Wednesday, February 24, 2016

doll quilt, stars and birds, oh my!

I've been staying home lately and very keeping busy.  Winter is so good for that.

First up:  A Little Doll Quilt for Diane.  (Kelly - recognise the shoofly?)

Here's the pieced back.  I "made do" with scraps of this because I knew Diane would like it.  I also like that it makes it look like a full sized quilt.
I tea dyed it to make it look vintagy and older.
Here is the before shot.  The blues are a brighter and the shirtings lighter.

Here we Sew Again - I re-pinned this quilt for machine quilting.  I started this project in 2011.  Can you believe that?  It has a long, sad story that I hope ends in redemption.
Here are the steps I take to get ready to machine quilt:

I move my ironing board to support the quilt weight.
I always start with a fresh needle.  I consult this sheet from a magazine that I keep in my thread drawer (it only took me 20 years to do this :)
Get my top and bottom thread picked out and spin some bobbins.
Clean my bobbin well really well.
I also like to use these Steady Betty bands that Susan gave me.  They help move the quilt without hurting your shoulders.  I only use the left one, and I grab with my right hand.
After having some slipping issues, I altered them to fit my hand better.  
Action shot.
I'm normally not a timer, but I thought I'd see how long it takes to quilt one fan.  They have 10 arc lines each.  Time included all starts, stops, clipping and unpinning.  Not bad!
Here is the size of a fan section.
All those starts and stops makes for lots of thread trims!  This is my second batch.  I think I'll toss this in the woods, maybe a bird with use it for nesting material.  Did I say birds?
Bird Alerts!
I saw a Raven in the yard a couple of weeks ago.  They are amazing.  I saw it swoop over the yard and pick up a snack and take it back to the branch to eat.  Yikes.
Do you see what I see?  I saw this flash in the woods and grabbed the binoculars and camera.  (boy was it dreary yesterday)
Pileated Woodpecker! (better photos on the link)   We played peek-a-boo.  This is only the second sighting of him.

He is moves very fast around a tree, then it is on to the next.  I moved from room to room to keep watching until he was gone.  These photos are with my highest zoom then enlarged on the computer so aren't great.
Today is Westering Women day!  I'm off to see it and I'll be posting my 2nd block on IG #westeringwomen and #westeringwomensewalong.   I'm also going to be posting the blocks of 2 Illinois friends here soon.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Under The Sea - Modern Bow Ties

Thank you all so much for the comments and positive feedback on my last post.

Can you imagine how much housework I have avoided to have another quilt top finished?  Angel Tree?  Dickens Village?  Still Up!  It's been too cold to open our attic space.  That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Introducing Under The Sea - My Modern Bow Tie Swap Top
Here was my first attempt.  You can see how I moved and played with the value and color placement.  I moved all light values center stage.
Thank goodness Mr. Starbuck was on hand to keep watch of my map and progress.
This quilt was a real challenge to keep straight!  it is positioned wrong at this point.
The strip stick was the perfect tool for this pressing job!  Click here for details.   Tell them FunWithBarb sent you.
coco as per usual.......not engaged.
Some pals and I went to the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA to see this exhibit.
I'll admit that I liked the antique quilts best and have chosen to share them.  
I'm thinking of making some of these blocks.  I just loved the mourning lavenders with the red and shirtings.  Nancy?  Let's do it!
This velvet and silk quilt was made by the staff of a wealthy family in their "spare time" because you know they had so much of that.  lol.
This was my favorite to study.  So many details to discover.
I did not know that this was thing.  Small "x" or almost feather stitching to secure applique'.
Look at this economy piecing.  Notice how the heart fabric on the right has eroded away (green?) except for the center stripe.
Lovely folk art medallion quilt.   Those little pots of flowers - so sweet!
The museum had a great interactive quilt design area.   Yay for hands on exhibits.
I usually gush about old Abe, but I also have quite a nice collection of early 1900s George Washington postcards.   Funny all the references to the Cherry Tree, which is TOTALLY made up.
Here was my Instagram post for Presidents Day.
Thank you Brownstone Quilters of NJ for hosting my Folk Art Workshop on a frigid Saturday.  We had a wonderful day of inspiration and information sharing.

Finally, Happy Valentine Anniversary to my dear husband, Rich.    We turned 29 years on Sunday.  The was the very last photo taken at our Yacht Club wedding.
Have a great week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Stars in A Time Warp

Hello from very snowy Connecticut.  I guess I asked for it in my last post with my remark about it being an easy winter!

Hooray.   I finished my Stars in a Time Warp top.  It measures about 40" square.
I have two tips to share about using this setting:
Make a road map!  I made a color copy of my layout on computer.  I have literally turn pieces the wrong way in the 10 steps to the machine!
I ended up clipping and pressing the long connecting seams in different directions.  I tried an open seam, but it kept warping that point.  It is intended as a wall quilt so I don't need to worry about stressing the weakness.
I've decided to commit to sharing my project process and inspiration.  This quilt has a long winding road to come into being.

I always loved the Sawtooth Star (c.1890) quilt in this book co-authored by Barbara (see her blog here), Rachael and Natalie who are founding members of my NJ guild.  It is one of my favorite State Documentation Books - EVER.

Can you believe I removed page 110 and lost it?  The horror!  The Shame!  I still have the notes we made when making it for a guild raffle quilt.
Here is me and (former blog partner) and still great friend, Mary V., selling tickets at the 2007 quilt show.  Jill and Susan set the quilt for us and Mary quilted it.
We made a little quilt with leftovers to raffle to a guild member.
The color combination is one that I love and have used before.  Here is a quilt I made Hanna in 2002.    coco was so curious about it laying in the snow.
There is every color and style of fabric in this quilt. It was the result of a year long nine patch swap with my friends of the Piecemakers of Elmhurst, IL  and there is my little sparrow at the top.
Here is the backing (pretty sedate for me).
You can tell it was well used!  there are a ton of thread pops from tugging on the top.
I made a little mini quilt for her American Girl doll, Molly.
 It has a cute dollhouse print on the back.
Here you can tell just how little the little one is.  I resized the nine patch.
I also made this quilt with pink and black as a setting theme.  It's called "Good and Plenty" and is part of the Hanna Vedder Private Quilt Collection.
Here are some snowy photos - the first one is unfiltered - it was that blue in the early morning hours.
 It was so beautiful.
I'm off to New Jersey tomorrow to teach Folk Art Applique' - My Passion!  I will share some photos next week.

Let me know if you like having the back story of my quilts.   I never know it is too much or too boring.

Happy Wednesday from the great white North East.