Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pine Burr Quilt Fini!

I started this quilt nearly two years ago, and finished it today!

The Pine Burr blocks were inspired by an old quilt and a box of gifted polyester squares.

Click here to see the beginnings and a tutorial on how to make the blocks.

I finished the top, but couldn't figure out how to construct it into a quilt.

The blocks are thick and heavy.  The old quilt's blocks were sewn together with bulky seams.
I didn't want to do that, so I was stuck.

Then Karen made her own Pine Burr quilt and offered a pattern for it.
She figured out a brilliant way to construct it with batting and backing,
and no extra bulk in the seams!

I highly recommend the pattern.  You can download it instantly, 
and the instructions are easy to follow.  

She sewed her blocks together by hand.  I sewed mine by machine.  

I also added some Baptist Fans in #8 perle cotton to the borders.  

Now all I have to figure out is where to hang it!

Our blog friend in France, Katell, has written a beautiful post on slavery in the U.S.
and African-American quilts, including the Pine Burr.  Click here to read it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flowering Snowball Top is Done! Plus a Pin Trick.

Phew!  I've been working on this all summer, that is, during the little snatches of sewing time I've had.
Many thanks to Mary at Molly Flanders Makerie for giving us the pattern and quilt along!

This quilt top is a nice big queen size--99" x 99"--the biggest one I've ever made.  
That's 121 9" blocks.

I made each block a different color.

I love the combinations of prints where the blocks intersect.  

I wanted it to have a retro look.  
I used 1930's reproduction fabrics from my stash and several Denyse Schmidt fabrics.  
I added a few larger contemporary prints for variety.  

I completely enjoyed sewing the curves and matching up the seams.  
Not always my style, but it's fun to pay attention to precision sometimes.  
The curves and matching seams required the use of pins. 

Here's a trick I learned from a friend many years ago.
Place your pins pointing northwest as you sew.  

Then you can sew right up to the seams you're matching and 
easily pull out the pin from under the pressure foot.  

There are many more beautiful Flowering Snowball quilts over at Molly Flanders blog.
Click here to see the round up!

If you want to see more about my process, click here.

I ordered my templates here.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Halfway There

I've made 53 blocks out of the 100 I'll need for my queen-size Flowering Snowball quilt!  
The more I make, the more I enjoy it.  

Actually, I've made several more, but edited out and unpicked many.  
The black and gray ones had to go.

You can see lots more beautiful Flowering Snowball quilts here.

My "Spring Equinox" quilt has been hanging at the Edmonds (Washington) Conference Center.
It's been in very good company with some other gorgeous quilts for the last few months.
I can't believe how small it looks on these large walls!  It's queen size.

It's coming down next week, and there will be a fresh collection of quilts there.

This is lunch recently with a friend who has a bountiful organic garden.  
Almost too pretty to eat!

Sunset seen from the ferry in the San Juan Islands.

Ah, summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quick Baby Quilt

A neighbor family had a new baby recently.  
It was a great opportunity to use a bag of gifted 2.5" squares,

And this yard of sweet floral fabric.
The quilting is in the ditch.

 It will be a fun "I spy" quilt for the baby's 4-year-old sister.

I've also been slowly working away at the Flowering Snowball.  
The goal is 100 blocks for a 90 x 90" quilt.
Thirty-six done!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Learning from a Japanese Master

Sachiko Yoshida, a master Japanese quilt-maker, and several of her students 
from Japan were at the LaConner Quilt Museum this week!  
I was fortunate to spend an afternoon in a class taught by Sachiko.

The class was on Japanese family crests.  
This is Sachiko's class example.

Each of us were given a packet of vintage kimono silk from Sachiko's collection.

We were instructed to lay out the pieces exactly like the class example.  

Then we were instructed to hand-piece part of the background.  
We used templates to draw stitching lines on the back of the fabric pieces.

Her students helped us a great deal.  
They could hand-piece as fast as a sewing machine!

It took a lot of concentration.  Looks like one participant had to take a break!

This is how the background is supposed to look when we're done.  
The seams are basted to the side with thick white thread before they're ironed.
This helps to stabilize the delicate silk.

The Japanese student who was helping our table used this sewing kit.  
I definitely need one of these!

There's a fantastic show of quilts by Sachiko Yoshida and her students 
plus many other Japanese quilt makers, 
at the LaConner Quilt Museum through October 5.  

Wish I could show you photos, but they didn't allow them.
You can purchase a show catalog from the museum.

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cutting and a Cool Trick

These are some scraps from cutting the Flowering Snowball blocks.
The remainders were tulip and leaf shapes.
When I got tired of cutting, I'd slap them on the wall.
Hmm, another project?

Here's the collection of "blades" so far.

I cut a bunch of red centers, then thought to test for color-fastness, 
even though this fabric had been pre-washed.  Yipes!  I chose a different red.

Do you know this cool trick?  
Spray the fabric with water, put a paper towel on top, and iron until it's dry.
If you get color on the paper towel, you know it's going to run.  

I've sewn a dozen blocks so far, with a goal of 100.

It was so beautiful on my walk this morning,  I just had to snap a photo.

Happy Solstice!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Flowering Snowball

I intended to spend the rest of the year quilting flimsies and finishing other projects.  

Then Mary posted this Flowering Snowball Quilt Along, and I just couldn't stop thinking about it.

I thought it'd be a great opportunity to use my retro ditsies that have been on the shelf for years.  
That's finishing something.  Right?

I ordered the templates here.  My blocks are 9" finished.  

So far, I've only cut them, and I'm having a wonderful time.

So there's my summer project.

And here's my summer companion, with her new haircut.  


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Exciting New Book!

I can hardly wait for this book to be released on September 9!

features about 150 quirky utilitarian quilts from Roderick Kiracofe's extensive collection
plus other quilts he borrowed for the book.   All were made between 1950 and 2000.


It includes essays on art and quilts by big names in the art and quilt worlds.  
Kaffee Fassett and Denyse Schmidt are just two of the names I remember him mentioning. 

Here's Roderick Kiracofe, the author, and the nicest man you could ever meet. 
I got to have tea and pie with him recently in his home town, San Francisco.  

He's also written major quilt history classics that most of us have in our libraries:  

Although he encourages us to support our local book sellers, Amazon has the book on pre-order here.  

I've ordered mine.  Like I said, I can't wait!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Freddy Moran Collage!

Back in April, I got to take another workshop with Freddy Moran in Mt Vernon, Washington.

Freddy, showing one of her latest works.  The one behind is also made by her.

Here's Freddy saying something like, "I never know what I'm going to make until I start."  
She demonstrated with the piece behind her, saying, "Just start...glue this flower here (as she plops it on), and this one there...(another plop), then a stem, a leaf, whatever.... Then take a look and see what you want to do next."  

She also said, "If you don't like it, leave it on your wall and keep looking at it.  
Eventually, you'll figure out what you want to do."   

Mary Keasler came all the way from Tennessee and made this beautiful piece.

I spent two days making one big mess, but I had fun and learned a ton!

The last of the tulips were blooming nearby.

And bringing color to the local farmer's market.  

Since then, I went to San Francisco and met a wonderful man who's creating a very exciting book.
Stay tuned!