Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 6

It was bound to happen. I had to break every damn rule and try to create totally unique letters based on my own handwriting. This piece, "Follow Your Bliss," is still unfinished. I will finish it, and I really love that "w".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 7

In 2009 I made an alphabet sampler quilt, Letters From Home. It is in Tonya's book, Word Play Quilts. The quilt has traveled to Tennessee (to be quilted), to Washington state (to be photographed) and to Houston Texas (to be at Quilt Festival). This is Tonya holding it.

I'm showing it today, because today, it is traveling back home to me in NH. You can click this photo, and then click again for lots of detail. I am (as we say here in New England) wicked proud of this quilt.

Check this out: You can see preview pictures here, and my quilt is among them!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 8

Tonya was sick last year, and some of her friends made blocks for a quilt. This was my contribution.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 9

My son said I couldn't put "Love, Mom" on the back of his Sunshine quilt. So I left kisses instead.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 10

SLITHER is a very short, but very fat word. The individual letters are 2-1/2" tall and they average about 7-1/2" wide. The word is over 48" long. It's in Tonya's Slither Eek Boo quilt.

You can click the photo, and then click again to enlarge to see this properly. This word panel was very meticulously planned.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 11

I am very thankful to the Cat Blogosphere for changing my life. I adopted Millie, Millie met Monty, and we became part of their family.This is a kitty quilt representing the love of Millie and Monty. By this time I was -very- comfortable making Tonya's letters.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 12

This is a good example of how when you find yourself going over the top, you should just keep going. One rubber ducky in a letter was cute, but lots of rubber duckies was cuter! This was a swap quilt for Susan, who asked for an aqua quilt for the bath. I picked the fabrics to look like water.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 13

I made these letters for a small alphabet sampler for Doll Quilt Swap 4. I was very comfortable making letters when I made these.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 14

This quilt, made for my goddaughter, was a big turning point for me. I really got the knack of making letters, and it was my first totally free-pieced quilt.

I was working under a deadline, (which I hate), and my plans kept changing as I got new ideas, (which drove me crazy at the time), but I love this one.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 15

I had a great idea for a baby quilt I was making for a little girl, and it involved letters. The idea wouldn't go away, so I had to follow it. Here is the start. I really didn't like the "R" and later changed it to the way I make "R's" now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 16

I included my nephew's name in a train for his quilt. I was still pretty new to making letters.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Word Play Countdown... 17

I am very excited about Tonya's book, Word Play Quilts, which is being released December 7. To celebrate, I have decided to have a countdown of free pieced letters.

Here are the first free pieced letters I made.
I hated them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

True Fox

I took the Fox outside this morning, and tried to get a good picture, but the sun was already too bright. It bleached out the dark blue, so I will have to try again later, when the sun doesn't shine directly on the fence. (Now that I've got nails in the fence to hold the rod, it will be much easier to do this again!) (actually this looks fine on my laptop).
The colors in this photo of the Fox are very true to real life on my desktop pc, (on the laptop it's a bit orange), and you can see Chris's lovely quilting. I was at Quilted Threads yesterday showing it off. They loved it.

Here's another attempt, taken in the early afternoon. The colors are spot on. The dark background looks good, and the colors glow. You can click the photo to enlarge. (Again, the quilt is 48" wide by 57" tall)

Of course, if you are ever in New Hampshire, USA, get in touch, and you might get a chance to see it in real life!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Quick Brown Fox

It's all done. I think it's much prettier in real life. The colors are rich, the dark blue is VERY dark, and the orange-y binding just glows. It looks rather pitiful in this photo, taken inside with a flash in bad light. I'll try to take some pictures outside in the next few days, so keep checking back.I started this quilt on January 2, 2010; worked fairly constantly on it until I took a three week break in February (to finish Devon's quilt). After that I worked for another month until I took 2 weeks off to visit family in Maryland. When I got back, I worked on Helen's Rules quilt, made a version of the Rules for Tonya, and finished the top in early May of this year.

It hung on my wall all summer while I made No Rules for Julie, and then the Fox and No Rules traveled to Tennessee to be quilted by Chris.

It came back from Chris a month ago, and waited patiently while I worked on Nine x Nine (my color words flimsy.)

Now it's all done, all signed, and it's Mine! I'm keeping this beauty!

details: 57" tall x 48.5" wide (145 x 123 cm). Completely original, designed by me, no patterns, (no, there will -never- be a pattern), no templates, no paper piecing. Free pieced letters inspired by Tonya.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fox Finish!

I've finished sewing the binding on the Quick Brown Fox. I still have to finish sewing the hanging sleeve, so hopefully that will be done tonight.I work hard to make sure my quilts are "square:" all four corners perfectly 90 degrees, the length of the sides is equal, and that the quilt likes perfectly flat. It's a nice feeling when it's folded in quarters (like above) and the corners and edges all match up.

Millie, as always, is giving the quilt a thorough Quality Assurance inspection.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not Lazy

I've sewn the binding of The Quick Brown Fox across the top, down one side, and now I am halfway across the bottom. I always (always!) start handsewing the binding down about a foot away from a corner. That way, when I turn the fourth corner, I get the pleasure of "sewing down the home stretch."I'm not -supposed- to sew more than, say 24-30" at any time because of the arthritis in my hand, but I always do. I start sewing the binding, and I am so eager to get the quilt finished, that I always do more than I should. So, after I massage my thumb with ice (NO! It is NOT fun. It does NOT feel good. It hurts and I stop when I am on the verge of tears), I go to bed and give the hand a rest.

I am -SO- in love with this quilt!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back to Back

I like to take pictures of the back of my quilts. The is the back of my colors quilt.You can click the photo to enlarge, and then click again for more detail. And yes, all my quilts are this neat on the back.

Speaking of back... here is the fabric I have chosen for the backing of the quilt.

I am stuck on a name for this quilt. I like "Nine by Nine" but it doesn't really tell anything about it. I can just hear viewers "nine by nine what?" So I am still thinking.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's a Color, It's a Word, It's a Flimsy!

The last couple of evenings I have been adding fabric strips to the ends of the word panels, and then trimming them to make sure they are perfectly straight.

before sewing them together.
Now it's a flimsy, and it measures about 42-1/2" by 50" (113 x 127cm). I will trim the top and bottom down a bit. Right now the white space above NIGHTHAWK and below CHOCOLATE is 4" (10 cm) and that's too big.
I've squared it up and I stay-stitched the flimsy all around. Next I will get the backing ready, and it will go out to Chris next week.

Oh, you want to see the backing fabric, do you? Well my son said he would never have chosen it, "but it's perfect;" and the camera battery died, so it's charging.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Binding & Hanging

When I was finishing up the Fox this past summer, Helen suggested I use an orange-y batik for the binding. This week I have been making binding, and the hanging sleeve. Helen, honey, you were right on with this color for the binding. I love it!

I am always very particular about the backing fabric for my quilts. I never just use whatever I have hanging about. I feel the same way about the fabric I use for the hanging sleeves. Since I make art quilts and not bed quilts, I always need a sleeve. I was debating what to use for the back of the Quick Brown Fox, and then my friend Julie solved my problem. She uses the leftover fabric from the backing, since Chris, our longarm quilter asks for an extra 6" all around.

I read that post and thought, "D'oh!"

So my hanging sleeve will be the same fabric as the backing. I've made it, and attached the top edge to the quilt. Now I will enjoy handsewing the binding down over the next few evenings as I "watch" tv. Although I don't know what to watch now that Project Runway is over for the season.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Either Or

I really like this arrangement of the colored words. It is reminiscent of a sunset. (It's the same one that is on the wall in this post.)

I'm not sure about the two lightest words - CHAMPAGNE and GOLDENROD. I'm a little worried they may look like a "hole" in the middle of the quilt. There's not much I can do about CHAMPAGNE anyway. It's color value is very close to the background, and photos just make it look worse. It's not going away, so as Tim Gunn says, I have to "Make it work!"

So I played with my paper strips, and tried looking at the colors in a light-to-dark arrangement. (and actually I worked it out before Davenandlo suggested it.)

It is a distinct possibility. I have to try it with the real strips, but I have been busy adding the binding and hanging sleeve to the Quick Brown Fox.

Of course, Millie has been helping.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This is Tonya Ricucci, author of Word Play Quilts, and creator of the wonderful free-pieced alphabet. She's holding my quilt, Letters From Home, which is going to be in the book. This photo was taken at Quilt Festival (Quilt Market?) in Houston, at the Martingale booth.

Woo hoo! The book comes out December 7th! I can't wait!

You can click the photo to enlarge, then click it again for more detail. If you REALLY want to see detail, you can go here to see the full 8.4 MB photo and enlarge to your heart's delight!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How Do You...

How do you arrange the rows in a quilt when each row is over 40" long and to see them on your design wall, you have to go up and down a ladder?
The answer is, you find another way.
I printed a photo of all my colored words on a color printer, cut them apart, and then played with arranging them.I still haven't found a solution yet. But I'm much closer. And this is ever so much easier.

You thought I was joking, didn't you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Color, Squared

I finished the word CHOCOLATE, and moved the finished word blocks to the design wall in the dining room. They are arranged here in the order in which I made them. I'll think about how to arrange them, and play with various layouts.

After I moved them, I cleaned my sewing room. All the tables were covered in fabric and fabric bits, rules, notebooks and drawing ideas.Here are the "misfits" from the quilt. Misfits aren't bad letters, they didn't work out the way I expected/wanted them to.Next up: finish The Quick Brown Fox so I can hang it in my house for Thanksgiving.