Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Country Cousins quilt is on display

It was a great day today... my Country Cousins quilt is hanging on the wall in our living room.  We moved a couple pictures and found an almost perfect spot.  There is a chair and lamp in front, but it really doesn't hide much.  Wall space comes at a premium at our house.  It gives the living room a whole new look.

We are still needing rain and the 100 degree days have not gone away yet.  One of these days when it cools down a little, maybe we can get some of the projects done that requires being outside for very long.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two UFOs completed

Does anyone know where this picture was taken?  There should be a few quilters out there who know, and there is a bit of history represented here.

A couple hints, we crossed these two bridges that are not too far from each other, and they were near the end of our trip to this town in Kentucky that we visited last week.

Back to quilting... If I could count the quilt top I finished this afternoon, I could actually chalk up three completed UFOs this week.  My Country Cousins quilt is totally done, but I did not have a good way to display it, so I do not have that picture just yet.  I have a pole setup that I can raise up on pulleys between the house and garage.  The last time I hung up a quilt the ropes fell apart as I lowered the quilt... the sun had baked the ropes to a crisp... remembering those two months of 100 degree days.  My husband replaced those ropes this afternoon, but he advised waiting until morning to raise a quilt for a picture as the wind would have caused an issue.
The first quilt I completed this week was my Country Cousins quilt.  I made it a quilt-as-you-go project, so once I had the last border attached I only had the binding left to do.  Well I finished the hand work on the last  two border pieces while on our trip last week.  I couldn't wait to get home and attach these two borders so that I could bind this quilt. It's really neat and can't wait to get some good pictures.

Next quilt I had finished piecing before we left on our trip, but I had decided to use a high loft batting to give the quilt a puffy look, so I waited until we got back so I could get the right batting... there was a super big roll at church that we are trying to get rid of at quilting.  The cool part about this quilt is I got my husband to do a few passes on the quilting phase... so he had a hand in getting this one done.  I did the quilting on this one using pattern boards that a stylus follows, so you really can't mess it up.  Quilting on a frame can look very intimidating, and I am pleased that he is willing to give it a shot now and then.  Didn't he do a great job?

The last quilt I finished piecing the top and added both of the borders, but it has not been quilted yet... a quilt isn't really complete until it is quilted with binding in place.  I still think it is OK to consider it as being done, at least this stage, because more often than not you have put alot of work into these masterpieces even without considering the quilting.  The special part of this quilt top is the mitered corners on the outside border.  It is a first for me. I looked at the stripe on the batik border fabric I found for the border and I could not justify doing it any other way.  By the way, this quilt is from a "class" I am taking that isn't finished yet.  The last block you see in the corner here will not even be introduced until next Saturday.  The picture we were given at the start of the class showed all the blocks and I found these blocks in EQ.  Right now the quilt is 86" square and I have not decided on which fabric I will use for the binding.

OK,  I know you were in such suspense.  The picture at the start of this post was taken pretty much while I was standing in the same spot... I just turned around and took a couple steps.  For those who have not been there, this picture was taken in Paducah, Kentucky.  I didn't get to spend a whole lot of time in Paducah... it was just a side trip on our way to Ohio, but I was able to squeeze in a shopping expedition to Hancocks of Paducah.  Of course you couldn't pass the opportunity to visit the National Quilt Museum.  My husband does not spoil me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September and still over 100

My weatherman husband has told me more than once there is going to be a change at the end of the week... he just didn't tell which week and what kind of change.  It certainly hasn't cooled down any... but he did say there is going to be a change soon.  I guess that means sooner or later.  Meanwhile 100 + is the norm... every day, and has been since sometime in July I think.  Feels like an oven outside most of the time.

Back a few months ago, I think I just went to session number 5 of this 6 month, once a month quilt class.  I found out in the second session that the blocks for this quilt were all taken from the library files in EQ.  The quilt was to be made from Batiks and each person was to make their own choice for the background.  The picture of the example used a very dark batik that almost looked black.  I don't like working with black fabric.  It is difficult to see what you are working on sometimes.  After our first class where we were given the fabric for the first block, minus the background, we went out of the class and selected the fabric for our individual background.  I picked my background based on these first fabric pieces.
The upper right hand corner block is the final block, and there are only 4 of them. Three of the blocks in this quilt required 8 blocks of each.  I have one more to complete of this last one and I will be ready to sew on to the last strip for the bottom.  I showed the two border fabrics I found in a post I put out there back a couple weeks ago.  I did the first center block with the templates provided in the class, then I figured out the blocks were from EQ, so I printed paper piecing templates for the remaining blocks, except for the turquoise and lavender blocks which were just simple squares.  When I get on a roll, it is hard to slow me down.  The last block that is the corner block shown above is not even going to be given to us until the next class at the end of September.  I anticipate having the borders on before then, so I might end up not going to the last class.  I'm hoping the borders will improve the looks of this quilt.  At this point I'm not real impressed with how this is turning out.  The blocks and colors don't seem to make a good presentation.  I have had to fill in with shortages in the fabric provided in the class, but mostly the choices were made for me.  The only difference I have made is my choice of background.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ribbon Lanyard... add on

Back a while ago I posted a tutorial on how to make a ribbon lanyard... something I find very necessary to keep my scissors handy.  The original post for this tutorial was a year ago in May, so you will have to go to the archive files for May of 2010.  I've made several over the years, but you can always learn something new.  I had a request to show some pictures of the way that I tie the ends when I am done looping.  Well, in order to show the end, I needed to make a new lanyard so I could take the missing pictures.  I always seem to get a little frustrated with how I start... you tie a knot on one end and you have two spools of ribbon on the other... and where is the starting loop to come from? Today when I sat down to start my new lanyard I decided to take some pictures at the start also.

In the first picture it shows the green with a loop in it under the straight piece of purple.  With the two ends together, take the ends under and come up around and down into the loop formed by the green and purple ribbon (not the bigger green loop showing on the right). Pull the ends through and finish the knot.  Give a little tug to tighten.  You now have your beginning loop on the right.  Maneuver the two ribbons into position.
The purple ribbon needs to come around to the left to begin the looping.  Proceed to the previous tutorial to work through the lanyard to the point it is ready to be tied off.

Finishing off the ends

 Cut the ends leaving 3 or 4 inches to give yourself room to tie off the ends properly.  Take the opposite ribbon end and thread it through the last loop.  Pull ends to snug, then tie a simple overhand knot.  It may take a little maneuvering to get it close enough and to look nice.

In this image the short ribbon ends are from the start and the longer ribbons are at the finish.   On the right it shows my choice to tie my lanyard ends together using a square knot.  I also found that by using a wider ribbon the end result is the lanyard seems to have buoyancy... it stretches when I pull, then springs back when I let go.