Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Marilyn's Garden close to done

I have a new quilt I have been working on in secret..."Marilyn's Garden".

An overview from my cold and windy porch tonight.
Marilyn is Marilyn Mook, one of my professors and friends from Michigan State University who passed away a couple of years ago. She used to donate a quilt to the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' (formerly Michigan Dietetic Association's) state conference every year to help our Association make money for dietetic student scholarships. I made this quilt and am donating it to the Association to honor her memory (and hopefully make money for the same cause).

Marilyn had a nice perennial garden that ringed the edge of her fenced yard, thus the name of the quilt. This quilt will be given to one lucky ticket buyer this Friday. I had better get working on the binding!

The binding will be the same batik as on the front of the quilt...doesn't it look great with the back?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby Quilt Pronto! And an "addition"!

Our new "addition", Mr. Shorty.
We named this kitty Shorty because he has a short tail and always hung around our house. (His family named him Fred, but he'll always be Shorty to us.) He was a super friendly neighborhood cat, but for the longest time we didn't know where he lived. One summer while we were walking the neighborhood, we figured out who his owners were. 
Both last winter and this winter have been horribly cold, and the owners would let him go outside. He would come to our house, a few houses away, to get warm. One time we brought him home, and the owners said he hadn't been staying home much and they were thinking of bringing him to the shelter. (What???  You guys are letting him out in zero temps!)  DH decided right then and there we would adopt him, and they were OK with it. He is a very nice cat, and gets along fine with the other cats (but Miss Rose gets bent out of shape about it once in awhile). He's about 13 or 14 years old.

Baby quilt packets getting prepared for the stitchers at work.
Next is our baby quilt project.  We have a pregnant co-worker who did not want to know the baby's sex, so that left us quilty ladies in a quandary. What color to make the baby quilt?  Fortunately Deb and I saw a kit and cute pattern from Renee Nanneman that was just perfect for either a boy or a girl. And on sale, too! 

Baby quilt top put together in a weekend. We were given 1 week's notice of the shower.
Mom got to see the quilt top last week (not done) at her surprise shower and "loved" the colors.  My task this week is to finish the quilting, bind it and attach a label. Baby is due March 4, but mom looks like she's going to pop her buttons! Literally!

A little quilting done. Still have the square-in-square blocks to quilt.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New "Old" Blocks

I bought some Pennsylvania Dutch quilt blocks, from a woman who dated them at about the late 1890's, early 1900's. They have that distinctive bright mustardy yellow with a tiny red print.  You don't see a lot of reproduction yellows as bright as these; I just love the bold colors (the yellow is the closest to real yellow in the 3rd photo down). I'm not sure what I will do with them at the moment, but just looking and admiring is fun!

Double pink, green and mustard yellow makes the block pop.

A nice rich red with the mustard yellow. Almost glows in the dark.
What I did not count on was some little mouse got to these blocks before me, and made a very pretty house from some of the red and yellow blocks!

Ms. mouse had good "taste" in fabric.

More mouse work.
 It will be easy to repair these blocks, but not so easy to find the right yellow. I have found a couple of reproductions that could work, but the hand of the new fabric is so thick and stiff compared to the older fabric that I don't want to go that route yet.

There are people who specialize in selling older fabrics, but I have found the yellow to be on the rare side, thus the price is high (50 dollars or more a yard, anyone?)  And they sell the fabric in small bits (i.e. 15 inches by 20) but 25 dollars for a small hunk of fabric? Yikes. I still hold out hope that I'll find a nice stash of a variety of mustard yellows and bright reds that someone will beg me to take off their hands. Hah.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Card Production 2014

So, did you guess Christmas cards?

That's what the quilt block was for (and by the way, it was my husband's idea...I never would have picked an 8-pointed star as a "quick thing to throw together" to use to make cards! I had to sew it by hand, because I had to get the pieces to fit and did not have a pattern or template.  Back to Geometry 101.)

We have been making our own Christmas cards since the early 1980's (one year when my husband was swamped with work and had absolutely no free time to fit in Christmas card designing, I had to buy cards. They were cute cards, but I felt so guilty that I wrote a "sorry this is not a homemade card this year" inside. My friends thought that was just too funny.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Secret Projects

Working on a little something...can you guess?

Here's the front. It's about 11-inches square with the black border.

Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Two Finishes and Signs of Fall

A little behind, here. We had stay-over company, company at my dad's (who we had to run and see), checked out ArtPrize with the company, and attended the West Michigan Quilter's Guild Quilt Show, all mushed together in about 2 weeks.

Aunt Pat and her quilt
Yay! I finally got Aunt Pat's quilt done. As you may recall, this is a quilt that her grandmother made in the early 1960's, we figured.  I repaired the shredded patches (there were lots of them), and put knit fusible interfacing on part of the back where the backing fabric was gone (just to keep the guts in).  The last thing I did (in the 2 days prior to Aunt Pat leaving Michigan--they only stay for 4 days or so) was tie a new back on the quilt with no. 8 perle cotton, and put a new binding on. That binding was a bear, but I did it all by machine due to time limitations. Got it done at 1 a.m. of the day we were meeting them for breakfast at 9 and surprising them with the quilt. Yikes! But I think Aunt Pat likes it!

Buggy Barn pattern Spring Posies (I think)
I finished up this quilt, too. "All" I needed to do was bind it and sew a sleeve on the back. Now it hangs in my stairwell overlooking my living room. It is about 60 by 70 inches.  Now I need to get to work on something more seasonally appropriate to hang in this space. Something orange, perhaps?

A nice row of pumpkins at Potter's.
Want some good cider? This is the place to get it!

Next up: Showing you photos of ArtPrize (I got a shot of the winner's work) and the local quilt show, which was outstanding. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Quilting

Fall 2014 Garden
So where have I been? Outside, of course! This summer has been one of the nicest I can remember, temperature-wise and with lower humidity. Makes you want to stay outdoors all the time! Even when I am at work, I make a point to at least walk outside around the building at lunch time.
Catching the light (while it's still here)
I am making some quilty progress, too. Slow but sure.

I'm about two-thirds of the way done quilting this one. I thought I could get by with machine quilting in the ditch between the blocks, but it was not enough. At least the stitching between blocks is holding everything together while I hand quilt the logs of the blocks (the blocks are about 4 inches wide).

I have more to report, from a Harriet Hargrave lecture at our guild, to the AQS show in Grand Rapids mid-August. Stay tuned!