Saturday, September 23, 2017

Derrick's Memories ~~ finished!

Yes, finally! This tee-shirt memory quilt is a big one. The biggest I've made, I'm sure. Mom is an acquaintance who saved her only son's athletic shirts for all of his games, and apparently there were many, many games. This young man played soccer, football, basketball, karate and baseball. There were well over 40 shirts but we cut that down to about 35 because who needs a California king tee-shirt quilt? 

I used his last football jersey and his karate uniform as 3D designs. The karate shirt opens to show the logo on the back. I had to turn it around, but that was easy enough. 

The football jersey was a real struggle. Firstly, it's made of that athletic stretchy mesh that seems to stick to the needle. Secondly, he was pretty rough on it, and apparently the way to fix a tear is to sew from neck to hem, catching the rip along the way. 

There are three such fixes. Thirdly, the top of the shirt is stretched out of shape or maybe it's just shaped to go over those big pads. Either way, it does not lie flat. Instead it bunches up and piles up and does not cooperate in any way. 

What do I do when this happens? Don't fight it: make it one of the three-dimensional pieces. Well, okay, fight with it a little bit, but that was necessary to get the shirt to look right. I was aiming for a dropped-on-the-floor look. (It is a boy's shirt after all, and we all know that boys drop everything stinky on the floor.) Not too messy or bunched up because everything important needs to show. Hey girl, I figured it out! And it looks pretty good.

Know what one of the problems of working on such a big quilt is? The weight! This quilt is heavy. Of course, there are in some places four layers of fabric and batting. And let's remember that it's a huge quilt, 78 x 96. Mom said that her son is well over six feet tall, so she wanted it long.

Mostly, though, this quilt was lots of fun: I played while quilting it. A couple of shirts have "mustangs" on them, so I quilted horse-shoes. I quilted around all of the big letters and numbers individually so they would stand out. On one shirt I quilted in sports words. On another there are numbers, but not just any numbers. He had so many different numbers, I could quilt in his numbers, even 00 from his soccer jerseys. Plus circles, squares, loops and anything else I could think of.

Quilt Stats
Derrick's Memories
78" X 96"
Tee-shirts provided by mom
stash fabrics
puzzle setting

Then after all that sewing and quilting and binding, I took it out for a little photo session. The sun was just going down, but wow, it was hot. How do people work in this weather? After about three pics, I was done. Inside Adam and Richard held up the quilt for a few seconds (no, really, seconds) while I snapped four more. Two of those are so blurred that I deleted them, and one of the two remaining doesn't show the bottom. Not many left.  lol

 I still somehow found enough that I took during the process (to send to the client) that I could create a collage of the work in progress. A memory quilt finish that I am certain the family will love. 

It's time for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side, so I'll enter this post (just under the wire, I'm afraid), and also kick it about to all of my favorite haunts. Please go by Amy's to see all the beautiful quilts. My entry is #201! It will take a while to visit all of them. Last year I left the page open so when I had just a few minutes, I could pop over to see a few quilts. 

And at these fine Link Ups near you!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cotton Quilters' Meeting | September

Last Monday the Cotton Quilters Guild held its September meeting. After dispensing with our usual meeting agenda, we had a few out-of-the-ordinary items to handle. At the end of the month we'll hold our quilt show and craft fair. 

Several people are working to get things organized, but Pam, the president, is handling most of the details. She's the kind of girl who likes to make sure things are done right. During the meeting, however, I convinced her that I'm handling the booth arrangements and that I have things under control.

At some point we got to show and share, which was short since there weren't many people showing quilts. But wow! We were pretty impressed. We've seen Cleo's quilt with the animal appliques as a WIP, but it's now finished and ready for its first show. 

There are so many cute animals, but that skunk is too fun. The momma opossum with the babies on her back just draws the viewer in and makes her really look.  Now that's a wonderful thing, but it also means that people are seeing every little detail and quilters are able to analyze your work. Just a little intimidating, don't you think?

Bertha's quilt is for a very lucky grandchild. Aren't those stars something?!

And this last one that I got a photo has fun abstract flowers. I really like the way Marilyn framed them
with the window sashing. It makes the black and white have a wallpaper effect. Can you imagine looking out the window to these pretty Dr. Suess-like flowers? 

And that's how our little guild ticks. One of the nicer aspects of being retired is that I can attend guild meetings, and I've set a goal to go to at least 10 of the 12 that we have each year.  Not too much, I hope. Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pin It Weekly #215

Nancy at Grace and Peace Quilts left a sweet note on last week's Pin It Weekly, so of course I had to race over and see what she's been pinning. Oh my sweet lady! She has been super busy organizing and pinning quilts! 

crazy mom quilts: miscellaneous Monday

We may have to give her the title of Quilt Pinning Queen. She has, oh, 40 or so boards, almost every one about quilting of some manner. Now, some boards have only a few pins, but that just means her curating is selective, so you can trust that her boards will have what she promises. The ones here are all from her mini-quilt board. 

Grid #2 by Liz Kuny, contemporary quilt artistSew Many Colorsmini quilt | whole circle studio

These below are also from Nancy's Pinterest. I imagine you can figure out the title of that board!

Red and white Scrappy Mountain Majesties flimsy is finished. It's a Bonnie…

Fabadashery - Nearly Insane Quilt , February 2014LOVELY Pickle Dish, I believe  --  Supergoof Quilts: "Meneer Vent & Andere Zaken"


Quilt Inspiration: Free pattern day! Red and white quilts (part two)

Peppermint Swirl Quilt at Ahhh...Quilting

Doesn't this last one make you want a peppermint? 

Thanks to Nancy at Grace and Peace for sharing her Pinterest interest with us. You can visit her blog here. If you have a great Pinterest site or know of one, share the joy with the rest of us in the comments.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How to run errands the easy way

I had a few errands to run today. It's was such a beautiful day, too. Perfectly sunny with a little breeze. Maybe a little warm for my preferences, but that's what the shade is for. 

A lion keeping watch over the train as it rolled through Bunkie.

How to make the best of a chore I normally dread? Turn it into a beautiful day. Really. Just appreciate the scenes, especially the ones I wouldn't normally notice.

A corn field harvested and plowed before winter

Along the way I looked around and found a few especially interesting scenes around our little parish and thought I'd share them. 

A cotton field after the machines made their passes

Can I do this all time? Of course not. But I can make an effort much more often than usual. Because if we look closer and think about the places and people we do see, we can find beauty and feel joy. And what can be better than that?

Water lilies on the bayou outside of Cottonport

Before saying goodbye, I need to say "Happy Birthday" to our sweet grandson, who is 17 today. And take a look at these two silly girls who helped us celebrate with him last night. 

 Millie is growing so very quickly, but then who would believe that this boy, who we call Puppy when he was her age because he did his teething on the furniture, is now a young man? The beauty holding the tyke? Jolie, who is now in high school. Are yours growing up too fast? How do we slow them down?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: T H R E A D

Analogous. photographs of cotton reels, photocopied to make layers for final pirce geological layersWho doesn't love thread? Maybe people who have no use for thread. Even they use thread without thinking about it: clothes, bags, home decor and so on. 

Thread is a fairly important commodity. Once it's woven into fabric it becomes even more important, but it's when the fabric is sewn into a ready-made product that most people begin to appreciate thread.

thread in color by by better homes and gardens

Well, not us quilters! We can appreciate thread in it's simple forms, can't we? Turns out those simple forms aren't so simple when you begin looking at how thread is created from raw fiber. 

Here's one of my favorite videos showing how cotton is turned into thread using highly specialized machinery, How It's Made - Cotton. 

Here's How It's Made - Silk. Yes, there are silk worms.

For the knitters out there: How It's Made - Wool.

Thread Holder Does anyone sell these? Link goes to Never Neverland...                                                                                                                                                      Moreorganize embroidery floss with clothespins - Sewing Hacks - Threads - Embroidery - Sewing - Storage - Craft Room - Craft Studio

Long Arm thread storage custom made by the quilters hubby.

Of course, there are a few quilts with thread on them. Wait, I should write that "quilts about thread." No, I still don't like the wording. How about "quilts depicting thread" or "quilts showing spools of thread"? That last one might do, but I imagine that you get the idea. On to the quilts...


Thread and Pincushion quilt row designed by Sandy Gervais of Pieces from My HeartNiceThreads, inspiration

Technically it's not a mini but that is what we call them at our guild. Next year we have our Penn Oaks Quilt show and one of the main ev...


Do you SEE those little tiny "x" squares that look like cross stitching? Be still my crafty little heart! :)


Spools Selvage Quilt -- love the use of the 'selvage' as the 'thread'!

I would love this in miniature to hang on the wall in my sewing room!

This last one is currently hanging in my studio. I hope they inspire you to look at thread in a different way. 
My version of Wendy Gilbert's "Spools and Tools" pattern which I purchased from Quilt in a Day.

Friday, September 15, 2017

How to start a quilt (in the midst of a mess)

There are two kinds of quilters: those who have every tool and scrap of fabric organized and put away, and those who haven't a clue what she has, where it is, or how to find it. 

Can you guess which one I am? If you said clean, organized, and put together, you'd be right. 

Unless you came for a visit right now. Or last month. Or maybe for the next couple of months. There are so many things "stored" in my studio, that I now have to walk through a pathway to get from one door to the other. I was at the point of giving up but, as I am wont to do, I turned my problem into Richard's problem. His promise is as good as done, and I've got his promise to clear out some of my problem. (Did I talk myself into a circle?)

In the meantime, I'm ignoring as much of everyone else's messes and sewing around their piles. How is it possible? Ah, it is. Just clear out a little corner of the worktable, the sewing table, the ironing board and the floor. No kidding! 

I got tee shirts over the weekend and began working on a customer's tee-shirt quilt. I have a small window for getting it completed. But I also got an injection in my right shoulder yesterday. 

Unfortunately, that closed the window quite a bit since today I cannot raise my right arm. I cut most of the shirts Tuesday and Wednesday, and I began organizing and pressing them today.

A few of the shirts could be prepared by hand, so I pulled that off.  Also, I managed to sew a few panels together. When the pain got too serious, I left the machine and made decisions about some of the more puzzling shirts.

One puzzle was this karategi, or karate uniform jacket, which I've decided to treat in a special way on the quilt. I try to do something surprising on each memory quilt I make. I like the idea of giving the customer something extra to show to friends and family--a conversation starter with two conversations to share.

I had hoped to finish my cutting today, but using a rotary cutter is almost impossible with this shoulder. These soccer jerseys will have to wait until I can move again. 

And this football jersey is going to take even more thinking before I make the first cut. Tee shirts, which are worn only a few times or as a common everyday item, do not intimidate me. Oh, but something like this...oh, yes! Imagine the memories that this football jersey holds. 

The recipient is going to look at these shirts and remember his glory days at East Ascension High. If you look closely at the jersey, you can see that it was torn and ragged in a few games. The seams go from neck to hem--battle scars, if you will.

For me, it's not just measure and cut. It's choose carefully the best technique for the item. Cut just as carefully, and sew with a professional look in mind. 

Each shirt gets one chance when the rotary cutter goes to work and no one likes to rip seams. The worst, though, is thinking of a better way to present an important shirt after it's been cut and sewn.

When you need more time or you don't have the space (or body ability) to accomplish what you want, do as I did today. Clean some of your work surface. Put tools and extras away. Sweep the floor. Luckily, those are jobs that I can do without the use of my right arm and will help resolve the storage problem that I've had since the kids moved in.