Friday, May 25, 2012

Ready to be Adopted

I'm happy to say that all six quilts that went to Chicago for quilting got done.  And, I'm happier to say that my knees are none the worse for it.  I wasn't sure at the time but after giving it some thought, I'm pretty sure marathon quilting could be an Olympic sport.  I was able to get one done on the afternoon I arrived, two done the next day and double down and finish three on the last day.
I'm just as happy to say that four bindings are on the six quilts and the remaining two are cut out and ready to be assembled and attached.  It's hot here and putting bindings on full size quilts (the last two are small queens) can be sweaty work if the AC is not doing its best.
But I'm happiest to say that the dollies quilt only lacks a label and she's ready to be donated.  I've put out a feeler to the church we attend and will see if they are interested.  Donating a quilt that you love is a bit of a risky thing when you come down to it.  I love it -- but will they even want it?  They are planning a mission trip to South Africa next year and are in the midst of fundraising.  This seems like a natural to me but I'm not who counts.  Many organizations around here raffle off quilts -- but we haven't been attending this church long enough to know if that's normal.  If not, it could always go in a silent auction.
Either way, I'll see what they have to say and will hope it can find its way into a good home that will love it.  I did put a hanging sleeve on it in case it ends up on a wall -- either during a fundraising effort or once its been adopted.

If you missed earlier posts on this (and there have been a few), I fell in love with this quilt when Lynn Dykstra posted about it on her blog, klein meisje quilts.  She details falling in love with it under An Extravagant Welcome and goes on to give detailed instructions on the construction.  She also made twice as many of these little babies as I did!

I fell in love too and knew I wanted to make it -- even if I wasn't sure where it would end up. You can check out the posts listed as "dollies" to get my take on it.  They go together beautifully and I was fortunate enough to have some fat eights of skin tone solids I had bought years and years ago at Keepsake Quilting with no idea what I would do with them.  The pix of the quilt are not so good -- we were fighting the wind yesterday as we were trying to get pix.  It's really not curvy and does lie flat -- I promise.

So, I will be putting my dollies up for adoption and will trust they find a good home and someone that loves them as much as Lynn and I do.  I am also going to start lobbying for marathon quilting in the next winter olympics!

I hope you are working on something you love!  Jan

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life lessons from fabric

Welcome if you are coming over from Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival.  Often it's so hard to decide which quilt to showcase, but it wasn't this time.  Many of you will have seen this quilt recently in this post but if I think back on the quilts I've made/finished in the last six months, this one makes me smile!  A lot.

Let's start with the fact that the scraps from the trimming are my "avatar" in my blog heading!  That should tell me something.  When I thought the leftovers that were too too too tiny to repurpose were beautiful, it means I was loving the fabrics and the quilt.  And I was.
This is from Victoria at Bumblebeans and a tutorial that she created. When I saw her quilt and the others that popped up afterwards, I immediately started collecting solids.  I even used them in a challenge with two friends in order to buy more.  That's explained in the original post.
I pin.  I measure.  I like matchy-matchy.  I prewash fabrics.  I like to iron fabric.  I starch.  I rip if it doesn't suit me.  I am not a perfect quilter -- far from it.  Lightyears from it, actually.
But this quilt and process opened up pockets of freedom that I don't normally use.  No need to pin.  Eyeballing is close enough.  Trimming supersedes cutting...why take the time to be fussy!  It was so much fun and went so fast.
I smile every time I see this quilt and even unfold it occasionally to look at it.  I've decided that I will hang it so that I can see it more often -- and others can as well.  So - this time, it was easy to decide which quilt I wanted to share.

I hope you are making quilts that are giving you joy and expanding your horizons and teaching you all kinds of lessons -- both life lessons and quilt lessons.  This wave runner has definitely done all that for me!

Keep piecing!  Jan

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eat, Quilt, and Be Merry!

I can't wait.  This time next week I will be knee deep in quilting some tops that are way overdue for attention.  I'm heading back to Chicago on Monday to enjoy the generosity of my friend, MacQuilt, and spend a few days playing with Sadie, her Gammill.

I currently have seven tops (actually I have more than that but let's be realistic -- how much can I really get done) that are stacked with batting and backing and waiting to be pushed in the car bright and early on Monday.  With a little luck, I'll get six of them quilted and one will stay in Chicago for Mom22smartchix to quilt for me.  It needs a bit more than I can give it.

In addition, I will be meeting up with friends to catch up (one of whom I haven't seen since I retired in early Sept).  I needed more social time but I am keenly aware of the fish analogy about company and the G8 Summit coming to Chicago at the end of my visit seems like a good time to head home with tops to bind. Hopefully, lots of tops to bind.

Going with me are:

 Orca Bay -- which is heavy and I'll be glad to get turned into a quilt and off the floor.
Paperweight -- which will have a few challenges -- not the least of which is almost every seam is bias to bias and no border to control it.
Oak Park Beauty -- which is done in very non-traditional NY Beauty colors.  They are normally lots of mediums and darks or more recently, incredible brights and batiks.  Not this one.  It's a Moda top all the way and mostly from the same line.  I love it.  The feel is very different.  The plan with the huge borders is to end up with scallops.  We'll see.  This is the one that I'd like some custom quilting on and it will be staying for a longer visit.  Otherwise, it's all over pattern by me. The teal strip you see is a flange which complicates all over quilting as you can't (shouldn't) quilt over it.  Not my problem!  Ha!
Dollies are done and ready to be quilted.  I fell in love with this border fabric and went back and bought the rest of the bolt at $3.50 a yard (Benartex).  It will make a great backing or go in a quilt (or two).  It goes with almost everything.  We'll see how it quilts up.
The easiest/fastest baby quilt in the world got done this weekend and I'm hoping to get some stippling done on it and have it ready soon.  Baby JM is here so it's time.  I have enough fabric left over to do a duplicate for a soon-to-be-baby in Montana and that one will have to be quilted on my Bernina.  I could get the second one done before I go and I have the backing -- just not sure if I have the mojo.

There are two more quilts going (Village and Waffle) which I haven't posted about.  We'll see how they look when the quilting is done.

Wish me luck (I'll be taking lots of Diet Coke and Advil to supplement my activities!).  I hope you're finding time to finish a few things along the way!  Jan

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yet again -- it's Derby Day!

In honor of this very special day when singing "My Old Kentucky Home" has a meaning that those who did not live here for most of their lives don't quite get -- I'll refer back to last year's posting.  This has always been a special day as a Kentuckian -- and now it is even more special as a mom!

Happy Derby Day, y'all!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Playing Favorites!

Oh, my -- what a wonderful week I've had with great surprises coming from a number of directions.  Don't you love those? I was fortunate enough to win a $35 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop when this quilt won Quilting Gallery's contest for quilts made with "Squares and Rectangles" two weeks ago.  I'm hoarding it because I can't decide!  Such a good problem to have.
Late in the week, my-niece-the-quilter brought me these yummy fat quarters for my birthday.  I had asked for a FQ of orange or pink fabrics (the weakest link in my stash) and she took it way over the top!  What to do....keep them together and find a quilt that uses all of them or break them up and put them in with all the solids?  For now, they are on a shelf as art and I'm loving them!  Yummy, don't you think?  Maybe I'll use my gift certificate to get a different bundle of Robert Kaufman solids and use them together.  What to do - what to do - what to do....
And to keep the surprises coming, my-niece-the-athlete gave me this beautiful counted cross stitch replica of a Frank Lloyd Wright window.  This is surprising in many ways.  First of all, the image could not be more special as we used to live in the village outside Chicago where FLW's studio was and the impact of his brilliance was everywhere.  I love the lines and colors and design.  What is more surprising is that she has never done counted cross stitch (and was apparently wrapping it as I walked in the door -- literally finishing it minutes before we showed up).  I do not have the patience for this and have sworn off counted cross stitch forever.  I hate to backstitch and this pattern requires perfect backstitching in order for the impact of the design to be effective. She nailed it.  The beauty of never doing something is that you don't know how hard it is!  Additionally the designer who was licensed by FLW organization lived three blocks from my house and I had met her at a quilt trunk show a few years ago.  So -- like the FQs, this is a surprise and special in many many ways!

When it comes to 'playing favorites', I have always let these two young women know (from the day they were born) that I am their 'favorite aunt' and insisted on being introduced that way to friends.  It was a joke but it was real, too.  I love them with all my heart and consider them my 'psuedo-daughters' and I know they love me back and have been there for the good times and those that were not so good.  I love hearing from them -- emails, texts, calls and especially face-to-face time.  We can talk about anything and they know it's private -- thank you, girlies.  Love you both a "bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck".
I did a bit of work on my dollies and managed to get 76 done and assembled.  I am currently auditioning border fabric and hope to have this done by the end of May so I can donate it locally as a fundraiser or whatever they want to do with it.
You may have seen my first post on these little jewels. If not, you can read about them here.  These absolutely touched my heart and I knew I needed to make them.  They go together perfectly.
I feel really blessed this week - a week full of goodness and surprises and some quilting.

I hope you have family members that you love and who love you back and that you're having some good surprises too!  Jan