Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Word on Prewashing

I have not been posting lately due to illness. I have had some horrible weeks of pain in my face for almost three weeks now. It doesn't seem to make sense, at first I thought it was my sinuses when I got this cold virus, but I don't think it is. It seems to be related to a nerve pain that is on the right side of my face. I can't eat, I can't sleep and pain killers do very little. I just hope it gets back on track soon.

I thought I would post about an experience I had several weeks ago when I decided to get ready to use some of my Katie Jump Rope fabric by Denyse Schmidt that I have been drooling over for months and months now. I have been very excited about this line of fabric, I love the primary colors that somehow remind me of growing up in the 70's. Luckily, I recently have made it a habit to prewash all the fabrics I use in a quilt. Mainly, I have done this with the purpose of preshrinking, but now I have realized another important reason to prewash! I never would have thought that a quality quilting fabric from Westminster would ever have any issues with the color running!

Here in this photo you can see all the Katie Jump Rope fabrics (minus one) after I washed them all together on a warm cycle in my front loader... The colors look ok, right?

Now, have a look at the yellow dotted fabric I had in the same wash load. Looks a bit grey, right? Well, I was not happy and I wrote to the Denyse Schmidt Studio and sent a swatch of this fat quarter to let them know that their fabric didn't wash well. Imagine how I would have felt if I had made the entire quilt and then washed it! I would have been very sorry indeed!
The Studio wrote me back and thanked me for letting them know about the problem. They sent me a replacement fat quarter and suggested that I use a dye magnet in the washing machine so I wouldn't have problems like this in future. I guess I will, but how many of you out there use a dye magnet when prewashing fabric? Don't you usually assume that a high quality fabric will not run? Anyway, I'm glad they replaced my fat quarter but it does concern me about Westminster's quality control.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How the Garden Grows!




I just thought I would share a few pictures of one our gardens and how green and full everything is looking this time of the year! We have so many tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, squash, corn, beans, etc that it is hard to keep up! The tomatoes are still not ripe, but when they finally do ripen it is going to be crazy trying to keep up. At the moment I am desperately trying to keep up with the zucchini and cucumbers!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Bento Box

I haven't posted anything in a while because I have had a miserable cold/flu for the past couple of weeks now. I keep hoping that I will feel better soon, but I am still struggling with it a bit. I look forward to having some energy to do things again! I did finish this bento box quilt a few weeks ago already minus borders and now I let it sit. I don't know what to do for the borders. The solution doesn't seem obvious to me. I really contemplated sashing these blocks, but in the end I think I was feeling sick and struggling with what sort of fabric to sash with so I just decided I liked it well enough this way too. I'm really 50/50 on it. Half the time I look at it and love it and then the other half of the time it doesn't sit well with me. Depends on the light. Seems to look better at night. If anyone has an opinion on what to do next I am all ears! Thanks!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bento Box Quilt

So, this is the block I decided on for the Chestnut Hill fabric by Joel Dewberry. It's a very simple construction, but I was hoping for a construction that would allow the fabrics to do the work. We'll see how they go, I'm only worried that they will all run together and this block won't be seen on its own...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cutting Up Joel Dewberry!



Not him, just his fabrics... Do you remember when I got this fabric back in July? Well, it has been sitting on my shelf all washed, ready and waiting for me to do something with it. A few weeks ago I finally decided what I will do with this lot. (I still have another lot of lighter colored fabrics in the Chestnut Hill range). So, I have been cutting and cutting all morning. I'll show you the block I have decided on once I get one done!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Summer in the City Top Finished

I put the final border on this quilt yesterday and thought I would post a picture of it to show you how it turned out. I'm quite happy with it and hopefully I can get it quilted someday soon. I'll keep this post short--I'm getting really excited about starting my next project! More on that tomorrow...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Borders Redone

Much Better! It's worthwhile to unpick when it makes you feel so much better afterwards. I'm thinking about sending off a few quilts to the longarmer, even though I really am waiting to get my own machine so I can do my own and other people as well. Hmmm... Maybe going through the process over here will be helpful for starting my own business. Does that sound like a good enough excuse? I'd like to send my 30's quilt and possibly another one as well, which means I better get a backing for it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bleeker Street Finished

Aaawhh! That feels better. I figured out yesterday why I was struggling so much with this quilt. I didn't like the proportion of it, it was too wide and short. So, I unpicked two rows from the ends and added two more rows. Now it is narrow and long the way I wanted it to be! If you look closely you'll realize that two whole rows are full of mistakes because of this rearrangement, but I don't mind at all compared with the way it was. I also think the border has helped me feel better about it.

So, my next project is to unpick a border off of a quilt top I made last year. I put the border on not knowing that you are supposed to measure through the center of the quilt and so the border is a bit wavy. I need to correct that or it will bother me too much.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

What's Your Quilting Style?

Idaho Quilter left me a You Make My Day award on her blog, but I haven't figured out how to add it to my posts yet... I am still learning this whole blogging thing. I started thinking about who I would give an award to, but I have to say I wouldn't be able to chose. I read so many blogs and all that I read make my day in some way. The fact that I live in such an isolated spot means that I don't have quilty friends or classes or even quilt shops that I can visit nearby so I rely on catching up with all of you in the blogging world! I get my inspiration and my information from You! Those who comment on my blog are especially helpful to me as I the only feedback I get is from my husband, who is great and very supportive, but doesn't see things the way a quilter would.

So, I was thinking about quilting styles this morning, what motivates people, what they like and don't like, etc. Since I started quilting three years ago, I have tried to be open minded to exposing myself to as much as I can. I have started to wonder what it is that defines me, what I like and what is not me and what things I would like to incorporate into my style in future. So, those of you who would like to play along with me consider yourself tagged and tell me 7 of your quilting likes, 7 dislikes, and 7 things you would like to try but have been intimidated or just haven't gotten to yet... Please leave me a comment so I can read your post. I am curious to know what other people like or don't like in their quilts...

So here is what I came up with:

What I like:

1. Single Block Quilts that repeat throughout the quilt. Preferably a traditional style block of some sort.

2. Quilts with many different fabrics, sometimes the more the better--a scrappy look.

3. Blended quilts.

4. Color. And lots of it! I think that my love of color is the main reason I enjoy the process of quilting.

5. The geometry of quilts. I just like looking at geometrical shapes. When I was young I used to like those coloring books where you had different geometrical patterns that you would color in the way you wanted. That is what quilting is like for me, an adult's geometrical coloring book.

6. Large quilts. I can't seem to be satisfied with making small quilts...

7. Symmetry and uniformity. I can't help it, my genetic makeup won't allow me be otherwise even though I Have tried.


What I am not so fond of:

1. Medallion quilts. There have been a few that I have liked, but in general...no.

2. Sashing. Generalization. If it is incorporated into the design of the block I like it. Sometimes I see sashing as taking up too much space.

3. Large blocks. I don't know why, too much empty space maybe? Not enough going on? Who knows...

4. Empty spaces. Unless it is to feature some special quilting or is part of a background like in a Lone Star or Tree of Life quilt.

5. Samplers. Like hodge podge to me mostly. I like them sometimes if there is a cohesiveness to them...

6. Too many muddy colors. I like muddy fabrics when they are there to allow a brighter color to PoP out at you, but when a quilt is all muddy it just doesn't feel good to me.

7. Stitchery or Redwork. I don't know, it's just my personal taste. Doesn't excite me.


What I would like to do in future that I have mostly been intimidated by (or haven't gotten to yet):

1. Applique. Not sure why I still avoid trying it... I love it used in borders.

2. Paper piecing. I would love to try a New York Beauty quilt or something by Karen K. Stone.

3. I always have liked the look of a Mariner's Star.

4. I want to do Long Arm quilting!!!

5. Curved piecing. I once did a Wheel of Mystery, so why am I still intimidated?

6. Take a class with Kaffe Fassett

7. Go on a quilting retreat.

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