden -it is a vintage quilt from the 30's and 40's I think, and the quilter had never finished the binding. It has been well stored and is in great condition so her daughter or granddaughter? brought it to me to complete the binding so that it can be used. It is not easy to hang a quilt with curved edges so I laid it out on the floor.

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Finish, Finally !

There seem to have been multiple roadblocks to completing this quilt, the past couple of weeks has been really busy. But it is done and now I can send it back to Texas where it belongs and the owner is anxiously awaiting it!
Leslie has red for the shams so she thought to have the wreath centers red 
but we discovered that the red kind of disappeared and the centers appeared blank. Hmmmm....
 So I decided to echo the red flower with the same grey I used for the rest of the quilt
and now you can see the centers, they look like Cabbage Roses to me.
The batting is Quilter's Dream black and thread is Superior Magnifico "Storm" on top and BL in the bobbin.
 I am happy with the grey "Storm" thread, I like quilting with Superior's Magnifico line it sews nicely, has attractive sheen without being in your face, and comes in a fabulous range of colors. This shade is perfect for quilting on black fabrics, it shows the quilting enough and makes it easy to see where you have been, very important in freehand quilting.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Hate This Thread Color!

After dithering around back and forth with Leslie whose quilt this is, I had the plan all ready and finally decided on gold thread-but no sooner had I quilted a couple of feet of the outer border than I realized- I hate the thread color! Yikes!
It just doesn't go, not the right shade of yellow, too brassy gold. Drat!
But this lovely lime green will do I think! 
It is actually even brighter in hue than it shows, and we had talked about using it but I didn't want to make it too seasonal/Christmassy. 
Therefore I will sleep on it and if I still despise it in the morning - and I am pretty sure that I will- I will frog it and start over with the green. It is not the same brand so I hope my tension stays adjusted, these shiny threads can be finicky!
I made a couple more selvedge pot holders to take for a little hostess gift this weekend, we can all use an extra one or two, everyone seems to love them and I will never run out of selvedges!
       Earlier this week I was over at 35th Avenue Sew 'N vac and cruised around their sale table while waiting for a sales person and it was not a good idea, at least for my wallet!
I spied this-an entire set of Kaffe Fassett fabrics half price, 16 yards in all it states.
 It took me a long time and quilting a few quilts with his fabrics before I grew to like them, in the beginning I thought they were too wild and I would go blind quilting them! The first quilt I custom quilted was a queen size to the floor, a big quilt king size really. All the blocks were different, stars I think, and no matter what thread I used I could not see where I had been! By the time I got to the last wide border I gave up and pulled out a pantograph, it was making me so crazy trying to see my quilting. I know that a black light can help so I need to get one just to have on hand for difficult fabrics.
Some of his fabrics I really love especially those polka dots in several different color-ways, yummy! I am not sure that this entire quilt is my style, not likely ever to make it, but a few blocks for a wall hanging would be fun and a very happy accent on the wall. There's just too much time consuming applique` there in the full size version but I am sure I can find some other wonderful things to make with them.
As I said it took me years to appreciate the riotous colors in Kaffe's designs, but now I love them, all that brightness and craziness makes me happy! Must be my advancing years, my Mum grew to love wild colors when she was older and I have a birthday Sunday so the years are catching up with me!
Oh yeah that's a great idea, this can be my birthday present to myself LOL!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Projects For The New Year

Linking up with Needlework Tuesday
We returned from our Boston jaunt last week and spent the next few days catching up with mail, putting up Christmas decorations, purging the storage shed in back and cleaning house-not to mention laundry!
Now it's back to the normality of the gym and quilting, and the boy whom I had really missed not seeing him for three whole weeks!
 I did make it to the gym in Boston the week after Christmas, I took the eleven year old twins and had several good workouts at the "Y", but the second week they were back in school and I did not go so it feels really good to be back into that routine!
First up on the longarm is this stunning quilt and I have been back and forth with the quilter in Texas deciding on thread color and design. There is something very dramatic always about solid colors on a black background.
It is now loaded and ready to go
The plan is for a bright green thread and a leafy wreath in each block with a flower center, leaves between the blocks and a flower on each of the cornerstones. I think it will be really pretty. 
A couple of new babies at our church necessitates a couple more baby quilts and I pieced this quickie from an assortment of small amounts of girlie fabrics I cut into 7" squares for the baby girl I met before Christmas. It will be quilted as soon as the black one is done. Meanwhile I noticed another new babe on Sunday and I must ask tomorrow at Bible study who it is so I can get another in the works. We have a lot of young families and new ones joining here and there. Our church has had a wonderful preschool for many years [there is usually a waiting list] and we often seem to have new families join after their child has become a student in the preschool. Matthew goes to the Sunday School, which he absolutely loves, also overseen by the preschool director- it's a terrific program of Christian discipleship.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Eataly in Boston!

Have you heard of Chef Mario Batali's "Eataly"? There are thirty now around the globe since the first in Turin, Italy.In the USA there are four, in NYC Flatiron and NYC Downtown, Chicago and now Boston plus one in the offing in Los Angeles. This morning niece and I checked out the newest store, 45,000 square feet in the Prudential building Boston and to put it mildly we were astonished the store is enormous and the variety of goods from A to Z is overwhelming!
We had never seen so many cheeses in one place......
nor cured and fresh meat.....
The photos in this post are a miniscule representation of the entire facility, including four restaurants with the same menu.
A small selection of the artisan breads fresh baked daily on site 
We purchased a fig bread, but it was very hard to choose just one
and this Chianti that was advertised as new to the country so we decided to try a bottle.
We ate brunch there, K had a Ciabatta sandwich with mushrooms, pickled onions and a soft cheese and I ordered a selection of three salads, chicken with walnuts and Gorgonzola, one featuring eggplant and the third a Caprese. We finished up with Macchiato latte and a coffee, and I could not resist this decadent looking hazelnut dessert to share.
If you have an opportunity to visit one of these stores it's an adventure, but try to plan it early in the day close to 9am. before the crowds arrive. When we got there around 11 am. it was very busy and the restaurants were already crowded and we left around one pm. as the crowding was getting uncomfortable!