Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sewing Room Orts

While I continue attaching the too-boring-to-show borders for Cross Reference, here are some other things going on around in the sewing room. 

In a sweatshop weekend  I completed two charity quilts for Guild last weekend. This Houndstooth top I actually made myself, and lo and behold it came back to me to be quilted and bound.  Sigh.

Fortunately I didn't have to make the backing or cut the batting--that was done by other volunteers. 
I meant for the Guild label to be in the right lower corner but it refused.  I quilted this with randomly wavy lines and hope it looks intentional enough. I ran out of bobbin thread twice and barely had enough on the spool to sew on the binding.  Gah.

This one was made of donated blocks that some other members sewed up, with the backing too.  I added some colorful leftover binding to add interest to the solid binding fabric with the kitted top.  Glad to have those saved lengths used up. 

While not technically modern, it is bright and cheerful and should please someone.  Simple straight line quilting for this one.  I did manage to get the label where I wanted it, but it refused to be straight.  After all that stitching, the organization contacted never responded so the two quilts went to the Philanthropy coordinator to be handed out later.  Well, they are off my list, anyway!

As usually happens while one is looking for something else, in the Hoosier cabinet I came across a bunch of bonus HSTs from the Picnic quilt. 

Above is the original layout idea, but I couldn't help playing some more. 

I squared the HSTs to 1.75 " and played switcheroo.  The upper right is one I made probably two years ago and shows how much they shrink when sewn--to about 5.5".  I'm really loving the Broken Dishes one on the lower left.  No idea when I'll be stitching them together but it was fun to play with little pieces.

Sue Goes to the Orient had a little more work done.  I bravely threaded my machine with black thread and thread sketched around the applique pieces.  Good thing they were fairly unfussy shapes, except for the shoes.

It's a pretty forgiving technique and one it would be fun to explore more. I'd like to thread sketch a couple of Chinese hanging lanterns in the background to continue the theme and add a little more detail to the scene.   I have a few ideas saved on Pinterest and am considering that as part of the quilting.

Meanwhile Sue remains a UFO until I add that detail, choose a backing and get her quilted. She's not going to languish in the box, though, I have promised her. 

Judy of Patchwork times chose the UFO for August as #8, which on my list is another of the Houndstooth charity quilts in a different colorway.  It has been in Time Out since I used the wrong sized squares to make the striped blocks.  I have to figure out how incorporate additional fabrics I already selected and assemble the alternate blocks.  Dragging my feet on that job, obviously.

The event of the decade arrives Monday with the Total Solar Eclipse, which will only be a dimming here on the SoCalif coast.  Perhaps I'll have time to look up from my computer and see it out the window, though they are predicting our usual morning low clouds and fog could obscure it.  No matter, I haven't got the special glasses anyway!  

Back to those boring borders....

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

County Fair Part 3

Ventura County Fair 2017 continued!  Another of my favorite exhibit areas is Floriculture.  It is fun to see both the professional gardens and the amateur each year. 

A Hobbit House was an extremely detailed and large installation that must have taken many many hours to complete.  So much to look at--the photo is only of about 1/2 of the garden.

In another garden display, some very creative folks created a beach scene with our Channel Islands painted on a backdrop, and this Grizzly Bear catching a fish.  

The detail in the face and ears was terrific.  Can you imagine how many hours it took to create?  There are probably no Grizzlies left in our back-country mountains, but there once were many in the County. 
Another group constructed this impressive and large Pirate Ship in the center of the Floriculture area.  It too must have taken many hours to assemble.  The exhibit label caught my attention and brought a chuckle: 

 A Pirate Ship Wreak in a Succulent Seascape.   I think they meant WRECK, lol.

After the Floriculture display, DH Grant and I followed the crowds into the Grandstand Arena to find a seat for the Huey Lewis and the News concert, free with admission.  

We were far from the stage, but enjoyed it very much.  Great band, love the horns.  Huey can still sing, though the high parts are a bit lower than they used to be :)  Huey made lots of jokes about the Bungee Jump, which made national news when a 19 year old got stuck upside down when the ride failed to retract him to the platform cage and he had to be rescued by the fire department--along with his friend and also the ride operator--on the second night of the fair.  Huey also made note of the wonderful ocean-side site of our Fairgrounds, literally feet from the Pacific.  
An early rising moon in the eastern sky near sunset.  

We sang along, clapped and danced in our seats, and after the concert was over, made a beeline for our favorite fair treats before heading home: a Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese icing for Grant, and Indian Fry Bread with powdered sugar for me.  My sister Kathy and I returned to the fair later and spent additional time in Home Arts and another exhibit hall, the Gem and Mineral Building, where we always enjoy seeing the collections people display.  My favorites are usually the ones by kids, who handwrite their labels and have charming descriptions like "I've been collecting Harry Potter items for 2 years..."  Good times!  We'll look forward to next year's fair for more fun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

County Fair Part 2

Our Ventura County Fair has many exhibit halls and I took lots of photos in the Home Arts building, as well as a few other Fair sights that caught my eye.   First up, more modern quilts, by fellow guild members.
 Loved this improv churn dash by Chris.  I'm pretty sure she quilted it herself.

 Judy's curves looked great with the echoed curved quilting.

 Another Improv style quilt with lots of color and movement.
 Many will recognize this Fancy Forest pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. LOVED the woodgrain quilting on this one. The ceilings are high and the quilts hung hopefully out of reach!

 A modern double wedding ring quilt was pretty cool.  This was entered under the embroidered category. the quilting was very well done, though some of the embroidery was a little rough.

On the traditional side, I admired the wonderful scrappy small house blocks and trees in this big quilt.  I wondered if it was made of swapped blocks. 
Poor lighting made viewing and photographing this cute quilt difficult.  Another popular pattern, though I don't know the designer. 
 Very nicely pieced batik quilt by another guild member. 

 I've admired this paper-pieced cat pattern in magazines before, but again don't know the designer.  That is a lot of tedious sewing for a quilt, if you ask me, but it looks great.

 A few cross-stitched pieces caught my eye. 

Isn't this beautifully done and framed?  Aside from quilts, Home Arts includes clothing, painting, sculpture, crochet, woodworking, leather, and carving of all types. It is always fun to cruise the booths and display cases. 
 Beautiful painted gourd.  I like the carved one with the handle beyond it.

 Adorable Tin Man sculpture in one of the display booths.

 Gorgeous wool applique too.   A few more photos to share--see next post!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Design Wall Monday--Aug 7

First Monday of August, and it's going to be a busy week, starting with the one month closure of the main road I drive at least four times a day. Sigh. Hoping my alternate route choice isn't too full of re-routed traffic.  

I'm still working on the Cross Reference quilt for my son, but that's only at the borders stage, too boring to show.  So, on my design surface is a guild block challenge.  Last meeting we drew a card with either Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable and were to interpret our card.  I pulled Mineral.  While cleaning off my cutting table (AGAIN), I came across some larger precut squares that were a shop hop giveaway from Picking Daisies, a teensy modern quilt shop in San Luis Obispo, CA.  Anyway, they had a gold print, which sent me to Google to learn if gold is a mineral.  It is!  I wanted to play more with Drunkard's Path blocks, this time with the Mini Quick Curve Ruler.  It produces blocks that finish at 3.5", and you start with oversized squares cut at 5" (or charm squares). 

The blocks are sewn with no pins, then trimmed with the ruler to exact size.  Above was the layout I came up with.  I wanted all the lipsticks to be right side up.  I happily sewed the rows and then used some of the leftover pieces to bring the block up to the required size for challenge blocks, 12.5".  However, after I had cut, sewn, and pressed the added sashing/border, I was surprised to find that my block didn't match my layout. 

How I did all this without noticing, I cannot explain.  I'm liking the unusual shapes the accidental layout produced, so the block stands.  I might try the other layout sometime!

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

County Fair Time and Entries

Friday night was County Fair Time for me and my hubby, Grant.  We were expecting big crowds for the first weekend and went early.  Admission prices were unexpectedly lowered, which was nice, and after passing through the gate we immediately proceeded to the Home Arts building to look for my entries.   The first one I spotted was high on the side wall. 

I was pleased to see a 3rd place award for my professionally quilted twin size quilt--pattern is Judy of Patchwork Times' June Mystery Quilt in 2010. I was disappointed that this quilt was not displayed fully as I spent all that time sewing on a hanging sleeve at the last minute.

Next we looked in the display areas for more. 
The big chicken sculpture was really interesting.  I spied my little quilt on the wall.

A lucky Blue Ribbon!  How nice.  More hunting in the display booths.

Interesting quilt on the upper left, and I spy my Twilight Hopscotch block pillow.

Another lucky Blue Ribbon!  Very exciting. 

On the opposite wall, my Modern Row Robin quilt also had a lucky Blue Ribbon!  This quilt was entered as a group project, since four people worked on it.  I had also expected this quilt to be fully displayed since I attached a hanging sleeve on this quilt as well.  

More searching led us to a big display area with a very strange, huge quilt made of clothing on the back wall.  I was not sure what was going on with the tire tracks, but spied another entry of mine on the right.
Honorable Mention for my patriotic tablerunner!  Not sure why it was displayed vertically.  We took another turn around the building to locate the last entry, only to find we had walked right past it earlier without seeing it.

A lovely 2nd place ribbon on the modern Flying Geese Baby Quilt.  I received a ribbon on all 6 of my entries and feel very lucky.  Many other guild members entered items and had wins as well, so we had a good showing from our Modern Guild.

My sister Kathy had already gone to the Fair on Wednesday's opening night to see how her entries did, but was strictly forbidden to tell me how mine did!  I got these photos from her:

Her art quilt with a dark desert sky and dead tree got an Honorable Mention.

Her modern whole cloth quilt received a lucky Blue Ribbon!  Kathy is one of the good cooks we have in the family and I encouraged her to enter in that category too. 

Her Peach Bourbon Jam won an honorable mention.  It was entered under the Liquor category.

She also received Honorable Mention for her strawberry scones, which I love and can eat by the dozen! There was a lot to see and do at the County Fair, and I'll share some more finds on another post.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Design Wall Monday--last of July

On my design floor is the Cross Reference quilt I've repeatedly shown before (APQ Magazine April 2017).  I trimmed the last five blocks to size and finally got to the layout portion of this process. 

First go, with the rust blocks all lined up.  Son Nick wanted the blocks to be random, after I sent him a photo, so switcheroo took place and a couple more swaps of the blue cross blocks. 

I nearly gave myself a heart attack when sewing up the rows and laying them back down on the floor, thinking I was short a block!  But then I realized I had to add a corner triangle.  Thank goodness for cellphone pics documenting the layout to help with brainless moments. Once again, I will differ with the magazine's categorization of this as a "Beginner" quilt--there were 320 points to avoid cutting off while joining the rows in my smaller version than the magazine pattern.  No WAY would I have attempted this as a beginner!  As it was, I tried to keep the cut off points to below a third (cough).  Next I'll need to cut the three borders and attach them.  I've no firm ideas on how to quilt this yet, but they will come.  

See more Design Walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sunbunnet Sue Almost in Time Out

Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient was almost stuffed back in her box for a time out last night.  It wasn't really her fault, though, it was MATH.  I carefully cut the the center appliqued portion to size for my border panels.  Alarms began to ring when I needed to ease excess while attaching the top border section.  That looked horrible.  I then tried taking up a small amount of the block HST seam allowances in the bottom border section.  Even worse looking!   Finally I took the sections apart and remeasured.  Merde--no seam allowance on the width of the applique center.  Sigh.

Brainstorming, I decided to add a coping strip, and chose black fabric after auditioning the green and orange. The MATH for this twisted my late-night brain.  I had to rip out the coping strip on one side THREE times and recut a new strip eventually, but finally saved Sue from the time out box, where she surely would have remained for an eon. 

I'm quite fond of the coping strips, now that they have been beaten into submission. Sue almost looks like she is in a doorway.  If I were more artistic, I could sketch in a scene behind her.  I'll ponder that idea while I choose a backing and quilting design. Only a couple more days of the month to get this finished for the UFO Challenge.

Friday, July 28, 2017

UFO of the Month Progress--Sunbonnet Sue

Yesterday I set about tracing and finalizing colors for the small applique project, Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Orient, June's July's UFO  (oops, went back in time!)

Lots of little parts.  Hmm, I'm not that great of an appliquer, but I'll press on.

The background is a piece of white linen blend fabric.  I fussy cut the sleeves from another oriental print on hand.  I like it.  The hair needs a little adjustment as it is not even on both sides (#tinypieces).  Since I love green, I first chose that color for her toes, but decided to bring in some of the pink that makes up the HSTs that will surround Sue. 

At first I thought the pink print was too distracting, but with the HSTs around her, the pink toes stand out less.

I used a scrap of muslin for her face and hands.  Sue will barely squeak into my frame of HSTs.  I'm pleased with the project so far.  Preparing for curse words when it comes to stitching...or maybe I will skip that entirely and just fuse her in place for this wallhanging.

The pattern comes from this vintage 2005Quick Quilts magazine.  Okay, I'm off to get the iron heated up before I have to pick up and take my 98 year old MIL to the eye doctor.  Wish me luck and patience with both!