Monday, September 24, 2012

NW Quilt Expo Part II - pictures

  Okay, we returned home, and I have pictures for you so I will try not to bore you with lots of words, but will feed you eye candy instead.
There was certainly some fabulous quilting to be seen.

I, myself, wouldn't spend my time on a rooster quilt, but the use of repros and those one inch squares was incredible. (Aren't repros just the happiest of fabrics - they just make me smile.)
This one was amazing - all about four inch squares reverse appliqued by hand of course.  Wowza!

So this quilt (above) was all raw edge applique - sorry it's a little fuzzy.  I really have mixed feelings about the whole raw edge thing - in general, I don't like it.  I think gluing a quilt together just isn't right.  I know I am old fashioned anyways, but I can't help but think - how will it hold up 100 years from now.  It is an absolutely stunning quilt.  I loooove the design, just not so much the method. Hmmm. 

And this one, is sooo a me quilt.  It is machine embroidered, but striking to see.  I don't know how many of you know, but you should not always fold your quilt in fourths.  This quilt is a great example of why not.  They become permanent folds after a while.  Quilts should be refolded every so often in order to avoid this - or better yet, rolled on a large tube.

This quilt fascinated me.  I thought I read that she quilted (whole cloth) then used fabric pastels to paint it.  Mr. LB thought it was painted then quilted.  Either way, what a work of art.
There were many smaller wall hanging art quilts.  I can appreciate the work that went into them, but they are not my thing.  There was one piece that was mostly metal with about a 3" square of quilted fabric in it.  It was an interesting piece of art, but it was not a quilt.  Not sure how I feel on that one.  I like the art factor as in the piece above, but it's still a quilt.  Even the peacock (above a couple of pix) is clearly a decorative piece, but again - still a quilt.  Am I totally off base on this?  The face of quilting is changing - "new" "modern" methods that save time are everywhere you look.  I find myself clinging to the old "put it in the hoop and quilt it" method.  I am nostalgic & romantic perhaps, but even if I only finish one real sized quilt a year, I know those stitches are going to be around for a long time.  I like the old slow method.  And of course, that is the method that brings me joy - each of us needs to follow our own heart in what we find enriching to our souls.  I get and encourage that - art it seems is a fading pastime.  Let us keep it alive as it is more than worthy of the time we spend on it.
Until next time,
Nimble Fingers & Even Stitches

Friday, September 21, 2012

Northwest Quilting Expo

We are heading out tonight to the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland, Oregon.  I went to the very first one (ahem) a couple years ago - okay, so this is their 12th year.  I can hardly wait - mental note "Remember camera, remember camera, remember camera."  I am considering participating next year rather than just attending, but I like to get a feel for what it's all about before entering a quilt in any show.  Am I weird or what?  This is the cover of the brochure, vendor list, class schedule and registration, etc.  On the cover are a couple of last years winners.  How cool! I can't believe I said that.  It's like I'm nineteen again.  Just a little giddy.  See you there!
Nimble Fingers & Even Stitches to you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Gift Idea

I have made these for years.  This set is for my aunt from my mom & somehow I am the one sewing:)  Did you know that the average American uses 7 trees worth of paper napkins each year?  That's just napkins not counting all the other paper 'stuff' we use.  I am not a freak, but I do like to do my part in trying to produce less garbage and do what I can to help the environment.  The shopping bags are a blast, buuuuut something else that is just as much fun is a set of cloth napkins.  I have a set for every holiday as well as a couple of extra sets just because.  I seldom use paper towels or napkins.  It's great, I don't run out & I get to play with fabric.  I will work backwards here to show you how.
First, decide how big you want your napkins.  For my everyday napkins, I make them about 15 inches square.  That makes it easy as far as figuring - you can get three from about 15 inches of fabric.  The width of fabric varies a little so I just measure and divide by three.  Depending upon the fabric, sometimes they are only 14.5 inches square.  That's fine too.  More formal napkins are usually a little larger - maybe 18-20 inches square.  At that measurement, you get 4 out of a yard to yard and a quarter of fabric with a strip left over to put in a table runner - see a bonus either way.
Once you have decided and have your fabric cut into squares, it is time to sew.  I have a rolled-hem foot for my old machine (okay, I hear you - one of my old machines.)  This makes it easy.  I just continue one right after the other then snip them apart and move on to side two.  You do want your finished edge to be at the bottom of your sewing edge as you work.  The unfinished edge is easier to feed into the foot.  When you get to the last side, you have to make a little rolled hem and place it under the foot to get it started - at least for this very small one.  Some of the rolled-hem feet make a little larger hem, and they seem to be a little easier to feed.  If you don't have the presser foot, you can just make a small rolled hem as you would on most sewing projects.  I have made hundreds of these, so I love my foot!  Now that's something you don't hear every day.
I like to frey check the corners when I am finished just for good measure, but that is entirely optional. 

I don't quite have this set finished yet - I'm getting there, but it is really cute fabric so I am enjoying it.  Just think, another excuse reason that is to buy fabric (and help save a tree too.)  Have a beautiful day.
As always, Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vintage Linens: Focus, Edit, Forward

Just wanted to share a little bit with you.  I have been cleaning out the sewing/fun room.  After having the epiphany that just because I like something, doesn't mean I will do something with it. I have decided to part with A BUNCH of vintage linen and lace pieces.  This will allow me to focus my efforts on those things I enjoy most (quilting:)  Nearly everything in our home is a deeper richer color.  I have no pink, blue, or primary colors (with the exception of one small room that is a buttery yellow, if you want to count that.)  I just adore and appreciate those hand tatted and crocheted laces.  And the embroidered pictures on doilies - they're entirely charming.
I was asking myself, "Self, why do you like these?"  Self rambled on for a really long time - won't bore you with that, but the fact that someone put effort into making something pretty - and that something was most likely appreciated by many.  Did you get that?  They made something, didn't buy it, order it, or expect it from someone else - they made it. They put thought and effort into it.  Those are French knots in the photo above.  Beautiful!

I think that's why I like quilting & more specifically, hand quilting.  It reminds me of a time when things weren't expected, they were worked for, they were a rarity.  If you have ever known anybody who has lived through the depression, they can tell you.  They made their own undergarments - wow! how boring.  I am so thankful to have the privilege to work on something pretty and fun.  So, with all that, my collection is going on a major diet(editing.)  I have posted a bunch in my etsy shop, and I am not finished.  I will probably be posting them over the course of about a week.  If you like linens take a peek.  If there are several you are interested in, you might email me before you purchase them - I might be able to help on shipping cost if buying multiple items.  It's crazy that one little item costs almost as much to ship as several in the same size pkg.
So, I am cleaning house and moving forward - need to get busy on that Cathedral Window quilt.  Only need 9 more yards of background - whew!  Heading over to the Walla Walla Quilt show tomorrow.  I bet I'll be able to find a yard or two there.
Until next time Nimble Fingers & Even Stitches

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Whole Shabang!

It's probably not proper to begin a post with an apology, but I am anyhow.  One would think by my stage of life that I would have figured out how to take a strait picture, but nope not me.  I am just so good at crooked pictures:)

There is a little something to this quilt that isn't apparent at first glance.  Part of the label reads:
 In this quilt you will find,
Lots of luck of every kind.

13 Hats 13 #13’s 7 Pennies

13 Bats 13 Ghosts 7 # 7’s

13 Cats 13 Spiders 7 Winks

13 Black Pearls 13 Scary Sounds 7 Strands of Jewels

13 Black Blooms 13 Jack-o-lanterns 7 Shooting Stars

13 Brooms 13 Fabrics 7 Horseshoes

13 Full Moons 7 Keys

Okay, so the columns didn't copy and paste just right, but it's all there.  You can find all of those things in this quilt.  If you do the math, that's 218 'things.'

This leeetle guy is my mom's favorite.  She loves that he has his weee leeetle chains to go with him.  She likes the little jack-o-lantern also. I like the black blooms.

For some reason, with each quilt there are things that are just fun and things that are just a challenge.  The spiders in this quilt were a blast for me.  The brooms were my challenge.

Notice the little spider family at the bottom.  You had a bit of a preview of some of these.

You don't want to squish this spider - eeew!  Better just to get the vacuum.

I love these goofy faces.

That would be a broom key not a room key:)

So this has been the object of an hour or two of my time over the past week.  It is heading off to show this afternoon.  Wish me luck.
Until next time,
Nimble fingers & even stitches.