Saturday, October 8, 2011

Starting new quilt tops

Today, I decided to cut into the made Kaffe fabric and start working on the 15 Minute BOM quilt.  I love the intensity of the jade with the made fabric.  The only thing I don't like about the whole process is working with the Kaffe fabrics.  Shocking, I know, but it is true. 

When I purchased my first 1/2 yard of Kaffe fabric, I was so excited.  It was so bright and so soft.  It was the stuff quilty dreams are made of.  Then, I bought more pieces as I found them on sale.  Slowly, the pile grew.  Then came the day to start cutting and sewing.  That also became the day of my frustration in sewing.  This beautiful fabric has absolutely no body.  If I just look at it too long, it distorts and takes on a totally new shape.  This would only be a good thing if it was growing, but it is not.    Use spray starch, you say?  That would probably work, but I have far too many allergies to airborne things to try that indoors.  My only solution is to just take my time and summon all my sewing patience.  Fortunately for me, I just love the way this collection of fabrics looks, so I will continue using it, even if I do get frustrated.

All of the blocks I am building for this sampler quilt are from tutorials over at 15 Minutes Play.  If you are interested in creating your own, using made fabric, head on over there and look in the right column for the BOM tutorials.  I am not going to use all the blocks in my sampler.  I have selected nine I want to use.  I will use the star at the top in the four corners, plus eight others.  I am going to have to make much more fabric, but I have enough right now for three or four more.

The other project I started today was the Jacob's Ladder Quiltalong.  I have joined The Adventures of the Empress of the Universe in this quiltalong.  She has set up a Flickr page so you can see what others are doing.  I am using this pattern from Quiltville's Quips and Snips (Bonnie Hunter) for my JL.  Here is what I have so far.

I am using floras of the old fashioned sort along with the Kona Aloe.  I am going to make two squares of each floral I can find.  I think I can get two squares out of one fat quarter.  I had this print in a 1/4 cut.  Most of the others I have are largish scraps I am hoping will yield enough.  I am still collecting, but I wanted to get this one started.  In the end, this will be a very scrappy looking quilt.  My florals are all over the place colorwise.  This will be a longer term project than the BOM sampler quilt.
Tomorrow morning, Tom and I are going on a photo safari, so I hope to be able to post some cool animal photos tomorrow afternoon. 
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A finished top and playing with my Kaffes

(Please excuse the crooked photo.  The quilt is straight)

It is amazing what a difference a border can make.  I heard recently that adding a border to a quilt automatically makes it old fashioned looking.  Since I really don't care about that, I ignored the comments, but I am in amazement about what personality changes a quilt can take on with the right border.  When I started this quilt, the mystery quilt for our guild, I decided to use some fat quarters I had on hand.  I really liked the color combination, so didn't mind that the pattern got lost in some areas.  After a while, however, I decided it was just too bland.  As I finished piecing it together today, I thought about a piece of fabric somewhere in my stash that had fall leaves in bright colors.  When I found it, I thought it might be too bright to use.  I decided to try it anyway.  Unfortunately, it is hard to show how bright, fresh, and sparkly it is now with its new border. The new border makes this quilt 49" x 61".  It is now in the pile with the other two quilts I need to quilt for BASICs.  Please read Victoria's post today about the BASICs program.

What in the world?  How could anyone in their right mind purposely cut up some very beautiful Kaffe fabric just to sew it back together again in random patterns?  Good questions.  I love all these fabrics separately, but I really wanted to combine them to make new fabric for my 15 Minute Play BOM quilt project.  I started this project with very different colors before I discovered these.  Now, I am redoing it all to make a really bright and fun quilt to cuddle under this winter.  As I was making all this fabric (so far it is 24" x 32"), I was thinking about what color background fabric I could use.  I have a nice piece of KF shot cotton in persimmon, but that was just too much red.  I then started looking at Kona solids.  I finally narrowed it down to two - Aloe and Jade.  They came today.  The Aloe is beautiful, but not strong enough to stand up to the reds, so  . . . . .

. . . . Jade it is.  Tomorrow, I will start cutting into both to start making the BOM blocks.  I need to have this quilt finished by December 1.  Think I can do it?  I am going to give it my best shot.
I am going to use the Aloe for the Jacobs Ladder Quiltalong.  I am still gathering florals for that, but I have enough to get started now.  That is a longer term project.
It was very nice to be back in my studio today.  I oiled Betty before we started, and she ran like a dream.  I need a new blade for my rotary cutter, so I need to find my JoAnn coupons.  I think I have one blade left in the case.  I will have to check that out tomorrow.
Until then, have a joy filled day, everyone.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A visit from Carol the Great

This weekend was the wedding of my sister's son, Zach.  For the occasion, my aunt on my mother's side came up from California with her husband.  Bella was quite enchanted with her very own Carol the Great.  We took the occasion of the wedding, we took a photo of the descendants of Elizabeth Davenport, nee Reese.  From the left are my sister, my daughter, Bella in front, me, and Carol the Great.  It has been delightful to visit with our last remaining female relative on that side of the family. 
I have had very little time in the studio, and don't expect to for the next several days.  Then, I will be back to a more normal studio time.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.