Monday, October 31, 2011

Corduroy Day is Coming!

Are you preparing a quilt for the big day?

If so, I'll post a link to your blog on 11-11-11, Corduroy Appreciation Day.

Here are the Corduroy Quilt Enthusiasts I've heard from so far:

Lazy Gal Quilting
Yankee Quilter
The Root Connection
Inspired by Antique Quilts
Deb Rowden's Thrift Shop Quilts
Miki's Fabric Creations

If you plan to post a corduroy quilt--in any stage of construction--on 11-11-11, let me know!  The more the merrier!

Save the wales!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Go Ahead, Use it!

Home decorator fabric, that is.  Pat Sloan and I talked about using unusual fabrics in quilts on her radio show recently.  Here are some quilts I've made using home dec fabrics.  I started using them because I just love the large prints and textures.  Mine come from thrift stores, but you could use new as well. 
This is the first time I used home dec fabric in a quilt.  The black is an old, faded piece and the border is a thick weave.

The border and sashing are some old curtains from the 1960's or 1970's.  I found them at Goodwill all dusty, but they washed up just fine.

Most of these houses are made of chintz upholstery samples.  The border is a thick brocade.

When I looked for a border for this quilt, this table cloth said, "pick me!"  I had to cut off the 4" long white fringe first. 
This border is another 1970's piece.  Ah, the good old days of "flower power!"

The red print was a large chintz sample, 52 x 52"

The white floral strips are from a remnant I found in Sweden.

Remember, Corduroy Appreciation Day is coming, 11-11-11!  If you plan to post anything corduroy on the big day, let me know.  I'll post links to all of you Corduroy Quilt Enthusiasts!

Friday, October 14, 2011

One for Me, One for Basics, One for the Radio

It seems to take me a year to get around to quilting a top.  As someone else said, maybe they need to "mature" for a time before completion.

I just finished quilting this.  It's called "Crazy Scraps," and is 84" square.  I made the top last summer, shortly after I started blogging.  Victoria suggested we make "15 minute" blocks by adding scraps to a five-sided piece.  I decided I'd do this on a large scale and make a modern crazy quilt.

Each block is 12" square.  After choosing--and sometimes fussy cutting--the five-sided piece, I sewed on scraps that I grabbed randomly from my huge, all inclusive bin.

The back is an old Sears bed coverlet that I found at Goodwill for $5.  It was 90" x 108", plenty large for this project.  When a friend said it was "hideous," little did she know that was a compliment to me!

Here's Malti with the quilt I'm sending to Basic Housing, Inc. in New York.  I hope it will bring warmth and comfort to a needy family.

It's got a 1970's theme and lots of thrift store fabrics.

This is the first time I've used the extra backing fabric for the binding.  Just trim it, bring it to the front, fold and stitch--super easy.  I think they did this in years past to save fabric.

I love this backing fabric!

Bye bye!

On Monday I'll be talking to Pat Sloan on the radio!  Well, on the phone really.  But you can listen by clicking on the button here.  The broadcast will be live at 4:00 Eastern or 1:00 Pacific U.S. time.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Got Corduroy?

Corduroy Appreciation Day, 11-11-11, is just one month away!  Are you preparing to celebrate with a corduroy quilt?

Some of you have written that you're feeling a bit intimidated about working with corduroy.  I'll admit, I was too.  But I grabbed my pile of corduroy and a pair of scissors, and dove in.  I found I really love working with corduroy, especially on a rainy day.  I can't wait to make another one!

Here's the process I used, which is one I learned from China Pettway, of Gee's Bend, Alabama.

First, PUT AWAY YOUR ROTARY CUTTER AND RULER.  You'll only need your scissors.  Next, cut or tear--yes, TEAR--your corduroy into strips of various widths. 

Sew two pieces together, using a bit more than 1/4" seam allowance; iron the seam open from the WRONG side of the fabric.  The corduroy really takes the press nicely and stays open and flat.  Notice there's excess.  Take your scissors and cut it off.  Don't measure; just eyeball it.

Then sew on another piece; iron open, and cut off the excess.

You may be tempted to get out your ruler and square it up.  DON'T!  Just eyeball it.

 This will give you nice subtle angles.

Keep adding to your block in whatever way you like, until you feel like moving on to another block.

Then make more!  Use your scissors and eyeball measurements to make them fit together.  Sometimes you'll need to add a strip here or there. 

This is about one-third of the quilt top I made.  I'm thinking we should reveal our corduroy quilts on our blogs on the big day.  Let me know if you plan to participate, and I'll post a list of Corduroy Quilt Makers with a link to your blog.

Save the wales!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beauty Secrets

When I was in Oregon recently, I got to see Bill Volckening's collection of New York Beauties at the Benton County Museum.  We call them "New York Beauties," but they haven't always had that name.  Nevertheless, they are BEAUTIFUL!!  Here are my favorites.  There are many!

This appears to be a rescue of a piece from a larger quilt.

Look at that green patch.

The tiny gingham on this is just precious.

What could be a better color scheme?

The cockeyed sashing really stole my heart.

Oh!  The quilting!

I think he said these were 1950's fabrics.

Can you believe how they quilted some of these?!

Love this clam shell design.

I'm going to have to make some of these zigzag flower stems.

At first, I thought this was a really nice use of reproduction fabrics.  Then I realized they're the real thing, from the 1800's!
Oh! That zigzag border.
 If you want to see more of these quilts, you can order the book on blurb.