Friday, August 30, 2013

Finished Tiny Zig Zag, All Dressed Up

I love how many of you stage your quilt photos. I'm lucky if I can get a decent plain old photo, let alone something so cool looking like you all post. Nevertheless, I thought what the heck, I might as well give it a try. Here are my hokey attempts at staging.

Zig Zag on Barnwood Shed, with Tomato

I would have much more luck with this sort of thing if I took the pictures in the spring, when my garden looks WAY better. The state its in now, it was hard to find a presentable backdrop for my little quilt.

 Zig Zag with Trellis, Rose, and Potted Plant

That potted succulent gets some really pretty orange blooms, but unfortunately its pretty much shot at the moment. 

Zig Zag with Yard Junk and Red Geranium

Probably the best one, as the yard junk pretty much always looks the same, and the geranium is pretty much always blooming.

 Lonely Clematis Bloom, No Zig Zag

I just planted the clematis this year. Its barely grown, and  I was surprised to see it actually bloomed - one lonely blossom. I have high hopes for next year. Oh, and there are some of those orange blooms. I couldn't quite get the quilt in there, tho.

Zig Zag on Wicker Trunk

Now that I look closer, I see I still have some marking lines where I considered (but rejected) more quilting. Ignore those lines, please.

Anyway, I'm loving this little quilt, and am planning on keeping it for myself. Next time, I'll tell you a sad story about some doll quilts I let go, which I have regretted ever since.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Doll Quilts

I couldn't leave well enough alone with the little doll quilt I started a couple days ago. I could have just sewn it together, applied a border and called it a day. But the more I looked at it, I had to ask myself the question: "is this the best that this quilt can be?" The answer was "no." I just wasn't quite in love with it, and I really felt that the handful of vintage pieces within deserved a better fate than to live in a mediocre quilt.

So last night I decided to tweak it around a bit. First of all, I decided to get rid of the red. I also wanted more "old" looking pieces, and to have fewer repeats.

Remember that pile of scrap triangles from my last post? I picked through them again to see if I could find more of what I thought would "go" with the vintage pieces. I also managed to find two more little vintage scraps, so I included them as well.

This is the result.
Much better, don't you agree?

I'll try to point out the vintage pieces. You see that blue triangle in row three? That, and the four below it, are vintage scraps. So is that bright-ish blue one on the bottom left corner, although I see now it sticks out like a sore thumb and I'll probably end up taking it out. The blue triangle on the top right corner, and in row six, a repeat of the first blue, are all vintage.

Unsurprisingly, I ended up with a little stack of triangle squares left over. What to do with them.... hmmmmm.

How about another doll quilt?

Its just a tiny little thing, but I think its kinda cute, don't you?

This morning I began auditioning borders, and here's where the decision making dilemma comes in. After lengthy deliberation - and making total chaos of half my stash in the process - I pretty much eliminated all but the following options:

I've narrowed it down to these two browns for the tiny zig-zag quilt. I want the colors of the triangles to pop, and both these fabrics work, but not sure which one I like best. What do you think?

 I also auditioned the dark brown for the bigger "vintage" quilt,

 as well as this gorgeous blue.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward the blue, which is stunning IMO, and an unusual repro print from the Civil War era. It sets off beautifully the colors of the blocks, and really catches your eye, don't you think? But I wonder, is it "too much" ? The brown lends an "older" feel to the quilt, which I want, but its not a true repro fabric. And none of my repro browns worked as well.  AAAK!! HELP!!

What would you choose??

Light or dark brown on the tiny zig-zag?
Brown or blue on the "vintage" triangles?


Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Scrap Basket

In the spirit of "Scrap Basket Sunday" today I had the idea to go through my scrap basket, and try to make something from actual scraps. The last several quilts I've made are large, and I'm in the mood for something small and fun.

First I dumped it all out and began to pick through and sort.

I sorted out a variety of  "units" which were left over from various projects. They look like fun, don't they? Oh how I'd love to put them all together and make something cohesive and wonderful. Unfortunately, the more I look at them, the more they boggle my mind. Maybe some day I'll figure something out. I think a better idea might be to "pass them along" and let someone else figure something out! My guess is they'll languish for another several years and at some point get delegated to the flea market.

On a side note, here's something that's been puzzling me for a while:  why do we call these Half Square Triangles (aka HSTs) ? Technically, they are Triangle Squares.  I mean, they're squares, right? Made out of triangles - that are made from cutting a square in half. Which I guess is where the confusion comes in. I will agree that HST is a lot easier to type than Triangle Square, so maybe that's the reason. Anyway, I found lots and lots of them, in lots and lots of sizes.

These are what I call Half Square Triangles. Sew them together, and you get Triangle Squares!  Make sense? No??

Oh well ~

Whatever they're called, I found tons of them, in all sorts of sizes, also left over from other projects. "One day" I'll sort them into sizes and sew them into Triangle Squares. Ha ha.

I just call these Hour Glass Blocks. I found several of them in a variety of sizes as well.

Living in another basket are two ziplocks full of selvedges. I will wisely leave these be for the time being.

Just when my brain was about to explode, I found these: all basically the same size, all paired with muslin. I have no idea what project these were leftover from, but it looked like there might be enough for a doll quilt - which is just what I have in mind. They were all pretty kattywhompus, so first I needed to square them all up.

The ones below contain actual vintage fabric.  I don't remember sewing them, but I do remember those vintage scraps given to me by a friend.

Anyway, I went ahead and laid them all out, and I think it might be a go!

What do you think??


Friday, August 16, 2013

Shopping and other things

Before I get to the shopping part, I thought I'd post a photo of my prettiest quilt, probably ever. I made this I'm guessing 18 years ago, and gave it to my mother-in-law. Whom we just visited btw, so I took the opportunity to take the photo. There is a label, a very pretty one which no doubt has the date, but I didn't think about photographing that ~ oh well.

This was inspired by a Marsha McClosky pattern, from her book A Dozen Variables. Its 100% hand quilted, employing my usual favorite motifs of flowers, petals, and cables.

While I was at it, I thought I'd shoot a pix of this little sampler quilt I made, from Lori Smith's book, Fat Quarter Quilting.  My mother-in-law promptly "stole" it from me after show-and-tell during one of our visits.  I'll no doubt "steal" it back some day.

 OK, on to shopping. On our way to San Diego, we stopped in Temecula. Unfortunately, the wonderful Quilters Coop has closed, which makes me very sad as I LOVED that shop. However I did take the opportunity to visit the Temecula Quilt Company, which I had never been to. Its a little off the beaten path and quite humble looking, but lots of great goodies inside.

I was really itching to procure a bundle of Judie Rothermel's Dressing Gowns, but their supply was down and only had six out of twelve selections. They did have this little tiny bundle, and some cute pattern booklets. One bundle will make one pattern from the booklet, so I bought two of each, one for me and one for "Mom".  They had lots of wonderful repro fabric, but I limited myself to only four fat quarters, as hubby was patiently waiting in hot car outside.

Meanwhile, I was still jonesing for more of the Dressing Gowns. When we got home I went ahead and ordered some half-yard cuts from The Old Country Store, who has great prices and great service. Two days later, they arrived. Here they are, in all their glory:

I can't wait to cut into these and make something wonderful - I have no idea what at the moment....  I actually entertained the thought of ordering some actual yardage. Wouldn't one of these prints make a darling little shift?