Friday, October 29, 2010

The pieced Triple Rail quilt

I really like the way this quilt turned out.  I have several ideas for the borders but am waiting to work my way to Class 180.  This quilt did remind me that it matters to take the time to square each of the blocks.  On this one, I also learned that I need to purchase a little more fabric than the book calls for as I ended up back at Thimble Pleasures picking up more of the white floral.  At this point, I think the inner border will be the dark blue and the wide border will be either the white paisley or the Hoffman Gypsy paisley - my concern is that I don't have enough of that to go around.  I may do a scrappy binding, or a solid, haven't quite decided and I think I have enough to back with the white floral, or the light blue. 

I actually completed this top prior to starting my travels in September and took the pictures before I left.  And somehow managed to not post anything in nearly a month...  Over the past six weeks, I've spent a week at Disney with Gus, a week in Cameroon for work, a week in Denmark with my Mother to visit my Mormor who turns 98 on Halloween, and finally 2 days in New York City and with just 8 days in the office scattered throughout. Oh, and I've also camped with the Cub Scouts and spent a morning on a very neat hike, plus cheered Gus on at 2 hockey games... I missed playing with fabric - and have thought a lot about what I want to do for the upcoming projects.

I'm also suffering a little paralysis getting started again.  I am looking forward to the weekend, and if nothing else will sort and store the 30 plus yards of fabric I carried home with me from my travels.  The customs officer questioned my volume of fabric (and the $$) - but between a crummy exchange rate and the price of fabric in Denmark, it didn't take much to add it to an outrageous amount. He accepted "I quilt" as an explanation.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Project that started this journey...

... Or an example of how my mind works...

Last spring, a finished rag quilt was posted on Scrapshare.  I looked at it and thought, hey, even I could make one of those.  I've long admired quilters but always been concerned about straight lines and points meeting up - you know - accuracy issues.  But rag quilts look so forgiving. As I've blogged previously, they are less forgiving than I thought.

After reading about rag quilts on and mentally redesigning one based upon two different patterns they use, I ordered the fabric.  This first involved searching for the PERFECT Florida State fabric.  Which I finally found at Suzanne's Quilt Shop in Moultrie, GA.

The fabric arrived. And then it sat, as I was paralyzed by the "what ifs" of cutting and sewing. Well what better way than get started said I than to make a practice quilt.  Thus Rag Quilt 1 was born.  Upon learning that the baby would be a girl, I pulled some of the blue out and substituted pink, resulting in a stack of already cut blue squares, thus Rag Quilt 2 was born.  These were also influenced by the purchase of the Rag Quilt scissors as I need to use them in more than one project don't I???

This one is a little more complex due to the triple rail blocks and the four patch blocks which exponentially increases the number of sandwiches to prepare.  To maintain my sanity, I created strip sandwiches and sewed the fabric/flannel/fabric along the long edges. Afterward, I cut the rails and patches. The seams for the short sides were sewn when I joined the pieces together to complete the blocks.  I also did a better job with setting up my stacks for the chain piecing. The quilt came together very quickly, especially as I didn't have to stop to set seams along the way.

On the other hand, snipping took forever.  When I learned that Suzanne and Christopher were going to join us for a day at Disney over Gus's birthday, I moved up my deadline for presentation of the quilt from Christmas to a time when I could give it to Christopher myself - and so that he can enjoy it during football season.  There are probably still snippets from the quilt at the timeshare in Orlando as I spent several evenings snipping and snipping and snipping.  This one I washed three times and I really like the fuzziness of the ragging.

A boy and his quilt... Hopefully Christopher
will enjoy this for years to come.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quilting is a universal language!

No pictures just now. I've been traveling for work and pleasure for three of the last four weeks. I am writing now from my grandmother's house (my Mormor) just south of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Yesterday, Mom and I discovered a lovely quilt store - Issi Works - and spent quite a lot on fabric by Danish designers.  The owner understands some English though she speaks little. I understand a little Danish and can say please and thank you...  However - we could easily communicate over fabric and we spent some very enjoyable time admiring her completed quilts as well as being inspired by one she is working on for her daughter (leading to the purchase of 7 meters of Dansk Julen fabrics for my stash).

This afternoon, we visited a quilt store in Helsingbor, Sweden - after blundering into two general fabric stores and getting directions to the real quilt store.  Fortunately, Mom speaks Danish and understands Swedish, as I understand/speak less Swedish than Danish...  In this store, we found a panel related to the fabrics we purchased yesterday for an Advent Calendar. I now have 4 of these to make for the four households in our family - hopefully by Christmas - but some will be more likely done in time for Christmas 2011.  Again, the owner and I had a delightful time admiring her work. She has pieced a Bargello top from one of the Hoffman Batik rolls that she did during the Icelandic volcano eruption - and it is reminiscent of the mountains.

Tomorrow I plan to visit one or two more stores before returning home.  I have seen many bolts of fabric that I can purchase at home and continue to seek out those that I cannot.