Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DOING THE HAPPY DENIM DANCE

I'm doing the Happy Denim Dance right now.  I finally finished the last denim quilt I was commissioned to make.  You may recall I've already made 2 of the 3 quilts.  This was the first one.


And this is the second one.  


It's hard to think of creative ways to make a memory quilt from denim jeans and old shirts.  The shirts were very thin and not 100% cotton and sewing them next to a heavy weight denim was not a good mix.  It had lots of challenges.  Hind sight is 20/20 and looking back I should have stabilized the shirts with a light weight iron on stabilizer like tricot interfacing that I use on t-shirts.  But I didn't and the quilt is finished just the same.  This is the third one.


I started with a large nine patch block.  Each square is 9" finished.  Then added a row of piano key blocks to make it rectangular instead of square.  Added a border of chambray fabric and then a final scrappy border of denim.  Now here's where the creative part comes in.  

I took the label off the waist band of the jeans and sewed it to a denim square.


Another label from the waistband of a different brand of jeans.


Some shirt pockets.  


And then I took the label from the inside of a shirt, removed it and re-attached it to the outside of the shirt western yoke.


Another tag from the shirt removed and re-attached to the outside back western yoke.


And yet another tag re-sewn.



The jeans pocket.  I could stitch through the entire pocket.  The hopping foot of Queenie wouldn't go over all the edges of the pocket.  I quilted around it and then went back and echo quilted the top stitching across the pocket.


You may remember that I won a package of batting as a door prize at the Quilt Retreat at Deep Woods last weekend.  


It's "ultra-thin" and since the denim was so heavy and my customer really didn't want me to use any batting at all, I decided to give this one a try.  I think I like it.  I really is "ultra-thin".  I don't know if you can tell from the photos below but it is.  I laid it next to my regular Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting that I would have normally used.


Notice the difference in the thickness of the two?


You can see my hand through the Thermore "ultra-thin" batting as oppose to the 80/20 batting.


I will definitely be using this again.  The girls at the retreat said it was great for t-shirt quilts and I bet they're right.  I'm going to try it on the next t-shirt quilt I get.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TEXAS QUILT MUSEUM

While I was at my retreat over the weekend at Deep Woods Retreat, near Smithville, I took the opportunity to visit the Texas Quilt Museum.  The Texas Quilt Museum is located in LaGrange, Texas and is only about 20 minutes from the retreat.  

Although I was a little disappointed with the Museum, it still was nice and I was glad I went.  Maybe I was disappointed because I'm not an "artsy fartsy" type girl and most of the time I really don't like "artsy" quilts.  Most of the quilts were that type.  Some were interesting and some were just plain bizarre.  There was a small display of some "civil war reproduction" era quilts and I really enjoyed those.  Another disappointment was there are no photos allowed.  While I probably knew that deep down, I still wanted to document my trip.  



This is the only documentation I could take.... The Flower Garden just outside the Museum.  It was very lovely and relaxing.  

















There was also a wonderful quilt and yarn shop next door to the Museum and of course I did my fair share to contribute to the economy of LaGrange.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

DEEP WOODS RETREAT

My SASSI Quilt Group (SASSI stands for San Antonio Statler Stitcher I don't have any idea what I stands for) had a last minute cancellation for their annual retreat.  I snagged up the opening.  These girls are so much fun to be  with and they know so much about quilting.  I needed to rub elbows with them for sure.  We were booked at the Deep Woods Retreat Center near Smithville, TX.  They weren't kidding when they call it Deep Woods.  It's kinda hard to tell from this picture but you cannot see this building from the road for all the trees and "woods".  


This is a view of the back patio.  Very nice!  I was standing on the upper patio looking down.







The facilities were very nice!  Great work stations, plenty of ironing stations and cutting stations, an ample dining room, nice bedrooms with comfy twin beds and bathrooms aross the hall from the bedrooms.  Now to the best part... all the inspirations.  These ladies can churn out some projects now!  I even missed taking a few pictures of finished projects!  

Marcie's Fasceted Jewels quilt
This wallhanging is a commissioned piece for a pregancy care center.  Kris reproduced their logo.  It is all reverse needle turn applique.  The border along the right will be repeated along the left and top and bottom.

This little bag doesn't look like much but it will make The King happy.  It's just a little drawstring bag to put golf tees in and attach to his golf bag.  He's been asking for it for a long time though and I finally got around to making it.  Took me a whole 10 minutes.  I looked for the fabric for it longer than it took me to make it.


This pattern is from a quilt magazine that Linda worked on at the last retreat.  Finally finished.


Cathy is the paper piecing queen and a generaous one too.  She gives most of them away.


More of Kris' needle turn work.  This ended up King Size (hmmmm.... I think she meant for the King to have it.  wink wink).  And she says she's got more left over.




Joann Twisted Snowman

Another one of Cathy's Paper Piecing Projects.

Joann's Taffy Quilt
Marilyn's super awesome embroidery blocks she'll turn into a cross for the youth center at her church.

Ann's Bargello


Susan's new halloween costume.  She's going as a traveling mat bag.  Just kidding... it's really a huge bag to put her cutting mat in when she goes to retreats.
More of Cathy's paper piecing.  I told you she was the paper piecing queen.


Fay's scrappy Bonnie Hunter pattern.  I can't remember which one it is though.


Yet another one of Cathy's paper piecing masterpieces. Love the cross.


Marcie's Mardi Gras Quilt


Kris' row by row


Sue made these cool book marks that go over the corner of the page of your book.  They were in one of the door prize bags (that I did not win).  I did however win a package of batting (that I'm anxious to try on a t-shirt quilt) and a bottle of lotion.


Marilyn's star quilt.


Sharon's neat quilt.  I have no idea what the name is.



Linda's 30's feed sack quilt


My favorite fabric in the quilt.


Susan's shop sample for Cotton Boll Quilting.  She noticed the bottom border on upside down and did fix it but I didn't get the new picture.


Marcie has some awesome customers.  One of them bought an antique quilt she found in an antique shop in Mineola TX and brought it to Marcie.  Marcie cut them apart and used these for a quilt.  She said there were over 90 of them in the original top.




Ann's Modern Quilt called Don't Fence Me In.... I think....



Poor Brenda worked on these blocks the whole retreat and got this many finished.  She still has 18 more to go.  The finish 7"!

I forgot who this belongs to but I LOVE it!  Another Bonnie Hunter Scrap Quilt.


Ann's "Manly" quilt.  It sure would be a hit with the men in my extended family.


Everything I worked on was "top secret" but I can show you what 84 half square triangles looks like and the pile of shavings after squaring them up.