Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Weasley's Been Up To Lately

Contemplating the ins and outs of the trombone.

Throwing and eating a basket.

Chinning said basket, so the humans don't forget to whom it belongs.

Resting up from all that work.

Taking a good bath, while ignoring toys. They must age several months (or years) before being played with.

Having a little snack, freshly picked and organic, of course.

Chillin'. (Snoozing the afternoon away while stretched out next to the frozen soda bottle.)

Add in making music on the water bottle, tossing hay around, and bumbling around the house while trying to figure out if the rustle he hears is a treat. Rearrange and repeat as desired, and that pretty much covers it, if you include the nightly couch snuggle. Not a life that would make a great action film. "Bunny Pirates of North Central Massachusetts", or "Indiana Bun and the Aging Cape Cod Cottage"  are not likely to be big draws at the box office. Except maybe in Weasley's dreams. He often runs in his sleep, so maybe that's where all the action is. What do you think bunnies dream about?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Slice Of Life

At the Material Girls Quilt Guild show,  there was an interesting group of quilts that were called "slice" quilts. Several people got together to work on this project. Each person chose a photograph, and sliced it into pieces. The pieces were handed out to the other people involved, who then replicated the slice in fabric. The original person who owned the photograph reassembled the pieces of the photograph into a quilt. I thought the resulting quirkiness of the finished quilts was very cool . I hope you enjoy seeing them.

In this first quilt, the pieces were set into a traditional Attic Windows-type setting. 

"Puerto Vallarta", Kathryn Amadon

The next quilt also used a window-type grid, but of a simpler design. You can see the original photo in the lower left. The flowers are stunning on this.

"My Flower Garden", Kathie Peloquin

The original photo is also visible in the photo of the next quilt. No window grid was used on this one. I really love how well the slices went together here.

"My House", Sandi Phillips

On the next one, the quilter chose to turn each piece into its own small quilt. A very interesting idea, that I suspect hangs on a wall better than it sits on an easel.One really cool detail is how the flag extends over the edge of the upper left slice.

"My Camp", Jessica Leger

In this final quilt, the quilter chose to frame the quilt after assembling it. It was truly gorgeous, but I had a hard time taking the photograph. I had to turn off the flash to keep from getting a big flare in the middle of the picture, and that muted the colors. They are more intense in real life.

It was amazing to see all the different techniques used in each slice by the quilters involved. And yet despite the differences, when reassembled they still made a beautiful quilt. It looks like they all had a lot of fun doing it, too, which is really the best reward. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fun At The Quilt Show

The Material Girls Quilt Guild show  from this past weekend went off really well. There were well over 100 quilts to view,  a bunch of  vendors selling cool stuff,  and a lot of fun quilters to talk to. It was hard to get pictures of the quilts with the crowd of people around, and some of my pictures are at strange angles because of the closeness of the aisles, but here are a few that caught my eye.

This is called "Impulse", and was made by Carol Sarafconn. I love the bright colors.

The centers of all the blocks are hand painted squares. I'm not sure how she made them. Some looked sort of like ink blots, some like spin art. Maybe they were gelatin prints?

This next quilt is actually quite tame for Jessica Leger. Her quilts often have everything including the kitchen sink on them. I think this one is called "Santa Baby". It's the only  one whose label I didn't photograph, because I swore I would remember the name. Oh, well.

I think this must be Jessica in the center.

She also makes (and wears) these coats!

This one, by Nancy Sullivan, was one of my favorites. It's called "My Daughter's Prince".

I managed to cut the top off the next quilt (in the photograph, that is). It's called "My Fun Time", by Allene Leger. She made it from a Block-of-the-Month program at The Quilted Crow.  It's wool, but I'm not sure on what, because I couldn't touch it. I think it was either homespun, or flannel.

This next one intrigued me, because all the quilts that I had seen from this woman before were dark and/or patriotic. Turns out she made this for a granddaughter. It's called "Flowers of Squares", by Kolleen Dickinson.

I loved the colors, and the slightly wonky nature of the squares in this next one. It is "Dreams of Australia", by Ellen Parkinson. I couldn't get back far enough to photograph the entire quilt.

There were several dog quilts by Janice Quejo. She does wonderful animal portraits. This quilt is very different, but so much fun! Click on the picture to see a larger version. The faces are fantastic. This is called "Dazzling Dogs".

This Leaf Quilt is by Sandie Catlow. The background makes good use of half square triangles received in an exchange.

I wish I could show you all the quilts, as they each had a unique beauty.  And as for the vendors, well, they were fun, too. Somehow I managed to keep myself from buying more fabric. The notions were a little harder to pass up. I got these gorgeous handmade ceramic buttons from Grana's Buttons. This woman uses a wide variety of items to texturize her buttons, including roller stamps that she carves herself. Apparently she doesn't have a website, but she can be reached at granasbuttons@charter.net.

And, I also came home with this beauty made by Cynthia Ellis. Not only is it pretty, but it feels really good in your hand. I only hope I don't have to use it too much! You can see more of her work here. 

Tomorrow I'll have a few more quilts to show you, that were the result of an interesting group project. Right now, I'm off to give Weasley his evening cuddle. Can't keep a bunny waiting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We Had A Bug

Hi, everyone. It's been quite awhile. Our computer came down with something. It was easier to find out what it had, than it was to undo the effects, but we seem to be OK now. If you've been expecting an e-mail, I'm sorry for the wait. I'll be working on catching up with all that, and with blogland, over the weekend.

In the meantime, I've been sewing. I made some scraps into notebook covers. Why are there always so many more scraps than actual quilts? It's like they breed in the scrap box!

I finally put a binding on this scrap (!) quilt, that has been sitting around for over a year waiting to be finished. I actually like sewing on bindings, so I don't know why it waited so long. Probably it was always just the least urgent item on the list. It's name, which hopefully doesn't sound too pretentious, is "Fire In Winter".

On Father's Day, we took the youngest up to Farmington, Maine, for a summer class at the University of Maine. This is where she will be going to school in the fall. We embarrassed her in the parking lot. 

And then, we took a walk around town, the whole two blocks or so of it.

Some day when it's open, I'm going to have to check out this place.

We left town after narrowly avoiding a coffee bath. The clerk at the shop tried to slide a large iced coffee to me, only to have it tip instead. I'm not sure how, but I managed to jump back in time to avoid the spill. Didn't know I could still move that fast! 

Back at home, Weasley's been hanging out on the couch with me, helping me bind another quilt. In case you're wondering, it was the Husband's choice to sit on the floor. We didn't force him to.

Apparently he (Weasley) felt like he was not getting enough attention. In my defense, it's hard to sew a binding, keep track of what Michael, Sam and Fiona are up to, and still keep the Rabbit properly entertained.

What I was finishing was this (are you tired of seeing it yet?). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a great picture last night. It will be hanging in our guild quilt show this weekend, so hopefully i can get some good pictures while its there. I put way more quilting into it than I originally intended, so that part of the construction seemed to last forever.

And my final step had me really intimidated. I dry-brushed gold paint over the brown border and binding, to imitate the gilding on many Russian Icons. On many of these icons, the gold is mostly, or even completely, missing. The dry-brushing actually worked well, much to my relief! 

Now I'm looking forward to a crazy weekend of helping at the quilt show, and at a downtown event, getting the kid home, her laundry done, and getting her sent off again for another adventure. Oh, and most importantly there has to be some rabbit pampering. But that part really goes without saying, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weasley In The Sun On Wednesday

It seems like the skies have done nothing but rain here since graduation. Finally the sun broke out today, and Weasley took full advantage of it. In the morning he napped in the sun in the kitchen.

In the afternoon, he followed the sun around to the other side of the house, 

and napped in the computer room.
Are you done yet, Mom?

It was a very fine day, despite the annoying noises from the camera and sewing machine.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weasley Has His Own Quilt

I thought it was about time Weasley had a quilt dedicated to him, so he became the subject of  my quilt for May's Color Palette Challenge over at Three Creative Studios.

I've always thought that Weasley looks very lion-like when he's basking in the sun, especially when he has his full coat. With apologies to J. K. Rowling, I am calling this one "Weasley Is Our King!".

Like the other pieces I've done for this challenge, I made this with the idea of tiles in mind. The hexagon template was drawn freehand, and the individual pieces were cut out with scissors (no rotary cutter or rulers). The "tile" was then laid out in this design, spacing them by eye, in a way that looked pleasing to me. The resulting grout lines are irregular, and the quilt was slightly off center. This irregularity doesn't show much in the finished product, but I'm thinking about exaggerating this effect in a future quilt for this challenge.

Before quilting the grout lines. I stitched a lion on using thread sketching techniques. He'll have to get used to the idea that he's been replaced on the throne by a rabbit.

I also designed Weasley a crown, and stitched it on the quilt.

What looks blue in these pictures is somewhat more lavender in real life. I think the cloudy sky threw off the color of the photo. It sure would be nice to see the sun. The real Weasley would really enjoy basking his old (kingly) bones in it's warmth. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday In The Garden

I was afraid that the 60 mph winds that accompanied the thunderstorms that went through yesterday wouldn't leave much to see in the garden today. Some things, like these poppies, did get torn apart by the wind. Luckily, there are more poppies yet to bloom, so I should be able to get some better photos soon.

There is a lot of purple around the yard this week. The lupine are still blooming profusely. 

Hiding in the front garden I found a single stalk of campanula glomerata (isn't that a funny name?), a plant I thought had  died out. I hope this means it is making a comeback.

And, the Baptisia are making a huge show this year. I love the flowers, but the plants are proving to be a bit invasive for the size of my space. Not sure how I'm going to handle this.

There are also a lot of roses this week. The climbers in my Daughter's gardens are blooming, and they smell so good. These pink ones are called "Social Climber"! 

I don't remember the name of the yellow one, but it smells even better than the pink one. Both of these will have more blossoms throughout the summer.

This pale pink rose in the front yard only blooms once a year. Unfortunately, it suffered a lot of winter damage, and doesn't have anywhere near as many blossoms as it usually does.

The rugosa rose out front (a double flowering variety called "Scabrosa") is having issues this year also. It has thrown several stems of a sport, that is only a single flowering variety, of a much paler pink.

It also suffered a lot of die-back over the winter.

But, there was enough left of the magenta double-flowered parent to make this beautiful display next to the Purple Nine Bark (yet another strangely named plant).

For Weasley, of course, the most important part of the garden this week is this. The parsley patch is in full bloom. There should be a great new crop of parsley planting itself soon. Ooh, the anticipation!

Have a great weekend, everybun. I hope it lives up to all of your expectations!