Friday, January 22, 2016

The Dog Ate My Handwork

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I had gotten one of my quilts back for a repair job.

I made this quilt for my son Dave when he was a senior in high school.  He graduated in 1999.

This quilt has survived in relatively good shape, considering that it went to university with him and lived in a frat house for awhile!  Not to mention surviving a fire in their apartment building the first year that he and Emily were married in 2006.

It most recently has been on the bed in their guest room, and my grand-dog Roo kind of claimed it for his daily naps.  And when Roo naps, he likes to fluff his bedding until it's Just Right.

Result:  a nice hole all the way through the quilt.  Through many seams of patchwork.

 The first thing I did was add some batting inside the torn area.  (Perhaps the old batting was too delicious not to chew? ) To do that, I had to take out quite a bit of the quilting.  Here is the back with the new batting worked in.


Then I "sutured" the backing and front edges together to have somewhat of a base to build my repairs on.

A quick search through my blue fabric stash turned up a piece of the backing fabric!  Hooray for saving everything and being a hoarder.  Sometimes it pays off!  I made a patch big enough to cover the jagged tear in the back, turned the edges under a quarter inch, and appliquéd it on.  I am very glad for the busy print on the backing fabric.  It hides a lot of sins!

Okay, the hole in the backing is repaired and there is new batting under there.

Now for the front of the quilt.  I decided to make some new patchwork squares big enough to cover the tear.  My scrap basket came in handy.  I made one new half-square triangle block, and one big quarter-square triangle block.  I ironed the edges under a quarter inch.

I sewed the new half-square block on first.  It is the pink flower/blue batik in the lower left corner.  

Once that one was in place, I sewed on the larger square.  It is the one with the polka dots, pink and lavender flowers, and blue fabrics.

Wouldn't you know it, while I was doing these repairs, I kept finding "popped seams," that had torn out because the edge of the patchwork had frayed.  

These would have benefitted from new patches appliquéd over them as well.  Instead, they got sutured to hold them together.

The final step was to do a little more machine quilting over the repaired area, which was bulging out rather noticeably.  It was hard to stuff this big quilt under my sewing machine, so I just ran the machine around to make some stitches to hold things together.

All done!

Now my darling grand dog Roo better behave himself!

Who, me?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Charity Quilt Tops

I was able to make two charity quilt tops from the colorful squares and strips I cut and sewed recently.

I will try to quilt them the next time we go to the mountains, where my long arm machine is located.  But since it is in an unheated basement, they might not get done for awhile.  We are going back to Florida February 8 for my husband's last round of radiation, so they may have to wait until we get back in March.

Just for fun I have been doing some painting on some heavy brown craft paper that was lying around the studio.  I started out just painting some circles and applying color with acrylics.   The first layers looked pretty awful.

Here is how they look now, with lots more paint, ink, watercolor spray, oil pastels, and gesso.  Just playing!

Since these are just on a brown paper substrate, I'm not sure how many more times I can get them wet.  These are sort of a preliminary to painting in acrylics on mounted canvas.  They may end up 
adhered to a journal page before I mess around with them any more!

Last weekend we visited my brother-in-law and his wife in Maggie Valley, NC, outside of Asheville.  They live in a log cabin high on a hill.  There were lots of photo ops of the beautiful countryside, especially when we woke up to snow on Sunday morning!

We are expecting some snow and maybe some ice tomorrow here in Raleigh.  They have already closed schools before the first flake has fallen.  It will be interesting to see how much we get here.  Our mountain home in northwestern North Carolina may get a couple of feet!  We have a web cam on the house, so we can experience the deep snow from a distance.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Charity Quilt WIP

I did a little sewing on the charity quilt squares that I cut with the Accu-Quilt cutting system at my bee's sew-in last week.  My theme fabric was the patchwork print.  I also cut a few coordinating squares.

I decided to make a top similar to the ones several other members of the bee were making at our sew-in.  They basically are 5-inch patches of different lengths.  The ones from guild kits had white sashing strips, and also put some of the white strips in between the patches.  I decided to use the white sashing between the rows only.

I have several boxes of strips left over from other projects, so it was easy to chain-piece onto the strips that I had.

I have many, many more of the the multi-colored patchwork squares, so this quilt top will be growing.

I also have a new project that I did not want...a quilt repair job.  More on this later.  All I can say is...

"My Grand-dog ate my Handwork!"

Friday, January 8, 2016

Charity Quilt Sew-In

For several years, the January meeting of The Whacky Ladies quilt bee has been devoted to making charity quilts for Capital Quilters Guild in Raleigh, NC.  Sometimes we bring our own UFO's or other projects to work on.  The easiest way is to pick up some kits prepared by the various charity groups of the guild.  The quilts go to neonatal units of local hospitals, rest homes, a shelter for abused children, and other worthy charities.

Thursday was the day to meet at our member Donna's shop, Whatever's Quilted, in its new location at Capital Plaza, 11829 Retail Dr, Wake Forest, NC. 

Donna is not only a long arm quilter, but sells HandiQuilter machines and accessories, 108" wide backing fabric in a rainbow of colors, and lots of other threads, gadgets and notions for quilters.

I arrived late due to a dentist appointment in the morning.  I brought my some of my own fabric to cut in an attempt to do some stash-busting.  Donna offered to show my how to cut five-inch squares on the Accu-Cut die-cut machine.

First, I needed to iron the fabric.  Another new gadget:  the Elna steam-press!

This was very easy to use.  Just lay your fabric across the table, lower the top, and wait until it chirps!

After my fabric was nicely steam-pressed,  Donna showed me how to use the 5" die cutter on the big Accu-Quilt Studio Cutter machine.

This model is larger and more heavy-duty than the smaller model machine.  It can cut through ten layers.  I ended up with hundreds of five-inch squares, perfectly cut in just minutes!

Donna sells both the steam press and the Accu-Quilt machines.

The other ladies had a head start on me, and were almost finished with several tops by the time I finished cutting my squares.  Here are Marilyn, Carolyn, and Lori working on their projects in the back of the shop.

Marilyn's kit featured a farm animal print in a streak-of-lightning pattern.

Donna worked on one of the machines she sells at the front of the shop, so she could keep an eye on things.

Lori was working on a stripy quilt with white sashing.

Lori also finished this Superman panel quilt top, which only needed borders to finish.

Donna was working on this scrappy strip quilt.  She used some of the leftover pieces from the fabric I cut in between the strawberry and floral fabrics.

I didn't sew anything in the shop, but have lots of cut squares to work on at home.  

We each brought something to contribute for lunch.  Mine were salads from Whole Foods, which I purchased on the way to Wake Forest from the dentist office.  It was a wonderful day with good friends, food, and fabrics!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lettering Practice and Art Museum

I finished one practice alphabet from Joanne Sharpe's volume 3 Lettering video.

I used either Winsor & Newton Watercolor markers or Generals Watercolor Pencils plus a water pen to color the letters.

Today my art quilt group went to the North Carolina Museum of Art to view the special exhibits of M.C. Escher and the DaVinci Codex.  

The Escher blew my mind, but I felt somewhat dizzy/seasick viewing room after room of optical illusions and impossible perspectives.  The woodcuts and ink drawings impressed me most.  You were not allowed to take photographs in this exhibit, but here is one from the NCMA webpage.

Bond of Union, M.C. Escher

With the price of the special Escher exhibit (free for NCMA members), you also got to view the DaVinci Codex Leicester.  These are hand-written pages from his journal, full of sketches and theories about "how stuff works" that illustrate how far ahead of his time he was.

Of course, you can't read the writing unless you can read Italian in mirror image.

As quilters, you might be interested in a unique rendering of DaVinci's iconic Mona Lisa, on display nearby.

Mona is not only upside down, she is made of spools of thread.

There is a clear acrylic orb on a stand in front of the display, and if you look through it, the image rights itself.  It is supposed to show how peripheral vision works.

Tonight Charlie and I are going to the Durham Performing Arts Center, or DPAC, to see The Book of Mormon.  I feel like a real culture vulture today!  We were supposed to see this show in February of 2014, but we had an ice storm which prevented us from driving to Durham.  I opted to get tickets the next time the show was performed at DPAC.  We did not get season tickets this year due to Charlie's illness/treatment, so it will be fun to go to see a theatre show again.  The Broadway South series at DPAC is remarkable, and well worth the short trip from Raleigh.

Monday, January 4, 2016

More Lettering Practice

I downloaded Volume 3 of Joanne Sharpe's Lettering videos from Interweave.  This time the topic is decorated alphabets.  The inspiration comes from historical illuminated letters such as those often seen in ornate Bibles.

Here is some of my practice work.

Here is one from the Volume 2 video.  I used watercolor to add color and dimension to the bubbles or pebbles.

This morning we woke up in the mountains to a surprise snowfall.  There was about an inch and a half of accumulation. 

The u-shaped road is our driveway, a true switchback road on a hill.

It runs right next to this pond.  It was a little scary going down the drive and over the bridge to cross the creek, but we made it!

We had a wonderful three weeks at the cabin, and it did our souls good after a difficult year.

Today is our youngest granddaughter Charlotte's third birthday.   We sang Happy Birthday by Face Time on our i-Phones.  Saturday will be her party.

Sure do love this little monkey!  Here we are with some of cousin Lily's plastic hair extensions.  It is fun having girls in the family after being a Boy Mom for so long.