Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Basting a Quilt on a Table

 If you're a person who bastes your quilts on the floor, as I did for years,
you might want to know that you can save your knees and do it on a table. 

I learned this method from my friend, Sally, some years ago.  
It's made my least favorite part of the quilt-making process a pleasant afternoon or evening.

Here's how it looks when you're ready to start pinning.  

All you need are some clips from the office supply store, 

And a used 6 foot folding banquet table. 
You can also use your dining table, as long as you protect it with a mat.

Tape two toothpicks in a cross to mark the middle of the table.
You can also mark the middle of the sides and ends of the table with toothpicks and tape.
Use painter's tape if you're concerned about damaging the table surface.

Fold your backing fabric in quarters and iron at the center corner.
Line this up at the toothpicks and unfold it over the table,
right side down.

Clip your backing to the table.
Iron the center corner on your batting and quilt top.
Then place them over the clipped backing.

You will be able to feel where the center lines of the table are because of the toothpicks.
Pin this section of the quilt together.

When the first section is all pinned, move it off the edge,
leaving a row of the pinned area on the table.

Peel away the quilt top and batting. 
Clip the backing to the table and carefully smooth the batting and top over it.
Repeat until the whole quilt is pinned.

When finished, I fold the table and store it under the guest room bed. 

It was a snow day here today,
the perfect time to baste my corduroy quilt!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Lattice Quilt Top

Some quilts take many inspirations to find their way.  
This is one of those.   

It started with this floral and gingham yucata cotton, 
a gift from Patricia at Okan Arts, a few years ago.

I was new to using neutrals (still am), and felt very challenged by the prospect (still do.)
I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash, and the red hopped in unexpectedly.

I was captivated by the Lattice Quilt in Sujata Shah's book,
Cultural Fusion Quilts, page 55, and wanted to make it.

I made a bunch of "Free-form Blocks" and took them to Sisters, Oregon, 
for a class with her in the summer of 2017.

Sujata very sweetly helped me lay out the design in class.  
I loved it, packed it up, brought it home unsewn, put it on my UFO shelf,  
and forgot about it.

Lattice Quilt 64" x 64"

Then, Sujata got us going with the UandU Quilt Along at Basket Full of Scraps.  

I looked through the book, Unconventional and Unexpected by Roderick Kiracofe,
for the upteenth time, and saw his Lattice Quilt on page 34.
It jogged my memory of the unsewn quilt blocks from Sujata's class.

 A few tweeks and a few hours later, the quilt top was done!

Many thanks to Patricia, Sujata and Roderick for your inspiration.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hello Again!

It's been a long time since I've posted on this blog.  
I've missed reading your stories and writing my own. 

Over the past two years, I've been spending more time on professional skills
and less time on everything else, including social media.

I've still found a little time to sew, and I've posted my quilts on Instagram.  
IG posting is much quicker, but it just isn't as satisfying.

It's the relationships and conversations around quilt-making 
that make me feel good, and this is where they happen.

SO, I'm back!

Briefly, here are a few things I've been doing since I last posted.
I'll come back and tell the stories later, one by one.  

I'm still working on these EPP stars.  
It's my travel project, and I've been finding fun photo opportunities on the road.  

I'm still using up orphan blocks and using Word Play words in quilts.  

I made another corduroy quilt top, in time for 11/11/18, 
Corduroy Appreciation Day.

I made string-pieced quilt top, this one based on one made in 1920 by an unknown maker 
and shown in Gwen Marston's Liberated String Quilts book.

I made a wool quilt, with wool from many sources, old and new.

I contemplated what to do with all of these quilts.  This is only half the stack!
They all went back into the closet.

And I found this heart reaching out to me on the path to my backyard.

Weirdly, coming back to this blog, where I've met and come to love so many of you,
it feels like coming home.  
Thank you for being here and welcoming me back.
I'll see you again soon!

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Spare Parts" is Quilted!

Actually, it happened months ago, but I didn't have decent photos until now.  Meanwhile, it's been to two shows and it's been slept under a few times.  You can find the piecing story here.

"Spare Parts"  86" x 86"
It was quilted by the very talented Sharon Tucker.  

I just love what she did with it!

Here's "Spare Parts" with me at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last weekend.

"Cowgirl Dreams" came too.  And she sold!
It's the first time I've put a price tag on a quilt.
It makes me very happy to know that some cowgirl will be sleeping under it soon.
That's Mary Keasler from Tennessee with me.

Here's Mary with her fantastic "Sunday Best" quilt.

Besides the classes, quilts and fun quilt-makers at "Quilter's Affair" in Sisters,
the best thing about it is the community involvement.  
It appears that EVERYONE comes out to help.
Even the fire fighters help hang the show quilts early in the morning.

Sunday morning, after a week of classes and the Saturday show, 
the friendly people were still working.
This is what I saw when I picked up my quilt--
and these are only SOME of the many beauties we saw in the show!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Cowgirl Dreams

"Cowgirl Dreams" 80 x 80"
I made this quilt top over two years ago, and finally got around to quilting it,
just in time for the local guild show in March.  
This is one that I can honestly say, "The fabric made me do it."
For the story and more fabric close ups, click here.

I decided to quilt it simply, in order to show off the print most clearly.

After stitching in "every stinkin' ditch," I cut a template and marked the curves.

Then I used the walking foot, which was pretty easy.  

On the rope, well, I had to follow it, right?  
This part I did with free motion quilting.  
Not perfect, but good enough.

A few nights before the show, I washed it, feeling quite happy.
Then the complications began.  
I hadn't pre-washed the red bandana backing
and some, not all, of the ivory fabrics had turned pink!  
Luckily, a few hours soak in the bathtub with Oxyclean removed all the pink.
It also destroyed the fake buckskin fringe on the border. 
Darn!  I cut it off carefully and got it to the show on time.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hello again!

Finally, a post!  
It's been a long, wet winter here in Seattle with no opportunities for outdoor photos.  
At last, we got a day with no rain and very little wind, 
so hubby and I got outside with quilts and camera.

Meanwhile, I've been watching what you've been making, 
and have finished a handful of projects. 
I'll post them one by one over the next few weeks.

First up, the "Haha" quilt top is complete!  It finished at 60" x 72".
(Story in the last post.)

Here's a photo from my sewing table as I made the blocks.

The back will be this fabric salvaged from old curtains found on eBay.
I'm looking forward to quilting it with machine and hand stitches.  

Instagram has also been a fun way to share and keep up with many of you.
If you haven't already, you can find me there @niftyquilts.  

Happy Spring!

Friday, December 30, 2016

HAHAHAppy New Year!

I've started a new project that will take me well into the new year.
It's using mostly my hubby's old shirts, along with a few stash fabrics.  

I've been wanting to make it ever since
 I saw this photo on Barbara Brackman's blog back in 2014.
I love a quilt with a good sense of humor!

But the story of this quilt isn't funny at all.  
It's told in this book.  

Anna Horn made the quilt in 1917-1918.  
Her son, Albert Horn, was away at war (WWI) at the time.   
A Wisconsin farm wife and mother of nine, she had already lost two children
when Albert left to serve his country.  
Anna comforted herself by stitching the initials that she and her son shared. 

Albert survived the war and the quilt stayed in the family for generations.
It was eventually given to his great granddaughter, Ashley Horn.  

Wishing you all laughter, comfort, love and creativity in 2017!

HAHAHAppy new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Ho Ho Ho!

However you celebrate the holidays, here's wishing you many sweet moments
with friends and family.  

"Santa and the Orphan Blocks" 50 x 72" Made in 2013
And peace and happiness in the new year!

Today, and every day, I appreciate you, my "blog family."
Here's to more creativity and sharing for all of us in 2017!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Vintage Scrap Lone Star

It all started in 2013, when Quiltdiva Julie sent me a box of crazy pieced vintage blocks.

There were 24 in all, and they came from a quilt top she'd bought on Ebay.
The seller said it came from Ohio.

I had saved this photo on my computer screen for some years before that.  
I don't remember the source, but it became my inspiration.

I sewed the blocks together and cut out the diamond shapes for the star.  
There were just enough leftover for the border.  

Then I bought some embroidery floss.

I learned a few stitches, and embroidered all the seams.

Eventually, it was ready for a background.
I picked this spring green solid, because it was the only thing that seemed to work.
I wasn't excited about the color, but thought I'd get over it.
Well, I didn't.  I just didn't like all that green!

I decided to remove it and find another background.
Several hours of stitch-picking later, I was ready for auditions.
I tried practically everything I had on the shelf.  
Here are just a few.

Too light

Too dark

Too brown

Too bright

Too busy

Too gray

A few dear friends suffered with me and my auditions for WEEKS!

Then I went to the Houston Quilt Festival and found what I was looking for!
It's one of the new woven plaids from Kaffe Fassett.
The top is about 87" square, plenty big for a queen size bed.
I finished it last week.

THEN, just yesterday, I went to the Farmer's Market, like I do every Sunday.
The woman farmer I always buy from gave me this!

She said her great-grandmother had made it from old family clothes.
What a treasure!  I tried to talk her out of giving it away.
But she said she had no room for it.  
So I gladly brought it home.  

While Julie's was sewn in blocks and not yet embroidered,
this one was sewn all on one sheet with embroidery.

Now I have TWO vintage scrap tops to quilt and to love!

News just in:  

Bill Volckening found where the original inspiration quilt came from.
The quilt was shown in the European Patchwork show in France in 2012.  

Katell Renon's quilt group in France was also inspired by the original.
They made a beauty!