Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May day! May day! May day!

May day -- a well known emergency call -- seems appropriate as the title for this month's belated blog entry.  I mean, it's kind of like HELP or ELSE around my house!  I've been peddling as fast as I can for the past few weeks, and feel like I'm drowning.  Family matters have been consuming me.  I'm moving my parents out of the house they've lived in for six years... and that means downsizing my Mom's quilting room.  Or, said another way... Mom is making a HUGE contribution to my guild's annual auction ( - August 18 - come one, come all!).  I'm temporarily storing over 45 boxes of fabric, along with a dozen boxes of notions and unmade kits, and a dozen boxes of wonderful quilt books.  I haven't a clue as to how to get all the boxes to the guild meeting on the night of the auction; it's a good thing that I love problem-solving.  I'll sure be glad to get my dining room back, too...

And while worrying about packing and the move, I've been trying so get Sarah's Revival quilted.  Here's the full picture.... before I started quilting it.

And here it is, rolled on the frame; I've finished one border, one full row of blocks, and half of the next row of blocks.  I love hand quilting - it is SO relaxing.  You can see some of the painter's tape on the block I'm quilting; I use it to mark the cross-hatching as I go, and therefore don't need to use a pencil or other marking tool for my quilt lines.  You'll also see the tv remote... here I go again, watching all those murder mysteries while I quilt, and once again, I'm thinking of renaming the quilt, "Murder on Queensburg Lane" since that's all I am seeing with that red fabric everywhere!

Here's a close up of the block I'm working on -  you can see that I just keep adding strips of tape as I add a line of quilting across the block.  It's a pretty simple - but very effective - method for quilting cross-hatching.

And here is a block that has been fully quilted -- I quilt in the ditch around all the applique, and then do the cross-hatching, too.  I am using 3/4-inch tape on this quilt.

Now... for what many of you have been waiting to see!  I have been working on Bed of Roses, my new block of the month.  It has had so many starts and stops that I think I can make two other quilts with the mis-starts!  I have 5 feathered stars that have been tossed aside, setting triangle units made of 1-inch half-square triangles (these drove me nuts, so yes, you're welcome; I didn't include these in the design!), and lots of other cast-aside units.  BUT I can say that I'm very happy with the quilt now.  I had thought that the four blocks with rose trees in them (the blocks next to the center block) would be plain white fabric with some beautiful quilting in them, but that, too, was another design change that fell by the wayside - it looked too much like the quilt had four holes in the middle of it!  So here's the final rendition, ready to be quilted!  I will be machine quilting this one - I think the machine quilting will look good on this quilt.  Some quilts ask to be hand-quilted but this one didn't care (yes, my quilts "talk" to me!).   So - whatcha think?

As for what else to include in this month's blog entry, I thought I'd just do a quick review of some of my other red and green quilts (and no, my next quilt is not going to be red and green... but I reserve the right to change my mind!).  Here's the Princess Feather I finished putting together last month:

Here's an early four-block quilt I made.  I wanted to try a four-block quilt, as it just seemed intuitively that the applique and assembly could be done more easily than a large quilt could be done.  I loved how this went together so quickly.

In fact, I loved making a four-block quilt so much that I made a second one pretty soon after the one above; this one took a little more time because it included a big appliqued border.

What I loved about this quilt (The Washingtonian) was that the blocks were SO big!  And guess what?  Take a look at one of the blocks in the above quilt:

What I have always loved is that if you take ANY block and set it on point, it immediately grows dramatically in size.  That 24 inch block, above, when set on point, becomes a MUCH bigger block (41 percent bigger, to be exact)...

And those big setting triangles become GREAT places to put some spectacular hand quilting... or machine quilting if you're so inclined.  And if you're not... most long-arm quilters who are worth their salt simply LOVE having a big place to "play" when they quilt quilts.  Woo hoo!

Back to the red and green quilts, now.  Most of you will recognize my Lily Rosenberry.  She still surprises me when I look back at her -- she is a pretty awesome creation!

And here is a very early quilt - one made back in the 70s.  Take a look at all the star centers.  I sweated bullets, quilting little "feathered rosettes" in the center of each of those.  They took 45 minutes each, to quilt.  And guess what?  you can't see the quilting on the front!  What a disappointment for me....

But the quilting in the border made up for what was "lost" in the stars!  I love leaving wide, open spaces on quilts, specifically for quilting.  They add a soft, gorgeous touch to a quilt.

Here's a Cherry Tree Reel below -- it uses circles instead of the classic "hoop" reel around the leaves.  It's on my stack of "to be quilted" quilts.  Which is otherwise known as my full retirement system. 

 And here's another red and green quilt - I actually have TWO of these quilts, but the second one isn't quite finished yet (sniff....).   And before you ask, yes, I am a glutton for punishment.

And most of you will recognize my Borrowed Roses..  This is a lousy picture... I'll work on a better one later.

 And lest you think I've run out of red and green quilts... no, I haven't!  I love, love, love coxcombs, so this quilt used five blocks, and awaits quilting...

In the meantime, if I have ten minutes to spare, I make a block.  A simple block.  For my guild's auction.

And in case I forgot to mention it (I didn't...), the June issue of Quiltmaker will be featuring a quilt I designed, along with "lessons" on applique.  I haven't seen the magazine yet... and I don't want to spoil the "surprise, so you'll just have to keep your eyes open for this quilt in the near future!  Here is a teeny sneak-peak, though!

Until next month (and yes, I'll probably post late again... moving parents is tough but I'm thinking the UNpacking will take longer than the packing!), happy quilting!

(c)Susan H. Garman 2012