Saturday, March 16, 2013

(Inter?) National Quilt Day!

 What better way to celebrate National Quilting Day, than by going to a quilt show?

There are folks who are hoping to make this an international event/day of celebrating quilts. Certainly, quilting is international! If you doubt that, please check back on the blog (and my Flickr sets) to see the magnificent work that was featured at the Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork last year!

There is a little part of me that would love to go back some year. Might have to see if that can be worked out. Not as a big group tour, maybe just a couple of friends who want to go check it out.

Hmmm... renting a car... it might be doable. Something to ponder!

 Meanwhile, today was the Glendale (Calif) guild's show, and it was as usual quite splendiferous.

The theme was "holidays" of all sorts. This pretty much meant that some, like the giant heart up above, really fit the theme.

Others were only tangentially related--but hey, it was National Quilt Day, so all of them relate to that holiday, right?

This quilt  honors the First Battle of Bull Run. I think if you click on the picture, you will be able to read the poem.

The fabrics are Civil War era reproductions.
 New Year's celebration!

Wonderful paper-pieced points (believe me when I say that I really appreciate paper piecing after making the tree skirt!{)

I especially like the way she used a confetti print in the solid centers--really gives it a celebratory feeling!
 They have really cute little stitched and appliqued signs reminding you not to touch!

More of these are on my Flickr set, by the way

I took something like 60 pictures today and they are all over there, so please head over if you want to see more quilts!

Three-dimensional tropic flowers, HUGE ones!

There were several quilts with 3-D work popping off them.

Quite a lot of fun!
 My pictures don't do justice to this gorgeous landscape quilt.

Truly a work of art!

The view is from Julia Pfeiffer Burns state park, off Highway 1, where the falls go directly into the ocean.

Skyline... Chicago. The quilt was made for a sister, who has this view out of her window!

Love this quilt!

A collection of happy snow people!

Sue Rasmussen's Alaskan Grizzly Bear.

He looks quite pleasnt, not grisly at all!

Appearances can be deceiving...

Another landscape...misty and dreamy.
 The Easter Bunny was handing out show pins and posing for pictures.

And then there was lunch--time to enjoy good food and good company! I should have taken pictures of my friends, but instead I took a picture of my food.

That was one very tender and delicious beef dip.


So what did I do when I came home? Well, first I took out my purchases and fondled them a bit.


Then I cleaned up the debris from the tree skirt in the sewing area. I tried to think of a reason to hang on to the templates I'd used to cut out the pieces, but I couldn't think of a single reason to so out they went.

And then I got out my Lowell Mill Girls fabric and the pieces I'd cut last year prepping for this quilt.

And here's the first block. No more about this now because I think it's going to be like the tree skirt--while Im working on it, it will be All Mill Girls All The Time.

Whic probably isn't the worst thing I could talk about, believe me!

Happy National Quilt Day, and a happy St. Paddy's Day to you, whether you're Irish or not!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Finished Top!

 When I left off last night, I had sewn all eight of the wedges. I had big plans to get this finished ASAP.

Ha ha ha. Today was the kind of day when it feels as if The Universe is  just slightly out of whack. You know the kind I mean.

Woke up with the allergies attacking like mad. Took a Claritin. Had coffee. Had breakfast, more coffee, shower. Feeling unwell, lay down for a little bit, and woke up three hours later.

So much for sewing!

Finally after having a bit of dinner, I was able to get to the machine and back to the tree skirt.  So,
I started off sewing the wedges into pairs. Here's the first quarter sewn.

In case you were wondering how this fits under the machine, here's a glimpse.

One thing that helps immeasurably is that the pattern is so well drafted that (as long as my seams were sewn in the proper place) the pieces all fit together without a hassle.

So here's the four quarters sewn up and laid out for a preview.

I have wondered a lot about having so much green in the outer rings, but I think that the reds are so strong that they needed that dark green to balance them out.

Do you agree?

Then I sewed two of the quarters together to make a half-circle.

Okay, not a whole lot more trouble than sewing the wedges into quarters--same match points, after all.

Just a bit more fabric and paper to wrangle.

And this is how the two halves looked when they were pinned together and laid across the sewing tables.

Yes, tables. You can get an idea of the size of this thing by looking at the sewing machine in the middle of the picture, and the ironing pad next to it.

I did what I generally do when I'm sewing something like this with eight points that meet in the middle: pin them together and then baste with a long machine stitch for about 2" either side of the center match point.

No surprise, it matched perfectly. Then I sewed from the center to the outer ring in both directions--this seems to work better for me than making one long seam from edge to edge. Besides, I had sewn all the other sections from center to outside, and it worked. Don't mess with success.

So, tah-dah! Here she is, all in one piece, all 60" of her. I am celebrating that this part of the job is done. Never mind that there's a metric ton of paper to peel out of the back--that will be good TV work, or I'll take it to class, or something like that. Then a good pressing and it will be ready to pin and quilt.

Guess I need to start looking for a backing fabric!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Progress!

 Once more with the wonky photo uploading! Let's see if we can get some sort of order out of these, okay?

First photo is the outer ring of spikes pinned to the white wedge... 16 of these, 8 right and 8 left side.

They go on either side of the green wedges.

Like this:

There's definitely an order that they are sewn in.

Left side first, then the right...

and when they're done they look like this:

 Like this.

Eight of these.

 Silly me thinking I would be allowed to work on the flying geese strips without help.

Not that he'd know what to do with a real goose.

I think a goose would make him look teeny-tiny!

So the flying geese go on top of the feathered star center wedges.

All my old experience of piecing curves is coming back, and this is going together really easily.

 Had to take a few breaks today to move the hoses around on the front yard--it's been in the 90's here and things are getting really dry.

The brown iris is blooming and looks quite happy.

This pleases me no end!  These were given to me by one of the quilters from the very oldest Bearly Stitchin' days, and they've been moved a few times over the years. Never have done very well... until now!

We also had a pretty spectacular sunset. I know the electrical tower isn't the prettiest thing, but just pretend it's not there.

The towers and wires may not be   pretty, or scenic, but boy do I love me some electricity. After some reminders of what it's like to live without it, I'll take the towers if I can have the power!

So. Back to the piecing. Here's the first completed wedge--all its components together!

And then there were three...

and then there were five, and that's where I left it for the night.

No point in pushing things too hard--when the headache gets bad enough to be noticed, it's time to quit for the night.

Besides, I wanted to blog the progress!

With any luck, tomorrow I'll finish the last three wedges and maybe even get them all assembled.

Then will come the fun of taking out all that paper, then a good press and it will be ready to layer and quilt.

Wonder how far I can get with it this month?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

With a Little Help...

 The Quilting Supervisor is on the job. Supervising.

Here's the way the wedges look at this stage.

Had to do a little test to see how they'd look next to each other.

Pretty good!

So far I'm really liking the colors and the way they are working together. We'll see what happens when I get some other pieces added to these wedges.

 Next step for these will be adding the Flying Geese sections to the top of each wedge.

However, it's pollen season here and my allergies have gone wild. Coupled with the disorientation that DST always causes me (I swear those letters stand for Damned Stupid Timechange) I just wasn't feeling up to doing that kind of curved piecing today.

Besides, there's a lot of trimming left to do. So I started working on that.
These wedges will go onto the next section. There's a green wedge that fits into that angled side, but I haven't cut those out yet.

I was doing pretty well at trimming the spikes and the white wedges. Don't know if you can tell, but there are 5 different light fabrics here, none of which are repeated elsewhere.

And then the supervisor decided to intervene.

Enough of this for today says his body language.

Oh well, time to leave for class anyway. Maybe tomorrow will feel more auspicious for piecing curves. Going to have to do it, one way or the other, soon!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Progress Report

 Got to spend some more time working on the tree skirt today. Figured I'd better, because I was dreaming about these points last night!

So here's the first of the Unit A sections, trimmed and ready to go.

And then there's a stack of eight of them, all neatly trimmed.

Notice anything?

Yes, that top unit has a little "holiday" at the bottom, as does  the one underneath it.

I checked. There's enough fabric within the seam allowance so it will be okay.
 At least I hope so!

Soon find out...

 Here's the A units laid next to the B units, ready to sew together. There is one really tricky matching spot on these two.

Fortunately I have some experience in matching this kind of point.

What I do is line them up ready to sew, turn back the seam allowances to make sure they're in the right spot, then sew them together with a really long basting stitch.

Yes, a REALLY LONG basting stitch. Luckily the stitch length dial on the 1230 is super easy to operate. Once the two are basted together, I can check them to see if I need to sew on the same line or move the actual stitching line over by a thread or two to the left or right.

And then this is what you get.

If you look really closely at the join, you can see the seam line...but the join is pretty much perfect.

Whew. Doing this eight times and having it come out right is pretty nerve-wracking.

But it worked.

Then I trimmed up the C units and laid them out ready to sew. I got 6 of the left side ones sewn on before the Sewing Supervisor showed up. He really didn't think I should sew any more today.
 So I stopped there. Not worth the hassle with a determined little furball!

This is the little snippets-bag that showed up on my table the first day at Asilomar.

Nancy, Georgie, and Sandy played Quilt Elves the whole week. One day it was these bags, then there was a "Bali Pop" that was a strip of batik wrapped around a lollypop stick so it looked like... a pop! Too cute.

One day it was a bag of chocolates, another time it was a cute little tape measure that they'd customized (just as they did the bags) with a design from Judy's patterns.

Thanks for the fun, ladies, and thanks for the goodies!

After all this (and a visit from Daughter Meg, who came to pick up some recycling and her mail and to bring me coffee and get caught up on "life") I am ready for a glass of wine and a little TV. Tonight's guilty pleasure: Worst Cooks in America. Yes, there are actually people worse than I am, though they are learning not to be! Besides, today was the first day of DST (Damned Stupid Timechange) and as usual I'm totally borked. Wine will help.