Sunday, April 15, 2018

Finishing What I Started

I have worked to become more of a finisher rather than indulging my impulses and being mainly a starter. Starting new quilts and projects is so fun and exciting. Getting past the middle part of questioning whether the project is really worth it is the tougher part, and the finishing has often been under the pressure of a deadline. That whole procrastinating thing got tiresome to me, because of the lameness of shoddy workmanship and making excuses.

So... I am joining a "Finish Along."  Three months to finish, no consequences if I don't finish, prizes to some lucky quilters (Including, hopefully, yours truly,) and new friends in the interwebs.

Here is my list, ready, set, go!

1. Bugs in the Rosegarden. This small quilt is 44" x 57." The blocks were from my quilt club. I added sashing and borders. The back is pieced pinks, mainly a lovely rosy fossil fern. It is ready to quilt.

2. Thrifty Thirties. These old blocks were found at a thrift store by my sister, Pam. She gave them to me knowing that I love the challenge of turning straw into gold. The quilt is 32" x 47." I sashed it aiming for a woven look. The back is red 30's reproduction.

3. Butterflies. This is a get well quilt for my cousin, Angie, who is in treatment for lymphoma. She asked for a butterfly quilt for her bed, and I told her that the only good thing about cancer is that it pushes her to the front of the quilt line. I made #12 blocks and sister Pam made #5, including one huge butterfly. There are a few more blocks to make. I am going to finish the top as my goal, and Pam is going to longarm quilt it. It is an Elizabeth Hartman pattern called, Lepidoptera. It will be 84" square.

4. Hope's Star.  I blogged about this a few days ago. this will be about 32" square when it is finished. It is a baby quilt for my cousin Hope who has 2 young adult children and is surprisingly expecting a baby later this summer. It is made from 30's reproduction prints in pattern called Original Star by Fons and Porter. I want to finish it soon so I can enter it in the Council Qult Show in June, as the theme this year is stars.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Catching a Boomerang

Once upon a time a quilter received a boomerang gift of 30's reproduction fabric and some quilt books. (Ainsley's declutter meets my fabric vortex.) These were my fabrics before they were Ainsley's and in my new style, I don't just want to let them collect dust, but rather use them and challenge myself to something creative and different.

 I took one of the books to read in bed and found a pattern I had not seen before. The book is Scrap Quilts by Fons and Porter, published in 1995. The pattern is Original Star. After brainstorming with sister Pam, I created these blocks using some solids for contrast. I sewed strips before I cut the triangles to use scraps and add to the overall charm.

I chose white background for sparkle.

I have a bag of soft, pastelish 30's prints and only bits of solid in 30's colors, so I am going to make do and push the neutrals. I hope I can do some good trading with my local fabric collectors for more solids. Here are some auditioning blocks:

The text is fun retro catalog print from Moda.

I am heading to retreat in a few days, and having the prep work done will mean I am ready to cook up a quilt top as soon as I unpack. Yay for Camp Trinity Pines in Cascade, Idaho. The forecast is for rain and snow, so all the better for lots of sewing.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Quilt Hospital

Some people help others by adopting, counseling, healing, laughter, friendship, sharing, mentoring, well, you get the idea.  My way of helping is to run a quilt hospital.

This quilt top was made in 1992 by my daughter's mother-in-law, Nancy,  for her husband Bill. The quilt top gathered patina in a box until this winter. I offered to finish it for Nancy and Bill. He is now in a rest home, but back in 1992 he coached kid's baseball. The quilt is covered with compliments and signatures from kids Bill coached.

The back of the quilt is flannel. It will be a nice, cozy, snuggle quilt. They are all Boise State University fans, and my son-in-law Tj was a foot ball player there.

I love flanged bindings. They are a great way to frame the quilt, and if the colors are well chosen, your eye is drawn inward to the quilt.

Here are the kind words Tj wrote to me about the quilt. This is why I love to finish and restore quilts: Jane, what you created was an absolute masterpiece for me and my family. It makes me so happy that I will be able to wrap him up in that quilt before he passes on. His life was all about coaching me and many kids that didn’t have the opportunity to have a dad to coach them. These memories were his best and brightest moments of his life and what you made brings me to tears. I can’t thank you enough for all the work you put into that for me, for him, for my family. Truly special and know I love you!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy to have the Holidays Behind Me

   I did a lot of holiday sewing. Various pillowcases and a couple of minky quilts, some tote bags for hauling quilts, and then pillows, quilts, and more quilts. One project was a cross stitch patchwork angel pillow, the embroidery done by a friend:
I made it to accompany a quilt my aunt asked me to make, using some of the left over fabric. She sent me a Henry Glass flannel quilt kit, and wanted double thick washable wool batting, which made it super fluffy but was like quilting a sleeping bag on my domestic machine, lol.

The individual pictures are very cute.

I then made Mr. Thimblepie a flannel pillow with a pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts. I chose a critter that lives along our Salmon River, a big horn sheep. I used black pleather for the eyes. The pillow fits our cabin home decor perfectly.

And then, I wanted to make something fun to acknowledge the Fiona the hippo craze I have shared with my daughter, Ainsley. Fiona is a baby hippo who was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo last summer to mama Bibi. Fiona is very friendly, having been bottle fed and reared by zoo keepers. When animals interact with people they develop interesting communication skills.

I asked Lorna, of SewFresh Quilts to adapt her hippo pattern to make mama and baby, and she did! Here is my finish, with some tweaks. I added 3-D flannel ears with tiny tucks so that the hippos would have wiggly ears, and again used black pleather to give the eyes shine.

I posed my little Steiff toy hippo with the pillows, and tucked it in the gift bag. That toy is 55 years old and was one of my favorite toys as a child.

This week I am in Seattle. I went to the Seattle Art Museum and spied this hippo mask in the African mask display.

Another fun finish was 2 grizzly bear quilts, each 60"x70" from a Moda Big Sky kit. I had some extra Big Sky fabric, and managed to get both quilts from the combination. I quilted them in wavy lines with my domestic machine. The eyes are appliqued. I gave one to my cousin Marc, as a surprise. He loves to photograph grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park, and has followed one mother bear for years who had 4 cubs a few years ago. The other bear quilt is for my daughter Diane, who chose the name Ursula for her SCA (historical reenactment) persona.
pink and brown minky
NE Patriots, a commission
T shirt quilt, 80"x 90"
 These chintz bags are from an old pattern. I especially like the 2nd bag, with the puppies and kittens on the fabric.

I am still not a wild fan of kits or T shirt quilts, but they each served a purpose, and the recipients were all thrilled. Phew! The holidays are over, and now back to some selfish sewing.