Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gifts made for others

Before Christmas, I was busy making gifts, so I couldn't post pictures because the recipients might be peeking.   Now that they have all been gifted, I can show you the gifts I made for others, at least the ones I remembered to take pictures of - some flew out the door as soon as they were finished!

Let's start with this quilt basket.  No, it's not the one I made earlier this year (or was it last year?) for me to tote things on road trips (it fits perfectly between the front and back seats of our cars).  My brother-in-law saw my basket, and thought it would make a great magazine basket, so I made him this one for Christmas.  The coloring is slightly different, with the stakes and weavers having slightly different shades when it dried.  The shape is also improved over mine, because I've had more practice:-)  For a short while, I thought it might not get finished in time for Christmas, because I managed to break one of the ears that attaches the handle to the basket in my rush to finish it in time. Luckily, the basket supplier was able to get the new handles to me in time to finish weaving and let it dry in time!


The pin cushions I made for a couple of my friends, Cathy and Ellen were from the same pattern as this chicken pincushion (pattern by Reets's Rags for Stitches), but I gifted them before taking a picture.  Theirs have a bunny jumping over flowers, and are so cute!

Everyone that saw my apricot / black swirling stars scarf, loved it, and I had read about weavers tying a new warp to one that was already on the loom, so decided to make lots of scarves for gifts, making two from each warp and then tying the next colored warp onto the ends and winding on, so I would be able to make them quicker.  I was amazed how quickly I was able to get the new warps on, and begin weaving again - about 3 hours, tops!!!  The other nice thing was that once the first warp was threaded correctly, I was able to tie on the others without errors, making it not only quicker, but more accurate!  Of course the 8-thread stripes probably helped keep me on track.

One of the blue / black scarves was gifted to my friend Cathy, and the other to a brother-in-law:

The fuchsia and teal scarves went to friends:

One of these black and white scarves went to my sister-in-law, and the other is still to be gifted to a friend.  You can tell from this picture that from each warp I wove one with all stars and if I had enough of both colors, I wove the second as stars with a band that had a rope-like design (same treadling, but only one color weft in that area).  If I only had enough of one of the colors, the scarf was woven with only the rope design.

I thought you might like to see a close-up:

And here's one of the black and white scarves, once the fringe was twisted.

I also wove a black and tan scarf, and also wove off the remaining warp of each colorway, both to experiment with woven colors and also to save for other projects.  A few were long enough that I might have enough for small purses or bags, but I'll decide that later.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Baking

There's been lots of cookie baking going on around here, and then making trays and delivering them.  This year my friend Ellen came over to help, and of course, she went home with some too, as I could never have made as many without her help!  The dining table was covered with kitchen towels for a larger cookie cooling area, and the bins at the end of the table grew, as the baking continued.  Many of the recipes are the same 
ones that my mom and grandma used, and a couple were my great-grandmothers! 

For frosted sugar cookies, I love the "Old Fashioned Vanilla Sugar Cookies" recipe, from Sugarbakers' Cookie Cutter Cookbook.  They don't just look beautiful, they taste great too!

Coffee Chips are an unusual cookie recipe that I got from my grandmother. Luckily I saw her make them, and remembered to ask for the recipe, because I've received many compliments on them!

This year, I made my great-grandmother's sugar cookie recipe with margarine, and the touchy batter was even more difficult to roll out, so they are a bit thicker than they should be, but taste good anyways.

Thumbprints are a family favorite, and my family has always filled them with frosting after baking, instead of jam, as many recipes say to do.

Some of the open cookie bins:

Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Flower Show Quilts Book Winner

Happy Holidays, and thank you all for such nice comments!   Congratulations Dale Anne Potter, you're the winner of my book, Flower Show Quilts!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time for celebration, book review and a giveaway!

Flower Show Quilts is packed with beautiful florals on patchwork backgrounds, and contains all the everything needed to re-create the quilts as I made them.  There are ten projects, from table runners to lap sized quilts, and not only includes the patterns and instructions for each design, but also stepped out instructions for my methods of turned edge applique, raw edge applique, foundation piecing, and even a section dedicated to free motion quilting!  While I was writing the book, I decided to make the table runner in three different colorways,  just to show you that quilts don't have to be made "just like the picture in the book", you can change colors to make a quilt you will be happy living with or giving as a gift.  When I was at Quilt Market in October, I saw one at the EE Schenck booth that had the flowers on a beautiful blue background!

If you already have my book, I'd really appreciate it if you would post a review on Amazon!

Last week I received an email from Martingale, letting me know that they were ordering more books printed, hurray!!!!!

I had planned to do a book giveaway closer to its release, and since that never happened, I figure there's no time like the present.  So leave me a comment here or on one of my Facebook pages (links on the right side of my blog page and below) and I'll draw a winner next Monday!  That gives you a week, but I'd advise you to leave the comment before you forget and miss the boat :-)

Here are the links to my Facebook pages:

Happy Holidays,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Madrona photo shoot

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I'm busy making gifts, and many can't be seen until after they've been gifted, and of course, there are some that may never be photographed, because I gifted them as soon as they were finished, so I have no pictures.  Anyway, I had to get the large quilts photographed today so that I can use the space tomorrow to set up the Christmas tree, and that means I have pictures to post:  Madrona today, and others to follow. 

Well, here it is at last, the finished Madrona quilt, taken while hanging, instead of doing my best to take a picture of it lying on the floort.  At 89" wide and 62-1/4" high, I believe it's the largest wall quilt that I've made so far!

Here's a detail shot of the bark.  I wanted to show the ragged look that the trees have as the bark peels away.

The trees and much of the quilt top were collaged into place, and then quilted, leaving all the raw edges to ravel and add texture.

The ferns were fussy cut from a batik fabric, but re-colored with Seta-scrib fabric pens.

And here's my photo set-up.  Sometimes I hang a black curtain behind the quilts, but not today.