Sunday, February 26, 2012

Red and White and Thread All Over

I caved.  64 blocks not 81.  But at least it is finished, and it is a healthy 74 sq".

Although it is not clear from my photo, the final border is a 3" red strip.  After canvassing a few quilters,  I am using a cream quilters muslin for the back, and hand quilting with an off-white thread.  It will take a while, and during that time I can dwell on the choice of white or red binding.  I would love some blogger input on the decision, so please feel free to voice your opinion.

Getting the top ready for a photo opportunity took an unusual amount of time, due to the red threads that gathered on the white fabric and the white threads that wanted to lie on the red fabric.  Now the migrating threads have been removed, but I bet that's not the last time I'll have to do it. 

Since I've been home, I've also found time to complete another block for my BTCT quilt; now I have 20 finished, 3 in progress, one to draw up and another to find.  The block below is not from the downloaded patterns.

The kangaroo on the left  (yes, that is my humble effort of a kangaroo) may or may not make it into the final quilt.  I wanted to add something identifiably Australian, even though the original quilt was probably made in the US.  I will audition it when the blocks are all finished.

I hope you are all enjoying some quality sewing time this weekend.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

If you're old enough you will remember this tune, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and sung first by Dionne Warwick.  It kept cycling through my mind as I sat on the train to San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum in California.

According to some locals I met, this is the only San Jose in the US and the song was written for it.  I can't help adding that San Jose is also home to eBay.  On my way I passed through Menlo Park, home of Facebook. 

While in San Jose,  I was lucky enough to see the Quilt National for 2011 in the museum.  It is an exhibition of international modern quilts  that had been juried into a travelling collection.    Unfortunately, I can't share my pleasure.  Once again, no photographs allowed.  You can, however, buy the book online.

In San Francisco I visited the SFMOMA.  Photography without a flash was permitted so I have a small collection of images that appealed to me.  I particularly want to share a picture of my afternoon tea.

Yes, a slice of cake made to look like Mondrian's artwork!

  Here is my latest BTCT block:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Travelling blog

In October last year I travelled across the world to the Houston Quilt Festival.  On my way I stopped at LA and met up with my new buddy/mate Dawn from You probably recognize the url since she has the best show and tell ever.   Check her out, but not before you have a look at where she took me

I don't want to make you  drool over the keyboard, but look at all the flatpacks here

"Flatpacks" refers to the absence of the usual cardboard that the fabric is wrapped around.  Difficult to see what is actually there when it is stored like this, but at $2/yard, I was prepared to look harder.  There were aisles of flatpacks to hunt through.

Thanks for the experience, Dawn.  Far be it from me to advertise on my blog, but if you are curious about our destination, look up M & L fabrics.  I hope you laugh like I did at the customer feedback.

I am on my way to the US again and have packed a whole pile of handwork to do in the down times.  According to quilterie's law  I won't get much sewing in, but here is what I aspire to do:

There are four different projects, none of them involve solids.  As I was explaining to Janet, if a quilt top is started in 2012, then it can only be made from solids.  Otherwise, with work started prior, I can continue on in patterned fabric.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Better late than never

I have been working away on my red and white quilt.  I couldn't resist previewing the blocks before I had made them all.  Well, to be honest, I got quite fed up with making so many red and white HSTs that I just had to put some together.

I would like to make a total of 81 red and white blocks at 5" finished, but lethargy may  prevail, and I could  finish at 64 instead.    I used to prefer rectangular quilts, but tastes change and now I like to make my quilts square if possible.

I've never pressed the seams open before, but the opportunity presents itself here, so I am giving it a go

and I hope it makes hand quilting easier.

Something else that has been occupying my time has been Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt aka "Red Herring".  I was happily sailing along with my piecing and posted a picture of part of the centre.  A couple of my followers kindly pointed out I had the green squares going in the wrong direction.  It wasn't apparent on a  small scale, but when I had 2/3rds of the blocks sewn together, I realised that the secondary pattern was absent.  Compare the picture below with the first attempt here.

That's right; I removed every green string square and rotated it 90 degrees and then sewed it back in.  I think it is an improvement and now I am ready to complete the top.

 My apologies for delaying the announcement of the 2 winners from the recent giveaway of the Quilters Companion magazine #53.  They are Janet from Quiltsalott and Yankeequilter.   I wish I could have given a copy to everyone who entered.  There are so many interesting projects including quilts from Chris Jurd and Sarah Fielke as well as interviews and articles about Aneela Hoey and Sharon Schamber.

So Janet and Yankee (if I may call you by your first name) congratulations and  could you please send me mailing details so I can post your magazines to you.