Sunday, November 10, 2013

Having fun just piecing away!

I spent the last few days working on this Spools quilt top after seeing it in Issue 1 of Love Patchwork & Quilting.  

I got this issue at the Houston International Quilt Show last weekend, but I thought I already had bought the first two issues.  They explained that they had done a test market with the name "Love Quilting & Patchwork" and that is what I had bought.  I loved them both!  A lot.  So I immediately signed up to receive the next year's issues of the magazine.  And the nice thing is--it's coming out monthly!  I'm not aware of any other quilting magazine that comes out monthly.

So here's the quilt from Issue 1:

And a closeup:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mickey-poo.  That's his nickname.  They say every cat has 3 names.  His is Mickey, Mickey-poo, and Big Boy.  He is a big boy.  And he likes to help me quilt.

This is my Bento Box quilt, just quilted.   Ready for binding.

Mickey and Macy crammed into one basket together.  They love each other.

Sour Dough Squares

I'm a 2-inch square addict.  I sit them beside my sewing machine in a pretty box and I sew two together as leaders and enders.  The quilt shown here is one that I've finished using the 2-inch squares. 

I always cut 2-inch squares when I have a piece of fabric left on my cutting table.  The I sew some up for awhile, then I add more and it keeps going.  I've done this for many years.  In this quilt I sewed 5 together then pressed them all in one direction.  I continued until I had about 250 of them.  Then I sewed them into rows and added the pretty pink strips in between.

This is the back of the quilt.  My sister has the quilt now.

OMG! A load of feed sacks!

Well, she called.  The garage sale lady called; I went to her house and she took me out to the garage where she had 4 boxes of feed sacks.  I was speechless.  She just kept pulling them out.  So of course I bought them all.  I even gave her more money than she asked for because she asked for such a ridiculously small amount that I felt guilty.  

But she kept saying that she wanted them to go to someone who wanted them and would use them.  And we all know--that's me!

So I loaded 4 boxes into my trunk and hurried home to rummage through them.  They all smelled musty and many had spots on them so I knew I was going to have to soak them to get those spots out.  I didn't even know, that day, how many were there.  I started loading a few into a soak bath--boy, did they stink--and started cleaning them.

In the end, a few days later, I counted and found that there were 96!  96 pieces of mostly whole feed sacks. There were some that had squares cut out of them but most of them are at least half a sack and quite a few are whole.  Then there were pieces of 24" wide fabric, some of which appeared to be feed sack and some that looked like bought fabric.  Some very beautiful pieces.  Some cute.   Some downright ugly.  But even they are great, being that they are feed sacks, in all their glory.

I'm a very happy woman!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Garage Sale Finds!

I was out-and-about today and saw that my neighbor up the street was having a garage sale.  So, being a good neighbor, :) I stopped.  I'd want her to stop at mine, right?

She had a very colorful polyester quilt that no one had bought--and I didn't buy it either--and she also had a bag of fabric.  So of course I went digging through it.  And lo and behold, there were some feedsacks in there!  

So I asked how much she wanted and she said "make me an offer." Well, I don't like taking advantage of people, so I didn't answer her, and just kept digging through the bag.  So after pulling out these 5 pieces of fabric she said "one dollar."  

As I got out my money I asked her if she had any other fabric and she said no.  "What do you want to make?" she asked.  I told her that I make quilts and she said no, she didn't have any more quilting fabric.  As I picked up the 5 pieces I said, "these two are feedsack" (the green floral and the purple and orange stripe).  She acknowledged that they were and said, (AND I QUOTE), "You want to make quilts with feedsacks?"  Like she couldn't believe it.  And this woman was at least 7-8 years older than I am.  Which means, without giving away my age, she has been on Social Security for a number of years.

When I said "yes", she said "Oh, I have a whole box of feedsacks."  I know my mouth fell open and I just stared at her.  She went on to say that she did not have them there with her but that I was welcome to them and if I would leave my name and number then she would call me to come and get them.  If she only charged me one dollar for these 5 fabrics, then I was in hog-heaven (as we say in Texas) to think how little I might get away with paying for a WHOLE BOX of feedsacks!

Of course I gave her my cell number.  And I'll be waiting by the phone.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Here are some pictures of scrap quilts I've made.  This is by no means
all of them.  LOL  Several of these are still tops because I asked to do a program
for the Garland Quilt Guild (and after that the Mesquite Quilt Guild asked me to do
the same program) and I wanted to show them some of the "in progress" quilts I'm working on.

I work on approximately 12-15 scrap quilts at all times.  Every time I have a piece
of fabric on the cutting table (and I'm through cutting into it for whatever quilt I pulled it out for) I then cut it into pieces for one or several of these scrap quilts in the drawers.

Then, over time, I pull them out and spend a few pieceful hours putting some of the blocks together.  Then they go back in the drawer and I add to them as the next months go by.  Sometimes it can take quite awhile to get one finished this way.  But it's well worth it.

I have a box of 2-inch squares that sits next to my sewing machine.  I use them as "leaders" and "enders" when I'm sewing.  I call them my sour dough squares.  I add to them, then I sew them up, then I add more to them, then I use them up.  And on, and on.

This first quilt was made entirely using the "leaders and enders" method.  (I say "leaders and enders" because that's what Bonnie Hunter calls it and so everyone now knows what I mean, but in truth I was using this method at least 20 years before I ever heard of Bonnie Hunter.  I just didn't have a name for it.

 This next quilt is what I call 4-patch in a square.  It's made from 2-inch squares (those mentioned above) and then 4-inch squares cut on the diagonal.  I love just putting them together in a straight set.  

I conducted a block exchange of these in the Mesquite Guild a couple years ago and afterwards one of the ladies came up to me and said that her mother has Alzheimers and she was so happy to have a pattern that her mother could make because there are no points to match.  The 4-patch squares are floating.  After putting the triangles on the squares you cut it down to 5-1/2" so that it finishes to 5 inches.  Nothing to match up.  Easy-peasy.  And so pretty with absolutely ANY fabric you want to use up.

Here is another example of the same 4-patch in a square but I put them into sets of 4 and then set them on point.  I just love the way it turned out.

This is another 2-inch square quilt.  This time it's 9-patches of ANY fabric--no regard to lights and darks, ever!--then they are put on point with two pieced blocks then a plain block.  This one is not finished.  I plan to put another small border of the light fabric, then another border of this wonderful hot pink.  This hot pink fabric is a favorite of mine.  I thought that I had bought all that Hancock's had on the RED TAG sale rack at $3/yd.  Then my niece, Rachel, and I were at the Houston Quilt Show and found yards and yards of it, but it was $6/yd.  Looked like they had bought out all the sale fabric at Hancock's and JoAnn's and they had a huge booth of fabric.  So I had to buy some more!  Of course!

This is another 2-inch square quilt, this time they are set in sets of 5x5 (25-patch).
The setting was in a very old quilt magazine from the 1980's and I had kept it for many years.  Whoever had made the original it was done in yellow but I love this color green so I had to use that instead.

More 2-inch squares.  These are set 5 across and as many down as you want to make it.
I used a gorgeous modern pink for the setting strips but I think that, because of the scrappiness, it would look great with almost any fabric in the setting strips.  Notice that I also put 2-inch squares at the top and bottom of each row of the setting strips.

Three friends, and myself traded blocks for this Bonnie Hunter
tree quilt.  Bev picked the pattern because she loved it; and we agreed to it, but we complained the entire time.  We all had issues with the trunks of the trees.  They are supposed to be paper-pieced but I hate paper-piecing so I was determined to make mine without paper-piecing.  As you can maybe see, all the trunks are different sizes, depending on who made them.  But, in the end, I think it's a gorgeous quilt and I'm so happy to own it.  I plan to keep it for myself.  Thank you, Bev!

My friend, Sharron, made this quilt for her church.  I just love the pinwheel setting so much that I want to make it myself.  She said she didn't have a pattern.  

This quilt is a Mabeth Oxenreider pattern from an old quilt magazine from the early 1990's.  It was a sour dough quilt--I added pieces to it for months, then pieced blocks, then added more pieces to months, and so on.  Started in early 1990's and finally quilted in 2010.  It has 325 blocks and fits my king-size bed.  Very heavy because it has Warm & Natural in it--should have used Quilters Dream Cotton.  It's definitely a winter quilt.

Miscellaneous quilts

These are several quilts I made 5-6 years ago.

Ribbon Pillow

I saw this pillow at the Renaissance Ribbons booth at Houston Quilt Show.  It was just gorgeous.  And of course I love the wool.  I do have a collection of ribbons so I may just have to start on this soon.  And mine will look completely different since I don't have exactly the same ribbons or wool.

No words needed

These are the fabrics and ribbons that I plan to use
in a tote bag.  More pictures to follow.

Brownies for everyone!

Ever heard of  You can print your own fabric--anything you want.
So I typed up my Brownie recipe and uploaded it to Spoonflower.  They printed 4
of them on one fat quarter.  I cut it into fourths and made 4 mug rugs for gifts and exchanges.
I'm just sorry that I didn't keep one for myself!  :(

Jack's Pillowcase

This was made for Jack for Christmas.  I found the fabric at the Houston Quilt Show
in October 2011 and finally got it ready for him for Christmas in 2012.  Isn't that fabric cool?

3-inch 9-Patch Exchange

At the beginning of 2012 I invited 10 ladies to participate in a 3-inch 9-patch 
exchange.  We would trade 4 sets of 10 each month for the whole year--total
of 500 3-inch 9-patches!  Yes, we did it.  Everyone was great and turned theirs
in each month.   Here is a shot of me swapping them out one month.
I do have my quilt started and I will try to share pictures of it soon.

Christmas in March

I should have posted these photos in December.  But here it is March!
These were mug rugs that I made for several exchanges that I was participating in.  
I also gave one of these to my Secret Pal at the Garland Quilt Guild.  She liked it
so much that she copied my pattern and made 14 -- yes, fourteen! -- for
Christmas gifts herself.  Wow.  I'm impressed.

These guys were super easy.  His face is just a snowball.  Then bordered with the
same fabric as the corners.  I used fusible applique for his nose.  I just covered one large
piece of orange fabric with fusible then I cut off long triangles, so they were all random and wonky.  The mouth and eyes are just black DMC floss.  
I did make one with black buttons for the eyes.

Long time, no post

I'm always so busy quilting that I don't take the time that I should to post.  I have a bunch of photos of my current, and recent projects and I'm going to try to get a lot of them uploaded in the next few days.

This is one of Bonnie Hunter's quilts called Tumalo Trail.  A group of friends, 4 of us, made blocks and swapped them.  We wanted to use up 1-1/2" strips that we had on-hand already.  This is on the design wall and not yet put together.

Ignore the stuff on the bottom.  It's another quilt that's in the works.