Monday, February 23, 2015

Double Pink Time Warp Stars

A beautiful snow blowing  but partly sunny day and I was able to whip up two double pink stars for the Stars in a Time Warp. I finished a quilt top and hemmed my neighbor's curtains (a real labor of love for a quilter - you all know what I mean!).

It was so warm (almost 40 degrees!) that we had a Maine cookout at the neighbor's. Fun! We e-mailed out friends in Sydney who are in the midst of another heat wave. So sorry for all of our Aussie quilt friends. Quilting in that heat is no fun.

I do hope it doesn't snow much more this week as we are running out of places to put it!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Reason I Quilt

Warning – long post (rant), but I’ll throw some quilty pictures in to keep your interest.

Well, let’s start with my morning… I work 10 hour days so I can have Thursdays off to quilt. We have our 4 year old grandson (joy of my life!) overnight on Wednesdays. He has autism and his sleep patterns are often “out of whack” so we like to give the kids one night a week to get a good night’s sleep. I usually take him to school on Thursday morning and then come home to a fun filled day of quilting (after errands). This Thursday they had a progress evaluation scheduled so he got to stay at Nana’s until my son picked him up at 10:00.
(our cherub with Grampa - sorry, but at least there is a quilt in the picture)

Next I had go to our cable/internet provider’s office to update out “plan”. But, just as I opened the garage door, the street plow went by (oh yes, more snow on Wednesday night – actually it is getting to the point if I wake up and it’s NOT snowing I do the happy dance), and blocked off my driveway. Our plowman is under the delusion that we are retired and do not need to be plowed out until after noon. Normally I would just bully my through, but the snowbanks are so high that I cannot see if someone is coming down our street and I do NOT want to get stuck at the end of the driveway AGAIN. So… I tried the telephone method. TWO hours later, I think I resolved that issue and all I have to do is take back a piece of equipment – NOT today!

 (a charm quilt I made with over 1000 different feedsacks)

So, now it is noon. I go to get the mail and “oh boy” there is our Sears bill WITHOUT the $188.00 credit it was supposed to have on it. I looked at the phone and considered getting a glass of wine! No, just relax, this one won’t take as long. I was right, only an hour an 45 minutes!

(center of a quilt I made with those wonderful Roberta Horton homespuns)

So, now it is almost 2:00 and I haven’t taken a stitch. I look around the sewing room at the 12 projects I thought I would get done today and decide to prioritize. I should do my double pink “Stars in a Time Warp”, but I am teaching a potholder quilt class next Saturday so I really need to work on some applique samples. I did some cutting and basting and said to heck with it.

 I really NEED to quilt. There is something about putting that little needle in my hand and rocking it through the quilt top that really relaxes me.

That is the reason I quilt!

People are always telling me, “Oh I wouldn’t have the patience to do all that hand quilting”. My response is, “I don’t have the patience NOT to”! I think we will all agree that the hardest part of quilting is finding the time to do it! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp

I am shamefully behind on posting my Stars in a Time Warp  "stars". Do check out Cyndi's on her blog today, they are beautiful! I have really had fun trying to follow Barbara's direction.

Quote from her Blog: I also think the best way to learn to make reproduction quilts is to study a quilt by copying it. You copy not only the fabric but also the fabric choices made by the original quiltmaker. It's not enough to use antique-looking prints, you need to use them the way they were used in the past.

The January 21st color was Prussian Blue. One of my favorites so not problem with this one. I pieced the center block as I might have done in the mid nineteenth century.

The January 28th fabric was "shirtings". I have lots of those too. I decided to use a piece of indigo from the AQSG 1825 line for one of them. I know shirtings were popular more than 70 years later, but then how often have we seen a scrap quilt with fabrics spanning 100 years. I thought that in 1890 I would have reached into my grandmother's scrap bag for a tiny bit of blue to go with my shirting. (sorry for the blurry photo, I am still trying to get used to my husband's iPad - or maybe it was just frozen at 4 below zero this morning!)

The February 4 color was chrome yellow/orange - my all time favorite! I used a Lancaster blue with one and a Dargate and AQSG Mill Book lavender for the other.  Love those dots!

This week's color was overdyed green solid. I'm not mush for solids of any kind, but I was at Cyndi's on Wednesday and she was kind enough to share this solid with me. Of course I had to add the printed one to the center. I only made one of these but I made 3 Turkey red ones, so I now have 10. Can't wait to see what people will do with these when we are through.

And, I know people who don't live in New England are tired of hearing about our weather this year, but not quite as tired as we are of having it! The sign at the end of my street says it all! And we are due for 2 more feet on Saturday - seriously??

We are running out of places to put it! That is my house behind this pile of snow. The sign is moot since it is too cold for ANY kids to play outside. We are lucky here on the coast, at my sister's in the western mountains it is 24 below with the wind chill this morning. - seriously?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Inspiration - Implimentation

I am always curious how people get their inspiration. When I look at a quilt (or a painting or sculpture) I wonder what inspired them to create it.

I will share one quick inspiration story with you. Over 10 years ago I saw a magnificent quilt on an online auction. Luckily I printed out the photo, because when I went back to check the progress of the auction I couldn't find it. I tried for months to find out who had won it or if it had even sold. I decided that I had to make my version of the quilt and if it ever surfaced, I would know where to give credit for my inspiration. This is the back.

Then lo and behold, I was reading Dawn's "Collector with a Needle" blog and there it was! 

I found out the owner of the quilt was Ann Hermes at Notes From the Quilt Lab. and that Dawn had been given the rights to draft and publish the pattern. I ordered the pattern immediately (I highly recommend all of her patterns, she has an Etsy site that you can get to from her blog) and I sent photos and a letter to Ann letting her know how happy I was to finally find the owner of the source of my inspiration. Of course as you can see I changed quite a bit from the original, but it is clear where the inspiration came from. Wendy is hand quilting her version of this quilt at Legend and Lace and it is simply beautiful! Do check it out.

This brings up an issue that is popping up a lot lately in national and local shows. I design most of my quilts myself and for me, inspiration comes from everywhere. However, when I find something like this that is so influential on the finished product, I have to give credit to the source of the inspiration. Most people think if you change a color or a particular border on a pattern that you don't have to give credit to the designer. If even one element of one of my quilts is inspired by another designer, I give that designer credit for that inspiration. Quilters are (for the most part) by nature a sharing and giving group. You want to share your wonderful quilt with others, we just all need to remember that when we make a quilt from a published pattern or even an interpretation of another quilter's design, it is imperative that credit is given to the designer. 

Rant over! Here are some close ups of my quilt I call "Pennsylvania Palette". And thank you Ann and Dawn for sharing this with the rest of us!

Enjoy the day!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Yup - I did it again!

Don't you wonder how the brain works (or in this case - doesn't work!). Just 2 short weeks ago I lost 2 bindings for my Jane border and spent an hour looking for them. So yesterday I wanted to work on my quilt for the AQSG Past and Present 1825 challenge and I went searching for the little hexagons I had made a few weeks ago. Where could they be, I asked myself after 45 minutes of searching???  I finally gave up and went out to shovel more snow. It was a medium weight snow (now I know why the Inuit people have 16 different words for snow, however, i can only think of one at this point and it is not white in color!) and as I took a shovel full it dawned on me that I had placed my little babies under some heavy books to keep them flat. Hmm, I guess that means snow is good for something!

This was the view out my sun porch (sun - really??) window this morning. Not only do we have over 4' of snow in the yard but it is 14 below this morning, just to put things in perspective. The weatherman said that with the windchill factor last night it "felt like" 40 below. I love this new "feels like" that they use nowadays. How do calculate that? I say it feels !#$% COLD! We don't usually talk about the weather in Maine, it is too variable. In fact, we have a saying, "If you don't like the weather in Maine, wait a minute". But this winter is different. Our major ski mountains have closed the lifts from time to time on account of wind, but this year they have cancelled lift service due to excessive cold. 

I am shamefully behind in my "Stars in a Time Warp" posting and was going to share them today, but forgot to photograph them last night. Lori, from Humble Quilts is joining in the fun. Check out her beautiful stars. Hope you all can take a minute to join in the fun. I am anxious to see what people do with their finished stars.

O.k. enough, I will leave you with a photo of my ugly ironing board cover and another stack of Jane border blocks. I haven't dared to start assembling them yet. Maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Jane management and a reveal!

I know a lot of people took their Dear Jane book to a print shop to change to a spiral binding. I simply cut the binding off (on the band saw) and put it into a 3 ring binder. This way, I could photocopy (for my use ONLY) any pattern I needed. As I mentioned before I did re-draft quite a few blocks, mainly because I prefer applique to piecing (clearly Jane did not!) and changed many of Jane's originals from piecing to applique. I also glued a scrap of each fabric used next to the pattern in the book. 

I did try to match Jane's fabric selection as closely as I could. The fabric swatches made it much easier to keep track of the order of the border blocks.

Ohhhhh sorry to show you my ugly ironing board cover! Time for a new one I think!

And, now for the reveal... I am cheating I suppose, but because I do love applique and because I am hand quilting the border triangles, I have opted to simply applique circles on the alternate blocks instead of piecing. I couldn't imagine hand quilting all those tiny little pieces and I just love appliqueing circles. 

I hope it doesn't make it look too contemporary, but I have finished all the appliques and I am NOT doing them over. I think it will look nice when finished. XXXX those are my fingers crossing!

Have a quilty day!