Friday, August 26, 2016

A long time finishing

My friend Sherrye told me that several years ago, her husband's step-mother had left an unfinished quilt that Sherrye wanted to see finished so it might do someone some good.  Sherrye is a hand quilter, but this type of quilt doesn't really benefit from hand quilting, and if it's going to be a donation, machine quilting will withstand any kind of abuse a non-quilter might put it through in the washing machine.  The quilt was a "Stack n Whack", completely pieced and pinned to a batting and backing, but not quilted.  I had her come over this week to use my longarm machine to get the quilting done.

Sherrye went from being intimidated by the sheer size of the machine to having these butterflies completely quilted in about three hours - I say "about" because we stopped for lunch and didn't time our break.  We did unpin the layers before starting, and Sherrye got a few minutes to practice on some muslin while I got the backing ready to load on the machine.

The quilting was as simple as it gets, with a large overall meander pattern, but that made it easy to avoid the thick intersections where the fabric pieces come together in the hexagon shapes. 

 Sherrye thinks she'd like the quilt to go to the local Hospice group.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Poets and Writers

When I was about done making the Austen Family Album blocks, my niece Jenn showed up on a visit and asked to see them.  She's a more recent convert to quilting and hadn't tackled any piecing as complicated as in some of those blocks.  While she was admiring them I asked if she'd like the quilt - she said she would.

After they left, I sent a note to her husband - what are Jenn's favorite colors?  He named at least five, maybe six or seven but blue was not on the list.  So to make the quilt more useful to Jenn, I worked to design a setting for the block that used colors that were.

So my Blue and Yellow blocks are now set in a Green and Gray quilt -

 (My quilt stand is broken, so that's as high as I can hang a quilt without an assistant to hold up one side.)

Here's a view of it on the bed in the guest room.  It's a queen sized quilt on a queen size bed.

I took the quilt with me on my recent visit to my father in suburban Chicago.  Jenn stopped by after work and got to see the quilt for the first time.  It wasn't exactly a surprise, but she had no idea what the finished quilt would look like.  She seemed very happy with the "new" colors - noting that my striped binding with black, gold, green and blue stripes picked up the colors of the new curtains in her newly painted bedroom.

Here are a couple of closeup shots - 

This next one shows the quilting in the large setting triangles.  They are large.  I wanted a lot of the green fabrics, so basically I created a design based on really large blocks set on point - that set each block into some fairly large pieces of green or yellow with a light gray or white (it all looks pretty white here, but the blocks with large yellow squares have a light gray fabric for the triangle.  The fanciest quilting is in the large gray setting triangles around the outside.
One more photo to show some of the quilting in the blocks - The quilting is mostly outline stitching with a few embellishments and those big curving lines that create an orange-peel like motif where the on-point blocks come together.  I did not quilt this very densely - it should be a comfortable quilt to sleep under, with a wool batt.

I called it "Poets and Writers":  Jenn may be a newish quilter, but she has long been an author and poet, and is recently reading her poetry in public, and has published a book of her poems. You can find some of her writing and poetry, and a link to her newly published book on her blog at this link:  I liked that this quilt, inspired by the life of beloved author Jane Austen, should now be Jenn's.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cable-collar Sweater, take 1

I finished this at the end of May - why did it take me so long to post photos?

The yarn and the collar is what makes this little sweater, by Norah Gaughan in Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2011. 

The yarn is a dyed cotton twisted with undyed linen.  The collor looks a little heavy in this next photo, but it's not.
This one is Take One because I'm making one just like it, except 3 inches longer, for Joyce.  I finished another sweater in between, but haven't photographed it yet.  I guess I'm just a lazy blogger these days. But I'm knitting as much as ever!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hexathon Blocks 12 and 13 -

Unlike some of the group, I'm not using the names of the blocks or the descriptions of William Morris to guide my fabric choices, I'm just trying to get the blocks made with this mix of very colorful fabrics, and to include either the solid yellow or a fabric with yellow.  Here are the two latest blocks.

This first block was pretty intimidating, so I used foundation paper piecing - and did not get the last couple of intersections lined up as I should have.  I might or might not try to fix that.  The fabrics are busy and these pieces are tiny.

The second block for this week was far simpler to construct.  The only challenge was to choose a pair of fabrics I liked together - deciding not to use the solid yellow this time.