Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I sat outside most of yesterday afternoon, it was sunny and warm. My son called and asked me to let his dog out so I walked to the post office then to his house and brought her home with me for an excuse to sit outside and soak up some vitamin D.  Happy Halloween!!!! Batik fabric no plan in mind, pumpkins from my sketch book and the hunter's moon. Counting my blessing that I live where I do.  We just  have thunderstorms with hail and drought and heat and wind then harvest fires followed by blizzards and cold and some almost perfect days in between.  Prayers to all in the Northeast.  --Ann--

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quilter's Blog Fest

 My Pumpkin Pie quilt. I made this star quilt in a class. I had made star quilts before but with plenty of problems. In this class we sewed the strips then cut the diamond strips to sew into large diamonds then we drew a grid based on the measurements of the small diamonds then pinned each of the 8 diamonds to the grid and starched and pressed. They went together perfect!
 I found a fabric with fall motifs for the setting squares I had to add a border to each so they would fit the diamonds then set more diamonds around the squares to make the pie crust. Already planning my Thanksgiving menu the kids will all be home. --Ann-- Blogger's Quilt Fest
Quilt stats
38 inches square
free motion quilted on my Bernina Artista quilters edition
wall hanging table cover 
Amy's Creative Side

On the Needles

 On the needles, a stocking cap for daughter. She chose this handpainted wool for mittens to go with her winter jacket. We decided at $26.00 per skein we would get a contrasting yarn for a cap and the cap yarn is 51% wool and 49% acrylic so it won't make her ears itch. The cap is done and in the mail, she needed a mid semester pick me up so it is on the way. I'll send the mittens when they are done or may wait til she comes home for Thanksgiving depending on the weather.
 Her stocking cap was so quick to knit I bought more of the same yarn for a cap for me.
 Also on the the needles a pair of toe up socks, two more rows and count the stitches then I can turn the heel. I love the 40 inch loop with the bamboo kneedles needles, I did it again put a k in front of needles for knitting and some times my brain is saying knittles for knitting . knitting needles knitting mittens knitting needles knitting mittens knitting needle knitting mittens its more of a typing finger twister than a tongue twister. See what everyone else is knitting at Judy's  ~~ Ann~~

Thursday, October 25, 2012


 Snow! a fire, coffee, yarn and a quilt sold on etsy. -- Ann--

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Leaves

 Fall is in the air, leaves are on the ground. The color was fabulous a couple weeks ago then the wind came. I made this little quilt when I first started quilting, many years ago, the leaves are batiks I dyed in college many more years ago, and still very stiff with wax. I machine quilted around each goose and leaf with gold metallic thread. I remember I did not like sewing sashing in long strips because matching the intersections didn't just happen, they had to be marked and pinned.  Learning to piece was sewing without pinning as I always did when sewing garments. It was fun, it was fast, it was liberating, it wasn't for 4-H. ~~Ann~~

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Quilt Frame

Reposted with updated photos.
I have read so many blogs by quilters who are still crawling on the floor to layer and baste or pin their quilts. It is time to rise up off the floor and get yourself a quilt frame! I watched Footloose the other night Whether you find one at an estate sale or go to the lumber yard and buy boards to make one, a serious quilter needs a quilt frame.
 I have 2 quilting frames, this one was my Gramma's, the boards are 3/4 inch x 4 inches wide and are 86 and 101 inches long. It will frame up to a full size quilt. It has holes drilled every 4 inches, pieced strips of denim are nailed to each board for pinning the backing. The holes are for dropping large nails through to square the frame. Then she used C clamps to keep it tight.  Gramma used the frame to hand quilt. She would sit on one side and quilt as far as she could reach then remove pins and 2 nails and roll the quilt onto the board and then drop the nails through the holes again  and clamp with C clamps to keep the frame in place and the quilt taught on the frame. She had short stanchions with holes for the corner nails so the quilt was at a comfortable height for quilting.
The other quilt frame that I have belonged to the Grandmother of one of my dearest friends and if she ever starts quilting I will return it to her. It is made of 1 inch x 2 inch boards that are 96 inches and 120 inches long.

I set it on my dining chairs, a good height for pinning, its a little higher than kitchen counter tops. I put the nails in the holes then measure across and lengthwise at the corners and diagonally to be sure it is square.

Then I pin or staple the backing to the frame. Stapling is quicker to put on the frame but pinning in much quicker to take off and there is no scarring the fabric with pins.
Lay the batting on and smooth it out.

Lay quilt top on and smooth it out

I pin with straight pins if I plan to machine quilt it. I baste if I am going to hand quilt with my lap frame.

Buy boards that are knot free you don't want it oozing sap on your quilt And  don't let the guy at the lumber yard sell you warped or crooked boards that contractors have rejected. Straight boards are a must. Clamp or tape the boards together in pairs so you are drilling holes through both boards. Measure and mark every 4 inches. Then take your hubby's cordless drill and drill holes big enough to accommodate the 4 great big nails you bought with the boards.  Mine are mismatched 3 1/2 and 4 inch nails. If you are a pinner sew long strips of denim and fold in half then tack or staple to boards. If you prefer to staple quilts to the frame skip that step. Use a light weight staple gun  with 1/4 inch staples  you want them to come out easily. I tilt the staple gun slightly so the staple does not go in all the way and leaves a space to pry it out with a flat edge screw driver.

Save your knees! Save your back! Get a quilt frame! Sweet talk your hubby into one for Valentines Day or get him a cordless drill.

 Happy Quilting,

Friday, October 5, 2012

On the Needles

Soctober    I was browsing through knitting patterns and found a really simple pattern for felted slippers  Drops Design 104-4 from Garn Studios. And to purposely shrink something to make it fit looked like a lot of fun. Half way through knitting the first slipper I decided to knit a sample to see how it would felt, I got it wet and not much happened then I squirted some dish soap on it and agitated it in hot water and suddenly it was smaller I repeated a couple times until it was much smaller and thick! I finished the first sock in no time and couldn't knit the second one fast enough. Finally they were off the needles and seams stitched so into the washing machine with towels and hot water. Not much happened in the washing machine maybe I didn't have the water hot enough, maybe I needed more soap, maybe I need to keep a pair of glasses down there to read all the buttons. So back to the kitchen sink and dish soap and rubber gloves I knew it would take a while to reduce these to fit my feet. They shrank considerably more in width than length in fact they were 2 inches too long so after repeated washing I gave up and machine stitched a new seam in the heel so now they fit sorta at least they stay on my feet;  they are soft and warm and easy to slip into and kick off. I intend to knit another pair and leave off the last 5 stitch increases on the heel. In the mean time I read a column in Quilting Arts  magazine about felting and the writers anguish over buying a new washing machine because our new energy efficient machines do not felt wool very good. Mystery solved.  I did not use the brand of yarn recommended by the pattern, I used some that I had that was intended for mittens but it was recommended for felting.   Ann   link to Judy's on the needles.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Basket Case

I cut strips for one basket or so I thought, I have made three and some oval stacking baskets for a shower gift. It seams those strips of fabric reproduce faster than rabbits. The basket is listed at my etsy shop.  Ann

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Erin Quilts VII

 Erin's Fish and Aquarium  When Erin was 3 I took a sampler class with the intention of making a pastel quilt for her big bed. As I was looking at the pinks and yellows she was tugging on an Alexander Henry print with tropical fish. I finally said what about these fish!??!! She completely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I learned about using orange in this quilt. I love orange now. A little orange goes a long way but it is like turning the lights on in a quilt. With the left overs I made the attic windows quilt my philosophy at the time was why buy a little fabric when you can buy a whole bunch. The red sashing is the back of the feather fabric I used up in the August color challenge quilt. Why did I buy so much of that? I was using the folded accent strip in the border back in 1995  I was free motion quilting back then on my Elna, I did a lot of stitching in the ditch I quilted around each of the fish in the borders.  I learned many techniques in the sampler class, curved piecing, Y seams, hand applique, and formulas for triangles.  Wow I mitered a lot of corners for both these quilts. --Ann--

Monday, October 1, 2012

Design Wall Monday

The palate for this quilt was inspired by the Sphinx moth or as I saw it referred to as an exoskeleton hummingbird. After the fabrics were selected from my stash and all the pinks were leftover from this spool quilt; the obvious pattern choice was Hummingbird by Darlene Zimmerman using her 30 degree triangle ruler. I arranged the blocks in a different way. Her arrangement just called for sashing and cornerstones, I didn't have enough brown for sashing and none of my other browns were the right brown so this is how my quilt will be. The colors make me think of a chocolate raspberry torte or truffle.........something rich and decadent to have for my birthday today. I am the same age as the year I was born minus one thousand nine hundred.  Take a peek at Judy's Patchworktimes to see what else is on the design wall.  --Ann--