Monday, May 28, 2012

Love to use Leftovers!

Last year in Jo Morton's Little Women Club, we made Courthouse Step Blocks using one inch strips.  I had lots of Leftovers, so I kept them in one of my little sorting boxes (recycled check boxes!) until I could get time to work on these little Four Patch Blocks.  Each block has 4 Half Inch squares so the finished block size is One Inch.  I machine-quilted in the ditch between all the blocks.......may go back and quilt my favorite little wavy line in the borders by hand later.  The batting is wool that has been split in half, making a very thin quilt!  The other half is in 

 this little quilt that I made from the leftover Leftovers!  Can't stand to waste/throw away even the smallest pieces that I know I can use!  The cheddar in the second quilt really makes it Sing!....Whereas the first little quilt is quite subdued, perhaps even drab, but it does look to me like it's old!
 This is a recent Finish of a quilt in Jo Morton's Club for this year......tiny little geese that are 5/8" x 1-1/4".......really not that hard to do when you are sure you have the correct math!  However, it was time-consuming!  I figure that I have about 10 hours in this quilt!  I have made a paper-piecing pattern and we'll see if that makes the quiltmaking process any quicker!  Will let you know!  I used Jo's fabric choices because I really liked them but used a bit darker binding fabric.  My paper-pieced one is going to be very different colors!
 This is what is in my quilting hoop for tonight's work while watching "Hatfields and McCoys" on History Channel.  This little quilt is from Country Threads "Return to Charm School", using elongated Hexagons from Barbara Brackman's "Civil War Homefront" collection.  I will be able to kit this one!
 Lovely weather recently here in New England!  Flowers blooming, breezes blowing in the windows that I will leave open until late the fresh air!  My laundry that I dried outside on my clotheslines smells Heavenly when I fold it!  The photos below are my Bridal Wreath that grows outside my living room windows.  Gorgeous, but of course, will not last long enough!  The Lilacs  were at peak for Mother's Day and are gone now until next year!  Years ago I spent lots more time gardening that I do now....I miss it but there is only so much time in a day and something has to give!

 Oh, one more thing!  I found this Applecore quilt top that I completely forgot I had until I ran across it while looking for another quilt!  It is from the 1930's and is hand-pieced quite nicely.  However, along the edges, some fabrics are fraying and I will likely have to remove them IF I decide to finish the quilt Someday!
 This closeup shows a couple Novelty fabrics that are just darling and too few in the quilt!  The one on the right shows a little girl ironing!  How cute is that!  I have a friend who loves 1930's fabrics/feedsacks and her love for them has rubbed off on me!  Nineteenth century Fabrics are my first love but 1930's is a close Second!  I'm  beginning to like the 1950's too since I have acquired some.....made a String Star Miniature Quilt that I must remember to photo for next time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Finish......Many in Progress!!

 Spent many Winter evenings quietly quilting away on this Toile Center Medallion, inspired by one in Gwen Marston's "Liberated Quiltmaking ll".  Now would like to make a bedsize quilt.  One friend suggested I just keep on going with this one, but I think the 12" center toile would be too small proportionately for a fullsize I will sometime start another.  This kind of quilt is one I can easily work on, set aside and pick up again without losing my train of thought!  I did use a quilting hoop with this one and my quilting is so much more even than when I don't use a hoop.  For small Jo Morton-type quilts, I often just quilt in my lap but quilting is not as even.  I still do it, tho, hoping for improvement!  I hung this on my little clothesline that I strung up in my dining room to display quilts just to take this photo, but I think I have decided that it has found a home for now!  I never hung quilts in my home much as I hang them in my shop, but after 30 years of quiltmaking, I have enough for beds, walls, tabletops, cupboard doors, and the shop!  Below the quilt is a scrappy (charm) log cabin runner (my first big-stitch project if I recall correctly) on the limed oak cabinet of my 1956 Pfaff sewing machine that provides a flat surface for such stuff!  There are two detail shots below.....had fun picking out early 1800's fabrics for this quilt!

 There is something wrong with this picture below!  Can you tell what it is?  This is a current Jo Morton Club project of brown/shirting flying geese....very tiny..finish at 5/8" x 1-1/4"!  Made my test block (4 geese at far left).  A few nights later I cut out the remaining parts needed and proceeded to sew ....should not do this after a long day in the shop during shophop month!  I cut, sewed, pressed AND trimmed 44 units without noticing anything was Wrong!  I spread them out to take this photo and it hit me!  I did it backwards!  Geese should be light, not dark! Well Jo made her little quilt from a mistake She had made in the same manner.........she wanted dark geese and ended up with light geese!  I did the same thing, but in reverse!  I like her method of flying geese......don't know exactly who invented it, but this website gives great directions.  Click on "sharing patch" in the bar at the top of the webpage for Flying Geese directions as well as many other free patterns.  Spent last evening doing the prep work (drawing lines on Dark Squares for background!) for a second set.  Now I will have two quilts because I am too frugal to just let these sit around!  
 Leaders and Enders.....another thing I am frugal with is thread.  Had for some reason gotten away from using little blocks to start and end machine sewing thread......using a scrap is fine, but nothing is Accomplished!  Remembered these little pinwheels (actually Found Them buried under other projects.....started these in Fall is a smaller version (used the charm pack) of the project from the first Moda Collection for a Cause "Heritage" which I fell in love with the focal fabric that will be the sashing.  The Pinwheel blocks are made into 4-patches alternating with plain blocks if you can pick the block out at the bottom of the photo.  So-o-o-o, I've been using these as my Leaders/Enders.  First in joining two little units together and then by sewing the center seams.  Really made quick work of something I hadn't found time to do!  Not only does using Leaders/Enders help you to make two projects at once, it does it so neatly in that there are no threads hanging all over the backs of patchwork!  Now it's time to retire to the sofa for some handquilting of a small quilt from Country Threads "Back to Charm School" and/or the binding of two small quilts........stay tuned....will show them as soon as I finish them!