Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You asked for it

Anyone else old enough to remember that old television show?  I thought I would show how I did the border on the quilt in the previous post because Vivian - You asked for it!

I rarely use commercial stencils because I like drawing my own designs.  That is what I did in the border of Mary's quilt.  I used the length of the block as my guide for the size of the design; that way I can mark the border while the quilt is on the machine, as I go.  I measured the length and width of the area and then doodled around until I had a design I liked.

Since this design was fairly complicated I used template plastic and then cut it out with scissors.  It probably took less than an hour to end up with this- which is half of the total design.  I just flip it over and trace out the other half.  I actually try not to mark quilts for customers because it is time consuming, but sometimes it just seems like that's what the quilt needs!  Besides, if I have the time, I think it's fun.

Sometimes if the design isn't too complex, I will draw it on freezer paper; I make a double thickness by ironing two pieces together. (shiny sides together - I learned to do that in a workshop with Kim Diehl) This works well but doesn't hold up as well as the template plastic so I only use it on simpler designs.  This one I tried first with freezer paper and then decided to use template plastic.

I have also used manila folders.

It really helps to use a good marking tool - I love this Bohin marker that I bought at MQS this spring.  It has a small point which makes it possible to mark very accurately.  So far it has come out easily with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.

I keep the templates I make and reuse them on other quilts.  Hope that answered your question and wasn't TMI!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hop to It and tomatoes

Mary's quilt is from the book by Edyta Sitar, Hop to It.  It's really cute and Mary did a wonderful job on it, as usual.  She has entered it in the Kansas State Fair - last year she won the big over-all Grand Champion award for her Dear Jane quilt (which was hand quilted).  I think she is an over-achiever!

I can't seem to quilt anything without a few feathers.

I tried something different in the border.

It cooled down finally and my tomatoes are making a comeback.  After producing about 8 tomatoes, they refused to do anything once it got over 100 degrees for so long. (Hey - I felt the same way!)  The bush is huge and healthy and now that it has cooled down, it is covered with blossoms (and grasshoppers, we'll see who wins)  I'm hoping for some fall tomatoes!

Here is the bush last June.

Here it is now - about 7 feet tall.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back from Colorado

I finished this quilt for Sylvia just before we left town for a quick visit to Colorado.  Sylvia had a list of words that she wanted me to quilt into the overall design and she also wanted some sunflowers.  She put a lot of work into this photo quilt for her son! She used gradated hand-dyed fabric that she bought at the AQS show in Paducah.

We drove home yesterday from a quick visit to Colorado over the weekend.  It's been so hot here, so we were looking forward to some cooler weather.  Oh well!  It was in the 90's in Colorado Springs and most people there don't have air conditioning, so we stayed hot and sweaty through the whole visit.  It's been about five years since we moved from Colorado to Kansas- Peter and I were both amazed at all the growth and the building that has gone on since then!  We were happy to visit family and friends but it's nice to be back home in our quiet little town which has no traffic, no traffic lights, no parking meters and we rarely hear a siren.

We had lunch with our friends Sandy and Tom.  Sandy isn't a quilter;  she is a weaver and has done a lot of study on Navajo rugs.  This is one of her finished rugs hanging in her house with the blade of a ceiling fan in the way in this photo. 

This rug she has started and says it will take her a few years to finish - it looks like it will be spectacular when it is done.

Lunch was in the back yard, where Tom has created a stream that flows into a little pond, all surrounded by flowers and a rock garden planted by Sandy. 

We also visited friends that live up in the foothills to the west of Colorado Springs.  They have a spectacular view of Colorado Springs and the plains to the east of town.

Last Friday I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden my blog was being visited by dozens of people!  I was surprised to find out it was because my blog was chosen as the AQS Blog of the Week on their Facebook page! I'm really flattered and if I can figure out how to do it, I will post the little button they sent.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another flowery quilt

I used the Glide thread that I bought at MQS for the first time on this quilt.  It's such pretty shiny thread - great for those quilts where you want the thread to really show.  This is a cute flowery wallhanging from Ethel. The photo has a pinkish cast caused by the lighting.

Just a few more quilts to finish and then I actually get some time for my own projects - yippee!

While shopping the other day I saw this in a department store...

They really ought to move the sign further away from the pan catching drips from a leaking roof!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ethel's pretty quilt

Ethel brought me this to quilt and I think it turned out to be very pretty.  She left a lot of empty space for me to quilt in and that is fun for me, a challenge, but fun!

Last week was the meeting for Prairie Quilt Guild and we usually meet friends before the meeting at a nearby restaurant.  This time I caught Peter in the act of eating dessert for his lunch - of course it was carrot cake so I guess he thought he was eating vegetables for a well rounded diet.

Here is the neighbor's cat Socket Set sleeping in our empty bird bath. He should sleep with his mouth open, maybe a bird will land in it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hot, hot, hot and quilty

I finished this quilt for Ann yesterday - I really like the way it turned out.  Ann's tops are always fun to quilt: her workmanship is excellent and she has a good eye for color.  I love the border fabric that she chose for this-she says she had sort of forgotten it was in her stash.

Wool batting is my favorite, it gives such wonderful definition to the quilting.

Even the back of the quilt is pretty.

Peter and I made a quick trip to Manhattan to have Sugar Plum appraised by AQS certified appraiser Carol Elmore. It was a pretty drive and thankfully not as hot as it had been the day before. (109 degrees in Wichita!!!)  On the drive through the flint hills we saw lots of old farms, many with stone houses made from the local limestone.  Here are pictures of a couple of beautiful old barns.

This must be the barn equivalent of a mansion!

We even passed a castle!  This is in someone's front yard in Lincolnville.  I think I need one in front of our house, I'm sure the neighbors would appreciate it!