Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Another old postcard from the old family album!  Happiest of New Year's wishes for all.  May all your quilt plans come true! 

Since I received the "Old Plums" bolts by Pam Buda, I was able to finish this little quilt from "Campaign" by Carol Hopkins.....all fabrics used are from Pam's line.

On Thursday a "blizzard" was predicted.  Lost power due to ice buildup at 1am (Friday).  Was off for 35 hours (just came back within the hour).  Don't know why it was called a blizzard as there was no wind!  Anyway we got about a foot of snow;  we are all plowed out and back to "normal life"!  We heat with wood so the house stayed warm and we have a generator so I was able to read, sew, etc.  I am old-fashioned about some things and so I ignore the weekly pleadings from the local cable company to sign on with their TV-Phone-Internet "deal".  I will keep my landline phone as long as there is such a thing, because  Only the cable was out for 35 hours..... I still had  phone and  internet (do not have a smartphone but will likely have to have one someday)!

This is what we woke to Friday morning!  Lovely sunshine and azure blue sky!  And, of course, the white stuff!  The birdies were all aflutter at the bird feeder and I caught one of the Cardinals in the hydrangea bush.  Reminds me that I Really Need to get my new SLR digital with the great lenses fired up and ready to go!!!  Would get much better closeups!

This is the picnic table with its foot of snow!  We were fortunate to get only a my son's area, about 60 miles NW of here, 24" fell!  

Now you are going to laugh at me!  Got this book the other day......have most of Kaffe Fassett's books......his fabrics are so much Not Me, tho, there are many that I like!  His quilts do speak to me!   

Love this Hexagon quilt!

Love this Medallion quilt with his bright fabrics too!  But, would also be wonderful using Reproductions....better make note of that on "the list"!       Love the simple quilts that let the Fabrics shine!!!

Have had some questions about how I accumulate my Half-Square Triangles.  I use 6-6-1/2" squares (Makes eight 2" finished hst's), separated into a pile of lights and a pile of darks.  Then match up light/dark.....some I use just as they come in the pile and some I match up because I like them together!  Then, when I get near the end of the piles, the Most Interesting (odd!) combinations are made!  I mark the diagonal pencil lines  and then use them as my "Leaders and Enders" one line each time I finish regular block sewing!  Huge pile accumulated in what seemed like no time!  

Generally, I press open first and then square up.  It's kinda boring but I just do some as I feel like it or to fill in odd moments.  The method shown above was found somewhere on the internet.  Place the diagonal line of the 2" square ruler on the seam line and trim just Two Sides.  Press open.....but, there are dog ears to trim. Just have to take your pick which method suits you best!  (I will probably mostly use my old, tried and true method!)

Found this postcard in the is dated Jan 7, 1878.....last day of school.  Guess they closed school for the winter Back in The Day!  The True family lived in this house at least Civil War era to 1950's.

Friday, December 23, 2016

New Books! New Fabric! New Jo Morton Club!

Two new books arrived this week that are screaming "Make me!  No, Make Me!"
Edyta Sitar has outdone herself with "Little Handfuls of Scraps" containing "A Sprinkling of Vintage Finds" and 32 patterns for small quilts, using  wonderful assortments of antique reproduction fabrics for authentic inspiration!   Kathleen Tracy's new book "Small and Scrappy" has sixteen patterns for pint-sized quilts as well as  hints about building your fabric collection to make the small quilts!  The quilts in both books use lots of reproductions, both old and new, that I have in stock!!

Pam Buda's "Old Plums" arrived!!  11 bolts of various purples, accompanied by  6 bolts of lights!  And, a great thing about some of the purples is that they reverse to Great Solids!  Especially useful for Variety!  Have a little quilt from a Carol Hopkins pattern started from some scraps Pam so graciously sent to me that I now will finish!  

Another book I've recently enjoyed reading is Gwen Marston's "Free Range Triangle Quilts".  She also relies on antique quilts for inspiration and who knew so much could happen with Triangles!  A "must-read" for those as interested in creating quilts with triangles as I am.  That reminds me of yet another little quilt I've been working on......All half-square triangles of mostly darks .......a little doll quilt I saw online (ebay, I think)....Another couple rows and it will be done (tho I am thinking of making it larger!...Can't I just leave well enough alone!)  It's been fun going thru fabrics to find the old, dark and "dirty" fabrics!   Oh, and I finally got my newer Jo fabrics that had been stacked on the floor onto one of my antique shoe factory racks......that displaced my homespuns but they are neatly packed into boxes for pretty quick access (love those boxes I save from my Moda shipments for stackable storage!) in a re-organized (and very slightly purged!) walk-in closet that was thoughtfully built by someone years ago at the top of the back stairs.........these old houses are notorious for not having enough closet space!  

The month of December is usually slow in the shop, but that's okay........I love having free time to read, sew, cut out for projects, daydream, spend too much time on Pinterest, peruse blogs, etc, etc!
Then, there is also the quandary I have when I can spend time in my sewing room and can't decide what to do first!  I have way too many WIP's in progress that I can choose.......what to do?  Of course, start something New!  I often have this idea about something that I think I can whip up in one setting or at least during the off days!  Rarely happens tho!  I had a Lori Smith pattern staring at me so I decided to whip up a Courthouse Step small (11" x 14") quilt.  Managed to get all but the last 4 strips on during a Sunday afternoon (listening to audiobook by Ken Follet, "On Wings of Eagles".)
Now it is done and will join the pile of tops to be quilted Someday!

Jo Morton's Little Women Club #16 patterns will arrive after the first of the year!  Love all the projects and have started the Tumbler!   Let me know if you want to sign up (either in person or by mail order) so I will know how many pattern sets to order.  Club Requirements remain the same.......purchase of 25 Jo Morton fat quarters and $5 per pattern. 

Lots of  Jo fabrics to choose from!  Using Miss Rosie's small Crumbler.

Also in some of this month's "spare time" I've been adding to Wendy's (and my box also---everything cut in two's------one for Wendy, one for me!)  1-1/2" square box.....I think there are about 1200 more ready!   That makes about 2400 so far with another 1000 or so to go!

Will leave you with a photo of a Christmas present to myself to replace one I lost years ago....... 

Merry Christmas to all who choose to celebrate whatever manner you choose to do so!  Grateful that I will be sharing it with family at my grandson's house (and father of the new baby here in Maine!), and will be thinking of two granddaughters and their precious, darling babies who live in FL and AZ.
Maybe next year will be a year for all to be Together at Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Scrap Box Winner is....................

The winner of my box of scraps is Beth C, anonymously chosen by my Random Generator Husband!  Let me know your address and it will be on its way to you!  Now I'll start another one!!

Don't really have much to write photos ready....but....
this is a Nine Patch quilt that I started quite a while ago, using Julie Herndrickson's "History Repeated" fabrics (browns, blues and shirtings).  Her project sheet used sashing but I prefer alternating blocks.  Then it seemed too boring so I decided to brighten it up with any alternating fabric I liked  (it is very hard for me to make a quilt from just one line of fabric!) and then I further decided to make other pieced or applique blocks to place here and there!  Eight rows are done with 5 to go.  Think I'll draw a 6" Schoolhouse block and make a 6" Russian Sunflower block with Cindy Blackberg's rubber stamp......just making whatever blocks I like as I go along and when I have 13 rows, it will be done!  

 Love toiles so I'll use a few of them!

Part of lovely floral strip from the Women of Courage line!

Nice reproduction of an early 1800's Eagle in a Wreath!

Nice Prussian blue from Kaye England!

Can't remember why I made this Love Apple....probably just because I love it!

Jo's Chintz.

A bird scrap from Kaye England....too small so I just bordered it.

Eight Point Stars are a favorite to hand-piece.

A colorful toile from Judy Rothermel (I think) from many years ago.

A little sample of broderie perse.....

Thirty-six Patch block.

Love cockscomb flower....livened up a bit with applique broderie perse element.

From the 19th Century Divas book.....Pine tree 

Another little touch of broderie perse with a French General fabric.

A few fabrics selected to be used as alternating blocks as I go's really fun to just do whatever I feel like doing at the time!  Will be interesting when it is not have a design wall so there is no "plan".........

Another batch of about 80 log cabin blocks that I work on now and then when I just feel like sewing!  I think I am more than halfway to my goal of 400!

Back later with some more This and That that I've been working is so funny that when I have some Time to work on something, I can't decide What to work on!  I stand in my sewing room and look around at all the unfinished projects.......should vow to start nothing new until at least a few UFO's are done, but I am not that disciplined!  In fact, I started a new little quilt last Sunday......will be done soon as soon as I find 20 minutes to do it!  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Exciting Quilt Days with Friends Part 3 Potholder Quilt

Guess what this is! a not very timely manner I am sorry to write, the quilts from the Shelburne seen 22 Oct.......A Potholder Quilt from the Shelburne Museum collection!  Most unusual layout!  Perhaps someone made the Compass blocks intending to applique them onto background squares which is what we typically see.  Then, either the Maker or Someone Else quilted and bound the blocks in red and  proceeded to make the 4 quilted/bound (in blue) setting shapes!  Much more work IMHO but Very Striking!   Shelburne acquired the Maine quilt in 2001; maker unknown, Circa 1885.  Pam Weeks (aka Potholder Pam who is writing a book about Potholder Quilts) told me that the majority of potholder quilts found so far have a Maine connection.  This one  has cut corners for a 4 poster bed as a large percentage of antique Maine quilts have.

The short seams connecting the setting pieces can be seen here at the circle midpoints.

New fabrics and new books!    Lovely "Pumpkin Pie" line from Edyta Sitar (Laundry Basket Quilts), one of my many favorite designers!  Ten bolts join the 80+ already in stock from previous lines!

Wonderful background for applique done with strong colors!

New books are ""Treasury of Quilts" by 19th Century Patchwork Divas from Texas (Betsy Churchian and Friends!) and "Scraps Made Simple" from the Moda All-Stars series.

I needed a 6" pine tree block for my History Repeated 9-Patch  (next post!) instead of the 8" in the book.  Took a long time to make but love the finished block!  Might be the block I should make with the shoeboxes full of half-square triangles that I just can't stop making!  It's an Addiction to be always preparing and thinking so far ahead for quilts down the road!  Should just concentrate on what I am working on Now!  (more on that in next post too!)

Love this Sawtooth block by Carrie Nelson!  Made one up very Quickly!  Tho this time I Enlarged the block (to 7-1/2") as I have oodles of precut 6"to 6-1/2" squares to work with and will not want to take the time to cut them into 4-1/2" squares tho I Love her darling little 5" block!  Yes, I would get little 1-1/2" strips which I use a lot but don't need any more for foreseeable future!

Scrap Box Giveaway is full again!  Leave a comment if you would like to be included in the drawing!  Please leave contact info if you are a No-Reply person and I am sorry that I can't mail overseas.
Today is our first Snow Day and it is already 4:30 pm and I have No Sewing Done!  Yet!