Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quilt Request from a Colorado Quilter

Michelle is a Colorado quilter who lives across town from the Waldo Canyon Fire.  She has been watching the news coverage of the fire and wants to help those who have lost homes and been evacuated. 

 She is asking for anyone who is willing to donate a completed quilt, quilt top, backing, or batting to please contact her. If you live in her area she will collect and disburse the quilts that are received and I am sure if you are out of state she would gladly accept donations by mail. 

She is asking for people to pass the word so that maybe we can bring some comfort to the victims of the fire.  

I am hoping that there is also someone willing do help those in northern Colorado who have been impacted by the fire north of Fort Collins as well. I do not know any quilters in that area, but if there is one I hope that they would be willing to help in a similar way.

Michelle can be reached by email at
or through her blog Just for the Piece of It

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mini Retreat June 2012

This past weekend three friends and I retreated to one of their homes down in Soldotna.  It is their retirement home, though retirement is still a few years off for her. We went down for the Quilting on the Kenai quilt show, see my previous post for more on that, and to sew the long weekend away. We headed down Friday morning, but no sewing actually got started until Saturday morning.

Sally spent the weekend working on a blue and yellow/gold Alaska Stars quilt from an Alaska shop hop several years ago. Mine is still in individual packages, so we will not go there.  She completed all but the borders as she decided she did not like the fabric she had bought for the borders and will use it on the back instead.  It is roughly a double to a queen size.  I love how it turned out so may be motivated to get mine out in the near future.  She also worked on a Christmas table runner that she started last December. It is the same pattern as the two I did only she did not like how it came to a point, so cut it off before that.  I am sad to say I did not get pictures of either of her projects. But here is a picture of Sally and Jan trying to get the cork out of the wine bottle.

Jan quilted a cute fish wall hanging and worked on log cabin blocks to make a valance for the sliding glass door at the cabin/house we were staying at.  She made 10 04 12" blocks and had them so the mountain was going up on one and down on the other.  The valances are sewn, now they just need a little quilting and pressing before they are ready for hanging. Again I am sad to say I did not get pictures of either of her projects, but I did do the fish wall hanging she did so may have a picture of it hiding somewhere. But here they are after they got the cork out.

I was the reigning UFQ queen when it came to projects completed this weekend, but I was a woman on a mission.  I finished four quilt tops.
Pastel Saturday Sampler Quilt top.
 This one was waiting for a border and this weekend I finally found fabrics for the two outer borders at Kenai Fabrics this weekend, though not my favorite it is now moved over to topville.  The pink middle border is not really my favorite, but it works and the top is done. 
This is the lizard quilt, named for the lizard fabrics.  Bryce started this quilt the summer between fifth and sixth grade when he was injured and I had to find a quiet activity for him to do. He was not allowed to run or bike for several weeks as his legs was healing.  He had been helping a little girl across a pond where her brother had left her and in the process she got scared and caused them both to fall in. He got her out and safely to the other side, but ended up with a long deep gash on his leg. He walked home and told us what happened. He is my Boy Scout. Due to the pond water not being the cleanest the doctor stitched his leg with space for seepage and put him on antibiotics.  He had a big canoe trip coming up for scouts and he could not go if his leg did not heal. The quilt was one of several quiet activities designed to distract him from playing outside.
Close up of the blocks
He helped with the cutting,  pieced all the nine patches and had the rows sewn together. It was put away and rediscovered when I was cleaning out my sewing room. I took the rows apart and trimmed up the blocks so they were uniform and fixed a few seams that were barely sewn, then put it back together. This weekend I added the borders and cut and stitched the binding.  I plan to quilt this one and give it to him for Christmas.

I also worked on the Space Attic Windows which Joel, my oldest, started back I don't remember when and never finished. He took a class at Quilt Tree when it was on Lake Otis and never finished the top.

He pieced the blocks I had pieced the blocks together  into rows, after taking a few apart and fixing some seams, and posted about it on June 17th. I put on the inner and outer borders and have the backing selected, it is the inner border fabric. Now I just need to find a navy, green, or red for the binding.  I plan to quilt this one and give it to him for Christmas also.

I had a set of red, white/cream, and blue blocks from a swap and decided to set them slightly off kilter with a border around each block, then sash the blocks in star fabric.  I used these two fabrics for the inner and outer borders and finished off this top this weekend also.
-->I may have enough of the inner border fabric for binding, if not I will use a navy blue as reds are not always easy to match .
I have two rows left to sew on my Clay's Star Quilt so it will be ready for borders. I need to find a red for the inner border and binding as I do not have enough left and this is the one I am considering donating to QOV (Quilts of Valor).
You can barely tell but there is a pattern in the navy fabric.
I sashed a part of each of three rows that make an on point setting of seven blocks and have them ready for me to figure out the setting triangles and borders.
 I really like these and am using the green for the setting triangles, the burgundy for the border and binding it in green.

I also finished an incomplete block and cut and pieces three more blocks to for a friendship star quilt that I have been working on off and on.  I plan on using the blue for the borders, but may do some smaller stars through out the quilt also.  I have 15 blocks. I have also not decided if I will set them on point or straight.

 I also bought this fabric to make pillow cases for Bryce, who is in the Army Guard.  I thought he would like this camo fabric more than the uniforms he has to wear.  He has some flame fabric pillow cases with ladies hidden in the flames that he loves, so I thought he might like this set for his birthday in July.

I finished off the weekend by cutting, and piecing bindings for three quilts.  I pressed them yesterday so they are ready to go.  Only one of the quilts for these bindings is quilted, so I am ahead on the bindings for now.

Quilting on the Kenai

Close up of a block from the quilt that won Best of Show.  (for details see below)
This past weekend I headed down to Soldotna with my friend Jan. Our friend Sally and her husband also went down in their motor home.  We stayed at Jan's second home in Soldotna.  She has a great house there with a separate building that will one day be her sewing studio, until then we take over the dinning room with out sewing machines.  Her husband Rick is a good sport about being invaded by us.

Quilting on the Kenai is the a quilt show held every year in June.  This year they had a quilt walk and we discovered some fun shops as we traveled from shop to shop getting our Quilt Passports stamped.  Each shop had a quilt or piece of fiber art displayed from the quilt show.

We also went to a show entitled "Art Quilts Extra-Ordinaire."

The Exhibit Statement by Mary Kay Johnson said:  "Art quilting is a fairly recent outgrowth of traditional quilts which were originally made to keep people warm in their beds. They share with bed quilts the basic construction of a fabric 'sandwich' of a top, batting, and backing held together with stitching of some sort."

It goes on to say: "Some artist created their own fabric design using paint, dye, bleach, and ink. Hand-stitching, machine embroidery, staples, and wires hold the quilt layers together. Artist have added pain, beads, lace, fringe, and thread to embellish the surfaces. Some quilts have a theme and tell a story, others are simple or elaborate designs developed by the quilters."

These are a few of the quilts on display.
By Karen Fogarty for sale at the Art Gallery in Kenai, $190.

In the Jungles of San Blas by Marilyn Kay Johnson
Tile Magic by Anne Louise Gillian
Clown Fish by Rachel Gossl

Fall Sentinel by Rachel Gossl

Garden Party for Bag Ladies by Jan Wallace (No matter how I tried I could not get this one clear due to the light reflection.)

I took pictures of several of the quilts displayed in the shops during the quilt walk.

Sunburst I Designed, Pieced, and Quilted by Jacob "Jack" Ross
Mrs. Kramden and Sprout Designed, Pieced and Quilted by Alice Krivitsky.

Flippant Frogs Designed and Stitched by Anne Louise GIllian
My favorite from the quilt walk was at a nursery, which was very appropriate for the quilt.

Going to Seed Pieced by Kathy Sexton
Quilted by Lily Huebsch

The quilt show had some beautiful pieces and some that did not win ribbons, but in my opinion should have. I will not say what had ribbons or did not, though in a few pictures you can see the ribbons.

Machine Embroidered Quilt Made by Enid Keyes
I could not read the name of the quilter on the picture I took. I love the colors in this one.

Bed Quilt by Carla Carlisle Quilted by Sharon Hughes
Applique Made By Lorraine Roloff  Quilted by Cindy Rainey
Applique Made By Sue Tonione Quilted by Kathy Sanders
This pair was made by Joann Biegel and  quilted by Sharon Hughes
This is one I thought deserved a ribbon. It was made by Pauline Goecke and quilted by Larry Bravo
This one appliqued by Jan Allen and quilted by Cindy Rainey won best of show.
 I thought this little wall hanging made and quilted by Kathy Bongiovanni was just too cute.
The Four Seasons of an Outhouse

I really liked this bed quilt by Denise Maloney, which was quilted by Sharon Hughes.

This cute red work wall hanging was made and quilted by Barb Hope McKay.
This one was made and hand quilted by Flory Loughead. She did beautiful hand quilting as you can see in this closeup.

Here are a couple of close ups of Cindy Rainey's quilting on some of the quilts. She did a beautiful job.

We really enjoyed the quilt show and all the shops we stopped in along the quilt walk.  I have been a couple of times in the past, but after this year I think I would like to make it a yearly event, and who knows maybe one year I will enter one of my creations.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Special Quilt

This quilt is a favorite of mine, though it is small and may not look like much it means the world to me. When my youngest son, Bryce, was in fourth grade they were studying the pioneers and had to do a project. Tom was working and going to school so Bryce had to pick something that I could help with and that did not include anything that involved power tools, or cutting implements.  We narrowed it down to making hand dipped candles or quilting. He picked quilting.

We went to the library and researched fabrics for the time period and took the book with us to quilt store to help us find fabrics that would work.  A wonderful lady at the store helped us pick fabrics and once they were purchased we headed home to get started.

Bryce traced a square on cardboard to use as his cutting template and with help from mom very carefully cut it out.  Then he traced a second one and I helped him to trace an inner line and cut out the center of the second square to he had a template for tracing his sewing line.  He traced his squares onto the fabric and cut out his squares. He then traced his sewing lines, with help from me to hold the template still.  I showed him how to pin the squares together and my job was done except for threading needles. He started to sew with some supervision from me until he got the stitch length to a workable size.  Everyday for a couple weeks he sewed on that nine patch, put the borders on and then he was ready to quilt.

I helped him cut out the batting and the background, then pinned them together for him.  My job once again became needle threader and he went to work quilting his miniature quilt.

Once the quilting was done I helped him trim the batting and backing down, then showed him how to do a folded over binding and helped him pin it in place.  I threaded a few more needles and got him started stitching down the binding.  He made his project and I am very proud of the fact that he worked so hard to complete it.

At parent-teacher conferences all the projects were on display and as a parent I was very proud of my son, because his was one of the few that was actually done by a student. There were many parents who earned grades on their projects, but very few students who actually earned their own grades. Bryce was one of those and he also learned a very valuable lesson in the process. He can always be proud of what he did, and that he did the work himself.  I feel sorry for those other students whose parents did not let them learn the value of hard work.

Of all the quilts I own, including those that were passed down in my family, this is the quilt that I hold the most dear and am the proudest of. In my mind it is a blue ribbon winner.

More UFQing....

Today was a full day with a 15 mile ride on the tandem and Father's Day, but I managed to work on my UFQs for a while today.  Here is the other quilt I said I had bought fabric to make binding for in my previous post. The gray color is really lavender and the blue background on the Mardi Gras print is really more purple.  The lighting in the evening is not so great in my sewing room.
Here are the bindings in order from left to right for the Mardi Gras quilt, the Crazy Hearts quilt, and the New Year's Mystery. The second two are pictured in my last post.  The last  binding on the right is purple not blue, again the light in my sewing room is not the best at night for colors.

Here are to two UFQs from my sons that I am finishing.  The outer space attic windows is one Joel started years ago, not even sure what year it was. I still need to cut borders and to decide if I want to put an in inner border or just the outer space fabric border.  If I do an inner border what color should I use?  A dark blue?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

These are Bryce's blocks that he made the summer he between 5th and 6th grade or 6th and 7th grade.  He was being a good Boy Scout and helped a little girl across a pond after her brother abandoned her on the other side and she got freaked out causing them both to fall. He fell and got a huge cut in his leg that required several stitches, antibiotics, and rest to heal.  Bryce is an active boy, still is an active young man, so it was hard to keep him still. He wanted to run and ride his bike, but I had one thing to hold over his head.  If his leg did not heal he could not go on the scout canoe trip. I came up with the idea of him making another quilt. He had already taken a class and made one for himself, so he knew the basics. We went shopping and he picked out his fabrics, I cut and he started sewing, a little each day.  He never finished it, and when cleaning my sewing room I discovered it  hiding in a box.  I took apart the rows that were way to far off to work, yesterday, and fixed some blocks that would have fallen apart as soon as it washed and now need to trim up some blocks and put it back together.  I have the inner and outer border fabric and maybe even enough for the backing of the fabrics he picked out.
I ran out of spray starch tonight so will have to wait until I get more to starch them before trimming the nine patches as they are not exactly square, so I want to stabilize them.

I am off to work on the binding on the strip quilt so I can get it done and start to embroider the label.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

UFQ busting Weekend

I worked on several things Saturday and all are at the stage where I need to get out the ironing board and iron so I can press. I am calling it a night, though I could put together two more rows to press in the morning.  I am tired and my back hurts.

I worked on pick up sticks and have 10 rows of strips sewn with the color strips inserted and ready to cut into 6.5" blocks. I had to do a lot of frogging on this one because I got things out of order or two of the same color strips in the same piece and I finally gave up and said what ever will be will be.  It may be a very small quilt as it was causing me frustration.  I may not do any more though I do have at least ten more strip sets sewn.  I can always do something else with all those black and white strips, even if they are several different sizes.  Will see how things go for me tomorrow.

I did a lot of frogging on two UFQs that are not mine, but my boys. One is from when Bryce was in 5th or 6th grade and I had to keep him quiet as he had a massive cut that was stitched up on his leg and the threat of if it is not healed you cannot go on the scout canoe trip was hanging over his head.  I had to take the rows apart as they were so of kilter it was not funny, so decided to take it down to the blocks. I need to press and trim them then put the rows back together and the rows back into a top. I think I will quilt it and give it to him for Christmas if I get it done. This was nine patches with alternating blocks of a lizard print fabric.  It will be 5 x7 and I have borders already cut from way back when.

I also worked on another of the boys UFQs from some point in the past.  It is attic windows and I had to redo a few seams that were really badly sewn and trim up the blocks.  I started putting them into rows.  It is 3 x 3 and I have border fabric for it.

Lastly, I put together one more row of a red, white, and blue quilt I started years ago.  It is done with the blocks on point and both corner pieces are done.  I have two more rows to sew together and then need to sew the last three
rows into the middle of the quilt.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sorting Scraps

What justifies keeping a scrap?  Is it size, color, print, or just I like it?  I am sorting through three large, 13 gallon, trash bags of scraps and determining whether to keep them or send them out the door. I have set up drawers for strips of various sixes, squares  that are 2" or 3", orphan blocks and left over partially pieced things from other quilts, and pieces that are too big to throw away but need to be cut down.
I have no idea what I will do with most of these scraps and some may go in a drawer for now, but later go in the get rid of bag. Now when I say get rid of I do not mean in the trash. We have a lady at one of the LQS's in town that collects scraps and uses them to stuff dog beds so my get rid of scraps will be deposited there on my next trip to the store.
I have a hard time though determining what makes a piece to small to keep, I mean I could use some very small pieces in applique, but does that mean I should keep them all?  I am trying to keep only pieces that are 2" square or larger at the moment and that may change to be 3" depending on how full I find the drawers getting.  I mean I have a ton of fabric, so do I really need to keep all these little pieces?  Am I really going to use them up?
I do have a plan for the strips. I had fun making the strip quilt top a couple weeks ago and I plan to use up my strips to make another one.

Quilts Arriving Home for the Quilters

I came home to lots of goodies.  When I arrived back in Anchorage, yesterday, my friend Sally picked us up at the airport with two quilts of mine in the back of her car. She had picked them up from the quilter for me while I was gone.  The first is the New Year's Mystery which is beautiful. I love the flowers that were quilted.

The second is my Red, Cream, and Blue  Debbie Caffrey Mystery: Cut to the Chase.  Linda quilted stars with trails into this one and it is very appropriate since it is very patriotic.  It is beautiful.

Today the mailman arrived bearing boxes from the quilter in Tennessee, one large and one small.  The large one held my Crazy Hearts quilted quilted with a red and black variegated thread with hearts.  The thread color and the hearts quilting are a perfect compliment to the quilt.

The second is a strip quilt made with a Moda Twirl Jelly Roll.  The pantograph that Shirley used has a look of butterfly wings, which ties into the border fabric.  I love the yellow thread we decided on and the overall look of the quilt.

close up of quilting  Picture taken by Shirley Jackson, the quilter.

 Now I am busy working on bindings for these four and another that I picked up not too long before I left on our trip to Mexico.  No pictures of it yet, but I promise they will be posted soon. I am off to hand stitch the binding down on the strip quilt as I have it sewn to the front. Tomorrow I will work on attaching more bindings, since this weekend is dedicated to UFQs and now that these are home and awaiting bindings they are in that pile.
Happy Stitching!