Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Blast of Summer . . . .

A quilting friend of mine, who doesn't have a blog, shared these pictures of this amazing summer quilt with me. I've been intending to share it with you all summer long. Since today is the last day of August, I thought I better get to it.

This quilt was made by Gloria for her granddaughter.

The pattern was designed by Carol Burniston and was in the May/June 2008 issue of Fons & Porters Love of Quilting magazine. The pattern name is Summer Flip-Flops. I fell in love with this quilt way back then and saved the pattern.

I think Gloria did an amazing job with the whole project but I really like her selection of flip-flop fabric. I would like to have a pair of each one of them in my closet.

It won't be long until I'll be putting my summer flip-flops up for the winter, but if you had a quilt like this, you could leave your flip-flops out all the time!

Gloria and I both have a love for red and white quilts. As a matter of fact, Gloria's very first quilt was a red and white sampler quilt. She puts red fabric in almost every quilt she makes and is always looking for red fabric in any quilt shop she visits. She took her first quilt class over 20 years ago.

I've been cleaning out my pattern binder and this pattern is looking for a new home, if you would like to have the pattern for this quilt leave a comment asking to be included in the drawing I'll have over the weekend.

If you don't want the pattern but love that flip-flop quilt as much as I do, please leave a comment for Gloria. I get comments and emails from quilters who don't have blogs all the time, I'm so happy to showcase one of them on my blog, I hope you'll make Gloria feel as good about her quilt as you always make me feel about mine!

Thanks so much!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Next Up . . . . .

So here's a project that's not red and I don't have to design . . .

Last fall I picked up a kit for this quilt at Pieceful Heart Fabrics in Lisle, Illinois. It's what I would call a "good old quilt". Not a company quilt, not a show quilt, not a put on the guest room bed quilt, just a good old throw on the back of the couch, let the dog lay on it quilt.

The pattern is by Paula Barnes for Bonnie Blue Quilts and is called James River Blues. I've seen this pattern kitted in other shops, but always with scrappy blue fabrics, I really like the looks of this pattern with some browns thrown in.

I'm normally not a kit person, but when I do buy a kit I usually end up adding and subtracting so much fabric that my project doesn't end up looking much like the original. After a summer of red and white math, red and white mini quilts, and red and white fabric, this is just what I need, no changes, no thinking, just easy piecing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Red and White Tribute Quilt - The Final Chapter . . . .

Or, "How I spent my summer vacation"!!

After torturing you with 10 Red and White Tribute Quilt posts I won't make you wait any longer, here it is . . .

The idea of this quilt is to make you feel like you're walking into the Infinite Variety Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts Show and all that you see is red and white quilts.

This quilt has no border for one reason, I wanted my mind's eye to continue with each quilt that was on the edge and to the other quilts in the show. Having a border made this project have a stopping point, and it doesn't, not to me, after all, the show wasn't called Infinite for nothing!

I was also a maniac about the layering of each quilt, the center tree quilt is the only piece where you can view the entire quilt, the other quilts show at most two borders, because the quilts "hang" in front of or behind the other quilts.

This is the picture that gave me the idea to create my quilt in this manner.

My first plan, assembling the quilt using graph paper, was a good starting point but when it got down to the final few filler quilts I went with a different approach.

I placed painters tape on the floor the size I was shooting for, I also ran tape down the center and side to side to keep the tree quilt in the middle.

This approach made playing around with the final placement of each piece much easier. I guess easier is a relative term, as I mentioned in my last post, it took me 22 hours to get all the pieces to fit together perfectly .

This shot gives you a better feel for the size. I don't think there is anything I would change. I enjoyed the challenge, the process, and the quilt has the look I was going for.

This is Lifetime Quilt #72, it finished at 67 1/2" x 83" and has approximately 4,054 pieces. (900 less than my personal high of 4950, Oh Christmas Tree has that honor)

If you would like to review my process, start to finish, just select "Red and White Tribute Quilt" in the "Categories" section to the right.

Thanks so much for your support, enthusiasm, and bewilderment as I worked on this project. I loved working on my tribute quilt but sharing it with you was just as much fun and a real motivator to see this project through.

So what's up next? I'm not sure, but it won't be red and I'm NOT designing it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Home . . .

and I didn't even tell you I was gone! I feel a little uncomfortable announcing to the world that my house is going to be empty, and to come on over and help yourself to anything that's not nailed down.

For the last week I was hanging out here . . . . .

No email, no blogs, just me and my family on this beach. It was wonderful.

I started each day walking the beach and picking up these, it's an addiction I have. If I lived in an area where I could walk a beach every morning, I would have one of those houses where shells are hot glued to every available surface, the woodwork, the counter tops, the toilet, I can't help myself, I just love picking up shells. Luckily for my husband I don't get to the beach very often.

Every summer, around my daughter's birthday, my daughter and I take a girls only vacation. This year was a milestone of a birthday so we picked a great vacation destination and even invited the menfolk.

We hung out at the beach during the day and dressed for dinner each night.

One day we even went to the spa to get our hair done! It was nothing but fun.

So today I'm tackling a mountain of dirty clothes and unread mail, and hope to get caught up on my email and blogs. I also need to get a decent picture of my Red and White Tribute quilt. I didn't have time to get that done before vacation.

As wonderful as our vacation was, it sure feels great to be home!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red and White Tribute Quilt . . . .

The Infinite Variety Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts show in New York City consisted of more than 650 quilts. When I started working on ideas for my tribute quilt, I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with making one red and white quilt, but also knew I didn't need to be making more than 650, that's how I came up with the idea of combining several mini quilts.

I studied all the quilts and narrowed the list of potential projects down to nineteen. It wasn't even really that hard. A lot of the quilts are similar in nature, so I knew I would pick only one from quilts that used the same block. Some of the quilts used techniques that I don't have the skill set for, like Hawaiian Applique quilts, there were several of those, and I eliminated those right off the bat. Some of the quilts required a pattern that I just didn't have the ability to recreate, so they were out too.

I ended up using 10 from my original list of nineteen. There wasn't a big plan to only use 10, that's just how it all worked out, the quilt told me it was done, and I listened.

I though perhaps you would enjoy seeing the nine quilts that didn't make the final cut,

Quilt #853, Pavilion 4 Exterior Middle - A pineapple quilt. I love pineapple quilts, making a pineapple quilt is on my To Do list. Maybe someday I'll make a red and white one, just like this, but there are no pineapple blocks in my project. I just didn't think they fit in with the other blocks.

This is Quilt # 907, Pavilion 2 Exterior Middle, Churn Dash block. I personally feel like this block has an old time quilt feel to it. I've never made a churn dash block and thought this quilt would look so good in my project, I just ran out of room. Luckily the Farmer's Wife quilt has two churn dash blocks, so there are some in my future.

This is Quilt #831 Pavilion 11 Chairs - I loved the look of this quilt, and there were several of these. I thought about having just one row of these blocks in my quilt, but I was afraid if I stuck in single rows here and there, you would loose the feel of an entire quilt, even though my project has just sections. It's hard to describe and hard for you to imagine, me not wanting my project to look too busy, but believe me, even I have my limits when it comes to busy!

Quilt #963 - Pavilion 2 Interior Middle. I thought this pattern needed to be on a corner to work, and I used up my corners before I got to this one.

Quilt #1023 Pavilion 2 Interior Middle -I loved the look of this quilt and thought I would enjoy the math challenge of making a mini one of these. Then I decided I would need a good chunk of this project in my quilt to look like this pattern, and I didn't have the space to give.

Quilt #1074 Pavilion 2 Interior Bottom - there were several checkerboard designs and I loved them all. My grandmother made this type of quilt, cutting her blocks with scissors and using a cardboard template. She made a brown and white one, a red, white and blue one, a pastel colored one (I got that one!) and several others. I initially thought this pattern would be good filler, but it looked too busy when put in the mix.

Quilt 1189 Pavilion 11 Interior - Irish Chain - there were several Irish Chain patterns in the show, I went with a very simple design, but I really preferred this one, but I didn't have the space I needed to pull this one off.

Quilt #822 Pavilion 3 Interior Middle - There several of these plus some were the reverse, white blocks with red sashing. You just don't see this design anymore, I thought this one would be a good filler or background project, but I just didn't need it.

Quilt 689 Pavilion 1 Exterior Top - Dots! I love these dot quilts. There was another one that was red strips with white dots next to a white strip with red dots, back and forth, too cute. Of all the quilts in the show, I would say I'm most likely to make a red and white dot quilt, they just tickle my funny bone for some reason.

So that's my parade of "almost but not quite" quilts. You'll be relieved to know my Red and White Tribute Quilt is DONE!! It took me 22 hours to get all the pieces together perfectly, and one section took 4 tries. I'm surprised you didn't hear me hoot'n and a holler'n when I finally got the last section to fit, it was a celebration at my house, that's for sure, and a huge relief. I think it was worth every minute, stop back by next week and see if you think so too!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Evening Bloom - Block 5 . . . .

Finally, something different to blog about, it's not a new project, but at least it's a break from my Red and White posts.

I'm still working away on Evening Bloom, my needle turn applique project from the Country Inn book by Blackbird Designs.

This month is block five of nine, it's named The Iris Block and it is the center block of the quilt.

Here's the pattern from the book. All the blocks have red blooms and dark leaves and stems except for the center block. The designer went all red for that block. I thought it was a good idea to change up the look of the center block, but wasn't crazy about the pieces being one color.
So here's my progress . . .

My block ready for some pieces.

add a stem,

one leaf,

two leaf,

center bud,

Now here's where it gets interesting,

here's a picture of the next piece, a petal, in the fabric I originally chose. I didn't think it did anything for that block. Even though the designer went all red, I didn't like my fabric choice.

So I tried this, which didn't stay up there long. wow, was that bad or what!

Then I tried this. Even though there's no beige anywhere else in the quilt, I thought the block looked best with this fabric. I also liked how this gave the block a distinct look from the other blocks.

All Done!

And here it is with some of the other blocks. See what I mean about looking the same but still different? I'm very happy with it.

I'm making this project with a friend, here's Marianne's block next to mine. Marianne thinks my technique is improving, that my curves and lines are getting smoother. I am getting quicker.

Only 4 more blocks to go, I'm still hoping I'll have this done by the end of this year!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eventide Update . . . .

Carol, at This and That, who participated in the Eventide sew along and finished her flimsy by the deadline, has now quilted her project. ( For those of you new to my blog, the pattern Eventide was designed by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co, click here to see the more finished projects from the sew along)

Carol's fabric choice was Wiscasset by Minick & Simpson for Moda. I did not buy any of this fabric, definitely a mistake on my part, because I think it makes a stunning Eventide and would look great in some other patterns too.

I love pictures of quilts taken outdoors, I've never attempted it, there's nothing interesting in my yard, like a fence or bench, and Cooper tends to keep our yard a mess.

Here's closeup , great job on the quilting Carol, plus a good shot of that great fabric.

If anyone else out there has finished their Eventide be sure to share it with the group, send me an email with pictures or a link to your blog!

I've finished my next Evening Bloom block, be sure to stop by tomorrow for a peek, it's the center block and has a little different look, but I love it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Filler . . . .

I've finished the last two "quilts" for my Red and White Tribute Quilt.

I just knew I needed some flying geese in my project, and there were several quilts with geese that caught my eye.

Like this quilt for example, #765, displayed in Pavilion 1, Interior Top.

Same theme different version, # 892, displayed in Pavilion 10, Exterior Top.

In the end my decision was driven by the space I had to fill, and this one fit the bill perfectly.

This is quilt #1026 and was displayed in Pavilion 12, Interior Bottom. The quilting really makes this quilt, there are braids between each row of geese and in the border. I plan to ask my quilter to do the same.

So here's my version of 1026.

I also felt pretty strongly that some log cabin blocks needed to be in my quilt.

I'm going with 3 inch finished blocks. I'm thinking they will be good filler for the space I have left. (I paper pieced these blocks)

So that's it, all that's left is putting together all the pieces.

And here's how I'm doing it. I'm shooting for a quilt around 68" x 82" and using graph paper to get a general idea of how it should all go together. Scary, I know! I'm guessing this isn't how the professionals do it.

Thanks so much for your continued support and interest in this project, your comments have motivated me and convinced me that this will all come together, hopefully it doesn't all come together in my trash can . . .just kidding, I'm too stubborn to give up now!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, the temperatures here are finally bearable. After heat indexes in the triple digits, 80 degrees is feeling great!