Saturday, December 24, 2011

Late Fall 2011

 Keeping quite busy this fall, leading into Christmas time.  My sister dropped off several quilt tops following a pre-holiday quilting frenzy.  First is a top designated for her grandson, a HUGE Packer fan.  Another Packer quilt is on the long arm now, but will be delivered some time later--a family emergency has put these on the back burner (she won't be able to bind them before Christmas, so she's going to deliver them sometime in the new year).

Next is a top for her granddaughter, a sweet pink dots quilt.  This one was super-easy to make, and just a ton of fun! I quilted it up with "3s and Es", which is pretty and fast to do, so it makes it one of my favorite all-over patterns to use.  I used the same pattern for the Packers quilt and again on another quilt for my sister's neighbor.

Then there was the emergency quilt for Linda, who is terminally ill.  At the time, we knew she was ill and my sister decided to go visit with her for a week, but the week has turned into a month as they make arrangements for her comfort in her final days.  The color on this photograph is not great, and it's hanging on another quilt on the wall, which makes it difficult to see where one quilt stops and another one starts.  I'm working on finding a new place to display finished quilts for photographing.  Hers has a black border, then a blue and purple checked border, then the black binding.  Tara picked up the quilt just before getting on the plane to fly out to be with her.

Just before Thanksgiving, I was given a stack of quilts to work on some antique quilts.  These were made by Tina's grandmother, all sewn by hand, all fabrics from her scrap bag.  There's a little bit of everything in these--dress materials, shirtings, kitchen towels, bedsheets, feed sacks...just everything.  It's like a "Kitchen Sink" quilt.  How's that for just coining a new phrase?  Two of the quilts look like this one--squares on point.

The third one is this much more complex hexagon pinwheels, again, all sewn by hand, all different fabrics.  Her plan is to have all these finished to be able to distribute to family members as completed heirlooms.  Tina does not sew except by hand, and completing seven of these quilt tops would be extraordinarily difficult to finish by the holidays, or any time next year.

At the last minute, I got a call from Margaret, a mom from my kids' school, who needed a quilt finished up for her sister ASAP.  She dropped it off on Thursday, I quilted up most of it that day then had to get a new spool of thread for the back (I was about 1 foot square short of completing it), and finished it up on Friday for her to pick up before the end of the school day.  Since this quilt was all green and leafy, she asked for a leaf pattern to be quilted all over the top.  I pulled the birch leaf pattern out of my repertoire and covered the surface with leaves.

The other thing I've starting doing is card weaving.  In the SCA, there is quite the demand for woven and embroidered trims. Although this may not be a documentable pattern (called "Ram's Horn"), it is plausibly period design using a period technique.  I don't have a plan for all these pieces, so I'm considering partnering up with a merchant to sell them on consignment.  I'm not a merchant and don't have enough wares to justify sitting at a table all day, but those who do and love it can earn a few bucks by having a few extra pieces in the shop...a little more variety.  I think of it as a win-win.

Here is my loom set up with a lovely piece that is also finished with a simple six forward-six back weave.  It created a gorgeous pattern on the top and an equally beautiful pattern on the back.  I'll have to do some more in different colorways.  I recently picked up some non-heraldic colors that I'm anxious to get into, although I need to replace a few of the colors I'm running low on, like red and green.

Right now I'm experimenting with a new weaving pattern that is documentable--a Saxon threaded-in pattern that alternates weaving the even and odd numbered cards, creating a narrower band, but is twice as thick.  This makes it a more complex pattern but it also is nice to have a documented design that I can put on a garment or enter into competition.

Hope you all have a great holiday--whatever you celebrate--and a fantastic new year!