Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Going Green" going to a festival

Here is a quilt worthy of any quilt festival but a good place to start is the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2010.

This quilt was created by a group of mothers from the American School In Japan as one of the prizes for a silent auction at the 2009 Spring Gala.

The Gala theme was "Going Green" I and two other planners pulled out a selection of green fabrics and arranged them into sections. I drew sketches of various seasonal flowers and we selected material for the aplique.

Some of the members of the group who had sewing experience helped aplique the blocks. Those who could do basic sewing joined the blocks or pieced the border.

When the top was assembled we met to quilt in the ditch. Between sessions I took the quilt home and worked the larger areas with Japanese style motifs. Our little group met somewhat weekly, with gaps for holidays, beginning in late November and finishing in early March.

Our first auction quilt was in '04 and with each year our plans have varied but we always start out with non-quilters and end up with great satisfaction and sense of comraderie. This quilt was 211.5cm x 226cm and brought a handsome sum.

If I am able to post this in the festival, it will be thanks to Liz at quilterie who has coached me from afar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

If I had a design wall

If I had a design wall I don't know where I would put it but I know what I would put on it.

The Choir retreat at the foot of Mt. Fuji was great. The picture is of Fuji with the sunrise reflected on its flanks. No matter how many times I glimpse this mountain it is always different yet the same and takes my breath away.
I finished the large blocks in the odd moments. I can't imagine what it would be like to go on a quilt retreat! This project has no particular purpose other than for something to do as take-along work. It was given me by a friend during summer travels and I have added some of my own fabrics as well. There is still a lot to go but since it is a spare time activity there is no rush. Some of my children have asked,"Who are you making that for?" Well, right now, for my sanity. I guess I won't have trouble finding it a home some day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Take-along work

Today it's off to the choir retreat. Three days of singing until we get it right and a bit
of hand work for a reward. ( My quilt is much too big to drag to the foot of Mt. Fuji!) So ... I stayed up past my bedtime cutting and marking strips for a quilt given me by a friend. This friend had given me something to work on during my summer travels when the tablecloth was finished. Now it can keep me busy in meetings or while the sopranos are singing their part for the 'umpteenth time.
So ... off we go! My wireless problems will be forgotten for the weekend, the dishes can pile up in the sink, the dog hair can pile up on the floor, and beautiful music will be all around me. Now, I'd better not forget to pack my music....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Quilting Heritage

My quilting is creeping along slowly but there is not much to show.
I thought I might share my great grandmother's quilt.
My Grandmother's house was full of quilts on every bed, the number depending on the time of year. When that house was sold, I was living in Japan and all the quilts went to my siblings. Like that also, when my parent's home was sold the quilts I grew up with also went to my remaining siblings.
There was one quilt left and about eight years ago, my father said he was thinking of donating that one to a museum. I doubt this is a museum piece or that any of the public could cherish it more than I. Certainly a museum might have a better way of storing it or preserving it. Many of the brown dyes have bled on to the surrounding white and some are ragged and worn but to me it is a treasure.
I do not have a date for this quilt. Probably it could be dated by the fabric. It is 76 x92 inches in size and made of 550 two and a half inch patches set on point. It is quilted in a grid horizontally and diagonally at one centimeter intervals. Each small block is perfect and the quilting is ten stitches to the inch.
When I feel I am not making progress, this quilt is my inspiration. I can only hope some day a quilt I have made will be so cherished.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Make use of everything

A few years ago I took a class one of my friends was giving on paper piecing....well knowing it was something I would not likely use since it involved a machine. I brought this piece home wondering what I would ever do with it. Fast forward a year... daughter and granddaughter spend the night from time to time and sleep in the loft. I go up to find a towel or some other object crammed into the area to cut the morning light. Then comes the big "AHAH!" I have something just the right size to fill that spot! The little quilt (if it could be called that) fits on a spring rod and can be used to cover the window or be moved below to let in the air. Multiple problems solved!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Knot migration

I am wondering how to prevent and remedy knot migration.
This must be a problem that machine quilters never face. It happens when I am quilting and find a knot, that was part of the piecing, suddenly sitting on the surface during quilting.
I've tried back-stitching the first stitch when piecing without great success. The only thing I can think of is taking several back stitches and then cut off the knot. Any ideas? or am I the only one with this problem?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some things can't be fixed

I remember those days when I wondered if we could EVER eat a meal without jumping up to catch a spill. I used permanent press sheets for tablecloths so I wouldn't have to iron them every day.
Now that the kids are all grown up one might think the problem is solved. Ah, not so! Last week I had to wash the tablecloth three times ... spilled soup ... spilled tea ... curry that missed the plate.
I decided to use up some bits of hand-me-down projects to make place mats for myself, Papa, daughter and grand daughter and also son-in-law (who is very neat and doesn't really need one)
Today they made it to the table and after one meal, three messy mats and three blobs of stew on the tablecloth! Well, they look bright and cheerful anyway.
The person who gave me the cut out red pieces had made twelve so I guess I can decorate six more once I see how they wash ... which will be soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mitsukoshi Quilt Show 2010

This afternoon I took a trip to Mitsukoshi Department Store to view the works of 100 Japanese quilters. Many were made with beautiful kimono fabrics. Most of them were quite stunning and, I think, intended as wall art rather than ever to be placed on a bed. (Though I can't ever imagine having a wall space that big!) I walked through the exhibition to the end and without exiting, walked bach to the start and did it again. At the end there was a book to buy but at over 20 dollars, a bit too far out of my range. I did store a few ideas in my brain for inspiration.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Finished Fall Runner

I haven't figured out how to get these pictures arranged on the page but here they are as the computer wants them!

blogging into new projects

After looking around the blog world and seeing so many nice fall decorations, I began to feel that the heart table runner , cheerful as it is, was a bit off season. Back on to the table went it's predecessor but that did not look so seasonal either.

Now, I know there is all kinds of stash out there in quilting land but I keep tins. When I finish up cutting stuff I take my pile of scraps and cut it into squares depending on the size of the scrap. With a half inch for sewing I have a tin each of 4, 3, 2, and 1 inch blocks. Since the lid on the 3-inch block tin was having a problem fitting, I decided to relieve it by removing a selection of browns and golds and see if I could come up with something that said "fall".

This was particularly timely because my quilt project is just too big to lug around and I need take-along work. . My dog was quite happy with the part where we went around looking for leaves to trace in the plain blocks. Three inches is a bit small so she got a good walk in the deal.

Now the runner is in place looking a bit more "fall" and I will have to quickly find a new take-along project as the school's athletic day is coming up this weekend.