Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Stash Challenge

Well, I have started on my Summer Stash Challenge and was hoping to have some lovely photos here to show my progress, but alas, my camera needs charging and I can't find the cord. This summer, when I went on a genealogy trip, I moved the cords to make room for something and I have yet to find them.

So...I'll just have to describe the projects. First, I have an all pink quilt pieced for my granddaughter, Addie. It's made with various shades of pink ranging from dark to light. Right now, it is arranged on my cutting table. (I don't have a quilt wall because the room is a converted attic with slanting sides.) I am auditioning the borders. I can't settle on how many borders or how wide, so I have one combination on the table now and a little later, I'll switch to see which I like better.

I'm also working on a little wall hanging made from uneven log cabin blocks that I am really anxious to finish. It's done in a deep brownish red and ecru. The blocks are 2" square and it's foundation pieced. I've had it for ages, but I have never gotten to it. In my new apartment, I have a panel that I need to hide and I think it is the perfect size.

Hopefully, I will find the cord to my camera. I know it is here somewhere, but in the move t hings have gotten really switched around.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quilt from my stash year - 2008

It's time for a check-in to see how I am doing with my quilt from my stash project.

Well, I've used up my "get out of jail free" card. I did it when I was on vacation. I kind of had that in mind when I made up these rules. I'm 600 miles away from my favorites shop, "Millstone Quilts" near Mechanicsville, VA, and I love to go there. It is a shop way out in the country in a quaint old mill. I just have to go there every time I am up there and I just can't come away empty handed.

I bough the "Noel" tin box set and I hope to make the Christmas quilt from the fabric in it. It was so cute, and I knew I'd love the tin lunchbox. I also bought some fabric to make my granddaughter some doll clothes she saw in a pattern book. The little dresses were made to look like a watermelon, orange, lemon and a lime. The outfits were just darling and I have nothing like that in my stash. Actually, this didn't count against my resolution anyway, since it was a request.Laughing

But truly, I have done well. I've been prowling through my fabric and gotten inspired just looking at the wonderful fabrics and remembering what I bought the fabric for. Of course, there are some things I wonder what in the world I was thinking ofUndecided Making this resolution has been good for me. Sometimes I see new fabric and remember that I have something in my stash that I like even better.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Addie Said

Addie (6) was over here yesterday and I showed her the box with the templates and scraps for the Double Wedding Ring quilt and told her of my plan. I told her that I would leave it to her and she thought that was great. I told her that she would probably have to put it together and she said that was fine too. She'd like to do it! I actually told her that long ago women were supposed to have 12 quilts before they got married and her eyes got big and said we had better get started!

I also told her the story of Aunt Dulcie and she liked it and named one of her dolls Dulcie. I have a feeling that this is one story that is going to be passed down, and it couldn't make me happier. This little one is right after my own heart. I love all my grandchildren, but what a special joy to have one who loves needlework and dolls already. Even now, she sits with me while I stitch and plays with her dolls. It's also wonderful that the one who likes to sew is the one who lives with me and the granddaughter who is a nature girl lives in a 12 acre woods with a lake and miles to roam in with or without her 4 wheeler. She's her father's child, that is for sure. Here she is, a little solemn in this photo, but not in life! The girls are only 3 months apart and great company for each other, unfortunately they live 600 miles away, but we visit often. Next summer, I plan to teach Eli to quilt also...maybe I'll have to make scraps for 2 Double Wedding Ring quilts!

I am truly blessed. Anne

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No New Quilts - Does a Craft Room Count?

Well, I haven't been doing much quilting because I have finally moved into my new garage apartment and my craft room is full of boxes. Most of this stuff I haven't seen in 3 years, so it was like Christmas opening them up, but the downside was that I never dreamed that much fabric! For the last 2o years, I have stored my fabric in containers under the beds...mine and the 2 guest rooms. When I used it, I only pulled out the color containers I needed. I was blissful in that state of denial. Now! I need to get the craft room organized and make a bunch of quilts.

I just signed up for the Summer Stash Challenge at Eileen's Attic. I have to make a quilt before the end of August so that should get me cleaning and organizing so I can actually quilt. Actually, I have a number of things that I want to work on, but the idea of organizing all that "stuff" is a bit overwhelming, but with a challenge in my view, I'm ready to go.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A true Scrap Quilt

Della Brantner Hawn with daughters Lois and Dorothy, son Victor.

My first introduction to quilting came when I was about 10 and spending the night at my grandmother's with my cousin, Susie, daughter of Lois pictured on the left in the photo. My grandmother told us the quilt on our bed was a Double Wedding Ring and the one in the other room was a Trip around the World. She showed us bits of fabric that had been our dresses, hers or our moms, and then she told us stories about the other fabrics in the quilt. It was fascinating. Years later, as adults, we talked about it and everyone in the family told us that she didn't quilt. We were so puzzled because we didn't dream it up. How would we ever know the names of the quilts if she hadn't told us? The memory was crystal clear, but everyone just shook their heads at us.

About 30 years later, I found "the rest of the story." My grandparents and great grandparents saved every letter they received and often saved the rough draft of what they wrote also. My dad inherited the letters and I took my grandmother's side of the family to transcribe and he took his father's. One of those letters had the key to the quandary.

My grandmother had a sister in Iowa, Dulcie, who made beautiful quilts. Grandmother would bundle up the scraps and send them to her sister who would make them into quilts and send them back. Don't you know how wonderful it felt to tell my aunts and uncles that we weren't suffering from a delusion!

Ann and I were talking about scrap quilts and I mentioned that I sometimes cut my scraps up to fit the sections of the Double Wedding Ring. I am in no hurry to finish it because the scraps of my whole quilting life will be in it. I also put in scraps from clothes I make my granddaughters and their dolls. Since I don't know just when I'll be called to leave this mortal body, it may have to be finished by someone else, but it will be the fabric story of my life. That to me is a true scrap quilt and I want to have at least one.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New House, New Quilt

This is my latest project. It's called "Let There Be Light." In my new house, I have a very odd sized panel on my wall that I need to cover. It is in the area where there is a cathedral ceiling and from my chair I look directly at it, so I needed something that I really liked. I used EQ6 to design this quilt to fit the space. All the blocks are the same uneven log cabin and range between 2-1/2" to 9". They are all are paper pieced, which is my favorite way of piecing. The blocks turn out perfectly every time. I'd never be making 2-1/2" long cabin blocks any other way! That would be murder.

It is so easy to design in EQ6 (Electric Quilt). I have been using the program since it first came out. Remember those 5-1/2" floppies? I think I payed $5 for it. It was shareware back then. It was a real challenge to use because the technology was new, but EQ made the directions as simple as possible. After work, I would come home exhausted and spend a little time designing quilts just to relax. I've made a thousand quilts, I guess and, of course, I'll never make them all, but the creative process is so restorative.

After I finished the design I'm going to use, I started playing around with the blocks and colors. Here are some of the ones I liked. I may just make several to go with the seasons...well, it's a dream any way!

This one I called "Love Came Down at Christmas." The egg shaped motifs reminded me of the famous Faberge Eggs. You can't see it here, but most of the red fabrics have shimmering gold in them. I tried it with a green background and red motifs and it was much more subtle, but a little busy for my taste. But I might use the idea in a purse. Of course, the eggs reminded me of Easter, so I did it in Easter colors.

I called this "He is Risen" and I really liked this one too, so I'll probably start collecting purple and lavender fabric once my "Quilt from my Stash" year is over.

This is a close-up of the block. It's a simple uneven log cabin, but it really packs a punch. The rounded appearance gives you a lot of latitude when designing. Using EQ6, I can print all the blocks out as foundation pieced patterns and then cut the strips to the right size. Piecing goes very rapidly. You just have to remember to change your needle frequently because the paper tends to dull them more quickly than the fabric.

I've also thought about taking the egg shaped design and making it into a tote bag, bag for wine, or a gift bag. I can see so many projects this would be perfect with, but who wants to do log cabins for ever? However, I have an idea that makes it painless. When I am finished with a project, I look at the scraps and often make blocks from them using the paper piece patterns. Then I throw the blocks into a box with similar blocks. I have some wild geese blocks in red, white and blue, that I have been making for a long time and I have almost enough to make a project with. I've also got some Christmas wild geese units that I plan to border the scrap Christmas Log Cabin blocks I already finished. I also have some blocks in Easter/springtime colors that I'll make into something sooner or later. It's all fun.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Blossom Thief

This is another quilt I designed with EQ6 and plan to make this year. My little
granddaughter, Addie, who is 6, helped me with this one. She did the blocks where the flower is crying. She loves EQ6 and I was amazed at how quickly she learned to use the drawing tools. This was for a challenge on the EQ site. We had to design something that had birds and blossoms. I already had this one designed with a different center and called it, "Not Your Average Daisy," so I modified it by adding the bird. Now, I like this one better, so that's what I will make. At this point, I am not sure if I will do hand applique or machine. I'd love to do it in hand applique, but time might not permit.

The program comes with a great block library which you can choose from. In this case, I used the flowers and the bird, but added the faces and the flower pots. In some cases, I changed the leaves or rotated the flowers to make them appear to be looking at the center block. On the EQ website, they also have tutorials that help you turn images into motifs. It's really a lot of fun.