Monday, June 11, 2018

Treasure Hunt, a Mystery Quilt

I just completed the binding on this lovely quilt (June 2018). I finished the top in spring of 2017. The mystery quilt, offered by Cotton and Chocolate of Thousand Oaks, California, actually began in the fall of 2016. I wasn't able to get the initial instructions or shop for fabric until January 2017 during our annual visit to daughter and family. 

I can usually pick fabric for a quilt pretty quickly, but choosing fabric for this project had me roaming around the quilt store over and over. I found myself returning to the batiks corner several times, so I gave in to the siren song of turquoise and green batiks that continued to call to me.

Most of the block units were made in Florida while vacationing at my sister's place on the west coast and I finished them up at home. I found the perfect backing by chance at Yankee Quilter in Seymour, CT. Treasure Hunt was a true treasure to construct, especially because I was celebrating my retirement. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Jumble of Quilts

I am so behind in documenting my finished quilts that I present some here in no particular order. And because it's been so long, I've forgotten some formatting. I'm sure there will be a lot of white space.

Here is a pretty preview of some quilts that appear further down the page.

I'll start with this Christmas table runner I made for my friend Joann. This is particularly notable because at the time I bought all the floral fabric on the bolt, she had already looked at it and put it down. Mistake! I scooped it up and marched to the cutting table!  I had not heard the end of it till I made this for her.

I made this navy and white quilt MANY years ago, early in my quilting career. It's the first of two of this pattern. It needed much "aging" before I got around to getting it quilted recently. My friend Peg has the other one, profiled much earlier in this blog.

Ah, this was a mystery quilt! During the big quilt room clean up a couple of summers ago (talked about in an earlier post), my daughter exclaimed, "This would be perfect for Aunt Kathy!" And so off to the quilter it went and was ready in time for Christmas 2013.

I left my quilting comfort zone to make this apron for my daughter Laura. She loves aprons and this fabric. Hmm, I also made a quilt for her college graduation. That picture must be on a different computer.

This is Lydia's 3rd birthday quilt. I found this kit in the Cotton and Chocolate quilt store in Thousand Oaks, California last May. How could I possibly resist cupcakes? Of course, the store was out of the perfect backing fabric, but I managed to find a better perfect fabric here in Connecticut!

Gramma with Princess Sophia

This is another cupcake kit I found in California. Yeah, yeah, I know...kits! Here's the thing. In order for me to make the most of my time in that shop, it's just quicker to pick up something already assembled, and the patterns are terrific and the fabrics, well, I love them! I've found that the shops in California have a really excellent stock of ...happy fabrics.

The pattern was easy to put together. Again, I found the perfect backing here in CT! This is MY cupcake quilt - for the kids when they sleep over.

I found this pattern...where else...California, in Northridge, at a Candy's Quiltworks. The good thing - Kim used to live in walking distance of this store. The bad thing - Kim used to live in walking distance of this store.

The shop had a sample of this quilt made up with red, one of the reasons it caught my eye. Black, white and red is pretty common, so I changed it up with electric lime green.The black and white strips came in a jelly roll. I can see why precuts are so popular!
 This is MY quilt! Kim's eyes popped when she saw it for the first time during her annual summer visit. No Kim, you cannot have this one!

I found the border fabric at Sew Inspired in Simsbury, CT and the backing fabric at Yankee Cloth in Wallingford, CT.

Here is another mystery quilt made many, many years ago. This quilt was aging very nicely when Kim discovered it in the closet two years ago. She was aghast that I had these beautiful tops just piled up in my closet. Well, I don't blame her. So this one went off to the quilter too.

oooh. Fuzzy picture. 

I love the backing fabric I chose for this quilt. 

One of the not so great things with this lovely item is that after living with this quilt for a few weeks, the black fabric started pulling away around the quilting. You can see a white spot on the full picture. I think maybe I used some not-so-expensive fabric and now I'm really paying the price. I don't know what to do about this situation, but in the meantime, I'll just use the back  as the top.

Not too long ago, I pulled out this unfinished project from a class I took several years ago. I don't recall why I shelved it, but I do remember shopping for the beautiful the Asian fabrics in the Bento Box pattern.
This lovely was not destined for anyone yet, so when the call (actually a Facebook request) came, I offered it up for auction. No tears. Just happy that someone will love it.

I'm not done yet. I'm never done. Quilters are never done.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scrappy Reproduction Quilt

I made this scrappy nine patch from leftover scraps from my BIG Civil War quilt - still in the making. I like the way the stripe looks like a ribbon. Unquilted.

Update June 2018: Quilt, hand-quilted, lives on the back of my Yale Law School chair in my living room.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Lydia!

Cupcakes for a cupcake

My granddaughter's first birthday was in August, but I had to finish both her wall hanging and quilt before she could have them. Her brother Dominick helped me out with the photography.

From the moment she was born, Lydia was "Cupcake" to her Mom and Dad, although Dominick would have called her "Watermelon" because he is "Pumpkin." I dug out this pattern from the 2012 June/July issue of McCall's Quick Quilts for the Cake & Ice Cream pattern. 

Cupcake closeup
Dominick helps out

This is Lydia's first birthday quilt. The pattern is Chase Manhattan - yes, like the bank logo - in 30's and 40's fabrics. This quilt is actually a leftover from a much larger version for my California daughter, but for some reason I don't have that picture. Because I spent my summer recuperating from surgery, I decided to hand-quilt this confection. I spent many hours on my deck enjoying the peace and quiet, listening to the birds and squirrels, and quilting away. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed hand quilting and hope to do more soon.
Chase Manhattan close up
Lydia, mugging for the camera

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Snapshot in Time: July 15, 2013 - A Clean and Organized Quilt Studio!

On my CA daughter's last visit to Connecticut, she took one look at my quilt room and declared that I was as bad as the hoarders one sees on the popular cable show! But just in my quilt room. Seriously! I had never thought of it that way because I have close friends who are as bad as I am and some who are worse! I think my issue is "out of sight, out of mind." I need to see what I've got and the projects I've planned so I don't forget to use the stuff and make the projects. It's just like sitting at one's desk at work with Post-It-Note reminders and to-do lists, and calendar notifications, but with FABRIC and MAGAZINES and PROJECT BINS.

OK. So I recently had some surgery, nothing serious, but my delicate condition keeps me from lifting anything for a few weeks. In anticipation of this event, Kim, who was here on her summer visit with her two boys, made it her mission to make ME clean up and organize my quilt room before she returned to southern LA. On a very hot and humid day no less! We were at zero hour because my procedure took place early the next morning. 

So for most of the morning and into the afternoon, we removed every bag, box and pile that didn't have a home from the room - and revealed my lovely wide-plank floor in all its beauty! Then we started on one corner of the room and moved around as we sorted, pitched, and cleaned each area. Kim said she felt like the lady on whatever show is out there about cleaning up, asking me if I needed it, was using it, etc. She held up a small piece of hand-dyed fabric, about a 3x3 inch piece and asked me "Mom, do you want this?" And I paused, looked, thought, and said, "No, you can toss that one." She discovered a basket full of unquilted tops, so we went through those and she came up with gift ideas for family. Now I have an incentive to get them quilted!

Then we examined what we originally removed from the floor and did the same thing, till everything I was keeping had a place in the quilt room. I followed that up with one last vacuum.

And then we had a beer to celebrate!

(If you listen closely, you'll hear my griping about not being able to find anything!)

I live in an 1897 simple Victorian, like a farmhouse. This room was formerly the master bedroom, my son's room, and then my youngest daughter's room. It has three exposures so I get a lot of natural light. I don't claim to have the most modern equipment, but this works for me. 

Burn these images into your brain because it is unlikely you will ever see this room this clean and organized ever again!

View from door

View from sewing machine toward door

View to my left from sewing machine

Under worktable storage

Hutch close up

More storage. Closet is to the left. It's jammed.

It's been too freaking hot to even touch fabric, so the room is still pristine and my visitors all exclaim about how jealous they are. Kim will be happy to help YOU clean and organize YOUR workspace on her next visit...for a fee of course!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Court Street Quilt Retreat Update

My project is finally hanging in my office! When I made the top, I didn't know what my office would look like because our department was not allowed to see the new space until we actually moved. Turns out I get sunshine all day long (and in the winter I have to wear a sun visor (ND of course) so I can see my computer screen!). So as I lived in my office I realized that the only place I could safely hang my quilt is in an alcove where the sun doesn't reach! Everything not in this corner fades, including Post It Notes! You can see the quilt as you approach my office door and it really adds warmth to this very sterile place.

Star Shadow

Star Shadow Closeup

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

When my colleague told me a couple of weeks ago that her son's first birthday party theme was going to be "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," I thought, "Great, I'll whip up a small quilt for a unique gift!" A good friend sent me the caterpillar fabric which I received on Tuesday.  I spent Wednesday evening researching other quilts made from the same panel for construction ideas. They were pretty much the same, easy round-robin type borders around the central panel. Thursday and Friday evenings were devoted to construction, using some of my own stash fabric. Saturday I had to find backing, pin and machine-quilt it. I finished that about 11 pm figuring I'd put the binding on Sunday morning and off I would go to the birthday boy's party! I think that would have been a personal best for me, completing a fairly good-sized kid's quilt in a matter of days.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling sick, so I didn't get to the party and only finished the quilt yesterday. I delivered it this morning, a week late, but this time his Mom was in sick in bed, so I didn't stick around.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Caterpillar's New Home