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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Nine Patches

Once I had the first row of the extra patches done, I realized that I would have to add two rows to each end to finish the large diamond , otherwise it would look incomplete. The quilt is now longer and narrower than I had planned, but I don't want to put two rows on the side and make it so huge that it is impossible for me to quilt on my regular machine. Some people could probably do it but that is not my favorite thing to do, so I like to make it easy on myself. I also don't want to hand quilt it, so I guess it's a long double bed size, depending on what I do with the binding.
I have assembled the top two rows and sewn them together but I havent added them to the top yet. If you look in the lower left corner you will see why I took a break. One patch is on wrong so I thought, what better time for a coffee break. I will try to finish the piecing later today and then start looking around for something to use as backing. Maybe I will dye something. I had a nice burgundy dye that would match pretty well but I think I have used it all up. I could also make large patches from the left over nine patch fabric. There is not much burgundy left and once I do the borders, there won't be much pink either.
I am quite pleased with the way this one went together. My corners are not perfect but a lot closer than on my very first quilt which was also a nine patch but crib sized. Luckily, Reve, who is two years old, doesn't care about points and corners. I hear he likes his "Blankie" just the way it is.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Newest Quilt
Here is the beginning of my newest quilt. The fabric was a gift from a very generous friend. She has had the fabrics for some time and I love the old fashioned look of them. I have enough left over to make another quilt. I think I will add another row to the top and bottom to make it more rectangular.
Now I have a couple of options up for the borders. I could also do a narrow strip of either the dark or light and do a pieced border. I think it's called piano keys. I have to make some more strips for the next two rows so I may try that and see how it looks. It might be too busy.
I love doing nine patches. If they are pressed right they fit together so nicely without much pinning. My kind of quilting!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

More Teapots

Since so many of you seemed interested in my teapots, here are a few more. The cabinet in the background does have some teapots but also lots of pottery. The large ones on the top are by my husband (see my link to Star Center Art) and some are by a friend, Jennifer Hildebrand.
Too bad I included the messy corner with the bag of flour. It was on sale, two for one, and since I bake my own bread I couldn't resist. Just no good place to store it.

The second one is a teapot my husband and children gave me for Mother's Day about 20 years ago. It is getting a bit worse for wear because I use it all the time, but that just makes it more special to me.
The large cream colored one actually belongs to my daughter but she hasn't claimed it yet. I love it because it's large and there are lots of cups to go with it. Useful when there is a lot of company. I believe it comes from Viet Nam.
The last picture is of my white ones. The one on the right came from a thrift shop complete with six cups. Sadly, only four are still intact. It needs a new handle but every time we go to the pottery store where they sell them, I don't have the measurement. They come in many sizes.
The one on the left was a gift at one time.
I especially like the tiny one in front. It has six tiny little cups and a tray. We bought it in China and surprisingly, they are actually used there and are not toys. Each cup holds about one mouthful.
The last time we were in China we visited a tea plantation in Fujian province near where we were staying. That was a very interesting experience and we bought some tea that is so special there that they don't export it. The leaves are all rolled up and when you add water they open up and you see the actual leaves. It is green and tastes completely different from any tea you would get in North America. I'll try to find pictures of the tea farm for a later post.
I will also take a photo of the bottom of the cups with the Japanese woman's head. Unfortunately my camera batteries died just as I was getting ready for that photo. By the way, the little bird looking things with the white teapots are chopstick rests from Japan. They are to put your used chopsticks on so the table won't get dirty.
Stay tuned for more teapots.

Friday, May 26, 2006

As requested here are a few photos of some of my teapots.
This first one I got at an auction for about $15 because they thought it was a toy set. It has a creamer and sugar bowl and 6 cups and saucers. The most amazing thing is that if you look at the bottom of the cups in the light you can see a Japanese woman's head. The bottom is thicker and thinner porcelain so parts look darker. It's amazing. There is a name for the technique but I forget what it is.

The second one we got in China about three years ago when we went to visit there. We were in Xiamen which is directly across from Taiwan. It is a beautiful city and we loved it there. The set has 6 cups and saucers. I love it because it mixes Chinese and European styles.

This cute little teapot is also from China bought on a previous trip about 14 years ago. I think we bought it in Canton.

The brown one was bougt at the same time as the blue one. It's not quite as nice because the lid doesn't quite match. Still, we loved the handle and the Bamboo sprout that is near the spout.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I finally went with hearts and diamonds for the quilting. I decided that the front was just too busy already to put cars, trains and airplanes on as the quilting. I am now in the process of adding the binding. I had just enough of the blue from True's name to do the binding. Lucky break. Usually there is just about enough! I had a few inches left over.
Now I am ready to start Cherie's teapots from the silk brocade I bought in China a couple of years ago. I have photographed more of my teapots to use as fused on appliques. The current problem is what to use for a background. I don't have any plain silk so it will have to be cotton. The colors of the silk are brown, turquoise, royal blue and burgundy. They all have gold or beige in the pattern so that is probably what I will go with for the background. Photos of the fabric tomorrow.
BTW the wierd looking things at the bottom of the photo are my feet standing on a chair so I could get all of the quilt in the photo.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Here is a colse up of some of the fabrics in an antique Double Wedding Ring I am quilting. I found it in a trunk at my Dad's place. He has no idea who pieced it. He does remember the names of every horse he ever drove in his 92 years and that is a LOT of horses. I guess you remember what you're interested in! I think it was pieced in the 1930's by my mother before she married. It could have been my grandmother even earlier. It is not very well pieced so I think it was done by a young person. Luckily, that matches my quilting which is not very well done either. It is an interesting array of fabrics.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I have the Boys all assembled and ready to quilt. I was going to Put a narrow red border and a wide navy one but when I tried it out on the design board, I prefered this simple version. The dark blue will be the binding. The problem facing me now is how to quilt it. I quilted around all the letters on the other ones but I don't want to do that on this one. I was thinking of something continuous that would siginfy noise but I'm not sure what that would be. Maybe stars or a meander?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The letters for the Boys of Noise are all done and connected together. I particularly like the M in Dream. I had quite a struggle with the accent on Reve but it turned out all right after a couple of tries. I am not sure about the asterisk. It may change to a star. I am dyeing some navy blue for the border. It looks great with the blue from True's name but I don't have enough of it. I am thinking a narrow red border and a wider blue one. I aslo need something at the ends of the True and Reve strip. Not sure about that yet either.
On another note, has anyone ever used that spray glue instead of pins for attaching the batting and backing? I had some in my hand the other day but at $25 a pop I decided to get some opinions before purchasing it. I don't usually like to buy things in aerosol cans if I can help it so that was another factor. However, anything that would eliminate pinning from my life would be a bonus.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Here we go again with more Wonky Letters. This time they are lower case and I am totally winging it but it's fun. These are for my Australian grandsons, aka The Boys of Noise. I will also put their names and a quote from their Mum. Their names are True and Reve (which means Dream in French) and her quote is "Dream come True". I like it because it includes both their names. And of course, they are a dream come true.
I'm not sure how I will arrange them, but Boys of Noise and Dream come True have basically the same number of letters and spaces. I can either make a long narrow wall hanging by separating The Boys from Of Noise or I can make it wider by putting them in one line and filling out the line with the boys' names with stars or asterisks. I will see how it looks on the design board when I get the letters done.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tempest is finished! I need to block it and label it, but the sewing is all done. It looks pretty good on my yellow sun room wall. Too bad it's so bright out there that any fabric would fade to white in no time, especiall the hand dyed stuff. I still have a couple of teapots left so I may make some more and do another one.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I went for the four teapots and I will make another quilt with the two left overs. Then I will only have to make two more. I want to try the lower case letters and to make the teapots tip in different directions.
I have quilted around the squares, most of the letters and some of the teapots. I'm not sure if it shows up in the photo but I have done a meander stitch coming out of the spout and all around the teapot on the lower right. I tried to make it look like steam. I am also going to use free-motion to quilt in a cup and saucer on each side of "IN A" to fill those blank spots. The binding will be the same blue as the borders.
Hopefully, I will finish it tomorrow because we are having company on Wednesday so there will be no quilting time.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Help! I need opinions. I am much happier with the new sashing but now I am not sure if I should put the last two teapots on. It seems to look a bit more finished with only the four teapots. Also if I go with only the four, should I change one of the middle ones that are the same with one of the bottom ones that are a different shape? I really like all the teapots and they are all different except the two middle ones. I will sleep on it and see what I think tomorrow. I am really pleased with the way the letters turned out and glad that I thought of "Tempest in a Teapot" instead of "Tea for Two" which was my first idea.
My main regeret is that the teapots ended up all tipping the same way. I thought they were going to be different but somehow it didn't happen. Less of a tempest than a sailing merrily along. Lucky there are always more quilts to make mistakes on.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I have started a teapot wall hanging. I took pictures of some of my teapots, changed them into line drawings and used that as a pattern. The first one I lined with fusable interfacing and then turned it inside out before machine appliqueing it down. The rest of them I used fusible web and just fused them. Much better option if you want any detail, which I did. The only thing I am not happy with is the sashing. I love the looks of it but it is very flimsy fabric and the lines that form the checks are not on straight. I may take it off and look for something else for the sashing. I was going to put some wonky letters on, maybe saying "Tea Time" but I'm not sure where they would fit. Maybe down one side? I'll see tomorrow.

This morning I finished sewing the binding on my wall hanging. I still need to block it. I am also thinking of putting my name on the bottom below the middle house where there is a bit of a wide purple space that I don't like. It seems to need something in it.
There are also a couple of letters in the names that I might rip out and re-do. I did them using free-motion and a couple of them could be better. All in all I am pretty happy with it. It is my first completely free-from attempt and it was a lot of fun. Stay tuned for more using this method.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Emma Jane, the friend who is responsible for my quilting addiction, is here to visit so we have been team quilting. It's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off. I managed to get the sashing and borders on the string pieced quilt but there is a major problem in the lower right corner. I have decided just to finish the thing and call it a learning experience. I am not crazy about it anyway. I'm not sure if it's that it's so dark or if I am just sick of the thing. The backing is also that dark brown so it's a very sombre quilt to say the least. The quilting is going to be a huge challenge too. There is no way I can do straight lines all across it. I am thinking of concentric squares inside each block. The other option is to do something unrelated to the piecing but it would have to be curvy because of all the straight lines on the front. The only thing I am sure of is that I am not going to hand quilt it.
On a postive note, I am sewing the binding on the Home is Where the Heart Is wall hanging and it's looking pretty good. I'll post a picture as soon as it's done.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Every year at the quilt show in Morden, a challenge is issued for the next year. At the next show the entries are judged by popularity with the public. This year the challenge is to make a bag. Up until now I have been too chicken to enter, but I love making bags so (thanks Jen) I bought the package of fabric they supply. The first picture doesn't show the brown fabric but I wanted to show how nicely it was packaged. The brown is actually more of a rust color than it seems in the picture and has a mottled look. It's beautiful. The blue has sort of greenish watery stripes in it. Now to find some fabric that matches and some ideas. I have a whole year but that's not always a good thing for me. I do better with immediate goals. I have to be careful not to put it aside and forget about it until it's crisis time next year!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I forgot to take a picture of Ariana's quilt before I gave it to her so here it is now on her bed. Iguess I should have put it in the quilt show as well.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Here are some photos from the quilt show in Morden today. Cherie's quilt is beside a very nice log cabin.

Java Jitters got some positive comments. I wish I'd had time to block it. Fortunately there were other wavy quilts so I didn't feel too bad.

The lasts two are of Micha with her quilt. In the one with Summer's quilt she was trying to get out of the photo but I caught her anyway. She was proud to have her quilt on show but was hoping it wouldn't get into the raffle accidentally.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I decided on the purple this morning. It's pretty intense but it highlights the houses and that's what I want. I put it all together which was pretty much like doing a jig saw puzzle. Good thing I like puzzles. I have started quilting. I have done around the letters of HOME and IS and have quilted the top left house.
The light is not very good in this photo but you can get the idea of how it will look. The blank space in the middle will be filled with names or words.
I will probably bind it with the same yellow as on the roof of the house on the bottom right.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Today I finished the letters and the houses. Tonya, I agreed with you when I put the white letters on the gray floor. The white background was just too much. Also it was too boring making them all the same. I was able to take the I from IS and cut it down to a T in THE and the H and S were small enough to fit with the other letters. Now am trying out background fabrics.
I only tried the purple because I bought a lot of it for a different project and it didn't work on that one. Surprisingly I like it a lot in this wall hanging.
The second one I liked because it has tiny castles and stars and moons on it. Unfortunately, it's really too busy to work. Not sure if that comes across in the photo.
The brown has a bit of an opalescence to it that is nice but it seems maybe a bit bland.
The last blue also has a bit of a sparkle to it. I was thinking of free-motion embroidering some words in the spaces between the houses too.
I also split the heart from the words in the purple one and it looks better. I may play around with the arrangement of the houses and letters a bit too.
This is such a fun stage. I have it on the floor because my design wall is covered with the string pieced top, hence the photo of my foot on the brown one.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Here are the new letters. I don't know why the E always turns out so huge. I guess it's not a problem but the next time I am going to try to make a small one. I think I prefer the white background. The next word is WHERE so I will have a chance to try smaller E's.

And a closer view of the last three houses I did. Too bad the door on the orange one doesn't have more contrast but maybe I can fix that when I quilt it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Here is my attempt at wonky houses today. Finally Blogger let me load them. The first one I did is the small blue one with the black roof. The roof is too narrow and I don't like the door but I love the sky and the way the chimney seems to be smoking. Then I did another blue one with a red door which was much better but the sky was not as good. They seemed to be getting bigger as I did them. I also did the letters for HOME but the E wasn't done when I took the picture. I have since then, made several more letters. I decided to scrap those ones and make some that are more the same color. I can't see how I can pull it all together with so much going on. The new ones all have a white backgound and each word has all the letters the same color. I keep getting the letters bigger too for some reason. I might still use these ones but so far I like the others better.
I would like the houses to be a bit more wonky so I may re-do some of them too. They are a lot of fun to make. I love picking out the colors. The last two are in answer to the question, "Can't you put the chimney on straight?" That was what got me to thinking that they should be a bit more wonky.

Here is the Double Wedding Ring on the quilt frame and with two rings quilted.

I had a picture of my houses and wonky letters that I started but Blogger wouldn't load any pictures after the first one so that will be my post for tomororw. I got six houses done and a few letters.

Meanwhile I went to my Dad's and got the antique fan quilt to put in the show. While I was taking it out of the car I dropped it in the mud. No I did not have it in a plastic bag. Don't ask me why. I washed it immediately but there is still a stain, on the back only, thank goodness. I have been advised to use SHout on it but I don't have any and there is no time to go to town, get some, wash and dry the quilt (it is constantly raining the last few days) before I have to take it to the show. I guess I will just take it as is and deal with the stain when I get it back. Old quilts can have stains, right?