Friday, December 12, 2014

A Beautiful Embroidered Quilt

It's been a couple of months since I've blogged.  Somehow, life got in the way, I guess.  I thought I'd share a quilt I recently quilted for a customer.  She did the embroidery (all by hand), and she said it took her over a year to do it.  I did meandering feathers in the plain blocks, and a few different filler designs around the embroidery.  I will just let the pictures speak.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Quilt Police Really Do Exist!

The North Star Quilters Guild show was held in Cadillac, MI today.  The show was raided by the quilt police!  No one was exempt.  I got a citation for having one side of my quilt 1/16th of an inch longer than the other.  Another was "too sparkly", another had "loose stuff" on it, etc.  It was all in good fun, and I think the attendees enjoyed it.
Our show is not judged, just viewers choice.  We usually have about five categories, some staying the same, and some changing every year.  Of course the usual bed quilt, wall/baby, miniature, and miscellaneous. This year's challenge category was two-color quilts (seen below).  It was a popular category.

The miniature quilts:
The general categories:

We were approached last winter by the organization that runs the women's shelter.  At some time they did a project of having people decorate T-shirts to raise awareness of domestic violence.  They asked us to make some quilts for their office and the shelter from the shirts.

Our quilt racks have "feet" that stick out into the aisles, so we cover them with small tables to prevent people from tripping on them.  They are decorated with small items such as this doll.
I hope you enjoyed a few of the quilts from our show.  We had 97 in all, and several vendors.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Bishop's House

 Hans Herr House, built in 1719, is the oldest existing structure in Lancaster Co., PA.  I am a direct descendant of Hans Herr, who was the first Mennonite Bishop of Lancaster Co.  The quilt was made following a visit to the house, which is now a museum.  The house is overshadowed by a center diamond, which though being more associated with the Amish, is probably the quilt design most representative of Lancaster County.

The sky is hand dyed in 5 gradations of blue.

 I used some traditional Amish quilting designs, such as the feather circle and cable, in addition to quilting the landscape features in grids and by following the outlines.

On the back is a pedigree chart showing the line from Hans Herr to myself, and a scan of the photo I worked with to create the quilt.

The remainder of the back was strip pieced.
The label tells the story.
Do you ever try to reflect your heritage in your quilts?


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Feathers and Sunflowers

This is a quilt I did recently for a customer.  I love the look of the feather quilting with the braid piecing.

The sunflower quilted in the border was fast and easy, and adding the filler of small spirals really made the flowers pop.
She loved it, I'm happy to say!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The T-Shirt Quilt Project

One day a lady called and asked if I could make a T-shirt quilt for her.  I said yes, and was pretty surprised when she brought this huge tote that  I could hardly lift, full of T-shirts she and her husband had collected over the years.  Not one quilt, but it's going to end up being four of them!.
The first one is the largest, comprised of 30 shirts representing the University of Michigan.  And I'm a Michigan State University grad!  (Archrivals in case you weren't aware of that)

Once I had all the logos cut out of the shirts, she came out and we laid them out on my living room floor in an arrangement that pleased her.  The quilt was to be queen size, so the easiest thing for me to do was to cut the batting a bit larger than it needed to be, and lay all the shirts on it.  That way I could construct the quilt in sections and lay them back in the right place.  Fortunately, I don't share my space with anyone else, so I was able to leave it on the floor for a few days.

After I had just gotten started with the quilting, my Lizzie had to be shipped to Utah for service.  ( I wrote about that in an earlier blog.)   It was gone for a month!  That was frustrating to say the least.
The quilting is pretty simple, outlining the blocks, meandering in each block, but not quilting through the letters, and some quilting in the pieced sashings.

The other three are all different themes and will be made over the next few months.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lifestyle changes

This week's blog concerns  the "other random stuff", not quilts.
For years, I have not enjoyed cooking, and spend as little time in the kitchen as possible;  cold cereal for breakfast, sandwich and fruit for lunch, and a quickie supper, doing a lot of things I can portion and freeze so I don't have to cook again for a while.  I'll still do the latter, of course, as cooking for one doesn't make sense unless you do freeze some for later.  BUT....

A friend recently led a class at our church using for  reference a book she had been introduced to in Florida last winter, Brain Grain by Dr. David Perlmutter.  She also made mention of Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.  After reading both of them, I'm convinced that I have been eating wrong for years.  No more "healthy whole grains" and low-fat stuff for me!  I'll not go into the reasons they give, but if you're interested, check them out.  Both have websites and blogs, and cookbooks.  In both cases, their conclusion is that gluten is BAD and carbohydrates don't do us much good either, except raise blood sugar and convert to fat.  So, I've pretty much purged my kitchen of gluten containing foods, and am working on the carbs.  So far, I've lost 6-7 pounds, feel great, my skin isn't so dry, etc.

I'm reasonably healthy, but I want to stay that way for a long time.  Lots of quilts to make yet, and life to live.  I'm enjoying preparing food more than I ever have; the challenge of finding recipes without gluten and carbs.  This is the perfect time of year, with the garden in full swing and farmers' markets having an abundance of fresh veggies.

I've also become aware of the dangers of the genetically modified (GMO) foods which make up most of our foods, and are dangerous to our health.  So I'm trying to buy organic and local whenever I can to minimize the exposure to the toxic chemicals sprayed on most of the crops in the US.

OK, off my soapbox.  You may not agree with me but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Sorry no pictures.  I ate it already.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stewpot and the Chickateers

As I mentioned in a previous blog, my daughter raises a few chickens, enough to provide her family with eggs.  Her girls have been involved in the care of them, and named most of them.  One particularly feisty rooster they named "Stewpot", and they called his harem "the Chickateers".  I needed a small quilt for an invitational exhibit called Artimage, and that year's theme was animals, so I decided to use the chickens for the subject of the quilt.
The chickens are all freezer paper pieced.
And the back of the quilt refers to "Stewpot's" ultimate destination.
Do you ever put backart on your quilts?