Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative quilt

This is my first quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I first discovered this program on The Quilt Show blog. I really like that there are so many charitable opportunities for quilters. I am currently involved in four. I have mentioned the American Hero Quilt project, my quild's preemie quilts for babies in a local NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), and making blocks for a cancer patient's quilt. This quilt is 9" by 12". The quilts for this project can be no bigger. They have to fit in a priority mailer from the post office. These small quilts are auctioned to raise funding for Alzheimer's research. I think it is a fantastic idea. There are art quilts as well as more traditional style quilts. Check it out and see if there are any treasures calling your name.

I also completed four more blocks for the disappearing nine patch. The other thing I got done this morning was to wash and iron all the new fabric I purchased at my going out of business quilt shop, Pieces, in Renton. When I went in, I knew I wanted fabric to back my American hero quilt, when I get it done. I also looked for lights, Asian prints, brights, and some African prints. Some of these were to fill holes in my stash (lights), and others just needed to come home with me. Quilting is certainly an expensive art. If not for the generosity of a friend who decided to give me her large stash when she quit quilting, I would not be able to do any of the things I am now doing. I have been building my stash for a couple of years, little by little.

I have now completed six quilts, including the alzheimer's quilt. I am going to add my goal list for 2011 in the sidebar. I need to put it somewhere to remind myself not to keep adding more without finishing what is already on my list. I also have to figure out how to make quilt labels, and a good way to name my quilts. <>

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stars and 9 patch blocks

I finally finished the 2000 Member Star created by Carol Doak. I am very pleased that it came together with only one big pattern glitch on my part. Can you see it? I also need to plan my colors a little better next time. I love all these colors, but wish I had spaced the lights differently. I will still use it in my star sampler quilt that I am working on. I guess I will have to go through my stash and find colors I can use, then save my pennies to go to the quilt store again.

Speaking of quilt stores, my local quilt store is shutting its doors very soon. This makes me very sad. In this time of difficult economics, many small independent book and quilt stores are having a very difficult time. Another nearby store that I used to really like moved in with a bead store and a Bernina shop. They carry fewer fabrics, and the selection is really not what it used to be. The closest fabric store is the chain store I was complaining about the other day. I think I will have a very hard time going back after my last visit. In addition to the fact that they don't have great fabrics, they have lousy service. I was standing in a long line at the check out counter, where there was one person working. There were three people standing at the cutting table helping one customer, but mostly chatting about some reality TV show. I really don't like bad service. I guess I will have to venture further afield to the shop in Auburn, or Puyallup, or Gig Harbor. I feel a field trip coming on.

The last thing I did in the studio today was to organize the squares for my disappearing nine patch. I even got four basic squares sewn together. I am loving the colors. I am using a purple piece in the center of each block that I will make the pattern around. I love that it has radiating circles.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Starting a new quilt block

I spent much of my time in the studio cutting fabric for a new quilt and for a star block, that I started stitching. I really enjoy foundation piecing. I always see these wonderful complicated stars, and know that I could never make them because I can barely get the seams matched right on a basic nine patch. Then I discovered Carol Doak and her fabulous patterns. She has quite a few free ones at her website, Carol This one is from the 2000 member celebration quilt designed to celebrate the 2000th member of her Yahoo group. I selected colors that will go with my intuition quilt so the completed block will be another unit in that project. I am pretty pleased with this corner of the star.

I also put together three small squares highlighting my favorite reptile, the lizard. In my stash, I found a fantastic border print with a southwestern motif. I noticed the colors were almost perfect for the intuition quilt project. I quickly played around with some other fabrics until I came up with these. Such fun. I never know what I will find to add to my project. I am glad I found these.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Quilt for a Hero

Before I got my quilt frame and new sewing machine, I made a list of all the things I would like to do this year with them. One of the charitable quilts I want to make is an American Hero Quilt. This project is a big one that was started by a Washington resident. Today, I decided to make the first block for this quilt. The quilts need to be blue, red, white (or off white), with some gold. The completed quilt will have five of these stars altogether. This pattern is mostly paper pieced, which I really enjoy. It took me a long time to do this one, but I am pleased that I took my time. I am happy with the results. The pattern is #121 in Quiltmaker's 101 blocks vol. 2, and is by Chloe Anderson and Colleen Reale. Toadusew is the name of their blog.
One of these days, I will get out of the studio with enough energy to add a list of all the quilting blogs I check regularly. Each day, I find one or two more that I add to the list. There are so many great quilters out there who are willing to share tips and patterns. It is fun to take a look at what others are doing.