Saturday, January 26, 2008

Busy Week

I actually finished up two things this week. The first was my DIC. I had the fabric for the outer border but needed something for the inner one. I picked up a piece of navy blue fabric and added a thin border of it and then the final border fabric. Now it's finished and sitting on my ever growing to be quilted pile. Here's the picture:

Then the next thing I finished up was Joyce's round robin. That's the final one I will have in this group. Three of the seven have made their way home and they are all gorgeous. I can't wait to see mine and I know the last girl to work on it has it now so it won't be long.

Here's Joyce's:

What I've been working on mostly the past couple of days is the handquilting on my rail fence. I also have done a little sewing for the mystery quilt I'm working on. It's not starting until March but I want to give everyone time to get their fabric so I'm hoping to have the top complete by the end of next week or so.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Traditional quilting

I'm sure we all have our idea of what it is. I asked a group of online friends what they considered traditional quilting and found it interesting what they had to say.

My idea of traditional quilting is using patterns that have been around for years and years and years and what I would consider old fashioned fabrics - no novelty fabrics, no neons, none of the abstracts I've seen lately. I suppose mainly either solids or calico fabrics.

I've done lots of work with novelty prints (finally got that out of my system lol) and I've done lots of patterns I find in magazines and online, etc. But I want to make some things that I would think would have been around years ago. My goal is to make one "traditional" quilt a year until I finish all the ones I want to make (which could take a while as the list continues to grow lol).

Right now I am hand quilting my rail fence which I started last year. I also have a Sunbonnet Sue on the "to be quilted" pile. I've got my Double Irish Chain all done but the borders (can't find just the right fabric).

I found some fabric I liked and decided to make a Bear's Paw with it. But I just kept looking at the fabric and not actually cutting it. It turns out the reason for that is that the fabric wasn't really meant for a Bear's Paw. It seems it was made for a Trip Around The World quilt.

The first block I ever made was a Trip block. I attempted to make a quilt a year or two ago. I strip pieced it and it just didn't lay right so I got frustrated and threw it in the trash.

But I was looking at pictures of the Trip quilts my friend Joyce has made (she's a bit of an expert at Trip quilts) and decided the fabric I bought for the Bear's Paw would be perfect for a trip quilt. Only problem - I had only gotten three fabrics and I would need more for a trip. So I went out the road to my favorite local quilt shop. It's a small place and they don't have a huge selection but I always seem to find something I can use. It's run by some Mennonite ladies and they are very friendly. I found more fabric, brought it home and laid it out. I took pictures, rearranged the fabric and took more pictures and started to consider them. I was really having a hard time so I started cutting squares. Then I started laying the squares out in the Trip pattern. Again I took pictures but this time I printed them out and hung them on the big mirror in my bedroom. I had seven pictures and eliminated three or four of them right off the bat.

The more I looked the more I realized that what I didn't like was the same in every picture - there was one fabric that just didn't work well with everything else. So I took that fabric out, added more rounds with my focus fabric and found something I really like.

This one I did by individual squares rather than strip piecing and I think it lays pretty flat.

And this is the finished top:

I finished it in about three or four days, neglecting all but the basic necessities of housework (mainly laundry and meals). It's terrible but I get that way. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I'm still not sure how I will finish the quilt. Joyce leaves her points points and miters all the corners when she puts on the binding. I love the way that looks but I'm afraid I would be overwhelmed and not finish it. She said that you can just level off those points to a straight edge and that may be what I'll do. It's sitting on my to be quilted pile so I don't have to make a decision until I'm ready to quilt it. And being that I have three or four others before I get to it I have plenty of time to decide. lol.

Until next time, hugs and stitches. Jody

Thursday, January 10, 2008

At long last

there's a new quilt. Sort of. It's just the top but I am way ahead of schedule because this is my Christmas 2008 quilt.

I haven't named this one yet. I got the fabrics from a couple of online swaps. The pattern is called Cheaper By The Dozen. I didn't get the pattern book - I've never even seen it up close. I just looked at the cover online and figured out how to make the blocks but I believe the "Dozen" is for the number of fat quarters you need to make it. I made mine a bit larger than the one I saw. Mine is 4 blocks by 5 blocks (the one I saw was 3 by 4 - so maybe the dozen is for how many blocks you finish with).

I'm thinking of getting some light colored fabric for the backing and some colored thread and using my new machine's stipple stitch to quilt it.

Yes that's right. My new machine. I got a new machine for Christmas. Now remember I'm just a simple country girl so there are no Janomes or Berninas for me. It's a Brother CS 6000i. I have been using a Brother for the past three or four years and I love them. But I wanted a blanket stitch and the old one didn't have it. This new one has 60 different stitches. I did a sample of the stipple and it looks great but before I start quilting a quilt I want to play around a bit - changing the size and such.

I have been keeping busy but I've been doing mostly round robins and I can't post those here until they are back to their owners. Oh wait, Julie has hers back so let's see if I can find my picture of that one.

Okay - this is what I received in the mail:

And this is what it looked like after I added my round:

Julie did the leaves in the center. The it went to Kymberli - who was supposed to do a framed border. She did the acorns framed in turquoise. Then it went to Susan who was to do a two color border. She did the orange and brown with the bear's paws in the corners. Barb got it next and she put on the brown border. Then on to Frances who did the appliqued pumpkins and leaves. The requirement for my row was to use triangles. So I echoed Susan's round and did a plain border with bear's paws blocks in the corners. Then it went on to Joyce to put on the final border before going on to Julie. I am so proud to be working with this group of very talented ladies.

I am having so much fun with this swap. I have Joyce's now and I'm doing her final border.

Until next time, hugs and stitches.