Yes, yet another one. Actually it has been finished but I keep forgetting to post it. I am either basting hexis, working on finishing both knitted or quilted UFOs or making jams it seems this summer. I need to get some of them photographed since I am playing with different flavors this summer.
The weather has meant that some of the stone fruits I normally miss are just coming in and I am able to get my hands on them. Apricots and plums are my new favorites.
But the new finished quilt is not really a mini but more of a large doll quilt. It only measures 32 inches by 27 inches but it is so cute. The fabrics are a War Between the States reproduction if I remember right. And I actually bought two of the kits but only one is completely finished so far.
Okay not real glass but a stained glass quilt that finally was finished. The binding had been sewn on long ago but blind stitching the sleeve down was another story. It has been done now and another quilt UFO has been cleared.
Only down side is when I washed it, some of the hand dyed fabrics bled a bit. And I did not notice this until I went to photograph it. I plan to rewash it again in cold water just like the first time and hope that some of the bleeding gets lighter. But it is fine as it is.
Cleaning up the studio aka the fabric/fiber/yarn room has meant finding some surprises like quilts only needing a few hours of work to finish them off. This one was partially quilted but it now is ovr in the finished pile. I call it the poison berry quilt since well I am allergic to them. This is a simple utility quilt that salvaged blocks from a tote bag. Not sure where this one will end up finding a home at yet but come the cold days of winter it will be loved
Nothing like a quiet early summer afternoon in the sun room basting more hexagons with a cat for company. Of course a cat will remind you of the proper priorities for summer – nap, stretch, nap some more and of course big yawns
Strange title, I know but it has to do with something I was reading in a book last night. I managed to finish yet another cowl last night. I was making one for P out of some Malabrigo in Stone Chat. She wanted it to be at least 10 inches long and I managed to make it 12 inches before I decided to bind it off. I need to wash it before mailing it to her. She will block it out to lengthen it if needed. The pattern for her cowl was the traditional feather and fan lace pattern. And yes, I have started another cowl. This time it is the Seaweed Cowl in yet another color of Malabrigo that is in the stash. I am fast running though my Malabrigo stash though since it was very tiny to start with. But I love the feel of the yarn.
I have been reading Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchine: The Secret Female Pope by Eleanor Herman for the past several weeks. I have read the previous books by this author so I did not hesitate to spend the money on a hard back book. If Olimpia Maidalchine was born today she would be a woman to be admired. But she was born in a time when women not allowed to do anything without the approval of the males in their family. She found a way to work the system in her favor. Actually, I think there may be one or two female politicians who may have taken lessons from her. Even today, this woman would have been called a few unfavorable names. From the facts available to us, she came from a relatively poor background and rose to power. She was the force behind her brother-in-law becoming Pope Innocent X and in the manner of the time, she became an extremely wealthy woman through marriages, bribes, theft, crop speculation, shrewd business deals, and plain old greed. Wait, she sounds like some of the people in power now. And yet despite all of her riches and family connections through marriages, she died alone. During her lifetime, and through the centuries, the bubonic plague aka the Black Death killed many. It struck every one equally. The nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosy has been said to have come from medieval times although there are many folklorists who say otherwise. I am need to hit the bookshelves tonight in search of another book that will keep me going for a week or two.
She stopped moving long enough to capture her
And there has been quilting going on. I have a quilt that I need to go out and purchase some binding fabric for this weekend. I have been slowly working my way through the huge pile of UFO quilts. And the fabric used in this quilt was a special one but I do not have enough left over to bind the quilt. I think this one will look perfect in a friend’s lounge so I want to finish it and mail it to her before the cooler weather truly hits. I know she reads the blog so I don’t want to say who. But P, it is not you. Your quilts are almost ready.
This one needs binding still
The Japanese maples are showing their fall color
I hadn’t planned on going missing this week but I have been trying to catch up on blog reading and pod cast listening. I am almost caught up on pod cast listening. Blog reading is still behind. Email responses is getting better as well.
One thing I did manage to get done this week was to pick up a pile of quilts from the lady who machine quilts for me. She and I missed each other at the guild meeting in August. And I met her at a different guild meeting and she had forgotten them. But I had remembered to bring her more at that meeting. So the pile was a bit larger than normal. I have about 6 more quilts to bind in the pile. One little quilt though has gone straight to the top of the pile. I made this top quite awhile ago and it is black and white with cats all over it. I am pretty easy about what my machine quilter does pattern wise. I normally give her a note card with a description of the quit, a name, and for pattern it normally reads what ever works best for the quilt. For the kitty one, I remember putting down something cat related like maybe fish. But she did even better. I am known for not wearing my name tag at quilt guild meetings. Instead, my name tag is the fact that I am always working on a sock or some other knitting project at quilt guild. The quilting design has little yarn balls on it!!!! I want this quilt done so I can hand it on the wall.
The design on my cat quilt
The rest of the pile can wait a bit. I am going to wait for the weather to cool a bit more first. A few of the ones in the pile are large enough to be lap quilts. I also have to think about who I know would best fit with them. I also need to piece together more backing fabrics to get a few more done this year. I am rapidly getting to the bed size quilts.
A view of the quilt design
With all of the rain recently, my sweet potato vines have taken off. And as usual when my garden takes off, I have been photographing it. I planted three different colors of the vine and the colors together are amazing. One plant is chartreuse, and the other two are different shades of dark purple. I like the color combination but trying to photograph it can be tricky. I have been playing with photographing more and more in black and white. And surprisingly this has been the perfect way to photograph this plant. So enjoy these photos over the weekend. If the weather holds out this weekend should be spent playing with the camera. Tonight is the “free” night at the county fair, tomorrow is wandering around Frederick, and Sunday is a photowalk up in Gettysburg. But this is all dependent on the weather of course. If it rains, I will be quilting and knitting instead.
The sweet potato vine leaves are nice and bright
Yes, they are bright.
The colors are so much better in b&w
ANd if you scrolled down this far, yes there is knitting going on. Photos soon.
I have had my mini quilts for August done but haven’t posted them yet. I used my point and shoot to photograph them. Can I say that there is a huge difference between my point and shoot and my DSLR? It is surprising how fast you get used to manual focus and setting the aperture and picking your shutter speed.
The theme for the month of August was Hand Work. (I got to pick the theme.) I decided to make a yo-yo quilt. I am happy with the way it turned out but figuring out the layout took me quite awhile. I had planned on there being orange in the quilt but ended up using no orange at all. I also did the plain Jane theme. Except mine was not a regular plain Jane. I decided to try and experiment that I had seen in a quilting magazine or book at some point. I like the result and will be doing it again.
I also m managed to take a photo of the socks I am currently working on. It is up in the air who will end up with them since there are now three of us with the same size foot. I wasn’t sure about bamboo yarn at first, but I am loving the Regia Bamboo.
I did try to take a photo of my healing chigger bites but I will have to pick up the DSLR for them. I couldn’t focus in tight enough with the point and shoot.
I am keeping a careful eye on the weather forecast. Hanna can’t seem to make up her mind where she wants to land. The Chesapeake Bay and Washington DC are under the watch. And if she comes up the Bay, I may be looking at lots of rain. But we do need the rain. And if it rains, it means I can stay home and knit.
And since I finally manged to download the photos from the point and shoot, I am posting one of the shoots from Cape Hatteras that has been on there for over a month.
The perfect view
I have been slowly cleaning up my studio and finishing quilts that have been in the UFO pile for longer than I care to admit. When I first started quilting years ago, I was a member of a quilt guild close to the DC area. This guild was always bringing in national quilters/authors/teachers to not only speak but teach. One of the authors mentioned that as quilters we got tended to stay within our comfort range colorwise and that we sometimes needed to expand our boundaries. I honestly can’t remember who it was but I am thinking that it might have been Jinny Beyer. She was and still is one of the queens of color theory for quilters.
I have never been a fan of browns and yellows or anything in those color families. I have always been funny about what shades of green I liked and would work with as a result. At the time, I tended to work mostly in jewel tones. After hearing this talk and reading one of Jinny Beyer color theory books, I started to experiment with the colors that I worked with. I figured what did I have to lose. If I didn’t like it, I coudl always find some one who did. And since brown was one of those colors I did not like to work with, I made a brown quilt. And I didn’t go small either. The quilt was rather large. I liked the final result but the quilt was never quilted.
I recently pulled that particular quilt out of the pile and decided that it was going to be the next quilt quilted. I bought what I thought would be enough fabric to back what I thought was a queen size quilt. It wasn’t. But I decided that I could trim the borders and maybe make the fabric fit. Well, it turned out the quilt was actually king size. I ended up trimming almost 14 inches off two sides of the quilt and about 10 from the other two sides. The quilt now fits a queen size bed with a generous hang over. I still need to buy another strip of fabric to go with the bright pink I bought. (I am thinking bright lime green or something else that will clash.)
A window on old slave quarters in Frederick
I am not planning on keeping this quilt after it is quilted. Although I like the quilt and the way the colors came out, it is not me. It would end up in the bottom of the blanket chest and never get used. And there are already two quilts in the bottom of that chest that rarely see the light of day uinless it is really freezing outside and I need extra quilts on the bed.
When I look at this quilt top, one name comes to mind every time I see it – Priscilla! She loves browns in all shades. And I know that she can use a nice warm quilt for her bed. And her husband is the reason I picked the bright pink backing fabric. Pink is one of his favorite colors. Strange but that is Mac. And since she already knows that this will be her Christmas present, I can blog about it.
Working on this particular quilt led me to break out of my comfort zone in all areas. Okay, except for clothes that I wear. Certain colors just don’t look good on me. I do this with knitting and quilting all the time now. I don’t have anything that is all yellow or solid brown in any of my stashes. But those colors do show up in variegated yarns.
I am curious as to how many knitters are stuck in their color comfort zone. Have you ever gone through your stash recently and realized that you tend to have lots of the same color just in different tones? I know that I have plenty of greens in my sock yarn stash right now. But that is only because I have pulled out about 6 different skeins to use next. And green is not one of my comfort zone colors. Have you challenged yourself lately? Just curious.
I have been busy quilting lately. The weather has been more fall than late summer here in the mid-Atlantic so I have been motivated to work with fabric instead of yarn. I took my current mini to me to the beach since it is a hand-work quilt. But I have been finishing up quite a few quilted UFOs lately.
My August mini quilt in progress
I have also been playing with some of the techniques I have found in an art quilt magazine that I love. I have been rusting fabric. Yes rusting fabric. I like the first piece of fabric that I have dyed using this technique but I need to get more rusty objects and try it again. I can see using this fabric as the background for an applique piece. I will be doing this again after getting more rusty items to lay on/wrap around the fabric.
A shot of fabric rusting
Some of the quilts that I have been finishing have been languishing in my UFO pile for quite awhile. I took one to the machine quilter the other nigh and I honestly can’t remember when I pieced it. But I am slowly reducing the UFO pile. Almost all of the small and lap size tops in the pile have been quilted. Next up are the larger bed size ones. And since I don’t want to have to piece together backings for them, I am going to be going to the a quilt store or two this weekend to see if I can find some 108 inch wide backing fabrics that I like. If I can’t find any that I like, I will be piecing fabrics for the bed quilts. I want to give my machine quilter at least one bed quilt in a few weeks.
Hand dyed fabric by me!!!
A closeup of the fabric colors.
aka Moo cards sewn together
They really do look like Moo cards up close.
I hand dyed most of the fabrics in this quilt
A closeup view of the pattern
And just as a note, the quilts were photographed before being washed. The quilting patterns really jumped out after being washed.