Friday, April 22, 2011

Blast from my Quilting Past...

Thanks to Madame Samm for inviting me once again to guest post on Stash Manicure.  My name is Jane and my blog is Sew Create It. Today I’m going to air out my dirty laundry and share with you my oldest UFO (UnFinished Object).

Twelve years ago I started a quilt... but not just any quilt:  The Piecemaker’s 1999 Times and Seasons Quilt.  Some of you might remember it as the one with the lighthouses.  At the time I was living in Montreal and a few friends of mine were making their way through the 1998 calendar and I wanted to jump on board and try my hand at hand-appliqué.  The 1998 calendar was no longer available, so I opted for the 1999 calendar... this is the quilt I started:


Nothing like jumping in the deep end!  Most sensible people start their appliqué journey with a heart or a flower... but no, not I... I started with a quilt that measures 80” square!  I have no idea what I was thinking, but I suppose when you have your peers putting the pressure on you and telling you that they will help you along the way, one does make silly choices.


I suppose now, in hind sight, I wouldn’t say it was a silly choice, because what better way to learn a new skill but to practice, practice, practice.


The construction of this quilt was a challenge on many fronts.  For starters the quilt is made up in sections or blocks.  You can see the seam line along the left side in this picture.  It was important to get the hedge and the sky to meet perfectly to create a seamless effect. 


Some of the pieces were really small and it was sometimes easier to use a motif out of commercial fabric than to piece it.


I also used fabric creatively to give the illusion of texture.  You can see in this picture I have used a bamboo print to create cliffs.


When it was being pieced I had no idea that my life would bring me to the U.K.  So I’m ever so pleased I included references to Canada.


This could be Peggy’s Cove!


From the top square to the last there is a difference.  In the top corner I didn’t know about cutting away the back and reducing the bulk as I layered up the appliqué.  The stitches are bigger and the curves aren’t curvy at all!  But by the last blocks, which were completed in 2002, there is a marked improvement and I can honestly say I had tackled every appliqué shape possible!


So now there you have it...my oldest UFO.  I just need to get it basted and get it quilted...


But that’s just it, how does one finish a quilt that is all made by hand, yet has areas that are so thick with fabric there is no way it could be hand quilted?  Can you really machine quilt a quilt all done by hand?  Well... it’s taken me years to make that decision and I think 2011 might just be the year it gets finished.  I won’t tell you what I’ve decided... I want to know what you would do! :o)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WE’RE GOING SHOPPING

Did that title grab your attention? I will explain in a minute, first let me introduce myself. I am Sharon from Vroomans Quilts. I live in a little country town that was founded by my ancestors and live on one of the earliest original homesteads. A number of my ancestors were cobblers, coopers, blacksmiths, ran the local feed mill and (my great grandmother no less) ran the first hardware store. So I am familiar - it’s in my blood - with shopping at the local hardware store; even for quilting supplies.

So I am taking you on a shopping trip to the Hardware Store. Are you ready for some sticker shock? The stores I chose to do price comparisons are strictly because they are a little more familiar and I have no association with any of them. And prices are reflected at the time I researched them.

NOW grab a basket...we are going to comparison shop...





45 mm BLADES
AC Moore $10.99 2/pkg
Joann’s $ 7.99 2/pkg
Freight Harbor $ 1.79 2/pkg (called Rug Cutter Blades)



QUILTING GLOVES
AC Moore $10.95 pr.
Joann’s $ 7.95 pr.
Freight Harbor $ 4.99 3/pkg. (have a large number of various types of gloves in pkg.)


Or have you thought about disposable gloves? I like these because I can 'feel' the fabric, thread my needle or handle other objects without removing them, and don't feel guilty about throwing them out because of the price. (box of latex or nitrile disposable - 100ct. For $5.99)

GRIPPERS
small AC Moore $ 7.15
Joann’s $ 6.49
Freight Harbor $ 3.49 (in the Assisted Living Section)

Large AC Moore $17.59
Joann’s $19.99
Freight Harbor $ 6.99


MARKING TAPE
AC Moore quilter’s tape ¼” x 30 yds - $2.85
Joann’s quilter’s tape ¼”x 39yds $3.99
Freight Harbor painter’s tape 2“ x 60yds. $5.99
To ¼“ x 60 yds. 1.99 (paint dept)


ROLLING BAG
AC Moore $89 - $108
Joann’s $89 - $200
Freight Harbor various bags - smallest 18” x 20” x10” $22.99
**this bag is the same size as those for carrying your sewing machine**



CLAMPS
AC Moore 2-PK - $2.79
Joann’s 2PK - $2.99
Freight Harbor 22 piece - $3.99 (table saw dept)


TWEEZERS
AC Moore $7.65
Joann’s $9.99
Freight Harbor $3.99


OTT LIGHTBULB
AC Moore $27.49
Joann’s $49.99
Freight Harbor $9.99



HEADSTRAP MAGNIFIER
AC Moore $32.95
Joann’s $36.95
Freight Harbor $9.99



STORAGE BOXES
AC Moore $2.99 each
Joann’s $2.99 each
Freight Harbor $ .99 for pkg of 3






Please note that not every chain store carries the same product from area to area. You can shop most of their on-line shops, but when shopping at the hardware store you have to know the difference from ‘Quilt Speak’ to Hardware Speak’. I’m sure if you asked the assistant at the hardware store where the Purple Thang is - he might just call security. SO take a ride with your hubby - won’t that excite him, you want to go to the hardware store? Learn the new names, drop on the floor over the prices, remember not to drool or load 2 carts or DH will never take you again.

Now you have a new conversation with dear hubby, he’ll be happy you are staying out of his work room to “borrow“ items, and I bet next time you ask him to drive you to the hardware store he will race you to the car.

Now I like bargains - do you have some new quilt supply shopping places that you would like to share?

Thank you Madame Samm for letting me share my shopping trip.
Sewingly Yours,
Sharon


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vintage and Unfinished Quilt Tops

Hi there!  I'm AnneMarie from Gen X Quilters and I'm glad to be back here at Sew We Quilt!  Today I am bringing some food for thought to those of us that have some unfinished quilt tops piled somewhere in the corners of our sewing rooms.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Cincinnati International Quilt Festival a few weeks ago, and wandered aisle after aisle, all filled with every quilting item you can possibly imagine.  I was mostly fabric shopping and looking for some great deals.  Although I only stopped momentarily at a booth carrying vintage quilt tops, for some reason the works I saw there stayed with me and something in my subconscious was nagging me, but I just couldn't put my finger on it.


I started to think about my own path into quilting.  My very first quilt was made when pregnant with my first child.  I wanted to make something special for him from my own two hands that we would keep and remember.  I had never stitched a single stitch on a sewing machine, but for some reason I was compelled to make a quilt.


One of the things that draws me to quilting is the legacy of it.  Someday I would love to have a stack of quilts a mile high to pass on to my children and grandchildren.  Hoping they know the care that was taken in selecting the fabric and sewing each stitch with love.  But that doesn't mean I've completed every quilt I've started....



What about those rejected projects?  Those cast aside for one reason or another and left unfinished.  Maybe it was forgotten because of some more urgent project, maybe the colors/fabrics chosen didn't mesh as desired once they were put together, maybe there was no money left for a backing....  what will become of those quilt tops now?  I am sure we all have some of these UFOs buried somewhere.  What is their fate?



Here is one possible answer:  My mother-in-law is an antique collector.  Her finds range anywhere from unique furniture pieces (pie safes and chests) to vintage kitchen notions to an old barber pole to quilt tops.  Yes, quilt tops!  She showed me her collection last year sometime after I really started churning out the quilts.  All of the pictures included in this post are her finds.  Quilt tops sold at antique shops and estate sales - and although she is not a quilter (yet!), she intends to finish the work that was started.  They are fascinating to look at.  Some are very obviously made with the leftover scraps for men's shirts, others, like the crazy quilt above, include velvets, ribbon, flannels, etc.  They all demonstrate the time, patience and skill of an unnamed quilter.  Will your quilt tops end up in antique shops 30+ years from now?



Another possible answer:  There are some charities that accept unfinished quilt tops.  Is there one in your area?  This is a wonderful way to have something great become of a lonely and forgotten quilt top.  Many charities donate the finished quilts to children in need, women's shelters, and areas affected by natural disasters.  Wouldn't this be a wonderful way to contribute?  


One example accessible online is Margaret's Hope Chest.  They accept quilt tops all year long-- volunteers finish them off--and then the finished quilts are shared with people all over the country who can use an extra dose of HOPE and comfort.  MHC is actually having a quilt top drive this month!




I hope you have enjoyed seeing these vintage quilt tops and that you'll consider what will become of your UFOs in the future....  after all, if you find homes for them, there will be room for more fabric!!  But also, how interesting it is that today we are picking up these old unfinished quilt tops, be it at a Festival or antique shop, and finally finishing up projects whose stories are unknown and making them our own.



By the way, I am hosting a giveaway with Fabricworm for a Robot Farm Custom FQ bundle this week.  Be sure to hop on over to GXQ if you'd like to enter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

QUILTSCAPES with Rebecca Barker.

Strawberry Basket

It all began with this card. It came from one of my dear friends...
 And of course I sniffed it. lol
( then I tried calling my friend but her line was busy) 
SEW I went searching for her, not my friend, the artist -online...Ü
And I found her and called her and invited her here.
( the artist not my friend) Work with me!

Seriously, I could not get over the beauty of it.
You know how much I love red and white and a basket
of strawberries, well as I said fresh looking enough to sniff...lol..

The artist is Rebecca Barker and she does these
amazing QUILTSCAPEs paintings then makes them
into note cards..And what do you know, she also can be

Rebecca grew up on her family's dairy farm in OHIO. 
She grew up with quilts and they certainly have become her inspiration.
Take a peak at these...

Grandmothers Flower Garden

I just love this one too- my passion for buttercream
well I almost fainted....I LOVE THIS ONE. 
I want to curl up on that swing with this quilt....
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!join me....

Spools

Is this one just pretty enough to frame..well all of them
can be...love the colors, the quilted spools...


Oh look at those apples and colors of the grass,
the quilt, well everything...ME = FAN..yep...lol

Rebecca paints in acrylic on masonite boards. She chooses patterns
from quilt books and shows that she attends. She seems to find inspiration
everywhere she goes. This lady knows her quilt patterns too. She shared with me she quilts
as well.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ohio University and also attended
Miami's University graduate painting school. 


This one is not a card....but look at the detail...all the seasons
are included...perfection....


Main Street

Oh look, she even included a quilt shop...of course!

Melon Patch

Do you all recognize this pattern, I seem
to remember one of our recent guests quilted one like this..?




Can you believe the clarity, depth of these...?
and all but one are note cards....

She is offering a giveaway of 10 NOTE CARDS
YOU choose which ones you like
and let us know... There are sew many more on her site.
( You can choose 2 of each, 1 of each 10 of the same...
your choice)

Thank you  REBECCA and 
Sandi for sending me one of her cards
which led to us all sharing a
 GROUP HUG! 


Now quickly tell us what other cards do you love
by name and come on back here with your list...?
You may be the winner of these note cards!

THANK YOU REBECCA!

winner announced tomorrow  morning...( Wednesday)
( the links to both pages of note cards are above..
you can choose 10 of the same, 2 each of 5, you know
any combo you would like) 

p.s. I know Rebecca does not ship overseas...however if any of you 
ladies do want some let me know I can always ship to you...
just saying..


Congrats KATIE 
You are our winner...
Your selection will be sent to Rebecca
and before you know it, you have some note cards
Lucky Lady..
To all others, we will have Rebecca return next month...
for more giveaways! 
Your comments were certainly heartfelt...

Madame Samm thank you for presenting Rebecca to us and sponsoring this fabulous giveaway. If I were the luck winner I would choose:
25 Ocean Waves
7 Blue Birds
38 Blue Birds
33 Goldfish on Thistles
125 Fox and Geese
124 Shells
63 Light House
89 Water Lilies
80 Lady of the Lake
119 Mariner's Compass


Monday, April 18, 2011

If it's Sunday you know it is a day of ....



Today and Tomorrow...
we are going to rest, but do 
return Tuesday for a surprise guest
and a giveaway.

Hint....You will be writing about 
this one...

Ohhh and I sew apologize
our comment button
does not seem to work
on Sundays..
Will have to do something about that ....