Friday, July 30, 2010

Split 4-Patch and New Quilting

This is the first Split 4-Patch I made.  I think I started with 6-inch strips, pieced light to dark, and then cut the strips every 6 inches, pieced into a 4 patch and the cut the 4 patches horizontally and vertically 1.5 inches each side of the center.
Details of free motion quilting:
...and the feathered border:

The second quilt was done much the same way...
...except that when I made the horizontal and vertical cuts to the four-patch blocks, I cut only 1.25 inches from the center of the blocks.  I like this one much better as far as block proportions go.
 Details of the quilting:

This is my first totally treadled quilt: piecing, quilting, binding.  I know someone will receive this quilt someday, but I'm not quite ready to part with it.

Thanks to all the folks at Treadle-On, who helped me get to the point where I could have a completely treadled quilt.
Some of us did start a yahoo list for people who quilt and embroider with vintage and antique sewing machines.  Let me know if you'd like an invite to join Q&E list.

The Autumn Split 4-patch in the first picture is a prayer quilt for our Victory Quilt Ministry.

A glimpse of the next treadle quilting project:
I pieced this one years ago when we were living on the Zuni Reservation.  The triangles between the prints are from fabrics I hand-dyed with Procion dyes.  I'm treadle quilting this one too, but only in short bits of time since I pieced the hexagons from repeated fractions of a very busy print, so the quilting doesn't really show up well except in the hand-dyed portion.  I thought surely I'd have this ready for my new house by the time we moved in, but then our lives fell apart, so here we are eight years later.....

I've spent the last two days in training for Transmath, a program I'll be piloting with fifth and sixth graders at my school this year.  Only 10 days before we'll return to school.  Summer never lasts long enough.....

Happy quiltmaking.....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oldies but Goodies--I Hope

Quick post to show a couple of my paternal grandma's creations--and to provide justification for anyone with uncompleted sewing projects.

The top photo is of one of the basket embroidery blocks she made sometime before her death in 1932.  They appear to be embroidered on a linen.  I don't know if that's why they never made it into a quilt. They will need to be squared up since they vary from about 11 inches high to almost 13 inches wide.  Twelve blocks--identical except for the ribbons on the baskets--two each in 6 different colors.

The second block is part of a completed quilt top.  The blocks are about 4.5 inches set in a checkerboard with a very wide border of the same rose colored highly polished, incredibly soft cotton.

She passed away after a long bout with cancer.  My dad was 10 years old.  How appropriate is it that her rose/pink quilt top is pink--although we think her cancer started as cervical cancer.

When I was a child, this quilt top was stored in the attic of our 1918 four-square farm house.  I used to love going up there to play on rainy days--in spite of all the dust.  I'd decided when I was two-and-a-half that I'd make quilts when I grew up, but I've waited decades to do this one.  I confess that it will not be hand quilted, but I'm getting better at machine quilting--and I know more and have more ideas about how to do this one than I did years ago.

I'll probably set the blocks with alternate blocks.  We'll make those decisions later.  No big hurry for blocks that have already been around more than 70 years!

Happy quiltmaking.......

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Country Life & Results of July Friday Night Sew In

My Friday Night Sew In project was this reconstructed 4-patch quilt treadle-quilted on my 1935 Singer 15-88.  I used Fil-Tec Glide thread for the solid threads and Thread-Art variegated for the others.  Prior to using this machine to quilt, I was having trouble with the Thread-Art threads on my Viking 6000 series machines.  But this machine seems to like it just fine---so, until I can get some variegated thread from the Fil-Tec people, I'll use up some of these.
A few detail pictures:
 All the quilting was done with free motion and with no markings on the quilt top.  I try to maintain the character of the quilting designs but put in a lot of variations.  I started doing that because so many of the quilts I make are for people with cancer, other serious illness, or serious injuries, and I felt the quilts would be more interesting to them if there were variations in the quilt designs--kind of like a puzzle.  Of course, all my quilts are prayer quilts, made while I'm praying for the recipient, even if I don't know who that might be.

Country Life:
Although we live in a small town, there's a field across the street from us and a farm beyond that.  We've been promised rain today, and Alex and I thought we'd sleep late.  After a very late night serenade by partying cats, we were counting on it.  However, our sleep was interrupted before 6:00 a.m. by a plane repeatedly flying quite low over our house.  Undoubtedly, the neighbor was cropdusting and choosing to fly over our residential neighborhood to change directions instead of the barren fields east and west of his farm.
So....since it's impossible to sleep while being repeatedly buzzed by a plane, I got up.  About 20 minutes later, no plane.  By that time I'd decided to bake fresh muffins.  Guess the plane had gone to re-supply, because it was soon back.  When it was done, I made fresh New Mexico coffee, sliced a fresh fig (from Costco, not from any local tree), and took my muffin outside for breakfast.  One of the things I most treasure about summer is breakfast outdoors.  My makeshift table consists of an upside down galvanized tub with an ancient metal milk basket on top, with tiles on top of that.  I've been looking for a discarded or used cafe table for a couple of years, but haven't found one.  A table definitely falls into the "want, not a need" category, so I'll keep looking.

That bushy plant next to the table is the sweet basil I picked up at Trader Joe's for $1.99 yesterday.  The basil we had from before our trip east barely survived the summer heat, despite receiving the neighbor's care.--Actually, I had told her to use it, but she didn't.  I'll repot the new basil after we make our post office run.

Blessed summer days........

Friday, July 23, 2010

The 15-88 Is Quitling!

The 15-88 is quilting beautifully, thanks to Dolly, who didn't know the feed dogs could be lowered, managed to lower them on her machine, told me how she did it, and reassured me I could do it without breaking anything.

Yes, I will be using it for Friday Night Sew-In.

We spent the afternoon in Albuquerque getting things we needed and, in the process, spending money.  Since my salary was cut by nearly a thousand dollars, thanks to the unwise decisions over the last several years of Governor Richardson and our state legislature, I'm feeling a bit sad that we have to plan and save for purchases that are wants instead of needs.  (Yes, I know I rarely mention political issues; if that comment offends you, I apologize for the offense--of course, our governor and our legislators aren't apologizing.)  However, I am grateful to have a job and insurance benefits, so.....

By the way, we've started a little yahoo group for people who use vintage and antique sewing machines for quilting and embroidery.  Let me know if you or someone you know would like to join.

Happy quilting,


Companion Photo

A couple of days ago I posted a picture of a glass in the window of my friend's house because I loved being able to see the garden through the window behind the glass.
Here's a view of that garden from outside her house.  (Yes, you can right-click on the photo and open up a larger view.)

She bought this house almost thirty years ago and has consistently worked on it and restored it to it's true 1940's character.  It's now part of an historic district--although this view is from a side street.

In my mind's eye, it's always a more true blue than it really is.  She says people have stopped to ask her the brand of paint and the name of the color.  The house is just perfect for her and as cute as cute can be without being cutsey.  I just love all the work she has done over the years, including the wonderful gardens!  (And--we still have a couple of the tomatoes she sent home with us--although they'll probably be gone by tonight!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How do I lower feed dogs?

I'm looking for an answer about how to lower feed dogs on my Singer 15-88 from 1935.  According to the instruction booklet for this and similar machines, loosening the turn screw on the right should lower feed dogs, but when I do that, the feed dogs continue to hold their position.
Obviously, this machine sat unused for many years (although it was a matter of neglect rather than abuse or misuse; the machine was very clean when I received it).

I've applied quite a bit of Tri-flow where the two pieces meet, thinking that would loosen it up.  The bracket nearest the head of the turn screw has a kidney shaped slot that indicated to me that the screw should be able to slide along that shape to lower the feed dogs.  However, it doesn't do that--seems pretty stuck to me.

So......I'm looking for ideas on how to get it to move.  (Yes, I know many people machine quilt with the feed dogs in place and by setting the stitch length to zero; however, I really dislike the way the feed dogs grab at the quilt when they are up--and I feel that way about any machine I've used, not just this one.)

I would love some advice from people who've solved this problem, including OSMG's [Old Sewing Machine Guys/Gals].

Tennessee Waltz

I pieced this 45" quilt before I went to TN and quilted it while there.
You can right-click on any photo and open it in a new tab or new window to see more details.

What I learned from this quilt is that when I make another, I'll use nine-inch blocks instead of twelve-inch blocks.  There are a couple details of the quilting that I'll change too.

Happy quilting......

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Lovely.....

I snapped this picture in a friend's kitchen window before I left TN so I could catch a bit of the garden along with the lovely yellow glass/vase my friend Harriet gave me.  It's such a delicate color!
It was one of her lovely yard sale finds.  Over the last couple of decades, she has repeatedly gifted me with wonderful things she has found at the kinds of yard sales that simply don't exist in my neck of the woods.
I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful and generous friends!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chintzy Rose Find

There's a little shop on the Maynardville Highway (the extension of Broadway as it goes north from Knoxville) called Chintzy Rose Antiques and Tea Room.  That's where I found the lovely little shelf/storage unit that is going to sit next to my lovely lavender Laura Ashley slipcovered chair-and-a-half. The next photo seems to show a diagonal plaid.  I don't know why that happened, but be assured the background is a solid yellow, not a plaid.
Behind the shop are stacks of architectural salvage, mostly shutters; behind that is a little house with more treasures that is also the site of a bit of refinishing and refurbishing. 
The shop is full of treasures, but not the one above because I'm taking it home with me.
I confess I didn't try tea or anything else on the menu, but we had a great time looking at the wide variety of treasures.
I'd seen an ad in Romantic Homes and was thrilled to be able to visit the shop. I wish I'd taken pictures so other people could see some samples of the wide variety of items they have.  I'm sorry I live so far away!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Look What I Found..... East Tennessee!  Isn't that amazing?
I'm thinking someone must have used this quite a bit since there is a white ring where the plate[s] that sat on top of it wore off the transfer. (You can right click on the photo and open it in a new tab or window to see more detail.)
The woman who owned the shop thought it might be one of the plates she carried from CA to TN when she and her husband relocated their shop.
Now it's mine--and she gave me a great discount too!

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Music Fabrics

More music fabrics that Alex picked up at the AQS show yesterday.  They'll have to be for the back of the quilt because the front is finished except for the border. example of the reason the Smokies are called the Smokies....

Happy Quilting, friends.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Music Quilt Process #1

Alex's music quilt started with the two prints at the top.  Then I began collecting bright Fairy Frost fat quarters.  Then I finally got around to designing the quilt.
Had to make a run to another quilting store for more background fabrics so purchased the ones in the lower half of the picture.
Pieced a few Hole-in-the-Barndoor blocks.

Pieced a few pinwheels and a double pinwheel.

Pieced some variable stars. Also pieced a couple Savannah stars (did I forget to take a picture of those?).
 Pieced bunches of four patches.
Pieced bunches of Flying Geese.

Something tells me that regardless of how careful I am, for this quiltmaker for this quilt top a good seam ripper will be indispensable!

Happy quilting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Still Piecing - No pictures

Still piecing Alex's music quilts.  Am working on flying geese and four patches.  Will try to get in-progress pictures because I'm not ready to set the blocks yet.  Hopefully, I can take pictures and post within the next couple of days.

Having to drive to a town and find wi-fi access is not my favorite way of doing this, but that's the only option I have right now.

Ahhhhhh!  I love, love, love summer!!!!
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