Castles in Moonlight

Castles in Moonlight
Have plenty more castles!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's getting there.  I also was quilting on the one in the frame.  Then my sewingmachine bit my middle finger on my left hand.  I have never gotten my finger caught up in the machine before.... it broke the nail and wrinkled it back...and bled... so I did the perioxide thing and bandaid and have been sewing all day.  My finger got between the top of the needle where it's in a metal base, so when it came up, it got the nail... what a surprise!  So I'm very conscience of where my fingers are now! 

I really want to getthis put together. You can see the piles of the sashing on the chair for the vertical sashing.  I think I have about 44 more to make.  And corner squaressss..... I did get all the blocks cut to 5 1/2 " today.  So by the end of week, I'll have it together.  It's harder to type with a bandaid on my finger, than it is to sew. 

Keep sewing!  Patty

Monday, January 30, 2012

What do you do every extra minute you have?  I'm piecing the sashing blocks.  I have about 50 done....about 125 left to make and the 175 corner blocks. 

I can't tell you how many times I decide to make something and then realize how many bits I have to make!  I guess that's why I love Hawaiian quilts.  You needle turn the whole top piece, and don't need to be sitting at the sewing machine all the time.  Right now, it kind of looks like the pac man game!  All the little dots to go eat up. 

There are the cross ways ones, and then the up and down sashing... Good thing I decided to use several different white-on-whites.  I am using alot more of that than I first though too.    Maybe I'll just cut rectangles to fill in some of the spaces?

Sunny, but not too warm.  I'm waiting for winter to drop in any minute!  East TN can have very different weather from day to day.  I love summer and the warmer weather.  Also love the greens and flowers in the summer.  All this gray and dead stuff is depressing.  So pull out your bright colors and sew up something like summer!  Patty

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ok, I love blues.  I cut out several blue squares 6"... that was too big.

The pieced sashing is 5 1/2 " long.  So I'll be cutting the squares down as I go.  I also think that it'll be way too big if I use all the squares I cut once there is sashing in between them all.... The original baby quilt only used 20 squares... I think I have 9 x 12.  It's going to be too long.  I have been sewing ALL DAY, and only have sashing for about 2 rows....

It's going to be really nice with the white inbetween.  I think 8 x 10 will be closer to a better size quilt.  I will probably add a border around it to pull it together. 

This is the way I work.  Cut plenty and have left overs.  So there will be a smaller quilt or a bag, or clothing from the leftovers.  Why not?  It's all color cooridinated.  That's sometimes the part that takes the longest to get sorted out.  I have been in the sewing room for about 12 hours.  I had a good day.  My eyes are tired and my back is mad at me.  But the brain is very happy!  I have the blues! 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pink is not "my" color.  But I love this design.  You have squares where you can show off the fabrics.  Great for batiks or larger prints.  Or you can show off quilting designs in the larger squares.  I just really love this design.  This one was a baby quilt for a customer.
So I started cutting strips yesterday.... I lost a day somehow.  I thought I had put this all on line.  I just got working on things and spaced out.  Happens to me when I'm working.  Everything else just goes away. 

Here's some of the blues I pulled out of my stash.

And these from the dark side!

Mixing and matching colors seems to stump some people.  You need to have some that are a little bit into another color.  There are some that have alittle purple in them.  One has little yellow/orange dots.  A smidge of green works with blue.  And I might just throw in a single yellow square to catch your eye. 

I go to lectures and workshops.  Doreen Speckman was great.  She said that you should piece your background.  If you use one fabric and you run out, you are in trouble.  But if you use 25 fabrics,(and you know you have them!) and if you run out of any, it's easy to slip in the number 26!  No one would notice.  I love that idea!  It changed the way I look at backgrounds completely.  Not only that, but when you use many different ones in the background, you barely use each fabric.  So you have them for the next several quilts.  And you don't seem to run out of anything!  And so my stash just keeps growing.  This quilt I'm hoping to make it at least double bed...which is almost any size.

When people call to have a quilt top hand quilted...I always ask the size of the quilt.  Double bed sized is the answer.... so I ask for the size in inches.  Throws them off completely.  I have had people bring over a quilt for their queen bed, and they want it to drape over the sides of the bed, down to the floor.... that makes it more around the size of a king bed.  And it will take alot longer to quilt.  Try to convince them that it's NOT a double bed quilt.... if I have to get a king's not double bed. 

Well, today I'm cutting more and setting up to sew straight lines like crazy.  This top will go together very quickly!  I'll start getting the next one lined up for a customer too.  And lunch out with a good friend!  So I may slip in more pictures later today. 

I got the blues today, and I'm happy with that!  Patty

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eyes on Ewes!  What do you think?  I got the eyes on at Bee today.  I had trouble making smaller eyes for different sized sheep, so they basically got the same size eyes. 

They have the stunned look, but that is the look that most sheep have!

They are cute!

Will go in the basement on the couch....when it's quilted.  But that goes on the back burner for now.  Got one in the frame and will be starting another for a customer.  I do have blue and white fabrics pulled out ready to cut.  Got a really easy one to put together.  So I may start to cut tomorrow. 

Was a busy day.  Bee is always fun!  Always.  Several people showed up who haven't been around in a while!  Nellie, Jean, Gloria brought her daughter!  Great bunch of women.  Lots of books and magazines going around with fun ideas.  People brought in projects that they have been working on.  Tone took a class for a week on making a felted coat! It was so inspiring.  Now I'm ready to vegge out in front of the tv. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2 are done!  "I love Ewe."

And "Ewe's Fluffy". 
I like how they turned out!  I'm making eyes for the big quilt.  9 sheep, 18 eyes.  I'll put them on tomorrow at bee!

I used polyester batting in these.  I like the Mountain Mist Light batting.  It is easy to make small stitches and the needle goes through easily.  It also has been treated on both sides to prevent "bearding".  Most battings are treated now.  Back when I started quilting (early 70's) the polyester batts would beard.  Fibers would come through the cotton fabric as if it was growing a beard. 

Cotton batts are better now too.  they have mixtures of cotton and polyester to keep the batting from coming apart in the wash.  There is also wool batting and silk.  I have 2 wool battings and haven't tried them yet!  I did use a dark batting not too long ago.  It was a little on the stiff side, but needled easily.  More fluffy than what I normally like.  But the fabrics were all dark, so I tried it.  The dark colors weren't washed out from a white batting.  Nice effect.

We did a batting sampler in the guild a while ago.  And I did one about 20 years ago when I lived up north.  Many, many more batts available now.  It was nice to have a strip of each to quilt on to see what they felt like to work with.  One surprise was the bamboo batt.  So extremely soft to the touch, but the needle dragged through it!  Like trying to quilt through a manila envelope or sticky paper!  Maybe it would be great for machine quilting, let the machine do all the work.  So pick up some small packages of battings and try them out.  Cut a 2" x 18" strip of each and put them on to 18" wide muslin.  On the back of the muslin, write down what kind of batting it is.  Then put a fabric on top and quilt.  You'll be able to compare the results of all the battings all in one spot. 

Always try new things to see if it fits into your way of quilting. Patty

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sheep top is done!  I still want to embroidare faces on them.  Just haven't come up with a design yet.  All the preprinted ones have big eyes.  So I may try to carry that over.

So now you can count sheep....

there are nine on the top, but I think I only took pictures of 8.

Then  I made one small one out of the extra fabrics, titled "Ewe's fluffy."

and this one, "I love Ewe."

I want to start a scrap quilt because my bag of scraps is spilling over.  Lots of pretty fabrics in there!  Love them all.  But with all that I am working on right now, not sure when I'll start to dig in there.  I also picked out some fabrics for another quilt that I want to do in blue and whites.  I did it in pink and whites for a customer.  I really like the design of it. 

Today, I'm trying to pick up some things, but it leads to sorting out other things to get one thing done.  So it's taking too much time.  Not that I hate clearing out and picking up.  But I feel like I'm running around in circles.  Also extra paper work calling out to be done.  Ugh to that.  Who would have thought that if you wanted to make quilts you would have to spend at least half your time sorting papers!  Keeping records, and taking pictures.  I want to photograph more quilts today... so where do you start? 

Time to go get a mocha frappe.  Love those and they do have coffee in them. I keep going longer then.  I don't drink coffee, and Terry said, "here, try one of these."  That was the hook! 

Play with colors today!  Patty

Monday, January 23, 2012

What a day... working out, food shopping, bring that home.  Then I started paperwork organizing for taxes... yuck.  Would rather be sewing.  Did get all the sheep onto the quilt top.  Then had to drive Terry to the airport.  Took somethings to drop off at a shop in Maryville, and they are closed on mondays.  Turn around and get almost home and Deb called to ask me to have dinner with her.  What a relief.  Then Terry calls and his flight has been delayed, so he's playing leap frog from one plane to another to get to work. 

We did get reservations done for vacations later this year....will explain another day about all that.  Just need to veg out in front of the tv after not being able to get the computor to talk with the internet...

Pictures tomorrow.  Don't have to go anywhere, but will go get a mocha frappe!  My favorite!  Then another day of trying to get some pictures of my quilts done. 

Keep quilting!  Patty

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This is just above my computor!  Lots of notes on sizes and sayings along with 2 pictures that are great!  We took our car to a track in Nashville and got to drive really fast!  It rained the first day.  Like kids jumping into puddles! 

These are a couple of the critters I have around.  Plenty of dragons!  And a cat or two.

And the sheep are calling.  3 more to do and the feet on this one.  Then embroidare some faces. 

I have the little heater on beside me and it's almost too warm right now.  Middle of the afternoon nap is calling!  Or I have been counting sheep too long! 

It's another gray damp day outside.  Not my kind of day.  So I love the bright colors in the fabrics.  We did go to Panera's this morning and saw other Porsche people.  We sure do laugh alot.  I was the only woman there today.  Funny what the guys say about how they went to go buy cars or motorcycles even when their wives were not happy about it.  It is a guy thing.  They just have to have these things.  I get it. 

Keep quilting!  Patty

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keebler Elfs... Maybe not.  But it was Terry and Leslie.  We got over to England and Scotland last April.  It was wonderful.  This is up in Scotland at one of the castles' gardens. 

This is the view from the bedroom at Leslie's house over looking the north sea.  Absolutely gorgeous! 

This is the "main"road in Crawton, where Leslie lives.  All 4 houses are here.

Then you go down to the beach.  It's all stones, not sand.  the wave action has rounded them all.  It really was beautiful.

this was the "junk"shop that we went to.  There were about 4 or 5 buildings and table after table of stuff.  Now they don't call it junk, I'll have to ask Leslie what the name of it was again.  Found some interesting things there!

This is Leslie's house.  We stayed upstairs where the 3 windows are.  The sliding glass doors are into the kitchen.  So we sat there every morning watching the sun come up over the water.  There's no trees there.  The winds that come up from the North Sea will just beat a tree down before it can grow.  So only a few bushes can get about 3' high.

And in England, my in-laws did get me to the castle where they filmed some of Harry Potter's movies!  This is the one where they did the flying lessons on the grounds.  It is the biggest castle I think I have ever been to. 

Here's another part of it.  Just amazing.

So why pictures of a trip today.  Well, I am still working on appliquing sheep on the same quilt.  How many pictures can you take of that.  I can get on one or two sheep a day.  I also quilted about 2 1/2 hours on the one in the frame.  Not great for pictures.

I also can't stand all the gray days in winter, so I do go back and look through pictures of trips that we have taken.  Mostly I go to quilt shows, car events, and my sister's house.  Love that trip.  Long drive, but I do love to drive.  And we are planning on going over to England again, but not this year. 

We also are planning on finishing up more on the house.  Anyone who owns a house knows that it's a never ending process.  We did finish off the basement.  And then did about 1/2 the upstairs.  Now we still have to work on the 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  Not looking forward to the mess, but when that's done, it's wonderful. 

I do want to thank everyone who comes and reads my blog.  I was surprised to see so many people from other countries read this!  I am really begining to realize how easy it is to get information around the world. 

Ok, back to quilting!  Patty

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Mancuso Quilt show in WPB was great.  These are pictures from that show.  I don' t have the catalog handy to look up the names.  That show is worth going to!

My kind of colors!

Fun quilts in there too!

This was in the  challenge section.

And I do love the abstract quilts too. 

Well, I have been working on the same things, so I haven't taken more pictures of my things.  But I think that pictures are the main reason to look at blogs.  Inspirations!  So if it's ok, I can load up pictures of show quilts for a couple of days.

My computor is being a pain.  Just went to Staples to look at some, and they didn't have the one in stock that we were interested in..... so why keep the model on the floor?  So next time Terry is home, we'll look again.  The putor was not bringing the pictures over very easily.  So I had to down load 8 pictures to at least get 4 to show.... bleck on putors.  


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sheep are pinned and ready for applique.  Aren't they cute?  I'm having fun figuring out  how I want the legs to stick out.  Some are running, standing, and just looking surprise.  Not sure about the faces yet.  Someone said to make them faces, but I think I'll embroidare something on there. 

This one is appliqued.  Big fluffy sheep.

This is the one in the frame.  Got the very middle section quilted.  It'll take a while to get this one done.  I usually put on a movie and listen to that.  I do think about alot of things while quilting.  It's a form of meditation.  You can't help it.  The problem is when I start to think of all the things I have to get done that day.  So I keep a notepad there and write things down.  That makes me sit still alittle longer. 

Quilting is time consuming.  No surprise there.  But I love adding in all the stitches.  I know several people who have the big quiting machines.  Physically, it's more to standing there pushing the sewing machine around.  Uses different muscle groups.  But it's still the same that once you get used to that, you can go into the thinking process of other things.  I'm not sure what to think about the people who use the computorized quilting machines.  You program in the design and let it go.  Does that make them a quilter or a computer operator?  My Dad had worked in a factory (way back when I was 4 or 5) that made the candle wicked bedspreads.  I can remember going there and the huge machines were clanking away!  Stacks of the bundled up fabrics and threads were all over the place.  I understand how they could all go deaf very quickly!  And all  the dust from the sewing going on.  There were a bunch of women on sewing machines finishing the edges and fixing places where the big machines had missed a place when some threads had run out. 

I think that all quilting has it's uses and places.  The machine quilted pieces are ones that look like the old way of the factories.  One over all design.  That's great if you are going to use the quilts alot .  The ones that are quilted every 1/8"...why do they do that?  To prove they can?  To use more threads for the thread companies?  The quilts don't even bend after that.  Yes, they can fill in spaces, but I don't really "get" it.  It's not my taste. 

Shows didn't even let machine quilted quilts into shows for a while.  Then they did and it seems that is all there is now and there's a distaste for hand quilted ones.  It certainly takes longer to make so there are more machine quilted ones showing up.  Don't get me wrong, there are some machine quilted ones that I love and think are beautifully done.  But not all of them.  Just like there are some hand quilted ones that really need to redone.  I feel like as a hand quilter, I'm being pushed back alot of times.  Tell someone you are a professional hand quilter, and they "think that's cute."  Geeze, give me a break. 

Ok, this is a touchy subject because everyone has their likes and dislikes.  I'm constantly telling people about quilting.  There are actually some people out there that don't know anything about the quilting world!  But when someone brings me a quilt made in China and they want it repaired....ugh.   I send it home with a curse to burst into flames. 

Too early in the morning to be writing I guess... need Bee to lighting things up!  It's 8:15am... still haven't figured out how to change the damned clock....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This one is dark... but it's one that I reproduced for the visitor's center up in the Smoky Mtns. 

This is a small one that I did .Love the village effect.  Would love to do a larger version.  These small pieces are hard for me to handle. 

I do put t shirts together into quilt tops.  Then they have to go to a person with the large quilting machine.  This was for a customer.  I did one for myself, and still seem to have more shirts ready to cut up.  Ever notice how the shirts shrink in the drawer?

Love this one.  Need to do it in blues.  Been picking out the blue fabrics for one.  That's sitting on one end of my table.....

Dresden Plates.  Sweet quilt.  Got the top in an antique shop and have hand quilted it.  It's for sale.  $800... write if you are interested.  

I try to baste quilt tops at the same time.  I had a terrible habit of not marking the batting that was open.  Did I cut out a section?  So I now draw a rectangle on to paper, and mark out how much I have cut out of a batting.  Then put the paper in the bag so you can see it through the plastic.  Saves so much time!  I used to remeasure so many things.  Also put the size of the quilt on the label or on the back... 

Someone suggested that "someone" make up electronic chips to be put into the quilt.  Then a lost one could just be run over a scanner.  Like the chips for animals.  Why not!  Wouldnt' that save alot of time.  I have heard of people signing the inside of the binding, so if a quilt is stolen, you could always prove that it was yours.  Mmmm?  What do you do to "protect" your quilts? 

There was a story about women who helped each other out, taking turns going to each others houses and quilting up a quilt in a day.  Whom ever's turn it was, fed the quilters.  There was always one in the group that barely did any quilting...and when it was finally her turn to have a quilt done, everyone showed up at her house.  The quilt was set up in the large frame.  So the women sat and started to quilt.  that's when they realized that the owner had left her own house!  No lunch was there, or refreshments.  Story goes that when she came back, the quilters were gone and  the quilt was all done.  She was thrilled and started to look it over.   Stitches were beautiful and small.  Then she started to realize that things had been quilted into the layers of the quilt!  Sissors, pin cushions, pencils and other items!  the quilters left their mark on the quilt.  

So don't cross a quilter.  They may just sew you into a large bag of polyester double knit!  Rumor has it, that fabric is bullit proof.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where do you get your inspirations?  On a trip to Florida, I went to sea world!  Pink flamingos are fun.

Just ask the people who have them all over their yards!  They seem to "go" in Florida yards.  Can't find too many in East Tennessee.  There was a company  that I saw on TV, and you could pay to have someone's yard filled with flamingoes for a few days.  Then the birds would dissappear.  Wouldn't that be fun.  Easier to clean up than toilet paper!

Loved the dolphins!  Got a quilt going with those on it!  Hawaiian style.

Bright fish are also great for quilts.

And other's  lawn junk.  Some times you see things and they just fit into your designs.

I sat and quilted 3 hours at the frame.  Now it's time to applique some sheep.  I have to change seats and sitting position so my back doesn't get mad at me.  Tomorrow I go see my chiropractor.  He puts things back in the right place.  Plenty more work to do, so I need to have the pains go away.