Monday, May 27, 2013

Well, It's Done

As you can see, it's a monster.  This is good; I will actually use this quilt, since I don't think I'll ever love it enough to cherish.  I do like the way the bright colors play against the fairly drab blue and green framing pieces.

I'm less happy with the yellow accent fabric--it seems too light and lemony to pick up the yellow pieces in the applique as I hoped it would.  Nothing else seemed available during my search though.

Now to wrestle with the huge backing piece--washing it, splitting it, and adding the strip to piece out the width.  Then off to the long arm quilter.

It's a wet, cold Memorial Day here.  I hope everyone else has a better one.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What a Week!

We've had a wedding, a retirement, and a promotion to full professor in the family this week. I guess that makes it a week of milestones indeed. I think I'm hoping there's not a fourth shoe to drop!

Some not-very-good photos again:  The bride and groom, the groom and parents, and my older son, the full professor, and his wife.  Personally, I think a City Hall wedding is the way to do it.  Everyone had a wonderful time!  It's fun to see the cross section of people and situations represented by the couples waiting their turn.  A novelist could imagine many plot lines.  Afterwards we all went to the chilly and windy 16th floor terrace of the Trump Tower for overpriced drinks and then out to dinner.

Meanwhile, in the basement, I have finished the pieced borders and the inner border, and have started sewing them on.  Someone please kick me the next time I think I want to make a king size quilt.  I hate wrestling with the sheer size of the thing at these last stages, and I'm totally defeated by the pressing.  It was pressed, but by the time the borders are on it will be messed up again.  And then there's the backing to put together.  I have to piece that, because the fabric I wanted didn't come in 118" width.

Meanwhile, I've gotten back to reading blogs a bit, and came across one of those blogosphere controversies, this time about poor quality work.  In case you're interested, here's the link.  Found this via Nellie Durand on Facebook.

Monday, May 13, 2013


The border piecing is moving along, going smoothly, Y-seams and all.   Interesting that these units have a right and a left to them, and two borders are the opposite.  At least, I think that's right, otherwise I'm in for a shock and some wasted cutting.

I hoped to do more yesterday, but I spent several hours doing alterations on a dress I bought at Macy's for a wedding this weekend.  I took in the gaping armholes.  That's simple, but the dress was lined, with the lining beautifully top stitched around the curve of the armhole and tacked to the dress in several places, so undoing all that careful work and putting it back made a tedious job. All I can say is I have lots of respect for Calvin Klein's Vietnamese garment workers, and hope they're well paid, with a safe building to work in!

Ironic that I did this, since it's unlikely I'll wear the dress without a jacket.  Even though lots of workout time has given me muscles in my arms, there's still that old looking skin.  I guess I'm expecting either a miracle in the look of my arms or such a hot day that I will have to go sleeveless!  Or maybe I could try the increasingly popular upper arm surgery...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A Cute Gadget

It's a brooch.

It's a magnetic pincushion.

I found this little thingie when I went to pick up my sewing machine from servicing a couple of weeks ago.  The young Mennonite salesgirl was wearing one on the capelet of her dress, and of course the shop was selling them.  It's handy, since I usually end up carrying my pin container from sewing machine to table, and leaving it in the wrong place.  This would also work well on the sleeve I think.

In other news, all the blocks on the vintage reclamation project are sewn together, and I'm ready to take final measurements, do some math, audition some fabric for the inner borders, sew them on,  and then start piecing the outer border.  I hope it goes smoothly.

The weather is so beautiful here right now that it's hard to stay inside.  I hope everyone else is enjoying spring too!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Another Hiatus

I wish I had more new work to show, but I'm helping out at my sister's for a week, and don't have any quilting. Before I left home, I sewed together all the rows for the vintage block quilt and started putting the rows together. Here's one corner, done correctly this time. I've also made a plan for the border and final layout. Although they're not final, it's what I'm thinking about now. There's lots of piecing, but I think it will be worth it.

I'm now a total believer in Judy Martin's point trimmer tool. The blocks I made with that are so much more accurate than the earlier ones! When I reach a series of those, it's like being able to breathe freely--they fit together perfectly. No fiddling required. There's also less bulk to make the Janome stall at the intersection. And speaking of that, how can a machine that has trouble going over bulky seam allowances call itself a good quilting machine? Does anyone have a secret solution for this problem?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oops Clarified

I had comments from people who didn't see my mistake yesterday.  That's understandable since the blocks faded into the white design wall.  So here it is in all its glory.  I hope this doesn't happen again, but it's tough to keep the orientation straight with a long row, and they will get longer.  The weird triangle has been ripped and turned and all is well. I do like the way this is looking so far, so I'll be doing more today.

Monday, April 22, 2013


I finished the side and corner setting triangles, laid the blocks out on the bed, and started sewing them together.  I foolishly thought they would be easy to put together, but I find that I have to press the seams open because of the bulk where the blocks come together.  What a pain, especially on something large like this.

After two hours, I happily sewed two rows together, put them on the wall to admire, and  you see the result.  Grrr. Time to rip.  Fortunately, it's trivial.  Carry on.