Garage Glamour Update

I’ve been working at a leisurely pace on my current sewing project for my twin sister Diane’s garage windows. (That’s another way of saying I am easily distracted by any and all invitations to play Scrabble.) Here’s a look at the first valance in place:

As mentioned in my last post, the plan was to make gathered valances attached to a flat rod pocket accented with grey grosgrain ribbon. I was going to make the rod pocket the width of the grosgrain ribbon — 1-1/2″ — but then realized that if I centered the ribbon on a larger piece of contrasting fabric it would make the grosgrain ribbon really stand out.

Here’s a close-up of the valance in process. You can see the grosgrain ribbon has been attached to a strip of yellow gold fabric:

(Pay no attention to the fabric in the background. It was used to cover Diane’s ironing board.) That yellow gold fabric? It was left over from another project I made for Diane at least 10 years ago, the valance over the kitchen window:

The rod pocket trim fabric is almost the same color as the garage walls and ties in nicely with the gray and gold patterned rug at the door leading into the house:

This picture is also proof that Diane and Ed actually do park their cars in the garage! Diane wants me to explain that she wants a nice looking garage because 99% of the people who visit enter the house through the garage rather than climbing 26 steps to the front door. Earlier this year Diane and Ed had the oil-stained cement floor treated so it could be covered with a multilayered epoxy treatment. It certainly elevated the look of the garage, and Diane reports the floor is easy to clean.

The second valance is finished but our project is not quite done. Both Diane and I don’t like the fact that the brackets holding the curtain rods are visible and have devised a plan to block them from view. (Stay tuned for the final reveal.)

My friends already know I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive. Now you know: it’s a twin thing.

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, Scrabble, update, valance | 4 Comments

Garage Glamour

Greetings from Georgia, where my husband Charlie (aka the Dear Husband) and I are enjoying our annual visit over Thanksgiving with my twin Diane and her Dear Husband, Ed. As usual I have a home dec project to work on and this time the site is the garage, of all places.

Several years ago Diane bought a pair of beautifully made custom valances at a garage sale (how appropriate), although I’m certain the valances initially adorned an interior room. The valances featured a charming toile print with a gathered ticking stripe underneath. After years in the garage the striped ticking disintegrated from exposure to sun streaming in through the windows but the tailored valances survived. Take a look:

Diane framed vintage images of scenes from Portland and the Columbia River Gorge to remind her of her native Oregon:

But I digress. Here’s a close-up of one of the valances:

Now it’s time to replace them. (By the way, have you ever seen such a clean garage? Mine sure doesn’t look like that!)

Last week my twin and I went shopping not only for her valances but for valances I am going to make for our stepmother — my next home dec project. Diane and I found fabrics for both at the very first place on our list. This is Diane’s valance fabric, a lovely floral linen print:

The plan is to make valances that are softly gathered at the top and bottom and to accent the rod pocket with grey grosgrain ribbon. I’m going to line the valances with whiteout fabric to add body and protect the linen from the ravages of the sun.

And what of the valances we took down? They are still in good shape. And we have an idea on how they might be repurposed elsewhere in Diane and Ed’s home. Subject of a future post, no doubt!

 

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, update, valance | 9 Comments

Winterwood: Almost a Wrap

With the holidays fast approaching, I decided it was time to finish the winter version of seasonal wall hangings based on my pattern Season to Taste. This is Winterwood:

I finished the top in June and wrote about the making of it here. If you’re curious about where the name Winterwood came from, you’ll find the explanation in that June post.

Winterwood is quilted very simply with horizontal lines. Unfortunately, I forgot to extend the stitching lines across the borders, and now that the binding is on I’m not entirely happy with the result. I’m going to give it a good press and then decide if I need to add some after-the-fact quilting in the borders.

Winterwood was made to be a wall hanging but I decided to piece the back in such a way that it could double as a holiday table runner:

That’s a 7″ inset circle in the middle. I’m going to make a label using a compact disc as a pattern and put the label on the circle, figuring that I can put a candle or plate on top of the label to hide it. Because the tree fabric is directional, I deliberately arranged it so that the trees go in both directions.

Once this winter version is finished, I’ll show you how it looks with the spring, summer, and fall versions. Do I have a favorite? Why yes, I do. Perhaps you will, too!

 

 

 

Posted in home dec, kaleidoscope quilts, quilt labels, single-fold binding, table runner, update, wall hanging | 1 Comment

My Feedbag Face Mask, Modified

I made myself a new face mask yesterday using the excellent free mask pattern from SeeKateSew. In the process I made a second modification that not only makes the mask fit my face better, it also eliminates one of the final sewing steps. Gotta love that! Here’s a look at my new mask:

Kate calls her design the 3D Mask but in my family it’s known as the Feedbag Face Mask, thanks to an observation my twin sister Diane made last year about my first effort involving a rather unfortunate choice of mask fabric on my part:

(You can read about it here. It still makes me laugh when I see that photo.)

Kate’s pattern is essentially an elongated octagon. I extended the ends to allow for a wider casing for the earloops. That was my first modification, made last year. What you see below is her pattern along with the freezer paper pattern I made from it:

Through folding and stitching, the flat pattern is transformed into three sections (still in one piece). The top section goes across the nose, the middle section over the mouth, and the bottom section under the chin. The mask becomes three-dimensional when pleats are made along the ends of the top and bottom sections next to the casing. This photo of a mask I made last year shows what I mean:

You can also see the channel at the top of the mask where a nosewire can be inserted.

On my latest mask I omitted the pleats at the top section. One result is that the top of the mask comes up a bit higher on my face but another — and better — result is greater comfort. That’s because the nosewire, which gets pressed across the bridge of my nose, fits along the top of my cheeks better. My older masks tend to leave indentations in my skin from the nosewires because the pleating at the top pulls the masks tighter across my face. My modified mask is still slightly boxy (and still snug) at the top while the greater boxiness at the bottom makes the mask fit nicely under my chin.

As long as the need to wear masks continues, we might as well go in style, right? For me that means fun fabrics and comfort.

 

 

 

Posted in face masks, family, update | 2 Comments

It’s a Wrap: The Green Goddess Quilt

A windy fall day in Portland, Oregon did not offer a great photo op for my latest finish, The Green Goddess Quilt. Nevertheless, I posed in front of my Subaru Forester (aka the Green Goddess) today so the Dear Husband could snap this photo to show you how well the quilt goes with the car.

Here’s a close-up of the binding:

Don’t you love the look of a stripe on the bias on a quilt binding? I sure do!

Here’s a photo of the finished front . . .

. . . and the finished back:


The label:

I made an inset circle (using a compact disc as my pattern) and then enclosed it in another circle using the same fabric I used for accent strips on the back and for the binding. The label was appliquéd in place by hand.

Sometimes, if the quilting motif is compatible, I will stitch in the ditch around the inner circle to secure the label even more to the quilt. The motif I chose for this quilt (an edge-to-edge design called Sashay) has a lot of loops and swirls so I went for the added stitch-in-the-ditch. If you look carefully you can see the stitching:

Now take a look at the front of the quilt:

Do you see the circle? Look at the dark orange print triangle in the lower left corner. There it is!

But if you looked at the entire quilt again from the front, you probably wouldn’t notice it unless I pointed it out:


That’s what I mean about the stitching motif being compatible; the stitching around the label is virtually unnoticeable from the front.

Before The Green Goddess Quilt takes up residence in its namesake, I need to throw it in the washer and dryer so it gets that lovely old-fashioned puckery look that only comes with laundering.

The Green Goddess Quilt finishes at 48″ square. It was made using Melissa Corry’s free pattern State Fair and a Layer Cake (10″ squares) of the charming “Jungle Paradise” line designed by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda Fabrics.

 

 

 

Posted in family, quilt labels, State Fair quilt pattern, update | 8 Comments

A Pearl of a Quilt Guild

One week ago today I was in the small town of Dayton, Oregon (population 2,668) giving a presentation to a brand new quilt guild, the Willamette Valley Quilters. My talk was about the making of this quilt, Give Me the Simple Life:

Give Me the Simple Life, made by Dawn White, quilted by Kazumi Peterson (2019)

It’s my version of Hazel’s Diary Quilt, designed by Shelly Pagliai and featured in her book A Simple Life: Quilts Inspired by the ’50s. The making of this quilt, including my struggle/journey to become proficient at needleturn appliqué, was well documented in my blog during most of 2018 and 2019 so no need to revisit it here. I got to revisit it, though, while preparing for my presentation. It was great fun to go back in time, so to speak, to tell the guild members the story behind the quilt.

The Willamette Valley Quilters held its first member meeting last month, that’s how new the guild is. Here’s a photo of the founding members from the guild’s website:

And here’s a photo of most of them at last week’s meeting:

There’s something special about this photo. Do you see it? In addition to wearing tee-shirts with the Willamette Valley Quilters logo on it, everyone in the picture is wearing pearls! Peggy Gelbrich, the guild’s first president (she’s third from the left), told me the board hopes to make it a tradition. Isn’t that a lovely idea?

The leaders of the guild could not have been kinder or more welcoming when I arrived to set up for the meeting, and it was a delight to interact with them and their members. So thank you, Willamette Valley Quilters!

 

 

 

Posted in appliqué, needleturn appliqué, update | 4 Comments

Rounding the Bases

Yesterday afternoon I finally got the bias binding attached to my Green Goddess car quilt (made from the free State Fair pattern by Melissa Corry). It’s a little hard to tell from this photo but I’m attaching the binding with a 3/8″ seam, the same measurement the finished binding will be:

The binding got attached shortly before the beginning of yesterday’s Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, with the Atlanta Braves holding a 3-2 edge over the Los Angeles Dodgers (last year’s winners of the World Series). If the Braves won, they would advance to the World Series; if the Dodgers won, the two teams would be tied at 3-3 and force a Game 7.

The Dear Husband and I settled down to watch the game and I began hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt. Many quilters dread this step in quiltmaking but it has always been a process I’ve enjoyed. And it was oh, so appropriate to be working on this while a baseball game was underway.

You see, whenever I bind a quilt I have a visual in my head of each corner being the base of a ballfield. I start out a few inches from one corner, and as I get to each corner I tick off the base mentally in my head. It’s always satisfying to round third base and head for home plate.

I didn’t get all that far yesterday because the game was so exciting I kept pausing with my needle in midair. By now (if you’re a baseball fan) you know the Atlanta Braves won the game and will be going to the World Series for the first time since 1999. Twenty-two years! The team will face the Houston Astros, winner of the American League Championship Series.

I hope to have my quilt completely bound before the first game of the World Series on Tuesday. In the meantime, here are a few process shots of my binding, starting with first base — er, the first corner:

. . . which looks like this from the front:

. . . and the second corner:

. . . which looks like this from the front:

Depending on the time of day and the amount of natural or artificial light, the colors of the quilt — especially the greens — can look so different. Nevertheless, I think you can see how cute the fabrics are that feature the animals in Stacy Iest Hsu’s “Jungle Paradise” fabric line.

Can I say it? I think this quilt is a home run!

 

 

 

 

Posted in family, State Fair quilt pattern, update | 5 Comments

Sashaying Around

Who’s doing the sashaying? That would be moi, doing the happy dance because my latest quilt is just back from the longarmer. Karlee at SewInspired2Day quilted it with an edge-to-edge design called “Sashay” by Anne Bright. Take a look:

For such a small quilt (48″ square), there’s a huge amount of negative space — so much so that any quilt motif was bound to stand out. I was looking for a design with loops and swirls that would provide a pleasing counterpoint to all of those straight and diagonal lines in the print fabrics. “Sashay” fits the bill nicely. I asked Karlee to match the quilting thread to the pale green background fabric so the quilting would compliment the quilt design without overpowering it. I’m delighted with the result.

Here are a few close-ups for your viewing enjoyment:



If you’ve just tuned in, those fabrics are from the “Jungle Paradise” line designed by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda Fabrics. The quilt pattern is a freebie from Melissa Corry called State Fair.

Here’s a look at the back of my quilt:


When I turned the quilt over to Karlee I asked her to extend the quilting about a half-inch beyond the edges of the quilt top. The reason? With no border on this quilt, I knew I’d have to be very careful when trimming the excess batting and backing fabric to leave enough so that no points are cut off the triangles when the binding strip is added. Having the quilting stitches go all the way to the very edges of the fabric (and beyond) helps keep the edges flat, making it easier to trim the quilt and add the binding.

If you look at the top photo you’ll notice I didn’t trim to the very edges of the quilt. I left a half-inch margin all around. Now that I’ve measured and know that the quilt is square all around, I’ll trim most of that extra off, leaving just an eighth of an inch because I’m going to make my binding finish at 3/8″ instead of my usual quarter inch.

This is actually the second time I’ve chosen “Sashay” for a quilt. Back in 2017, longarmer Sherry Wadley used that motif on a baby quilt I made for my great niece Selene. You can see Selene’s quilt here.

With all of the Major League Baseball playoff games under way, I’m eager to get the binding sewn to the front so I can settle down in front of the TV with the Dear Husband and handstitch the binding to the back while watching to see which teams continue their advance to the World Series.

 

 

 

Posted in State Fair quilt pattern, update | 6 Comments

Zingy Zebra Stripes

As promised, here’s a shot of the backing of my current project:

You will recall that the front features glimpses of wild animals and birds frolicking in the jungle:

Didn’t I tell you I had the perfect fabric in my stash for the backing? I hope you agree! I’ve had this green zebra stripe fabric for — oh, at least a dozen years. I’ve used it in two other projects and have enough left for at least a couple more. That’s because after buying one large-ish piece, I found it for sale somewhere else and on impulse bought the rest of the bolt. It was a good impulse, right?

For those of you who like to know such things, the backing fabric is from the Peyton Collection designed by Anna Griffin for Windham Fabrics. I just checked her website, AnnaGriffin.com, and it appears she isn’t designing fabrics now. That’s probably a good thing for my pocketbook because if she were still designing fabrics, I’d be buying them.

On the back I added a row of leftover half-square triangles (HSTs), including one with a pink background that didn’t seem quite right for the front. Here’s a close-up:

The HSTs are separated from the zebra stripes by a stripy green print that makes me think of blades of grass. I’m going to bind the quilt with this same fabric, cut on the bias. I think it will add a bit of zing to both the front and back of the quilt.

Speaking of front and back, they are ready for the longarm quilter. All those straight lines and angles in the quilt top are telling me the quilt motif needs to incorporate curves and circles. I’m thinking “filigree.” Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Posted in State Fair quilt pattern, update | 4 Comments

Changing Horses Midstream

There must be a quilting equivalent to that expression but I’m leary of mixing my metaphors. And, metaphorically speaking, I didn’t really change horses midstream. Instead I said “Whoa!” and pulled them to a halt.

You already know that I spent hours and hours in front of my design wall arranging the blocks on my current project, nine large blocks making up a fun pattern called State Fair. Each block contains 36 pieces so you know there was a lot of moving pieces around to get the balance I was seeking. I didn’t sew a single component together until I had all nine blocks laid out.

But here’s what happened: after sewing just four of the nine blocks together, I was so pleased with what I saw that I didn’t want to go any further. Behold:

What you see is a quilt top that will measure 48″ square when bound. That’s a bit on the small side for a lap quilt — but not for what I have in mind. You see, I have long wanted to make a quilt for my car (aka the Green Goddess). I think this will be the perfect size. It’s large enough for the Dear Husband to throw across his lap on a road trip but small enough to fold up easily and toss in the back seat. And in a pinch it could double as a seat cushion at a baseball game.

Here’s another bit of good news:  in my fabric stash I found the perfect fabric for the back. I’ll be back soon to show you. In the meantime, here’s a shot of the Green Goddess when she was brand new (January 2019):

You’ve probably already noticed:  green house, green car. And soon: a green quilt for the green car.

 

 

 

Posted in family, State Fair quilt pattern, update | 4 Comments