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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm feathering my nest!

We have a sofa and two chairs in our family room that are slipcovered.  Okay, so white might not have been the best choice for people who work in the print industry, but I love, love, LOVE my white slipcovered furniture!  We looked a long time to find these pieces as when we were buying them most of the furniture stores were loaded with heavy, dark Tuscany style furniture which is beautiful – in someone else’s house.  Me? I’m a blue and white and yellow person.  I like it light and airy!

However, the last time I pulled the slipcovers off to launder them, I had a major problem!  One of the cushion’s inner casing had split.  When I unzipped the slipcover, there were down feathers EVERYWHERE!  This is NOT a good thing. 

It looked sort of like this, only this is after stuffing several handfuls of feathers back into the casing!

I stuffed as many feathers as I could back inside and slip stitched the split together so the feathers could be vacuumed up.  Then another piece of fabric needed to be appliqu├ęd over the split to contain the feathers.  Definitely not the way I had things planned for the day!

Do you ever have days like that?  Days where you have your ducks in a row, but one of them just won’t stay in the row?  Do you handle it well?  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  Today it’s funny, but at the time?  Not so much!

I really DO like feathers -- especially the quilted type and I use them as often as possible in my quilts and quilted things.

This pillow is one of the first things I hand quilted for use in our home.  It’s sort of plain, but using the blue quilting thread helped me to work on even stitches.

Later when asked to teach hand quilting classes, I designed this fancier feathered heart.  It has not only feathers, but stipple quilting and cross hatch quilting as many quilters use these three types of quilting in their quilts.  I encourage new hand quilters to use matching thread just so they can be proud of their first project and not be hung up on the unevenness of their stitching.  With practice the even stitches will come.

Until next time.

Lois

Friday, April 22, 2011

Basket Case

So I promised you another basket quilt and I will deliver!


Several years ago I made this quilt that is called Cake Stand.  I wanted it to be bright and cheerful and it is.  Another name for this block is Basket and yet another name is Fruit Basket.  Most quilt blocks have multiple names so while my intent was not to make a basket quilt, that is what I ended up with by another name.


I have also been making progress on the scrap quilt for Jeff.  Again, using scraps of time, I have the rows “webbed” together.  I had hoped to sew some of the rows yesterday, but that was before the feathers escaped – that’s a story for another day! I have yet to decide if there will be a border.  What do you think?

We will have a houseful here for Easter and I need to give that some thought, too.  There will be lots of little bodies running amok in the house.  I bought the DVD of “Tangled for their viewing pleasure.  Hopefully it will keep their attention for a bit.  I haven’t seen it yet either, but my kitchen duties will probably keep me away from the TV.

So what are your plans for this weekend?  Hope they include family, friends and fun as well as the opportunity to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord.  Have a blessed Easter.

Until next time.

Lois

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't Put all your eggs in one basket!


Though these eggs are not in a basket, they are lovely, are they not?  Fresh eggs are the best!  These were given to m by my friend, Diane, who has chickens among other animals on her mini-farm in the city.  They were just too pretty not to photograph before using!

Actually putting all my eggs in one basket has never been a problem for me.  I’m usually spread all around the place with a finger in this and another in that.  It makes for a sort of schizophrenic hectic life, but at least it is rarely dull and I am NEVER bored!

Recently I was asked to be on the board of directors for the National Quilting Association, Inc. and I gladly accepted.  This is a very worthwhile organization which is not for profit and run completely by volunteers except for a small office staff to take care of the day to day things.  You can learn more about NQA by going to the NQA web site http://www.nqaquilts.org/   The NQA member magazine, The Quilting Quarterly is as fine a magazine as you will find and is a benefit of membership.

In honor of the Easter basket, I thought you might like to see this small basket quilt.  It was made using fabric from a 6” square fabric exchange.  There are two baskets made from each 6” square plus a neutral background fabric.  Just the basket portions used the exchange square.  It was a fun project and one I’ve taught at guilds who wanted to do a little challenge.



While I think basket quilts are charming, I’ve only made two of them.  The other one is quite different using bright fabrics.  When I have time, I will photograph it as there are no digital images of it on my computer.  There are a couple of weeks before Easter, so I will have time to show this one to you as well.

Have you made any basket quilts?  If so, I’d love to see them

Do you tend to stay focused on one thing or are you like me and “flit” from one thing to another?  Inquiring minds want to know! Do you like the new look of  my blog?

Keep stitching,
Lois