Saturday, November 26, 2011

A new look for a vintage skirt

When I was young, my mother found a pattern in a magazine for a Seminole patchwork skirt.  I think it was the seventies, and I think it was McCall's, but I can't find the pattern or the issue.  Maybe one of you remember it.  It was made with bias tape cut into many tiny pieces and sewn into traditional patterns in rows.  The skirt had 3.5 yards gathered into a small waistband.  It was thirty inches long.  I have been saving this for a long time, only bringing it out to show occasionally.  Last night, I had a brilliant idea of how to have this incredible work on display all the time.  I decided to make it into a quilt.

Look at all that piecing!  I am going to have to figure out a way to quilt this that does not detract from the piecing at all.  Here is a look at the back.

When I think about all the patience it took to put this skirt together, I am amazed.  I am such a slow piecer, I think this would have taken me many years.  I don't remember how long it took Mom.  She was a very talented woman who often made complex and beautiful things.  One time, she made a mosaic coffee table where she cut hundreds of small square tiles into small pieces to create a seascape.  It was wonderful to grow up in a family where creating beautiful artistic things was celebrated. 
The other thing I did today, that I can show, was the mug rugs for the hunters.

The backs are plaid.
Today, I had an unexpected visit with Bella.  She has a nasty cold and both her parents had meetings, so I didn't get a full day in the studio.  I hope she gets well soon.
Tomorrow, I am working on a mini red and white quilt, and other things on my list.  The ear infection is almost conquered, and I am not in constant pain, so that is a good thing.  I hope you all have a joy filled day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wonky ornaments

I am in an ornament exchange on Mary Lou Weidman's Yahoo group and I made these 24 5" x 5" ornament blocks for the exchange.  You can't see it, but I did fancy machine decorative stitching on 12 of the blocks.  It was fun, but it uses so much thread.  It also tends to pucker if you don't use an interfacing.  I didn't want to add the extra weight, so I just ironed the puckers out as much as I could.  I am the collector and distributor for this exchange, and some of the ornaments that have come in so far are real beauties.  It will be interesting to see what I put together when the exchange is all done.  Any ideas?

I also finished this mug rug top.  The two with the deer heads are still in progress.  I am excited to have the next three full days in the studio.  It seems like it has been a long time.  I have a long list of things to get made for Christmas, so it is good to have these days.
I have been thinking about New Year's resolutions.  It is about that time, after all.  One of the things I want to do is organize my stash better.  My stash is made up mostly of bigger scraps.  I see that some people pre-cut their scraps into 2.5" strips or squares so they are ready to pull for quilting projects.  Others do this plus making strings for other projects.  I am torn about just what to do at this point.  I would appreciate hearing about how you organize your stash of smaller than fat quarter pieces.
Until tomorrow, joyful quilting, everyone.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Victoria and me

Victoria sent me this photo of both of us holding our exchange quilts.  I am on the left.  Victoria is holding the quilt I made for her.  The round "Christmas ball" is made from velvet scraps.  This is the first, and probably last, quilt I have made using embellishments.  I had total fun picking fabric and creating the feeling of an old fashioned Christmas tree.  I hand quilted it using green pearl cotton.  It was fun to make a real Christmas quilt.

Look what I got from Victoria!

Victoria at 15 Minutes Play hosted a mini holiday quilt exchange, and I think I got the best quilt!  We could each select a holiday for a 12" x 12" mini quilt.  Then Victoria sent us a name and a holiday to create a quilt.  I was sent Victoria's name and Christmas.  I was pretty excited about it, but had no idea Victoria had my name.  I thought about asking for Christmas, but really wanted a Dia de los Muertos.  There are some quilters who belong to this group who have some fantastic fabric, so I thought I just might get one.  My alternative was fall.  (Seasons were okay, as well as holidays.)  Victoria just happened to have this wonderful fabric.  Can you see the hand embroidery and the bead embellishments?  On the back is a pocket with a handwritten note on fabric.  I just love this quilt and it will live on my studio wall all year.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the Christmas quilt I made for Victoria.  I will let you know when she posts it so you can see it. 
I was lucky enough to meet Victoria yesterday in Edmonds, WA where we exchanged our quilts.  It was wonderful meeting her in person.  Along with the quilt, she also gifted me with some very fun goodies.

There was also a tin of spices, but my husband took those to the kitchen immediately.  He loves a good spice mix.
Today, I am going to grab some studio time for a couple of hours before I start the cooking process.  I hope you are all going to have a joy filled day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting things done

Today, I was able to finish my Jacob's Ladder top.  I am calling this quilt Hidden Garden.  It is so hard to show all the wonderful floral fabrics and great colors with a photograph.  This is the first quilt where I have had to match so many corners and points.  They are not all perfect, but I don't care.  I just really like this quilt. I am so happy I got the top finished today.
I have been dealing with a terrible ear ache for a few days and finally went to the doc this morning.  I have an ear infection.  I don't think I have had an ear infection since I was a kid.  It is most unpleasant.  Hopefully, the antibiotics and the ear drops will help quickly.
Last week, on our way home for the cabin in the woods, we stopped in Chehalis at Sister's Fabric. This is one of my all time favorite fabric stores.  There is an amazing selection of fabrics, including a fantastic collection of gorgeous flannels.  I purchased these batiks for a quilt I designed that I will start on after the new year.  I love these fall colors, so I will use this one all year long.
These beauties are for our youngest son's next quilt.  He loves these colors, and I am going to add them into the string quilt I started a couple of weeks ago.   I hope he likes it.
I am making mug rugs for a couple of hunters in the family.  I thought this fabric would be appropriate. I love the plaid.  I did some fussy cutting on the bottom fabric earlier this evening.  These small quilts are fun to make and are good gifts.
This bunch is from my stash and is destined for a 15" x 15" quilt for Bella's other quilting grandmother.  This is a sneak peak for her.  I just hope the pattern I have come up with is not too complicated for me.  The pieces are going to be very small, I think.
It was great to be back in the studio today.  I don't think I will be back until Friday unless I can sneak a little bit in on Thursday morning.  After all, how long does it take to prepare enchiladas?
In the meantime, joyful quilting, everyone.