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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Here we are enjoying the sun and the hot tub in sunny San Diego. I haven't been to any quilt shops yet but we have visited some galleries. Basically, we are just enjoying the weather and the family. Who could ask for anything more!

Monday, February 20, 2006

We are all ready to leave for San Diego tonight so there won't be much going on in the quilt department for the next three weeks. I do, however, hope that I will get to see a few quilt shops and maybe take a few photos. Meanwhile, think of us in the sunny South!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Here is Free's quilt all finished. I have done a lot of hand sewing this weekend but it's nice to have them done in time to take to San Diego.

And here is Sky's. They are quite different shapes. A quilt seems to have a mind of it's own when it comes to size and shape. It depends on the size of the blocks and borders I guess but it is always a bit of a surprise when they are done.

As you can see from the background, we are in the process of packing. We weren't going to take a big suitcase, but two quilts will make that necessary.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Here's Sky's quilt with the binding all pinned on and ready to hand sew. I had to take a break from Free's because I ran out of orange thread. I think I will be all right with red on the top though as long as I have enough orange left in the bobbin. I am doing free-motion on the small squares where the patterns join. It's a challenge! Also end up with a sore neck and back.
Free's quilt will be done tomorrow one way or another. It's very cold and stormy today but if it gets milder we will go to town tomorrow and I can get orange thread. Otherwise, I will finish it with red.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Here is Sky's quilt all ready to pin. I have to finish quilting Free's to free up the pins first. This morning early, I went out and pinned Free's only to realize after I was done, that I had forgotten to tape the backing to the floor. The backing was all puffy and I could see that it would be a mess if I quilted it like that. So...
take all the pins out and do it again. My hands are a mess and my back is sore but it will make a much better job.

Here they are, Free's partly quilted and Sky's waiting in line. I still have to do some diagonals on Free's but I am not sure if I will go aronud all the little squares. I will see how much time I have. I'd really like to have them both ready to take to San Diego next Tuesday. Free's will have orange binding and Sky's probably blue, but I haven't tried to see how it looks. It will be either blue or gold.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I still didn't get a batt for Free's quilt and in the meantime I've finished piecing the blocks for Sky's quilt. Tomorrow I will get two batts and quilt them one after the other. I still have to assemble the blocks for Sky's quilt but they are all ready and the sashing is done. Then I will just have to put on the borders and quilt it. If we don't leave for San Diego until next week they might even both be done. I am afraid that Sky's quilt may be slightly larger so I hope that doesn't cause any jealousy! You never know just what size they will end up.
That means Summer will have to wait for hers, but as I tell them, the more you wait, the better your quilt will be.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Here is Free's quilt all ready to quilt but stalled for lack of a batt.

That means that Sky's quilt is moving right along, though, so it's not really a problem, especially for Sky. It does mean, however, that possibly neither of them will be finished in time to bring along when we go to San Diego.

Here is Sky's quilt so far. I think it will be three squares by five squares, but I am not sure how big that will make it. I want to keep them more or less the same size. No use having anyone jealous!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Free's quilt is all ready to quilt but I realized then that I had no batt big enough for it. So there it sits until I get to town but the roads are really icy and the car is stuck in a snowdrift at the end of the lane.
Thus, I have started on Sky's quilt. I have to decide whether to use both colours of stars or to stick with the yellow and gold ones. The smaller stars in between the big ones are also optional and can be orange, yellow or gold. So many decisions!

Friday, February 10, 2006

It is only a piece of fabric after all, and I didn't find anything suitable in town, so I bit the bullet and cut up the beautiful dyed fabric for the border. Today I got that done and now it's ready to quilt. That is always a huge decision. It is bigger than I had planned so I will have to do something quite simple. It doesn't really lend itself to stitch-in-the-ditch, which is my usual solution to the quilting question. I think (hope) I have enough orange for the backing and binding. It will be nip and tuck but according to my rough measurements there should be just enough.
I think the dark color quiets it down a bit and that's probably a good thing.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I dyed some fabric for the background but it's too nice to cut up. I love the circular pattern that appeared. I used low-water immersion dyeing with Procion MX dyes. It is always very unpredictable but when it turns out like this you hate to cut it. I will see what is available in town before I decide to cut it or not.

Here is a close up of the circle.

While I was waiting for the dye to be finished (it has to set for at least half an hour and then wash, wash, wash until all the excess dye is out and then dry) I tried a couple of blocks for Sky's quilt. I prefer the one with the yellow rather than the orange but there are so many options. I do really like the background fabric though so I will probably go with that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Today I got all the pieces done but now I realize that I can't use the orange for the border as I had planned because I will lose the top of the orange pattern. That would make the blue pattern too dominant. Anyway, now I am dyeing some fabric burgundy and navy which should, according to the color wheel, look good. We will see when it comes out of the dryer. I may also look when I go to town and see if there is anything that would look better for the border.

Monday, February 06, 2006

OOps! Can you spot the error? That's what happens when you try to finish the last piece before taking a break even though you are tired. Not too much of a chore to rip it out and re-do it but never much fun.

This is how much I got done today. I think I need another row on the end to make it more of a rectangle. Then I will put on a narrow blue border and a wider orange one. I would do it the opposite way but I am a bit short of blue.

Cherie's quilt is done! I spent yesterday morning sewing on the binding. It looks pretty good. There are still a few things I would change if I were doing it again but it seems that is normal. The quilting doesn't show up very well in the photo but you can see the secondary pattern which is the black crosses.

Now on to Free's. His will be faster because it's smaller and the pattern is relatively easy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thanks to Cherie coming over and helping, the pinning was done in no time. That left today open to start quilting. It actually went a lot faster than I thought it would. I got all the center part done with stitch in the ditch and the cable design on one end. At that point I totally ran out of steam. The quilting doesn't show up at all in the photo but you can see how nice the black dyeing job turned out, thanks to Jen's old spinner washer which could be programmed to agitate for an hour. Too bad I didn't notice that the hose wasn't connected to the outlet before I started spinning the dye out! A bit of a clean up there.

Here is the right side. I am always surprised how much better they look when they are quilted. I still have to do the cable on three sides and straight lines on the two outer borders. I should be able to get to the binding tomorrow if I have as productive a day as today.