Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Purse and Bowl

Hi everybody!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a week or so, but I've been out of town all weekend, at a quilt retreat, then had board meetings and guild meetings to go to. But here's what I did at the retreat, took a class where we made a purse:

My favorite colors, forest green and browns, with some gold lamé and gold ribbon trim to dress it up. I started with the lamé square in the middle of my solid green canvas, then added strips like a log cabin block. Some of the trim wouldn't curve too well, so it ended up on the seam lines, and the thinner cording and ribbon I couched on, with invisible thread.

Our guild president has a nice embroidery machine, and she offered to do our names on a strip of fabric. I couldn't resist, and had her do my screen/website name instead, and it turned out so nice, I decided to put it on the outside pocket of the purse instead of the inside, like everyone else was doing. I've had too much roll out of my purse and get lost esp. when I pitch it in my work locker or on the front seat of my car, so I put in lots of zippers. My purse ended up not looking a thing like everyone elses... :)

I lined it with brown ferny print, and made two interior pockets with green prints, one a patch pocket, the other a zippered pocket. The thing you see on the right is a zippered can holder - I often pack a can of something to meetings, or bottle of water. It's a separating zipper, so I can zip the top off, and it'll fit a taller waterbottle.

The two rings you see inside the purse are two thick covered hair elastics. I'll use them to hold the can against the side of the purse or, when I'm not carrying a can, I can clip my keys inside. There's two D-rings on the top corner of the purse, so I can change straps. Right now, I'm using a black webbing strap, but I might make a green canvas one to match the purse.

And last, my first attempt at a fabric bowl - if you recognize the fabric, it matches the stuff I used for mom's table-runner and napkins. This went together a LOT quicker than I thought. Then, knowing how I hate to waste ANYthing, I took the pie shaped wedges I cut out of the bowl sides and made a coaster. :)

Did a LOT of quilting on my Liberty and Justice quilt too - I've got the inside finished, and now I'm trying to see how much of the pledge of allegiance I can write in script around the border. The binding's cut already, so hopefully you'll see a 'done done' picture of it soon!

Now, off to visit all of you!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Table Runner and Family

Here's Mickey, (my mom) holding up a table runner I made for her. This was done before I got the Janome, so the quilting was straight or gently curved lines (around the grapes) that I could do with my old machine. For this one, I'd laid out masking tape on the top, and stitched in the 'gap' between the rows of tape. :)

For Mother's Day, I'd made her the set of 8 cloth napkins you see on the bottom of the picture. This is the underside of the table runner. If you look between the rungs of the chair back, you can just see the pinkish mauve color the walls are painted in Mickey and Fred's dining room - that's what I'd tried to match for the table set.

My family tries to get together for major holidays. Here's the three Dads we honored for Father's Day yesterday, Fred, Sean, (my nephew), Bob (my older brother). I tried to post Sunday, but blogger was busy and wouldn't let me.

While we were together on Sunday for Father's Day, we also celebrated a couple of birthdays. Here's my Mom and Bob. Bob was only an hour or two away from sharing a June birthday with Mom. I'm not sure how much Mom could influence her impending delivery, but she said she was determined he'd have a birthday of his own!

Another set of birthdays - here's Fred and Kelly (my niece-in-law, married to Mike, my other nephew). We blew out the candle and lit it again for them... a recycled cake :) We had two cakes anyway; carrot and angelfood, along with a pan of brownies. We certainly didn't need a cake for each person! Kelly's real birthday is in a couple of days.

Sean's daughter Randi (my grandniece) made and iced this angelfood cake for her dad for Father's Day. He had to hide his eyes for the surprise - She loved the idea that the strawberries had made the whipped cream slightly pink.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More Free Motion Practice

Lots of practice with freemotion quilting this week. :) I looked online at some of the many quilting patterns you can buy, for ideas, then tried to draw some of my own. I actually drew one out on paper, and tried to stitch over it, but... it was a real booger to try to peel the paper out of the little stars and loops and swirls. Guess I taught myself a lesson THERE!

I need to pay attention to which way the stars are going, and try to remember to cross the last line at the top of my stars, so they 'close'. I'd maybe do better if I marked the fabric first, instead of just winging it and stitching away, but... this was so much FUN! I might not like it so much if I were drawing it on with chalk, or those blue water erase markers, and then trying to follow my lines.

Hitting needle down before I started sewing did seem to help, thanks! I was surprised at how much bobbin thread this used - two whole bobbins for a practice piece of fabric that's about 20 x 25. I don't think my bobbins are wound as tight by my Janome as they were by my Kenmore. Any one else notice this? If I wind bobbins for my Janome on my Kenmore will they be too tight?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Trading Cards and scrap use

Well, here's what I've been doing this week! I gathered all my scraps from the Liberty quilt, even the teeny ones, and started stitching them all together. Now I've got a chunk about the size of a FQ. Tomorrow, I'll put some batting and a backing with it, and use it for more free motion practice. I think it'll be the right size for a basket liner, you know, the kind you put in before the dinner rolls, fill it with rolls, then flip over the corners to keep the rolls warm.

I've also joined an art quilt group, here in Memphis. Not because I particularly feel like I'm an art quilter, but I want to expand my horizons, learn new techniques. Our first project is to make artist trading cards.

The easiest way to make a bunch of them is to measure out a chunk of material big enough to make the number of cards you plan to swap... embellish it, then chop into the right size sections. The true color of these is probably somewhere between these two pictures - off-white satin with pink ribbons and white lace.

My cards will be 2½ x 3½, and I needed 8 of them. I also plan to send one to an old friend whose daughter is about to get married in August.

My friend has a wedding dress that her grandmother wore in the late 1930's, then her Mom wore it in the early 60's, then she wore it when she got married in the mid 80's. Of course, she really wants her daughter to wear it, but her daughter says NO WAY, Mom! It's a very yellowed ivory, long sleeve, high neck, with a huge skirt and lots of trimmings. At first her DD said she was going to wear a white bikini and get married on a beach in the Bahamas instead of wear the dress, but now, I think they've compromised on a simple off the shoulder white satin style, very close fitting. The daughter wanted her colors to be silver and pink for the 2 bridesmaids, and pink would NOT have gone with the yellowish ivory.

So the trading card I'll send to my friend will have some bits of off-white satin and lace, pink trim, AND a section of some yellowed satin I found at a garage sale. Sort of a tying-it-all-together kind of trading card. :)

I also plan to add some beads to these before I sew them onto the cardstock to trade with the group. The satin and lace bits are actually from my own wedding dress. I've been divorced so long, I can't believe I've still got scraps around... :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Band Performance

Summer Reading club kicked off today! We had the Mid-South Navy Band Brass Quintet play at our library today, for the neighborhood children. The band is a super bunch of folks, and the kids really enjoyed listening to them play. We also had a good crowd, I almost ran out of chairs! Of course, the only thing I can show online of the kids is the backs of their heads, but the band was happy to pose!

Anybody recognize the quilt on the wall? :)
It made a good backdrop for the band, especially since they performed some patriotic songs that the kids would know. Everyone's toes were tapping.

And me? I'm still practicing my free motion quilting before I take the needle to this, I'm such a chicken... lol

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Free Practice

Well, there's my first attempt at free motion quilting. It's about 8 inches square, so I'll probably bind the edges for a potholder or - what do you call those things you put a hot pot on? Not a trivet if it's cloth, is it?

What I've learned:

It's easier
the faster the needle goes. Otherwise you get big stitches.
Don't make an 'uploop' at the end of a word, it'll look like a cursive e. Put more space between words.
It's hard to connect the last leg of a star, you're stitching the wrong way to see where you're going.
Try not to have two of the same word near each other, it invites comparison. On this one, I have 3 land stacked on top of one another, and another on the upper right corner.
Dotting i's and crossing t's are a pain!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Top done!

Here it is! I changed the fan in the upper right corner to the pinwheel block because I wanted more white there. When I decided to go on and use the flag print for the border, I took the 4 little windmills out of the corners. Then I made the little flower looking thing, out of my extra 16 half square triangles. I have no idea what block it is.

I know the flag print border is kind of busy... I had two reds that I was thinking of using, but the first was too rust toned, it didn't look right next to the red in the house and the log cabins. The second red was a blotchy hand dyed look, too bright, it stood out like a sore thumb and almost made you wince when you look at the quilt. There IS enough of the blue with little red stars (that was used for the background) to use for a binding. I kept thinking to myself, if I DON'T use this flag print now, what would I ever use it on again? So there it is.

Ann's convinced me I should let this quilt be the first thing I try free motion quilting on, now that I have a new machine that has a darning foot and will let me do it. But I have NO clue what sorts of quilting to try on it, as a first attempt at quilting on my machine. :)

Just went and read Judy's info on machine quilting, that helps. But what patterns?
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