How to quilt ...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In the midst of quilting
Several weeks ago, I had a comment on a post that intrigued me ...

"interesting to see that you quilt from one edge to the other and not from the centre out"

The reason it intrigued me ... was that it had never occurred to me to quilt from the center out ...

I typically quilt down the length of the quilt in middle ... but from one end to the other.  As I paused to consider why I do it that way I don't have an answer.

As much as I LOVE the fact that in just two short years I have taught myself how to quilt ... and that I've made a few that I'm actually quite proud of ... I also realize sometimes that self-taught can have some limitations.

A couple of weeks ago Amy at Diary of a Quilter had a great post on the use of a 'scant 1/4 inch' that I tried on the Scattered Blocks quilt and it definitely made it SO much easier.  Turns out Amy had taken a class ... yup ... Amy the amazing quilter had taken a class ... where she learned this trick.

So now I wonder what else I might have missed in the this self-taught journey.  Does anyone have any thoughts on what types of classes might be beneficial at this stage?  What has been your best learning experience as a quilter ... self taught or in a class?

Hope you're having a great weekend.

All the best

50 years of marriage !!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I turned 50 years old this year ... and really enjoyed the fact that I hung around long enough to enjoy the day with great friends and family ... and John did a great job making sure I had a surprise party befitting the occasion ... But I'm thinking 50 years of age is NOTHING compared to 50 years of marriage ...

This weekend, we are heading off to Harrison Hot Springs in BC, Canada, to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of John's cousin, Anne, and her husband, Don.

Anne's sister has come over from England for the celebration and their son and daughter-in-law have recently moved to Seattle.  We were fortunate to have them stay with us for several days earlier this month and I was blessed to be the fly on the wall to listen to the stories from their youth.   The sorrow of John losing his older brother when he was nine, to the laughter at work they all did to keep Granny happy.  It was an amazing weekend filled with love and stories.
But 50 years of marriage ... wow.  50 years of marriage takes work.  John is the love of my life ... but marriage takes work.  In a day when it is so easy to say I don't instead of I will continue to try ... hats off to Anne and Don ... I know that some of those years were fabulous, but I am equally confident that some of them were tough.

Congrats Anne and Don and I look forward to celebrating with you and your family this weekend ... thanks for letting us join in your fabulous day.

All the best

Scattered blocks ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

I find a camera can serve dual purposes ... 
... in addition to recording and sharing ... it can also seem to capture what the naked eye can't ... like the two colors that are touching over on the top left.

I started this quilt in my mind about a month ago and sketched it out last week.  I actually liked my sketch so much, that I am now in the midst of making two of these ... this one in all solids and a second one in some solids and prints left over from Juliet's quilt.

My eye really like the randomness of it ... though I often find myself amazed at how much work it can take to actually make something look random.
And in this photo ... I noticed another two blocks just up and right from center that are facing the wrong way.  I am actually short 2 blocks, so I will peruse these in more detail tomorrow night when I've made the extra two.

Oh ... and you've probably noticed the blog.  I thought I might try some of the new features ... I'm not sure.  On the one hand it's SO different, I am quite intrigued, on the other ... if it's too confusing for readers, that won't be very helpful ...  OK ... apparently not very good ... only one thumb up and lost two followers today ... so I guess some folks voted with their feet.  I will work on updating within a more standardized view ... not really a lot of point in having a blog that others can't easily read or follow ... and I'm with Jen ... I HATE it when Facebook changes my page ;-).  I will clean it up a little later ... but at least it's back in a normal blog view right now ...

Please let me know your thoughts ... on either the quilt or the blog ... won't be offended by dislike of either ;-).

Hope you're week has started off well ...

All the best

Juliet's Quilt

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thanks so much for the kind words and wishes for the newest grand-baby in the family ... Juliet.  I finished her quilt today!  Just in time, John is heading off to Toronto next weekend to meet his new grand-daughter, and spend some quality time with his sons and grandson.

The fabric is Moda's Central Park by Kate Spain mixed with some of the great solids I've gotten since I joined Pink Chalk's Monthly Solids Club.  The sashing is Kona Coal.
The pattern is Rain or Shine from Elizabeth Hartman's "Practical Guide to Patchwork".  I saw a rendition of it at my LQS and fell in love ... so of course I had to buy the book.  I didn't add the rosette that was in the pattern in the book.  I didn't really feel it added a lot and thought it might just be one of those things that a baby would like to suck on or pull off ... and my points in the center of each of the circles didn't look so bad ..
This is the first back I have done without piecing ... basically, I am a pretty thrifty quilter, so I piece together whatever I have in the cupboard and that's usually what a back is made from.  But how often does a grand-daughter come along ... so I went all out on this one ;-).  I kind of miss the piecing, but do feel that on this one it was worth the added expense, and it does seem a bit more advanced than my typical quilt backs.
The binding is pieced.

And what's a photo shoot at the cabin without a little of the view included?
On a personal note, the stress fracture is healing nicely and I was actually able to venture out for a walk today.  Hope to be running again by early December.  As some of you are aware, I had planned to run the Seattle half-marathon next month as a way to celebrate being 10-years cancer free ... which also happens next month.  I have had to delay the 1/2 marathon and am now planning on running Vancouver in May instead, but I will still be celebrating good health (and 16 wonderful years of marriage ;-) next month.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

All the best

A finished project and a WIP

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The 'finished' project ... my new step-grand-daughter ... Juliet ...
The 'unfinished' project ... Juliet's quilt ...
Hope your week was as joyful as ours ...

All the best

Birds of a feather ...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Star and improv block quilts
I purchased the teal and yellow prints earlier this year and spent the better part of the summer making star and improv blocks.

I finished the Casual Star quilt last week.  And this week, I finished the improv block version.

Back of quilt -- hard to get a photo around here without a dog in it ...

I used REALLY tight meandering quilting on this one ... over 20 bobbins worth!  I really love the effect that the tight quilting gives.

Once again, the back ended up too short (a habitual problem around here) ... hence the additional of the yellow strip.  The quilt by the numbers:
  • Blocks are 12.5" each
  • Sashing is 2.5" strips
  • 24 blocks -- 18 prints and 6 solids
  • Gray solid on front is Kona Ash
  • Back is Kona Ash and Kona Coal with some of the solid piecing.
  • Finished quilt is 53" x 78"
  • Meandering quilting with light gray thread
This one is for my sister-in-law who will be graduating from college this fall ... hats off to this amazing woman who's done a fabulous job raising her 13-year-old daughter (for the first 8 years virtually on her own) and who took advantage of the opportunity to go back and get her degree over the past 2 years while her husband was off fighting a war ... Congrats D ...

A little bit of disappointing news on my end this week.  We're off to Victoria, BC for my husband to run the 1/2 marathon.  I was supposed to run an 8K in prep for my first 1/2 marathon coming in November.  But it now looks like I am nursing a stress fracture (maybe 2) and won't be running again anytime soon ... oh well ... maybe more time for sewing ;-)

All the best and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

All the best

14 bobbins and counting ...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Quilt back ... 2/3rds quilted
I've never had a quilt use up quite so much thread before ... actually ran out and will have to wait until I get back to Seattle to get more.

I like tight meandering ... must have taken it to the extreme on this one ;-).

Hope you had a productive weekend ...

All the best
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