Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Four Backs

i had such a clever title planned for this post--"the four tops" but the photos of the tops were blurry and two of them are already basted, so here's a pix of the four backs instead.

i gotta say, if i was rich, i would buy those 108" backing fabrics and send out all my quilts to be quilted--i hate this part of the process--so tedious. but alas, i'm not, rich that is, so i pieced together all 4 of the backs and am in the midst of basting them. two of them are a nice size (70" wide) but the other 2 are monsters over 90" wide--i'm not even sure if they'll fit in my living room floor to baste!

i do think though--there's a lot of value in piecing the backs--that i'm almost glad i'm forced to do it. the backs are so much more interesting when you piece them together and you get to use up miscellaneous bits of fabrics that are nice, but not good enough to actually use for the top. i have had the odd experience of someone preferring the back of my quilt to the front--not sure how to take that!

the top backing (the yellow & white one) is made of fabrics that over 10 years old--they are marimekko, which i bought from crate & barrel. C&B had an outlet store where they had a barrel full of fabric scraps and sold it for like $1.oo/lb. one of the first quilts i ever made was with scraps from that barrel (i have a non-digital picture of it somewhere--not very exciting though). these scraps are ones that i've carried around (3 moves since then) and in fact, last year, i gave them to my mom. she however, is about to move, so had a box of scraps to give to my sister, who was going to take them to her daughter's school for crafts. so i rescued them and am finally using them!

so yes, i guess it's good to be forced to do the boring parts of quilting :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Farmer's Market

i bought this as a kit from PIQF 2008 and am finally getting around to it. the pattern is called Contra Dance from the Straight to the Point series ( Designs) --where you piece in straight rows, cut the top; resew it and voila--you get an on-point setting for the quilt. it's a really clever idea though i'm not sure how in love i am with the project. (i'll reserve my comments for until the quilt is completely done and i show it).

so here i am, merrily cutting away (i use iron-on interfacing for the cutting line--which helps the bias edge to not get stretched out) when....

yup--you probably guessed it, i cut another block accidentally. AARGH!!!

here's another shot. sigh. it comes from not spreading out the fabric carefully and trying to rush the job.

luckily the block was 1) at the side, and2) was one of the big fabric blocks (no piecing) so it wasn't too hard to fit it back in. and also luckily, the kit was very generously cut so there was plenty of fabric to squeeze back in.

all done (again). it's added to the stack of quilt-tops ready to be basted and quilted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jelly Roll Sampler #6

i think the hardest part of this quilt-along is downloading the photos in a timely manner (which is also why i'm not a very good blogger). this is #6 and designed by Nanette who has the greatest blog --i always love her fabric choices.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Merry and Bright Packages

i had to search around my blog for when i first wrote about this block--go figure, it was under the Happy Thanksgiving heading (?!) despite the obvious Christmas connection. i finally finished the quilt a month ago--ta daa!

this is Sandy Gervais' Merry and Bright line--i really like how it doesn't scream Christmas but uses other colors--like the turquoise and gold--and makes it a fuller line. and i like how the pattern doesn't scream "presents" but gives the illusion of wrapped packages.

and even more excitingly--this is the first quilt i've ever sold!

unfortunately, like most school districts in California, our school district is facing a huge budget deficit this coming year and as one of the many cuts, the school board decided to lay-off over 100 teachers and get rid of Class Size Reduction (CSR) which meant that Gr 1-3 would go back up to 30 students/class instead of the 20/1 ratio right now. this is a huge blow to our kids' education--even without studies (though studies do prove the point), it's obvious to any parent that a young child would do so much better in a smaller class where the teacher has the time to really get to know a student--my oldest is in 1st grade and i can see it for myself.

so anyways--long story short, a bunch of parents in our district, and especially at our school, banded together to raise money to save the teachers and CSR. due to union agreements and a massive effort by parents, we've almost reached our goal and it looks pretty sure that we'll save our teachers--hooray!

our school had a silent auction to raise funds--and the teachers graciously gave of their time and energy (one teacher auctioned a quilt class :-) and raised $3500. the parents in turn gave of their time and resources and we held a 2nd auction (results not yet announced)--so i donated this quilt and it sold for $120 :-) there were 2 parents who bid on it (coincidentally both from my son's classroom) --so i feel better that it wasn't necessarily "pity bids" but someone actually wanted it :-)

it's sad that we have to work so hard to raise money to educate our kids--but on the other hand, we're so blessed to have the resources to do so. i better get going on another quilt for next year--i don't think the budget crisis will be fixed by then :-(

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blocks of the week

Sunday was a nice day of sewing (and doing laundry) while paul takes care of the kids outside!

First up, was block #5 of the Jelly Roll Sampler. i'm really enjoying this quilt-along and am now more confident of joining others!

then #8 (i think) of the BOM i'm doing. it's a little faded out in the photo but the colors are pretty in person.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

3-1/2 pounds!

i finally finished piecing the top of my Dotty Dresden Plate quilt today--and since i don't like showing just quilt tops--i like showing the finished product--here are just some peeks.

the quilt is the cover quilt of the book Material Obsession and i decided to forego the red circles in the middle--and instead put prairie points on the border to mimic the blades of each plate. i think it turned out cute and it was fun to do prairie points which i hadn't done before.

but oh my, this quilt turned out to be a monster. it literally weighs 3-1/2 pounds! and measures approx 88" square (i also changed the setting from 6x4 to 5x5). it's extra heavy because of the applique work and the prairie points--so it's pretty much double the amount of fabric you would normally use for a quilt this size.

it's huge! i'm not looking forward to quilting it (with batting & backing it might be closer to 10 lbs when finished) but it's gonna be a beaut when done.