Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day '10



A holiday weekend, finally some cool weather and Fall is in the air.  I found this doll bed, above, while cleaning the odd corners of the house, and also found an old whole-cloth stencil I quilted for a class sample years ago, wedged behind a bookcase.  It seemed a fortuitous pairing, so I made up the bed with the tiny quilt, and am enjoying it for awhile.  I think it shall go to a better home with visiting granddaughters and lots of use eventually, but for now it is dandy in my front hall.

Haven't been quilting much at all, just enough to keep my machine moving well, sort of like old bodies, thinking about upcoming classes at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY.  Wisconsin Quilt Expo is coming up and I hope to get to that and be inspired.  It has been a long miserable summer, and seeing some lovely quilts and good friends will be perfect.

I am always on the hunt for good questions to answer in my one-page column in American Quilter Magazine.  The upcoming issue has a great thread chart for you to clip and save that helps with weight of thread and style of quilting pairing, and I also have completed the January one.  I've had great questions emailed to me through the AQS website, http://www.americanquilter.com/ for those articles, but need more.

If you have one about machine quilting that would be useful for many to see answered, send it in! 

I'm home alone this weekend with Oliver, who is definitely changing now that he is turning from kitten to cat.  He sleeps more, and is getting bored with former activities that would keep him happy and busy for hours.  I search for entertainment, but really, I warned him he was coming to live with two old, boring people and he'd have to make the best of it.  I'll probably stop at the pet store and look for a fun new toy for him.....

Meanwhile, I do hope your quilting is progressing well, you are doing the quilting on your own quilts, and seeing results in actually quilting tops, not just practicing. 

Keep quilting....your work gets better every day.
Diane


20 comments:

Joanne said...

Thanks for all the encouragement! Quilting does get better all the time. I am with you in doing the quilting yourself!

Barb said...

That little quilt is just adorable...

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I always look forward to your articles in the AQS magazine. Every little hint helps. I've been watching some youtube videos while I have been down with a compression fracture. Even if the machine is not humming, the mind needs to keep practicing ;-)

Jocelyn

Diane Gaudynski said...

Jocelyn, Hope you feel better soon and heal quickly! Sounds awful.....

One of the things about the little quilt is it was fine as a sample, sort of placemat size, but on a bed it is wonderful!

I guess it goes back to when I first started machine quilting - first quilt was a bed quilt, and I made stacks of bed quilts to learn how to piece and quilt.

Flaws are not as bad when the quilt is on the bed, looking warm and beautiful, all that color and texture adds so much to a room.

Ivory Spring said...

Diane,

After seeing yours, I have GOT to make a doll sized wholecloth quilt for my daughter!! Thanks for the idea.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Ivory Spring, great idea, and for everyone. You can practice all kinds of machine quilting with no stress at all. Placemats are good too, but I could never bear to spill baked beans on my quilting!

Instead, make one for under a vase of flowers, or to add to a wall space somewhere, the powder room, back hall, over the washer. No stress, plus you will get to look at something so pretty and you will have learned so much by making a complete item with a variety of quilting motifs in it. It helps make quilting fun and relaxing for you, and that's half the formulat for great machine quilting.

But....I have to say, a small quilt for a doll bed is perfect. Try to do your best work but don't agonize over it. You can always make more!

I'm also thinking of replacing a seat on an antique chair with a quilted design rather than upholstery fabric. No backgrounds, just motifs with some batting under it for padding, all in the same shade as the fabric.

There are so many ways for you to "practice" your quilting without practicing.

sue said...

Loved the tiny doll quilt-you are amazing. And, of course, Oliver looks so handsome on the bed quilt. My dog and I are also alone while my husband takes the grandson fishing/camping. Looking forward to some quilting time.

Karen said...

Diane, love the mini - perfect! I do have a question that others may have also. I have trouble with my stitches when my bobbin runs out and I have to change. I can always see the exchange point. Thanks for being so generous.

Dee said...

Why don't you try playing with a laser pointer with Oliver? You can find them at almost any pet store or even Target if you have one close by. All my pets (4 cats and a dog) love to chase the light and I don't have to do much moving myself to keep them entertained.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried a laser light pointer to entertain Oliver? My own cat was never very interested in one, but my son's cat Oscar went absolutely bonkers over the thing, he would chase that red dot as long as one of his servants was willing to operate the pointer. Very good exercise for a lazy cat!

Becky

Diane Gaudynski said...

Karen, I'll post about the bobbin thing soon. Great question.

Laser pointers, hmmmm. I used to use one with my last cats, they loved it, I loved it, but was warned that if perchance they would look up at the laser itself it could severely damage their eyes? I quit after that as I figured just my luck that they would do that.

Oliver is obsessed right now with knocking things down off high things, book shelves, the wall, etc. He finds ways to climb and stretch and get his paw on anything on the wall and knock it down. He sleeps, gets up, goes right back to the same thing, trying to knock it off. He is obsessed. He is driven!

If I remove something, he just switches his attention to the next thing in the room to attack. Soon we will have a very bare room (it's the tv/family room). His old toys are boring, even the Cat Dancer. Even milk bottle plastic rings, his all-time favorite. He walks past his old kitten toys and scorns them with a "look." He needs big boy cat toys now or real prey or something. Who knew it would be hard being a cat mom again??

I think girl cats are easier maybe.

Donna K. from N. TX said...

OMG! What a charming little doll bed and quilt. A perfect pairing.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Donna, it is charming indeed, but of no particular use whatsoever! Oliver is way too big to sleep on it, and nary a kitten or doll in sight.

But...it makes you smile when you see it. Something about "little" things, tiny versions of our large items.

Yes, I admit that many years ago I made the little pillows, and the lace edged pillowcases too. The needlepoint pillow is a tree ornament my late sister Helen made me; it's exquisite, a wonderful keepsake.

Barb said...

Hi Diane-
Your little bed is just lovely. I have an antique doll bed that I love to dress. I haven't done a whole cloth quilt and you've inspired me. I used silk thread to machine quilt a doll quilt recently and I loved it. The did free-form feathers and was very pleased with it. The silk and single bindings give these little pieces lovely drape.
After what I considered "my summer of discontent" I'm so happy it's finally cooler and not humid -welcome fall!

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane,

Just a guess, here, but if you can buy the laser pointer at a pet shop, I am guessing it would be pet safe. (I think the warnng about the eyes is left over from the days when lasers-of a different frequency from those used in pointers-were used as weapons)

Becky

Anonymous said...

Hmmm,

I went to Pet Smart and looked up their laser toy, and it says "Do not point directly at eyes of pets or people". So they are selling the toy, and yet. . . . .

Becky

Diane Gaudynski said...

Barb, the strippy doll quilt you made is beautiful! I think this is a great idea for making some fun projects and practicing machine quilting.

The laser pointer. OK, Oliver loved it. But, he is smart, and even though I was careful to use it when he was looking away from me, he soon learned it was coming from me. I was afraid he'd turn quickly and look right at it. Plus, oh wow was he excited to chase that dot but when it went away he sat for hours looking for it where he saw it last. Too frustrating.

He finally left the room, went in the kitchen and quietly destroyed the roll of paper towels, which we found later. So, too frustrating for my boy, and I don't want to risk his eyesight either. Back to the sewing room supply drawer goes the laser pointer.

Marty Bryant said...

Hi Diane,
Just a note for poor ol' board kitty at your house. My husband found a cork with two nipples on the top of it, made of rubber (like a wine cork) but being rubber, and off center with the nipples on top; the thing bounces in different directions and pisses our cat so much she wants to destroy the "find". It's a hoot and I'll go through his cork supply and see if he's got another and mail it out to you. Emy can be pooped and I pitch this little cork to her and off she goes because like I say it's no telling which direction it will take off on and keeps rolling in wide circles. It's great entertainment for both parties.

California Fiber artist and composer said...

A suggestion for a topic for your column would be selecting appropriate designs for projects---both traditional and contemporary. Another suggestion would be a pot-pourri of no-mark designs or designs for a specific "topic" e.g. flowers, leaves, etc

Diane Gaudynski said...

The design idea is good, but too long for my column,and I only get one photo. Perhaps for a book or longer article.

Marty, I would love a cork toy for Oliver! He is progressing through the family room each night, targeting something to attack over and over. Last night he was eyeing my antique mantel clock but I don't think he can get to it....yet. I put away the laser thing; way too frustrating for him, and scary for me, as I don't want to injure his eyes. He still looks at the spots where it "appeared" though.

I will be looking thru the house for things that roll and bounce that he might like.