Thursday, February 28, 2013

Birthday Greetings

On the Salmon River, it has been a tradition to make group gifts for the milestone years. Our sweet and super creative friend, Sue Anderson, who lives up at Yellow Pine Bar Ranch with her companion Greg Metz, will be turning 50 on Earth day this year. The group effort is to make prayer flags for Sue to hang in her awesome garden. Last year I mended some tattered prayer flags for Sue. I am so excited to see the finished group effort and I wish I could see Sue's face when she opens the grand surprise. Here are my/our flags: They have a 3/4 inch sleeve for stringing. Bells will be hung between the flags. Mine are 6 " x 8 " and faced with muslin for durability. It was quilted with black metallic thread to catch the sunlight. The hanging beads were found at a thrift shop, the pieced suns were from a long ago retreat, and the letter beads have been waiting in my craft box for oh so long... I am quite pleased with the result.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Does She Sing?

I am still working on defining my style. I love bold colors. I love large scale prints. I almost always toss in a scrap or two, even on the most unscrappy quilt. I love old patterns and new, artsy statements. I like combining colors to get that resonance, the feeling that the quilt shines and is wonderful. I like a challenge, to try new color combinations, a style I haven't tackled before, something that will be original. I also like making useful quilts that are not exciting, just comforting. This little wall hanging came to me via my sister. She picked up 6 old blocks from a bin at a thrift store. They are hand pieced and look to be 30's fabrics. Not reproductions. They are probably dirty and are also stained. They colors looked dingy and frankly, ugly. They had remnants of yarn ties. I challenged myself to put them together in a manner that made them sing. I have not read Mary Mashuta's color theories, but I did learn some color theory from her identical twin, Roberta Horton. Maybe it is intrinsic at this point. I auditioned a lot of colors before finding the old fabric and some mustardy neutrals that did the trick. The little sashing with faded print was part of a woven piece that stated, "made in Persia." Granted, that could be printed anytime and doesn't guarantee authenticity, but my research showed that real, old fabric from Persia was likely made before 1935. I'll add that little label, appliqued to the front.What do you think, does she sing to you?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fresh Modern February Finish

A Lovely Year of Finishes This month's project for the Lovely Year of Finishes Challenge was a baby quilt for my great niece, Lauren Olivia Jensen, born in May 2012. Her modern mommy decorated the nursery in grey, lavender, and light green. My challenge was to create a baby quilt in those colors, in a very simple and modern pattern. I made a first try in a busy pattern called "X- Block" using floral jelly strips. It did not look good. Way too busy. I seldom throw fabric away, but this went in the garbage. I put the project idea in time out during the holiday sewing frenzy. This finishing challenge pushed me to get er done. So, here it is: I hope she likes it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February First

A Lovely Year of Finishes
I have been sewing up a storm around here. I have cleaned the lint from my sewing machine so often that I actually lost my lint brush. True story, it fell into my machine through an opening, and try as I might, it won't come out. I thought I heard it fall out when I turned the machine upside down and shook it, but I can't find it on the floor. Unless it fell into a crevice between the OSB and the insulation, it is stuck in the machine innards. The machine seems to work as well as ever.

Here is my first February UFO, for the Lovely Year of Finishes Contest:

 My challenge was to make a baby quilt in lavender, grey, and light green. The baby this is intended for, Lauren Olivia Jensen, was born last spring, that is, 2012.

From Mary Hickey's book, "Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts."
I decided to make two quilts and offer one on my etsy shop.
Here are the tops, ready to baste and then quilt. I found some vintage (read, old) pale eggplant purple for the inner border, and the outer grey border is an African fabric from Bozeman, MT, circa 1996.