Saturday, November 22, 2008

Autumn Sewing

I found this delightful pre-print while shopping with a friend in a local fabric store, and just couldn't resist it. I found a piece of blue solid that matches the background, and did some outline quilting by machine. I even added a spider-web to the quilting. I bound it in a solid black. It decorated the walls in the New Friends quilt room for the fall season.
A few years ago I learned of the "Picket Fence" at a guild meeting in Provo, Utah. I was just learning to use my quilt software and started playing with value shadings. When I came upon this shading, I saw dancing monsters and "had" to create one. The orange I had just purchased because I liked it, the yellow and black were leftovers from something else. As the design "came to life" I added buttons for eyes. I hung the completed piece in our group quilt room and had the ladies suggest names for the quilt. We had a vote of the group of my favorite names. I didn't make the label, so I don't remember the selected name, but one of my favorites was "Mrs. Arachnids Garden Party." Fortunately, in my files are the ballots and the chosen name, so I can still label the quilt properly. It is fun to get it out at holiday time. It is a quilt that is never missed visually.
The scarecrow is another "cheater" that I loved. I have been a "crow" collector, and this print was appealing because it can be used all fall season. I did a quick-turn of the backing, front and batt, and then hand-stitched down the backing and batting all around the edge so that the backing would not roll to the right side. I did some outline quilting with monofilament on the top. I forgot to change the bobbin thread, so it has crayon-colored variegated thread on the back--not that it matters at all. Tubes on the back hold dowels that will keep the head upright and the arms extended. I was rather pleased that I got both of the pre-prints completed in-season this year!
The small pumpkin wall hanging is a design that was taken from an instruction book a few years ago; a project that was presented as a quilt group workshop. I had the top finished except the border for a couple of years before it was finished . I have another waiting for border and completion that I made at the same time. I guess I need a recipient and a deadline to get going on the completion.
I will take them all down on Tuesday, as it will be the last group meeting for this calendar year. It's time to go through the quilt collection and find something to hang up to start the new year. The theme for our instruction this coming year is "Everything Old is New Again" so maybe this is time for some of my old uglies?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have not blogged for a couple of weeks, but I have been sewing. Although I do not have pictures to share today, I have stitched up over 100 tree blocks, and have the first lap-zize quilt sewn. Several members of our quilt group have also sewn up blocks, so at the end of the month we will be setting several quilt tops.

I got out a box of Pioneer Braid strips that have been paired and pinned ready for stitching. The pattern was from "Open a Can of Worms", and trapezoid pieces were cut for it. I've sewn all the braids I want to do--after these strips are sewn into a quilt top--and so I was playing around with the "picket fence" design. I have at least a shoe box full of cut shapes. I've been stitching them together while waiting for some machine embroidery to be completed. I have two machines front to front, so I can turn in my office chair from one machine to another. My main problem is focus on the task at hand when moving from one machine to another. Older brains do not function so well at changing gears!

I'm getting better at getting the trapezoid ends aligned correctly so the opened pieces lie straight and flat. After all of these pieces for the trees and the picket fence blocks, I should be well experienced in this technique!