Welcome to my blog...ponderings of life, patchwork & longarm quilting by WandaQuilts from Montgomery County, TX.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Vintage Linens....

I love vintage linens; hankies, dresser scarves, table cloths....so I have been putting my plans for a few of these into action. Sew Beautiful magazine recently did an article with Marsha Greenberg. Marsha is the author of Hankie Couture, Handcrafted Fashions from Vintage Handkerchiefs wherein she shares her story and her passion for creating wearables for 'Barbie' size dolls. Folks, I have never played with dolls in my whole life! Here I am, past the big 5-0 and this was just way too much fun! And really fast....I finished this dress in under 2 hours and then had fun with the hat and the purse. (BTW...JoAnn's has the book, I got mine with a coupon!)

This next pic is just a piece of a bedspread I found in an antique shop in Montana. It was huge, this is the section from the top that would have been over the pillows. The embroidery work was wonderful, but worn as this had actually been used as a bedspread, likely in a guest room, but had raw seam allowances and had been laundered. Did I say the embroidery work was wonderful?
I went around the embroidery work on both sides first. Then I drafted the feathers after studying feathers from several books. I only marked the spine and then free-handed the feathers. The background was 'mctavished' which I didn't really like as I was doing it but when I took it off the frame and can see the whole thing....I like it! Consistency throughout is always at issue when you are free-handing....digital camera is a wonderful thing. This is about 28" x 42".

I did this piece several months ago....the lavender center is a vintage hankie with just the tiny flowers with gold stems embroidered on. I added some white satin, some purple rayon, a heart, some feathers and it is about 36" sq.

I also recently started playing with hot fix crystals on the quilt from my previous post. There is something to post about later. Today I have an antique DWR loaded and won' get er done till I get er started!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Do It!

I have not abandoned my blog, just been so busy with life....not alotta quilting. My plan for the first part of the year was to really 'gear-up' for some serious production, since there are at least a dozen tops in waiting; and I don't know how many UFO's, kits, projects in mind..etc. But, the IRS wanted info and that little project took almost 8 weeks.....must discipline self to keep up with all that bookkeeping on a daily or weekly schedule. (DH is self employed & generates millions of receipts that someone has to record in order for that expensive business software to do it's magic!!!) Here it is May already and the routine has not worked out very well:( but, I did take 4 days this week to get it almost caught up - until the wrist and elbow are so cramped I had to stop).
Back to the business plan...so I started out by seriously organizing the studio, even went to The Container Store where a person with OCD could OD! I did not OD, thanks to the IRS! But, my brain is still processing all the possibilities.
I did manage to streamline; the studio is large by most standards but when you add a longarm frame, have weird floor issues (see photo) and are not the best at putting things away....well, you know!

  • Prioritize my Projects and keep only fabrics for projects that I REALLY want to do...(I cannot in 4 lifetimes do them all so focus on the ones that are important and lead to where I want to specialize.) I did manage to let go of an assortment of flannels, about 10-12 yds total - donated to charity and a large box of various fabrics from burlap to heavy deco! Oh boy, I'm on a roll! 
  • Organize fabrics - that's a mouth full! This is not something that can happen all at once in my world- it is way too big a project. I started by sorting my scraps of gorgeous decorator fabrics by color and texture. (my quilt cottons are already in process from plastic bins to shelves - either on a bolt or folded or in a scrap a bin: either by size, type or color. (i.e. special fabrics like hand dyed or designer collections don't go in the mix-they warrant a folded stack all their own) It is important that you remember I said this is all 'in-process'!
  • I'm also letting go of 2 sewing machines - these are good old tried and true manual machines that I plan to sell for around $40-50 ea., unless someone who really shows an interest in sewing were to need a machine....it could be a gift!
 I have been invited to participate in a 'Christmas in July' Open House so so I must get busy working on crazy quilt Christmas decor items from the gorgeous decorator scraps provided by the ladies who are hosting the event. Oh yeah, my fabrics are all organized by color!
I also have a top on the longarm frame; the pattern is called 'fire escape' and another quilter would have likely just quilted allover flames (uggghhh) the thought makes me cringe since one of mine and DMIL's projects did burn just 2 wks after gifting to her brother and his wife. This one is for a nephew so I decided on meandering fall leaves, all freehand!

OK, I finally posted! Now I have to work on all this other stuff! If you're glad I'm back, please let me know! Comments are always exciting!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from Nottville

Merry Christmas From Nottville!
Christmas Greetings to loved ones all across the country! We will be playing Santa in Alabama & Georgia this Christmas, because Jeff is working in Jackson, Mississippi (till the 29th,) so logistics made this an easy decision. As a kid, every Christmas was a trek to AL & all these years later, going on that same Christmas trek, as a grandma! Oh what joy!!! We will have our family Christmas gathering at home on New Year’s Eve so; if you’re in the neighborhood….please join us!
Jeff continues to travel much of the time, contracting for various companies so we praise God daily for the work & for cell phones! It looks like we will be going to Billings, MT in the very near future so we are in for a winter adventure for sure. Our kids are all fine: Christopher, Renee & Gabriel are doing great in Chicago. They were here in May, along with Jeff’s folks, so we had a big feed here and really had a wonderful time.
Brandon has just completed Training with the TX Air Nat’l Guard and will be ‘launching’ very soon, we hope! Melissa is, as always, steady as a rock; working at Food Basket, taking classes at Lone Star College and will also be working as a lab assistant at the school, beginning in January.  My kids in Georgia are doing fine  and  we are planning on being there on Christmas morning when the 3 little girls wake. Pretty exciting stuff for this grand-ma!
Our life is blessed with so many material things, but praise God, I’ve lived long enough to realize the significance of things ‘unseen’. May your Christmas be blessed by Faith (Hebrews 11:1), Hope (Micah 7:7) & Love (1 John 4:10-12), Agape Love.
Jeff & Wanda Nott
Dec 22, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

All Stars & Psalms

Finally, here is the variation on Crystals All Stars quilt. Simply insert the Psalms rows (bordered to 12" wide altered w/2 4-patch blocks) and this baby is almost finished. I tried to quilt the wording on the panels but my machine left eyelashes on the back. Only did one, so must frog that and decide on weather to quilt or embroider over the words.....

Life has been so very full for the past few weeks, getting ready for MIL to arrive and our 'annual road trip'. This year was so full we actually combined my annual trip to visit relatives, young & old in Alabama & Georgia, with our annual trip. It was a great time, MIL getting to meet my family, folks I am always telling her about. We visited cemetaries, check out my grandparent's gravestones.....

Tommy was a cotton farmer and you can see the time period. Maggie gave birth to 18 children; 9 girls, 2 boys and 7 stillborn; Great stories there.
 We also hopped a few shops, one of my favorites is Qwiltz where I have been shopping since Robbie started out on Ebay, several years ago. They are now in their 2nd location where they are anticipating the opening of the Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum in Carrollton, GA. very soon. Website is not up yet but I am following them on facebook. Lots of bargains were found on Friday at the Hwy 46 'never ending yard sale'. I picked up a JC Penney sewing machine with a box full of feet, for $8.00. Not as good as the deal we found last year, two machines for $7.00....yes, they both work. I love these old machines, so not disposable like the ones at WallyWorld.

Houseguest is gone, pets are past being mad because we left them for 8 days!, laundry is caught up, pot of soup is simering on the stove..... Really, it's seriously time for a nap.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Projects, the Process, All Stars & Butterflys....

I read on someone's blog that bloggers want to read more about the process, rather than the finished project. Here I try to provide some of both...


For someone who's Mom always said 'you have a one track mind', I sure do have 'a lot of irons in the fire', so to speak. Road trip to see family all over the southeast coming up so several of the projects have to be finished, actually, some had to be started. Like the butterfly quilt for my sweet grand baby girl Sara Hope, who is one yr. old already!

The Process & the Butterfly's:  (finding a shortcut)

My first plan was to enlarge a paper pieced butterfly; copied, enlarged, traced, copied, ya ya ya! Pieced a few sections, decided this was not a good plan. OK, find a traditional butterfly template (with like 5 pieces of fabric for each) and various prints and solids to put them together, machine applique onto blocks, yes this will be much faster. So while I'm searching and auditioning fabrics I ran across this: 

Oh baby, now I'm cooking with Crisco! One piece per butterfly, cut them out in various square or rectangle pieces and applied steam a seam 2. I then applied them to various background neutral blocks (I bought the flat fold 102 yd. bundle from Marshall Dry Goods!). So here is how it is coming together on my design wall (really a 'big board' ironing surface, with a grid!)....If I was going to do this again I would have done the patchwork and then applied the butterfly's because orienting these properly 'after the fact' is a pain.  (Duh, you can iron right on your design wall! Is this the 'learning curve'? No, I don't do curves! Wanda, you are in the middle of a post here......)!

All Stars:
I really loved Crystal's All Star quilt that was featured on Moda Bake Shop recently and I thought it would be a great pattern for a 'clown quilt' I'm trying to work out in my brain. So then I was hit with news that requires a quick quilt. (Note* the word 'quick' is in my vocabulary but not my arthritic bones!, another relative term...) I'll try that All Stars pattern (since it is already printed and handy!) That top is finally done but you can't see it yet because I'm not finished with the second one (2nd one?)....There were a ton of scraps from trimming those several hundred little squares that were sewn on the diagonal, with those and more neutral backgrounds I can make a small quilt also! Sew them, trim them and I see pinwheels. Here they are, 2" and 4" pinwheels. I'll post pics of both Mommy & daughter 'Quick Quilts' when they are done. (If I have to write about the process, I expect you back to look at the product!) Yes, I like Crystal's pattern very much!

More on Process:
Just had to share this, these little girls denim skirts are too much fun. This one already has red thread and red rhinestone's on 1 pocket. I'm going to ruffle the bottom and add a heart applique since the back pockets have red metallic embroidered hearts. I'm listing these on Etsy along with a few quilts....check out my store there, WandaQuilts!

Glad you stopped by, going to finish the butterfly's!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This one is for Aunt Jimmie...

Two charm packs and some yardage...these Michael Miller fairy frost fabrics are too gorgeous! I want a bolt of every color, yeah...I know there are over 100. I cannot choose just one!!! I want to do another, with shadows!