Thursday, December 12, 2019

Still here!

Though I've been inactive for several months, I am still here!  Still doing what I always do!  Not much changes and that's how I like it (highly resistant to change!) Running the shop, Starting new quilts, Finishing a few!    Working on several (actually Many!) projects at one time so it is a long time between "finishes"!  And, I will admit that I have found Instagram and have made a few postings there which I find quick and easy!  BUT, if you count the time I spend perusing everyone's postings, I've lost the time I thought I had found!

Long Time Gone in Repros...this is the upper left corner.....made my own mini version of the Jacob's Ladder section.  Plan to make a few other changes too.....smaller Bow Tie blocks, postage stamp block instead of Trip Around the World, center chimney Log Cabin blocks instead of "off-center log cabin blocks".......you know how it is, we are inspired by patterns written by others but change them according to our own likes and preferences!

Stack of  eighty 6" log cabin blocks that need one more round of logs!   For an 84" x 84" quilt,  I will need 196 so have started a stack of 116!  Rather enjoy "mindless"  chain - piecing while listening to audiobooks......currently it is "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate, based on the true story of a notorious woman named Georgia Tann who ran an orphanage in Memphis for about 30 years ending in 1950.  Other books I've recently listened to are "Where the Crawdads Sing", "The Tatooist of Auschwitz", "Cilka's Journey", "Auschwitz Lullaby","The Clockmaker's Daughter" by Kate Morton, "The Great Alone"and "Winter Garden" both by Kristin Hannah......slow start to "Winter Garden" but glad I hung in there for the Real Story in the second half of the book!  



Using 1" strips as "Leaders and Enders" I have made 3-1/2" Railfence blocks.... 607 made and need 177 more for an 84" x 84" quilt.  Pictured above is a quarter section of my planned quilt.  I think I will find it easier to handquilt if I do it in sections and then join together.  This Quarter section is 14 rows by 14 rows, which means 196 blocks and 1176 log strips!  And guess what!  There is a Duplication in two blocks that are close to each other!  Happens every time!  Don't care!!



Made the darling Diamonds quilt all by hand this summer  (well, except for borders/binding!).  Quite enjoyable to sit and piece by hand during quiet times in the shop and then quilting by hand.  Pattern is from Betsy Chutchian's book "Quilts For All Seasons".  The "change" that I made in this quilt is that I made 2" diamonds as I had an Ardco window-template for that size.....Betsy's were 1-1/2".  


Glad to see these horses, bunnies and keys!




Chesapeake by Di Ford



New fabric arrivals this week from Andover Fabrics....."Watts Valley" wonderful shirtings by Australian duo Max and Louise......Conversationals even!  And the always wonderful offerings from Di Ford (another Aussie!) with her "Chesapeake" line!  Her blue is the closest we've seen to Prussian Blue for a long time!  Even better in person!  Next to arrive will be Sarah's Story byBetsy Chutchian.


Will end today's post with a bit about our 19-year-old Maine coon cat, Sally.  She was dropped off here as a very tiny kitten (too small to be away from her mother!) in the fall of 2000.  My husband found her lying on the back of a resting cow.....we then knew she would be resourceful, and even opportunistic!  She's had a great life!  Roamed and did as she pleased for many years!  Still does in the summer months, but now her favorite spot is right beside the woodstove and vocalizes if it runs out of heat!  She disappeared a couple times.....the last time for about 5 days......when she dragged herself home (wish I could know where she had been!), she was thin and scruffy-looking and had a single deep wound in her neck.  My husband (farmer who has nursed many animals over the years for many maladies) pulled her through.  Though I thought she was goner, she is not.....has gained weight, appears healthy and has returned to her mostly ornery and aloof self!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What Have I Been Doing This Winter?


Bet you know what I've been doing!  New Starts, of course!  Actually, two are finished!  A friend came to the shop last July with a medallion quilt she made with soft colors which I immediately loved!  Not having worked so much with softer colors, I decided to give it a go.  Found this little square of an older Judie Rothermel Toile and began!  Made this little tablemat that I love!  



Notice the name on the shop sign? 

Another "Start" would be this Half-Square Triangle quilt using Jo Morton's "Hickory Road".....just cut a charm pack into fourths, paired up with a light and produced 320 units....number works perfect for a 16 x 20 setting!  Half done..................




Loved this blue colorway of "St. Louis" by Evonne Cook for Washington Street Studios and thought I would work up a single block into a tablemat/wallhanging size.  The block is "Massachusetts" (made a much smaller quilt years ago using a single block).  I think someone has recently written a book about making small quilts, tablemats or wallhangings from a single enlarged quilt block pattern and I thought it a marvelous idea!



Cut a 16-1/2" square of Di Ford-Hall's new "Rochester" line for a fullsize center medallion.  Will use some of her other "Rochester" fabrics and any others (tho likely hers from previous lines) that strike my fancy!   Plan at the moment is to make plain fabric borders until I feel like it's big enough.........and then I will have Another Quilt to add to the Handquilting pile (still working on my Hewson panel center medallion, tho I have not touched it in nearly a year!  I need to finish the boring start-and-stop triangle border so I will have a plain border to quilt a cable or some such design that I enjoy doing!)   Am handquilting the final border of a small Jo Morton quilt so I will soon have a "Finish"!







These piecing projects have taken some of my time this winter......quiet hours in my sewing room listening to audiobooks......."Winter Garden" by Kristen Hannah at the moment.  Loved her book, "The Nightingale"!  Six inch log cabin blocks for a fullsize quilt Someday.  And the Circa 1880 quilt by Pam Buda....throwing in a few odd blocks here and there just for fun!



Great-grandson, Baylor, loved his first toboggan rides!  But Mimi is glad the snow is gone now!


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Long Time Gone...................Again!

Winter has been long and boring......seemed colder than usual.....glad it is nearly over!  

Jen Kingwell's "Long Time Gone" pattern name seems to fit me to a T!  I have done a little work on her sampler pattern but ambition seems to have left me this winter.....spent more time reading than sewing!  Felt good to sit in that rocking chair beside the woodstove!

This is the upper left corner HST unit and 3 paper-pieced Pineapple blocks.  The dark beige sashing is my second choice, having already removed a lighter one.  NOW, this tiny little print (seen at far right) shows up and I really don't want to remove/replace again (tho it is only two pieces!). I really like the plain sashing as I think it defines the block areas whereas the print sort of blends, But everyone else seems to like the print better!    Really like working on LTG as it is just done in small bits at a time.  I have a triangle row ready and the next section is "Jacob's Ladder" which I am going to change to look more like real JL blocks!  Found some antique ones on eBay that I am using for inspiration.


eBay blocks are "about" 8"......mine will need to be either sixteen 3" or four 6" to fit the allotted 12" space.  That's a decision for another day!  




Yesterday I finally had some sewing time (have been taking Wed off this winter for some sewing time and yesterday was the First Wed that something else did not take precedence!!!)  After spending time thinking about Which Project to work on (too numerous to count!), I decided to make the first row from Pam Buda's Circa 1880 club.  The background is Aged Muslin by Marcus and until I washed it, it felt too stiff to work with.  But, once washed, it softened up.....the weave is fine and tight and I liked sewing with it.  Since I swapped blocks with 3 other ladies, I have enough to make a good start and will only need about 150 more.  These blocks are absolutely precious and finish at 2".


The log cabin blocks above are my most current project and is getting most of my attention this winter. About to start the fourth round of light, I decided I needed more (that is Different) fabrics so spent time taking  6-1/2" strips off a stack of light fabrics so I could make 1" strips and 1-1/2" strips which are what I seem to use the most.  Have more fabrics to cut strips from but will wait until I am ready for the fifth and final round.  The blocks finish at 6" and I love them!  Made a wallhanging using 16 blocks that I just Loved after I hand-quilted each log!  Now I want one for my bed!  Another LTP (Long Term Project as Jeana Kimball calls it!)  Have Lots of those!



I made this tiny (4" x 12") log cabin runner from Pam Buda's "Vintage Patchwork" book.....spent way more time on it than you'd think for a tiny project, but I had to handquilt it because I love the feel of handquilted everything!





From Pam Buda, her Circa 1880 line.....more coming later.




The above fabrics are "Porcelain" by 3 Sisters for Moda.  Seemed fitting for spring......would like to make a Medallion quilt using light colors such as these!






Love this "Bed of Roses" by Edyta Sitar!  More choices for a light Medallion!

Love these "Yarra Valley" stripes from Max and Louise....especially the green!  Reminds me of the Centennial Green Wendy and I saw in 1870's log cabin quilts during quilt documentation days......seemed so wrong for the time period but we soon learned it was right!



French General solids......true colors are light blue, red and darker blue.  Camera did not see them in the right light!




"Vive Le France" by French General......love her reds!


Great-grandson Baylor, age 3, sliding down the snowbank in the front yard. We found the old toboggan in the woodshed and it fits him perfectly!


This was intended to be a short post and it just kept growing as I thought of things!  I'll leave you with this photo of an old, wonky Pineapple quilt!  Before Christmas, I decided I'd looked at the quilt that had been hanging on the wall for years (sun never touches it)!  This was the first quilt I could lay my hands on......its imperfection is rather charming (tho we would never stand to do it ourselves, would we?) and it is a great selection of fabrics to study!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Books and Log Cabins

 Blocks made recently include Pineapples from "Patches of Scraps" by Edyta Sitar and "Long Time Gone" by Jen Kingwell   Love them both!   

From Edyta, above, the paper-piecing for this 7-1/2"block is done on the printed side of the paper instead of from the back....easier......not yet trimmed closely or removed from paper to prevent fraying until I am ready to assemble.  Technique reminded me that we did this method back in the 1980's using paper foundations from the Little Foot people (Little Foot is a 1/4-inch foot made for Singer Featherweight machines).



The three 5"blocks, above,  from "Long Time Gone" are Pineapples done in the traditional paper-piecing method (sewing done on the reverse of the printed pattern).  I am planning to assemble this quilt as I go......these 3 blocks will be attached to the half-square triangle unit.

Then, I experimented with printing the tiny "Courthouse Step" foundations (below) from Pam's "Vintage Patchwork" onto muslin so I would not have to tear paper (in other words, also creating log cabin blocks on a foundation as done "back in the day"!)     Photocopied the patterns onto paper (two on a page) to use a "masters".  Ironed freezer paper onto old-fashioned muslin (slightly oversized from 8-1/2" x 11" paper size.  Cut to size with rotary cutter for nice crisp edges and sent it into my printer!  Worked great but I did watch the printer with a bit of trepidation hoping it would spit it out and not eat it up!



Fat Quarter bundles of "Harriet's Handwork" have arrived at last! And now sold out too!  New line "Susanna's Scraps" due in March (ordered extra FQ bundles!).  And don't forget Jo Morton's "Hickory Road" line is due in January.......it is beautiful!

Making tablemats.......made the first one for the church craft sale table and then others wanted one so I have made 6 so far using whatever fabrics they liked (second photo is mine made from one of my Mom's favorite fabrics).




Squaring 2" half square triangles from the leaders/enders basket!  Goal is to make a fullsize quilt for myself but some are being used in "Long Time Gone" that I am making from repros.



Have squared only 226 so far but I just do it in odd little bits of time so that the job is not overwhelming....but when it is done, I hope to be able to sit and sew and not unsew!

More new books arrived today!  

From Carrie Nelson, "Pin Pals", 40 sweet little pincushions and more!  And a darling little book of "Mini Quilt Blocks", twenty 5" block ideas!

 Also, from Carol Hopkins we have "Vintage Legacies", 14 reproduction quilts...........always great ideas! Love the cover quilt! And the 48 Moda blockheads blocks from six great Moda designers!


Whew!  Guess that is it for now!  Unless you want to see my newest little great-grandson, due Jan 15, but decided he wanted to be here for Christmas and arrived Dec 10.....weighed 6.5 lbs at 5 weeks early!  His name is Mason Todd.