Thursday, July 24, 2014

Making Quilt Barn Blocks

I was "empty" in ideas for a friend's birthday, but then ... a lightning bolt hit me and I remembered her conversations about tours in her area featuring Quilt Barn Blocks!  Eureka - I can make one for her birthday!  BTW, this is the same friend who yesterday, received the Raffle quilt!  I had started this idea before she won that quilt.  

No, it's not perfect, but  I'm LOVING it!

Months ago, I painted 4 quilt blocks on the garage (Lady of the Lake) and I smile each time I see it, but it's painted on the siding, not on a separate board.  Painting on siding has issues!

The local lumber store cut my exterior grade plywood -- I had to buy a 24 in. square.  I needed a 16 inch square.  First, a little sanding, then primered front and back with regular oil-based house paint (used what I had from deck work).

I wanted a simple design that would have some color at the corners, and eventually decided on a simple Buckeye Beauty or Jewel Box -- this is the beginning.  The periwinkle blue (already had) was left over from my own block on the garage.  Because she is not a quilter, I wanted her to see how putting 4 blocks together made a new design.  These colors are water-based.

There is a lot of taping, letting dry, more taping.  Next time I do this, I'll try another plan but for now, here it is.  The greens and blues needed several coats, but they dried quickly.
 It's looking almost finished ... I used some steel wool to take off the glossy look.
mmm - needs something -- yessss -- it needs quilting stitches!  Yeah - looks better now!  You MUST have stitches!!!  (Sharpie)

DH helped by cutting the framing strips, also sanded, primered and painted.  He was so funny - these guys - at first when I mentioned this idea, he thought I was bonkers.  One step at a time and next thing I knew, he was wanting to help!
I bought some screw eyes and found a wire and voila - DONE!   I signed it in a corner, boxed it up and mailed.  It went from western Nebraska to Chicago area in 2 days.

SHE LOVED IT!  We were on SKYPE when she opened it.  I had told her that SHE had given me the hints, but she never could guess what was coming.  8-)))

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gifts, People, and Raffle Quilt WON, and going to new owner!

I've been VERY busy with quilting, quilt show, making things, enjoying cool weather, etc.

First, Pokey of, (California) and I have been dropping blog comments back and forth, and one day she found out I lived in her family home town!
So, I heard a rumor that she was visiting my town, and we had a lovely visit.  Quilters always have something to talk about!  Pokey on left, me on right.

Next is the sweet little scissors holder, to keep the point from poking someone, made by my dear friend Jody - Jody is a gal who can do anything!.  Thank you Jody. 8-))

Next, and the BIG THING .... MY NAME WAS PULLED FOR THIS GORGEOUS GUILD RAFFLE QUILT, 2014!  This stunner was made by members of the guild, and quilted by our own, national award winner and professional long arm quilter, award winner, Judy Woodworth. It is an amazing quilt, with crystals accentuating areas, flames, rays, in addition all the lovely hand work. Judy's quilting is astonishingly beautiful.

However, there is one  ... change in the "normal" procedure, that I get the quilt.  Last Christmas, I took my 10 raffle tickets that members receive as part of our annual dues, I put my name on them, turned them back in to the appropriate chairperson, and then sent the stubs to a friend in Illinois, as part of her Christmas present.  If my name was drawn, then SHE was the winner - and, it came TRUE!!!  My friend Fern, who visited us recently, gets the quilt!!!!  Who wudda guessed????  I am so happy I KNOW the new owner! She had a note on her calendar for the drawing date and since no one had called her, figured "oh well, didn't win anything."  So I called later when I got home and gave her the news.  What fun!

I took it home briefly, so I could take photos and today am boxing it up to mail, hopefully in the next day or two.  This is a queen size 84 x 106 - very large -- too large to get it up on the fence for photos, but you can see the beauty of the appliques and motifs.  The candle is a favorite with crystals looking like flames.

BIG congratulations Fern!!!  

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Pineapple Plans, and Handsome Log Cabin process

Log Cabin progress; nicely sandwiched outside in the garage, on a beautiful June day.  I jokingly called is my "Handsome Log Cabin" and that name  stuck!  8-))  I'm eager to start machine quilting - not sure what to do yet.

Oh great ... too short.  When I laid the BACK on the table, I turned it 90 degrees incorrectly.  Oh well, it's mostly all pinned and sandwiched - I'll fix it by adding the 6 inches I had just cut off the side, to the bottom.  8-((  

New project -- below is the plan.  I pulled up Quilt Pro, many years old, and stretched the paper pieced Pineapple blocks to about 5.5 x 7.25, so ... it's a rectangle, not a square -- my first challenge, not realized until the middle of the night!  On the right is my prototype.  At this point I also hadn't realized I not only needed two blocks, but I needed differently colored blocks.   Obviously, a person cannot turn rectangles the way one turns square blocks!   The prototype took me 2.5 hrs, between resewing wrong values, and then realizing the complexity of what I had planned (brain is Senior Citizen -- great excuse for mis-planning!)

After more careful thinking, I was able to re-plan the process and came up with this:

This is the correct layout (above), but remembering what goes where, and having to think ... backwards due to Paper piecing technique, I've gotten only 10 blocks made.  Each one takes just 1 hour now.   I could feature the dark areas or the pinks, or the lights -- all would be OK.  I hope to make the quilt 6 x 8, .. 48 blocks.  The centers of the dark brown have 2 different colors, making an hourglass center - another small complication that doesn't even show!  

Below is what I finally had to do to remember what goes where - so glad for markers -- this tip reduced my continued color confusion.  It was very confusing trying to figure the color placement from the front!  (These block backs are not in any particular layout.)

Quilt Show next weekend.  This time the space is Air Conditioned!   I am eager to see how our hand made ribbons show up on the winning quilts. I am also eager to see who wins the Serendipity (raffle) Quilt.  

Now, back to my Pineapple blocks!