Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Documenting Quilts part 2

       Why do I do all this I ask myself, my kids will probably chuck it all into the dumpster when I'm gone.  I hope they pause and realize how much I loved sewing and quilting and color and design.  I hope they keep the pages of the quilts that each of them owns and are astounded by how many quilts I have made.  How many quilts have I made?  The answer to that tomorrow.
       My documentation has evolved over the years from a form to a summary with more and more photos.  Sometimes I look through to find a particular pattern to see how I quilted it.  Sometimes I need inspiration for a quick quilt for someone or I have handed my books over to someone special if I was planning to make a throw size quilt for a wedding gift.  It is more likely to be used if it is colors that she likes. 

        I make a folio with quilt care and a little information about the quilt when I  give a quilt to someone or sell a quilt because I want the recipient to know that the quilt is washable and is meant to be used. Quilts that are not used do not have memories and quilts need memories to become treasures, treasures become heirlooms.  I usually make a second copy of the folio and call it good for documenting that quilt.  I  write on the folio who the quilt was given to or who purchased it and the price, date and location of the recipient.  

       I usually include the names of specific tools that were used for a particular block if I ever want to make a similar quilt.  If there are things that I would do differently I make a note of that also.

       In recent years I have signed my name in machine stitching on my quilts with the year it was completed. It takes a little practice to write with the needle and sometimes I incorporate it into a border design other times it looks more like an afterthought.   I don't always label quilts when I finish because I like to make a personalized label if I give that quilt to someone or sell it.  I write the bride and grooms names, wedding date, or the baby's name and birthdate,  the name of the quilt, my name, and my location.  And if is for a niece or nephew on hubbies side of the family financed by Uncle Bill.  You have no idea what that has meant to them.     

    My quilts, my life, my history.  --Ann--

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Documenting Quilts part 1

The week before last when hubby was off fishing  I updated my photo book of quilts.   I had papers and photos all over the living room floor; no one was there to complain about the piles so I could work at my leisure.

A few years after I started quilting I heard a speaker talk about the importance of documenting our quilts so I started a list on my computer the one that had the make it fit button, I was very diligent in keeping the list it included when I started a quilt, working title of the quilt, special information about the quilt and even family and news worthy events and when I finished the quilt.  The last time it was updated and printed there were 150 + listed.  I even made my own form based on one the speaker had given us.  

 I was becoming a whiz on the computer, I had a file full of quilt documents.  Then that computer died and I got behind on my documenting.  A few years ago I put all my pages in photo books and was caught up then I let it slide again or maybe that was when I started blogging but I had a stack of quilt photos that were not in the books.  

  I have simplified my documentation so that I am just writing a short summary of each quilt.  My list has been very helpful in determining when I started a quilt.  I should start a new list........more tomorrow on documenting quilts.  --Ann--

Monday, September 28, 2015

Labeling Quilts

Around the World Quilt made by my grandmother but no signature or label on the back

I had a wonderful wonderful afternoon one day last week.  First I went to the eye specialist and the pressure in my eyes was excellent. Then I met a girlfriend for lunch, we had Italian food and coffee.  Three of my favorites! Then we went to the quilt shop because I had two quilts to show her.  The quilt shop owner had an heirloom postage stamp around the world quilt. She didn't know who made it for sure or when or anything about it other than it belonged to a great aunt.  We were having a great show and tell then another lady came in the shop who was going to do a truck show in the shop that evening.  We quickly volunteered to help her bring in her quilts and set up for a sneak peek.  Her quilts were fabulous.  Each quilt had a label with her name, name of the quilt, who machine quilted it, when it was made and what quilt shows it had been in and if it received special recognition at the show and another label for that.  She documented each of her quilts on the back.  It would have been so nice if the shop owners great aunt had put at least her name and date on her quilt.  All that history is lost forever.
I have quilts made by my grandmother and great grandmothers. One has a stitched label the other is written on the quilt.  The makers are identified as Grandma Sanford (click for the post of these quilts) and Grandma Nelson, not much to go on really if I want to learn more about my great grandmothers.  And the quilt made by my grandmother, my mothers mother has no signature or initials on the back.  I need to label them so my children will  know who made them.  I heard a quilt historian speak years ago, she asked us if we knew the full name of our great grandparents, if we couldn't name them then that information is lost unless we can still learn that information from parents or grandparents.  
Being more diligent in labeling quilts.--Ann--

Friday, September 25, 2015

On the Needles

 Progress on these socks
Darling second son brought over the socks I had knit for him.  He has such skinny calves that they don't stay up, I said I would try to fix them.  It seems the only way to fix them is to rip and re knit.  The solid pair I ripped and decreased 8 stitches and re knit with my smallest needles.  He hasn't tried it on so I don't know if it will stay up on his leg.  The second pair I thought if the leg was all ribbing it would conform to his leg better and stay up.  I am knitting the ribbing with my smallest needles, 0.
I knit this shawl last year and always felt like I was wrapping strings around me with the long skinny ends so I am re knitting into a 15 inch wide wrap.  I'm using a chevron pattern so it has no right or wrong side.  The other day I stretched it across my shoulders and took a quick nap. It was just right for width. Knitting and re knitting on crinkly yarn.  --Ann--  linking to Judy's OTN

Monday, September 21, 2015

Challenge Quilt Out of the Cupboard

Out of the cupboard  I called this quilt Harvest Baskets made in 1997.  Quilt guild had a challenge quilt every year using a selected fabric. The selected fabric was the leaf fabric in the center of this cake stand block. There were no other rules with this challenge, we could make whatever we liked in any size, you just had to use the leaf fabric.  I had a hard time getting excited about it as did a lot of the ladies in quilt guild.

 I like some of the cake stand blocks but not all of them. They are too busy, I was still learning a lot about combining color, pattern and texture when I made this scrap quilt.  I used all scraps for the borders and I even mixed batiks with traditional prints because I was not going to buy any fabric for this quilt.  I should have fussy cut the leaves for the cornerstones and used the challenge fabric in only cornerstones.  I have never liked the cake stand blocks with the leaf fabric.
 I had more fun machine quilting this than piecing it.  Even the machine quilting is busy, I randomly  free motion quilted leaves and acorns and did not use continuous line stitching.  I must have been trimming threads for days.  The cake stands are stitched in the ditch.

 And even a couple squirrels.  Challenge quilts are for learning then tossing in the car for a fall picnic.  
It's cozy on crisp fall evenings.  --Ann--

Friday, September 18, 2015

On the needles

 My sweater is finished and it feels so nice.  Linen, and I found a linen skirt in my closet that is just right with it. Or I can wear it with khaki pants.
 Its time to start knitting socks for Christmas presents.  Linking to Judy's OTN.--Ann--

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Log Cabin Fan quilting

This is the other quilt I basted the other day.  It takes as much time to set up the frame as it does to layer the quilt, since this is a queen size I had to work in the garage, hubby blew the dirt off the floor then went fishing, I hauled chairs out, set up a patio table in the center to keep it off the floor, haul the frame out, set things up, squared the frame, pin the backing, spread the batting then the quit top.............. then put everything away all in my own pokey way or maybe my easily sidetracked way.  I always try to baste a couple at the same time.  This one has a deadline so I started quilting it first.  The center is quilted like a big dahlia, the dark round of log cabin blocks is parallel lines with a variegated pink thread.  The goal is to machine quilt the next round of background today. This is slower going because I am using rulers and templates.  Happy quilting.  --Ann--

Monday, September 14, 2015

Design Wall Monday

 I stayed away from the computer last week because I needed a low tech week. Sometimes pointing and clicking brings no happiness.  Finishing the borders of this quilt was my top priority.  I went even lower tech by tossing the calculator.  Then everything started falling place.  I worked on the design wall, I worked on the floor, I worked on the table.  I was going so low tech I forgot to take pictures as I progressed.  Sorry.
 Rather than measure the quilt and border parts because the math just wasn't working for the mathematically challenged.  I folded my quilt in half and pinched the edges together and matched seams and low and behold the parallel sides were exactly the same.  I sewed five bulls eye blocks together for the long side then laid it on top of the quilt pinching the edges together as I smoothed the fabric. The bulls eye blocks were 2 inches longer than the quilt top.  I would need a narrow border, half of 2 is 1 plus 1/2 inch for seams.  Cut a 1 1/2 inch strip to go around the quilt.  Measure, pin, pin, pin and sew. Perfect!!!
The short side border would have 4 bulls eye blocks and I knew I would need to add something to make it fit.  The word program on the first computer we had had a "make it fit" button so if I was typing something that went a couple lines into the second page I could push the "make it fit" button and it would reduce just enough to fit on one page.  I really miss the "make it fit" button.  It could be so useful for so many things............ like quilt borders.
Anyway I though about strips of fabrics for the spacers but then I saw the pile of unused flying geese units.  They would visually extend the flying geese into the outside border.  Perfect!!!!  Not quite.  The border was about an inch longer  than the short side.  Oooopps.....................
Time for coffee  and knit a few rows.  Knitting is so contemplative I have solved so many problems in my head while knitting.  I could clip the wings of all the geese.  No.  Ah ha pinch in the seams of the bulls eye blocks.  I resewed the 3 seams by about an eighth of an inch.  Now it fit!  Sew the corner blocks and pin, pin, pin to the side of the quilt and sew. 
Everything fit just right using only a tape measure and math I could do in my head. 
Lovin' low tech days.  
Now it is basted along with another quilt so I am off to my sweet 16 machine for some power sewing.   Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday.  --Ann--

Friday, September 4, 2015

On the Needles

 I finished these socks shorties! with an eye of the partridge slip stitched heel. The short row heel looks like the nose of a horse or a moose, they just need antlers.  All the striped yarn is used! I love that feeling. It's all used! no little balls of leftovers!
The bottom of the sweater is knitting fast on a short cable, not a lot of shifting of the stitches when they are so close together. Round and round I go.  About 5 or 6 more inches then the garter stitch rows for the hem.  I can't with to see the color pattern of this yarn in the bodice.  It looks like there is some pooling of color.  The yarn I am using is Bella Lino by Classic Elite Yarns, it is linen, viscose and cotton, just a color number but I think some website called it 'sunset'.  I  slid the stitches onto a ribbon to try it on, I really like the way the neckline fits and feels. I should have taken a pic before I put it back on the needle oh well maybe next week there will be a selfie.  Linking to Judy's OTN. --Ann--

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Another border

I haven't worked on this quilt for a while. I need to get it done so I can baste it at the same time as click this quilt which has a deadline. Remember the mountain lion fabric I auditioned for this border?  I fussy cut and put the mountain lions in a few of the stars. 
 My math was off slightly (it worked on paper) so I need to pinch up the seams a little to make it fit or add a narrow border along the flying geese border.  Quilting for the mathematically challenged.  --Ann--