Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch In Wisconsin

Today I got together with my friend Lynn. We had not seen each other in 54 years!
She came to my house and got a "quilt tour" and then we went out for lunch.

We tried a new old restaurant in the area. It has been around since 1880 but it now has new owners. It was FANTASTIC. I had heard good things about it and everything was true - maybe even better than true.

We were so busy catching up on the previous 54 years that I forgot to take photos so I am sharing some from the Internet.

We each had the Reuben Sandwich with sweet potato fries. It was the best Reuben I've ever had in this part of Wisconsin.
The sweet potato fries were as good or better than what you get in the south.
The ice tea was excellent.

I will definitely be going back again - often!

I'm including a link for anyone who lives anywhere near it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Will A Quilt Happen?

Often I sew strips of fabric together to make my own "fabric" to design a quilt with.

I have no idea what I will do with these strip fabrics when I am making them.

There are times when they speak to me and become a quilt right away.

There are also times when they need time to rest before they let me know what they want to be. This group has been taking a long nap!

Occasionally I cut the fabrics specifically for that sewing session.

Other times I go to one of my drawers or boxes and take out things I have cut already.

When I finish a project I often cut the left over fabric into strips if it is less than 6 inches. Those precut strips are a real time saver when I get the urge to sew strips together.

Sewing strips together can also be a mindless project when I just want to get on the machine and sew - ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!

I have quite a collection of strip pieced fabric at my disposal to use when I choose to make something.

These are just a sampling of what I have at my disposal.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dinner At The Oldest Stage Stop In Wisconsin

1848 Photo

Last night I had a great dinner with special friends at the Stage Stop in Wilmot, Wisconsin.
It is one of my favorites. I have never had a bad meal there.

This is what it looks like today.

I started with this salad. They serve 3 dressings with the salads and they are all homemade and so delicious. Of course I can't pick a favorite so I have all three!

I had the two lobster tails for dinner. You can see the quarter pound of butter on my potato and the second quarter pound of butter melted for my lobster.
Remember, this is Wisconsin, the dairy state and we LOVE, LOVE, Love our butter!

You can see how content we all look after our delicious dinners.

If you'd like to read and see more about this neat place I've included this link for you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Japanese Quilt - Work In Progress

Quite some time ago I purchased a large group of samples of authentic 14" wide Japanese kimono fabrics.
They were each about 24" long.

I constructed this quilt with 4 different pieces of the fabrics.

It is partially quilted. If you click on the quilt to enlarge it, you may or may not be able to see the quilting. I used buttonhole twist thread to quilt it. While the thread is very heavy, I quilted along the design lines with matching thread so it my be difficult to see.
It is the rest of the quilting that is holding me up. I am trying to come up with a simple yet effective quilting design that is in keeping with the Japanese aesthetic of the prints.

I ordered a bamboo hanger for it so hopefully this will make me finish it soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can You See A Design And Color Signature In My Work?

I put some of my recent completion pieces on the design wall along with a WIP.

With the exception of the two black and white pieces these are not pieces in the same series.
Often people say they can spot my work not matter what I do.
Can you?
Would you have thought all of these were done by the same person?

I think one of the reasons this is on my mind is because I posted a photo on Facebook.

I asked if anyone recognized who the girls in this photo were. (It was taken when I was in 9th grade)
I was surprised when several friends who didn't know me what back when recognized me in the photo instantly.

This is a recent picture of me.
Would you recognize me in the first photo after seeing this?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Double Finish - Grid Structure 1 and 2

It was a great feeling when I took the last hand stitch on grid Structure 2, having finished Grid Structure 1 the day before.
These are quilts I started recently and it is good to start and finish within a short amount of time.
Often that doesn't happen as I have to wait for the quilts to tell me what they want.
These were very vocal and for that I am thankful!
I take my time with each and every piece I create and never rush to finish them until I am satisfied with both the design and construction of each piece.

This is Grid Structure 1. It is 17 1/4 inches wide and 18 1/2 inches high. I love the clean fresh graphic look of black and white.

Grid Structure 2 is 26 by 26 inches. The strong graphic image is softened by the circular quilting.

The two of them make a great pair. I hope they will both be purchased by one collector.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Life Imitates Art - or - Is It TV Imitates Quilts?

As I worked on hand sewing the casing to the black and white quilts I was watching "Americas Got Talent".

I looked up and there was a fantastic performer, Snap Boogie, dressed in white. Behind him were back up dancers in black.

But it was the back drop that was what got me.
A black and white pattern that moved in and out. An amazing performance and an amazing back drop.

Tune in tomorrow to see the finished quilts - BOTH of them!

Another Finish - Quilt 358 - Enchanted Forest

I have finished another quilt.
I am calling it Enchanted Forest unless I come up with a better name.
I have the right to change the names of my quilts as many times as I want!

Maybe I should get credit for finishing two quilts as I actually stitched a patterned quilt onto a solid color quilt!

There were a lot of challenges along the way and it took me quite some time to decide how to make this one work.

I'm quite pleased with the finished piece.

I have been alternating a little studio clean up with a little quilting.

The studio looked pretty good until I started bringing things out of the "studio annex" and using the studio as a staging area while I decided where to put things!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'll See You In My Dreams - Quilt 357 Finished At Last!

From the photos on my blog quite some time ago you probably thought this quilt was done.

There were a few of the heavy threads I had to bury and a few threads to trim from the back.

I don't add a quilt to my Excel spreadsheet of finished quilts until the last stitch or operation is finished. I couldn't believe I started this in 1997.

No matter how long it takes to finish a quilt there is always a feeling of exhilaration when I complete that final process and add it to my Excel spreadsheet and cross if off the work in progress page.

Blog Visitors

As of 9:05 a.m. I have had 121,050 visitors to my blog.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Polly, Esther And The Men Demand Equal Time

Proper attire for men has changed a lot in the last few decades.

I think the men's polyester double knit leisure suit had a big influence on the changes in what was acceptable.

All of a sudden it was acceptable for men to wear pastel suits!

How nice to have a jacket that was comfortable and never showed a wrinkle.

How nice to have a jacket that will never wear out no matter how many times you wear it.

I think there was a conspiracy by ready to wear that made all these wonderful polyester double knit clothing passe and men, like women, went on to new styles and fashions!

These are all jackets I made for my husband and are being modeled by my grandson Nicholas. They all look like they were just made and are in perfect condition, even though they were each worn a lot.

They were one of the surprises I got during the "studio annex" excavation when the box of them made a surprise appearance. I had thought all clothing had been brought out last year. Most of them had matching pants but those seem to have disappeared.

These will never wear out. There is no market for them on eBay, no matter how well made they are. They will not disintegrate if disposed of in a landfill.

I guess they will have to wait until the style comes back. In case it doesn't they could make great Halloween costumes!

I know a few of my former students read this blog. I taught many classes in men's PDK leisure jackets, men's PDK sport coats and men's PDK slacks. Do any of you still have some of them?
Remember how your husbands thought you were the greatest when you made clothes for them? I certainly enjoyed sharing how to make these things and teaching y'all how to make them. I know it created a lot of good memories.

One thing I forgot to mention is there is a LOT of PDK fabric in my donation pile of boxes in the garage! If you want it come and get it before the BIG truck comes and hauls it away!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Potato Chip Quilt!

I just recieved this photo from Dolores Sedore of the quilt she just completed.

Her fabric choices have made a quilt anyone would love to own.

This is what she said:
A little while ago I started cutting the strips for your Potato Chip quilt and then I left it. During the last few days I have gone back to it and am enclosing a couple of photos of it all put together. Unfortunately, the top strip is not showing since it is tucked over my flannel board which is too small for the quilt. It ended up to be 57" X 64". I cut an extra strip without even knowing that I did and decided to just keep it in. Not all of the fabrics were 42" or 44" wide.

I don't know how I will end up quilting it but at least the top is done and out of my head. it was an interesting exercise and I may do another one in different colours.

I'd love to see YOUR quilt too and will be happy to share it on my blog.

Black And White Quilt - Number 2 - It's Quilted!

I finished the quilting on this. I'm pleased with it and feel the circular quilting complements the strong graphic image.

This is a closeup of some of the quilting.

This is a detail shot of an area of the quilting where all the circular designs converge.

As usual, each photo can be enlarged to see more detail by clicking on it.

What next? Finish these black and white quilts or work on something else?
Who knows?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lotsa Drawers!

Someone asked about this cabinet that was partially visible in a post last week.
It is an old dental cabinet.

I bought it in Eagle River, WI at an antique shop and hauled it home in my trunk. I used a bungee cord to hold the trunk closed. It gave way about every 40 miles and I would stop and refasten it.

I got home expecting my husband to unload it. He was not around but I was not concerned as I returned a few hours early.

After about a half hour I got a phone call telling me he was in the hospital with a broken arm. He was standing on the TOP of a rickety ladder and and trying to saw a branch off a tree overhead with a chain saw.

I went right to the hospital with the cabinet in the trunk and finally got home after dark.

I had to call a friend to unload it so I could got back to the hospital at 6 a.m. for the surgery on his arm. My friends were already in bed for the night but they came over and unloaded it for me.

The drawers are very shallow so it does have limited use. It is in our sunroom/family room so it is not a place I would put sewing supplies.
It is a great decorative piece. It holds my grandmother's bowl and my great aunt's lamp. Neither piece is particularly valuable, but both have great sentimental value.

The cabinet also now has family history and a story - as does most everything in our house.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Studio Annex Is Empty

My assistant showed up and everything has been removed.
I still have things to handle and decide what to do with them, but they will NOT go back in the "Annex".

I spent so much time on this project today I won't have a quilt post right now.

120,008 Visits To Blog

I just saw that I have 120,008 visits to this blog as of 7/12/2011 at 8:22 a.m.
This is more for my information that yours!

Hope to be back later today with a REAL blog post. I'm still busy clearing out the "studio annex" because my assistant was on vacation for almost 2 weeks. Hope he shows up today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black And White Quilt - Number 2

This is an in progress view of my second black and white quilt.
I did not take step by step photos of this one.

This is larger than the first quilt. It also will have a lot more quilting which is why it is taking me longer to finish the quilting.

The high contrast of a black and white quilt results in strong graphic imagery.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One More Airport Coat Variation

I am sharing one more variation of this design.
The others I have made are either not here or have been sold.

I made this one jacket length without the collar.
I used a woven fabric for the base and knit fabrics for the 3 outer layers.

Base Fabric - a textured cotton dress weight
Layer 1 - a tan and cream loosely knit cotton sweater knit
Layer 2 - an olive cotton single knit
Layer 3 and binding - a teal and olive acrylic sweater knit

I choose to do a chevron or V design with the stitching on this jacket, a very flattering line.
The stitching lines are three quarters of an inch apart.
The sleeve, front and lower edges are finished with a simple 1/2 inch binding using the sweater knit.

This is a great weight for fall and early winter.

Because of the slashing of the fabric the garments made from this pattern are very drapey and flattering to all sizes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My If I Wanted To Meet A Man In An Airport Coat Variation

This coat is made from the same pattern as the one I showed you yesterday.
For this one I used the following fabrics:
1. Base - woven Buffalo check cotton fabric
2. Cotton osnaburg
3. Caramel color hand woven Guatemalan stripe fabric
4. Loosely woven black and cream wool plaid
Binding and seam covers - Black cotton

This is the back of the coat.
You can see I did a more complex stitching design on this coat.
I also spaced my lines 1/2 - 3/4 inches apart. The coat yesterday had lines stitched 1 inch apart.

This is a closeup of the stitching detail on the back of the coat.
You can see a strip of black on the back of the collar. This is what I call a seam cover. All the seams in this coat are covered this way.

The coat is totally reversible.

It is also very warm and comfy to wear. It is as warm as a fur coat - and in Wisconsin in the winter a warm coat is a necessity.

Yes, even with the one layer of wool, this coat is very washable and gets better the more it is washed.

Constructing this coat was much more time consuming, but well worth the effort. It looks great on any size or shape person.

I think you'll enjoy piecing this puzzle together!
Click to Mix and Solve

Friday, July 8, 2011

My If I Wanted To Meet A Man In An Airport Coat

I talked about this coat some time ago, but did not have a picture to show you.
My daughter in law Julie was nice enough to model this for me so I could show you what it looks like.

The weight is similar to the weight of a trench coat, but it is so much more fun to wear than a boring old trench coat!

This is what I said on the previous post:
I posted today on Quilt Art about a coat I had made from my Slashed Coat/Jacket pattern. The subtitle of mine is "My If I Wanted To Catch A Man In An Airport Coat".

I didn't want to and I don't want to. But everytime I wore it men would stop me and ask about it.

The first time it happened I was on the people mover at the Atlanta airport. A man struck up a conversation with me, which surprised me since I was past the age where men hit on you! He was very interested in the coat and very complementary about it.
This continued to happen each time I was in an airport and I was flying a lot back then. It was the perfect weight to go from cold weather to warmer weather.

This is the now famous coat.
This particular one was made with 4 layers of cotton.

The base layer is slightly heavier than a quilting cotton.
Layer 2 is a carmel color quilting weight (and all the other layers) cotton.
Layer 3 is what makes this so fun and funky. It is made from diagonal strips of red, black and rust alternating in no specific design.
Layer 4 (the outer layer) is an olive quilting weight cotton.

Using 100% cotton is what allows these layers to fluff out when the coat is washed. It is one of those garments that just gets better and better the more you wash it and dry it in the dryer.

Both the front and back have a neat asymmetric design.

Since there are no seam finishes or edge finishes this is a relatively quick coat to make. All the lines are stitched in one direction and there are no extra patterns added to the stitching which also makes this a quick project.

I have made several other variations from this pattern, both jacket and coat length.
They all get a lot of attention each time I wear them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wedding Quilt

This is the king size quilt I made for my son Greg and his wife Julie for their wedding. Although I didn't finish it in time for the wedding it was finished in 1995. It has been well taken care of. I also made coordinating pillows.

I am in the process of trying to document (with photos) most of the 355 quilts I have made over the years.

I did not have a photo of this one so they brought it with them when they visited so I could take a picture of it.

This is the first quilt I had someone else quilt on a long arm machine. I designed a feather design to fit the quilt perfectly. It was a real challenge for the quilter.
I quilted the border myself on my regular machine.

I am kicking myself now that I didn't get a closeup of the quilting for you to see.

Julie packed up a suitcase full of quilts for me to photograph.

Some I had even forgot I made.

This is a quilt that was used and loved and shows it. I made this for Greg in 1970 when he was 8. It is simply a piece of striped bottom weight cotton fabric that I quilted along some of the stripes.

The thing that made it special is the fact that I added his name to it.
I did this with my Singer 201 and a Kenmore monogram attachment.
You can see how the quilt is shredded and tattered in this close up.

I think I have only made one quilt that has been used and worn out more than this one. The last time I saw it the entire quilt was in shreds.
That was for a grandson and I don't have a photo of the finished quilt and I would guess it is in a landfill somewhere now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating July 4th

We spent the day at my brother and sister in law's house to celebrate the 4th of July on the 3rd of July again.
There were almost 50 of us there - mostly family and extended family.
I took 257 pictures. Thank goodness for digital cameras. I probably have less than 50 good ones.
I am going to share a random selection with you in no particular order.
I won't share all the 50 good ones so relax and enjoy some of the best.

Just in case you don't remember Bill and Mary I took this picture of them on the pier. Mary is wearing the apron I made her last year for the 4th.

We now have a bumper crop of young children in our family and most of them spent a good deal of time in the water or near the water. The water was warm and perfect for swimming, jumping in the water, boating, riding on the jet ski or spending time with the cousins.

These are the two youngest cousins. They are each 1 1/2 years old.

Shortly before sunset there is a boat parade. This year it was loosely organized and there was no rhyme nor reason to it. The boats did not line up but came by whenever they felt like it. We sat on the pier and watched. This was my very favorite boat!

I took about 40 sunset pictures and was rewarded with several great ones.

We concluded the day watching fireworks from the pier. It was a great day with family, food, and fresh air. It doesn't get any better than that!

Since Mary is one of my biggest puzzle fans, I think it is only appropriate for them to be the stars puzzle for the celebration.
Click to Mix and Solve

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