Sunday, July 25, 2010

Selvages, selvages everywhere!

Have you heard about the Process Pledge? Its a blogging idea that encourages bloggers to tell more about their creative process instead of just showing a picture of their final project. I just took the pledge and I thought I'd share a little about the process of making my selvage spiderweb blocks!

At this point in my creative process, my sewing room is a mess! There are several piles of selvages on the floor, on the ironing board and on my sewing machine cabinet. This pile is the largest. These are all the selvages I've used in the inner rings which still have more selvage to use.

I still have about half a tub of selvages to go before I start over on the pile. So far, I've only made 13 square blocks and if I'm really going to make this a bed size quilt, I have quite a few more blocks to make!

I've been following Tallgrass Prairie Studio's tutorial on how she adapted Quiltville's instructions to make a Selvage Spiderweb quilt. The slippery and shiny project I was working on has been put aside so I can concentrate on this quilt for a while. Looks like I'll soon be making a bridesmaid dress for my daughter so I want to get as far along as I can in the next week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cut down to size

First of all, I apologize about the quality of my photos. My excuse is that its been a hot humid day here!

Guess what I'm getting ready to do? It is very quilt related although you can't tell by this photo. Nothing against "Annie", by the way!

I finished the Custom Harvesting exhibit today so I'm getting ready to begin working on my selvage quilt! This is the quilt I'd like to make in a bed size so I'll be at this for awhile. The process for making the spiderweb selvage quilt involves paper piecing and when I do that, I like to use newsprint because it tears away so much easier than regular paper.

It means cutting the newsprint down to the size you need. In the past, I've also sent it through our printer to print the block design but that won't be needed this time. You can see I've already made the template for the piece of background fabric which will be between the spiderwebs. Its a little difficult to explain but I think you'll understand as it comes together!

And here are all of the selvages some very generous blog readers have sent me. Thank you so much! It would have taken me a lifetime to save this many. I'm not even sure this is enough but I should be able to tell how many more I might need as I begin piecing.

There is everything from chicken fabric to florals to reproduction to Kaffe Fasset and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Tomorrow, I'm planning to mark background fabric, cut and hopefully begin piecing so check back again soon to see my progress!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Elephant

I like plants but I don't necessarily have a green thumb. That's probably why I buy a lot of floral fabrics and as you see, floral wallpaper. My mother regifted me with this Angelwing Begonia plant gone wild. She called it "The Elephant" and I do have to admit that one stem could pass as an elephant's trunk!

So now it's mine to tame and its definitely time to do a little pruning back. Know anyone who wants to start an Angelwing Begonia? Actually quite easy to grow.

I hadn't noticed until I took the photo how this plant just blends into the wallpaper! Does that make it a wallflower?

I finished hand sewing the borders onto my tumbling block quilt today. I went with the dark brown borders because I like the contrast and I also already had the fabric! That was a big plus, just a little more fabric gone from my "resource center". Next step is hand quilting it but that may not happen until winter.

A few days ago, I purchased the light blue background fabric for my next selvage quilt! If I missed posting photos of your selvages, be sure to look for them in the blocks as I begin posting them soon!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Cut and paste, cut and paste. That's what I worked on today for the exhibit - cutting out titling, mounting and pasting. I like cutting and pasting but I'm starting to not be fond of the letter "e" and cutting out that little piece!

I decided to give myself a little break tonight and finish hand piecing my tumbling block quilt. Here are several choices for the borders. The sides will be one fabric and the top and bottom will be the other.

I don't think the camera is doing a very good job with the colors. The dark brown right side fabric in the lower picture is a little washed out.

Tell me what you think, would you use the dark brown or lighter brown? The top dark brown or the lower or none of the above?!?

I'm afraid that if I don't make up my mind soon it will join my other P.I.G.S. and may not see the light of day for months, years even! Only kidding, nothing resembling pork resides in my sewing room. Dust bunnies, yes I've got those but no pork. P.I.G.S. is cute way of saying Projects In Grocery Sacks and I've got more than a few of those!

So help me keep my sewing room grocery sack free and tell me which border fabric you'd choose!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Its been a long week

It sure feels like its been a long week of running errands here and there. We returned home from our July 4th. weekend trip on Monday and I didn't get to sit down to sew/quilt until Friday. Part of that was because I'm just not happy with my border fabric choice for the tumbling block little quilt. I'm auditioning another fabric for the border and am hoping to find one more fabric to add to it. What do you do when none of the fabrics you pick seem right?

Wondering what this photo has to do with quilting? As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with quilting. I'm putting together a museum exhibit about Custom Combiners and this is one of the photos I'll be using. I grew up in wheat growing country so I like this photo and hope you do too. I can almost smell the wheat dust! Just curious, has anyone else chewed wheat kernels to make gum?

I enjoy doing research and putting together exhibits. This time is a little different though because someone else has done the research and I'm putting their photos and text into an exhibit for them. This will take quite a bit of my time for the next two weeks so I'm probably not going to be making much progress on my quilting projects.

Do you think that kept me from starting something new? Ha. My next project involves hand piecing slippery, shiny pieces of fabric that measure one inch or less! This is a personal challenge to myself because I do not like sewing slippery, shiny fabrics. Its a reproduction of something I saw 2+ years ago and its now or never to try making it. If it turns out, I'll post a photo when I'm further along. If it doesn't turn out, I'll post a photo just to show you that not all my bright ideas are so bright!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just Tumbling Along

I'm back at work hand piecing the tumbling blocks for my little quilt. This is my first attempt at hand piecing and I've enjoyed the process but I have to say, I'm so thankful for my sewing machine!

I just cannot imagine what it must have been like to sew all your clothing, quilts and linens before the sewing machine. Probably, my family would have had very simple clothing and comforters, not quilts.

As you can tell in the picture, I've pieced the lower half of the little quilt together and tomorrow I hope to finish piecing so I can buy border fabric over the weekend. Its made entirely of Jo Morton fabric and I think its a charm quilt, no fabric repeats but there may be the same design in a several colorways. I say "think its a charm quilt" because as I was beginning to piece one of the rows together, I noticed a repeated fabric so I did a little ripping and stitched a new diamond in place.

I'm struggling a bit with the hand piecing and have the occasional hole in the middle of where the seams should join. I know the reason behind this is not stitching up to the 1/4" seam allowance even though I think I am! Considering this is my first hand pieced project, I think I am doing fairly well though.

This Kathleen Tracy pattern is from her book, "Remembering Adelia". She used two brown fabrics for the borders so I'm auditioning some brown fabric from my "resource center" to see if I like it. I may go with a completely different color but feel I need something darker in the borders to act as the frame around the quilt. Perhaps I will even have the top pieced by early next week!


Thank you, Betty for the disc of Missouri River Quilt Guild Quilt Show photos! I'm enjoying looking at them and finding lots of inspiration there!


Be sure to go to Loft Creations to vote for Viewer's Choice in the Parade of Strings! This string project challenge was why I began blogging back in January. Stephanie has included my "30 Years on the Fence" quilt in the choices to vote for Viewer's Choice. There are many great string projects there so go check it out!