Thursday, December 8, 2011

Phillipa Gregory

Phillipa Gregory is the author of many historical fiction books. Remember the movie a few years back, The Other Boleyn Girl? Phillipa wrote that book. I just finished The Red Queen, which takes place during the reign of Henry VI. It is written from the viewpoint of the mother of Henry VII.

Phillipa Gregory thoroughly researches her books, so even though they are fiction, they are a good reflection of the time period she is writing about. The Red Queen tells about how Henry VII's mother worked to get him on the throne. We thought political intrigue and maneuvering was something that just happened in our time. The things that happened in the 1400's make some of the stuff happening today look tame.

You have to be a lover of historical fiction to enjoy Phillipa's books. But if you do, you are in for a treat of well-written, well-researched books.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More babies!

My sister-in-law gave birth to the twins early Friday morning. Heidi, Austin, and mom are doing well. Now, I have to get going on their quilts. They live in Texas, so there is no hurry. I'm an aunt again and I love it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Graduation Quilt

I'm diligently working on Carly's graduation quilt. I doing a quilt called Bullseye from the book Quilts with Aunt Amy by Country Threads. I've got all of the circles appliqued and I've re-cut the blocks. I'll have the top done in no time, but it will take awhile before I get it quilted. If quilts would just baste themselves, I'd have them quilted in no time.

I thought I was going to have to buy backing fabric for the twins quilts, but then I remembered a piece I had in my stash--tan with red and blue flowers. It will be perfect. So far, I've only had to buy the red. I'm really trying to work within my stash. Now on to basting and quilting. Pics soon, I promise.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Flange correction

When I first posted the tutorial on flanges, I said the strips were cut 2". They are cut 1" so they finish about 1/4". I did go back and edit my post, but I just wanted to make everyone aware.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flanges on quilts

Here are the promised pictures of how I put flanges on quilts.

This picture shows the 1" cut strip and the strip pressed in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. When I joined more than one strip together, I use a diagonal seam.

Here is the flange basted onto the edge of the quilt. I baste it using an 1/8" seam allowance. I like to baste the flange on so it stays put when I add the border.

This shows the border with the flange. A very nice touch of color.

At the corners, I just overlapped the flanges.

Here you can see the two lines of stitching--the basting stitches for the flange and the regular seam for the border. By using an 1/8" seam allowance for basting, it's covered by the border seam so I don't have rip anything out! I plan on putting a red flange on the quilt before I put a blue binding on it.

I hope you try a flange on your next quilt!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quilts for family

The last three days I've been working on quilts for family members. My brother and his wife are expecting twins, pretty much any day now. I'm making quilts for them. They are red, white, and blue because my brother is retired Air Force and my sister-in-law is still in the Air Force. I used the same fabric in each, but they have a different designs. I'm putting a flange on them before I add the border. It's just a 2" strip of fabric, pressed in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. I baste the flange on with an 1/8" inch seam allowance before adding the border. Hopefully, I'll have pictures to post tomorrow.

The other quilt is one for my niece's graduation. I figure if I start it now, I should have it done by June. It's going to be done in 30's fabrics, which are her favorite fabrics. It's looking good so far!

Last night, at the Lodi Guild, Marilyn Boyle and Kristie Christie showed their collaborative quilts. They were fabulous and Marilyn and Kristie seem to have so much fun quilting. They based their quilts on quilts made by Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran. I took a class with Gwen several years ago and now I'm inspired to work on the project I started in that class!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Too Long!

My daughter says I need to start blogging again.  She's right.  So much has happened since I last posted in January.  Let's dad passed away from brain cancer in May.  He was only 73 and one of the healthiest people I knew.  He is dearly missed.

A week after dad's funeral, my hubby was called back to work after being laid off for almost a year and half.  A week after that, I was hired by the School District of Reedsburg as an elementary math interventionist.  Quite an emotional roller coaster over those few weeks.

The best thing that has happened is that I'm a grandma now.  Jacob was born in August and is the most beautiful baby in the world!  Being a grandma is the best thing ever!  Babies are the theme in our family this year--my sister-in-law and brother are going to have twins any day now.

With all of those babies, of course I've been making baby quilts.  I'm still not quilting as much as I would like, but I'm getting at it a bit more.  I come home from work every day so tired that I need to take a nap.  It's hard to get the energy in the evening to go downstairs and sew.  I think once I really get into the swing of my new job, I won't be as tired. 

So, hopefully, I'll do a better job of blogging.  I'll have to take some pics of my quilts and other stuff I'm doing.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I hate basting quilts!

I think the reason I have so many quilt tops and not many finished quilts is that I hate basting quilts. I don't have a good place to do it at my house. I usually lay my quilts out on the floor. After basting, I end up with a backache. I've tried basting sprays, but I'm not sold on them. I don't think they're much easier than pin basting.

Today, I tried layering a baby quilt using a fusible batting. I thought it would be faster and easier. Well, it really wasn't. Maybe a little easier since I didn't have to crawl around on the floor. It would have worked better if I had one of those big ironing boards, instead of my normal-sized one. I don't think I'd ever do a big quilt, though, especially without the big board. I think I'll reserve fusible batting for use in purses and similar small projects.

The baby quilt I'm doing is for a friend. Her family grows Christmas trees. With hubby off of work, I was worried a tree would be out of our budget. But through the wonderful world of bartering, I got a tree and she gets a quilt.