Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Coming along

I ran out of fabric ... because I didn’t quite know my plan with my original purchase until I ‘got there.’ Then, I expected a week or more delay while my written request to the out-of-town fabric shop was processed. Was I surprised when I received my order in 3 days! So, back to work tomorrow with a wide border, then ... I don’t know what after that..

The border has taken me some time. The triangles are made from the trimmings of the pseudo flying geese. Note the center spacer in each border. I had to do some fiddling where they meet in the middle. I’ve learned to start at the ends, and work towards the middle. If I had figured more precisely with the first narrow green strip, I wouldn’t have run into that problem, but ... do you ever enjoy boxing yourself into a corner and then enjoy solving the problem?

Now, even though I’ve been quilting many years, those spacers threw me. It WAS early in the AM, and no kidding, I messed up 5-6 times before I did it correctly. Something about lights being on, but nobody home? Some days are like that.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Renewed Energy and Earthy Stars

After two weeks on ‘slow’ with dental discomfort, and 2 days recovering from tooth extraction, I am now burning with new-found energy. Today I worked for several hours on this project. It’s from a book by Evelyn Sloppy whose projects are all very tempting. The half square triangles salvaged from the quick corners will be used in one of the borders. I LOVE the ‘almost flying geese.’ Generally I use bright, highly contrasting colors, but I think I was successful in muting them, and then adding sparkles of color. I only purchased the background and the dark green star point fabrics. The little squares already in my stash sure didn't use up much fabric!

This is for a relative of my husband who likes earth colors. I have not mentioned I’ve started it, because well, you know, sometimes the quilt just doesn’t ‘do.’ However, I think this one is working very well. The colors inside the stars had to blend with the star points.

See the blocks at the right? They were supposed to go in the center of each star (and they were supposed to be random colors) , but turned out too colorful. This quilt is coming along nicely, and is inviting hand quilting. It may be hard to give it away if that is the route I take. I love to hand quilt in the winter, with a quilt draped over me while winter winds blow. We live in Western Nebraska - the winter winds ALWAYS blow!

Thanks so very much to those of you who have visited my page and left me comments or messages. I appreciate you all very much. There are various methods for me to respond to each of you but I haven't figured all that out either. So far, I cannot decode how to get Googled, or whatever the method might be to get noticed. Another day ...

Fresh corn-on-the-cob for supper. Yeahhhh!

Elaine Adair

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another String Quilt - aka, A Telephone Book Quilt

I was so carried away with my strips and telephone book foundations, I made a third one, this one my favorite. The blocks are nothing more than a half square triangle (made of strips), with the border using the same blocks, but adding a quick corner to darken it somewhat. I just love how the corners turn! This is a great scrap user!

I have enough (64) left over for another small quilt – here are just a few layouts.

Elaine Adair

Friday, August 11, 2006

String Quilts - aka Telephone Book Quilts

I have always admired string quilts and wanted to make them. After a few false starts, using every scrap imaginable, I was disappointed that they didn’t exactly cut the mustard. It was the part about “using every scrap imaginable” that resulted in “didn’t exactly cut the mustard.”

My trash basket under my sewing machine is large – and I don’t empty it frequently, because ... well, you know, I might find a use for some of those scraps. Well, I DO use them. Digging through that basket is like an archeological dig - I find good things! And this is where I found many of the scraps for these 2 quilts.

After seeing Bonnie’s wonderful example at www.quiltville.com, I was inspired to try again. My first experiment was the pink quilt. I used an outdated telephone book as a foundation, trimmed the pages to about 4 inches wide (pick a size, any size!) x 9 inches (the size of the page) – and just started sewing down cute, pink scraps and any other childish scraps that sorta looked good. I pressed the strips down neatly as I went along - maybe after sewing down one strip on 20-30 pages. I can’t remember how many pages I used, but I remember sewing the pages together, end to end, and walking from one end of the house to the other, with the long strip encircling the entire house. I then neatly trimmed the edges to an exact 4 in. size. I faced it with a 4 inch (or whatever size you started with) strip of white, sewed down both sides, then layed my right angled ruler (Companion Angle) along the edge, with the blunt point of the ruler on one edge and started cutting triangles the width of your strip. You may have to unsew a few stitches after each slice. When you open it up, you will have a pretty good square. I pressed open at this point, and re-trimmed to exactly one size to assure accuracy. The edges are bias - be gentle.

I removed the paper after attaching the sashing. This paper removed easily. Don’t turn the fan on at the same time you’re engrossed with removing the paper! This project was a great idea for using up scraps, at a minimal cost, but it DID take time.

I was so thrilled with the result, I did the Turquoise Quilt, aka as Area Code 308. (I live in area code 308 – it was entertaining to read the names of acquaintances as I removed the paper foundation!) Same technique, but this time, half the strips were faced with white and half were faced with blue. I thought the plain white/blue pieces were a little large, so I sewed quick corners (2 different colors) on them, resulting in a whole new pattern. You can hardly tell it’s the same technique. Again, time was spent making this quilt, but not much money, and I used up a good selection of scraps.

There is no end of patterns you can make with this technique. After all, you are making half-square triangles. Try it once and you may be hooked.

I have one more, for the next time. In the meantime, I'm going to figure how to load photos in the right order!

Elaine Adair

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My very first time ...

I’ve been procrastinating long enough – could anyone possibly be interested in my projects? Self-doubting here.... Visiting Quilt Blogs seems so friendly and personal, like quietly passing time with a friend . My friends like what I do – we quilters never seem to get enough visual stimulation – I myself, receive such pleasure reading all the other quilt-related blogs, and salivating at photos of fabrics, quilts, sewing rooms, stitches, etc., and ... I just bought that new digital camera ... so, OK, no more excuses ... what’s the worst that can happen ... I’m going to see what’s around the next corner!

I live amongst fabric, threads, projects, books, piles of projects. Sometimes the fabric clutter is inspirational, sometimes the disorder is depressing, so I go through periods of tidying up and neatness or else, ignorance of my mess. My husband and I share a small studio, where we both work in our respective projects. He is a neat person, I am not.

A neighbor asked me to make a quilt for her 18 month old niece, to celebrate the child’s arrival in the U.S. An Alphabet Quilt seemed a likely choice. I absolutely cannot do “soft pastels” ... and always end up with bright colors. I chose to wonky-up those letters, to make it look less structured – and ... it’s easier to ‘center’ them when you make them crooked!

Sometimes I add a large label/pocket to children's quilts -- this time I put this little rabbit inside!

More to come,

Elaine Adair