Sunday, May 24, 2009

Helm's Weave Chain Maille Bracelet

Piece Name: Helm's Weave Chain Maille Bracelet

This is a very feminine 8" Helm's weave (aka Parallel weave) Chain Maille Bracelet made with 20 gauge Argentium Sterling Silver wire using two mandrel sizes. This is another bracelet I wear all the time.

This isn't the first time I've done Chain Maille (click here for another example), but it is the first time I FULLY made the bracelet from start to finish. That means I selected the two mandrel sizes, coiled the wire myself, used my Koil Kutter to cut the rings (the most fun you can have with power tools BTW!), tumbled the rings, and then finally wove the bracelet. The ONLY thing I didn't create was the fancy Sterling Silver lobster clasp I had previously purchased. Prior to this bracelet I bought pre-cut rings. It is soooooo much more fulfilling to have done all these steps myself (even if it is more work)!

I have been wanting to make this weave for awhile and I have a necklace to match in the works!

Piece Completed: May 2009

Cubic Drop Pendant

Piece Name: Cubic Drop Pendant

I purchased the Love Knot Cubic Earrings tutorial from the very talented "de cor's Handmades" shop on Etsy (along with most of her other tutorials!!). This was my first attempt at this tutorial. I used Argentium Sterling Silver. I wasn't 100% pleased with the final result (I need more practice) and didn't end up making a second earring when I made this piece.

This sat unused for awhile. One day I remembered the loan cube and thought it would look pretty as a pendant. I put it on a silver chain. I was right. It does look pretty! It is simple and elegant as a pendant and isn't too small or too large. When I wear silver I most often wear this as a compliment.

I HIGHLY recommend any of "de cor's Handmades" tutorials. They are first rate.

"Woven Checkerboard Bracelet" Class at Beadfest Wire

Piece Name: My First "Woven Checkerboard Bracelet"

Lest you think ALL I do is quilt....let's post some jewelry!!! I took a class at the May 2009 Beadfest Wire Convention called "Woven Checkerboard Bracelet". The class was 7 hours long and I finished the bracelet in class. I LOVE when that happens. YAY! The instructor was Debbie Williams. What a neat technique! The class sample was tri-colored but I opted for all Argentium Sterling Silver. Even though it has many first timer imperfections, they aren't noticeable to the casual viewer unless I point them out (and I won't!). I wear it ALL the time (which you can see since it desperately needs a tumbling to clean and shine it up) and I can't wait to make another one to fix all my first timer sins and improve upon my technique. I am also looking forward to trying different colored wire combinations.

If you find yourself at Beadfest in need of a class, I suggest learning this technique. Email me if you'd like an attendee's review of the class.

Piece Completed: May 2, 2009

My Mini Quilt Auction Purchase!!!

Piece: United States Flag in Mini Yo-Yos

Remember this post and this post? These were my contributions to the 2009 Love Apple Quilters Silent Mini Quilt Auction for Charity. This year I was lucky enough to win the one I bid on! This wonderful mini quilt was made by Love Apples member Nancy White. These are some tiny yo-yo's I can tell you!!! I admired it while she was making it and knew I had to own it. It's great isn't it!? Even better that the proceeds went to a worthy charity.

Purchased: March 15, 2009

Pre-Civil War Quilt

Piece: Pre-Civil War Lily Quilt

I was at the 2006 Lancaster, PA Quilt Show. In one of the antique quilt vendor stalls this quilt was folded up in a stack with just a hint of the flowers peeking out. I was smitten even before I unfolded it. The bold yellow-y/green on such an old quilt just spoke to me. It was old...older than any other quilt in my antique quilt collection. I wanted it! The price for it was quite fair for $475, but was WAYYYY more than any price I had paid for a quilt to date or since. The vendor was kind enough to take layaway. YAY!

At the 2009 Love Apple Quilters Quilt Show member Mary Cahilly had a Reproduction Civil War Gown display. This quilt hung as a backdrop to the gown display. While it was hanging I had my quilt appraised by certified AQS quilt Apprasiser Karen Dever. It is hand appilqued, pieced, and quilted. Unusual for the period, the borders are mitered! I found out that the quilt dates to approximately the 1840's...Pre-Civil War! I also found out that the value is quite stupendous. A smart buy that I made in 2006! I love this quilt and it is the jewel of my collection.

Purchased: Spring 2006

"My Hawaiian Rainbow" Quilt

Piece Name: "My Hawaiian Rainbow" Quilt

I have been working on this quilt on and off for YEARS. It is satin stitch machine appliqued and machine quilted. I started it in 2004, had all the blocks done and two of them quilted by early 2005, and then let it sit for years until early 2009 when I finished machine quilting each of the blocks. I then used an entirely machine quilt as you go method to finish the quilt. I LOVE the vibrancy of this quilt and it reminds me of a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands my husband and I took back in 2004. The back is a gorgeous red Hawaiian fabric print. Most of the patterns come from the book Hawaiian Quilting by Elizabeth Root.

This quilt hung in the 2009 Love Apple Quilters quilt show.

Quilt Completed: March 8, 2009

"The 1930's Were A Good Decade for Tulips" Quilt

Piece Name: "The 1930's Were A Good Decade for Tulips"

This was another UFO quilt that sat started and unfinshed for years. I made the top in late 2005. I only recently finished it for the 2009 Love Apples Quilters quilt show. The quilt is zig zag stitch machine appliqued and machine quilted. I used many many prairie points. I named it after my use of several 1930 reproduction fabrics. I love this quilt because it is bright, fun, traditional, and modern all in the same quilt.

The pattern is from the book Pick a Pattern Applique & Variations by Joan Sjuts Waldman.
Quilt Completed: March 3 2009

"My Lone Star Garden" Quilt

Piece Name: "My Lone Star Garden"

I made this quilt for the 2009 Love Apple Quilters Quilt Challenge. The main rule of the challenge was that we had to use the two floral prints you see in the pictures. The fabrics from the challenge just didn't speak to me until the VERY LAST MINUTE. Usually for these challenges I know almost immediately what I am going to make. Not this time as I really sweated it out and almost didn't do one. I put this together in the final weeks just before the challenge deadline. I am so glad that I did and I am pretty darn pleased!

The pattern is from Debbie Maddy's Shining Star Quilt as seen on HGTV's Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson. I had printed the instructions out right after seeing the show way back when and pulled them out for this challenge. I love the look of the star and I love the total lack of diamonds and inset seams! You have to be a pretty good piecer though...lots of seams to match up!

This hung in the 2009 Love Apple Quilters Quilt Show.

Quilt Completed: February 2009