Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baptism Quilts

It's been too long since I wrote about what quilting has been progressing from my trusty Singer.  I've been sewing, but not writing, which doesn't make much sense, given that I like to write about sewing almost as much as I like to sew.  Both go better with a good glass of red wine.

Both of these are baptism quilts, made for St. Matthew's Cathedral.  They're different, but meet the critical criteria - they're easy, which also makes them quick.  Sometimes I don't get a lot of warning ("Karen, did I mention that we have two baptisms this Sunday?")  I try to stay ahead but don't always manage.  Hence the easy, no-triangles, no endless-squaring-up as befits a quilter like me.

Turning Nine - Baptism Quilt

This one is Tricia Cribb's Turning Twenty Again, although obviously, it's a Turning Nine.  So easy - makes a great simple quilt.  This one is for a girl. 

The second is a Baby Nine Patch.  I got the pattern originally from Connecting Threads and now I can cut it in my sleep (okay, not literally, but you know what I mean.)  This is my go-to for baptism quilts, because I can start Friday night and have it done easily by Sunday morning, without being late for choir practice.

Baby Nine Patch Green Jungle Cartoon

This one ended up going to a little girl, although it could have been for a boy.  Sometimes I can't tell from the name. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Convergence

My Christmas Quilting!! (Or at least, the one that actually got finished.) I started this one on the 23rd, when it occurred to me we were going to Winnipeg to spend Christmas Day with my husband's family, and although we don't do gifts, it felt churlish to arrive empty handed. When in doubt, quilt. When in need of something (very) soon, quilt simple. Convergence it is. Cut, sew. Cut again, sew again. Border. Sandwich. Quilt. Christmas Convergence Two Don's mom is thrilled. I was pleased that I finished it - the two hour drive from Brandon to Winnipeg helped, although by the time we got into the city, I was thoroughly tired of hand-sewing while moving. What I'm not pleased about? The fabrics started in the wrong place. I broke my own cardinal rule for convergence quilts, which is don't put two similar fabrics beside each other. The dark green and the dark blue really want to start from opposite corners. However, as my friend Shirley would say, "Done is better than perfect." Amen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Madness

March is the perfect month for quilting - for three reasons. First, there is curling. Second, there is basketball. And third, there is retreats. In a perfect world, one can go to a retreat in March and watch either curling or basketball on the TV. Now, given that I'm in Canada, curling is a better bet, but ..... the retreat I went on had no TV. No internet. Not even cell phone service.

We were at the Circle Square Ranch south of Austin. It was the worst weekend so far this year for travel. We had snow, then more snow, then blowing snow on top of snow. Most of the others got there on Friday, but I didn't make it until Saturday.

You can see why.

11 03 13 circle square drive

That was the good road. Our main highway was closed, so I had driven from Winnipeg on the secondary highway, then up a provincial road and onto what is generously called an access road. There was at least once when I was wishing I was a tractor.
(And me hearing my brother's voice in my head, "You know, Karen, if you leave the road and rollover, all that stuff in your car isn't tied down and it will go flying." Thanks John. Here's me driving with my hands firmly on the steering wheel with visions of cartwheeling ironing boards and sewing machines in an endless loop through my brain.

Wonderful weekend, though. I didn't get much done, but I started on the mystery quilt:

11 03 12 workstation

And here is what it looks like now. I can't decide whether to put on another border, so I'm letting it sit for a bit.

11 03 19 mystery centre complete

Now. Onwards and upwards to finishing the Newspaper Pinwheels quilt. More about that later.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Baptism

You know what I like about a "heads up"? When I get one. Which I didn't last weekend. On Friday, an innocuous e-mail arrived with an "oops - we have a baptism on Sunday." A boy. I had been working for a girl, thinking we wouldn't have a baptism until Easter Saturday.

The KISS principle can be applied to quilting - no half-square triangles, no matching. I stole the idea from Easy Quilts (the quilt is called Sunny Days) and used Winnie the Pooh fabrics to make it work for a one year old boy.

And yes, Virginia, there was a quilt.

11 03 06 Six - complete

All quilted, all bound. I hope they enjoy it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More work on the pinwheel quilts

They keep growing. I think I have enough and then I sit down with my little pencil and my graph paper and work out how big a quilt I need if I'm going to do a bed quilt for a queen size bed (mine!!). This one will be too big for me to quilt myself.

And it's still in the making triangles stage. Thank goodness for triangle papers -

11 02 26 pinwheels progress

What you see is a pile of pinwheel blocks, a pile of pinwheels and more ready to be sewn.

I need this one done soon. we've been married almost five year and I haven't made a quilt for us yet. Is that grounds for something?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Strippy Newspaper Pinwheels

Back before Christmas, I made a swack (that's a technical term) of pinwheels from a slew (another technical term) of black, red and white fabrics I have, most of them from Keepsake Quilting's scrap bags. (Have I mentioned that I really like their scrap bags?). With one square of each fabric, I ended up with 168 pinwheels, 2 each of 84 combinations. I intended to use them for a quilt I call Newspaper Pinwheels (Black and White and Re(a)d all over). (Bad joke.) (Bad old joke.) I'm still working on that quilt, but since I've redrafted it several times, I'm not quite sure where I'm going. It uses half the pinwheels.

The challenge then, is to use the rest of the pinwheels - and so, I am. These are some of the pinwheels:

11 02 12 the pinwheels

And this is how I started - I cut a swack (another of those technical terms) of quarter square triangles, so that I could make a strippy quilt.

11 02 12 starting

The Undercover Strippers got together today for a great day of sewing at the church.

11 02 12 at US saturday

By the end of the day, I have five strips. My layout says I need seven, but I am pretty sure I'll stop at six. This quilt is already much bigger than I had planned, and six strips will be plenty enough.

11 02 12 five strips

This one's for me - and will be in our quilt show in October, 2011. The girls laugh and tell me I can have my own little red and black corner. With half-square triangles.

Go, Sens, Go.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quilting to deadline

The wedding is Saturday, January 29 - yes, that is this Saturday. I had my time all mapped out. Borders on by the Friday night - quilted by the end of the weekend, bound by Monday night.

Oh, right - that thing about best laid plans etc.

I got the Friday night right - this is as far as I got:

11 01 21 irish chain top

All basted by Saturday morning - after having to go to Fabricland to get more batting. Mine was just a teeny, tiny, eentsy bit too small, but too small is too small.

And then I hit the machine:

11 01 22 irish chain and me

Now, you must understand that I'm only smiling because I'm grateful to not have thrown the machine, quilt et al across the room. You know what quilting on a small throat machine is like: it's like this - inch by inch across the quilt - jamming it all the way. I have no patience. I really have no patience when all I can think of is "shoulda bought the home quilter. Shoulda bought the home quilter."

11 01 22 irish chain in the machine

Now to the really good news. I phoned my daughter to tell her that the quilt would be in the purolator by Wednesday morning (at a miserable expense, but when was it ever different when it comes to your kids?) and she said (God love her), "Mom, I don't think I'll give it to them until after the wedding."

The weight. It lifted from my shoulders then and there. You see, I sewed all day Sunday at home, except for going to church. By midnight, I could barely see straight - which was when I saw the entire block of quilting that had great tangled loopies on the bottom.

I ripped them out and went to bed.

Now I can finish with style.