Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bring on Summer

There is a dark hallway upstairs in my home where I alternate a couple of quilts for a little spark of color. And recently I made the switch for the summer to this little number. Just in time too. It was in the mid- to upper-80's all week! A little over the top if you ask me. (Luckily, this week temps are down to a comfortable range again.)

I'm not entirely sure when I made it. It's from this magazine from March 2008,

which I think I bought in preparation to make a quilt with photos printed on fabric, so I probably made it that summer. In the magazine, there are a lot of great patterns for memory quilts (well, duh, it says that right on the cover). I did use the tips in it to make a memory quilt, but I also liked this pattern by Shelly Burge.

In fact, I liked it so much I tried to pretty much duplicate everything, including the fabrics. It's a nice combination of paper foundation piecing and large scale piecing. I was particularly taken with the gradations in the background. 

After years of hanging the quilt from a sleeve (messily) sewn on the back, I decided to add the (messily attached) tabs that continued the gradations of the sky. (I actually had just enough of the right scraps in my bins to do that.) I'll show you the back if you promise not to judge my sleeve- and tab-making more than I already have. 
It looks dirty, but that's just from a yellowish light nearby.

This is the pattern where I learned how to do a faced binding. I really enjoyed that and think it's time I do another one of those. 

The quilt measures 28 1/4 inches long (31 3/4, if you include the tabs) by about 31 1/2 inches wide. It's hand quilted with a polyester batting. 

I liked making this quilt so much that I immediately (if not simultaneously) made another quilt just like it for my daughter's office. I'm a little less enamored of it now, but it is fun to hang for the summer. My daughter's also tired of hers, so I've been making her another quilt to replace it. The project is a little stalled out right now. Got to do something about that.

Before I go, here's a little close up:

Whew! This must be the shortest TBT post I've ever written. Oh, well, I've got lots of other things to attend to which I'll share in due time. I'm linking up today with Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday. Go there and see the other oldies but goodies. And have a great weekend quilting in your little neighborhood!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

True Kona Story

No sewing to show this week. We took time off from our everyday lives last week to do daycare for two of our grandkids. So. Much. Fun. We played and played. We celebrated our granddaughter's half birthday. With cake and 4 1/2 candles! (How did she get to be that old already?) Our grandson seemed to have a new word every minute and kept us in stitches with his physical comedy. Eventually, we had to come home. Sigh. Good thing we have Skype. 

This past weekend, I started planning the colors of a new quilt using my Kona card. You know that I made my own Kona swatch book a few weeks ago. But I don't have a wide range of fabrics, and my book is kind of limited at the time. So I used the card. You know how those Kona swatches are glued down, and you try and try to figure out the subtle differences between the colors so you can pick just the right one? Sure you do. I love my Kona card. But I don't want to mess it up by bending it to make close comparisons, so I pretty much spent Sunday off and on squinting, picking colors and then second guessing myself and starting over and generally driving myself crazy. 

Now I know that lots of quilters cut up their cards. Many a time I have been tempted to cut up mine. But you know, I backed out every time. It's kind of like cutting into a favorite bit of fabric. Finally, before I went to bed, I decided that I just had to cut up the card the next morning. Then I remembered that Lara over at was having a final post for her month-long blog hop celebrating her new book, so of course, I had to check it out before I logged off the computer. And then I squealed. There in the post was my name paired with a giveway: A KONA COLOR CARD!!!  Right then I knew that I could have my cake and eat it, too. (Is that old phrase even used anymore?) Monday morning, I happily cut up my card. I'm going to mount the chips on a board with velcro and then keep the card from Lara nice and neat for reference. Once my chips were cut, I figured out my quilt colors with only about 15 minutes of auditioning. I can show you a few of the chips from the card, but the color decisions for the quilt are a secret for now. Sorry.

If only I had read Lara's post earlier. Second sigh this post. 

Today, I spent a good chunk of time pressing a zillion eighth-yard cuts of fabric. It was a chilly day, so I didn't mind working with the iron. Can't show you. Now I'll start cutting fabric while I wait for my Kona order to come. 

The other thing I did this past weekend was plant my flower pots. We usually do that on Memorial Day weekend, but we knew that we'd be gone for several days and that no rain was predicted. To avoid coming home to parched flowers, we waited until we came home from daycare. I got the flowers planted 15 minutes before it started raining. Yea! 

So because I have only one fabric/quilt-related picture to show you, I'll finish with some pictures from the garden. And you'll see that Eldin the painter has been at it again. (If you read my blog regularly, you'll get this. Maybe he needs his own label?) We have a lot of sort of floppy perennials. This year I decided to be proactive in helping them stand  So I bought tomato cages and put them over the plants as they emerged. I wanted colorful cages, but because they cost 4 times as much as plain metal ones, I bought the cheaper ones, and Eldin helped me pretty them up with some old spray paint. Also, our hummingbird feeder hasn't done a very good job of attracting birds, so I bought a metal pail, and Eldin painted that, too, so I could hang some flowers instead. 

Okay. Time to go. I'm linking up this week with Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts for their linky parties. Buttons are on the right side bar. 

And Thursday I'll link up a post about an old quilt with A Quarter Inch from the Edge. Really. I was going to last week, but Jenn was taking the week off to go to a quilt camp. (The nerve of her!)

I hope you are having a great week whether you're sewing, quilting or picking colors!