Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Most Productive Weekend Ever.

I got off my butt and decided to bust some stash and finish up some UFOs. I love my stash but it's prettier on a bed than it is on a shelf. And goodness knows my UFOs are prettier on a bed than they are in plastic boxes.

The first thing I did was get my Bear Paw box down (had two done) and finished up the rest. I had the bits cut so mostly it was a matter of just actually doing it. I have to admit that it was so fun to see it coming together. This is a Moda Bakeshop pattern and works up very easily. I made one modification, though. The original pattern involves a jelly roll so the blocks are surrounded by 2.5" strips and corner posts and then sewn together. I had yardage of my background fabric so instead I left the blocks borderless and put 4.5" sashing and blocks between them instead. It looks much the same but it was easier on my brain. And since I'm hand-quilting it I'll appreciate having fewer seam allowances to work around.

Yay! It's so pretty! And when my husband looked at me and said "Now who is this for?" I was able to say "It's for right there on our couch."

I finished the bear paw on Saturday night and then thought rather than go finish up any other UFO I really wanted to start something new. I wanted to do something fast and easy with big blocks. And stars, I wanted stars. So I pulled out my Schnibbles Times Two and looked at Plan C and voila! It was perfect. I've also done a bunch of darker and more "masculine" colors so I wanted this to be light and much more girlie. A quick hunt through the stash and I settled on my cuts from Tanya Whelan's "Darla" collection. Perfect.

What's that? What did you say? Oh, yes. That is, in fact, a 3ft. stuffed T-Rex over on the left. And yes, that's also an inflatable minion from "Despicable Me" in the upper right. The joys of having a three-year-old in the house. (Actually, the inflatable minion is mine and Steve's. We just let Chloe play with it.)

These blocks are ginormous, the flying geese are 4x8 and so it worked up SUPER fast. Just perfect. It needs borders put on still but I'm happy leaving it like this for a while while I decided whether or not I want to use the piano key border listed in the book or get a little more yardage (or some from Delilah) and do a solid border. Thoughts?

When it's done it should be okay to throw over a double bed. I'll take it down to Michelle's (my mom's local quilt shop, they rent time on their long-arm and I LOVE working on it) and give it a nice all-over soft flowy pattern. Plus there's enough fabric left to do some fun pinwheels for a baby quilt if my co-worker turns out to be baking a female in there.

And Steph? Be careful. If you compliment this one it's coming to live at your house. I sincerely doubt Starfish Dude would take kindly to big girly flowers on the bed. :)

Next time we move on to my current insanity, Miss Rosie's "American Pie" pattern and the first time I didn't have a heart attack at the phrase "cut 720 of these." I think this hobby has stolen my brain.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Normally I blog about my own quilting and I'll get back to that with the next post, I'm sure (or maybe it'll just be cute pictures of my kid, but how can you blame me?). This time, however, I'd like to talk a bit about the kind of quilting that inspired me. My mother has always had her grandmother's quilts displayed and used in her house. the bottom of each of the guest beds has a quilt across it and the rest are on this wooden quilt rack. I'd like to show you bits of my favorite. It's hte one across the bottom of my bed when I sleep there and I like to think of it as generations past keeping me warm at night.

It's this one, a hexie flower patch. Each of the flowers has a patterened outer circle, a solid middle circle, and the same color center piece for each flower. I love the color choices. They don't "match" but they "go", y'know?

The most amazing thing about it, and the thing I hope you can see in this yellow one, is that not only are the flowers hand-pieced hexies, but so are all the white pieces. Thousands of them. Every single one of them has been hand pieced together and then hand quilted in a 1/4" echo quilting stitch around the center. The amount of work that went into it just amazes me.

Another block showing the quilting detail:

So, how do we do at our reproduction prints? How do those whimsical prints look next to the fabrics they're trying to mimic? You tell me:

Circus elephants playing ball? Check.

Also fabulous florals with background checks and other fantastic motifs. I feel like our repros are understated if anything. The fabrics from this quilt are late 30's through late 40's so they cover quite a range but if the colors still look like this after thousands of washes imagine how they must have gone POP when first made.

There's a terrific Sunbonnet Sue hanging on that rack as well but we'll leave that for another time. For now I'll leave you with the fantastic blanket stitched applique from my other favorite of my great-grandmother's quilts:

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