Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Last Finish in Oregon and taking a break from blogging

Yesterday I finished stitching down the binding on the light blue utility quilt I've been using for free motion quilting practice.  This top was acquired online from a contact in Ohio who purchased it at a Mennonite estate sale.  I think the fabrics in the top are 1980s or 1990s vintage.  The top was machine pieced and seemed perfect to accomplish some FMQ practice and have something useful to show for it.  Here is the complete finished quilt.  This one was very difficult to photograph, both inside and out on the deck, owing to the pale tiny calico prints and my general lack of expertise in the photography department!

The quilt was backed with a luscious French General print I found on sale recently, and I have to say that I almost prefer the back to the front!  The batting is Hobbs Tuscany 100% premium polyester, which is more dense and thicker than their polydown batting.  After using both, my personal preference is the polydown, although this quilt has a nice soft feel and great loft for the feather borders.
The feathers in the wide outer border were completely free-form, and much fun, although the tiny print calico made seeing where the backtracking needed to go more difficult.  I experimented with several colors of thread while doing the feathers, although the darker shades were more visible, I much preferred the lighter pastels.

The sale of our home is progressing well, and we will be going into full packing mode very shortly, so I'll be taking a break from blogging for the duration until we're settled again in western New York.  Finding a temporary rental property that will accept pets is proving more difficult than we had hoped, but I'm sure the right place will present itself when the time comes. 

One last photo with the big blue pot.
Blessings to you all this summer!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On the Value of Soaking, and a Win!

Yesterday's mail brought this delightful fat quarter bundle of AMB Solids, courtesy of Clothworks!  AMB stands for American Made Brand cotton solid fabrics celebrating the Farm to Fabric Movement.  These gorgeous fabrics are completely created right here in the United States from domestically grown cotton!  They were featured in the recent AMB Blog Tour, and I was the lucky commenter on New Mexico's entry, created by Dora of Dora Quilts blog.  This particular bundle reminds me of the many hues of the skies and canyons of the American southwest.
Many thanks to Clothworks and to Dora for this bundle of gorgeous fabrics!

After posting the photos yesterday of the completed bow tie vintage quilt, I put it in the bathtub for a hot soak in a bubblebath of Biz and original blue Dawn.  I knew it needed a bath and had a few slight stains, but really ...
This is after a 2-hour soak:
And after 8 hours, even more soil had been released into the water:
After snapping the second photo, I drained the water and gave the quilt an overnight soak in clean cool water.  The initial soak appeared to have removed at least 90 percent of the worst stain.

This morning I moved the quilt to my front loading washer, ran a cold water rinse and spin cycle, then ran it through a complete wash cycle using the delicate setting and with only a small amount of liquid Biz.  Then into the dryer on low setting.  Although the photo probably won't show the vast difference from the photos in yesterday's post, I'm amazed at the snowy whiteness of the background and backing fabrics, and how all of the prints have brightened.  The stain mentioned above is only slightly visible now, if you know where to look for it.   And, it has crinkled up just the way a vintage quilt should.  Very pleased!