Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Man Quilt

So I got a commission to make a quilt for a gentleman's 60th birthday.  One side needs a place for a testament to his 60 years, and enough open area for attendees at his birthday party to sign the quilt, and a couple of appliqued teddy bears, as he is a collector.  I have worked out a basic design for that side of the quilt, but haven't started the actual computation of sizes for the areas.  I'm working on that now.

The other side of the quilt, I decided, needed a particularly masculine and modern vibe.  So this is what I came up with.  It is based on a quilt I saw online which used some wonderful fabrics from a line called Curious Nature designed by David Butler.  I looked up the line on Google and found some very cool fabrics most of which had a decidedly masculine look to them - hard to find at the LQS!  I ordered the fabrics and here is the finished product of side 1 of The Man Quilt:

I paired the fabrics... which are all steel blue, black, dark grey and moss green... with a pale grey tweedy looking fabric.  Then I made 9" squares and sewed half-square triangles.  It took 48 squares to make the quilt.  Then I laid it out in an off-center barn-raising pattern.  I am very happy with how it came out.

I am eagerly looking forward to making the other side of the quilt, which will have to be oversized for quilting purposes, as this side is complete as is, there will be no borders on it - I want it to retain that 'modern quilt' vibe. 

I hope the recipient will like it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


So it seemed like a lot of extra trouble to repin the quilt twice just to do the borders (once for top/bottom, and again for the side borders), so I quilted the borders on my little Bernina 440.  Like a trooper, she purred all the way through it and did a great job with perfect tension.  The borders came out great.   I am satisfied with the whole thing.

I trimmed the quilt, squared it up and it's ready for binding and label (both to be done by other members of my minigroup).


The colors aren't perfect in the picture but the lighting wasn't great, but this is the quilt, as held up by my DH.  I guess I should have taken a picture of the back too, showing the quilting, but I forgot... ah well.  I'm glad I did it - I really needed to use my longarm!  I am still not comfortable with adjusting the tension on it, but I am much more comfortable with the actual quilting process.

Tomorrow I get a reprieve from quilting lol - I play mah jong in the morning and have a dental appt in the afternoon.  But at night, I get to go to quilting at the senior center.... we have a sort of quilting club that meets Thursday nights, so I will get something done tomorrow.

I did just get a commission to make a quilt for a gentleman's 60th birthday.  I am very excited about this, as it's only my third commissioned quilt and it is always a challenge to make an appropriately masculine quilt.  I've been asked for colors in slate grey, blue and black, and perhaps I'll throw in a little pop of moss green for some added color.  I've already picked some fabrics, and just have to decide on a design.  It needs places for friends to sign the quilt, and I've been asked to put teddy bears on the back because he is a collector.  Interesting design challenge.  I hope I'm up to it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I love sewing and quilting on rainy days.  Unfortunately I live in Southern California and we have far too few of those day here.  Luckily today was one of them... it rained on and off most of the day - very lightly, and tonight it has been pouring... and windy too!  Love this weather.

I repinned that entire back onto my long-arm - the one the kitty jumped into and tore.  My husband gave me a long narrow piece of bubble wrap that just fits between the bars on the machine.  It seems to work great keeping the kitty off the machine.  Yay!  A solution has been found!

Today, while I enjoyed the pitter patter of light raindrops, I quilted the body of the crib-sized baby quilt my mini-group is making. 

Everything was working fine til I got to the borders.  I quilted the top and bottom borders with the intention of turning the quilt for quilting the side borders.  But when I took the quilt off the machine, I discovered the tension had slipped and I had big loopies on the back of the quilt.

I spent tonight watching TV and ripping out all the stitching I had done on the borders.  That is all done now, but how to proceed?  I am torn between finishing it up on the longarm, correcting the tension first of course, or quilting the borders on my Bernina.   I wouldn't mind doing it on the longarm, but all that pinning just for the borders?  yeeesh... not my idea of fun. 

Tomorrow is a good day for making decisions, I think I will wait til then.

Friday, February 15, 2013

LongArms and Kittehs

So today I loaded a quilt onto my longarm.  Got the back pinned, the batting in place, the top floated, and ready for basting.  I took a little break and sat down to rest.  Next thing I know, my quilting companion, Pan, a cute little grey tabby, decided to turn the entire thing into a kitty hammock.  She hopped up onto the loaded quilt and it pulled all the pins out of the fabric.  Actually, the pins held, the fabric tore.  Sigh.

It's a good thing I made the back oversized for this one, but I'm still bummed out... all that pinning has to be redone.  I think I will get to it tomorrow or Sunday.  My enthusiasm for dealing with it has faded a bit.  And I'm not happy with my kitteh either. 

No, she cannot haz cheezeburger now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beautiful Day....

Today is SAD (Singles Awareness Day), for all my single friends, my condolences.  I hope you go out and have fun on your own and don't dwell on being alone... or even revel in it, celebrate it!  Not being dependent or co-dependent on a significant other can be a positive thing too!

Anyway, today dawned bright and clear and cool, and sadly warmed up beyond comfort levels and they are saying it is only going to get warmer as we approach the weekend.  I like the cooler weather, sigh.  Who knows, by Saturday, I may be back in tank tops and it's only February.

I went to play mah jongg with friends today and had an incredible morning, winning almost every game.  I actually felt a little bad cause I was hogging all the wins, but I was just SO lucky.  I know if I sign up to play in a tournament, I'll never have a day like this again... still it was fun to spend the morning with friends.

Then came the afternoon.  Big sigh.  First a quick trip to Target to pick up a couple of things.  Then a trip to JoAnn's for fabric.  I don't ordinarily buy fabric at JoAnn's but I needed some flannel to back a quilt. 

Now this is where the big sigh comes in.  My mini-group is making a baby quilt for the waitress who serves us at our favorite get-together spot.  She is expecting in 2 months.  One of our members had a quilt almost made and put some borders on it and donated it to the cause.  I am supposed to quilt it on my longarm, so that is my contribution, someone else is supposed to bind it.  The lady who supplied the quilt gave me batting, but it's not big enough to use on the longarm, so I am going to have to provide the batting as well.  And since no one else stepped up, I have to supply the backing as well. 

So.... off I went to JoAnn's.  I found the perfect piece of flannel to coordinate with the quilt.  I needed 3 1/2 yards.  They only had 2 1/2 yards of this fabric.  I found another fabric that kind of went with the first one.  They only had 1 yard of that.  So now I have to piece the back from these fabrics.  I am NOT washing them before I do this... I'm just NOT.  I know they will shrink terribly, but between the batting, the piecing of the back, which requires multiple sewing tasks... and then the quilting too, I will be DONE.  Just done. 

Anyway, needless to say, I'm feeling a little bit put upon, since a lot of our members aren't doing anything to assist.  We did have one other who offered to bind, so that's good, and very sweet of her to step up and offer.  I think I'm going to email and let them all know the situation so if anyone wants to step up and offer to wash and press, they can.

Am I being selfish?  Maybe a little, but I feel like providing the batting, the backing, AND the quilting is enough. 

Tonight should be good though.  DH and I are going out to dinner and maybe a movie.  I don't know about the movie, as nothing is playing that I feel like going to see tonight.  Maybe we will go out for dinner and come home and cocoon with the DVR.  We'll see....

Anyway - whatever you do tonight - enjoy yourself!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A finish...

I finished one quilt that I just started (I know... too many are languishing unfinished but I was inspired).

This quilt was designed by Brenda Dean and I had a lot of fun making all the little kimonos.  The quilt itself took less than a day to piece and a day to quilt and bind.   Fun fun fun!

Using Brenda's technique to fold kimonos, I made a bunch out of indigo fabrics also for a guild challenge.  The challenge was to take two colors and make  a quilt.  Our two colors were randomly chosen - I got purple and violet.  We were allowed to add one color of our choice (I chose indigo), and a background color (I chose peach).  I am actually using the background color in the foreground.  I may get disqualified, but easier to get forgiveness than permission so I didn't ask ;) - Here is what I have so far:

Right now, the kimonos are just pinned on - and all the little beaded peach colored yoyo flowers are not on the quilt yet... nor are the sparkly gems and beads.  I hope it's pretty when it's done.  It is due to be finished by early April.  I have about 1/10 of the yoyos beaded so far... still lots to do!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Seeing double...

Took an inventory of all my Aurifil thread today and found out I had a lot of duplicates I didn't need... sigh... some I will eventually use like the light grey and the black... but bright Christmas green?  I'll probably never use the first spool I bought of it...  ah well... That's what I get for not being organized.  Now I have to decide what to do with all this extra thread... I wonder if any stores will let me exchange them for other colours... I'm not even sure where I bought them all, but they are all still plastic wrapped still.

Now, since I only use Aurifil these days, I need to decide what to do with all the other thread I have that I don't want and won't use anymore.  I've been giving it away when I can, the new spools and such, but I've got some barely used spools that I will probably never use as well... They are just collecting dust.  Time to clean out these old things I don't want and won't use anymore!

I wonder if I just take them to my local quilt guild meeting and put the box out there with a 'free' sign on it, people will take what they want of it and the rest can be trash.  That might work... I'd love to see them put to use, maybe making Linus quilts or the like.  Anyway, I think I will try this. 

Time to simplify my life a little by getting rid of old thread!  My first resolution for the year?  maybe.  I have a week and a half before quilt guild... I can do this!  I did it with magazines last meeting and feel much lighter and better for having recycled them... Time to do it with thread (and more magazines)!  It's a feeling I highly recommend!

A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....