Friday, October 10, 2014

Orca Bay Finished

It has taken me nearly three years, but I have finally finished Orca Bay.  This was Bonnie Hunter's 2011 mystery quilt, and my first mystery.  I started it when she posted her first clue (something like "cut 350 1.5" half-square triangles") and quickly fell hopelessly behind.  But I persevered, mostly on retreats, finally attaching the border at a retreat this past June.  There are so many tiny pieces that there's nearly as much fabric in the seams as in the top, and it weighs a ton, but it will keep me nice and cozy this winter.  It was made completely with fabric from my stash.

 Orca Bay 72"x78"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

One more retirement

When I made the four retirement quilts back in June, I ran out of time for the fifth one.  Bill is retiring at the end on August so I wanted to get his quilt to him. 

A few years ago, Bill brought several shoe boxes of neckties into work for anyone who wanted them.  I ended up with a couple dozen ties, thinking that I would ultimately use them for his retirement quilt.  As soon as I heard he was retiring, I started a string quilt, using the ties on a 12.5" muslin foundations, and actually got 4 blocks finished before the June party.  At the party, Bill said he really liked the jelly roll quilt I made for Therona and would like one in blues.  Those neckties had been giving me so much grief that I quickly abandoned them in favor of the simpler jelly roll quilt.

Bill and his partner are world travelers and have been to Japan several times.  When I saw the Satsuki fabric collection by Robert Kaufman I knew it would be perfect for Bill's quilt.  One jelly roll in the "Atmosphere" color palette and  here is the result:

Bill's retirement quilt 64"x50"

And, based on his thank you note, I made the right choice to give up on those ties.

Thank you again for the beautiful quilt!

The fabrics, design and color are all exactly to my taste—it is as if you had read my mind.

Best regards,

Monday, June 30, 2014

Paint Cans

The Dallas Modern Quilt Guild recently participated in a challenge from the Michael Miller company using their Cotton Couture line.  We were given 8 fat eighths of various pastel fabrics and given two months to create something using those pastels and any other Cotton Couture fabric we wanted.  The fabric is beautiful, with a slight sheen and a beautiful hand, soft and almost silky.  It is a dream to work with.

The DMQG has another upcoming challenge to find an "inspiration" and make something based on that inspiration.  I found my inspiration one evening watching HGTV when I saw a Benjamin Moore paint commercial called "A Color for Your 3 Year Old's Mural."  I loved the way the colorful paint cans swirled across the screen and could see that translated into a quilt.  When I saw the Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabric, all the pieces came together and I had my challenge quilt.

Paint Cans

The Michael Miller company will choose 3 winners of the challenge and award prizes.  There were lots of fabulous quilts created, so I'll let you know after next month's meeting if I win anything.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Four at once!

It's been a busy few weeks.  In addition to a week-long trip to Orlando to see Miss Em and several days in Chicago for a meeting, I finished and delivered four quilts for former colleagues who retired last week.  My goal, in addition to creating special gifts, was to make a small dent in all my scraps, so I used Bonnie Hunter's patterns for two of them. 

The first, for Kenneth, is a variation of Scrappy Trips.  Kenneth is a fan of bright Hawaiian-style shirts.  While I didn't use Hawaiian fabric in this, the bright colors remind me of him.

 Kenneth's retirement 64"x48"

Robert's quilt uses the Scrappy Mountains pattern and is backed in a plaid flannel.  His sister said it will go perfectly in his new apartment.

Robert's retirement 61"x50"

Therona's quilt used one of my favorite quick quilt patterns, a jelly roll race.  There are lots of videos that show how to make this quilt that uses just one jelly roll (or 40 2.5" WOF strips) and can be put together in just a few hours.  She was quite pleased with it.

Therona's retirement 64"x50"

Finally, Anne's quilt is a disappearing nine-patch made with leftover charm squares alternated with solid white.  It makes a very modern-looking quilt, perfect for artist Anne.

Anne's retirement 66"x52"

All the recipients were very happy and, best of all, no new fabric was purchased to make these quilts!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I Haven't Disappeared!

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last posted.  A lot has happened in my life during that year, starting shortly after my last post and culminating in my retirement in December 2013.  It's all water under the bridge and I am SO happy to be retired with lots of spare time to quilt. 

The daughter of one of my oldest and dearest friends got married in November, so of course I had to give her a quilt.  With everything that was going on during that time, I decided to pull out a top I had made during a retreat earlier in the summer.  I had intended to get it quilted to take to the wedding in Baltimore, but just couldn't get it done.  So it sat ... and sat ... and sat .. until March, when I finally put it on the frame and got it quilted.  It took a few more days to bind it, then all that was left was the label.

A label, no big deal, right?  Hah!  I usually custom print labels for wedding gifts to include a photo of the couple along with the date and place of the wedding.  I keep an old ink jet printer and a bottle of Bubble Jet Set just for that purpose.  The bride's mom sent me a picture from the wedding and I prepared everything for printing -- white fabric treated with Bubble Jet Set ironed on to a  freezer paper sheet to enable feeding it through the printer.  But the printer wouldn't print black.  Color was just fine, but no black.  The cartridge was new, but I replaced it anyway.  Still no black.  I found some hints online to clean the print head, which I did.  Still no black.  After much frustration, many sheets of paper (always test first before printing on fabric), two cartridges and several days, I finally gave up and printed a simple text label in dark blue.

So, here is the final quilt.  I mailed it off, and my friend said they received it, but I haven't heard anything from them yet.  I do hope they liked it!

 The pattern is Mod Nine Patch from Don't Call Me Betsy.  The quilt measures 60" x 72".

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Not Your Grandmother's Flower Garden

Remember my farmer's market hexies?  You can see where I started them here a year ago, and a little more progress here.  I've been working on them off and on since then.  When the Quilt Guild of Dallas announced that their show theme for 2013 was "Edible," a couple of people said I should enter with the hexie quilt.  I plugged away with that in mind and was at this stage when I decided to enter the show in late February.

I kept saying, "I'm almost done," but I wasn't!  With the March 6 deadline looming, I stitched more.  I took it to QuiltCon with me and stitched in the hotel room.  I stitched at night while watching TV.  Late on Friday, March 1, I stitched the last corner medallion in place and thought I was ready for the borders.  But it needed one more outer border of red hexies, so I plunged ahead.  It took me all day Saturday until about 2 a.m. Sunday morning to finish that hexie border.

I had planned to border it in red but while I was at QuiltCon I realized I wouldn't have enough, so I searched for and found a nice avocado green and a nifty diagonal stripe for a border.  I got the borders sewed on on Sunday and pieced the back.  Two days to go until it absolutely had to be done and it still needed to be quilted.  So I took off work on Monday and Tuesday to quilt and bind it.  I sewed on the label and hanging sleeve at small group Tuesday evening.  I finished it just in time to take it to the Dallas Market Hall on Wednesday morning.  Whew!

Thursday was preview night.  I decided to go see the quilts in relative peace, even though I plan to also go on Sunday with some friends.  When I finally found my quilt, what did I see but a ribbon!  My last minute quilt had won an Honorable Mention in the Show Chair's Theme category!!  Not bad for my first ever quilt show!

 Not Your Grandmother's Flower Garden

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Christmas ... a little late!

A week after Christmas we spent the weekend with Mr. T's sister's family at two cabins at Lake D'Arbonne in northern Louisiana.  The cabins were spacious, with each having beds for 8, plenty of room for the 16 of us.  The weather was beautiful, firewood plenty, and the company great.  We shared cooking duties between the two kitchens, including a big holiday dinner.

We each had  to provide a Christmas gift for 2 other people.  My quilter niece and I had each other, so we bought each other fat quarter bundles and other quilty goodies.  Mr. T had his sister, my sis-in-law.  I had already started a quilt for her before we knew we were getting names, so I made it for him to give her.

I used charm packs of Ambrosia by Kathy Davis for Free Spirit.  At first I used only the charm packs in the squares, but it was WAY too busy, even for me.  So I unsewed several blocks and added in some solids to break up the busyness.  I was happy with the result and my SIL loved it.