Wednesday, May 23, 2007

pretty in pink

last night I finished piecing the top for my next baby quilt project - I was so excited about seeing how all the fabrics would work together and talk to one another I think I set a piecing record. although this not my 'typical' palette of colors (for baby quilts I lean toward using bright bold colors not pastels) I just love the way it turned out. when I interviewed my friend who 'commissioned' the quilt to give to her cousin living in the midwest with her family, she said the baby was a girl and they had a pink 'theme' going. the family I learned are into 'cats' 'farming' and flowers. I thought cool - let's see where I can go with this info - my first thought was that I'd go with the farm/veggie theme and probably downplay the pink bit not to be one to encourage gender typing.....

unfortunately when I went out on saturday to find interesting fabrics with vegetables and farm animals on them I struck out. I can't believe how just a few years ago cute veggie fabrics seemed to be quite the rage and I used quite a bit of bright, bold veggie fabric in various baby quilts over a period of time. unfortunately I only have a few scraps of those bright vegetable themed fabrics left in my stash. okay, I'm adaptable, since the baby is actually scheduled to come into the world this week, I didn't want to wait and wage an internet hunt for fabrics with veggies on it. and as far as farm animals I didn't find anything that 'floated my boat' but luckily I have some cute fabric with chicks on it so at least I could put in a token farm animal into the quilt.

I really liked the quilt I recently made which I called 'it takes a village' and decided to adapt that basic block for this project as it was a rather easy and quick to construct since time is of the essence. for the back I'm planning on going bold. more to come on the back when I get it together....

quilt details: 6-inch blocks; 2-inch wide sashing; overall 42 x 42 without binding.

(remember you can click on the pictures to enlarge)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

studio update

most of my quilting activity of late as been directed towards working to finish up the quilt for richard's mother. I've spent most of my 'quilting time' the last couple weeks with the hoop stitching between the blocks and outlining the colorful squares on the border. the thickness of the quilt directs a somewhat minimal approach. I put the binding on the quilt this morning and started marking the border's open areas with biographical and memorial words - dates, names of family members, birthplace, etc. I've been accompanied during much of this handwork by the critters in the family - why is it when I have a quilt on my lap, they always want to get into the action? the kitties like to burrow between the hoop and my lap. even dixie, em's dog, wants to get into the act when she comes over - thank goodness she's content with just inspecting my progress and doesn't try to burrow under the hoop like the cats do. knowing dixie she just wants to make sure I'm not hiding food under the quilt. alas, I'm such a slow quilter I'm behind in making my 'self-imposed' deadline of 15 may - maybe it will be finished by 31 may - but as I'm fond of saying it will be done when it's done and not a moment sooner!

there are a couple babies on the way so this last week I had to start cranking up the activity on two baby quilts which are on 'the board.' one quilt will be given to a friend of emma, m and her family have become part of our 'fictive family' over the last few years; the other quilt is a commissioned project. both of these babies will be the second child in their respective families, and both will have big sisters who were welcomed with my quilts when they were born! I raided my scrap stash whipped up a very easy quilt for little soren (the name of emma's friends' son - great name!) the quilt is a riot of color and features fabrics from lots of previous baby quilts. a sneak preview of soren's quilt. I expect soren's big sister will have fun finding and identifying all the critters and objects in the quilt until soren is old enough to do it himself.
earlier this week I learned that the baby for the commissioned project will be entering the world much earlier than the date on the board. in fact, the induction is scheduled for may 25th - which is a month sooner than the 'due date' I had down. oh well - it will get done, when it's done and not a moment sooner! but the new knowledge did kick me into action and this weekend I've devoted some time towards working on it. yesterday I hit abigayles for a few new fabrics (who am I kidding? it's been a while since I replenished my fabric stash and I confess I got a few more than a few new fabrics - there's so many new cute fabrics out there!). with a new group of fabrics to inspire me, I started working on a basic plan and this afternoon I started cutting up fabric and sewing together some blocks. although I have a basic plan, I expect there will be significant going with the flow as I see how the fabrics work with each other.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

black batting

I started quilting richard's mother's quilt yesterday. yeah for black batting - no migration! I'm quite disappointed that joann fabrics (which is walking distance) no longer carries black batting! on monday, I let my fingers do the 'shopping' first called abigayle's (my favorite quilt shop in the area) and yes, they had black batting in stock. since feagin works just one town over from abigayle's my next call was to him to see if he would drop by the shop one day this week on his way home! fortunately he dropped by that very evening! most fortuitous as there was someone there - feagin got there a few minutes before 6, contrary to an old business card which listed 6 o'clock they actually close at 5 everyday but thursday! (okay, you might wonder why I'm excited about this mundane event - other than it's probably my nature to be happy over little things, I love when things work out better than expected. I always need to find creative approaches to errands as I live without a car. backstory: when my ol' car [literally it was 14 and a few miles shy of 200,000] died over a year ago and I decided the best thing I could do for the planet was to not replace it! I get by quite well by walking, using public transportation, or if I really need one borrowing a car. one of these days I'll add to my transportation options when I get it together and to tune-up my ol' bike!)

the way things are going I'm hopeful I will make my self imposed deadline of having this quilt done by mid-may. tuesday I pieced and added the border, and before little tasha arrived for the afternoon, I was able to layer the quilt and get started on the quilting. I forgot how heavy these knit shirt quilts are; the knit fabric is heavier than regular cotton fabric and the woven interfacing adds another layer. since my general quilting technique is to use a lap hoop (making me & my projects portable) it's good that it's not summer!

thursdays are generally a 'kid day'(when tasha comes over) but poor little thing was feeling punky (or should I say pukey!) yesterday. suspicious that she might have an ear infection t's mama took her to get her ears checked this morning; and yes they were (given that t's mama is a doctor I was pretty confident that she was calling it correctly!) although I'm disappointed that tasha & I are missing our thursday morning program at the library and I won't have excuse to spend the day at the park or strolling about the city, I now have a big block of time to stitch away. I'm three discs into a 12 disc audio book - now to move the cd player out to the porch and I'll be all set!