Thursday, July 30, 2009

Putting it all back

Amazing, isn't it, how quickly time goes by? The kids have come and gone. It all went by so quickly. Unfortunately Braxton was sick most of the week and then Kensie and Megan came down with it, too. And then they left it behind for me to catch, too. But Kensie and I did manage to get some sewing done.

This is the bag we made -- a project bag. Kensie picked all the fabrics and did quite a bit of the sewing. I have to say it was a little harder than I anticipated as I have not made a bag before. But she was quite pleased with it and so was I. There is more blue dot fabric left in the stash and the bag will be easier the second time around, won't it? I won't be able to duplicate it exactly as none of the other fabrics remain. So I can have a cousin bag, not a sister bag. Then it was time to put the flag room back together. As promised, here are pics of the quilts I hide on that bed. The lower left one is from the Thimbleberries club a few years ago. I was a mail order member for one year, then decided it was a bit spendy for me. The lower right one is a class I took locally I saw the sample and fell in love. I also made one in all neutrals that I gave away. I love the stenciling around the border. Don't know why I haven't done that again. One of these days, maybe.
Hmm, here we have a few scrap quilts. I love the primary colour one. I have had the black and white boot scootin' border fabric for ages and finally did something with it. The purple and green one in the back contains a floral print that dates from when Megan was a baby. She is almost 35 now. Properly aged, don't you think? It's a nice baby quilt in waiting now I think.
Last spring a friend and I went to the Portland quilt show and did quite a bit of shop hopping. I bought a Mary Engelbreit charm pack. I am not a big fan of the pre-cuts. I like to pick my own fabric and mix and match from different designers and years. That is what a stash is for, right?
Anyway, I have always liked ME and could not decide on yardage so picked up the charm pack. This was a pattern from an old BH&G American Patchwork & Quilting mag. Easy and quick and made good use of the charm pack.
Very springy quilt, too, I think. But I don'thave a good home for it so it hides on this bed. So sad.
Here are a couple of coin quilts. I have made this in my normal primitive colours but had some assorted brighter scraps I wanted to use up. When I went to find fabric for the strips and border I couldn't decide (seems to be a theme tonight, doesn't it?) whether the white or blue looked better so I got both and made these two. Again, not a good home for them, so here they sit. Or lie, I guess.
Which do you like better? White or blue? I still can't decide.
Since I keep talking about the flag room I think I should start showing you what it looks like. There is both a little rolltop desk that my FIL made for Megan years ago from oak from a hotel that was being torn down in Dallas. And a vanity. We found some small sized school chairs thrifting one day that fit both of them perfectly. And little quilts fit the back of them perfectly, too. This was a country threads pattern. I really like browns and cheddar with the RW&B, don't you?
This is another little quilt based on a favourite fat quarter like the boots. I fall in love with these happy prints but never know what to do with them. A while back I decided to just do something. It's fun and creative and you get to use all kinds of different things up that are a little out of the old comfort zone. You might recognize some of the fabrics in these pinwheels from that star quilt that now sits on my entry way bench.Looking at these today it seems clear that I am attracted to black and brightr clear primary colours. Funny how putting things on the blog makes you see things differently, isn't it?
This Saturday is the Kuna quilt show. And I haven't even gotten around to showing you the pics from the Boise show yet. Wow, am I behind. So two quilt show's worth of my oddball photography coming up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting ready and getting finished

Since we are getting ready for the grandkids visit it was time to finish that clean up project I started a few weeks ago in my sewing room. My granddaughter and I have been able to do a little sewing together when she visits and I am hoping we will be able to do so this time, too.

While I was neatening up I realized that I could fit some of the fat quarters I had separarated from my stash into these cute little boxes. We found them thrifting a few weeks ago. I had intended them to be part of my dining room patriotic display but somehow they just didn't seem to fit there. They are perfect for this purpose. And just the right size for my blues. I did manage to finish a couple of things while I was up there. See the little round mat on the second shelf under the bear chair? I had made the top and cut the backing months ago. Found them in a stack and thought the best thing to do was finish it and put it where it belongs.
Here is a close up view. After I had sewn it together and cut it out I realized I should have put the dark parts of the log cabins in the center. Oh, well.

I tried a new technique for turning it and I think it worked well. I sewed all the way around and then understitched it like you do when making a collar. Next I pinked it all around to help it lie flat. Then I slashed the back, ironed it carefully and put a tiny piece of fusible webbing under the slash. I really like how round it is. Whenever I leave an opening for turning I can't get it a nice finished edge like this. I think I will use this technique again and again.

Also I did get the binding finished on the quilt I mentioned last post. Here it is. I made this totally from scraps. Lot's of blue from the old days. Some of these fabrics date back to the '70's. I like how it came out. Now I just have to figure out where to put it since I use so little blue these days.
I also did a little rearranging. This bench in our entry still had kind of a fall or winter look. Since that's my favourite look and I really like this quilt it stays like this most of the time. But I got to thinking that this recently finished quilt was much more summery (yeah, black, real summery...) and that it would look great with this sunflower pillow. I got that pillow at the Del in San Diego when I was there speaking at a conference a few years ago. It caused a bit of havoc trying to get it into my bag to get home. I like to travel light and a pillow and traveling light are not compatible. I ended up having to wear more than one day's worth of clothes home to make it fit!

You can just barely see a recently thrifted birdhouse with a crow and sunflower to the left of it on the little table. And one of the watermelons that was dispersed from the watermelon collection that had been on the dining room table before I changed that to a more patriotic display.
Mainly I did some work in the guest room. That's the flag room that I am always mentioning. A long skinny wall in the flag room became home for the tall house window shade I was griping about a few posts ago. Buggy Barn. Wow, that's a weird reflection, isn't it? It's from the mirror on the vanity.

I had to move quite a few things out of the flag room to make it more kid friendly. Well, more than a few. This bed looks totally naked without all its pillows. But they have to move so that I can remove

all the quilts that hide under the top one. And no, I didn't make that one. It is store bought and has been around for a very long time. I really like it, though, and it is a great addition to the flag room. Here is the top layer of hidden quilts.

I guess I should have taken a picture of each layer as I pulled it off. Maybe I will do that as I put them back on. Most of these are seasonal wall hangings. Obviously with Halloween front and center. I made that upside down one quite some time ago. I can see the Jo Ann fabrics from here. That was pre my becoming a fabric snob. Now I pretty much only buy backing fabrics from Jo Ann's. And thread. Whenever they have thread on sale I like to stock up. It's amazing how small a $100 sack of thread is, don't you think?

I do have to say, though, that last time I was there they had some pretty nice quilting fabrics. But just as spendy as going to the quilt shop so I would rather have the larger selection at the quilt shop. Plus I get to feel good about supporting the local businesses. At least that's what I tell myself as the cash register climbs to its scary total!

See you next time. Pics of the Boise quilt show. Promise.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Okay, time to finish up the Emmett show pics

Well, blogger has finally decided to let me upload the last of the pictures we took at the Emmett quilt show. I'm not quite sure why I wanted a picture of this one since it's been so long now since we went to the show. Wouldn't be because of the colours. Nor the fabric style. I do like how the simple blocks go together. Maybe that's why -- ideas for putting together simple scrappy blocks. I like 9 patches so that must be it. Now I know why I wanted a picture of this one. I love the use of the ant fabric! What a cute picnic quilt. I remember seeing this fabric a few years ago. Now I am going to have to go hunting to see if I can find any.
This was a really cute applique quilt. I don't seem to have a picture of the whole thing. I love the houses and the snowmen, but I think what I was trying to get here was the train. I like the combination of applique and patchwork blocks, too.
I wanted to remember this little basket in the corner of this quilt. Isn't it really cute? I don't recall seeing anything like it before. The plaids look so much like wicker, too.
Oh,I didn't realize that there were peacock feathers in this shot. Almost more feathers than quilt. There are quite a few peacocks around here. The sound of their cry makes me think of watching old Tarzan movies or Jungle Jim on TV when I was a kid. Do you remember the jungle sounds in the background? I always thought it was monkeys, but now I recognize lots of those sounds as belonging to peacocks.
Doesn't it seem that at every quilt show there are chicken quilts? Poor worm! And this quilt is the home of the basket corner blocks.
Sure has taken me a long time to share these pictures, now hasn't it? And, remember, we still have the Boise show to visit.
I have one more quilt I am trying to finish for July. I am in the process of sewing on the binding so it should happen. I know you are thinking we are only half past July so there is plenty of time. But work has been cutting into my sewing time, even on Saturdays! grandkids are coming to visit next week for a few days so we will be delightfullly busy. We have lots of plans and the weather is supposed to be good. I am even absolutely positively going to take off those days and bury the blackberry so we can play.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back to the Emmett Quilt Show

I thought maybe I could finish up with the Emmett show pictures but I think it will take one more post after this one. And we still have the Boise show to go. How lucky was I? 3 quilt shows in 3 weeks. Last week I was suffering withdrawal -- not another local show until August.

So, let's start with this one. Obviously a prize winner. And deservedly so. Love the colours, too. Here is a cute one that I could do. Not like the first one where the applique would be too much for me.
This one is right up my alley. Red, white, and blue, and very, very scrappy. With little fussy cut sailors. Simple and happy.

I aplogize as I forgot to rotate this one. The center is one pice of interesting fabric. This is a good way to use a fabric you just don't want to cut into. I wanted to remember the idea since I always have something I hesitate to cut and without a picture to remind me I would have forgotten about it already. A friend of work calls it CRS disease -- can't remember sssss.........
Love the long pillow. I have a similar pattern but it is flowers, not birds. Hard to display at a show. I certainly emathize as I spent years on the committee for the Boise show. Some things are just hard to do justice to. (I know you are not supposed to end a sentence with a prepostion but I just can't figure out how to rearrange this one, oh, well.)

Since Mr THQ was with me he took the photos. (Talk about point and shoot -- I point and he shoots.) He really liked this one as do I. The colour gradations are great. Here is a great scrap quilt that has lot's of old fabrics like I still have in my stash. Lot's of '70's and '80's stuff. Remember when it was virtually impossible to find much in the way of 100% cotton except little tiny prairie flowers? Boy have things changed! I was just reading "The Quilter's Catalog" by Meg Cox and Elara Tanguy that Mr THQ got from the library for me and there was an interesting discussion of how quilting saved the fabric business. Department stores were phasing out their fabric departments as all us women left the house for the work world and stopped sewing. Then we quilters came along and guess what -- we wanted fabric -- lots and lots of it in great designs. Yay us! (As long as I am criticizing my grammar, wonder why it sounds right for us women to leave the house but we quilters. Try it, we women left the house and us quilters came along. Phew, tonight I just give up. It is what it is!)

Love the plaids in this one. I gravitate to quilts with plaids and love the way they look. But I just don't seem to find plaids I really like. I don't know why that is. The quilt that is on my header is my favourite all time plaid quilt I have made and even it contains plaids I didn't really like but settled for because I wanted plaids.
Here is a simple pinwheel block that just looks super. I like the pale to bright to pale arrangement of the blocks. Kind of like a watercolour quilt. Sort of. Nice effect.
As you know I love Christmas and this applique quilt is just darling. Interesting to mix the traditional blocks with the gingerbread men.
Okay, next time we will finish Emmett. Promise. Hope you are enjoying coming along to these shows.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Better late than never

I didn't quite get a post out for the 4th, but we did get our flags out. I just love this flag holder. I have 3 of them; 2 go on columns on the back patio, and this one at the front door. It came from the Martha catalog a bunch of years ago when she still had a catalog. I like how they fan out. I think I promised awhile back to show my patriotic display on my dining room table. I didn't get to it because I am not really sure it is finished. But this is how it has looked for a couple of weeks so I guess it is as finished as it is going to get. Thrifted items, of course. The coffee pot holding the flags has been around for ages. In fact, I just updated the foam in it as the old stuff was so worn out the flags wouldn't stand up straight any more! The HOME blocks and the fence display are recent acquisitions. I saw a similar fence display in a catalog for over $100 with a dried arrangement in it! This one had a dried arrangement in it too but it was way past sad so the only thing salvagable was the foam -- that's where the new piece for the coffee pot came from.
I have finished a few things too. This house has a tall door going to the back patio. I like it because it is NOT a sliding glass door. But it faces west and the sun shines right into the kitchen -- it's in your eyes when you are at the sink -- so it needed a shade. We bought this house new and I just couldn't bear to make holes in the door so we hang from the glass. The original shade I made was not a good thing. I made it to the exact measurements of the glass, and when I washed it you can guess what happened. Sun streamed in around the edges and the bottom looked like high water pants on a growing kid!

Also you could see all the seams because of the sun. I had been intending for the last few years to take it down and replace it with a whole cloth quilt. I thought I was so smart -- I made it REALLY oversized, quilted and washed it before trimming it to size. Trimmed it then bound it and hung it up over Decoration Day weekend. OMG, it was so wavy it looked like you could surf it! I took out the binding (and for some reason calculated it was over 10,000 machine stitched tiny black stitches on black). It was still a little wavy so I put a sleeve on the bottom and put a lead pipe in it. After a couple of weeks it straightened itself out so I rebound it, and, voila, a new shade. The black blocks lots more sun, and I love the cherries. Really really old Mary fabric, do you recognize it? It was originally purchased to make curtains in the last house we lived in and we have been here for 5 years! But it has finally all come together and looks great! Love it when a plan comes together...
While I was in the shade making business, Mr THQ wanted something on the french doors that go to his office. This is an Alexander Henry print that is only a year or so old. I used the same technique and was rewarded with no wavy edges. Yay. I think it came out okay too. Please ignore the glow of the flash.
And last but not least, I finally got this quilt quilted. I took a class from Billie Lauder several years ago called Sweet 16, and we made the center blocks. I put the top together and it has been waiting to be quilted for at least a year I am sure. But it was finally time. Not my usual colours. I found the cherry fabric at a shop I don't visit very often because they don't carry the kind of fabrics I like. I fell in love with the cherries and bought most of the other fabrics there as well. I like the sharp contrast with the black and white. It's good to branch out from time to time don't you think? Don't know where this one will go, but that's okay.

And my productivity is up at last. Two more quilts pinned, one of which is half quilted. And then 5 ready to pin, backs all ready to go. I am determined to get all my tops quilted before I make more. We'll see how I do with that.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Emmet Quilt Show Part One

The Emmett quilt show is part of the Cherry Festival. Every year we take our cherry red car to pick cherries and then go to the quilt show. Freezeout hill is a great Miata ride! This year the cherries were just barely ready because of the cold wet spring we have had. The trees are just loaded and it's really easy to fill several buckets. We had over 8 pounds in just a few minutes!
Emmett is in a beautiful valley -- the valley of plenty. Mr THQ was reading about the festival and there are only 10% of the fruit trees there now that there were just a few years ago. My company used to have a location in Emmett and I spent quite a bit of time there. Definitely more fruit trees then than now. The orchards that are left hug the side of a ridge and are really busy during the festival.
It seems no matter how hard I try I always seem to get some of my pictures in the wrong order. This is the back of a little quilt that you will see the front of in just a minute. I love the way the quilter did the extra on the back. And the puzzle shape quilting is cute cute cute.

Blue and yellow quilts are not usually my favourite but this one really struck me because of the different fabric styles -- batiks, whimsical, countryish. And it has stars and checkerboards.
This is the second year that this table has been in my pictures. Actually we have quite a few pictures of it because I have asked Mr THQ to make me one like it. Meanwhile we can visit every year and see what quilts it dislays. I like the colours and of course the prim look of this little quilt. This is another Buggy Barn pattern. I have this one but have not made it. I like the way the border was done. I don't remember if that is part of the pattern or if this quilter added it but it sure looks good. Interesting to see a Buggy Barn pattern in bright colours, don't you think? A friend of mine just visited the Buggy Barn shop and said she was surprised at how small it is.
Here is another star quilt. I seem to always gravitate to stars of virtually any type.
I love the sunflower border on this one. And it has a house too, a tall one. I like applique quilts but unless I can do the applique by machine blanket stitch I am unlikely to ever make a quilt like this one.
Guess what, here is another one with stars. I like the use of colours.
Hope you like these. More next time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finishing up the Council pics

This is the last of the pictures from the Council show. One of my favourite blocks is churn dash or monkey wrench. I am not sure what the difference between them is but I like it and have made alot of quilts using it. I love this block with one inside of the other. I am going to copy this idea for sure. Here's another use of this block. This time inside a star. This quilt was really cool because all the centers were different block. I am always looking for good star ideas and this is a great one. The other thing I really like about this quilt is the little goldish corner squares in the corners of the stars. Another great idea.

These next few blocks are really cool. The centers are totally cross stitched and
look how the patchwork border echos the center. Very clever, don't you think? This one is my favourite. I love this cross stitched center. The colours look so alive.

Here is one more. I think cross stitching the flying geese might be easier than sewing them. Less risk of blunting the points! And the cross stitch and dark fabric are so perfect together.

Switching gears, here is a great fall quilt. Fall is my favouite season. I love anything with pumpkins.
The character lines on all the pumpkins were all large hand embroidery stitches. I thought I had a better picture than this, but I think you get the idea. A nice touch. I would never have thought to do it since I am so reluctant to do hand work. This is from one of the Threads books I think. I am sure I have it and if I weren't so lazy tonight I would go upstairs and find the book. Oh, well, that's not a gonna happen! After all, two posts tonight and that's enough to wear out anyone!

Next time I will share pictures from the Emmett show. And then after we see those there are the ones from the Boise show! Lot's to come.