Sunday, May 24, 2015

Green Quilt for Karen

A friend from high school talked me into helping her with a quilt for her granddaughter.
She designed it and sent me the diagram and the fabric.
I pieced the top. We made a couple of changes as I did it; I sent pictures it after all the blocks were cut and the components arranged.

Now it's up to her to have it quilted and bound.

Because I had enough leftover fabric, I made her a bonus, a smaller version for her to keep.

(note: the beige pineapple blocks are part of the quilt on the wall that I pinned the top to in order to photograph it.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Oma's Quilt

In the early sixties, my grandmother gave me a log cabin quilt.  I'm thinking it was when I turned 21.
She normally gave them as wedding presents, but I was slow, and she was getting older.
In fact, she died before I got married.

I used it and washed it and used it.  It frayed; I mended it.  The edges tore; I mended it.

There's a quilt show here at the library, celebrating 50 years of the town's incorporation.
Oma's quilt is one of the ones on display.
Wonder what she'd think of that!

The second picture shows the colors better.
All the center squares are red.  The "logs" in the log cabin blocks are made of scraps from Oma's sewing and from my mother's scraps.  I still remember some of the skirts and dresses that the pieces represent.
Her color sense was impressive.

No rotary cutters, rulers, and mats.
Just tear the strips and sew them together.
Make the blocks, lay them out on the bed, and get your granddaughter to help you look for touching pieces of the same fabrics.  One of my earliest quilting memories.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Playing with my stash

I've been trying to work on quilting using only the fabrics that I already have.  The other day, I eyed the Rubbermaid tub that holds all my orphan blocks; you know what I mean - the leftovers from previous quilts, the trial ones from a class that didn't quite pan out, the freeform ones from a day of playing...

I made several piles, trying to find some commonalities.

A panel with a wonky house, a tree, a sun and a cloud called me.  I set it on my design board for inspiration.

There were lots of "crumb" blocks available too.   So I put those around the panel, adding in another wonky house.  Didn't have quite enough to finish, so a Hole in the Barn Door one snuck in.

I had to add coping strips to the panel to make it measure a multiple of the crumb blocks.    But I think I wound up with a cute baby quilt.

Quirky, yes.  Colorful, yes.  And look how many orphan blocks I used up!

Next one started with a set of wonky houses.  I trimmed most of them to a common height and put them on the wall.

I found some trees, two little girls, and a dog.   Coped the widths with some nine patches. There was a brown strip in the "chunk box" that looked like a road.  Up it went.

I'm liking this.  But don't want to make it into a baby quilt.
Hmmmm.  What can I add?

Let's see - here are some blue blocks that will look kind of sky-ish.   So much better than that plain strip of blue.  And some strip blocks and nine patches for a top border.

I think the road needs a center line.  Wonder if I have any yellow rickrack?  If not, white or black will do.  Better make a drunkards path to turn the road, since the brown stip doesn't go all the way across anymore.

Root vegetables - how about a garden area?

Oh look, a big red-orange star that could be a sun!    (Have to add more blocks at the top and make it wider now.)  Another small house and some more trees.  More trees.  Oh, trees are fun to grow.

Now I'm making some more veggies from my chunks.  Not orphan blocks, but getting rid of scraps anyway.  This is fun.

BTW, yes, that is a buffalo in the upper right.  Don't know how he got in there, but he seems at home.

I'm thinking the name of this one will be "Around the house" because all of this came from my block orphanage or the chunk box.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Bowl is not Empty!

The Empty Bowls project hosts a sale in Round Rock this year.  For sale are bowls made by area children; the proceeds go to the food pantry.   It's held at a primary school, with pottery demonstrations, music from school groups, and general celebration.

I've been meaning to go for years, and finally made it.  I bought one bowl (it came with a side of soup) that was interesting - kind of flat, metallic gray on the inside, pastel and lumpy on the outside, and with a chip in the rim.  It doesn't photograph well.  But it sits on my coffee table and reminds me that I have food to eat whenever I want.  Food of my own choosing. Nutritious food or frivolous food.

I also bid on a little heart shaped red bowl at the silent auction.  I don't know if the hole in the bottom was intentional, but the sale organizers made a silk purse out of a sow's ear by adding a begonia in just the right color and calling it a planter.

Yesterday I got the call that I had one this sweet little piece and I was very pleased  I may have to transplant the begonia into something larger, but for now, it will grace my table and make me smile.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring 2015

My iris have been wonderful this year.  I've shared with a number of friends and they are still plentiful.
They only last a day after being picked, but the buds will bloom if left in the water.

My ajuga bed is full of blooms, too.  I had bought about a half dozen plants from the nursery at Bee Caves and Mopac when they went out of business.  Ajuga can be invasive, but these are confined to a bed bordered by sidewalk and decomposed granite pathway.  I've been sharing with my sister, and can afford to thin out more for friends later this year.

Some of the iris came from my daughter's yard - they put in a patio and passed the plants on to me.  
Others came from my sister, who had gotten them from my Mother's yard.  So the iris are a family thing.   
I planted one plant by each post and one more halfway between.  They have really spread.  My neighbor on the other side of the fence is enjoying some, too.
I have plans to share when the blooming stops and it's time to divide them up.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Vanilla on the Wall

Although I plan to give this quilt to my granddaughter in a few years, I am using it now to add texture and interest to my living room wall.  It's a smallish wall, directly by the traffic flow, so I don't want to put furniture there.

I hung the Vanilla quilt there and was pleased to see that it left a border of about 2 inches all the way around.  A perfect fit.

The colors blend in well with my cottage decor and it really makes me smile as I look at it.

Janie did a wonderful job of quilting it on her longarm with the Rambling Rosepantograph.  I like a swirly quilting design on a very geometrical quilt.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Only in Texas

My friend Kay took this amazing picture of her bluebonnet plants the other day.  It was five degrees below freezing and the bluebonnet plants were iced over.  What a fascinating picture.