Monday, October 27, 2014

Double Wedding Ring Antique Quilt

Here it is, fresh off the long arm machine...a double wedding ring antique quilt!  This is another top made by Helen Stewart, my sister-in-law Debbie's late grandmother.  To see some of the other completed ones, please visit this page.  And here is another with a picture of Helen holding Debbie's daughter, Rachel, when she was a baby.

I have to admit that I did not like this one much at first.  The background fabric is a flowered sheet.  I thought it was too busy for all that piecing.  But, it has grown on me and now I think it is very cheerful.

This quilt top had some issues, the two biggest being that it did not lie flat, and that the piecing seams were not very strong.

Instead of spending a lot of time making repairs to the top before quilting, I decided to just use a curvy overall meandering pattern and Make This Sucker Lie Down Flat!  It worked pretty well.  I decided I would not worry about any pleats formed by stitching through the extra fabric.  And I was able to catch a lot of the seams as I went, strengthening them at the same time.

I also used a very thick polyester batting, Quilters' Dream Puff, which helped ease a lot of the fullness.

My plan worked splendidly!

Hettie quilted the old-fashioned way, by using up fabric from sheets, clothing, and curtains.  I recognize some of the fabrics from other quilts that I finished for Debbie. And she recognizes some of the dresses that her grandma lovingly sewed for her.

The backing is white-on-white muslin.  I used a Seafoam green thread in a leafy vine to somewhat echo the floral vine print on the background fabric.

Now to bind around all those scallops and get this one done!  (I've only had it for three or four years.)

We took a last October trip to the mountains last weekend, and were rewarded with clear blue skies, colorful foliage, and warm temperatures.

Next weekend we will stay in Raleigh to help host our annual pig picking.  It has been a great October!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Art Quilt: Connections

I went to the PAQA-South quilt exhibit at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary yesterday, thinking that I would linger and take some photos prior to my art quilt group going out there for our November meeting.  I took a few photos in the foyer of the old house, and was told by the lady at the desk that I could not take individual photos of the quilts.  I could only take shots of the quilts from across the room.  Well, that is the first time anyone has stopped me from taking pics at this venue.

In the display case at the entrance, there is a colorful arrangement of prayer flags made by members of PAQA-South.  I must have missed the memo asking us to make these.  They look great!

I found my quilt upstairs on the second floor.  The room is not nearly as lovely as the downstairs parlor with the gorgeous wood floors, grand piano, and fireplace.  It is just a meeting room.  But I liked the quilts upstairs.  Mine is the little guy at lower center.

Here is the wall at the far end of the room.  The two quilts on each end are by Raleigh quilter Roxanne Lessa.

Here are some more on a different wall upstairs.

 And these are on the wall opposite my quilt.  My friend Roberta Morgan's quilt is the one with the faces next to the window.

It has been beautiful in Raleigh.  I took my dog for a walk at Umstead State Park, which actually adjoins my neighborhood.  Instead I drove to the entrance off Glenwood so we could walk around Big Lake.  The leaves are just starting to change there.

We are now in the mountains, where it is quite chilly and there is a freeze warning for tonight.  I started quilting an antique quilt top this afternoon.  It is going well, and I should finish quilting it this weekend.  Photos to come in a future post.  Here is a teaser:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Art Quilt: Connections! Opens Today!

The latest PAQA-South art quilt exhibit is now open to the public at the Page-Walker Art and History Center in Cary, North Carolina.

Here is an image of the main exhibit room downstairs at the Page-Walker.

And here is a journal page that I made featuring this event.  The names of the participating artists are on the right.  

I hope to visit the exhibit today or tomorrow.  I will not be able to attend the artist reception.  But here, once again, is my little contribution to the show.

The Traveling Day Lilies, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meet the Neighbors

We have been going to the mountains every weekend this fall, with just one more to go before a little break.  We have a family compound in the North Carolina high country.  My sister and her husband live across the pond from us, and have a little farm in their back yard.

I took some close-ups of some of neighbors.  Introducing:

Buckwheat, the newly acquired miniature donkey.  He looks just like Donkey in the Shrek movies.  He came from a niece's house, where this amorous little guy was optimistically harassing their female horses.  He now has been moved to a large fenced-in hilly pasture with some little bull calves.  He seems happy there.

The Calves:  

My brother-in-law lived and worked on dairy farms for most of his life, and I think he has missed having some Holsteins around.  They now have three in the field and two smaller ones still in what I call the "play pen" with the goats and assorted chickens and playground equipment.


The Goats:  They started with a Billy and two Nannies.


Here's the old man, Billy.  He now has fathered three kids and is quite a grump.

But how could you not love a little face like this?


Aww, shucks!

 Hi, Neighbor!

There are numerous chickens, both roosters and hens, some of them banties.  My sister has raised quite a few from eggs, using an incubator.


It's a lot of fun to take the grandkids over there and let them see all the animals.  There are some fluffy white rabbits, not to mention the dogs Fred and Daisy.  Fred is sixteen years old and looking it.  In his day, he was very handsome and super smart.  Daisy is not much more than a puppy.  She can run all day and loves to play.  They both spend a lot of time at our place when we are there, hoping for Uncle Charlie to give them a treat.


This past weekend we had our granddaughter Charlie with us, my sister had three of her grands, and our other neighbors Ricky and Mary had two of theirs.  It was fun seeing these cousins playing together.


That's a little look at our family and friends.  The leaves are falling fast in the High Country, but it is still very pretty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Repairing a Much-Loved Quilt

A couple of weeks ago, a handsome young man asked if I could repair his high school graduation quilt that I gave him in 2008.  He said he loved it, but was afraid it would be ruined if the "edge" was not fixed up. Here is the post about it and the photo of the quilting.  I used the Yellow Brick Road pattern by Atkinson Designs.

Hunting Season II, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2008

I was hoping he did not mean it had been chewed up by his dog!

When I got it back, the whole quilt was soft and cuddly...and the double-fold binding had totally worn off at the edge, and in some areas, at the seam.

Instead of picking out the stitches from the old binding, I opted to just lay my ruler along the old seam and cut the binding off with a rotary cutter.

In order to strengthen the edge of the quilt as well as the binding, I sewed the new one to the back of the quilt by machine, and then zigzagged it to the front.  


As you can see, the old label was completely faded away.  I usually use Pigma Micron pens and heat-set with an iron, but I guess it does not stand up to repeated washing over the years.

So, I made a new label and was sure to heat-set for at least one whole minute.

The old quilt now has a new look thanks to the striped-effect fabric that I found in the same box of fabrics as the original quilt.

Now it is ready to return to its owner...maybe with a jar of a gentle quilt soap?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Trip Around the World

Here is the Trip Around the World Quilt that I finished for my friend Marcia.  She and her husband joined us at our mountain cabin last weekend.

It is so large that my husband and I had to hold it up and take a picture remotely with his iPhone camera.

She was thrilled to have it done.  Her mom made the top before she got ill in her last few years.  We found it in her stash when we were going through her bins of fabric.

The quilting does not show in the top photo, but I did lots of swirls and feathers to soften all the lines and squares.  The photos are from when it was still being quilted on the machine.

We enjoyed a good time in the mountains.  It is getting very pretty up there with the fall foliage.

That's Marcia and I on top of our mountain.

How about this sunset on the way up on Thursday night?  Spectacular!

Tom and Pauline also came back up, and Tom and the guys finished the stone steps from the upper to lower driveways.  Now we need to decide how we will finish the walls.  Probably paint or some fake rock.

It was a relief to get the drain system and retaining wall done before the winter sets in.