Monday, August 31, 2009

The Ugliest Quilt in the World? NOT

As you may know, I have offered to do the quilting on charity quilts that my bee and guild are making for the Quilts on Wheels program. These are donated to rest home residents who are confined to wheelchairs. Often the elderly have poor circulation in their legs, and here in the south, most places are air-conditioned. When my friend gave me this quilt top, she swore it was the Ugliest Quilt in the World. It is made from scraps of flannel left over from other quilts she has made. There are nine-patches alternating with plaid blocks.

The colors are cheerful and bright. The texture is soft as a cloud.

The back is a soft blue and green plaid.
Some elderly person is going to be warmed and cheered by this gift of love every day.
I think it is beautiful!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Mountain Visitor

When we went to the mountains two weeks ago, my husband set up his stealth camera in the woods near a feeder that automatically dispenses corn twice a day. We are used to seeing lots of pictures like these from last year:

But when we checked the memory card on Saturday, we were surprised to see this fellow waiting for his five o'clock feeding!

Here he is again the next day, about an hour after the feeder went off, asking, "Please, sir, may I have some more?"

And again the next morning, getting a little more demanding:

In fact, this cousin of Yogi Bear apparently has decided that all the deer feeders are his version of picnic hampers, and he visited all the ones that the men have set out on the mountain. He tore down the tree that my son's feeder was on, and left this nice claw mark.

I'm not sure how happy I am about sharing our mountain with a bear. We have never seen evidence of them there before. I guess times are changing!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Some new quilting magazines

Yesterday I got my hair cut at the mall, and made the mistake of going into Barnes and Noble bookstore to "browse." As you may know, I am an avid reader. First thing I saw...a whole table of "Buy Two, Get One Free" novels. They had every book by Jodi Picoult, and I now have three more of her paperbacks to read. And while I was there, I looked at the magazine section, and treated myself to three new quilt-related magazines.

The first two are by the publishers Stampington & Company, who also produce Belle Armoire and Somerset Studio. I now own the premier 2009 issue of Art Quilting Studio, and the Summer 2009 issue of Sew Somerset. These are both very large publications with non-glossy pages and lots of first-rate photographs. The third one is new to me: Patchwork Quilt Mania. This is actually a French publication, but it fortunately is in English with a few non-American spellings like Centre and Programme. Not only does it contain splendid eye candy photographs, but there are wonderful illustrations on the title page of almost every article. I really love the cover quilt with the rainbow color range (colour, that is). Turns out those are Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and the quilt was designed by Roberta Horton for Kaffe's latest book, Country Garden Quilts.

I looked through all three last night and have so many new ideas for projects! Sew Somerset's subtitle is "the art of creative sewing with mixed media." It has six chapters: Wearables, Books, Boxes, & Folders; Decor; Mixed-Media and Collage: Cards, ATCs & Scrapbook Pages; and Art Quilts. Then there is also a Gallery of projects submitted by readers, some with brief instructions.

Art Quilting Studio's subtitle is A Magazine with Heart, Soul, and Imagination. This one is packed with projects, and I really love it so far. I may have to subscribe to this one!

Lots of time to read this weekend as we are heading to the mountains tonight. I hope you find lots of artful inspiration this weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quilting for Little Girls

Just finished up two more "girly" quilts for a new customer's granddaughters. Can you believe these are her first two quilts? She should enter a "My First Quilt" competition. Both are from the same pattern, made with very charming Moda floral fabrics. And both have scalloped edges! I never tried a scalloped edge until I had been quilting for more than twenty-five years.

I would advise anyone contemplating a scalloped edge to mark the scallops prior to quilting, but cut them after. It was a little hard to baste down those curvy edges.

On the next quilt, I remembered that I have basting spray, so I used that to hold down the scalloped edges. This worked great- much less fullness and rippling to tame.

I also thought it would be helpful to put a design that followed the curve around the outer border, so I did a quick informal feather.

The rest is all swirls, flowers, leaves, and hearts. My favorite kind of quilting again!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why I Make Quilts, Part 4

I got a wonderful thank-you note from my niece Rachel, with her baby Christopher wildly enjoying his new quilt!

Here is an older picture of his cousin Naomi on her quilt from Aunt Jeanne...

And here, in a moment of silliness, the two mommies (Dr. Rachel and Dr. Amy) back when they graduated from University of North Carolina.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Grandchildren Delight Me

The weekend pressure-washing trip was very successful. My son's house is set very far back from the street, but there is a dirt road on the side that goes by a cotton field. (Did I mention it was in South Carolina?) The cars going down that road really stir up the dust which settles on the house, carport, swing set, everything! Now it is all gleaming and looking great.

Along with the pressure-washer, we took our old kitchen table and chairs down there. Before, they used their dining room area as an extension of the living room/play area for the kids, and just had a kid-size table. I brought along a table cloth and some quilted place mats. Now I realize that was not too smart in a home with two little kids. I should have brought easy-wipe-off vinyl mats! Anyway, I had no sooner started to set the table when three-year old Lily started bringing out various toy people and animals and tucking them under the "quilts!"

The silverware even got to take a nap under the "quilts" next to Strawberry Shortcake and The (Naked) Little Mermaid!

When I was in the bathroom, I heard a little tap at the door. I opened it to discover this:

I was fine with Batman and the web slinger, but that plastic snake- not so much!

We always do a lot of artwork when I am with the children. I decided to share some of the glitter I bought at Etc. Crafts last week with Lily. She was excited about the shiny glitter, but got her "gl" blend words mixed up. She kept asking to play with my "igloo!"

Since she still likes to pick at everything, I think I will get some frames for the glitter artwork.The sidewalk art did not last after the pressure-washing, but was lots of fun on Saturday. Avery wanted a fire-breathing dragon

and Lily wanted Tinkerbelle and flowers. OOPS! Peter Pan's crocodile is getting close!

The kids were getting along so well on Saturday. They made a game out of just about everything, including the trailer we used to haul stuff from home. You can see that red dirt road in the background. It was a great weekend!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Two More "Quilts on Wheels"

I am amazing myself with my own productivity this week! Yesterday I quilted two more of the "Quilts on Wheels" charity quilts produced by members of my local bee. The first one is my own top, another Yellow Brick Road pattern using the black and white donated fabric mixed with some from my stash. Lots of polka dots here!

I love doing these short and fast projects. I timed myself on this one. I found a backing and a batting that were the perfect size with no trimming, a thread that worked and already had wound bobbins, and I mounted, quilted, and trimmed this little guy in 50 minutes!

I also did Sharon's other Quilts on Wheels. This one will be perfect for someone in the rest home that fondly remembers growing their own garden and canning their vegetables. Isn't this a great way to make a top utilizing large prints? It almost looks like a glass-front cabinet filled with luscious fruits and veggies.

I quilted this one with pumpkins, vines, and a few apples and carrots thrown in. Very fast!

Today we head to South Carolina. We are hauling our trailer with pressure-washer. While the men are pressure-washing our son's house, I will enjoy entertaining my little grand-children. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
And here is a big shout-out to my brother Jeff in Florida...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE BROTHER! I hope your weekend looks something like this!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Quilt for Lacy

I finished one of my own quilts yesterday. Yes, for a baby girl great-niece, Lacy.

This is another Yellow Brick Road quilt, with some of my favorite fabrics. There are two different hummingbird fabricssome coordinated fabrics from a pack I bought at a quilt show, and some of my last hand-dyed fabric, which was supposed to be scarlet but looks like salmon or light coral to me.

I referred to Suzanne Earley's Meandering Magic book again, and used a Hearts and Ribbons meander. I had some space in between the meanders that I filled in with feathers, flowers, and of course, the baby's name, Lacy.

Since her name is Lacy, she had to have something lacy on her about this eyelet lace ruffle? Nice and soft. I found it at Mary Jo's Cloth Store a couple weeks ago.

The back fabric looks like a hand-dye, but it's not. I love this soft color.

Now to make the label, and it will be ready for my precious new niece to cuddle.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Works-of-Charity

Yesterday the Gammill was humming...and I was humming Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow as I worked on the first of two charity quilt tops! If you recall the Whacky Ladies Sew-In Day in July, the finished quilt tops are starting to come in. First up was Carolyn's, maker of the cute baby quilt in yesterday's post. She made a Yellow Brick Road top from Christmas fabrics, including a lovely soft red flannel that feels wonderful.

I decided to use Suzanne Earley's Holly and Ribbons design from her
Meandering Magic book. I had just done something similar on a Christmas quilt back in July, so this went very quickly.

Then on to Sharon's quilt top. She made up a design using some donated fabric.
It features little watering cans and bunches of cherries. I decided to refer to one of Darlene Epps' Pocket Guides on meandering designs, and sure enough, she had a cherry pattern that I somewhat copied.

Both of these quilts will become "Quilts on Wheels," for residents in rest homes. They are limited in size to 45" x 45" or less. They make up quickly and the quilting goes fast. We are committed to providing 200 of these this year. And we are off to a great start!