Thursday, March 27, 2014

K's Improv Quilting

I recently found some improv blocks hiding in my sewing room and decided to put them up on my design wall (the back  of a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth hung on the wall) and see what they looked like after being stored away for a while.  Some of these have been hanging around in my sewing room for quite a long time.  Of course we have red and blue and yellow blocks ( my favorite cold combination). 
These are some leftover blocks from another quilt and some blocks that I am experimenting with.  Next is a red, white , and blue color combo.  (My next favorite color combination).

I have some of these sewn together.  Maybe some day I will finish this,  I really like this.

This big piece is all sewn together but I just don't  know how to finish it.  It needs a border or something.  It has been hanging around in my sewing room for 5+ years?  The big flower and bird is from a design by Mary Lou Weidman and I have several of her books.  One of her designs is the cow quilt that I made. I really want to try to make more of her designs.  This is not all I have a lot more blocks (more traditional blocks ) hanging around in my sewing room also.  One thing I also want to try is some more quilts with  words in them.  I have made several quilts with peoples names on them.  I'll  try to show you those some other time.  I hope you have enjoyed my look into my quilt world!

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Quilt for Dad

Recently I made this quilt and was going to donate it to a program called Quilts of Valor which is an organization which gives quilts  to veterans of our armed forces.  Then I remembered that my Dad was in the army reserves so I decided to give this quilt to him.  After talking to my Mom I found out that he was in the army reserves for 9 years.  I also found out that he was in two army reserves units- a truck unit and also a sharpshooter unit and that he received a sharpshooter medal.  He always told us stories of being in the trucking unit and how scary it was to drive the trucks without lights during training in the Colorado  mountains.    He also told us that he and several buddies from Brazilton would play cards on the train on the way to Colorado .  I did not know about the sharpshooting unit or that he was in the reserves for that long until recently.   He always told us  that he was two old to serve in WWII and that he was too  young for the Korean war.   He never was called into active service but he did do battle with one very bad foe-  A spider!   The story goes that he got bit by a spider right before he was the to go to  training camp.   When  he got to camp they sent him on  a twenty mile hike and by the time they finished the hike he was in the hospital!  He said he was afraid that they were going to  make him redo training camp that year but they didn't.  He has a scar on his back that proves this happened.   I am very proud of my Dad for doing this and I hope he enjoys his quilt!

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 and beyond (Posted by Lorri)

I'm not sure there is really going to be a theme for this post, I think that I'm just going to post things I like.   So, brace yourself for some pretty quilty things.

This is a close up photo of a pattern that our Grandma Von Soosten used.  I have seen it called several different names, one of which is "Spring Wheels".  A good use of scraps. Hand pieced and hand quilted, of course.  Made in the 1960s. 

 Caedmon loves his cow quilt that his great Aunt Kay made for him.  It has been one of his favorites for a long time. 

 The back is fun, too.

I took this picture on an early morning walk in Crawford County.  Because you can't quilt 24/7.  The railroad track runs through the farm.

A wildflower in the ditch along the gravel road.

I'm pretty sure this is a noxious weed, but I thought it was pretty.  A thistle, I think.
It was a particularly peaceful morning. 

Just pretty.

What everybody needs, a box full of grandkids.

I think that the pattern is called the Tree of Life, or something like that.  We made this wall hanging for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  Guests were encouraged to sign the leaves.  It was pretty fun to make.  My friend Marilyn did some fabulous custom quilting on it.  Notice the initials "carved" on the tree trunk.

A nifty close up of the quilting. 

We have been experimenting with taking photos of our quilts.  Here I am up in the hayloft. 

This is our triumphant look after we conquered making the arch at the Children's Science Museum in Des Moines.  I'm not going to lie, we had help. 

And, last photo for this post.  We painted this barn quilt for our Aunt Kay.  I really liked how she has it displayed.  She has a good eye for knowing what works.  Maybe she wants to learn to quilt. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Barn Quilts by Sherry

This one is Kay's.
Recently Lorri, Kay and I met at our parents house to paint a few barn quilts.  Lorri had already painted the small ones pictured here. All I did was take the pictures.  We painted three big ones that day, one for our parents, one for the neighbors and one for our machine quilter. 
Lorri finished it the next day.  The big ones are 4'by 4'.  The little ones are 2'by 2'.  We had lots of fun. 
Lorri is painting the one we made for our friend and machine quilter Joan Westoff

This is Lorri's;  Flying geese

This one is for our Aunt Kay Huning.

Here is a shot of the one we made for my parents barn. The pattern is Flying Geese.
 I worked on my small one and a small one for my friend, Debbie Potter. I finished them last wee.   I'll show them on my next post.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Barn Quilts October 13, 2013 Posted by Lorri

Barn quilts are quilt blocks or patterns painted on wood.  Usually they are on a solid piece of wood, and then are mounted onto the side of a barn.  I saw some really pretty ones driving through the Iowa countryside to get some bacon.  Which is another story in itself.

Sherry gave our mom a really nifty book about barn quilts.  So, our mom wants one to put on her barn.  Which we promptly volunteered to paint it for her (and Daddy, of course).  We decided to practice making a few smaller ones first, to work out the kinks.

Here's how it went:

You can purchase pre-cut 2 foot by 2 foot plywood squares at the home improvement center.  I lightly sanded them, and then rolled on three coats for exterior white paint/primer.

After I choose which block I wanted to paint, I used colored pencils to test drive which colors to use.
Quilting grid rulers work really well for marking the lines.  I used a regular pencil for this. 
I used blue painters tape.  There was a little bleed through under the tape despite making sure the tape was adhered. etc.  I think it is because the plywood is not completely smooth.  I decided to live with a little bleed through under the edges of the tape as I figured no one will notice but me.  Probably.  And these blocks will be mounted on buildings outside.
I read on someone else's blog that you should do three coats of each color. I found this to be good advice.  Even though I bought good quality exterior paint/primer, it looked best after the third coat.  Takes awhile though, when you have to wait two to four hours between coats.  
This is actually a different block, but similar.  I found it was easiest to use foam brushes for this project.  Clean up is easy with the foam brushes also.
Two completed barn quilts.  The one on the left is the Sawtooth Star block and is going to Kay's house.  The block on the right is the Variable Star block and is staying in my backyard.

And here it is, on our barn in our backyard.  Ok, it's really a garden shed that looks like a little barn.  I was pretty pleased with how this turned out. We are headed to the farm in a couple of weeks, so we can work on the big barn quilt.  Should be a fun time.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Summer musings 2013 by Lorri

A mug rug for my friend Kate

Sunflower wall hangings for Kay and Sherry's birthdays.  Because sometimes we make stuff for each other.  And, the red barnwood frames were made by our dad.
Pillows for my little granddaughters, the kitty for Charlotte and the puppy for Vada
And, the little girlies with their pillows
I started this quilt two years ago (I think).  I took a class from Dava Carrell, a lady from our church that teaches quilt classes.  I'd love to take another class from her someday.  She has a wealth of knowledge.  This was a pattern of hers, but I can't remember the name.  It was quilted by Joan Westhoff, who lives around Walnut Kansas.  It is queen sized.  Like many quilters, I give away most of the quilts that I make, but I am actually keeping this one.  I just liked the bright colors.

And now, school has started again, so back to work.   We teach CPR and First Aid for for whole week to the coaches, bus drivers, secretaries, etc. before the students return to school.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Little Balkans Quilt Show Pictures

Here are some random quilt show pictures from the Little Balkans Quilt Show.  Some of these are ours and some of these are other peoples.  I wished that I had taken more pictures but you know how that goes.
I hope you enjoyed these.  I don't know what happened but I had trouble getting my pictures where I wanted them.  I have more pictures so I might post more next later.  Enjoy!