Friday, October 19, 2018

Faith ~~ an almost finish!

I have a finish! It's a quilt I made to enter into the MQG contest American Patchwork and Quilting Two-Color Quilting Challenge


The quilt's two colors are natural white and ash. The quilting changes the direction of light so it looks as though there are two shades of ash. There is only one. I've managed a neat camera trick. (I can't intentionally reproduce that, so enjoy my achievement.) 

Per the rules, there can be only two colors, so either count the thread as one, or make the threads match the fabric. I decided to go with the second so I could have two low-contrast fabrics.



My idea for this small quilt is that there be lots of negative space to show off the tight quilting motifs. Maybe I should try to figure out how many different motifs I used. 
In the center: three layers of half-feathers
because I wanted to see how it looks.
I'll let you know how it does in the jury process. Crossed fingers that it gets in!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pin It Weekly #257

Happy weekly!


Image result for award winning quilts

Unfinished quilt by Maria Shell

Graffiti quilting research for the quilt I'm currently working on...
graffiti quilting - Google zoeken

Quilting by a Thread ~ Karlee Porter #quilt #textile

Had to give some #graffiti quilting a try today! So fun! #karleeporter…


Just getting my Friday graffiti groove on! Too much fun! 🤗💃🏼 A little bit of prepping today. 💪🏼. . . #gammill #gammillquilting…

Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures: Free Motion Quilting Fun: Graffiti Quilting

Adventures in Graffiti Quilting


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Happy 50th Birthday! ~~a finish

And another one down, dusted and done. This one is going to a friend to be gift-wrapped and wait for a birthday gathering. How about that? Wait! Did you read that? The quilt is going to WAIT for the party. 
I can't believe I've finished this early. I actually finished last week which means that I'm a month ahead of deadline. Go us! Us because I didn't work alone. This was definitely a team effort. 

Let's see if I can remember all the players (using first names only to protect the innocent). Deanna gets credit for the idea. And for roping me into the job. Plus, she worked extra hard getting signatures. Really, she deserves a reward.

Monica took pictures, printed them on fabric and embroidered the center block. She went above and beyond in the fabric printing. Goodness knows how much she spent on fabric and ink. But the end result shows her dedication to getting it just right.


Since Father loves red and white, it was easy to choose a color scheme and, knowing we wanted signatures, choosing a block was pretty easy also. I'd used this easy pattern before and knew that it would be fast going. After I sewed the blocks, I handed them off to Deanna who went all over the state (almost) getting signatures. 


Eventually the blocks came back to me for sewing into a top and quilting. All of which is done! I took the easy route for the quilting also, quilting in the ditch around each block and straight lines in the white area. 
The backing is a combination of these gorgeous scripture panels that I bought when we were in Paducah for Quilt Week. I also bought a couple yards of footprints fabric to make up the difference, but that didn't quite make it, so I added a solid beige to make up the difference. 


In the end I used up 6½ yards of red and white and about two yards of the neutral. The only cost I had was for the panels and the footprints in the sand fabric.  




Quilt Stats
Name:  Fr. Ibe's 50th Birthday Quilt
Size: 84 x 92
Fabrics: fabrics from stash
Backing: scripture panels, footprints, neutral
Binding: red fabric from stash
Pattern: signature design
Quilting: straight-line quilting, SITD
Completed: October 5, 2018


Link Ups

Quilting teaches me.... Patience

Introduction
I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making.  I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

I'm not a patient girl. I have never been. Irritable, easily annoyed, short-tempered...all of those describe me. How is it then that I can say I've learned patience through quilting?

The short answer is that I'm a work in progress. I know the theory of patience and I try to practice it. I just am not a patient person by nature. So I fall off the wagon, if you will. Very often. 

I wonder if I've really learned patience. As a teacher I know that to learn something means to understand it fully and to be able to recall that understanding both in the short term and in the long term. 

If, for example, I were to say I learned the definition of a word, then I would mean that I have grasped full understanding of the meanings of that word, could use or identify it correctly in a sentence and be able to recognize and recall that information months, even years from now.

By that definition, I suppose that I practice patience, not that I've learned it. My patience comes and goes. My understanding of its virtue and how to employ it in my daily life are certainly learned. But goodness knows, I lose it fairly often. It being both patience and understanding. 

Where does quilting come to play in this learning? Well, with the seam ripper, of course. I have learned that sometimes we're human. We make mistakes. A cliche', of course, but I find that I'm more patient with myself and more willing to correct it when I do make a mistake. I also have discovered which battles to pick, if you will. 

I know that if the blocks don't quite match up, it's not the end of the world. I also know myself well enough that I've established a preset guide to ripping. ha! So when I want the blocks to line up exactly as they should, I'm less likely to have a fit when the seam ripper does more work than the needle. See, patience.

The quilt I'm working on now is important to me. Sewing the top was a bear... lots of math, not enough fabric and a ban on purchases. I suppose you could say I won that hard-fought battle. Thanks to employing a ton of patience.

As a Catholic I confess my lack of patience every time I enter the confessional. It's a given that I was rude or disrespectful or short-tempered with someone. Listing them all, thankfully, is not necessarily a part of the deal. At least no priest has ever asked me to name names. Which is a good thing, because I'd probably need to bring a list.

I guess I've learned how to be patient but just as importantly I am more aware of the times when I am not patient enough, and I'm working on that, too. Perhaps the seam ripper has a bigger job than most people think.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Simplicity

Introduction
I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making. 
I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

Erica's Hot Pink Girl
Simplicity is not something that may quickly come to mind when we think about quilting. After all, there are those fancy quilting motifs and, yikes!, those itty-bitty block pieces. What about this EPP business? Is there anything simple about quilting? I didn't think so.

Jack jumped over the candlestick
Well, I didn't. You know, way back when I started quilting. That first quilt was actually very simple, but I certainly didn't think so at the time. Let's fast-forward a couple of ten years. By that time I'd made many quilts, some for no reason except that I wanted to. I'd get an idea for a quilt and that quilt just had to be made. It didn't matter how difficult--I just convinced myself to study and figure it out. 

Always though, I'd come back to an easy quilt. It's a great way to quilt while my brain rests and thinks up new quilts. Funny how that works. 

The simplicity part. There are times when a simple quilt is the only way to go. Four-patches and nine-patches--straightforward, easy, controlled or scrappy...none it matters except the quilt. 


Sophie's Quilt (with 5 Babuska babies)
Simple quilts have their own kind of beauty. Those matching corners, which are okay even if they don't quite match. The straight lines and open areas. Perfect for a simple girl--one who lives in tee-shirts and flip-flops. Perfect for a new baby who just wants to be snuggled and warm. Perfect for almost anyone, almost anytime.

Don't get me wrong, I love dreaming up new ideas and creating quilts with hidden meanings. Art quilts are my current rave. But I always come back to simple. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Charity

Introduction
I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making. 
I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

I should not brag about charitable donations, I know, but I've been writing about what I've learned through quilting and helping others has been a big lesson for me. 

One of the ways that I've learned about charity is in supporting our church is through the items I make and donate to raffles and bingo. Most of those items are quilted but not all. I like that I can make anything I want, big or small, and they can all go to a booth as a prize.

Other ways I've been quilty-charitable is by giving quilts directly to someone in need. Several years ago to a student with cancer. Once a young mother trying to make it on her own. A veteran. Those people who truly appreciate that someone cares. 

A HST quilt in blue and white signed by classmates was a symbol of how much they loved and missed a classmate fighting cancer. Unable to attend school during his chemo treatments, he had a tangible item to remind him of his school family's support and concern. He graduated on time to walk across the stage with his childhood friends.

And so it goes with every item that I make and give to others. It's nice to sell on occasion, certainly the money helps. But knowing that I join a multitude of other quilters and sewists who donate their time and talent to help those less fortunate is what makes the true difference. Their lives may be difficult due to illness, disaster, finances, loneliness or a host of other problems, but I've learned that small gestures can make big changes. For them and for me.

10.6.18 Perseverance  

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Quilting teaches me.... Perseverance

Introduction
I've been quilting for a lifetime, literally, and have come to the conclusion that we do what we love in part because it challenges us to learn. Anyone who quilts can attest to the idea of learning about fabric and supplies, blocks and backings, sewing and making. 
I'm exploring the other things that quilting teaches.

Perseverance  
Old Ohio Rose
Quilting teaches me that every little step, every little advance, adds up and moves you forward. When I was young, I wiggled out of things using the excuse that if you didn't have time to finish, you may as well wait to begin.

It's an immature concept, but children hear it and believe it and begin to live it. I was one of those children. I rarely started a sewing project unless I had time to finish it that day. Anything requiring more time was just too overwhelming. 

Until I needed to make a quilt. I really needed a quilt as we were living in a frame house with lots of airspace. It was cold in the winter and we had a baby but not enough quilts. I could have asked my mom or grandmother to make one, and it's possible that I did. I don't remember quite how I got started. I like to think that one of them nudged me a little. 
Double Disappearing Nine Patch

Regardless, I did get started on what was, to me, a huge project: a twin bed quilt. I had to tell myself often that I would finish eventually--I just needed to keep working. Surely when I saw either of my quilt mentors, mom and ma-ma would ask or offer advice. I know they encouraged me with fabric and supplies.

It may have taken me the entire summer. I don't remember any of the details. I just remember that I finished eventually. I needed a few more large projects for the concept of perseverance to replace my excuses for not starting. Necessity was probably the reason for those projects, too. Eventually I grew up and with growth became a "self-starter."

But that first quilt made of necessity was the project that most taught me to persevere.