Avaland's Quilts & other Creative Projects for 2021, PT 2

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Avaland's Quilts & other Creative Projects for 2021, PT 2

Redigerat: maj 27, 7:28am

Yesterday evening I finished the last few half blocks for this quilt (I should make a few extra) and soon I will sew the half blocks into blocks, the blocks into rows...you know how it goes.

Pics taken with my 35 mm camera rather than the iphone....

It's NOT made to be admired hung, so I have less concern with very light/very dark values...beyond a reasonable distribution of both. I'll take a peek at the B&W of the photos and see if there is some placements that bug me.

It's 128 half blocks, making 64 blocks in an 8 x 8 block arrangement.

maj 27, 8:27am

>1 avaland: Looks superb as usual, Lois.
Dark/light distribution looks fairly even to me, maybe a little more light on the left side.

maj 27, 4:44pm

>2 PawsforThought: Thanks. I'd like to get it done before summer hits!

Redigerat: maj 27, 5:14pm

Oh, I said I'd mention what I am reading and have recently read. I log my reading on Club Read.

I'm currently reading a satirical/humorous novel by Lydia Millet titled Mermaids in Paradise. It's about a couple who get married and then honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands and see mermaids.... There's a lot to chuckle about in the telling.

Other books read this quarter are:
Admiring Silence by Abdulrazak Gurnah (novel, 1996 UK/Zanzibar)
Purge by Sofi Oksanen (novel, 2010, Estonia)
Indemnity Only by Sarah Paretsky (crime novel, 1990)
How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope edited by James Crews (2021)

maj 27, 7:29pm

>1 avaland: - That's looking really nice.

maj 27, 9:49pm

>1 avaland: That quilt looks terrific, Lois!

maj 28, 2:27pm

>5 dudes22:, >6 lauralkeet: Thanks, gal pals. We'll see how the next stage goes!

maj 29, 6:25pm

>1 avaland: Lovely!

maj 30, 5:54am

>8 thornton37814: Thanks.

We are having a rainy, wet Memorial Day weekend. I can't tell you how wonderful it is :-) I can curl up with a book or sew for as long as I wish, without guilt over not getting to the outdoor work.

I have sewn together 40 of the 64 blocks in the quilt above. I love to finish the others today and start on sewing the blocks into rows. It would be really nice to have the top all together by the end of Monday.

I also set aside my other reading, to read a short, just-right-for-the-weekend mystery by a Moroccan author—The Final Bet by Abdelilah Hamdouchi (young handsome impoverished man marries rich 70+ woman. She is found murdered in her bed, did he do it?)

jun 1, 5:43am

Well, the long weekend has passed and the quilt top is not quite all together. I got all of the blocks put together, then all the blocks into rows, and began sewing the rows together. I have two seams left to do. I can't do the long stints hunched over the sewing machine these days as my neck starts to bother me (for those who don't know, I have two vertebra fused with a titanium disc).

Finished the short Moroccan crime novel, and the mostly humorous, Mermaids in Paradise. I have returned to the latest collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, and at bedtime I'm reading a novel Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy.

jun 1, 7:07am

>10 avaland: - One of my friends has recommended Migrations to me. I'm hoping to get to it later this summer.

Redigerat: jun 2, 5:21pm

>11 dudes22: If you don't already have the book, I can send it to you when I'm done....(unless, of course, you are only reading digital...)

Sadly, I have not been able to finish those last two seams yet. Too many diversions. Maybe tomorrow....

jun 2, 8:23pm

>12 avaland: - Thanks, Lois, but I can just get it from the library when I'm ready.

jun 4, 7:16am

>13 dudes22: Okey dokey.

jun 6, 6:25am

So, I got the entire quilt top put together and pinned it up on the wall for a last time (this time I pinned it up on its "side") and lo! I saw two blocks (or four half blocks) placed wrongly! How did that happen! I was not happy as they are not easily accessible.

I have considered letting them stay as is as a testament to my imperfection, or because mentally I am sooo done with this quilt top, but I will probably pick it apart and fix it. First, I have to figure out where in the process the error occurred (I would prefer to pick out two blocks than four HSTs....)

And after, the studio needs a good cleaning, some reorganizing and a nice airing when the weather is right.

jun 6, 9:02am

I hate when that happens. Sometimes I can manage to just pick out the seams around the block a little way, but with all those HSTs, orientation might be a problem.

jun 6, 11:02am

>16 dudes22: That's for the moral support. I'm hoping I can just turn the blocks around.

jun 6, 2:30pm

So, yes, I picked out two entire blocks and I’m pleased to say that I could just rotate them each 180 degrees. That was picking out parts of three lines of row stitching and pick the blocks out of the rows before placing the blocks again, stitching them into their rows and then sewing the segments of rows together. Bleh. It’s done. It needs a good ironing before going in the ‘to be quilted’ pile.

jun 6, 4:40pm

Yeah! Glad it worked out for you. There were a bunch of pieces there.

jun 6, 9:32pm

>18 avaland: I know nothing about these things, but it sounds like it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I'm glad you were able to sort it out Lois. I know it would have bugged you forever if you didn't.

jun 7, 5:15am

>20 lauralkeet: LOL, probably would have bugged me forever but I like to think I could have let it go....

Redigerat: jun 7, 5:46am

Reading update. My reading is beginning to look more old "normal" and, as was/is my custom, I have several books of different types ongoing and are being read as mood and brain space allows. The grandson is here for this coming week and then his parents have him signed up for summer camp.

How Iceland Changed the World: The Big History of a Small Island by Egill Bjarnson (2021, nonfiction, Iceland)
"The (Other) You: Stories" by Joyce Carol Oates (short fiction, 2021)
Migrations: A Novel by Charlotte McConaghy (2020, bedtime reading)
Midden: Poems by Julia Bouwsma (poetry, 2016, Maine history)


As for sewing plans... I've put up the simple batik quilt on the board and will finish putting that together at some point. But the room needs a good cleaning and reorganizing, and perhaps I can let go of some stuff. I might need a new cutting table as my old one is getting very wobbly and the screws will not longer tighten.

jun 7, 6:10am

My friend recommended Migrations to me and I'm hoping to get to it later this summer. I've seen a few mentions of it here on LT lately.

jun 7, 7:21am

>20 lauralkeet:, >21 avaland: Lois, I probably should have said that if I were in that situation it would have bugged ME forever. Several years back I made Chris a cable sweater, finished it, photographed him wearing it, and moved on. Much later I looked at the photo and noticed a really obvious cable crossed the wrong way. How did I not see that at the time? It's fairly close to the neckline so in theory I could do sweater surgery and fix it but it's a scary prospect. So the mistake remains, to torment me all my days.

jun 7, 7:35am

>24 lauralkeet: - Maybe he could wear a big broach over the cable - :)🤣🤣

jun 7, 7:47am

>25 dudes22: Ha! I love that, Betty.

Annoyingly, he doesn't wear his handknits (sweaters, socks, necktie) much at all, despite having requested them. Between us, I've decided he may not be "knit-worthy" ...

jun 9, 4:19pm

>24 lauralkeet: I think I know you well enough to know it would have indeed bugged you! I'm glad you avoided fixing the old mistake....consider it part of the learning curve!

>26 lauralkeet: Will the girls wear what you make?

jun 10, 7:13am

>27 avaland: I think they would, if we chose the design together. Much like buying clothes for them retail, where I'd rather buy from a wish list than surprise them with something. I don't have the best sense of what's fashionable for their age group.

jun 11, 5:20am

>28 lauralkeet: Makes sense. I wouldn't dare to buy any of my offspring clothes, except possibly T-shirts for Ryan.

jun 11, 5:23am

Let the great studio clean-up begin!

jun 11, 4:32pm

I've been making some of those 8x10 rectangles you make for the charity quilt and on the "row" that has the 2.5"sqaures in the middle, I ended up with them on the end for a "few". Except for the fact that I will have to match a seam with the bottom part of the block, do you think it will matter? Should I take them apart and fix?

jun 13, 1:30pm

>31 dudes22: I'm sorry, Betty, my mind seems to be blank. I can't think of a charity quilt pattern that I've done which had 8 x 10" blocks in it. The ones I have in process here (with the batiks are squares and rectangles that are only 2.5 x 4.5). This is not to say I haven't done ones but you will have to remind me....

jun 13, 4:01pm

I can't find the post, but it's a 6.5"square with a 2.5"x6.5" rectangle and then 2 - 2.5" squares with a 4.5" square and a 2.5"x4.5" rectangle. Anyway - I decided to take them apart and fixed them. Or maybe it was something like that and I adapted it. Anyway, it pushed me in a good direction for cutting up my fabric leftovers and using them.

jun 14, 6:13am

>33 dudes22: Oh,ok, yes, that's the original pattern for the enlarged pattern I have on the wall now (in batiks). Only I'm now working with a 9.5 square. Sorry, I was so dense (I thought the 8x10 you were referring to was a piece not the block itself).


I spent some of yesterday cleaning in the studio and reshuffling rather than reorganizing. I usually enjoy re-organizing the fabrics piles by color but I was rather impatient about it this time. Today, if it rains as it says it will, I will continue. I'm a bit terrified to add up all the quilt tops which need finishing (by me or a machine quilter), but it must be done. There also should be some 'letting go' of stuff...

Apparently a bear went through the gardens (well, one of them) recently. It seemed one of the recently filled (and sifted) garden boxes had depressions in it about the size of bear prints (I don't know what else would make those). I have decorative fencing to go around the garden when I get that last LARGE box filled (the asparagus). Won't stop a determined bear but it might deter one less so.

jun 15, 4:57pm

I count eight (!) quilt tops needing to be finished (and I haven't started on the charity quilts yet!). None of the quilts are huge, but still, that will be quite a payout to one quilter or another. I think I might attempt to quilt the three "random scrap" quilts myself, depends on what my plans are for them.

None of these have to be done for any specific occasion but I would like to clean up the backlog.

Thus, still cleaning and resorting the studio (I keep getting interrupted....)

Here's one of those interruptions now!

jun 15, 5:34pm

What a lovely distraction! I too have been thinking about working on getting some quilts finished. I realized that the backings would help me to use up large amounts of fabric. (So I can buy more, of course)

jun 16, 5:38am

>36 dudes22: I love how you think!

Do you piece your backings? I have a fair amount of leftover backings scraps and have been thinking about that -- at least for some of the quilts. I try now to be a bit more selective so the leftovers are more usable (i.e. off-white/natural prints scraps I can use in my quilts...the above quilt being an example). Still, I have some that just doesn't seem to go with much else...

jun 16, 6:02am

>37 avaland: - Usually, if I'm making a baby quilt, I buy enough flannel to use the same fabric on the back because I love the soft flannel on a baby quilt. I have pieced a few - one I had two fairly large pieces of coordinating fabrics left over from another project that I pieced. But I haven't done that a lot. To use up some of the fabric on my shelves, I would have to probably piece them. If I remember, you use bed sheets sometimes which I've always read you shouldn't do - something about the thread count, I think. So I've always stayed away from that. Although it never really made sense to me.

jun 16, 8:03am

>35 avaland: Aw, what a cutie!!

jun 17, 6:31am

>38 dudes22: I have used 100% cotton bed sheets for the backs of some of the chidren's/teens charity quilts. I look for one that have a lower thread count (they are less refined, feel a bit coarser and hard to find)

You know, I've never made a flannel quilt.

>39 scaifea: Thanks, Sun, green grass, and an 8 month old cutie, what's not to like :-)

Redigerat: jun 17, 8:56am

My mother (sometimes with my help) makes a lot of charity quilts for a refugee service and they actually recommend old sheets for backing. (They also suggest using a couple layers of old flannel sheets for batting, which she often does.)

Those aren't heavily pieced and are tied rather than quilted, though - they use all
donated materials, whatever they get. (They're often used for things like floor coverings in camps.) I can see why you might care more about matching fabric texture on other kinds of quilts.

What a beautiful distraction!

jun 17, 7:35pm

>41 melannen: That's wonderful! All my mother's and Nana's quilts were tied . I don't mind picking up the cost of batting for the quilts, but not the backing.

My husband and I went out to see a bathroom 'showroom' to begin our renovation of both bathrooms in the house (we've renovated two kitchens but this will be our first bathroom!) We don't expect to have any contractors around until November. But while we were in the area, we went to a "Savers" store (for those not familiar, Savers is a for-profit store that resells used items), so I could look for sheets for backings. They need to be full-size sheets to back a 60x60" quilt. I found a set and one single, so that was three; but...I also found 4 yards of 60 inch wide cotton fabric, a yellow smiley icon motif on a background. So, that would work up for two more battings.

We also had a quick lunch INSIDE for the first time since maybe Feb or Mar 2020!

jun 17, 10:27pm

Catching up, Lois. Finally feeling a bit better. Your quilt is great, and your distraction is top-notch!

jun 18, 5:18am

>42 avaland: - I never think of going to Savers to look for fabric. Good luck with your bathroom renovation. We lived in our old house for 23 years and it had a bathroom from the 50s with pink and black tiles. I wanted to renovate but could never get past the fact that the tile was all in good shape and I hated the idea that they couldn't be taken off the walls and reused.

jun 18, 2:34pm

>42 avaland: Savers is a great source of fabric! We live in the area where it's called Value Village, but the selection is about the same. We always go by on half-price days to check their fabric and craft supplies. And books of course!

(Meanwhile my sister has visited the local independent thrift store and bought an entire pile of circular knitting needles that are apparently mine now whether I want them or not...)

jun 18, 7:05pm

And is the quality good with the fabric from Savers?

jun 18, 11:14pm

You have to figure out how to assess the quality yourself on the fly - it's a thrift store, so nothing's labelled by fiber or anything, and the selection is different every time. I've gotten some amazing stuff (like the raw silk last month, and lots of 100% wool suiting, and my mother buys a lot of quilting cotton) but sometimes it's all terrible polyesters or things you don't even want to touch. And you don't go there looking for something to match a project, you look for something to inspire a project!

Redigerat: jun 19, 12:04pm

Thanks for the answer. That is just what I expected. Good quilting cotton feels a little "meaty" compared to lesser stuff, doesn't it?

By the way, I can't imagine doing a burn test in Savers, could you? Funny thought.

jun 19, 5:07pm

>43 sallypursell: Thanks, Sally. Glad you are feeling better!

>44 dudes22: Thankfully, there is no tile in these bathrooms for me to deal with it. I'm not sure if I will put any in yet.

>45 melannen: I don't go to Savers expecting to find yardage, but sometimes I can find 100% cotton men's shirting or a woman's garment I can cut up. And the sheets. I feel the need to mix up my scraps --- quilting fabric has a certain look to it, and I like to mess with it. I also like to mix cotton fabric from different eras. The calicos from the 70s and 80s, for instance.

I go to the GoodWill store more frequently as it's only 5 miles away, I go slowly through their linens sections, sometimes there is a table runner, apron or some sma ll curtains that can be salvaged.

>46 sallypursell: Sally, the smiley face fabric I got was the first actual yardage I have found at Savers, so I can't speak for it generally. It seemed they didn't have as much in that section than I remember from 'before". Melannen is perhaps a better advisor on the subject than I.

I do miss quilt shows. I didn't go to many but I liked shopping at the vendor's tables :-) I'm pretty much a small-piece buyer these days, fat quarters and smaller.

jun 19, 8:34pm

I miss quilt shows too. 😪

jun 19, 10:06pm

>49 avaland: >50 dudes22: I used to go to Paducah every year for the big quilt show by AQS. It's a drivable distance from my house, so I can drive down, see the show, and make it back late the same day. I've taken kids and sisters to it, too. I miss that. I've never gone to a different quilt show. Which ones do you like?

jun 20, 5:43am

The only "big" show I've been to is the one in Houston. We visited my husband's cousin a few years ago and we spent a day at the show. I did meet Lois in Massachusetts for a quilt show but I don't think they have it there anymore. Mostly it's the quilt shows by the local quilt guilds that I attend.

jun 20, 6:25am

I haven't been to any really big shows, just like the New England ones that are big enough to have vendors. But I have gone to some local guild show, too.

Betty was that in Worcester?

jun 20, 7:38am

>53 avaland: - Yes it was. I think it might have been the machine quilting one that traveled around. It was in Providence a few years and then I think it moved to Worchester.

jun 20, 6:19pm

>53 avaland: One year I took my daughter with me to the Paducah show, and she wore a tee-shirt that said "Question Authority" on it. Her hair was blue, too, and she had contact lenses with scribed spirals on them. High School, obviously. We were passing on elderly woman in a wheelchair, when that perfectly groomed woman raised her fist in a salute and said to her, "You go, girl!" It was so charming, and Mali bowed a little to her, and gave her a big smile.

jun 21, 3:54am

>55 sallypursell: Great story. 'Question Authority' -- that slogan takes me back...Vietnam, Watergate...etc

jun 21, 4:16am

Haven't been in the studio much of late. This past week was our first without have our grandson here four days a week. We had put off a lot of things because of this obligation so I've been cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. We have the carpet cleaning guy coming this morning. I've also been keeping the excessive gardens alive (seems I'm always behind) and putting up some decorate fencing around the back garden. I've had this project to do for more than a year, but a bear walked through the beds recently, and I shooed a lovely young deer away from it over the weekend, so I made some early morning efforts.

Here is my little front garden:

The obelisk replaced a half dead "gnome" tree (so often used in landscaping, ugh).

jun 21, 7:35am

That's cute, Lois. Lots of watering with all those little pots? Luckily my husband looooves to water, so he takes care of all my pots.

There's a small pond in the back of our house and while this community is being built, not much is being done as they are still dredging sand/clay from the bottom. My husband decided this year to plant the bank in back of our house with wild flowers and plants he's moved from other places. (i.e. daisies). He also dug out steps to get down the bank.

There's always some gardening project, isn't there?

jun 21, 8:37am

Oh, I *love* the pot pyramid! And also the purple shutters with the green door! If only I could convince Tomm to do such a thing...

Redigerat: jun 26, 6:40pm

>58 dudes22: There is indeed always projects. I'm putting fencing around the back garden (dang bear went through some of the boxes a week or more ago, luckily there wasn't much planted in those). It's decorate fencing so probably wouldn't stop a determined bear, anywho (but will stop the deer, fox and perhaps the woodchucks)

>59 scaifea: I'm glad you like it! The shutters are actually blue-violet, the doors yellow-green...and if I need to add to that, I would add red-orange to complete the color triad. I couldn't do anything about the house color because it's gray vinyl siding.

jun 26, 6:08pm

btw, not getting much, if any, sewing done. Still cleaning & organizing, working in the garden...etc

jul 3, 6:38am

Still have not stepped into the studio. Now I have a cold (the first since Jan 2020, and I think my immune system is out of practice) so the last few days have not been fun, but when I am up for it I'm researching bathroom fixtures as we plan to renovate both bathrooms this fall.

I still think about the 8 quilts waiting for quilting, although no new projects beyond the charity quilts that need to be done.

Hope the rest of you are enjoying the summer.

Redigerat: jul 17, 11:28am

Not much going on in the studio these days as I am in the middle of a clean-out of my office and organizing of family data, photos...etc. However, we did drive 35 miles north to visit a favorite used book store, have a nice lunch out and stop at one of my favorite quilt shops. I could not avoid buying some fat quarters, some yardage in the discount area for a backing, and these:

As for the bookshop - "Old Number Six Book Barn" in Henniker, NH. This is the main part of the barn, first floor (there are also all manner of nooks and crannies)

And this is the 2nd floor, all nonfiction, We estimate the shelves to be 11 or 12 feet high (there are an abundance of ladders for the brave). Between the two of us we took away 6 or 7 books.

We had an early lunch at the "Pancake House" as our favorite restaurant wasn't serving lunches anymore :-(

jul 17, 1:38pm

>63 avaland: What a great day - sounds like you deserved it for cleaning out and organizing!

Where is the quilt shop?

jul 17, 4:29pm

>63 avaland: - Those are some fabulous fabrics! And I'm surprised you only bought 6 books.

jul 18, 8:28am

>64 SassyLassy: Also in Henniker, NH reasonably near the center of town.

>65 dudes22: His books there are not inexpensive. Most modern books are probably half their original price, older books more. The Wit and Wisdom of George Eliot from 1886 went for $12.50 but I bought some Sara Paretsky and Michael bought some SF for $3.75 each. MaggieO, who is sometimes here in the Neddlearts group, bought some old needlework books there when she visited with me.

There is another bookshop next town north, but we only went there once some years back. That one is "Books by the Lake" in Bradford, NH http://www.conknet.com/~bksbylake/

The third shop is south of Henniker in Weare, "Boomer's Books" and he carries military books and science fiction.

jul 18, 10:54am

There's a place about an hour away in Niantic, Ct that is HUGE! Multiple buildings and he'll give you credit for books you bring. If I remember right - I think hard cover's were around $4 so a little bit more than a library sale. I was thinking of taking a trip down there maybe in the fall - I seem to remember that it's not air conditioned.

jul 20, 8:41am

I'm taking notes on all these big book stores.

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