Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pleaides for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

 Pleiades, named for the constellation of Seven Sisters.
7 white stars for the ones you can see easily, 7 blue stars for a total of the 14 that can be seen with the naked eye.  11 more stars quilted in for the many more that can only be detected by telescope.
 This quilt measures 33" x 33" and was made for a guild challenge where the only "rule" was to have at least one 5 pointed star on the front.  Unfortunately I wasn't at the meeting where the other quilts were shown :(.  I wish I could have seen them all.
 I quilted around each star and radiated out from each center.  All on my domestic machine.
 I love to use uglies on the back of quilts.  A great way to use up fabric.

This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the Small Quilts Category.  (yay for entering two quilts!)

Submissions are through Oct. 31, and then voting!
Original Pleiades post is *here*.

Bloggers Quilt Festival : Art Quilt : Wisconsin Gas Building

 I have decided to enter my Wisconsin Gas Building Four-in-Art Quilt into the Art Quilt Category for The Blogger's Quilt Festival.
 This little quilt measures just 12"x12".  I used an Andy Warhol inspired palette to interpret the various colors that the flame on the top of the building change to.

The colors of the flame represent the weather forecast:
When the flame is red, its warm weather ahead
When the flame is gold, watch out for cold
When the flame is blue, there's no change in view
When there's a flickering flame, expect snow or rain

 The pieces are raw edge applique with a net overlay to keep them all in place.
 Dense matchstick quilting helps hold it all together and add the texture to the quilt.

 Here  is a picture of the actual building in downtown Milwaukee - notice the flame is blue!

 And here is the art work by Liz Carver that I used to base my design off of.

You can enter quilts through October 31.  Go check them all out at Amy's Creative Side.

The original post for this quilt can be found *here*.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vintage Quilts in My Home

This month I have been participating on the Soak Photo Challenge on Instagram.  You can find me @rachel_thelifeofriley on there.

Day 21 Was Vintage.  You see, I have a few vintage quilts and tops hanging out in my closet.  They come from my father-in-laws family.   The photo challenge got me to pull them all out.  I hadn't looked at them in years, and it was great fun to pull them out and look.  And then I figured since they were all out, I'd share them with you. (see I'm generous like that)
 First up is this flimsy.  Obviously scrappy.  Those are real feed sack fabrics in there.  No reproductions here.  Also quite a few shirtings, as well.  According to Jinny Beyer's book, the block is called Grandmother's choice.  At least that was the most similar block I could find.
 The background is an unbleached muslin.  Its in very good shape.  I only found a couple of dirty areas, but I think that they could easily be washed out.  Definitely a candidate for being finished.
 A shot of the back of one of the blocks shows that the top was machine pieced.  All in white thread.
 The next flimsy are these stars that have been appliqued on to individual muslin back ground squares that were then pieced together.  The stars are blanket stitched with a thick red yarn.  Notice that the blanket stitch is backwards from how you usually see it.  In this case the solid line on on the star, not the edge.
 The stars are somewhat scrappy, but you will notice that the fabrics are all plaid, checked, or striped.  This top is in good shape, as well.  However there are some areas where the color has run/transferred either from the red yarn, or the fabrics themselves.
 This one is quite interesting.  A column quilt top of sorts. 
 This black and white section is actually a cheater cloth and is also double layered, so the front and the back are the same, with no 'wrong side'.
 The colored sections are pieced.
Hello Flying Geese!  This one is cot sized.  It isn't technically a quilt, although it is pieced and finished.  There is no batting in the middle and the top and bottom are connected only around the edges, no tying or quilting.  I think that makes it a Coverlet. (feel free to correct me if you know)
 It was also used.  There are a few worn areas at the "top" of the coverlet and a couple of holes.  The background is an unbleached muslin, as is the back.
This one makes my heart sing.  Blue and White stars in really good condition.  I can't help but wonder if this was a 'good' quilt.
Some interesting things to notice about this one.  The back ground pieces are partly unbleached muslin and partly plain feed sacks.
See the printing on the corner block?
Also look closely behind the muslin fabric. See the plaid?  That is the "batting".  My best guess is that it is a heavier blanket, maybe flannel?  The quilt is tied, as you can see.
 The quilt is finished with what I think is called a 'knife edge', where the two layers are folded in and then the edge was finished with a running stitch.  The blue floral is the backing.  It looks to be many pieces pieced together - feed sacks?
 This Churn Dash quilt (or Monkey Wrench) is the one I shared on IG.  The backgrounds for the Churn Dash Pieces are all shirtings.  The sashing is unbleached muslin.
I'm not sure what the batting is in this one, but it is surprisingly heavy for how thin it is.
 This quilt is also in really good shape.  Also tied like the last one.
 And the backing?  All feed sacks turned over!  This one reads "Bakers Flour Co, Chicago, IL, Bleached Flour, None Better, CrackerJack.

These were all made by my Father-in-law's grandmother - Dora.  My guess is probably during the Second World War or before?  I know that they lived in Chicago during the war to work.  I'll have to ask some more questions and make up some labels for these beautiful works. 

Hope you enjoyed this little tour.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Planning the Lights Quilt

 As soon as our final Four-in-Art theme was announced for the year, I knew what I was going to do.  This fifth quarter theme is Light.  Light falls under the year's theme of Urban. 

 My previous quilt showcased a skyline silhouette of Milwaukee, and I wanted to continue to explore that idea combined with the idea of lights.  Here are a couple of preview shots to whet your appetite.  The final reveal will be November 1.
This one is a bit of a test.  I traced the skyline backwards.  And when I sat down to do the sky quilting, I think I forgot how to FMQ.  Really, its been a couple months, and it wasn't pretty.

Here's the base for the "real" one.  We'll see how things go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

IG MiniSwap Update, WIP Wednesday 10.22.14

 The two major WIP's this week are the IG Mini Swap Quilt and my next Four-in-Art quilt.
 All the pieces for my IG Mini Swap are put together.
 Diamond set 1.

 Diamond set 2.
 A shot of things laid out.  I need to do a bit of work on the diamonds to get them ready for applique, and then I'll be ready for assembly.  The real question at this point, is whether they will fit on this piece of background.  Its a fat quarter, and I checked at the store Saturday, and they don't have any more.  This may lead to some background piecing.  But, I will wait and see after the edges of the diamonds are turned under.

Tomorrow I'll share what I'm working on with the art quilt, so far.

Linking with Lee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


 I know a while back I mentioned that I was making skirts for E.  I made a total of 6 (or7?).  Alas I do not have pictures of them all, but they are all pretty much the same.  I used the same pattern for them all, just a variety of fabrics from my stash.  The one above is a linen look fabric with some stretch to it.  She wears this one a lot.  Its substantial and doesn't wrinkle.
The one above, here, is actually a tube skirt.  My MIL was cleaning out her clothes and asked if I wanted anything out of the pile.  I grabbed a couple of red knit T-shirts, cut them up and put them back together as a skirt.  No hemming needed!  Or side seams, just four tubes sewn together with an elastic casing at the top.

Perhaps I'll manage to grab more pictures as she wears them, but at least these have been blogged.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Giant Hexie Pin Cushion, or Miss Muffet's Tuffet

 Hello Bloggity Blog readers.  Its been a while, eh?  It seems that lately its been hard to force my self to slow down to take the time to sit at the computer and blog.  Today, I'm taking some time.  Oh, and for those of you that asked, Mr. Riley is doing quite well after back surgery.  The surgery itself was successful, there is still some recovery time, but today he is back to work after three weeks off. (coincidence with a blog post? hmmmm.....)

 Anywho. A couple of days ago I had an idea that I just had to try.
I grabbed some fossil fern in a rainbow selection, did some quick glue basting and English Paper piecing and put together what I thought was going to be an awesome pin cushion.
It didn't turn out quite as awesome as I had hoped.    For one thing, actually the major thing, its huge!

 6 inches across!
Look at that sad little pin in there!  Oh, and when I appliqued the hexies, they shifted, so they are not quite centered.  Sigh.  I had honestly hoped to give this as a gift, but it is not quite up to my gifting standards.  Kinda looks like a weird soccer ball.
The bottom. 
I filled it with a combination of walnut shells and fiber fill. 
I may use it to keep track of my machine needles.  Write on each hexie a type of needle and then I can reuse them and not forget what they are...  It would probably make a decent pattern weight, as well. 

Back to the drawing board.