Showing posts from January, 2010

Quilt washing hangups

Thanks for all your suggestions about cleaning my quilt yesterday. The gummy stuff came off with some gentle scrubbing and left no stain, just the smell, but once I'd rubbed off the gummy stuff, I had to get the kids from school. When I returned the patches had dried and I had trouble finding all the patches needing odour treatment. I could smell the fish but had trouble pinpointing exactly where I should be treating. So in the end, I went with Katie and Christine's suggestion, took a deep breath and dumped the whole thing in the washer and dryer after all.

Here's what I discovered. I lack confidence in my workmanship. I'm always sure that when I put a quilt in the washer, even on the gentlest cycle, all those stitches, both machine piecing and hand quilting, will just pull apart. I'm always convinced that I'll find tatters when I pull the quilt out of the washer. Maybe the colours will all bleed, even if I pre-washed the fabrics (and did I forget to …

Dogs, quilts and fish food

Trust me, all three are related.

This dog disappeared today while I put away groceries. Since he is usually a little shadow, following me around every step I take, I thought his disappearance was suspicious. I went looking and found him, with a broken plastic jar of fish food and very little food left. I'm guessing he was just finishing up what he started while I was out getting the groceries. Doesn't he just have "guilty" written all over his face?

Here's where the quilt part comes in. Not satisfied with destroying the jar of fish food and consuming the contents, he decided to do it on my bed, on my quilt.

For those of you who don't keep pet fish, let me say that fish food doesn't only feed your fish, it also smells very strongly of fish. And the dog's licking it to get it up off the quilt made it nice and gummy and worked it right into the fabric. So, does anyone have any idea how to spot clean a fishy smelling spot? Washing the whole thing …

Wishful thinking...

Last weekend the winter blahs took over so I tried to inject a touch of spring into my living room.

I made new pillow covers for all four tired throw pillows on the couch. My daughter helped with the striped one until she pricked her finger on a pin. That rather dampened her enthusiasm for the actual sewing part. She did choose all the fabric strips and line them up in order. "We" sewed them directly to a backing and batting sandwich, sort of like foundation piecing, doing the piecing and quilting all in one step.

I made the swirl pillow the same way. I found measurements for a 9" Snail's Trail block here. I wanted mine to keep swirling a bit more so I calculated the triangle size needed for just one more round, cut one out and found it much too small. I had been quite sure all my logic and use of geometry and Mr. Pythagorus' theorum were correct. I'd allowed for seam allowances and everything. I puzzled quite a while before I finally found the problem. It tur…

Astro Quilt

Here's a peek at what I've been working on for my husband. When he pointed out last spring that both kids have "fun" quilts to snuggle under when they watch TV but he didn't, I went out and bought a bit of this fabric as a joke. I didn't actually think that after working as an astronomer all day he'd want more of it at home. Apparently he has chosen to work at what he loves, because his eyes lit up when he saw the fabric.

So, I went back to the quilt shop and came home with this:

I had a star quilt pattern in mind, but realized before I cut into the fabric that the tiny pieces wouldn't do the space print justice. I pulled out graph paper instead to come up with something new. I decided I wanted large swaths of the space fabric. It took a while for me to remember that there is no rule that says a quilt has to have blocks all the same size lined up in rows, but once I clued in I just sprinkled stars across the graph paper. I spent a few hours …


Welcome to my new quilting blog. I've posted a bit on APQ, and certainly lurked there quite a bit. Changes happening at that site were just the nudge I needed to try a blog of my own.

I started my first quilt back in 2000.
I had a friend who walked me through paper piecing this first quilt, but I was on my own to figure out how to quilt it. Let's just say my brother and his wife received their wedding gift a year late:) I've gotten a bit speedier since then, though hand quilting bed quilts still takes me a while.

This is the last one I finished, just last fall. This was for my son, and my daughter is now patiently (less patiently some days) waiting for her new quilt. It may be ready by the end of 2010 - or not! :) I'll share my progress when there is some to show.

Meanwhile I started something completely different, just for a change of pace. It's a throw for my astronomer husband, and isn't my usual fare of similar sized blocks or rows joined with sashing…