Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's Time...

When both work tables are covered in fabric to a depth of 18" it's time to clean. There's no room left to move anything over, and working becomes impossible. It's got to go.

Se the big bin on the far left? The one that's overflowing with fabric? Those scraps have to be sorted into the smaller bins on the table. As regular readers know, they are sorted by color.


The color blocks I have been making have come exclusively from fabrics in the little bins. I know there's a whole quilt in there, and I'm eager to see just how big a dent I can make in these bins.

I can see the red, orange, brown, teal and purple bins are overflowing. Guess which blocks I'll have to make next?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday My Dearest Darling!

Happy Birthday to You!


Happy Birthday to You!

 Happy Birthday to my Silly, Funny, Fearless, Creative, Wonderful Son...

Happy Birthday to You!!!


Love, Mom
xxx... (infinity)

Monday, April 21, 2014

How my Mémère Made Quilts

My grandmother made quilts. They were scrappy quilts, and she never used a pattern. She made them from the clothes she and my mother made for me, my brothers and sister and our cousins. The quilts were made from the leftover fabric from our skirts and blouses, pajamas, jumpers, shorts and tops; from tablecloths, placemats, tote bags and costumes.

They weren't quilted, they were tied with crochet cotton, and the backings were sheets. The quilts were lightweight and washed like a dream. This was beneficial, as they were utility quilts in every sense of the word. We used them on picnics, we brought them to the beach, we watched fireworks lying on them. We used them to wrap my Mother's artwork when we had to deliver it to various galleries. On our beds, we put them on top of the bed's flat sheet, and under the blanket so they were rarely seen. On hot summer nights, they were perfect to sleep under, just enough to keep out the draft, but light enough not to be too hot.

My Mémère never bought new fabric to make the quilts. She always used what she had.  Later, when she had Macular Degenerative Disease, and couldn't see, I asked her how she made them, because I couldn't figure out how she put them together. They weren't made in traditional blocks.

This is one of the last quilts Memere made. This was made in the 1980's.

"I started cutting squares, but that didn't last long," she said.  "It took too much time to cut them out, and I still had fabric left over that I wanted to use. So I just took two pieces of fabric and sewed them together."


 "If one piece was too big, I'd just cut it off. If I didn't like the pieces I sewed together, I'd just use them someplace else." Mémère even chain-pieced them.

I asked how she got the pieces square. "Oh I cut them with a pair of scissors."

"So after I sew those, and pressed the seams, I did it again using the pieces I had."


 "I kept sewing until I got a big chunk and then I put it aside until I had a lot of big pieces and then I sewed them together until it got to be the right size for the bed."



Did she measure? No, she'd lay the big sections on the bed and move them around until they were the way she liked. She'd cut things off if they were too big, and add the pieces to other sections that were too small. She wanted to use every scrap.

Sound familiar?

It should. I've heard the same process described by Tonya Ricucci, Gwen Marston, and in several "tutes" for "made fabric" and many other places.

Was my Mémère the first true "Liberated Quiltmaker?" Of course not, she was just trying to make do with what she had.



My Mémère died in 2001, well before I took up quiltmaking again (after a 22 year break), so I never had a chance to tell her that she was a quilt maverick.

She would have laughed and told me I was silly, but every time I make one of these color blocks (using the technique she taught me) I think of her.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The One Hour Challenge

Last night I got home from work and heated up the oven to cook a baked potato. While I waited for the oven to pre-heat, I brought out the trash and threw a load of wash in the laundry. What to do while I waited for the potato to cook? (The rest of dinner simply needed to be reheated in the microwave, so no cooking was necessary.) What could I do in an hour?


Could I take the little pieces in this scrap bin,

and surround this piece of white fabric to make a 16-1/2" block by the time the baked potato was ready?

There was only one way to find out.

I selected fabrics, and ironed them as they came out of the bin.

I sewed the pieces into pairs, and then sewed pairs together and kept going until I was done.



It took me slightly longer than an hour, but it did provide quite a diversion.  The next question was did this make a dent in the amount of fabric in the little bin?

Answer: Not much.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Finishing the Bright Crayons

I've finished sewing the binding and hanging sleeve on the Bright Crayons quilt.

I'm really happy with it. 

 For now it's hanging in my office.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Backing

The part I like the least about making a quilt is getting the backing ready. They are generally too big for my table and I have to work on them on the floor.

I'm getting too old for this.

Then again, when I'm finished, I'm generally pretty pleased with the result.

(Yes, even my eyes go a little buggy when I look at this.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Power of One

When I first started blogging I didn't think anybody would read what I wrote. I didn't think anybody would care. 

Boy, was I wrong. 

Blogging has brought me a new life, and some of the best friends a person could ever ask for. It's easy to forget though, as I write my posts, that although I have a regular "readership" who leave comments, there are a lot of other readers I never know about. Earlier this week I got this email from Valerie whose beautiful email reminded me of the power of One.

Her letter left me awed, humbled and speechless.  Here it is.



Hello Lynne,
Greetings from Nova Scotia. 
I wanted to take a quick moment to thank you. I have been following your blog for a while now and enjoy it so much!!

You see...
Because you blog I have daily inspiration. I am never alone. Your blog has taken me to other blogs and my view has expanded enormously. Links are wonderful things!
 
 
Because you blog I have permission to play. I can make whatever I want. I can cut off points and allow myself to embrace my own imperfection. The process has become so exciting. I have photos of pieces during construction that are more exciting to me than the finishes.
 
Because you blog I am challenged to try new things. I can make letters and can build cows, dogs and even motorcycles.


Because you blog the new things I try are fresh, fun and exciting. I had long ago gotten bored with traditional patchwork but now once again have a fire within in me to push beyond what ever I did last time. I am excited and motivated.
 
 

Because you blog I am creating things that inspire others to create things. Physical objects exist in my home and in the homes of people I care about because of you.

Because you blog the circle continues and we all grow.

Thank you for your blog. 

Valerie

~~~

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NH Modern Quilt Guild

I attended the NH Modern Quilt Guild meeting last night. My quilts don't fit in any category, but the quilts I make as gifts tend to be more modern, so I thought I'd visit a meeting and see. Everyone was nice and friendly (I am sorry that I can't remember very many names). I do remember the name of the lady sitting next to me, Renee, who while introducing herself remarked that she was a true believer in hand quilting. I piped up, "Well you can keep it." It drew a big laugh. I know very few quilters who actually have the time to hand quilt all the quilts they make. In fact, if I had had to hand quilt every quilt I made I would have given up quilting long ago. (Oh wait, that's exactly what happened 30 years ago...) I admire anybody with the persistence, time and determination it takes to hand quilt a large bed quilt. I hope I didn't hurt your feelings, Renee.

I brought six quilts. Three "modern" ones... the new red, white and blue Sliced quilt,

The bright Sunburst Rainbow (I actually drove to my Mom's house and asked if I could borrow it. I felt a bit guilty because she was lying under it.)
and my own Red Sticks.

Next I showed three of my word quilts, starting with Nine x Nine,
and the two Rules quilts, the White Rules...
and the Black Rules.
They were very well received.

I had a good time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Inspiration

I did not make this quilt. Valerie from Nova Scotia did. She has been reading my blog for a while and wrote me the most wonderful letter telling me how much I inspire her.

It made my day, week, month, let me tell you. I blog in the privacy of my own home, and often forget there are lots of readers out there who read every word.

I'll include more of Valerie's letter tomorrow, but one of the things she wrote was "Because you blog I am challenged to try new things. I can make letters and can build cows, dogs and even motorcycles."

This quilt is wonderful, happy and fun. I love what Valerie did with the off center borders, love the dog, the houses, the placement of the hearts... I love the whole thing. Well done!

Thank YOU Valerie, for letting me know the hours I spend in front of the computer sharing everything really matters.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sliced is Finished

The red, white and blue Sliced quilt is finished, and will be soon be flying to my little nephew for whom it was made.

I'm sure he'll love it to bits.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Signature


This doesn't have the strong contrast that black and white usually has, but I didn't want that. I wanted this to be a bit more low key.  Next up I have to make the date.

Btw, do you have any idea how frustrating it is to line up black and white fabrics with a ruler that has black lines? (And don't tell me to use the ones with yellow or green lines because I don't find those accurate at all.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Back to Back to Back

I like to choose the right backings for my quilts. I never use whatever I have left hanging around unless it's perfect for the quilt. (You never know what you've got...)

So here is the backing, binding and hanging sleeve for the Mashed Potato Low Volume Crayons quilt.
As you can see I chose an equally low volume print for the backing and I used the same fabric for the binding as I did for the hanging sleeve.

Here is the fun bright backing, hanging sleeve and binding for the Bright Crayons:
Yes it's over the top, but it's also fun. It was in my stash, as was the fabric for the hanging sleeve and the binding.

Here is the relatively plain backing for the Black Crayons. You can see I used the mid-century modern print for the hanging sleeve.  This I did have left over, and I felt it was appropriate. For the binding, I used a print of color crayons on a black background.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Four Crayons

My friend Julie asked if I had lined up all the Crayons quilt and looked at them all together. I didn't. I don't have a wall big enough. Brenda asked if I could put them all in one post so everybody could compare.

Here they are. As I am writing this, I have two rows of two photos in each row so you can almost see all four together. Let's hope Blogger cooperates!

Left: "Mashed Potato" (Low Volume) Crayons 
Right: Bright Crayons

.


Left: Black Crayons
Right: Black & White Crayons

For the record, I'm done. There will be no more Crayons quilts.  



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Black & White Crayons Flimsy Compete

In the end, I decided to add the small contrasting border because I felt it helped define the edges of the quilt and emphasized the contrast of the black against the white, which is what this quilt is all about.


Seeing the quilt on a neutral background, like in the photo above, really shows the benefit of the border. Seen against a white wall, (below) the quilt does look off center, because you lose the edge.

Both vertical halves of the quilt(without the border) are the same width - 20". The border was cut 3" wide, but that will trim down a bit when the binding is added. I'm going to use an irregular black and white striped fabric for the binding, sewn crosswise, like piano keys. And for added interest, I have the fabric in both "colorways" - more black than white, and more white than black. Guess which one I'm going to sew where?


The quilt is 43-1/4" x 55-1/2" (110 x 141cm), has 52 different black and white fabrics, 10 different WOWs and 9 different BOBs.

I love this version of the Crayon Quilt series... and check out the backing and hanging sleeve fabric I have selected. (My son said to me once: "You know one of the things I love about you Mom? When you go over the top, you keep going.")



You know how much I love black-and-white, don't you?


Did you know that every cat I have ever owned has been black-and-white? (This is Millie.)

No Fooling!