Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Things change and then we change things."

Happy Day -- I hope. .. a DSL line is expected to be installed in a few days, and I will have to deal with a new E-Mail address. Blogging will be even FASTER! Life is good. Hope I don't disappear!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Water Logged Cabin"

Another scrappy quilt - I pulled most of the fabric from my stash - I made this some time ago. This is made similar to the previous Rebuilt Log Cabin, where the blocks are made oversize, then the corners are trimmed off and resewn to opposite sides. Doesn’t that technique give even more life to a Log Cabin? I had many scraps of purples, blues, greens, and I was aiming for an ocean-looking quilt. I asked the machine quilter for a swirly, kelp-like, frond-y pattern. She did a fantastic job!

I went one step farther, and beaded the corners with small blue and purple glass bubbley beads. The beading is minimal because I had visions of actually USING this double bed sized quilt.

The full size photo was taken at a quilt show – it shows off the bargello-based border that I adapted from the bargello techniques and samples adapted from Bonnie at www.quiltville.com What a versatile block.

I am sometimes a hand quilter, and sometimes a machine quilter, on my home machine. I’m not so great at machine quilting, but I keep practicing and am getting better. I've even experienced some moments of absolutely lovely machine quilting! Here’s also a closeup of the wonderful machine quilting done by a long-arm machine quilting friend.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Simple Lesson

Something I've learned ... among other things.

That 'regular' log cabin I just posted? Even though it was ... OK, I photographed it wrong -- the strips read right to left and no matter how many times I look at that photo, it looks ODD.

That's because MOST of us read left to right. I ran into this problem with a puzzle quilt I put together (currently a UFO) -- you know, one with a lot of odd blocks that don't match anything. I struggled doing the setting, until I realized things look askew and unsettled if it reads right to left. Notice how much more natural the 'Rebuilt Log Cabin' reads.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rebuilt Log Cabin

(Well, they are in the wrong order, but you get my drift! I gotta learn the right way! )

I attacked my scraps of 1 ½ in. strips last weekend - this time I used my left foot on the 'gas' and my right knee on my presser foot lifter, and gals, that technique definitely increased efficiency and speed! The result was this traditional log cabin layout (middle photo) , and I DID use a good deal of my scraps -- TRUE scraps, not just FQs cut up to make scraps. I made 4 rounds. Mmmmm .. it’s pretty comfy/cozy, and there’s not a thing wrong with it, but somehow, it just didn’t make my heart go pitter-patter.

Well, I added one more round, and started wacking it – I chopped off corners and resewed them to opposite sides, then trimmed to a consistent size. Well, I had a few problems, but ... there’s the end result (top photo). I’m pleased! This is the second time I’ve used this technique, and like anything, you learn some do’s and some don’t’s along the way. I will probably trim off some of the piano key border. If some of you need better directions, I’ll write something up. If you start on your own, make a few extra for practice.

I'll machine-quilt this myself. I keep practicing on my regular machine.

I saw this pattern for about 3 seconds on TV, Fons and Porter when Marilyn Badger was demonstrating long-arm quilting – she wasn’t featuring the quilt at all. That glimpse electrified me – I just HAD to make it. Well, she kindly sent me the basics very soon, and at the same time, I opened up one of the ‘bring one-take one” magazines we have a Guild, and miraculously, there was the quilt with complete instructions, by Katie Pasquini. Hers was mighty fine!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Any Way = 15 Quilt-y Years

I am wondering how/when my month of posts will roll over into archives? I seem to remember an option of ‘monthly.’ I guess I'll find out soon.

This little quilt was a Challenge Quilt for our Quilt Guild’s 15th Birthday. It had to mention “15" in some way, and the size limitations were each side less than 36 inches.

I started out thinking of numbers, computers, math, and had picked out some blue/gray/black fabric for the background. Holy smoke, it was COLD COLD COLD COLD! There was nothing “Happy Birthday” about it at all. I can’t believe I thought it might work , but at least I recognized its unsuitability before going too far.

So I next picked out this gold check to sash the blocks – definitely an improvement. The border is all cowboy related items (hey, we live out West!) So I started thinking about roundups, cattle, yippee, get along little doggie, etc.

I made up a puzzle arrangement of the numbers - no matter what way you add ‘em up, they = 15! The numbers were machine appliqued down, and for happiness and fun, they just HAD to look like they were dancing about! There is a party whistle on one side and a glitzy bow on the upper left. I actually received a Second Place amazingly enough!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Great block but what can I do with it?

Long ago, I learned about turning strips into a bargello-type ‘thing’ .. and wondered what can I do with that? Fortunately, I stumbled upon www.quiltville.com, and Bonnie’s wonderful photos and examples of scrappy bargellos, and scrappy Trips Around the World , and quilters, I was off to the races!

You can use one color as an accent, you can ‘bleed’ the colors from light to dark, you can zip-sag them across your quilt, you can cut the strips into different sizes, they can be square or rectangles, you can make all the blocks the same for a coordinated look, and the best part, you can use practically anything in your scrap strip bin. For a year I couldn’t stop coming up with ideas. I even saw one beautiful quilt where the odd blocks were separated with sashing, with excellent results. Thank you Bonnie, for turning me and many others ‘on’ to all that fun and enthusiasm.

Along with my quilt guild, I/we made about 20 scrappy bargellos for Community Quilts. I’ve used total scraps, planned scraps --they all turned out great. I found we could machine quilt in the ditch, with excellent results. I saved 2 for myself because they turned out so friendly-like. I guarantee, if you have not used this technique, you will be hooked with it’s diversity. One lady, cleaned out some of her stash by making up kits, ready to sew, and passing them out to the Quilt Guild. They were quickly snapped up like candy! .

One wonderful use is for borders. This border on my Jacob’s Ladder is made of 1 inch squares. Despite the small size, it went together extremely well. It’s all scrappy, but with one constant - the white. I had to think a bit, and use my graph paper for the center of each border, where the strips met, but it was important that the corners turned gracefully.

The large pocket/label includes a friend – those little critters show up where you least expect them!