Saturday, March 5, 2011

In search of quality fabric on sale

I put all the cut up pieces of the D9P on the design wall.  I played with them for a while, and I think this is how they will be sewn together.  One of the things I don't like about working with charm packs, when I am working with more than one, is the number of repeated fabrics.  For some reason, it really bothered me with this project.  I like the way it looks now, but I was really struggling with it.  Now, all I need is to sew it together and find some border fabric and backing.  No easy trick for someone on a budget.

I set off early this morning to go to SewExpo 2011.  I wasn't going to go because I really don't have money to spend, and it was a bit of a hassle to get there and find parking.  I decided to go at the last minute because I foolishly believed that since sewing machines would be at special show prices, so would fabric and thread.  Boy, was I naive.  The prices were outrageous at almost every booth.  I enjoyed looking around, seeing all the new fabrics and quilt ideas, but I didn't buy much.  I did, however, meet Ricky Tims and buy his book about convergence quilts.  Now that I looked up the Amazon site for the book, I wish I hadn't purchased it at the expo.  It is $5.00 cheaper on Amazon.  Live and learn.  I did get to talk to Ricky for a few minutes about his Rhapsody quilts.  I have the start of a pattern for the background pieces.  He gave me some good advice.  Maybe I will do this after all.  Of course, that would mean purchasing fabric.  I will just have to keep scouring the sales.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A new D9P

I have been piecing this top as a leader and ender project, but today I decided to finish putting together the nine patch blocks.  Here they are on the wall, just before I sewed them together.  Now, I have cut them all again and am playing with placement on the wall.  I am trying to decide whether or not to put sashing between the blocks.  So far, I am liking the look without the sashing.  I will have to find the fabric for the borders no matter which way I go.  I used most of three charm packs for this part.  This photo does not do the colors credit.  Sorry about that.

The other thing I did today was to cut all the leftover food fabric into 2.5 inch strips.  I found a great pattern in Kim Brackett's Scrap-Basket Surprises.  The pattern is called Market Baskets.  I thought it was apropos.  It is all made from 2.5 inch strips.  I am excited about making another quilt with these fabrics.  Tom has already planned a place on the wall for it.  Now, I just have to cut the strips into the right sizes.  I also need to find enough light colored fabric for the ground.  I was going to use the potato chip fabric, but I don't have enough.  Looks like I am going to have to find some fabric sales.

Joyful quilting, everyone.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The oldest UFO

Today was the first full day back in my studio for about a week.  I decided to finish my 30+ year old UFO.  It has been hanging on the wall, unfinished, for a few months.  Then I listed it on my UFO list for my guild, and when the number was pulled, I had to finish it.  When I started it, Honey (my Bernina) was brand new.  I was doing a little bit of quilting, but fabrics were not what they are today.  What prompted me to use the fabrics I did when I really wanted an elegant piece amazes me today.  It was what I had back then.  The bead work center was from a 1920's dress that was falling apart.  The lace was also from vintage clothing that was beyond repair.  The beaded flower was from a neck wrap that was made of a whole mink pelt from the 20's or 30's.  Unfortunately, the applique work was done on all the old fabric, and I didn't want to redo the entire piece, so I decided to go with what I had to honor that young woman I was who created this piece long ago.  I chose fabrics for the last three borders that picked up colors in the bead work and the lace.  I am pretty happy with the new look.

Here is a detail of the old bead work.

This afternoon, I loaded the top, batting, and backing on Priscilla with the intention of getting it finished today.  Priscilla had other ideas.  Every time I start to quilt a new project, I have some sort of problem.  Today, it was the bobbin and a broken needle.  I don't really know what caused either problem, but I am becoming very familiar with the workings beneath the sewing plate.  I have had to remove it a few times to untangle threads, clean out lint, and remove broken needles.  I am sure this is happening because of things I am doing wrong, but I will get it all sorted out one day.  I made my repairs, and am ready to forge ahead.

My design wall is filled with several projects in various stages of design.  I have several orphan blocks that I want to do something with, my challenge block for 15 minutes play, another intuition style quilt, and Coming Home.  There are also several other projects stacked in baskets on my work table.  Tomorrow morning, I will start again.  I do love to create quilts.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Odds and Ends

I spent the weekend cat sitting in Bremerton.  This is where my very wonderful former quilter friend lives.  This weekend, she gave me a quilt stand.  It is quite wonderful.  Here it is in the former living room with the quilts that are waiting to be quilted.  Soon, I hope it will hold finished quilts, but for now it is a perfect place for my tops.  Thank you, Merlyn.

When I got home this afternoon, I put this third border on the quilt I started last week.  I think the next go around will be stars.  I have some ideas about what I want to do, but nothing is set in concrete.  I really love the fabric I used for this new border.  I bought quite a bit of it a while back, but this is the first time I have used it. 

While were in Bremerton, I worked on a cathedral window pillow top.  I got the background squares sewn before we left and started doing the hand work over there.  I haven't done cathedral window for years.  I decided to give it a try when I saw this cool pillow over at Lilac Lane.  I have been trying to come up with something I can work on when I am away from home.  I notice that many quilters are working with hexies, but I am not really entranced with them.  This cathedral window may be just the thing. 

It is going to be a busy week around here, so I won't be blogging again until Thursday.  Thanks for stopping by.  Joyful quilting, everyone.