Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rockin Studio Day!

I got to spend seven hours in the studio today. I finished the section shown below, in a pretty poor photo. It is not this wonky, just my camera angle. I finished putting together the center section of my intuition quilt and playing with border ideas. After playing with all the purples with Bella, I was drawn to them for this quilt. I picked out some of my favorites, and pieced together the first border. I then sewed together strips to create pieces for the second border, which will alternate between created fabric and strings. It will be 6.5 inches wide. At the present time, the piece is 29 x 32. I am aiming for a lap quilt size. I am really enjoying this process.

Here is the third section of the Oh My Stars BOM quilt from Planet Patchwork. The fourth section was released today and I will cut it out tomorrow. I may even get it pieced if tomorrow is anything like today.
A commenter asked me about starters and enders, so I took some photos to explain. In the photo on the left, the starter is just behind the needle to make room for the larger piece I am working on. In the photo at the right, I have finished my seam on the big piece and grabbed a small block from another project I am working on. I will sew that seam most of the way down, then park my needle down. In the last photo, I show the two small blocks for the second project that were done for the seam on the larger project. For each seam I sew on one project, I sew two on the smaller one. I love this method because I always have more than one project going at a time, and sometimes one of them is not as interesting to sew together as the other. I hope this helps explain the way I use starters and enders.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bella's Quilt

I finished piecing and quilting Bella's quilt late last night. Bella loved the tiny hearts in the mauve fabric and in fun hearts in the red fabric. I decided to use hearts to quilt this small piece. It turned out to be 17"x15". Bella gave it to her Grandma Edwards this afternoon.

While I was putting Bella's quilt together, I also pieced this preemie quilt. I recently learned a great tip about how to save thread, save time clipping, and work on two quilts at once. You know that little piece of fabric you use at the beginning and ending of chain stitching that ends up with serious leggy strings? A quilting pal told me she creates her preemie quilts by using those blocks as the starters and enders on these strings. So, I started doing that. Instead of throwing away thread filled scraps, I ended up with a preemie quilt top. This is a very valuable tip.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quilting with my granddaughter

My granddaughter, Bella, is two and a half years old. We have been encouraging her to express herself through art and color since she could hold a crayon. She has known all her colors for a very long time, and she is great at shapes. She also holds very strong opinions. It is with all these things in mind, I asked her if she wanted to make a quilt for her Grandma Edwards, who is a quilter extraordinaire. She has a couple of wonderful quilts from that grandmother, so she readily agreed. After asking her what colors she wanted to use and what shapes, I began to prepare for this great adventure.

On Sunday, when she came over, I pulled out the bins with the pink, red, and purple scraps. We took them into the family room/photography studio where she had plenty of room to spread them out and make her fabric selections. It took her a while, but she spread every piece of fabric from both bins all over that room, the dining room, and the entry. She wandered around, looking at the colors and patterns, and then selected the fabrics she wanted in the quilt. I set them aside and told her we would play with them again on Tuesday.

I cut the shapes on Monday, and when Bella arrived on Tuesday, I handed her a basket of pieces and showed her the area on the design wall that was just for her quilt for Grandma. She played with a felt board before, so she knew just what to do. Here she is explaining how she is arranging the pieces. My wonderful husband, Tom, took this series of photos to document the process.
Bella really enjoyed the process, explaining why she put certain pieces next to other pieces. She move them around, and when she was done, she had everything to her liking. My challenge was to move the pieces closer together without messing with her ideas. I did that while she was napping.

The designer at work.
When Bella woke up, I gave her an opportunity to rearrange the pieces, which she did. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photograph of the final layout. After she left, I sewed the HSTs. Tomorrow, I will sew the small quilt together. It is based on 2" squares, mostly. I think it may be a Valentine's day end table topper. Bella can't wait to give it to Grandma Edwards. I will post a photo with Bella and the final piece later in the week.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Short studio time today

Today, Tom and I drove to Gig Harbor to have an artist's date. We visited a gallery, took photographs, ate a nice lunch, and visited Harbor Quilts. I didn't get into the studio very much, but I did get this block made for the Oh, My Stars quilt. There is another block for this section, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I will also have photos of my granddaughter (2 1/2 years old) selecting fabric to make a quilt for her other grandmother. She wants squares, triangles, circles and rectangles. She chose pinks, reds, and purples - about 12 fabrics from my stash, in all. Tuesday, I will have the shapes ready for her to play with on the design wall. Once she figures out a pattern she likes, I will sew it together. It should be a fun project.