Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jumping Jax Flash

Finished the top of the Jumping Jax Flash quilt! This was started at Asilomar in an Empty Spools seminar with Judy Niemeyer in February of 2014. That was an intense week of sewing, and when I came back I paused to work on the Pinwheels for a little while as a change of pace. Suuuure. As you may have read elsewhere on the blog, I did manage to finish all 6 of the Pinwheel tops and sent them all off for quilting.

That would have been fine except that I sent them in batches, so the first ones were home before the others had even left--meaning it was time to bind them and start sending them off to their new homes! In the meantime I also managed to herniate another disk--or maybe two--a very unpleasant pastime and one I do not recommend. Spinal surgery is never fun and do you know, when they say don't lift anything heavier than 5 lbs, well, a big quilt weighs more than that. Makes it hard to sew binding when you can't lift the quilt!

Now that I'm 4 months post-surgery and on into PT, I'm able to do a little more all the time. Standing up is still an issue so sewing sitting down is a good thing. I did fine at Asilomar this year, thanks to frequent rest breaks and their efficient jitney service. 

Ironing while sitting on a stool isn't the easiest thing, but it does save the back!

So here are a few more views. This quilt was all done with stash fabrics. The turquoise background is all the same even though there's quite a few areas that are purple! Cutting it up emphazies different parts of the whole fabric.

Next step will be quilting it. I have a print fabric for the back that has echoes of the same stars, and the batting as well. I do plan to quilt this one myself. With all the seams and centers, I think it could be a longarmer's nightmare, and I enjoy machine quilting so it will be fun.

I'm looking forward to making the stars pop and minimizing some of the seam lines. You can see in the shot on the ironing board how the border spikes are joined to the body, and in the photos where the border is sewn on, there's almost a line. The border, by the way, is the same fabric as the border spikes--again, a lot of different colored areas in the one piece of batik. One of the things I love about batiks is all the variation in color!

Took the quilt top out onto the lawn for a final "beauty shot" since I don't really have a big enough space inside!

Yes, the grass is brown. We're in a severe drought situation here so there's not much lawn watering going on.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Fire Island Hosta at Asilomar

Second installment of the great blogging experiment! Here are a few pictures I took while I was at Asilomar this year for Empty Spools Seminars' Sessions I and II. 

Looking out of the window of the classroom, there are usually a few friends coming by for breakfast or their afternoon snack. 
And the views on the walk down to meals is spectacular.

Oh, did you want to see progress on the quilt? Okay!  This picture was taken after I got home, but the basic setup is the same as I had at Asilomar. Louise and I worked at adjacent tables with this folding mat/pressing surface between us. She'd set up her mat on the other side, so we each had our own cutting mat and we could share the iron and ironing board. Note that I keep all my cut-off pieces in a bag. Both in our class and at home, we "know people" who use these trimmings as stuffing for pet mats for shelter animals. I also use a big glass punchbowl on my dining room table to catch trimmings when I'm cutting out a project.

Have I mentioned how much I love my fabrics? Well, I'm really in love with the colors and patterns of these batiks.  The butterflies don't really show up but I like the effect anyway. These colors are hard to photograph accurately--on real life they are closer in color than they seem here.

The reddish purples only appear in this set of borders;  the second set of swag borders is dark green and pale pale blue. This photo shows the front and back of one of the swag units. The finished piece looks much less complicated than the foundation paper!

And here's the center of the top, laid out on my bed at home. It's a queen size quilt (duh, yes, it's the Fire Island Hosta Queen!) and this is a preview of how it will fit on the bed.

Next step will be to attach the swags and border pieces. Lots and lots of curved piecing involved. Look for another installment of this quilt soon--I'm really motivated to work on it!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Pinwheel Progress--Another One Goes Home!

Things are a bit discombobulated over here in Trying-To-Blog Land. Since I don't like presenting you with a wall o' text, I do like to include pictures! However, I've kind of changed my picture-taking habits, and that's the problem.

You see, taking pictures on my camera is a several-step process--take picture, upload to computer (or iPad), insert in blog.  That also includes finding the right cable connection for that particular camera, and assumes the computer is feeling up to making the effort. Which, it must be said, it isn't often.

Easier by far to take the pictures with the phone--but so far I haven't found an app that works very well for writing the text.

So I'm experimenting with uploading the pictures from the phone to one of the apps, then finishing up by adding the text on the computer.

So here's the latest installment/update on the saga of the multiple Pinwheels.

Number Four has gone home. Had a nice ride in the back of the minivan!

Here's a closer look at it. This is the one with the green backing.

The blue-backed one is now being bound. Lots of help from Shyla on this one!

Okay, going to hit publish on this installment and let's see how it looks!