Saturday, April 23, 2011

Making more fabric

Today is my last day here in Bremerton for a while.  Sis and BIL have landed and are on their way to catch the 4:20 ferry.  I spent much of this day sewing more units for en vino veritas.  I got 96 2.5" x 4.5" units sewn.  I still have to cut the extra hsts off and press them before they can get sewn to the green rectangles.  Maybe tomorrow.  I spent the rest of the time in the studio making fabric.  I am getting this ready to do a tutorial on making a traditional style block incorporating made fabric the 15 min play way.  I will post the tutorial here when I post it on 15 minute play.  Should be May or June sometime.  I am looking forward to doing this tut.

It is an absolutely beautiful day here in Bremerton.  The sky is blue and there are no clouds visible where I am looking.  This morning, the sailboats were out in full force and the boat slips in the marina are pretty empty.  I will leave you with this last look at the ferry rounding the point.

Joyful quilting, everyone, and a peace filled Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Back to the studio

There are some really beautiful sunrises from my sister's condo.  Since they shine directly into the room where I have been sleeping, I am up to get photos of them.  I returned to Bremerton on Wednesday night.  Yesterday, I played bridge with three wonderful women.  This is my sister's bridge group, and I am fortunate enough to be invited to play whenever I can get over here.  It is always great fun.
After bridge, I walked into town in search of the post office.  I wanted to mail my package of fabric to Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap.  She is my partner for the Hands 2 Help quilting project.  I sent her a small stack of batiks in cuts from fat eights to fat quarters.  We were supposed to send 2 yards total.  I hope she likes what I sent.  She posted a photo of the fabrics she is sending me.  They are reds, whites, and blues.  I will have fun designing a quilt to use these fun fabrics as soon as I get them.

After eating breakfast and watching some Fons and Porter on QNN, I went into my sister's studio to start sewing the units I need for the ribbon quilt.  My working name for this quilt is En Vino Veritas, which means "in wine there is truth" in Latin.  This came from the Zinfandel name of this Bali pop pack.  We will see if this name sticks.  Anyway, I am still amazed at how long things take in quilting.  I always go into the studio with grandiose ideas about how much I will accomplish.   Today, I imagined I would get at least half of the blocks finished.  Instead, I only got 96  A units completed.  I still have 96 B units to do before I can start making the blocks.  And this was with already cut and marked pieces.

It seems like such a small stack to have taken five hours.  I don't know what I am doing wrong.  I sewed 192 of the green half squares on with the flip and fold method, and chain piecing.  Of course, I had to sew two seams on each piece because I am too intimidated by sewing small triangles together and I don't want to waste.  I guess that means I actually got 192 2 1/2" block units and 192 HST units. I then paired and sewed these units to make 96 A units. Each of the A units is 4 1/2" square.  Of course, there was a lot of pressing.  I even saved the small HSTs for later. Tomorrow, I will try and get all the B units made.  On Sunday morning, I head back home and will start sewing the blocks together and putting them on the design wall. 
I am trying to keep track of all the time I spend on this quilt, as well as the money.  I am going to put up a display at our quilt show in July to show how much time and money it takes to make a twin sized quilt.  Hopefully, it will help those who have a hard time understanding why quilters charge what they do for their quilts.  If any of you have insights or ideas on what I might include in this display, please feel free to share.  I would also love to hear any of your stories about people gasping in disbelief at your quilt prices.  My display will be up for the full month of July in the front display case of our downtown library.  I would like it to be educational.
Thanks, everyone, for stopping by.  I would love to hear from you.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Needle turn applique - what was I thinking?

Several years ago, when we were living in Hawaii, I was smitten by the Hawaiian quilts that I saw throughout the islands.  I was totally intrigued by the designs and the amazing work involved.  There are so many shops that sell small pseudo Hawaiian quilts that are made in China.  Tourists eat these up because they are really beautiful and they are affordable.  I was given one of these pieces, and I like it for what it is, but I know it is not the real thing.  Since I could never afford a locally made treasure, I decided I could try to make a small one, just to have the experience.  I started this so long ago, I forget the name of the pattern.  I do remember that I folded the fabric into quarters, then diagonally to create a triangle.  I carefully made my cuts.  Then, I opened the cut piece, laid it out on the background fabric, and basted it in the traditional way, starting in the center and going out and around each stem, flower, and leaf.  Then, I started my needle turn applique.  This was almost my downfall.   I say almost because I soon realized that I was in over my head and put this project away for the future.  The future arrived about a month ago when I put it on my UFO list at guild.  Today, I finished my last applique stitch.  Woohoo!  Now, I have to figure out what next.  This piece is about 30" square.  I do know that I am going to hand quilt it in the traditional style, echoing the pattern.  I was in such a hurry to post this, I didn't even take time to press it.

Will you look at that!  Blue sky.  The ferry was coming from Seattle, and I couldn't resist the photo.  Of course, within five minutes, black clouds rolled in, the wind whipped up, and the rain came down.  You have to love the Pacific Northwest.
I probably won't be posting for a few days since I will be really busy.  I will be back in the studio on Friday.
Joyful quilting, my friends.

Starting a new quilt

One of the projects I brought with me is the bag of pieces for the Christmas Ribbons quilt in Kim Brackett's Scrap Basket Surprise book.  This will be my second quilt from this book.  For this, I am using Bali Pops Zinfandel and hand dyed fabric I received from Carol Doak.  I cut all the pieces a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't start sewing the units together until today.  I put together one block so I could see what they will look like.  I think I am going to really like this quilt, but I definitely will have to change the name.  There is nothing Christmas about my version.

This is the Manette Bridge which is undergoing new construction.  It is very near my sister's place and this is the view from the deck.  The sun peaked out between the ever present clouds today and I tried to capture it in the next photo, but it really doesn't show.  Maybe it will be sunnier tomorrow.  This is the view across the bay.

Today, I also quilted a preemie quilt for the guild.  I will never sew with flannel from JoAnns again.  When I pre-washed it, it got all pilly.  Some of those pills were pretty hard and I broke two needles on them.  Now I have to buy new needles for my sis.  Live and learn.  I got the binding sewn on and will do the hand stitching this evening.  Tomorrow, I will sew more on the ribbons quilt, put together a back for Tasmanian Tango, and move all the quilty things off the bed so my husband will have somewhere to sleep when he gets here tomorrow night.
Joyful quilting, everyone.