Friday, September 29, 2006

A Mystery and a Shop Hop in one weekend!

I just completed the "shop hop" in my area...6 quilt stores participated. At each store they give some fabric and at the last store, you receive a table runner pattern to go with the fabric. What a deal! Free lovely fall fabrics and a pattern. And I got to see all the newest fabrics in some of my favorite stores. Of course I spent too much money, but that always happens on a Shop Hop! Thank you to all the stores who participate in these fun events.

While shop hopping (this is a new verb!) I bought some wonderful flannels for the Quiltaholics weekend mystery. I plan to make a lap quilt for someone special for Christmas. I wanted masculine looking fabrics, and although the colours didn't scan well, you get the idea.
I will post the quilt top when it is finished.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The unending problem of UFO'S

One of my quilting challenges is the huge mountain of UFO's that live in my basement cupboards. Some quilters call them WIP's (works in progress), which has a more positive energy than UFO (Un Finished Objects) if a WIP is still being worked on, and will be finished any minute now. But my UFO's are really just unfinished and not being worked on, and sitting in a cupboard, box, or bag.
Two years ago I joined the UFO club at my local quilt guild and this has been wonderful for my UFO pile. Each September we make a list of the projects we would like to finish, one for each month of the quilting year. We bring the UFO's to the first meeting, where we take each one out and show it to the group (8 brave quilters). Everyone "ooohh's and ahhhh's" over the projects and we remember why we started it in the first place and then we hopefully fall in love with the idea of finishing the quilts so they can be used and enjoyed, instead of sitting in a closet.
In the first year, I finished 6 quilts. In the second year, I finished 7 quilts. Here is one of my finished UFO's:

This quilt is made from blocks exchanged in a Quiltbee block swap, made and exchanged by quilters named Kathy/Cathy or some variation of this name. It was lots of fun and I enjoyed the swap. However, then the blocks sat in a bag in my cupboard for years. Finally, with the encouragement of the UFO group, I sewed the blocks together and quilted it. It is about 30" square and is a nice autumn wallhanging. In case you were wondering, my block is the 3D bowtie block in the bottom row. On the back of this quilt, I appliqued the signature squares behind each of the blocks.

So, now it is time to create my UFO list for the new quilting year. I have to select 8 projects from the cupboard. I never include smaller/mini projects on this list...only wallhangings and bed size quilts. I have two quilts that have been on previous years lists and are still can imagine how much I hate those UFO's!! They will top the list again this year, so now I just have to pick 6 problem!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Traditional & Steady

I am one of the most boring people I know! I have lived in the same city almost my whole life, been married to the same man for almost 23 years, lived in the same house for 16 years, and worked at the same job for 13 years (except maternity LOA's)...predictable, reliable, stable and boring. That's the way I like it!
I am always making large bed size traditional quilts, like the one I worked on yesterday. This quilt began in a mystery quilt class at Reichards in the spring. This is a photo of one of the blocks.
I always have projects waiting for me in plastic bins, all the fabric, pattern (if there is one), threads, etc together in one place. Some of them are just waiting for borders and quilting, others are waiting for me to finish sewing the blocks. I finally finished the blocks and sewed them together. I haven't decided what this quilt will become...deciding between a large wallhanging for the dining room (probably not) and a lap quilt for my mother-in-law who loves flowers and gardening (all the fabrics are florals...not my "thing").
I find that repetitive sewing on traditional blocks is very soothing and relaxing. There is no designing to do and no decisions to make. It is a great way to calm down after work or before bedtime (I often sew late at night). And in this way it serves a purpose in my life...however it is boring after a while.
That is where the quilting excitement comes in! The only place in my life where I take risks, do crazy things, waste time and resources, and do not have a plan of any in quilting!
Tonight I am working the night shift (on call) and hope to have a quiet night so I can read my new Quilting Arts magazine and decide what new technique I will try this month.
From the last issue I tried the technique of painting with tissue paper. I even had a whole day of painting with one of my quilting friends.
This was the result, and I call it "Reaching Out". It has little gold people in the netted's bizarre and not like anything I've made before but it is growing on me! I left the tissue paper on the top and quilted over it. As a result, it is very fragile and starting to rip on the sides...I won't do that again!
Well...Let's hope it's a quiet night at work so I can plan my next crazy experiment with quilting's the only excitement I get!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Postcards Finished!

I finally finished my postcards for the "Fibreart For A Cause" sale at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I really wanted to finish something to be at the festival...if I can't go, I wanted my quilting to be there! I used two starting a "dislike" and one a "like", based on an exercise taught by Myrna Giesbrecht in her Quilt University class "Self Expression". My dislike start was a piece of painted and stamped fabric that I considered a "reject".

Using shapes similar to the stamping, I cut bits from my scraps and laid them on the fabric. When the pieces were on, I thought it looked like a communications tower and after putting a layer of tulle over everything, I machine quilted lines out from the tower. Then I added some beads radiating out from the center and couched a fibre called "Marabout" around the edge. This is the finished postcard called "Radiant Fairy Tree".

My second postcard was inspired by a photo I took in my sister-in-law's garden this summer.
I painted most of the fabric for this card using Pebeo Setacolor paints or Canon D'ache water soluble wax pastels. And I found out when heat setting the paint, that a cotton setting will melt tulle!~ This is how the leaf looked after I ironed it....
the tulle I was using for the leaves melted, so I had to sew on a second layer of unmelted tulle! And I kept the iron away from it!I had to quilt more around the edges of the card because it wasn't laying flat. I should have quilted the background before making the flower and I'll know this for next time. Then I spent some time doing one of my favorite things...beading!I added beads to the center of each of the petals and some in the center of the flower. I finished the edge of this one with satin stitching by hand using DMC floss (3 strands). This postcard is called "Lantana", which is the name of the flower.
I have mailed them away and miss them already!Hope they find a new home with someone who will take good care of them!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Five Years Later

It's hard to believe that 5 years have already passed since 9-11. As I watched the news coverage and documentaries this week (my favorite was "The Falling Man" by 'The Passionate Eye'), I remembered how quilters around the world responded to this tragedy. In September 2001 the owners of "Little Quilts" in Georgia asked for donations of small quilts, hoping to gather enough quilts (several hundred) to give one to each of the families who lost a firefighter or police officer.
In response, I collected my bits of fabrics and began to create a quilt to contribute. I used these pieces of cloth to soothe myself, to restore my own sense of hopefulness, to calm my anxiety in this time of crisis, and to remember that peace is restored one piece at a time. I sewed a little quilt, wrote a message of condolence and love on the back, packaged it up with a postage donation and all my best wishes, and mailed it to Georgia.
The store was overwhelmed with the more than 2,300 quilts received and in 2002 published a book called "Patriotic Little Quilts" showing some of the quilts they received, including mine!
This is the postcard they sent out to quilters showing some of the quilts they received: Anne Johnson wrote: "We take the scattered pieces of fabric and create something brand new, something beautiful and uniquely ours. In a small way we feel a sense of individual empowerment and a bit less helpless in coping with greater events."

Welcome to Blogging

Welcome to Kathy's blog!
I'm new to the world of blogging, and looking forward to sharing my quilting adventures.
I also enjoy photography, so I will post lots of photos to enjoy.
Happy Quilting!