I am working on a quilt that is a gift for a friend, but mostly what I’m doing right now is swearing.
This quilt has had it’s share of problems. I’ll go into more detail later but for now let’s focus on my immediate stress: My machine is randomly puking black dust that seems like eyeliner flakes onto my WHITE WHITE WHITE quilt top as I free-motion quilt this beauty. I had my machine professionally serviced a year ago and am very, very good at cleaning it regularly with a paint-brush. I’m not sure what’s going on… and I can’t clean it more thoroughly because it has a computer brain inside I don’t want to funk with even if I could figure out how to access more of it’s insides.
one of many black smudges of sadness
So what do I do? I’ve decided I’m going to keep going and quilt the whole blanket – stopping frequently to take brush-out-the-dust breaks and to just give the machine a second to catch its breath (this is an intense quilting pattern of little, unattached clouds). After it’s all quilted I will stain-treat the stains, throw it in the wash, and pray and wish and hope. I can’t very well wash this with it only half quilted and I don’t want to put stain-treatment on the spots too early in fear of there being new damage caused by too-long exposure to the cleaning chemicals.
Barf barf. Wish me luck.
Remember back when I declared it Swoon-vember? Well now, 4 months later, I’m finally buckling down on my very own Swoon quilt. Many other people have been rockin’ the Swoon – check out the ~900 members in the flickr Swoon-a-long group!
This is quilt is important because it’s actually going to STAY in this house and be used every day on my very own couch. That’s right – this one’s for ME. And believe me, blankets matter in this 100 year old house that is insulated with what I can only assume are balled-up napkins.
I’m making my blocks using just two colors (in a variety of fabrics) and an ivory background: raspberry reds and toasty tans.
My color combinations (and adorable husband)
So I cut all of the pieces out in one or two power sessions – and set the plan to do this in as few super intense chain-piecing sessions as possible. This requires crazy organization – check out my shoebox o’ HSTs and a file folder with colors divided in sheet protectors.
But WOMP WOMP I cut everything before I discovered the Swoon community (was it even there back in November?) and their wise advice posted in the forums. As a result I DID cut those pesky squares for my HSTs at 3 7/8inches instead of 4inches… and now it’s time to square-up my HST blocks and the outlook was GRIM.
I stopped chain-piecing long enough to focus on one block and see if this was possible.
The result is… good, not great.
I think it’s definitely worth pushing forward. Once it’s quilted, I bet these little off-points will be even more unnoticeable.
Pulling out the starch and my prayer-rug. Wish me luck wrestling my Swoon! There’s no going back after having cut-up this much fabric…
By the genius request of my sister-in-law, Lloyd and I got to work making her some pillow covers. (An alternative for these pillows I made her a while back.)
Lloyd painted some fabric squares with fabric paint.
And I bordered them in a dark purple.
They turned out pretty cute! (Sorry for the quick pic. I didn’t get a chance to photograph them before they were gifted!)
I love this idea for a nursery, kids’ bedroom, or floor pillows in a play room! But of course – they work great for a loving Aunt’s couch, too : )
Here is my entry for the Modern Mini Challenge hosted by Ellison Lane Quilts!
I call it “Sugar Mountain” after the Neil Young song (my 3-year old’s favorite).
The color units are pieced together to make a single mountain-range unit, which was then hand appliqued to a white background. The bottom white strip was machine pieced.
I quilted clouds in the sky and rolling fog for the bottom of the mountains. I added a little echo hand-quilting to the mountains in clear thread.
It measures 30″ x 9″.
This was such a fun challenge – I saw the logo for WAMU (which hosts the Diane Rehm show) and was instantly inspired. I drafted this pattern and am so pleased with the results.
What a great skill-builder to combine machine piecing and hand applique, as well as machine and hand quilting!
This quilt uses almost the entire line of Moda Crossweaves, Kona Snow, Kona Curry, and Free Spirit Gold.
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks working on a wide-variety of sewing projects. Tango, Pa’s, Valentines, Stoles, oh my! And I have even more finished works to show, but they need to be “properly” photographed.
It is time for me to catch my breath and re-group. Fabric piles are consuming my office, sewing tools are thrown about, and I can’t possibly start another project until I get organized.
Time to make a cup of coffee and regroup.
My husband’s grandfather (“Pa”) is an incredibly important part of our lives. For Greg he’s been an essentially constant presence in his life, living always just a minute or so away. For me, he’s filled a hole that I’ve had in my life never having gotten a chance to know my grandparents. When Greg and I bought our house, we were ecstatic to live just a couple of blocks away from Pa.
So needless to say we had to celebrate Pa’s 90th birthday in a big way. 90 years! Greg and I spent a lot of time thinking about all of the things Pa has seen during his years. Eventually I came up with the idea of making a simple patchwork quilt where each block would represent a year, and that I’d embroider a patch to mark each birth, job-change, and wedding that was a part of Pa’s life.
Pa waving to his fans. Quilt on display at his party.
Picture of Pa with his twin to the left.
Every block represents a year...
This is a very traditional blanket, backed with flannel, quilted in the ditch. I hope it keeps Pa warm in his chair for many more years!
Just a sample of all the people who came to his party!