July 26, 2009

Claude's Beaver

Claude When I participated in the Parade of Quilts a couple of weeks ago, it made me think back to some of my early quilts.  I'd only been quilting for a short time when my grandfather was turning 80 and a big family party was planned.  I saw a beaver quilt in a book by Margaret Rolfe (I believe it was A Quilter's Ark), and I knew I had to make the quilt for my grandpa, who had a long-standing love/hate relationship with a family of beavers on his ranch property.

I had no idea what I was doing quilt-wise back then, but when I finished piecing this top, I thought it needed "something more" and bought a book on Seminole piecing so I could make a pieced border to liven it up.   Pretty creative for a novice!  I also took a machine quilting class so I could finish the quilt myself.

My fabric choices back then make me cringe a little now, but Grandpa loved the quilt.  Sadly, my Grandpa Claude passed away in December 2006, but now his little beaver quilt has a new happy home with my mom.

July 19, 2009

Laying the Foundation

2ndstory I am finally getting back to a project I started cutting out a few months back.  I'm making a Miss Rosie's pattern called 2nd Story, using a fat quarter bundle of the fabulous Blackbird Designs' Beach House fabrics.

There are 4 different star blocks and many ways to put them together, so this is certainly not a speed piecing project, but it's also been very enjoyable experimenting and putting the combinations of fabrics together.

July 9, 2009

Well Eva, We've Done Some Excellent Work Here....

IMG_0105 If you are a fan of the tv show Friends, like I am, you might recall a show in the first season called "The One With the Butt" where Joey portrays Dr. Sigmund Freud in a musical play called Freud!  I have all the seasons of Friends on DVD and I play them next to my Pfaff while I sew.  I've watched them so many times over, I can pretty much recite every line before the actors do.

I recently watched the first season again, so I thought I would share my latest photo of the Eva quilt and quote one of Joey's lines from that show.

I like the pink setting fabric (thanks for the advice, Carrie!) from Basic Grey's previous Moda collection, Sultry.  It coordinates well with Eva, and I think makes a nice frame around the Jacob's Ladder Jewel Box blocks.  There will be a piano key strip-pieced border added next.

The pattern is Sweet Escape, another great (and very fast!) quilt design from Miss Rosie's Quilt Company.  It uses just 2 layer cakes and 3/4 yard of one print for the setting triangles.  So if you have layer cakes that you don't know what to do with, you might want to consider making this quilt!

Million Dollar Smile!

IMG_0103 Orthodontia Phase One is complete and my beautiful daughter got her braces off yesterday - isn't that a gorgeous smile?  Now she'll wear a retainer and her headgear for a while (I'm guessing until all her permanent teeth are done emerging) and then - well, I don't even want to think about Phase Two ($$$$$).  But seeing her teeth, it's so totally worth it!

July 6, 2009

My First Quilt

First Carrie at LaVieEnRoise and Camille at Simplify have challenged readers to show their first quilt along with their most recent quilt.  I've shown this once before, but here again is my very first quilt, in all it's mismatched points' glory.

I started making this quilt in 1993.  It was a pattern from Quiltmaker magazine called Winkin' Blinkin' and Nod.  From this project I learned that templates are not for beginners, and that cardboard does not make a suitable template for rotary cutting.  What difference does it make if you slice off a little sliver of cardboard with each cut?  A lot, apparently!

Notice, if you will, the intersections of the pinwheel blocks in my second photo that don't come anywhere close to meeting!  Click the photo to get a closer look.  Go ahead.  I guarantee it will make anyone feel better about their piecing skills!  (and you can probably see my wonky attempt at machine quilting as well)

First2My quilt guild did a "Then and Now" feature at their show in 2008 and my first quilt was displayed along with a sampler quilt that I finished in 2007.  Yes, I do feel like I have grown a great deal in my technique since 1993.

For this blog post, I'm going to show another picture of my most recent finish - the Paisley Parade top designed by Laurie Simpson that was on the cover of Quilt Sampler magazine last summer.