Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sometimes... You Just Run Out of Time!

I love quilting - it is my absolute passion. It draws me in, it defines a part of me, it soothes my soul, it is therapy, it is a creative outlet, it is fun, it represents friends and community, it is a source of income, it is beautiful to look at... I could go on and on and on. But... no... I don't have time! This past month, I worked harder than ever - on quilting, on family issues, and more... and so only now have I forced myself to update my blog... which I committed to update by the 1st of each month. So much for commitments! And so now I'm rushing through the evening, trying to throw things into my blog so that I can cross updating it off of my list and get it out of my job jar. I usually show you what I've been working on over the past few weeks... or show you sets of quilts that have lessons in them. Tonight... it's mostly what I've been working on over the past few weeks -- starting with Borrowed Roses. Here is the quilt, just as a reminder... the photo is poor, but you'll find a nice one here next month, once I totally finish the quilt. Right now, I'm in the midst of machine quilting it. So here goes.... Above is my quilt; below is a photo of the original 1929 quilt.... notice the detailed quilting in it. Rose Kretsinger, an extraordinary quilt designer who designed this pattern using classic blocks and motifs, designed all of the quilting patterns for her quilts, though she never quilted the tops herself; she hired out that job. I like the quilting patterns she chose, so my quilt is quilted much like the original.

First, I quilted in the ditch around all of the appliqued pieces. Then came flowing feathers...

With cross-hatching joining everything together. In the photo below, you can see the flowery backing fabric that I chose. I needed something that would hide all of the cream-colored thread used in the background, along with dark green, gold, and red thread; the print needed to be fairly busy.

And here's another picture that shows the feathers and the cross-hatching. My guild has chosen to make a quilt using this pattern for its annual raffle quilt (and so you can see a gorgeous picture of their quilt at www.lakeviewquiltersguild.org after September 19th...), which will be unveiled at the next guild meeting.

And yet another photo. Can you tell that I love feathers that knock your socks off?!!!

One item that has been under wraps is the next issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks; it will be out in November, but I'm going ahead and ringing their bells NOW so that you'll be on the lookout for this issue. They have included another one of my blocks in it - one that I call Reel Roses.

And so here is a sneak peak... of Reel Roses. It is an easy block to make, though I admit it has a lot of applique perimeter! The nice thing about the Quiltmaker 100 is that you get patterns for all of the blocks in the magazine. Wheee!

And so what else have I been working on? Aaaahhhhh... I'm glad you asked! I am reviving a quilt made in the mid 1800s by Sarah Holcombe; it will be called Sarah's Revival. It has 36 appliqued papercut blocks in it. Here are nine....

And another nine....

And yet another nine...

I've actually finished all 36 blocks and 1-1/2 borders and one cornerstone. How did I get all of that done in the last 5 weeks? Easy! I set a goal: applique one block per day, come heck or high water... and so I did. I have finished all the drawings for the patterns, including the borders and the cornerstones, and I have precut all of the sashings... so now it's only a matter of finishing up those last 2-1/2 borders and the cornerstones. I'm on a roll here... this quilt is growing on me, so when you see it, I think you'll like it too. At least I hope so! If I had more time, I'd photo the blocks and the borders that are laid out on my floor, ready to be sewn together. Yes... if I only had more time. Sometimes, you just run out of it!

Until next month (which will be sooner since I'm so far behind this month!), happy sewing --


(c)2011 Susan H. Garman


  1. Your work is amazing, both appliqué and your machine quilting. WOW I absolutely love what you posted at the start about what quilting is to you. I feel it too. New to machine quilting, your work is pure inspiration for me. TY, Jo

  2. I just love these papercut blocks, beautiful
    I hope they will be a pattern someday, or a book perhaps!
    keep us posted. The quilting is amazing on your Borrowed Roses quilt. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
    very inspiring.

  3. OMG, I *love* papercuts! They are my favorite type of applique!! I cannot WAIT for this pattern!!!

  4. Hi Sue.. I love love your quilts, I love to applique and your quilts make applique a little challenging which an appliquer always needs. You are doing great with your time if you can get one of these blocks done a day I would say wow!
    Can`t wait to see the quilt you guild has made I am sure it will be awesome. Thanks for taking the time to share your fans really appreciate it

  5. WOW is all I can say! I'm in awe of all that you do. I need to become more focused so I can get more done. Quilting is my passion and I need to make more time for it.

  6. You never cease to amaze me. Your quilts are exquisite. Thank you for sharing them with us...your update was definitely worth the wait! :)

  7. Hi Sue,
    I'm sorry I could not find an email address for you to post this question. I have made your TQS 2009 BOM Stars for a New Day Quilt and have entered it into my quilt guild show, East Cobb Quilt Guild. It was accepted into the show and I would like your permission to show it this weekend in Atlanta. I used different fabrics but have given you credit for the pattern and design. May I please have your permission to hang it in the show? Thanks for your consideration. I'm happy to send you a photo but don't know where to send it.
    Susan Brady

  8. Hi Sue,
    I love your quilts! Nobody compares to you, I swear. I especially like Reel Roses. I'm going to have to pick up that magazine.

  9. Sue, you never cease to amaze me!

  10. From the time that I first saw the Sarah Holcomb quilt in a quilt book I fell in love and wanted to make it....but was always too lazy to draft the patterns myself. I am thrilled that you are doing it!!! Publish, publish, publish!!!!! I can't wait!

  11. Your quilts are incrdible Sue and I'm loving the papercut blocks a lot, I can't wait for the pattern to be released, it'll be a must do for me.

  12. Both of those quilts are just amazing!!!
    I love the papercut blocks!
    Thank you for sharing!
    I admire you for the amount of beautifully stunning work you do!

  13. Your work is awe inspiring as always!

  14. Sue, you inspire me. Thanks for all you do.

  15. Sue, I can't find an email address for you, but I wanted to truly thank you for donating the Friends of Baltimore pattern to the 3rd Annual Baltimore on the Prairie Conference held earlier this month in Nebraska.

    I am the dazed and appreciative winner of this fabulous pattern. I've never undertaken a project like this. Since I mostly work in miniature, this is going to be a real challenge for me, but as people at the Conference assured me, it's one stitch at a time.

    I've followed your Blog for a long time and I watched the FOB quilt as it came together, never dreaming that I would attempt such a spectacular piece of art.

    My bolt(!) of background fabric has arrived, my overlays have been prepared for the first 2 blocks. I've joined the Yahoo Group. Now, I just have to gather the fortitude to actually... start.

    Again, thank you for your generosity. Not only in donating such a pattern, but for being so encouraging and supportive.

  16. I have so enjoyed making up some of your quilt patterns, most recently All Around the Town. (I think I emailed you a picture...hope I did) I would love to know what computer programs you use to draw your patterns. I have been trying to import, by scanning, into crudely master programs using Microsoft Word and Paint. It's time for an upgrade!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  17. In answer to Teresa's question of what programs I use to draw my patterns, my process is pretty basic. I use the draw function in Word to make any straight lines (squares, rectangles, half-square triangles and such). I can edit those and make the lines thicker or dashed and add text and arrows, so it functions well. If there is a "drawing" (e.g., a flower or heartor a Santa or village...), I use heavy-weight paper (32 pound - available from office supply stores) and draw directly onto that using an 03 or 05 Pigma pen. I use a lightbox if I am tracing a draft I've done. If necessary, I will draw it all and then scan it and save it as a jpg file, and then I use Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite to "clean up" the jpg file drawing and erase any little imperfections; I can use Adobe to also add text to the drawing. With practice, it's simple and easy - and it works!

  18. Sue - I just truly admire all of your work - and i have completer stars for a new day and i am working on ruffled roses.. ladies of the sea will be my present to myself this coming year - just a quick enquiry- can you address shrinking a wool bat.. do you still use the prewash method ?
    thanks for all your sharing - any chance you travel to guilds??
    thanks again
    sue acevedo ny ny

  19. In answer to Sue A's comment...
    To pre-shrink a batt, I fill the wash tub with warm water and let the batt soak for about 20 minutes. I do this whether the batt is cotton, poly, wool, or silk - I've found that they all shrink even if they say they don't - and I pre-shrink them even when the instructions say it's not necessary or not advised. After the soak, I then put the washer on the spin cycle. When the water is finished spinning out, I put the batt in the dryer and dry the batt to the point that it is barely moist but not totally dry. I then lay the batt out on the floor or over a table or bed and let it finish drying completely.
    As for whether I travel to guilds, for the time being I am not accepting any engagements. My schedule is unpredictable and while I used to travel all the time, I'm taking a break. Ask again in a year or so, though - life has a way of changing all the time!
    Best wishes --
    Sue Garman