Tuesday

Steaming Cup of Coffee and A Second Quilt


Early morning sunrise peeking into the kitchen..  I love early morning light... even the air felt renewed.

 ...my favourite coffee  perked in a Moka pot

Ohh la la.. that looks good... perfect way to start the day 

a few sticks in the fire and the day has begun.


 Below are a few designs I made to send off to customers and to post on my FaceBook 
(yes I am on Facebook... kind of a scary place for a Hermite but not as scary as it was 2 years ago when I initially tried it and then hurriedly ran back to my cave )







After working on them and finishing a few other things, I decided to make another patchwork quilt... out of fabric I already had in my stash this time.. I gave myself limitations.. I like to have perimeters when I am creating...  a few confines... I feel it makes one more inventive... besides I hate to waste anything... and we can always use a warm quilt instead of a bunch of fabric stuffed in a cupboard really being no use to anyone..

I looked at what I had and searched through some quilt pattern books, did a few sketches and went with this design... sort of a double 9-Patch... prints, plains and all pieced with varying shades and weights of white cottons... Initially when I was drawing up the pattern I did not have the border drawn in... that was added later when I was figuring placement of colours.. even still it evolved again.






 I'm trying to figure the placement here.   I laid a black piece of fabric on one side of my bed and a white piece on the other and began placing the little 3" blocks out on it... wondering  which way I liked best...   they each have a very different effect..  I took several pictures and studied them on the computer screen for a while too... of course I puzzled over this for quite a while and then I thought Why???.. I could always make another in the opposite manner sometime if I wished... and then I got on with it.. 

 the bigger 9-Patch blocks are beginning to be sewn together and placed again for "Judgement".

 Here I have all 7 rows of 7 blocks sewn together in strips. 

I have to say there were a few times I said to myself " what were you thinking???.. this thing is going to take everybodies eyes out".. and "now you have chopped up all this fabric and you wasted it all.. You! Wasted!!"  What could I do but carry on.... sort of like a traveler lost in the woods.. hoping I was going to come out the other side in a place I wanted to be... or even if I was going to make it out of the woods at all. 

These are the strips/sashes with the red squares centered to fit where the corners of the blocks meet.
In the background you can see some of the sewing machines I have been collecting during the last year. Kenmore, White and Singer.

 I pieced the entire quilt on a 1936 Singer Treadle.. it would go as slow as I wanted no problem... as I was piecing carefully to make sure all the seams were sewed in the right direction and that the seams met where they were suppose to.  I LOVE this machine. 

 that little light clamped on the back of the machine was pitiful to see with tho... The bigger clamp on lamp in the last picture above was much better and more flexible.. Probably I just have to figure how to replace the little old sewing machine lightbulb... so long as they still make these kind.

I'm sewing the long black and red strips in now between every row.
Look at the beautiful design that Singer incorporated into the end cover-plate.. so lovely and the metal is as good as the day it was made.  It gives me pleasure every time I see the machine even when I'm not using it.

The blocks and windowpane sashes are all sewed together... but I really feel it needs a border.. something to pull it all together.  Yes even at this point I kept saying to myself.. What Have you done.. this is so bright, it is like a carnival.  Hense the name of the quilt came to be known as  "Carnival".

 well sometimes more of the same works, so I cut narrow strips of some gold cotton.. I barely had enough... I used every last piece of it... each strip was only 3/4" wide and when the seams were taken away the gold only measured 1/4".  But being a very bright color.. that was all that was needed. then a bit wider red border to tie into the small corner pieces and a 3 1/2" black edge.

The borders.

The finished top waiting to be quilted. Very bright isn't it?  kind of crazy bright... kind of "quit trying to hypnotize me" bright.... oh well, onward through the forest.

 I used a soft gold patterned sheet for the back... but to make it big enough I had to pick out the wide hem.

Here she is going into the frames with the backing below and the lofty fiberfill in the middle.. I did it lying on the floor for this part of the process this time.. It was so big, 84" x 84" sq., my old frames would hardly hold it.. I don't have it stretched in this pic, I'm just pinning and basting it in place. 
 I'll stop here for now and show some of the quilting and the finished work in a future post.. Hope you had your sunglasses on.

During the piecing a cold spell of weather hit and this snow covered view to the west greeted me one morning.
It's gone now but it was pretty then.

till next time...

Wishing you All a Most Wonderful 2015 !

34 comments:

cathyswatercolors said...

Oh my,where do i begin? You are,of course amazing. Don't quilts usually take months if not years to finish??? Oh my(again), I love the colors. It's very contemporary-not to bright- the black tones it down. Still the photos,the step by step,well-sigh.... perfect winter post. To think some people don't like winter:)

Mary Stiles said...

I love your quilt but how long did it take you to do that. I think I must be super slow. I hand quilt all of mine as well but, not I think, as quickly as you. I really enjoy your posts although I don't usually comment but I was very impressed with your quilt.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Cathy and Mary, Thank you so much for your comments. I kind of worked non-stop on this one. I started planning it Oct. 25 this year, cut out the pieces and finished piecing the top by Nov.15.. put it in the frames and finished quilting it on Dec.20. Then it took me another day or two to cut and make the binding, sew it on, then hem it. I never added up the days till now. I guess it was 2 solid months.
John was away working on the old house reno project in another part of the province so I stayed with it day and night.. having a race with myself to see how much I could get done... listening to many audiobooks and keeping the fire going. He was working on the old house project by himself too.
Please comment any time, I love to hear from readers and similar minded people. Thanks!

Guillaume said...

I'd love to have that mug, but to drink tea rather than coffee. Or beer. I just love the cup. And your fireplace.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I Love this mug because it holds so much.. It was a pottery/jewelry trade at a Craft Fair a few years ago. My favourite thing about those shows was the trades. I broke the handle and had to glue it back together.. took 3 days for the glue to dry... but it's fine now.

ELFI said...

une belle et heureuse année 2015!
je te souhaite aussi une année très créative , comme celle qui vient passer! :))

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

What a glorious post, Gwen! Thank you for sharing the thought processes as you made up the quilt. It looks so different in black and white. the white version seems to me like a summer quilt, whereas Carnival is for the colder months. Warms you up just to look at it!

And lovely photos of your beautiful home.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year.
Janice. x

Valerianna said...

Impressed with your quilt... amazing. I love the regularity of pattern and color. I look at it and KNOW I could never, ever make a quilt. I can spend hours upon end drawing, but fabric and thread and machines, just not my medium. Funny how that is, eh? Happy New Year!

Sharmon Davidson said...

Unbelievable! A woman of so many talents, and I wish I had just a tenth of your energy! This is simply gorgeous, i'm very impressed. also just in love with that first pair of earrings...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Elfi Happiness and much passion to you too for 2015

Janice, Happy New Year 2015 to you...Love your observation about the summer and winter feel of the colours. Colour really does make a difference.

Valerianna, I guess it's in my blood since I was a young child. But I must say that when I am pushing myself through the quilting process I am always eyeing my drawing desk. I love to see the various media that artists are drawn to... makes life so much more visually exciting doesn't it. My very best for the coming year to you.

Sharmon, So glad to hear that you like longer earrings.. you would not believe how many women say their necks are too short for them. I always think that their necks are a perfect length no matter what. I'm gonna keep making them 'cause that is the only kind I wear. Happy new year!!

George said...

Nice photos, Gwen, and, as always, I'm quite impressed by the scope of your creativity. Happy New Year and best wishes to you and your family in the coming year.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you George... Being a Maker, means I need to keep making... it is in the blood. There are so many things I cannot do, I only do the things I can.
I hope the new year brings you much happiness and good health.

BumbleVee said...

Hi Gwen...I'll have to come back to scroll through the long post another day........just flying in and out ....wishing you and John a very Happy New Year!!!

Penny said...

wow love the colours on that quilt. I am not a quilter and admire people who do. such a huge effort but worth it.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Vee and Penny. Yes I do many times make long posts... I'm a detail person, what can I say... I was just hoping somebody somewhere might stumble across it and find it interesting and maybe it would inspire them

A Heron's View said...

Wishing you a Happy Gregorian New Year and may your stitches never fail :)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Mel, I wish the same for you.

laura said...

I always love your photos, Gwen--what a beautiful place you live in! Everything, even your coffeepot, is beautiful!
What a lot of work making a quilt is--fascinating to see the process as you work it out.
I'm on FB too--to view birding and painting groups--under an alias!

Seth said...

Happy new year Gwen. That quilt is amazing. And I always love how you shoot you home. Magic!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Laura, so kind, Thank you... and so very wise with your Alias.
Seth, making the quilt or any artistic adventure for that matter feels like a big puzzle, don't you think... how to make the pieces fit and where does it make the best effect.

I wish you both a year full of Wonder.

sandy said...

wow - ...so - i love everything you make, your photos you post.. great way to end the year with this post.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Sandy. Trying to decide between planning the next quilt or working out new jewelry designs.. prob. should get started on the jewelry ... yes, that's what I gotta do first.

Steven Cain said...

I love, love, love your quilt posts. It's like having the mysteries of the Pyramids explained to you step by step. Yeah, I see how it's done but I still don't KNOW how it's done. Just beautiful.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you so much, Steven, that means a lot. I thought about putting in more details to totally explain more of the steps but I probably would have driven people crazy...But I'd be glad to.
My Best.

Jeri Landers said...

Love your earrings, I wear my "Gwen earrings" on special days. I escaped facebook years ago and have a terrible fear of going back to THAT place.
You new quilt is Stunning AND bright, but I love that about it. And I'm not sure but that the black fabric tones down the happy prints a bit,giving the entire quilt a classy appearance. You simply put me to shame! I looked at a basket of log cabin quilt squares I pieced over 20 years ago and NEVER went any farther with them. Then I see this enormous amount of work and skill that goes into your projects, you just floor me! Your work is perfection, Gwen. The Sewing machines, aren't they just marvelous to look at and to use? It is amazing to have a machine that still works as well as it did 50 to a 100 years ago, built to last. I love the ornate designs the manufacturers put into these beauties.I did find an online manual for my redeye singer and yesterday I bought a 28 Singer made in 1889 with a handcrank. Have you ever used a handcranked machine, it is just delightful!

pauline said...

HELLO GWEN, and Happy New Year! Wow. Is there anything the girl can't do?!? That quilt is amazing and your words had me in stitches the whole time (no pun intended). The carnival quilt. hehehee. I can't even sew a button, so needless to say, I'm impressed! Your photos are always so gorgeous (that coffee pot with the steam - wow) and of course, the winter snow. We've had a "lighter than usual" winter so far, and I'm quite happy with that. Wishing you nothing but the best in 2015! Here's to making time for loved ones and art. xx

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love your quilt with all its excitement and razzmatazz. It is really beautiful. My grandmother had just that singer sewing machine and made the most extraordinary range of things on it - a lined, fitted wool coat is a vivid memory. Hope you have a wonderful 2015.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Jeri... one of my very favourite patterns is Log Cabin... the next one I do will be a toss up between that pattern and an all over print Ohio Star. I made a couple Log Cabins years ago but they were burned in my house fire. Miss them. I'm excited for you about your old 28 Singer... I have an old electric 128 Singer in a Bentwood case that I really would love to find a hand crank for and change it over.. so I'll be looking at flea markets. Those machines can't be beat.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Pauline.. Hope 2015 is still going swell for you my dear. Fabric and threads are in my blood...I have been sewing and making quilts since I was a kid. 4-H sewing club. the club was kind of boring but going home and cutting up material was great! I just could not imagine how many things you could make by cutting up fabric and sewing it back together.. I was crazy about it.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Happy New Year Elizabeth! so cool that your grandmother had that very machine.
Honestly they can sew through practically anything and their stitches are fantastic. so even and well made. I just have to stop the machine and admire the quality of them all the time.. probably that is because I had a machine from the 1990's that was so miserable that it almost made me give up sewing. I am so glad I found these antique and vintage machines... It opens up that part of my world again. Cheers.

Faye Henry said...

Wow.. Gwen.. You are one amazing lady.. Love your photos and that quilt is awesome.. And doing it on your lovely old sewing machine... Hope you are doing well... xo

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Faye Dear, Yes faring well. I hope the same for you too.
Busy making jewelry these days. Have a few new designs ready but still want to refine a few more. It's a good time of year for that.. still getting a bit of work done on the old homestead too.
I bet you are up to your eyebrows in wonderful projects.... you are so imaginative! xo

Terra said...

That first photo with the window is lovely, it looks almost like a monastery scene. I like your quilt with the black pieces, very handsome, and your gorgeous classic sewing machine.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you Terra, with the calmness around the area, it sometimes does feel like a monastery.. and makes a person forget about the troubles of the world for a while.xo