Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sewing on Paper

I've been sewing these eyelashes onto paper the last two days. This kind of precision work is so out of character for me. But I do love the look of these blocks. Eventually, they'll all be set on a red background.

Thank goodness for some 15 minutes play time too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Visions of the 1970's

I found this groovy quilt yesterday at Goodwill. It's completely made of polyester double knit, that is, all but the avocado drapery fabric back and yarn ties. In one corner, the maker embroidered "74." I'm going to assume that was the year it was made, which was the year after I graduated from high school.

This morning I noticed how this quilt is weirdly similar. When I made it a few years ago in a Kaffe Fassett class, I didn't know why I was choosing these colors. The greenish brown was especially odd for me. But the look felt familiar in some way. Kaffe commented that this quilt had "a sense of history to it."

My sister-in-law, Bonnie, has talked about how the things we see in our childhood have a profound influence on our creative vision.

Hmm. Maybe this is proof of that!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Solstice!

The holidays are a lot fun. But I love to celebrate the Winter Solstice. At last, the days will be getting longer. Here's to visions of the coming spring!

I made this quilt a few years ago with inspiration from the cover of Georgia Quilts by Anita Zeleski Weinraub. The original quilt was made by Annie Parham Howard in 1960.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First Red Quilt

I made this quilt a few years ago in a class with Kaffe Fassett. The pattern is called Square Clamshell. The instructions are in his book, Museum Quilts. He directed us to cut a lot of squares and put them up on the design wall as quickly as we could. This helped us use our intuition, rather than thinking too much.

The Rebels helped me figure out what to do for sashing and borders. I was amazed at how many colors it takes to make a red quilt!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scarves for the Homeless

Want a quick and easy charity project? I make these polar fleece scarves for the homeless each year. No sewing! Just cut the fleece across the width, about 8" wide. Then make slices for fringe. This is a great use for old rotary blades. The polar fleece dulls them pretty quickly.

Then take the scraps and tie them in knots to make great doggie toys!

Friday, December 10, 2010

'Tis the Season for Red!

I made this quilt last year, with a home dec remnant from Goodwill and some 4-patches made from charm packs a few years prior. It's probably the easiest quilt I ever made, and one of my favorites. Have you figured out that I love red?

I think it looks great with this felt pillow that my grandmother made.

She also made this stocking when I was born.

I love all the fun sequins. I wonder if you can find those any more.

These felt stockings must have been popular in the 1950's. My husband's mother made him one too. Were there patterns for these in the ladies magazines?

Digging out these sentimental treasures is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. What treasures do you bring out for the holidays?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tonya's Book is Here!

Tonya, the "Unruly Quilter," has a brand new book, Word Play Quilts!! I've been itching for months to get my hands on a copy and make a quilt with words all over it. At last, it's available today!

Surely most of you already know and love Tonya. She calls her blog, "Lazy Gal Quilting," but she is anything but lazy. She's the ring leader of us gals who chuckle at the quilt police, yet her quilts are tastful, whimsical and beautifully made. Somehow she gets around to supporting and encouraging all of us as we push our creative limits. Best of all, she makes us laugh.

I'm posting this quilt today in honor of Tonya. It's my version of a quilt inspired by an African American quilt maker named Anna Williams. Tonya was leading the charge to try to get a book of Anna's quilts published. I don't know what happened to that goal, but it was a brilliant and courageous effort.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quilt Blog Girls Rock!

You are all so amazing! Last night I panicked, asked for help, and so many of you immediately came through with advice, encouragement and good humor. Thanks to you, I can now make curved seams without holding my breath, hunching my shoulders and furling my brow. They're not perfect, but by the fourth one, I actually said to myself, "Hey, this is fun!" Thank you!!!

Oh, and that black fabric in the corners that you're all drooling over? That's from Victoria.

News just in! Janet at Quiltsalott in Australia has the most wonderful tutorials on curved piecing, using this very pattern. I hope you'll look them up, mate!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Eye Lash Progress

I actually sewed this block together today, curved seams and all. Whoo! This is heading into advanced territory for me.

I also made more paper foundation lashes. Yipes! There are lots more curved seams to sew. Does anyone know any tricks for these? Thanks!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Red Lightning

Look what the busy bees over at 15 minutes play made!! November was my month to receive blocks from these wonderful gals. What a bunch of creativity and generosity entered my mailbox all month! Some are bold, some intricate. The combination is just perfect. Thank you to all!!

After all that excitement, I felt like making something with a pattern. I love this quilt on the cover of Kaffe's Quilt Romance. He calls it Pickle Dish. I call it Eye Lashes. I've often said I'd never do paper piecing. Never say never!

This is just the beginning. There are 30 more "eyes" to make. The red background idea came from a beautiful quilt pictured on Ann Champion's blog.