Irish Lake Quilter

......snippets and quilts, family, pets and friends....

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Favorites of Mine

The Stashbusters topic of the week is our favorite tool for quilting. I have several favorites that are the obvious ones that make quilting easier - rotary cutter, rulers, etc. However, I have two favorites. The one thing that makes my quilting life easier is my and DH's version of the commercial Big Board. It is made of 3/4" plywood, covered in several layers of Warm 'n Natural batting, (there might be something else buried in there also), and topped with a layer of ironing board fabric. We covered the board and stapled it all neatly on the back. Since it is made of 3/4" wood, it is quite heavy and doesn't move around at all, but is easily moved from one location to another if I wish and can be stored behind a door or under a bed. Currently, it is resting on my Grandmother's old wooden ironing board, perpendicular to the sewing machine and sits at elbow height while I am sewing. Each piece that gets sewn can be pressed. The board is extra long and can hold many pieces for a layout. I have a smaller one that I take on retreats or to the cottage.

My second favorite "tool" is a small pillow that I use for applique. If you have ever appliqued, you soon realize that your neck hurts after a while because you are always leaning over your work. By placing a pillow on your lap, placing your work and hands on top of the pillow and putting your feet on a small footstool, your shoulders are forced back and the neck issue goes away. I carry my little green pillow everywhere I take my applique....it is all prickly with a variety of pins and threads hanging from it, but I wouldn't be without it!


The quilt shown in the picture is my first full applique project. Grandmother's Country Album pattern came out many years ago and I, along with several others online, (Carolyn) decided to make the quilt together. We chatted often and gave each other support. I think I made this quilt at least 3 times! I kept learning new techniques and improving and as that happened, I would do the blocks over. The center cabin block still doesn't satisfy me (it's too dark), but it is done and as everyone knows, done is better than perfect! As is the norm for me, I didn't follow the pattern completely. DH built the hanger and I stained/varnished it.

DH is putting in some ceiling lights this week that I requested and retro-fitting isn't the easiest thing to do in a ceiling. They are small flood lights strategically placed, so my sewing has taken a bit of a back seat while I help him with that. (guilt? :>) The pink and green applique/pieced blocks are now a top but it is taking on a life of it's own. It just keeps growing and taking more and more time - it was going to be a simple throw-it-together -and-be-done quilt. I just haven't learned about listening to those little voices that say "try this on your quilt" or "do it this way - it will look better". Gets me into trouble every time!

We are in for some warmer weather and the snow is beginning to melt. There are still big piles of snow yet and we still can't see the grass in our yard, but the sunshine is a promise of things to come!! I hope you have a very sun-shiny kind of day!

9 comments:

Screen Door said...

I love this quilt...Always wanted to make it, just couldn't take the leap to move forth. You should be so proud...

paula, the quilter said...

That is a lovely quilt.

Libby said...

Great job on the quilt - it looks great. I must remember to use a pillow for applique - I know it's a good practice, I just forget to take the 3 steps to the couch to grab one.

Carole said...

Nice quilt! I think I remember this pattern from McCalls. What did you do with the abandoned blocks? That is quite the project to tackle as your first. Congrads on completing it! Keep well!

teodo said...

Your quilt is very nice. Oh! I would like to do one.
Ciao ciao

Sweet P said...

Your quilt is fantastic. I haven't taken the appliqu leap yet, but I did sign up for a class in July. I'll remember your pillow trick.

Leigh said...

I love your applique quilt and fully agree that finished is better than perfect. Most of the time we are the only ones that can tell anyway.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Your husband sounds like mine, always helping out and oh-so-clever. Thehanger for the Country Album is gorgeous, he did a marvelous job!! The quilt is very pretty too, I always wanted to make that quilt... have all the McCalls' back issues bookmarked still. I must remember your applique pillow suggestion... that makes so much sense! Thanks!!

Melinda said...

I took an applique class from Mimi Dietrich and she used a pillow. I have been meaning to make one for myself ever since. Is yours a fancy pillow or just a pillow?