Sunday, July 16, 2017

Top is done

I've been building each block made in the guild round robin and blocks of the month into 12" sizes to set together.  It looks a little haphazard in the photos but I think it will make a very colorful quilt for our bed - 84" x 94" give or take.  I'm going to ask Marie if she'll quilt it for me, but I'm waiting for the gray floral backing fabric to arrive from Connecting Threads.

Now I'm onto my blue and yellow Dutch Sister's Choice top!  I have the plain squares that are going between each square all cut and laid out.  Today I hope to put them all together and ready to quilt.  I hope to machine quilt it myself, so wish me luck!  Once I have the center quilted, I'll machine applique and put the borders on and then quilt them.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Vermont Quilt Festival

It was weeks ago, but I am still studying the photos of some of the quilts I saw at VQF.  The festival website has not yet been updated, but it should have this year's winners and all the contest quilts up eventually.  Here are a few of my favorites.

 I was looking hard at border designs, especially appliqued ones, and I just love the red and white "infinite variety" quilt.   The setting was so unique!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sharing a couple of photos

I have been working on the guild "block robin" blocks I received in June lately.  Last year, I got about 4 yards of a pink and purple batik.  Half went into the block robin bag along with some purple and hot pink scraps and fat quarters.  I kept the other half to make blocks of the month.  Now I have 30 blocks, for a 5' x 6' quilt, which is a little too small.  So I'm making 13 more blocks this week.  Hope to get them done by the weekend so I can put them together.  We'll see!

Meanwhile, my brother Rob was here over the weekend.  I cleaned my sewing room up so he could sleep in it.  We had a great time, hiking, roaming around downtown, and just catching up.  I had been waiting for another tall person to come and help Paul hold up the 365-challenge-inspired quilt I finished a while ago so that I could take a picture.   Every time Chris comes, I forget or it's raining.

This quilt is made using all blue and green scraps which I thought would deplete my stash.  Unfortunately, the bins are just as full as ever!  I like that large star block which came from a tutorial at the Missouri Star site.  It was easy to make - although of course Jenny Doan uses a jelly roll for hers.

I like quilting medallion quilts because you can anchor the rounds and then work on each round separately.  This fits a double bed, so it did take some time to finish quilting.  

I also had the guys hold up the crib-sized quilt I made using swapped heart blocks.   I enjoyed quilting this one, one block at a time.  The sashing is pieced using two mini charm packs and some additional 2.5" squares that I cut in pastel colors.  I plan to add both of these quilts to the etsy shop initially and then, if they don't sell, take the heart block to the hospital's children's department.

I'm not sure if I'll quilt the pink batik quilt myself or send it off for quilting.  Because it's a sampler, I think it will look good with an overall, edge-to-edge design.  If I do quilt it myself, I think it will be easier to do in sections.  Will have to wait until all the blocks are finished and I decide on a final layout.

I sent Rob home with my modern Tequilla Sunrise quilt for his office.  It is always nice to reduce my stash of quilts!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The 4th of July

We really didn't think many people would join us on our usual Tuesday morning walk in the Town Forest on Independence Day, but we had ten plus a very nice dog, Max.  The weather was wonderful - sunny, low humidity, clear, breezy.  Because the trails are still a bit wet, I chose the Mainline because it has some gravel and usually doesn't get as muddy.  There were some wet spots, and we took a turn onto the Boulder Dash trail to get to Little John Road more quickly.  From there we walked over to the Empire Lookout where Lois can see her old house.  We took the Upper Mainline trail back, and then I suggested taking a short cut through disc golf tee #4 to get to the VAST trail down to the parking lot.  It's almost all rock, so dry.  Even though I was toward the end of the line, I beat everyone to the VAST trail because they took a different route and were beset by a few dogs along the way.  It was about a 3 mile walk and felt really good to be outdoors.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Meetings and lots of fun

It has been a week of meetings and special events.  Monday, I went to two library-related meetings, went to the chiropractor, and met three friends for our regular get-together.  Tuesday morning, we were so happy to see the sun and not have to cancel our usual forest walk. The usual six "regulars" were joined by two new people and their dog.  We walked up to the Grand Lookout to introduce the newbies to a spectacular view.  At the top, we found a former student of Suzy's sketching the view from the hammock she had set up between two trees.  What a brave and creative gal! 

In the afternoon, Paul and I skyped into Mom's 95th birthday party - such fun!  My sister had set the laptop up on a shelf in preparation for the surprise concert we had arranged.  When we tested the set up earlier in the day, she carried the laptop around the house to show me the set up, and I got to wish Mom (that's us in 2011 - she hasn't changed a lot - still very vital) a happy birthday when she returned home from the hairdressers. 

The party guests were asked to come in and sit in the living room where chairs had been set up theater-style.  Some glanced at the computer, apparently thinking it was just a slide show.  When Paul and I waved, they were surprised, but finally waved back.  It reminded me of the talking portraits in Harry Potter.

Mom sat up front, and when the soprano came in singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning, she was just floored!  Three arias followed, along with Happy Birthday, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  As Paul said, Mom really raised the bar for her friends' parties.

It was nice not to have anywhere to go on Wednesday except yoga.  I spent the day catching up on some sewing, including the Moda "Blockheads" blocks of the week and finishing the Sister's Choice blocks.  The latter are now set aside while I wait for the background fabric (yellow mini dots on white) and vine fabric (blue stripes) to arrive.  Because I want to add a machine appliqued border, I experimented with turned edge machine applique learned in my class last week.  Try as I might, I can't get comfortable with invisible nylon thread, so I tried Aurifil cotton, and it works fine.   The blocks I did machine applique turned out fairly well.  I just need to do a little more experimenting with stablizers since the tear-away kind is tedious (and a little scary) to remove.

Yesterday, I started quilting a small wool table topper, and I should be able to finish it later today.  Tomorrow we are going to a musical in Burlington and Sunday we're leading another forest walk, weather permitting.  I don't mind all the rain we're getting except when it rains on our walks!

Monday, June 26, 2017

VQF yesterday

I spent yesterday morning at the Vermont Quilt Festival and was impressed by the contest quilts.  I almost always go on Sunday each year because there are fewer people, so I can take pictures more easily.  I used my phone and was intent on getting photos of appliqued borders.   This year there seemed to be more hand appliqued quilts than in past years, so there was plenty of eye candy.

I still need to take a photo of the medallion quilt I made inspired by last year's 365 Challenge, but there were two at the show that followed the challenge closely.  Here's one in rather muted colors, and it won a first place ribbon.

I got some good ideas for borders but was disappointed not to find small yellow-dotted fabric at the vendors.  I was determined not to buy willy-nilly, so I just came home with some die cut letters to applique onto bags for my nieces. 

Knowing my local quilt shop doesn't have this exact fabric, I ordered what I needed (Riley Blake mini-dots) from this morning and was surprised to find that I could pay using my account.  Amazon seems to be taking over the world!  My brother's company does deliveries for them in New York City, and he is incredibly busy these days.

Will post photos from the show when I get a chance...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sisters Choice

I've been working diligently on Sisters Choice blocks for a new quilt using a bundle of blue, white, and yellow fabrics I bought from Craftsy.  I love the way the 10" blocks are turning out, but I only have enough to make about 20 blocks.  I've only got two more to put together, having cut almost all of the pieces with my Go Baby die cutter.  This has worked really well, and I wonder why I don't use it more often.  The die I have gives me the pieces for half-square triangles and coordinating 2.5" squares.  My only problem has been counting since the blocks require three different fabrics, some with 4 pieces and some with 8. 

Some of my "tulips" have been yellow and some blue.  I guess you know why this block has always appealed to me, considering my Dutch roots.  I do love the yellow and blue combination, and when Chris stopped by the other day, he admired the blocks, too.

I've decided to set the blocks on point alternating with plain blocks, which I hope will be yellow dots on white.  I have a little set of swatches to take with me today to the Vermont Quilt Festival, where I will look through the vendors booths for that fabric.  There's one I always stop at that has lovely shirtings, and it's usually right down from my friends Franco and Wilma's thread booth.

Right now, I'm thinking of a thin yellow border (the color may be "goldenrod") followed by a wide appliqued vine border.  I've been looking at various quilts on Pinterest online for ideas for simple vines, similar to the quilt at left by Lori Smith.   There is a blue and white striped fabric in the fabric line that I could use for the vine and quilt binding.  Then I'll use scraps from the blocks for the leaves and dots.

I want to try using the a turned edge machine applique technique that I learned Thursday in David Taylor's class.  He uses invisible nylon thread, but I may opt for cotton.  Once again, this is an evolving project, but that's what makes quilting so much fun.  This project has no potential home as yet, so I'm taking my time.