Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Signs of Spring

The weather is finally warming up here. Flowers and trees are blooming everywhere. The fig trees are already covered with little figs. See those little knobs? (click on photo to get a better view)
It's good weather for the kids to play outdoors. Here are some of my grandchildren playing on the porch. They live right nearby and come over all the time. These are #2 and #4. Their mother always dresses the four little boys in matching outfits. Makes it easier to spot them all in a crowd. :)

When the weather started to get warmer, I got in the mood for a crisp-looking summery quilt. Even though I am only supposed to be working on UFOs, I went crazy and cut up some of the shirts in my collection and put this together. I love the combination of blue and white. Just so classic. (if you click on the picture you can get a good view of the shirts I used)

Spent a good part of the morning outside, just enjoying our balmy weather. When I came back in, I had to do something Spring-y. It didn't take too long to get one block made...

...and to slice it up.

Do you remember the Modified Bento Box Swap from a couple of years back? The finished quilts were a riot of color. They were made using a tutorial from Film in the Fridge. So easy, but with really fun results.
Beitar ladies, do you want to play along? We can make blocks and then swap the block quarters.
Let's do it! (after Pesach, of course)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Am really enjoying working on this quilt. I'd forgotten how much I love the slow pace of hand-quilting. The center is almost done--just have to finish the last quilting in the sashing. Then I'll do the border. Have decided to do a cable pattern for that (of course). I finished sewing the binding on yesterday. Sometimes I put on the binding before the quilting is done so I can mark the quilting on the outside border more accurately. Also, I used a black batting, which I love because it works best under black fabric--none of that bearding like a regular white cotton or poly batting would do--and it was making little fuzzy balls all over the quilt top and driving me crazy. So putting on the binding was a good way of stopping that. Do you ever put on your binding before the quilting is finished?

Sending warm wishes from sunny Jerusalem!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another Fun Meeting

On Sunday we had a meeting of our little neighborhood quilt group. We were joined by a special Guest Quilter, Etty, who came all the way from Beitar.
Etty (in the white sweater set) is a wonderful quilter. She has taught lots of ladies to quilt and has made many beautiful quilts of her own. She also makes many, many quilts for charity. Etty, thank you so much for coming all the way to meet with us!

At our last meeting, I demonstrated the technique of making a foundation-pieced spiderweb block. Sahra picked right up on it and went home and made her own blocks. Sahra is a pretty new quilter, but she already has her own fine collection of scraps. How DOES that happen?

It's impossible to withstand the temptation to turn scraps into mug rugs.

And hexagons are turned into table runners...

...and pillows.

Etty has been hand-piecing these stars for several years now. It's a long term project, but so, so worth it. I love these stars against the white background. And all the fabrics are DOTS!

Bracha makes so many creative projects for her granddaughters. Here's an adorable flower pillow. I love her embellishments. Her flower buttons are my favorites.  

Bracha made a spiderweb block and turned it into a little table topper. How cute is that!!

Hope you enjoyed our meeting. Ladies, I can't wait till we meet again!
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The View from my Window

Last Thursday morning, we woke up to a most unusual sight--it was snowing in Jerusalem!
It very rarely snows here, but when it does, we usually only get about an inch, and then it's pretty much gone the same day.

But this was a really big snowfall. I live on the side of the city nearest to the desert, so we only got about six inches. But people on the other side of town had about 19 inches! The entire city came to a standstill.

My geraniums were suprised at the unexpected snowfall.

The neighbor's children had a great time.

The entire valley, painted white by the storm.
Nothing much to do but quilt "pebbles".

When "pebble quilting" gets boring, piece some 36-patches!

And when the power goes out, do some big-stitch quilting.

We lost power all of Thursday night and Friday. Long enough to finish this little quilt up. (We were among the lucky ones--some people still don't have electricity.)

And when the power came back on, I managed to get this little quilt top partially pieced. Now it just needs the borders. 
We were stuck in the house from Thursday till today, but I really don't mind being snow-bound. It's a nice chance to spend some time with Menucha, cook some savory bean stews, bake bread, make popcorn and hot chocolate, watch a couple of movies, and sew to my heart's content. Nothing wrong with that at all!
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Just one more...

This little quilt was pieced a while ago, but languished for ages without being quilted. I think it was waiting for me to learn how to do the big-stitch quilting. You can click on the picture to see my stitches.

Now it's so happy!  (Christine, you may recognize the orange at the top left.)
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My Spiderweb quilt is finished. I ended up making it lap sized, and it has already been put to good use on those chilly evenings when we sit on the couch reading. This was a fun quilt to make, and I love looking at all the various scraps. Some came from my own scrap bins, of course, but others were given to me by my friends in Beitar. When I look at their fabrics, it reminds me of them. I love that!
You're going to have to excuse the wierd lighting on this next one. Didn't realize till after I took it that the sun was across part of the quilt and the rest was in shade. Am waiting to take a better picture, but our rainy season has begun and it's too wet to go outside and take a photo. I did love making this quilt, and it really marked a new departure for me. I have wanted to try the big-stitch "utility" quilting for a couple of years now, but was always afraid to. I was worried that tugging the knot through the fabric would leave holes--that perle cotton is thicker than regular quilting thread--and that my stitches wouldn't be even enough. Well, I thought that big-stitch quilting would be perfect for this star quilt and decided to give it a try. I watched Sara Fielke's video tutorial numerous times until I felt confident, and then dove right in. And all my previous fears were unfounded--the knot in the thread doesn't make any holes in the fabric, and my stitches were pretty close to perfect! (I'll post a picture with a close-up of my stitches soon, so you will get to see what I am talking about.) The perle cotton adds a lot to the look of the quilt, and the best part: in a matter of days the quilting was finished. I am generally not the fastest hand-quilter, so for me this was great.

This last quilt was made with Civil War reproduction fabrics. The pattern was in Carol Hopkins' book, Civil War Legacies. It's machine pieced and hand quilted. I loved working on this one. Each fabric is beautiful, and I enjoyed quilting it. This was worked on while I was traveling to Houston in October. I must be the only one who loves long layovers in multiple airports--so much time to sit and stitch!  
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Little Show and Tell

We have a little quilt group going in my neighborhood, and we manage to meet a couple of times a month. Bracha is a prolific quilter, and comes up with some really creative ideas. We used to quilt together in Baltimore, and now we quilt together in Jerusalem!
Here she is with a little something she whipped up...I'm not sure what it's going to be used for, but it sure is cute!

She's making lots of mug rugs for friends and those little tea bags!

You may remember when those "Jar Quilts" were all the's one with fruit.

Some coasters...

An original pillow cover, designed and made by Bracha for a special granddaughter...

This was made by our Baltimore quilt group as a going-away present when Bracha moved to Israel. Of course, she had to add in her special touch and she put on the adorable yo-yo flowers.

Bracha saw a 4-patch quilt I had made recently, and decided to make one too, with great bright colors!

And here is the beginning of a quilt for Bracha and her husband. She had the fabrics for a while and now she decided what she wanted to do with them--hexies!
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Little UFO

At the end of every year, I like to make a list of all the quilts I finished that year. This year wasn't as productive as some others have been, as I was out of commission for three months, lying on the couch with my broken foot.  I also like to make a list of all the UFOs still to be finished. This year there are only (ha) about 13 of them left, including this little birdhouse,which I pieced maybe 20 years ago but never quilted. Don't ask me why; I have no idea. But there it was, just waiting for a little TLC and for someone to sew on its buttons.

This was actually a kit I purchased at a quilt show in York, Pennsylvania years ago.  I put on those little "quick triangles" on the back for hanging.
After going through my started and unfinished projects, I decided to count up all the finished quilts in the house. THAT was a real eye-opener. There are about 70 quilts of all sizes stashed away here and there, displayed on shelves, stacked in closets, draped over sofas, and covering beds.  Guess I've been keeping busy! 

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Making Progress

Haven't gotten a chance to work on these Spiderweb blocks for a while, but now I've gone back to them. Still don't know how many I'll make or how big this will be in the end. I just keep going...don't seem to be running low on scraps (haha!) or blue fabric yet. Am enjoying the bright and cheery look of it.
Was in Houston last week for my granddaughter's bat mitzvah and managed to get over to Hobby Lobby. Found some blue Kona fabric that I thought was about the same color as this (I brought a little swatch of it to Houston but forgot to take it to the store).  Well, it turned out to be the wrong blue. So I'll just keep going till I run out of the blue I was already using. Would really love to make this a twin size, but we'll have to see...
Took a little hand-quilting project with me for the trip and it's nearly finished. That's the GREAT thing about having LONG layovers in multiple airports; you can get a lot of stitching done. I never complain about long layovers!  Will post a picture of that one when it's done.
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