Sunday, November 12, 2017

Quilt Reveal: Red and White Tree

Two quilt reveals in a row!  I am on a roll!

The last time you saw this quilt, it looked like this:

This is a third generation of the red and white quilts, and I was pretty sick of the red and white by now.  I've already learned that the fabric looks pink from a distance and doesn't even play nicely as a red and white quilt, so making a third one of these was irritating me.  Whoever made up the arbitrary rule that I should keep making red and white quilts?

I looked at the package I won, and back at this quilt, and decided the green would look quite nice as apples.  I know you and I both thought that the red could be leaves or apples, but we were both wrong; the apples are green. Since this was supposed to be a scrap quilt, I found some other scraps that might work and brought them downstairs. (Yes there is a blue apple and yes I did that on purpose.)

I added a sun to the top left corner, because all of the drawings I made as a child had one of those. I didn't color very dark as a child so the fact that this sun isn't very bright is fitting.

We had a power outage and I decided to work on this quilt by candlelight. I did not get a chance to audition the fabric, but I kept telling myself "You have a red tree. Does it really matter what color this is?" The eyes are big because I didn't dare to make them any smaller. There is no way I would have found them if I dropped them. I like how the baby bird looks like it is about to fly. Maybe it is a flying lesson. Or animatedly telling Mama what happened at school.

I added the grass, and teased it  so it would fray.  I had to add a doggie. It doesn't look like Zeus, but it does look like a dog. I put him on top of the grass, because that is what I would have done in kindergarten.  This dog is so light, he walks on blades of grass.

I used some tulle to cover the quilt before quilting.  The gluestick was old and the glue is washable and I wanted to make sure everything stayed properly in place. I was worried that the glue might stick to the needle and make it difficult to quilt, but it didn't. The tulle makes the blue look like denim from a distance.

 I made cloud-like scribbles in the tree as I would as a child. I also added diagonal lines across the background to represent the rays of the sun.  Let's see, I have apples, birds and a dog on the quilt. A, B, D.  It seemed like I needed something that started with the letter C. I thought "color" might be too obscure.  I didn't want car or cat, so I had to look in the dictionary for other C words.  I added a clover.  While I had the embroidery thread out, I added other little bits around the quilt too, which you can see in the pictures throughout this post.

And in case that doesn't look like clover, or think shamrock instead of clover, I added a little carving in the tree.

Here's the finished quilt. I used the same apple green fabric for a wide binding. I wound up having a seam in the bottom left corner, making it bulky, but I think it is okay.

Here it is with its parent.The grandparent quilt had to be sent to the nursing home because there wasn't enough room for it.  This quilt was a lot of fun to make from start to finish.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Quilt Reveal: Red and White Presents

Since I had such a good time quilting my last quilt, I decided to go on and quilt another one. Here's my finished red and white presents quilt. The lighting isn't good in the fall/winter, but at least you can tell that it is finished.

Unfortunately this one was not fun to quilt.  I used free motion quilting, and my biggest mistake was not planning a continuous line.  I knew I wanted to do loops in the inside squares, and a bigger loop in the long rectangles, but my plan for the remaining sashing involved traveling back along existing lines, and there really wasn't a good flow from one space to the next. 

(I obviously wasn't trying to match points on this quilt. The center square is half an inch finished.) 

There were other issues too. I kept running out of bobbin.  There is some kind of problem with the machine, and the bobbin fills only about half way.  I have a separate bobbin winder and my two broken machines upstairs have bobbin winders that work just fine, so I don't have any excuse for not using one of those, but I didn't think a small quilt like this would need that kind of effort.  Then I ran out of spool thread too.

I also had other interruptions - some perfectly normal family type stuff, and some bots who are worried about the interest rates on my credit cards.  When I was working on the tile quilt, after an interruption, I would come back and say "now where was I?" and resume quilting. With this quilt, the interruption would lead me to say "let me turn this machine off and do . . . " something else. 

These interruption meant I wasn't able to establish a good rhythm flow to the quilting, and the path changed from one session to the next. I don't think any of that is obvious in the finished quilt though.

Here it is, a second generation quilt next to its parent.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


I received this bundle of fat quarters from Quiltmaker!  Thank you so much!  So many ideas are swirling in my head on what to make with these.

I had promised myself that the next new quilt I make will use up scraps, and even though these are not scraps, I may have to add some of these to keep myself from starting a new quilt with this bundle alone.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quilt Reveal: Tile Quilt

I was thinking about what to gift my sister for her birthday when I remembered that I had gifted her the tile quilt top last year, but hadn't finished it!  Oops, time for some emergency quilting!

I had been thinking about quilting in the ditch to make the squares look more like tiles, but thought that slightly beside the ditch would be better to look like the grout. I had originally thought to stitch on both sides of the seams, but these squares are fairly small, and there are a lot of them. I'm not really sure that they would be necessary since the seam itself is one side of the grout and the quilting could be the other side. I used a slightly darker thread so the grout lines would show.

Another option, which I obviously discarded is to quilt motifs on the quilt, to take full advantage of the fact that it is a quilt and not tiles.  I really couldn't think of a motif or set of motifs to add.

I had a dream that I quilted all sorts of motifs on the quilt, like graffiti. I pictured some graffiti on an American flag that I must have seen in the 80s or thereabouts  I had already started quilting and there is  no way I could think of enough motifs to add to do that, but this dream did really help me relax in quilting this. "She's just lucky I'm not graffiting all over the quilt."

 The quilting is about an eighth of an inch away from the seam, which is not a normal width in quilting.  Every time my mind wandered to thinking about something else, like "is the path clear?", "do I need to remove more safety pins?", "is the quilt flat on the table and not dragging?", I would subconsciously switch to either quilting in the ditch or a quarter of an inch away, and I would have to veer back to the right space, sometimes over-correcting and needing yet another adjustment.  I think I did this often enough to make it look like the variation was normal and expected.  This picture above this paragraph has the truest colors, and you can see the tile-like design in the cream fabric.

The party was at my house so I was busy cleaning and working, and the party was in the evening, so I  didn't get a good picture of the whole thing, but this gives you a general idea.

Islamic Tile Quilt made by Shasta Matova
Apparently I didn't get a good picture of the quilt top either, but here is a picture I showed last time of the whole quilt top.

This quilt was a joy to quilt.  Part of it was my relaxed mood I mentioned above.  But part of it was also the batting. I used a new batting from Joanns that I got on sale this year or last. I usually use Warm and Natural. I think this one was called Soft and Bright or something like that. It is super soft and seems to have less scrim than Warm and Natural. Without actually looking at the labels, I would imagine that this batting would be really good for people who like a lot of quilting in their quilts and yet still want a soft look.  Another part of it was the new Sew Steady table I got shortly after starting quilting on this quilt. I'll review that after I've played with it some more.

While I was binding this quilt, I watched YouTube videos on junk journals, bullet journals and scrapbooks.  I thought about new quilt ideas.  But I've had so much fun quilting this quilt and the last one, that it might be time to quilt something else!

Linked to:
Let's Bee Social

Sunday, October 29, 2017

September Favorite Pictures

Here are my favorite pictures for the month of September.  I've shown you several in my newsy posts, but here are the ones you haven't seen.

I made several trips to a cemetery this month.

One of the only plants that came up from my big batch of expired seeds I threw in this bed. This was after a rain. If you look carefully, you can see the water droplets.

The end of summer means a lot of the flowers are gone. I like the spikes this one left.

But there is still beauty left in what remains.

 This flower has had a life well lived.

The space by the sewing macine is Zeus's nap spot, not a design floor. Any fabric on the floor becomes his bedding. The bag on the top right has fabric for new curtains for the bedrooms.

This one was also taken at the cemetery. By the time I looked up and decided to take a picture of the plane, it was right above me.

I was planning on showing you my September favorite pictures earlier this month, but didn't get around to it. I figure better now than never. Let's see how long it takes to show you the October pictures.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Generations of Red and White Quilts

While I was sewing the binding of the Red Snowflake quilt I showed you last week, I watched some You Tube videos of Mill House Creeks.  She was talking about Generation Scrap Quilts.  The concept is to take the leftover fabric of a quilt you made (first generation), and use it to make another quilt (second generation). She even made a third generation quilt.

Being interested in genealogy, I liked the idea of a generation quilt, although I'm not sure I agree with the rule of not adding additional fabric. After all, the next generation gets married, so there is fresh fabric in the mix.  This was my idea all along with this fabric, and I had already planned other quilts with the leftover fabric.

The first generation was the Red Snowflake I showed you last week.  I didn't realize there was the red row that had all the same fabrics (more red than white), but I am going to leave it that way.  Picture a dark ribbon over a present filled with little presents.

This is a second generation quilt which uses the same background and the same bandana fabric as the Red Snowflake.  There are two other reds that join the mix.

I decided I had made enough presents and decided to use these leftover blocks for a different quilt.  That probably makes these blocks a third generation.

I took the leftover scraps and glued them down in this fashion.  I'm not sure it looks like a tree. Maybe if I take the branch on the right off, it will look less like a flower.  Will see if I can add it to the trunk to make it look more like a trunk. Is this the fourth generation, since the third generation blocks aren't done? I did finally throw away the rest of the scraps, so there is not likely to be a fifth generation.

Edited to add:  Oh wait, I forgot about some other scraps, so yes there will be a fifth generation. Most definitely.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Genealogy Fun: My Obituary

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posts a challenge every Saturday. It is a prompt to write about something genealogy related. I usually ignore these challenges, since this blog is more about quilting and not about genealogy.  But this week, his challenge was to use a newspaper clipping generator and write an article.  I thought it would be fun to make up a tongue-in-cheek obituary.