Sunday, July 31, 2011

Project Runway - The Dragon Quilt

This quilt project was a bit like one of those reality shows - Project Runway, Top Chef, Design Star.  The contestants get a few materials and work from there.  Tim Gunn tells them to "Make it work."

A woman I work with had some fabric left over from recovering her dining room chairs.  She mentioned that she liked the print so much and she wanted to have a quilt made from the scraps.  I happily volunteered to sew one up for her and suggested we go shopping together for additional fabric.  No, she said, she would buy some and bring it in.  Here are my materials:

The scraps - gray dragons on white background

Cherry blossoms with green and black background - Also orange sun (or moon?)!

Japanese ladies with blue dresses and pink flowers

I began by fussy cutting the dragons from the scraps.

Then I began a long process of trying to make these fabrics she loved all work together.  My friend, Barbara, had a pile of Asian fabrics that she offered to the project which were essential to the final result.

And gradually I made a quilt.  I learned a lot along the way (metallic thread is not my favorite) and my friend at work was THRILLED with her gift.  It was well worth the effort and, I gotta admit, just the sort of thing I like to do.  Figure it out and make it work.

The front - hand and machine quilting

The back - she wanted the dragons and the ladies separated.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Paddle to Swinomish

The local Swinomish Tribal Community is the host this year for the Salish Sea Canoe Journey.  Native Americans from up and down the West Coast travel in to celebrate and share heritage and traditions.  The longboat canoes are spectacular pieces of art but they are truly seaworthy and the paddlers can get them going really fast.

A few of us rowers got together on the day that many of the canoes were arriving. We lurked about, taking pictures and eating watermelon.  We considered saluting the canoes with our oars, but I couldn't get my oar up on end.  Too heavy!  What a wimp...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tumbler Pillow

The tumbler block is an old fashioned classic quilt design and I have been wanting to make something out of it.  I also wanted to make a pillow for my mother-in-law's bed, something to go with her new comforter and pillow shams.

I stumbled across this tutorial which saved me from having to figure out the proportions.  It is a 20 inch pillow with an envelope back.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Ray hangs around with Daniel, who has a cool Navy dad so when Dave suggests going to an airshow, he finds some takers pretty easily. Dave and the boys recently went to an airshow in Arlington and saw Steve there, working but pretty happy to be around all of the aircraft.  Steve is now a Commanding Officer for the Northwest Navy Recruiting District but we all still think of him as a Navy pilot. 

The mirror sunglasses seem to appear for airshows only. We all went to a Canadian airshow two years ago and there were younger faces behind the mirrors.  Also Donna... Hi, Donna!

One reason I post these older pictures, besides the enjoyment I get out of seeing the changes in Ray, is that the blog serves as a backup for photos.  I do have a portable hard drive and a Flickr account but if the house were to burn to the ground, we would have a lot of motorcycle photographs on Flickr and not much else.  Resolving to store my hard drive away from home and getting another photo storage site activated and updated doesn't make it happen.  At least I pay some attention to the blog.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Small Projects

I was playing with scraps and made some pincushions.  The first one was made with paper pieced hexagons, just to try out the technique.  I can see how it would only appeal to some but I like needle and thread hand sewing (as long as I have good light) so it was enjoyable for me.  The other two are scraps from the latest quilt, just pieced together then shaped into a square and circle.  All are stuffed with poly fiberfill; on my next trip across the Skagit Valley I will buy some lizard litter at Petco.  I have read that crushed walnut shells are better stuffing as it adds some necessary heft to the cushions.

I also made some beanbags (filled with popcorn) for juggling.  Ray was grounded from electronic screens for 24 hours and had to fill his time doing something.  The interest in learning to juggle did not last very long, but it was a mighty quick sewing project. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three Boys

Two years ago, Ray made a couple of new friends.  We had just moved in to our new house in a new town and these boys lived in the neighborhood. Within a few days, they found each other and became buddies.

They are a lot taller now and are still pals.  They will all go off to high school in the fall.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Square in Square Quilt - Part 2

This quilt was made from a layer cake, which is a stack of 10 inch fabric squares from the same designer line.  It is called Modern Workshop by Oliver + S for Moda Fabrics. I varied the placement of the squares just a bit to give it some movement.

The finished quilt is 48" x 55" and has a pieced back and a two piece binding.  I quilted it with an allover meandering stitch pattern.  It was my first attempt at free-motion quilting and it wasn't too bad.  The final product is acceptable and it was fun to do.  I learned it all on the internet.  What a resource!  Quilting on YouTube!  Good times...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Mountain Colors

This yarn is 25% mohair and the socks were feeling rather limp as I neared the end. I was ready to rip them out and use the yarn in a different project but my friend, Dianne, thought they were fine as is. Okay - some socks for Dianne. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Square in Square Quilt

I haven't been happy with the pictures of my latest quilt.  I also haven't been trying too hard to get more photos.  I need good light, no wind and motivation. 

The quilting and the border details show up well in these indoor shots.