Monday, May 31, 2010

Sewing Binding

I'm not terribly fond of making binding. For the church quilts, we usually turn the back to the front or front to the back. It is cheater binding, but it is much faster than putting on a separate binding. But this time we were not able to work it out, so we will put real binding on.

I found piles of precut strips in the church stash. I think they were cut for sashing; at 2.5" wide, the navy strips were perfect! First, sew the strips together on the diagonal.
Then iron neatly in half, wrong sides together.
Roll up on empty toilet paper rolls! The one on the right is (hopefully) enough for the two church quilts. The one on the left is for the patriotic quilt.
I find this to be tedious work, but since it is a necessary part of quilting, I do it. On Wednesday we will bind and finish the church quilts. And on Sunday, the quilts will be presented to our two graduating seniors!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An old quilt top

Here is a quilt top that I bought at a garage sale last year for $35. It is huge! It creates a wonderful optical illusion! There is some damage in this hand-sewn beauty; I will be able to undo the damaged edges and use the good pieces to fix holes in the middle. After repairs, it will still be large enough to completely cover my queen size bed!
Here is a close up of the pattern. I have not seen it anywhere else, and I cannot identify it.
All the seams are set in, something I don't ever care to do with a machine. But I will honor the quiltmaker and hand sew it when I repair it. Then to clean it. Yikes, I am sure that red will bleed. I will have to do some major research before getting this one wet! Eventually I would like to hand quilt it as well!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memory Quilts

I'm joining Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival!

When my sister passed away, I offered to make two memory quilts from her clothing for her two children. My mom came out with the bags of clothing, and we worked together for a week to finish these two quilts.

The clothing included many different kinds of fabrics, from heavy sweaters to cotton knit tops to sweat pants. So we decided to cut large squares and sash them in order to preserve the patterns of each piece of clothing.
We included a photo transfer or two, plus three favorite Bible verses of my sister. The backing was a soft ivory fleece; there was no need for batting, as the tops were plenty heavy already! I machine quilted straight lines on the sashing.
It was such an honor for me to make these for my nephew and niece. The clothes smelled like my sister's house...and Mom and I were able to remember my sister as we worked on the quilts.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My day today

Here is where I sat from 7:30 a.m. until 2:45 p.m. It is the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent. It was a long slow day, and I was thankful that my name was not called to be on a jury.
I came home and did this! I put the borders on the very patriotic quilt!
The border fabric depicts exploding fireworks! I like it very much. And it felt good to do something productive after a day of sitting in a chair, waiting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quilt Flimsy

Just one picture today. This is a smaller quilt top that I am working on for Quilts of Valor. I have two borders to add.

This pattern is called Disappearing Nine Patch. First you make a nine patch...this one had 4 blue squares in the corners, 1 red in the center and 4 white in between. Then you cut it in half both ways and put it back together. (Sorry, I did not take pictures of the steps.) To me this looks like the red squares are behind the blue squares. I'll post another picture when the borders are on!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Musical Daughter

I was trying to upload a video of the homeschool choir, but after two hours, I gave up. So here is daughter singing with the choir at a Ladies Tea (at a Reformed Baptist Church, of all things!).
Here's my beautiful girl. The choir 'uniform' is black pants with this burgundy t-shirt that has their theme on the back... Shout with joy to God, all the earth.
Sing the glory of his name. Make his praise glorious. Ps. 66:1-2

Our church had a Ladies Tea a few weeks ago. Daughter and friend Sarah sang a song called "Sisters"; they played it up and made the audience laugh!

Then there was the annual piano recital. Here is daughter and her teacher. The teacher is a real flower child. She drives a yellow VW bug and she dresses sort of like a hippie. She has such a great personality; daughter loves her as voice and piano teacher.
When I had a piano recital, the music had to be memorized. Everyone would wear nice clothes. I would stand up and say "I shall play Blah Blah Blah by So and So", or if it was a duet, "We will play ... by...". Afterwards we were supposed to take a bow. Well, not at daughters recital. Kids wore what they pleased, the teacher announced the songs, and the kids skipped away from the piano without a second look. The formal atmosphere made me so nervous; this relaxed recital was just alot of fun!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today's Garden Tour

It has been raining today, and then when the sun comes out, everything seems to glow with life! This is in my backyard. The wisteria is in bloom; under the arbor is a mysterious plant. It has beautiful blooms. There used to be a different kind of plant there, and I think it had been grafted onto this plant. The other plant died and this one is a more-than-acceptable replacement!

Then there are these purple flowers. I always call it bachelor's button, but in reality it is a corn flower. They love to expand. I actually have oriental poppies in there as well, but they are rather overwhelmed!
My peonies have bloomed and are done already. They don't bloom very long, just a few days. Then the rain forces them to bow their heads until the petals fall off.
In the front yard are my salmon-colored petunias! I have not put colorful flowers along the walkway before, but it really needs a splash of color. I'm loving it!
And last, but not least, the glorious giant rhododendron! It used to have branches and flowers to the ground, but it covered up the third bedroom window and I was uncomfortable with the safety of that. So I keep the branches cut high. Eventually I hope it will grow into a tree and soar above the roofline! The bees feast with appreciative buzzing!
Stay tuned...there are many many more plants that will bloom all summer long, and I will try to remember to share them with you! After all, gardening and sewing are the two great legacies I got from you, Mom!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Little Miss Muffet...

...come sit on your tuffet! Yep, here is the finished tuffet. The fabric is Moda's "Flutterby" by Tula Pink; the pattern is by Myra Mitchell. I took a class as I could make no sense of the pattern! Well, it is done with paper piecing, which I had never done.

Here's a view from the top.

It almost looks like a piece of candy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quilt play

Someone donated small hourglass blocks to our church quilting group, but we would not be able to use them in our graduation quilts. So I took them home and played around a bit. It was great fun! Here is the result so far...

Daughter loves it and says she thinks it is perfect for her American Girl Doll Kirsten, who lived in pioneer times. I will add more to it eventually, probably with more fabric from church that is considered too ugly to use in the graduation quilts. My plan is to donate it to a charity when it is complete. But one little girl at church declared that it was ugly! Well, it is a scrappy quilt, and I am not sure what the final product will look like. If it is too "ugly", I may have to keep it. Personally, I love it!

We also had leftover pieces cut for one of the current quilts. When I saw the pattern "Avignon Picnic" on the Moda Bakeshop site, I knew I could use the fabrics to make the quilt. Here is what I have so far...

Yes, it is patriotic, and I think it will look very festive when completed.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Upside down tomatos

This goes completely against all I have learned in botany regarding geotropism. Phototropism is evident at this point, but what happens when there are heavy tomatos on the plants?!

The planters are hanging from the eaves of the roof, on the south side of the house. Three of them are the "Topsy Turvy" brand, and two of them are generic. We are testing the difference between the two!

I am hoping this works, for I have been unsuccessful with tomato plants in the past number of years. Left to right...cherry, roma, beefsteak, and two early girls.