Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Arduous but Important Task of Basting Before Quilting

Golly I will miss these funky monkeys, but they sure were inspirational for the funky monkey bars quilt top. 

I did not want to lose any of the monkey fabric in the back, and so I sewed panels on either side of it for the scrappy back.  I used a half inch seam allowance (mostly!) in piecing the scraps leftover from the quilt top.  My Saturday morning was also spent pressing, starching and then taping this scrappy back to the floor (I've no table big enough and even had to push back my coffee table and couch to make room for the quilt).  And then pressing and layering the batting over it.  And then pressing and starching (and noticing the that the top is not square but hopefully fixable or trimmable after quilting)and layering the quilt top followed by pin basting the sandwich on my hands and knees which took at least an hour and a half.  I pin a lot when I sew and even more when I pin baste!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Crib Quilts for Christmas

Below is the quilt top for my husband's niece's 2-year-old son, Grayson, in a blue and gray, of course, color way.

I've had this Funky Monkey fabric for years.  I love sock monkeys but never had the inclination to use this juvenile fabric.  The recent birth of my husband's niece's baby, Alexander, is the impetus for finally using this fabric which will be the back of a modern baby quilt.

Even though I'm not the most careful or skilled piecer, I felt a need to try improvisational quilting or of having a little bit of randomness in my quilt blocks.  I kept itching to use my ruler while making the blocks below; however, I did use the grid lines on my mat as a guide for rotary cutting the strips for the funky monkey, a.k.a this monkey bars quilt.

I was definitely out of my comfort zone in making these wonky striped blocks.

I'll be horizontally sashing in between these 60.5" wide strips and am wondering if I can effect a more modern look by not sashing the perimeter of the quilt.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Strip Quilting or Foundation Paper Piecing

I found a new quilting method, and I love it.  I learned about foundation paper piecing in a beginning modern patchwork book by Elizabeth Hartman, and I used her method in a quilt of her design called Valentine.  I took 11" x 17" copier paper and trimmed it down to 11" squares, drew a diagonal line down the middle and then 3/4" lines on either side of that middle line.  I then used a glue stick to adhere a 1 1/2" strip of white fabric to the middle of the paper.  I dipped into my fabric boxes for four piles of fabrics:  red, pink, violet; indigo and aqua blue; orange and peach; green and yellow.  I adore how precise the sewing was--lining up the blocks was a cinch.  I wished I had varied the strips more and made them skinnier and alternated more between light, medium and dark fabrics.  However, I hope one can still see the diamond shapes bordered by what looks like white sashing--it's not or rather it's genius how Hartman coordinates the blocks to look like their sashed.  I will totally use this method again!  I already have another 48 sheets of 11" squares cut and ready to adhere white fabric onto and am wondering if I can double the size.  However, I'm going to use fabric from my red box of stash and cut them into 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" strips, and alternate them on the block starting and ending with the 1 1/2" strips.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

El Edredón Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos is nigh, and the wall quilt is done.  However, it's much bigger than I had intended and therefore no wall space in my living or dining areas can house this bad boy.  I'm going to launder it today and bring it to school to hang.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Boy Witch

I made this fellow a couple Saturdays ago, but last Saturday when I went to the bisque shelf, there was only his head.  The hat kept falling apart when I was constructing him and must have collapsed or exploded in the kiln.  And so I aim to re-do the hat and brim, bisque it and then attach with bisque fix.  Gotta have a hat for this to be a boy witch.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ceramics: Back to my plates obsession....

I think I like making plates because they're so simple to create and so functional:  roll a slab, add a texture you like, cut and slump in a Styrofoam plate, and then glaze in colors you also favor.  The pattern above is my favorite "baroque" texture roller made by Xiem. These plates are now ready for a sandwich or a side salad or a slice of chocolate cake. 

Joining Binding Ends...mission accomplished!

I've sewn about 5 quilts in my second life as a quilter, and I think I've finally figured out how to join the binding ends....the trick is to make them overlap by the length of their width, which in the quilt pictured is 2.5" and then put right sides together and sew that same 45-degree angle as when creating the binding!