Thursday, May 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday 5/30/2012

Relay For Life 2012
Fundraiser quilt donated to office Relay for Life team
Purchased by $100 donation
Quilt top completely from stash
Original design. 48" square.
Completed 5/28/2012


This week I finished and delivered a fundraiser quilt to benefit a Relay for Life team in my office. The quilt was paid for last week with a $100 donation, sight unseen, before I finished the quilt or showed it to anyone. I knew nothing about the pre-purchase until after I had given the quilt to the team's fundraising coordinator, who didn't want to say anything to me ahead of time, in order not to influence my creativity. The funny thing is, I spoke to the buyer of the quilt last week, discussing how the color scheme had changed. She told me that whatever I made would be beautiful. She gave no clue that she had already planned to buy the quilt. Wow!

There's more to the story. As I was running out of time to finish the quilt on Monday, the quilt became smaller than originally planned. I ended up leaving off four rows of checkerboard and the border. I felt badly that the quilt was going to be so small, but I began to get the hunch that  maybe whoever got the quilt needed it to be small - lap size rather than my usual throw size. Get this, as it turns out, the quilt is going to be given to a 14-month-old little girl. At 48" square, the quilt is just the right size. Amazing!

As for future quilts, I have nothing pressing right now. It happens now and then, and I've spent the last couple of days going through papers and planning a vacation to visit my daughter Lisa in San Diego. My tentative quilting plans for the next few weeks:
- Make a couple more Echoes quilts for the Redwood Center. I purchased background fabric months ago to go with leftovers from A Study in Stripes and Cristine's Bosties.
- I am participating in a trade for ATCs (artist trading cards), which must be mailed by the end of June.
- I'd like to finish up a Fourth of July wallhanging; the quilt top has been sitting in my closet for nine years or more. Yes, I do have a handful of UFOs.
- I have a shirt that has been waiting for months to be cut out and sewn together.
- I'd like to make another mixed media wallhanging. I have a couple of greeting cards that would be good starts.

We'll see what this next week brings. Hopefully I'll be working on something again.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday 5/23/2012

Completed 5/20/2012

On Sunday night I finished Cadenza, a music themed quilt for co-worker, Facebook friend and fellow musician Ramin T., who plays the violin. The squarish shapes against the off-white background represent music notes dancing across a page. I included several music-themed fabrics, as well as coffee fabric and Roman numerals for Starbucks fan Ramin, who works in the accounting unit of the office.

I post photos and status updates about my quilts on Facebook, and it was fun to make the quilt right in front of Ramin. When I presented the quilt on Monday he was so surprised. He knew about the quilt but had no clue that it was for him. He assumed it was for some other musician friend of mine. I am so sneaky.

Relay For Life
Fundraiser quilt
To be auctioned by a team in my office
Design is a variation of Sylvia, a quilt I made for my niece Sylvia C.

Fabrics for the quilt - from stash
Two different white-on-white prints, in case I run out of one.

Divided the quilt into 4x4 "checkerboards". Found that there were three different blocks, labeled them A, B and C. Also there are a couple of extra rows at the top and bottom of the quilt to give more length. I labeled those strips W, X, Y and Z.

Breakdown of different checkerboard blocks and extra strips. Bottom of the page shows how many width of fabric cuts I need for different fabrics. I like to cut many strips at once. It makes assembly a bit faster, I think.

Four strips sewn together. This is the second row from the top of Block B. The strips are actually twice as long as shown.

Cross-cuts: There are eight in this stack.

First two stacks of strips

Four stacks of strips. These will make 8 Block Bs - half of the 16 blocks in the quilt.

Tonight I started working on a fundraiser quilt for Relay for Life. This will be a quick quilt. Already I'm nearly halfway done with the blocks. The quilt top will be all from stash.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cadenza Quilt Finished

For co-worker, Facebook friend and fellow musician Ramin T.
Squarish shapes represent music notes dancing across a page.*
Original design. 60" x 72". Partly from stash.
Completed 5/20/2012.

Music themed and coffee fabrics for violinist and Starbucks fan Ramin

Two more music themed fabrics. Roman numerals refer to Ramin's work in the accounting unit of the office.

The black fabric with treble clefs was used as border for the quilt.

Last night I finished Cadenza and delivered it today to co-worker, Facebook friend and fellow musician Ramin T. I post photos and status updates to Facebook about my quilts as I go, and it was fun to make the quilt right in front of Ramin without him knowing that the quilt was for him.

I really like how the quilt turned out and I hope Ramin enjoys it for a long time.

*To see how I made the musical notes, please click here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WIP Wednesday 5/16/2012

Fundraiser quilt to benefit daughter-in-law Laurie's Mothers of Preschoolers group at church.
Center of quilt is one large piece of fishing/outdoors themed fabric from stash.
Original design, 58" x 74"
Completed 5/15/2012

Hoping quilt will appeal as Father's Day gift and bring the group a nice chunk of change.

Bottom half gives a peek at the back

Needed to figure out where to place tied knots. Found the pattern repeat on leftover fabric, marked knot placement with flower head pins (big yellow spots). Pinned "map" to design wall for reference while I tied.

I made Fishing in a hurry, in under a week. I have had the theme fabric in my stash for years. I really like how the quilt turned out.

Cadenza quilt top

I didn't make much progress on Cadenza this week. I sewed the backing, then put the quilt on hold to work on Fishing, which I think was wise. Tonight I'll proceed with the pillowcase finish, and get the quilt completed for Saturday's Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild meeting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fishing Quilt Top Done

Fishing Quilt Top


For the past few days I've been working on Fishing, a fundraiser quilt for my daughter-in-law Laurie's Mothers of Preschoolers group at church. I'm hoping the quilt will have appeal as a Father's Day gift and bring a good bit of money in the raffle.

The center of the quilt is one large piece of fishing/outdoorsy themed fabric from stash, surrounded by a checkerboard border. A thin red border adds an accent and separates the dark green border from the same green that is in the checkerboard. I didn't want the greens to form a pattern that creates a dentil (toothlike) effect.

Fabric for the quilt back - nature themed, not too feminine, colors work well with quilt front

I'm doing a pillowcase finish for the quilt, and tonight I got the layers sewn together, leaving a space unsewn for turning. Tomorrow night I'll turn the quilt right side out, topstitch around the edges to close the opening. After that I'll tie dozens of knots with embroidery floss, and the quilt will be done.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

WIP Wednesday 5/9/2012

Cadenza Quilt Top

Last night I attached a border of black treble clef fabric. I love how the quilt looks, with the contrast between the off-white and black, the black strips between the four-patch and theme blocks, and the whimsy of the dancing music notes. I should have the quilt done by the end of the weekend.

Fishing-themed fabric

After that, I'm doing a quick charity quilt, based on a fishing-themed fabric I bought years ago. The quilt will be part of a raffle for my daughter-in-law Laurie's mothers group at church. I'm hoping it will be appealing as a Father's Day gift for a husband, father, etc.
Fishing Quilt Electric Quilt Sketch

I am doing a very simple design, with a big panel of the fishing print as the center of the quilt. It should be fast to make.

Monday, May 07, 2012

At-Home Quilting Retreat - Days 6 and 7

Cadenza quilt top in seven rows

Saturday I sewed black strips to the four-patch blocks (sampling above).

Today I cut theme blocks and sewed black strips to them.

Look carefully to see double rows of stitching on some of the colored patches. Took deeper seams to take up excess width.

Tonight I sewed rows. Tomorrow I will join them together, then attach a border of black treble clef fabric.

I was hoping to get the Cadenza quilt finished by the end of the weekend, which is also the end of my at-home quilting retreat. But I was pretty tired after playing four shows (Pirates of Penzance) in two days, and spent some quality time on the sofa watching TV or napping. I'm still proud of what I accomplished during the week, having started the quilt from scratch on Monday.

I should be able to get the quilt done this week.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

At-Home Quilting Retreat - Day 5

Sampling of four-patch blocks

I played two showings of Pirates of Penzance today - one in the morning and one in the evening. I had a break of several hours between shows, so I went to Jo-Ann's and got some batting and backing fabric (same off-white leaf print as the background for the music notes). I picked up some lunch and headed home. After lunch I took a nap, then went back and played the second show.

Once I was home from the evening show, I sewed up 18 four-patch blocks (samples above) for the Cadenza quilt. These will go in alternate rows between the music notes rows. I'll put in some plain blocks of mainly music-themed fabric, and insert narrow black strips between blocks. I hope to get the alternate rows done before I leave for the matinee showing tomorrow. There won't be much of a break between the end of the matinee and the beginning of the evening show, so I'll find dinner somewhere nearby. I can sew some more after I get home from playing the second show.

Friday, May 04, 2012

At-Home Quilting Retreat - Day 4

Pairs of fabrics for four-patch blocks

Today I spent much of the day in rehearsals for the musical I am playing the piano in this weekend. I didn't do any actual sewing today on the Cadenza quilt, but I did a lot of planning. I figured out how many four-patch blocks I need to make, paired up fabrics for the blocks, and mapped out where to place each block (more on that on a later post).

I expect to get the four-patch blocks sewn tomorrow and begin sewing them together into the alternate rows between the music notes rows (see earlier posts for photos).

Back Stage

I spent a good part of the day in rehearsals for Pirates of Penzance, a musical by a local high school that is being performed at our junior college. I thought I'd share some pictures from the orchestra point of view. I hope you enjoy them.

Modesto Junior College
Music Building is where I spent two years as a piano student and accompanist over 30 years ago. Many good memories flood my mind as I walk past. Large building in background is the auditorium where we are performing Pirates of Penzance.

Standing on the stage, looking down into the orchestra pit. You can see my music stand with MJC stamped on it. Orange tape on the stage floor is to warn the cast not to go any farther. It's quite a drop.

Still on stage, looking down at the piano. The music stand belongs to conductor Janine R., whose head sticks out above the stage floor. She can see what is going on in the show to give the orchestra cues, and can direct the singers when necessary.

Down in the orchestra pit - under the stage
The view from the percussion section

Opposite side of the room - the view from the woodwind section

My view from the piano
I can't see anything on the stage or in the audience. Orchestra members probably will get a DVD of the show so we can find out what we missed.

The show opens tomorrow. There are four shows over Friday and Saturday. It should be fun.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

At-Home Quilting Retreat - Day 3

Cadenza Quilt in Progress
Rows of music notes in eight large sections
Black strips represent bar lines between measures

This week I'm off work while I play the piano in an orchestra for a local high school musical. Rehearsals have taken place in the evenings, and I've spent much of my non-music time working on Cadenza, a music-themed quilt. On Monday and Tuesday I created units that look something like music notes, attaching a strip of background fabric (spacer) to separate the notes. The spacers are in varying widths to create variety.

Today I took all 64 music note/spacer units, put them in a box and mixed them up.

Without looking, I drew 16 strips per row, placing them in the same order that I drew them. Above is the first row.

I used the Random Sequence Generator at to scramble numbers 3-13. I followed the results to place narrow black strips to the right of units 3-13, two or three strips per row.

Notice on the bottom row there is a black strip next to a black music note, creating a shape I don't want.

I switched the black music note with a yellow one beside it. I like that look better.

I need a black strip on the right side of the quilt.

Added another strip to the bottom row, which helped.

Now the strips on the far right of the bottom two rows seem too close together.

I removed one of the strips from the third row from the top. I like that pretty well. I've also moved a few music note units around, trying to maintain the randomness as much as possible.

Decided rows should be 52" finished, so there should be two sections at 26.5" unfinished. Sewed the first section - right on the money! Not every section came out like this. Most ended up too long, so I'll adjust them by removing or trimming spacers, taking a slightly wider seam, etc.

First music notes section

Once again, the music notes sections

Tomorrow rehearsals begin at 1:00 and last until 9:00. I'll have a couple of hours in the morning to sew. I'll begin making four-patch for the spaces between the music notes rows.