Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pins, pins, something pretty

I went to an antiques fair last weekend.

When I go to antique fairs I always have my eye out for something related to women's domestic work; i.e. cooking, sewing, decorating etc....  Since I collect old books (see post It's All Women's Work) fairs are usually my best resource for good stuff.  This fair however was a bust for books, but I did find this lovely Limonge pin dish, circa 1920 for what I think was a great price, $26.

My photograph of course doesn't do it justice (I really have to get better at this....).  It's a beautiful deep cobalt blue with gold ferns on the bottom of the dish.  It's the perfect size too for those long, glass topped pins I adore.

It has found a home next to my sewing machine among other 'vintage' sewing items that I still use for their intended purposes.  I know a pin cushion might be a bit more practical, but I don't care.  I just love this little dish.  I'm really glad I found it.

And I really need to take my photography on this blog up a notch.  I'm a pretty good photographer, really I am.  But it seems every picture I upload here is garbage.  I want my pictures to look like Gigi's on The Magpie's Fancy.  Absolutely everything she posts looks like a magazine spread.  I suppose I have something to aspire to.....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Introducing - FINALLY....

Now that my dearest cousin Maureen (who I have not seen in person for at least 20 years) has received the quilt I've been promising her for at least 20 years, I can post a picture of it here.

I named it FINALLY for obvious reasons.  Sorry Maureen it took 20 years to get to you.  Blame it on the mail.

This is my first broken star quilt (I have a thing for stars....) and really enjoyed working on it.  Maureen gave me her color choices and trusted me to decide on the rest.  This photograph was taken at my groups last quilt retreat in Oct 2010 and all the quilting was done at that point - I still needed to add the binding.  The star elements were entirely hand pieced.  It is both machine and hand quilted (hand quilting around and within the star).  I used off white thread for most of the quilting but used variegated purple thread in some of the decorative elements that you can't see in this picture.

I'm so glad she now has it.  Looking at the photo brings back wonderful memories not only of its creation and all the meetings and retreats it went to with me, but the great memories of our childhood together I remembered while making it.  Some people, some friends, stay in your life forever.  That's how I feel about my cousin Maureen.

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Finished Project and a Few in the Works

Since I haven't posted in weeks and weeks (work has been way too busy...) I thought before the few people who follow my blog get truly bored and walk away, it might be a good time to post pictures of a completed project and a few that are tops only right now.

First, this is my 1923 Stars quilt.

It got it's name because all the star blocks were either hand pieced or machine pieced on my 1923 Singer hand-crank vintage sewing machine.

Its a scrappy kind of quilt though the fabric was purpose purchased for this project.

They are all constructed with variegated colored fabric so it has a sort of solid but not solid look. This is a large quilt made for my then king sized bed. The star blocked are hand quilted and the rest machine quilted.

I wanted the back of the quilt to stay white even though I used variegated colored thread. This was a challenge and meant playing a lot with the tension. It worked out well in most places. Only the truly dark thread makes an appearance in places but overall I think it worked.

The 'feathers' were all machine quilted on-the-fly, meaning no marking. I wanted them to have an organic feel so I liberally repeated in areas I felt needed more fill.

The next quilt is my first attempt at a Civil War reproduction style quilt. I call it Yankee Times because one I'm from NY and two now that I live in Australia Americans are called 'Yankees' here. It seemed a fitting name.

Its made mostly with reproduction fabrics though some are just discount fabrics I found here and there that fit the look of the era. It's a simple 9 patch with blocks set on the diagonal, though you can't really see that here.

I had a bugger of a time with the directional fabric ensuring I pieced it correctly and that it ran in the right direction. The lovely muted floral fabric I've had forever and only had enough to finish this project. When I purchased it, it was a very out of the ordinary purchase for me because I'm a bright and moderns sort of woman. I guess my sub-conscience must have known this quilt was in my future. Right now it's only a top because I don't know if I want to hand or machine quilt it. Any suggestions?

And lastly, this is my Longing for Autumn maple leaf quilt. I made it because I miss the colors of fall so beautiful in New York that Australia just doesn't have.  I've always wanted to do a maple leaf and this one is in 18 inch blocks all hand pieced. It's a monster in size! And now that I have a queen sized bed instead of a king its really going to hang over the edges.

It's pinned right now though I don't know yet how I'm going to quilt it. The back is made up of left over fabric I used for the leaves and plain off white.

OK, that's it for this post! I hope you enjoyed the picture show.