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?

Saturday, August 9, 2014


This week I'm sharing another quilt out of the past (my past) with you.  I made this several years ago, using a technique taught by Ricky Tims called Rhapsody Quilts.  It's really a very simple concept, starting with a square sheet of paper folded in eighths like you would make a paper snowflake.  A "skeleton" of piecing is created, and then applique is added.  Actually the applique is stitched before the piecing, so the quilt is not so cumbersome.

Twist incorporates some applique motifs adapted from Owen Jones' The Grammar of Ornament, and some from Lora Irish's Great Book of Celtic Patterns.

And of course lots of quilting was added.  The binding has a flat piping inserted in the seam to give the edge an elegant look.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fresh Snow

 No, it's not snowing in August!  I just thought this might be the time to "cool off" a little with a remembrance of what we complained about last winter. 
Fresh snow came about as the result of a year-long challenge on the Quilting Arts Forum several years ago.  I don't even remember the rules of the challenge now, but whatever it was, I used a photo I took of a scene I see on my daily walk.  There was fresh snow overnight, and just a couple of vehicles had passed by on the gravel road, leaving a muddy track.
The quilt is 41" x 58" and is freezer paper pieced, a technique I have been using for about 25 years. It has appeared in numerous shows, and has won several awards.

If you are interested in learning my  method of freezer paper piecing, contact me.  I'm willing to travel to guilds.