Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cedar River Quilters 2011 Raffle Quilt

I didn't get much studio time today, so no new photos of my work, but I want to show you my guild's 2011 raffle quilt.  The inspiration fabric was the border fabric.  It is a wonderful yellow based batik with some of the other colors in the quilt.  The first border is a flap border.  The second one is half-square triangles.  The next border is piping.  It is a really beautiful quilt.  Raffle tickets are $1.00.  If you would love to own this beautiful quilt, get in touch with me at mikiwilla at gmail dot com.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another Convergence start

I started with two lovely pieces of batik that I purchased in a scrap box from Carol Doak.  There was this turquoise piece and a purple piece, amongst a total of 42 different fabrics.  I was blown away with the quality and size of these "scraps."  I was also very excited to see them all in my colors.  I cut 16" squares from the turquoise and purple. stacked them, and made three curved cuts.

I swapped out the center piece can came up with these two squares.  I cut each one in different width strips, and alternated them.  I didn't take photos of this step because it is much better explained in Ricky Tims' book about Convergence quilts.  I have talked about this book before.  I really like the way each technique is explained and there are great examples for inspiration.

This is what I got after I sewed all the strips together.  It is 15" by 24.5".  I am going to add a border and use it as a table runner on the coffee table in Tom's photo studio.  I just love these colors and the leafy pattern on the purple fabric.  The color difference is subtle between the two fabrics I selected, but I can still see the curved elements, and I like what they are doing.  Next time, I may try more contrasting fabric.  I know I will be making more.  I am even learning to enjoy sewing curves.

I also made two more blocks for the Market Basket quilt.  I still have to come up with a name for this one.  I did go pick up three more fabrics for the last three blocks.  I got bananas, carrots, and mixed berries.  This is going to be one yummy quilt.

Joyous quilting, everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Patriotic Log Cabin block

I have finally decided on a pattern for the American Hero quilt I want to make this year. I am going to alternate log cabin blocks and Ohio star blocks.  I made my first log cabin block today.  I haven't made one before and didn't have a pattern, so I played around until I got the colors cut the right lengths and in the right order.  I never seem to be able to take photos to show the straight even lines that are really in the blocks.  I am pleased with how this turned out.  I still need to get more red, blue, and cream fabrics to build the whole quilt, but I have enough now for a good start.
I have been reading bits and pieces about the history of the log cabin block.  Most of the pieces I read say it is a truly American block that originally symbolized home and hearth during the pioneer days.  I found an article today that takes the pattern back to Egyptian times.  This article talks about the popularity of the pattern on the Isle of Man where they didn't have scissors or rulers, so they tore the strips and used finger lengths to measure.  The article also says the Log Cabin quilt is always tied instead of quilted.  I am not going to tie my quilt because I don't really like that look.
The rest of my studio time was filled with cutting the rest of the squares and rectangles of food fabric, and creating half-square triangles for the market basket quilt.  As I got to counting blocks, I realized I need three more food fabrics.  I will try and pick them up tomorrow.  I don't need much, but I really don't want to duplicate any blocks. 
Happy quilting, everyone.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Productive Studio Day

I had a great day in the studio today.  It has been a while since I had a whole day to play.  I built five blocks, quilted one, and added decorative stitches to another. 
The first block was a practice piece so I could try reverse applique.  When I was growing up, my mother had a wonderful wall hanging called a mola.  It was made by layering different colored fabric, then cutting out small designs and needle turning the raw edges.  I have always wanted to try this technique, so today I grabbed some pinks from the stash.  I started by drawing a large circle on a 9.5 inch piece of fabric.  Then I put another piece of fabric face up behind the circle and stitched on the circle line.  I cut away the top fabric close to the stitching, then covered the edge with a fancy stitch.  Next, I drew a smaller circle on the top fabric that overlapped the first circle.  I selected a new fabric to put in back, and followed the same procedure, using a different fancy stitch.  The third circle is smaller and has a dark fabric.  I cut away the extra fabric on the back as I went.  I quilted it with echo stitching on the machine.  The fabric at the bottom right is the binding wrapped on card stock.  Here is a detail shot of the fancy stitching.

After I finished this one, I decided to create a new Alzheimer's quilt out of a piece I started earlier.  I added a narrow turquoise border, and some meanders of decorative stitches.  I like where it is going, but I have to be careful about the size.  I took this photo before I pressed the borders.  They are actually even but the angle I took the photo makes them look crooked.

I made two new blocks for the Market Basket quilt.  I am really loving this quilt.  My goal is to make two blocks a day until I have 25.  As I cut each food fabric for the block, I also cut the rectangles needed for the sashing.  I will put them all together when I have all the blocks together

Finally, I cut some flannel for a new preemie quilt and built a block.  Unfortunately, I didn't buy enough of the fabric on the outside, so I will have to make another trip to the fabric store.   Too bad ;)  Don't you just love the little pink elephant?