Friday, October 2, 2015

Zig Zags, Pat and Neo-Impressionists

I just finished listening to the book by Alice Hoffman about the famous neo-impressionist painter Camille Pissaro born in St. Thomas Virgin Islands called The Marriage of Opposites.  It really is about his mother rather than him, but I love those historical fiction books.  I  liked her writing enough to get another of her CD books called The Red Garden.  Love that one too.  Not sure why she called it The Red Garden as it really does not figure prominently in the book.  I looked for The Art Forger by BA Shapiro but our library doesn't have it.  

Last night at the river city guild meeting Pat Van Berkleo presented his trunk show of modern quilts.  He does the most amazing work. Self-taught, he designs, makes mad quilts his own quilts. He also designs his own fabric on Spoonflower!   A true Renaissance man. He works on an old Bernina that his mother used when she taught home economics back in Texas when he was a child. I will post the link to the quilt show when the pictures from River city  are posted.

 He has a collection of over 50 quilts and he's only been quilting for three years now.  He says he hates to give up any of his quilts and yet they don't use them at their house.  I can empathize.  I hate to give up any of my quilts.......BUT........I use them all the time!

See these beautiful yellow flowers? They're all over the place and they really are pretty.   They are tall tall and sitting around the fence posts they are very picturesque. But there's lots of pollen involved in them and my head has been stopped up; my ears are ringing louder than they normally do.

 Zigzags!!! I finished up three more zigzags this afternoon. I got the blocks squared up at about 16 inches. Got them sewn together and it now is a top as well.  Turns out to be about 62 x 62 inches, and you know, I hate square quilts!  But that is the size it will be.

So tomorrow I will begin once again to work on the old house quilt I have on the frame. And then I'll add a couple more quilts and get those finished too.

The cute guy who came to check out my Air Conditioning System for the fall was totally in love with my quilts.   He was so sweet.  He worked with the Intelligence Dept for the Army when he was in the service, so he may have been spying on me.  I have to admit, he could have gotten a lot of information out of me by being interested in my quilts!  I would have ratted out my best friend!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Zig Zags - From Cultural Fusion

I made a few more zig zags today.  I still have trouble rotary cutting but with a very sharp blade that slices through like butter, I can get a straight edge. It doesn't stay sharp very long!  LOL

These blocks are 16 inches square so this will be the quilt after the next two blocks are made.  Lara B of Buzzin Bumble Quilty Pleasures told me about a new project called Ad Hoc Improv Group.  Check it out and see if you might want to join in.

I have to rest a bit, as the ligament that was torn is one of the ones that grab the handle of the rotary cutter.  But I am getting there.  The ligament works the little finger and the ring finger and there is a lot of weakness still in those two.

I also made another backing.  For the Fireworks quilt.  So that one will go into the line waiting for the long arm to be free!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quilting on the House Quilt

Today I put together two more backs and put one of them on the frame.

I am digging deep into my UFO Quilt Top Box.

This one was from maybe 2006 or 2007.  I think it is Alex Anderson's pattern.  I tried googling her stuff, but I guess it is too old.

I never knew how to quilt it and just didn't feel comfortable with a simple meander on my Husqvarna machine.   It is fairly large and square.  I made the backing with some pink fabrics that were a dusky shade.  Most likely some of my mother's old stash.  It will make a nice girly quilt!1

I am going to do some fancy quilting on the house, like clapboard siding and bricks on the chimney.  And I think I need some flowers in the window boxes. 

And some significant number of thread color changes.

This will be FANCY for me!  LOL

Random Sewing

When I think of yesterday, I am not sure what I got accomplished.  Frank didn't go anywhere so it seemed like a weekend.  I guess.  He's always on the road somewhere with customers, but every once in a while he needs to do a bunch of paperwork.  And doesn't have an office as we know it.  So he works at home.  He spends every night in front of the TV at night working on his paperwork. 

I spent most of the afternoon working on a set of quilt pieces, blocks just isn't quite the word for it, putting them together.  It originally was a set of 4 large strip set blocks and a black sashing and border.

I hated it.  So after a while I cut it up and began to sew them together.  It was about the time that the early beginnings of the Modern Movement was throwing pieces together in tentative randomness.

I now have a top.  Nothing earth shattering, just Tentative Randomness.

It needs to be squared up and a border added.  I tested a pink yesterday, but it was not the right color.  Maybe a blue or green.

Or Purple.  Purple just seems to go with everything.

I also dug through and found the Transportation Quilt.  I saw this at the Pontchatoula Quilt Show a number of years ago.  For some reason I decided that it should be a QAYG.  I had never done one before and without a lot of understanding, I set out to free motion me some blocks!

They worked out, for the most part, but there were a couple of places where I worked too close to the edge of the block.  I got discouraged and set it aside.  It is not great, but it will be completed and maybe find a home somewhere.

Really the only thing it needs is to have the seams on the back sewn together.  I can do that.  And a binding, but I need to wait on that for a bit.  So it will go in the quilted pile that needs to be squared and bound.

Yep, random sewing!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Stash Report and Vintage Linen Report

Tablecloths first.  A lot of the stains came out but some I suspect are rust stains did not.  I suspect they were laundered at some point and heat set.  By a lot, I am thinking maybe 50%.  they are now hanging on my makeshift line on the carport.  And it is raining!  But I figure while it may not dry  quickly, the rainwater shouldn't hurt them.  And if the sun should come out, it may bleach out more of the stains.

Stash report.

While I have used a lot of yardage on the backings of quilts, I also made some purchases this week.  I ordered fabric for my niece's Graduation Quilt.  She will be graduating from Loyola University in the Spring with a degree in International Journalism.  So, with the help of several of you, I found WORDS!

And I found some foxes on sale for the backing of the eventual fox quilt.

So check out the numbers this week.  I wonder if I can hit 100 in the red this year? 

I was also thinking that I needed to save some of these for the next year's work!

Used this week -17 Used this month -17 Used this year -151
Bought this week 9.5 Bought this month 9.5 Bought this year 85.25
Plus or minus -7.5 Plus or minus -7.5 Plus or minus -65.75

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bored? Let's Clean Some Vintage Linens!

When I was with my VetCousin Karen at my mom's funeral, she gave me some more of her mom's stuff she has been saving for me.

Her mom and dad moved back to Louisiana from Chicago after he retired.  I don't think Uncle Angelo was still alive when Katrina hit, but their house in Metairie flooded.  It took Karen and Matt a long time to get the house cleaned out and reconstructed.  There was such a shortage of qualified (or even unqualified) workers and roofers during that time.  It was over 4 years before it was ready to move back into.

Aunt Evelyn didn't make it back into the house.  She died quietly one morning at Karen's as the last touches were being put on the house.

This was the story of so many of the older people who lived their lives in middle class subdivisions, middle class lives, middle class houses.  Katrina was not all about the poor, homeless and helpless.  So many of the ones like my family didn't make the news, didn't make the government rosters, didn't make the TV programs.

One is Wilendure and the other is was one of the state tablecloths popular in the 60's.

This one happens to be of Florida with all the fun people playing on the beach under palm trees and visiting St. Augustine and the Fountain of Youth.

I have no idea what to do with that Florida one, it does not lend itself to be cut up easily.  The Wilendure is easy to visualize.  I actually have a book dedicated to making quilts out of the old Wilendures.

But, my pretties.......................

Before I can do any of that I need to take care of these age stains.  They are most likely stains from dampness, possibly from any starch used.  Although silverfish LOVE starch and these have no damage.  Keep that in mind, don't store anything you have starched for any long periods of time.

I researched the best way to clean these was to soak them in the tub overnight with Oxyclean.  I will warn you, the smell is so sickly sweet it may not make all night.  I get migraines from those smells so I have the door closed and the vent on.  And I still smell it in the front of the house.

The Oxyclean will not damage the fabric or your hands so plunge right in.  Do not put the linens in your washing machine.  It will tear up the fibers.

That said, since I can't do the wringing work with my bad arm, I will put mine in the delicate rinse only.  I have one of the newer machines where you can control everything.......except the water level, drives me crazy. 

The third table cloth came with 6 or 8 napkins in that same stripe.  The napkins will make a fabulous block center for a Navajo style top.  The Tablecloth itself was going to be the quilt back, but I am now thinking it might be too  thick.  It is woven.  Ah, maybe not........I shall discuss it with people and see what they think.  After all, batting is "thick", isn't it?

It also has stains but I didn't want to risk the colors running into the other two tablecloths all bunched up in the tub together. 

But don't tell Frank they are in the tub soaking......OK?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Another Trip to Belle Chasse and Some New Fabric

Swamps by Lake Pontchartrain
Pelican at Middendorf's
Yes, he left his briefcase thing in Belle Chasse yesterday.  So he needed to retrieve it.  Remember my last trip to Belle Chasse for Frank?  No way was I going to do it again.

He was supposed to b working at home today, so he suggested we head out for lunch at Middendorf's in Akers, LA between Pontchatoula and Kenner, LA on the way to Belle Chasse.  I jumped at that opportunity.

While we were there, Edwin Edwards, the ex-con Governor of Louisiana, came in.  So we had lunch with him and his grandson and a friend.  He looks amazing for being 87 years old. 

My favorite thin friend catfish, in fact, the only fish I ever eat!

Late yesterday the Grad Caps arrived.  I am going to put them on the back of the Graduation Quilt for my niece Mary Elizabeth graduating from Loyola University in the Spring.  The FQ stack is the Cirrus Solids from MassDrop.  I have the newsprint coming in today or tomorrow.

While we were driving, his odometer hit 100,000 miles.  He has a 2013 Accord! Yes, he drives that much. 

Here are some photos from the Trip to Belle Chasse through New Orleans:

New Orleans Skyline and the Superdome

The Greater New Orleans Bridge, commonly called the Twinspan. It takes you across the mighty Mississippi to the West Bank where Belle Chasse is located.

You  might remember this bridge from Katrina, where there were hundreds of people stranded on top of it.

It takes close to 2 hours to get to  Belle Chasse then another 2 back.  It took all day and I am REALLY tired of being in the car.

I would not EVER EVER EVER in a million years, want to do Frank's job!