Tag Archive for 'denyse schmidt'

finie 1 (quilt)




We managed to finish the wedding quilt for n’s brother in time to take it across the country with us at Christmas (only 2.5 months after the wedding itself!). I spent an entire day working on it in December, first sewing the blocks together to make the quilt top, piecing the back together, and binding it together. It took another couple of hours to do the machine quilting and sew the binding on with the machine before we were ready to pack it (in a carry-on!) to bring with us. We finished the hand sewing of the binding in MD and I embroidered a patch with the names of the bride and groom and their wedding date.



I hung the quilt top in my window while I was trying to find sufficient light for photographs. It reminds me of stained glass and makes me want to sew pieced curtains someday.



The back. It is made mostly of a gray blue (delft blue kona cotton to be exact) with one pieced section. The light was not agreeing with me that day, it made me miss our old apartment.



Almost finished, nighttime shot. You can see the machine quilting here, I did straight lines again. I found it much easier doing the machine quilting this time around. I don’t know if it was because I used a different batting, but it was substantially easier. I thought about doing squares in each of the blocks, but I was under time constraints and I had done the lines before so I decided to stick with what I know. I think for the next quilt I would like to try free motion quilting.



My mediocre attempts at embroidery.



Nick helps with sewing the binding to the back.



All done! Cato approves.

I feel so relieved having this done!

Just to remind you about the details, pattern is a modified version of “Drunk Love Two-Tone” from the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book. We did 6 by 7 blocks with a small (3″) border of green on two sides. See the full progress here and all of the photos here.

the next quilt



I bought this fabric in July in preparation for the next quilt we are going to make. I mentioned earlier that we were searching for pattern ideas to make a quilt for N’s brother for his wedding — we finally settled on a modified version of “Drunk Love Two-Tone” from the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book. Instead of two colors we are going with 3 (two blues and a green) and some patterned/colored highlights.



Making this quilt with more than two colors has really complicated things. Since the pieces have to be cut individually I had to plan out ahead of time how many of each color I would need. I laid the quilt pattern out in Adobe Illustrator (image above) to get a good balance of the three colors and then made spreadsheets to keep track of what had been cut. Cutting pieces seemed to take forever but we have *mostly* finished (I still need to cut the highlights) and I am finally on to the sewing.








Can you see it? There is a pile of sewn pieces on my desk and a pile of cut pieces on my work table. I’ve done a fair amount of crafting this summer but I haven’t written much about it. I think I can attribute this largely due to the lack of good lighting in my apartment. With N’s new job and long commute our evenings are more condensed and progress on the quilt primarily happens after 9pm (which doesn’t help the lighting situation either).




Even in the dim evening lighting (and less than perfect focus) I still love my desk. I can’t get over how cute the sewing machine is. Apparently other people agree with me, they put the same machine on the cover of ReadyMade for the August/September issue! It is working like a champ too which is good because my singer 301 is skipping stitches. I don’t know if I need to find someone to take a look at it but all of my attempts to modify tension controls and change needles and thread have failed to solve the problem. I’m not sure what we are going to do when we get to quilting everything together because there is no way the whole quilt is going to pass under the arm of my tiny featherweight! Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions for my ailing machine?

there it is



The wedding quilt: “What a Bunch of Squares” pattern from Denyse Schmidt Quilts with a pieced back. It is machine quilted with unevenly spaced vertical lines and I added an embroidered patch with the names of the recipients and their wedding date. Most of the work was completed in the span of a month (actually, most of it the first week) – check out the progress in blogland and on flickr.

I really like it, and while its a big weight off my shoulders to have it done Im sad to give it away!

fall comes early

It was strangely autumn-like last week despite still being September (in my world fall starts the last week in October and turns to winter around the second week in November). I woke up Saturday morning to the sound of actual proper rain. It was a strange feeling which triggered in me a desire to put on sweaters and wool socks and maybe even a Halloween costume. (the weather didnt last long, it was back up to the 70s again today) All the wintry feel got me in the mood for indoor activities, at least for a few days.

I finished machine quilting and sewing binding to the top of the wedding quilt a few weeks ago. Now we are almost done hand sewing the binding to the back. There has been a distinct lack of photos while Ive been working on it as the hours between 9 and midnight dont have very good lighting (funny how that works)

Ive been spinning again (a little). I picked up some wool after abandoning the silk hankie I had been working on and remembered why I thought spinning was fun.


The mead experiment is going well. My dad added a water trap to the bottle to prevent explosions and we tasted our concoction this weekend. I was very skeptical but it was really, truly, not bad. Im excited to see how it turns out in the end.

And speaking of bees, N and I joined my dad for a look inside the hive using his “bee suits” which are really painters coveralls with mosquito head nets and gloves.

The figs and pears at my parents house are out of control this year.

I recommend baking them and serving over ice cream. mmmm

The kittens are out of control too…

Streak has reached a whopping 4lbs and is twice the size of his sister who is just starting to recover from a really terrible cold. He hardly fits in the scale anymore!

The scenery is always nice up there, but notice the dark color in those clouds. Definitely not a summer look.

Its not a bad view from our apartment either, the cat always seems to find something to stare at

And sometimes I do too.

machine quilting away


This is what it looks like with me trying to wrestle a queen sized quilt under my machine at midnight. Surprisingly, its coming out pretty well! Ive never machine quilted anything larger than a pot holder before so keeping the beast under control is my biggest challenge. I thought I would be able to get away with not marking all of the lines on the quilt, but so far that seems very unlikely. The thing is so big and heavy that it steers itself all over the place and I loose track very quickly of where my straight line should go. The chalk clicker and the tailors chalk are definitely my friends…

a good showing

We made a good showing this week with quilt progress but alas, the wedding was last night and the quilt is still sitting rolled up on my kitchen table with only basting stitches. Seeing as how we didnt make the date anyway Im going to go where Ive never been before– Im going to machine quilt the thing together. Im planning to do vertical lines with uneven spacing between them rather than echoing the pattern. I had that pattern in mind and then I saw this quilt on flickr and it reinforced my decision.

quilt top


quilt back


basting it together

and a matching card

I find it somewhat surprising that n wanted to embark on this project in the first place and even more surprising that he seemed to enjoy the process. Im hoping that he will want to work with me on a quilt for his brother’s wedding because it sure does go faster with two people! Look at me, Im not even finished with this one yet and Im already planning the next one… To be honest Ive had that plan in my head since they got engaged but now it seems more do-able. Im thinking something like this:

What do you think? Any suggestions of other great modern-ish style quilts?

Oh the Insanity

N’s friends are getting married this weekend. While marriage and weddings in general may be standard fare for folks of my age in the population at large (at least in this country) it was not what I expected from these particular friends. Even less expected were the formal wedding invitations and the location of the event at a fancy B&B in Marin. Granted, we just got the invitation last friday (8 days of official notice!) but it was a fancy printed formal invitation none the less. I see parents at work. Anyway, the point of this is that we had to come up with a wedding gift idea. I know you dont have to show up with present in hand, but the event is fresh on our minds and the motivation is here now. We determined that this couple more than most needed a gift that was either vintage or handmade. N’s idea? Sew them a quilt. In one week (this was Saturday). At least he promised to do half the work.

I sat him down with the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book and made him pick a design (but out ruled the truly complicated ones) and then colors. We picked “what a bunch of squares” and the colors below.

We went to the fabric store, which Im fairly sure is a form of punishment to him, and I made him pick fabrics. I ran to the laundromat to wash them and set him the task of ironing everything. Sunday morning we set to work cutting and sewing and cutting and sewing…

Block centers finally started to come together.

Assembly has continued late into the night several times already.

And now we have the blocks all sewn (but not trimmed yet) yet there is still so much to do. We still need to make a back and buy batting and decide how to tie it together… I dont think we will finish in time. But I have had the priceless experience of seeing n in full sewing and ironing swing.