Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Craving Color!

As much as I have been enjoying working on the Old Wedding Quilt I find myself hungry for color lately so I've set it aside to play a little bit.  I had just enough fabric left over from Eloise's baby quilt last year to cut out seven squares.  Some time ago I started playing with them, pulling coordinating fabrics, and making the squares into log cabin style blocks.  Then I got frustrated because I didn't have enough pink to add strips to all the blocks, and I put it away.  

In the meantime I cleaned up my sewing room and found a lot of this same pink in a bag I had never unpacked after getting home from a retreat.  Oops!  So the other day I started playing again.  I thought the block was looking pretty good.

When I laid them out on my design wall I wasn't exactly thrilled.  I don't like working with an odd number of blocks, it's hard to get a decent layout.

I found this beautiful batik in my stash and decided it would be the perfect alternate block.

But, as seems to be the norm lately when working from my stash, I didn't have quite enough.  Time to play some more.  Winging it not only pushes you to be creative, it ends up changing the whole look of the quilt.  Now my blocks look like this.

Since I don't have enough of that cool dotted batik to use AS an alternate block I decided to use it IN an alternate block.  I came up with this one.

Guess what, though?  I'm pretty sure that I don't have enough of the yellow either.   Aarrgghh!   This batik might make a nice alternate block.

Well, that was enough color therapy for this week.  (Actually, I just had other things in my life that had to be done, and that was all the TIME I had for color therapy this week!)   We'll see what happens when I get a little time to play some more.  This may turn into something yet.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Old Wedding Quilt - It's Coming Along

Taking apart the old wedding quilt ended up being a lot of fun.  I've never ripped out that much on a single project before.  It was kind of relaxing, actually, just sitting and ripping and not having to think much, almost therapeutic.   Watching the stack of unusable pieces grow was NOT therapeutic, however.   I was beginning to wonder if anything would be left.

(Just look at how badly worn some of these blocks are.)

Once it was deconstructed, though, I ended up with plenty to use.  These are just some of the blocks that needed a new piece inserted.  There were also quite a few blocks that remained intact.

The original wedding quilt had been pieced by hand.  I can't figure out what kind of thread the maker used.  It's heavier than sewing or quilting thread, but not as heavy as perle cotton or crochet thread.  

I don't want the updated quilt to look too different from the original so I decided to use hand-quilting thread to sew it back together.

Finally, with all the blocks finished, I started adding the sashing pieces.

All the rows are ready now, and I'm starting to add the vertical sashing.  

Before you know it I'll have a completed top.  Then, it will be time to move on to the next set of decisions that has to be made - what kind of batting to use, what fabric to back it with, how to re-quilt it.   Such fun!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Old Wedding Quilt Progress

So far, this is going much better than I had hoped.  Of course, I still have a long way to go.  Thinking that I would just remove enough of the blocks to make it nine blocks square, rebind it, and put on a hanging sleeve, I got started.  The first thing I did was take off the outer border.

Then I started taking off the outside row of blocks which allowed me to get a closer look at the batting.  

Yikes!   That is some dried up , crumbly, old batting!   I started picking out the quilting so I could remove the batting and made an even more interesting discovery.

I have no idea what that is, but seriously, that batting really had to go!  (It makes me wonder about all those quilts I have that my grandparents made.)  I turned on the TV, tuned in to some cheesy Hallmark movies that don't take a lot of concentration, and got busy with my seam ripper.

So far, I have about 20 hours invested, an old backing, and a pile of blocks and sashing, all of which are pretty fragile.

I don't think I have nine blocks with no damage so I'll have to take apart some of the worst blocks and combine the pieces to come up with enough blocks to make it nine by nine.

The next decision will be how to stabilize the blocks before I put it all back together.  I don't want to lose the character of the blocks by pressing out the wrinkles that came from all those years of using and washing.

I have a few ideas, but I need to give it some serious thought.  I'll probably do a little research and ask advice from my quilty friends.

I have to say that I am really having fun working on this.  I knew it would be a challenge when I offered to do it, but I can already anticipate one huge benefit - a great feeling of accomplishment when it's finished.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Up Next - - - A Real Challenge

I do love a challenge.   My friend's parents received this quilt as a wedding gift (I think) sometime in the 1960's (I believe.)  I need to find out a little more about the history, but it was obviously a much loved quilt. 

It was definitely much used.

 And is much worn!

I know for sure that orange and turquoise were popular colors to use in quilts in the 1960's.  I'm not so sure about brown.  I need to look through some quilt encyclopedias for the name of this block.  I don't think I've seen it before.  

The owners want to keep it for sentimental reasons, but it's in pretty rough shape.  Pattie said I can do whatever I want, so I'm thinking of using the best parts of it to make a wall hanging.  Step one is to deconstruct.

The fabric is very fragile.  It ripped when I was simply spreading it out to get a photo.  

 I'll need to come up with a way to protect it from further damage once it's reconstructed, but I don't want to change it so much that it's no longer the same quilt.   I'm nervous but excited about this project.  Aren't you glad you get to watch?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Pulse Quilt Finish

My Pulse Quilt is in the mail making this seven finishes for me this year.  Check out #quiltsforpulse  on Instagram to see all the beautiful quilts that are being made for this effort.   Last week I made the backing using the last of a bolt of white fabric I had.  It didn't stretch quite far enough (again!) so I needed to add a few strips.  I thought this fat quarter would be perfect considering all the great colors in the top .....

..... but, when I showed the completed backing to Hubby he smiled.  That might sound okay, but normally he gives me a lot of positive feedback and praise.  I knew I needed to rethink it.

I cut out those strips and threw them into the strip basket.  The print I really wanted to use from the front only had a bunch of 7-inch squares and assorted strips left, but I pieced it so I could have large enough sections to use.  That's a lot of seams!

Straight-line quilting on the background with white thread and stippling on the heart with matching colors was just the look I was going for.

It made sort of a shadow of a heart on the back, which I especially like.

The back looks a lot better without those dark strips, doesn't it?

Isn't the binding perfect?  Hubby helped pick that out, too.  He definitely has a good eye.

I had a great selection of Black and White prints available to use.   

So now My Pulse Quilt is in the hands of the United States Postal Service, winging its way to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.  

I only hope it brings some small amount of comfort to whoever receives it.   I definitely made it with love.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My Pulse Quilt

Whenever there is a disaster of any kind quilters do what they do best.  They make donation quilts.  That's the best way we can extend comfort to people we don't know and will never meet.   Right now there is an effort underway to make quilts for the survivors and families of the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is organizing the drive for donation quilts.  Information can be found here.

I made blocks for a group quilt my friend Teajuana is making .....

 ..... and, then I started making a quilt of my own to donate.  This is just a tiny part of the black & white stash I decided to use.

I cut 4 1/2" squares and started sewing them into rows.

Most people are putting a heart of some kind on their quilts.  I wanted my heart to be a little different from everyone else (naturally), and I also wanted it to have some significance so I sketched out a broken heart, chose colors, and got busy.  I even set up a sewing corner at the beach condo when we went on vacation.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, though I think I could have had more interest between the purple and blue fabrics.  ( I know.  Quilters aren't supposed to point out the negatives about their quilts.  But, anyway.)

When I originally sketched out this heart on graph paper, I thought it would be soooooo simple.  Squares and Half-Square-Triangles.  Easy.  (This is sounding familiar - I think I have set out to do a simple design with HST's and gotten into trouble before.....)  After a lot of ripping, re-cutting, and re-stitching I had SO many components left over it was ridiculous.  I could probably make another project with them! lol

Hopefully, I can get the backing made and get this finished quickly.  I've already submitted the form saying I would mail it ten days from now.  Does that make me kinda crazy or just really confident?