Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all. I am blessed with a bounty of food, shelter, family, reasonable health and dear friends. A special blessing to all in Blogland even though we may never meet in reality except in the Hereafter.
And for this noble Nation may the Lord keep His hand of mercy upon us.
I rejoice in this day it is a gift, no coincidence that we call it the present!

Spiral Placemats

Sewing gifts for Christmas and birthdays in lieu of purchasing them is more meaningful, uses stash and saves buying into the madness of retail Christmas!
Recently I saw the pattern below from "Designs To Share With You"
 Immediately thought of a couple of fabrics and a recipient came to mind.
I decided to show a bit of the process because at first I found the instructions a little confusing! Really they are fast and easy but the directions about the ruler were not at first clear to me [maybe the blonde thing? LOL!] The picture above shows what the pattern actually means as to how to make the cuts but it becomes crystal clear once you "get it" and as long as you pay attention and use the coordinate fabric for the first side then alternate with the feature fabric you will not have a problem.
 I chose to chain sew, it was faster to sew eight times [eight placemats] then trim eight triangles than to sew, trim sew trim etc. and I did the trimming on the mat beside my machine to save time and keep my wounded foot up! My chairs are on rollers so I can easily slide side to side to be in the best position for using the rotary cutter, less chance of injury.
Ta da!  I am so happy with these, this organic looking fabric has been waiting for just the right project and the Hoffman I chose to coordinate looks great with it. By the way, I found that the 18" squares for batting and backing seemed over generous I do hate waste, I found 16" adequate.
Using Bottom Line matching thread from Superior I top stitched around the very edge and around the center octagon only I think that will be adequate to keep it stable during laundering.
Then this great batik seemed to lend itself to another set and I love how they turned out.
Solid black backing since I had no appropriate red.
What to do then with all those triangles I removed? I used some of them for "leaders and enders" during the chain sewing.
While I was at it I sewed up a couple of my selvedge pot holders for a hostess gift 
and made three more of these pumpkins, also a hostess gift.
Last Saturday my  Fiber Artists MeetUp group got together and I worked on the Crystal Clear quilt kit, just one more section, well half a section, I still need to make the mirror image .
Obviously this quilt will be a long term project!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Accordion Quilt

Linking up with Needlework Tuesday
Plugging away at this quilt, it's rather a messy process as you can see! Trying to stay off my foot as much as possible I am doing the cutting and trimming on the board right beside me.
This pattern from The Modern Quilt Company is fast and very easy, really I think almost beginner easy. 
 There are more blues I have yet to introduce and I may reject that very lightest one, though in reality it does not look white at all only in the photo. I am not continuing to use it at the moment in case it does turn out to be too pale, the few I have already made can easily be rejected or remade with a minimum of waste of both time and materials. So far it's ok, not amazing but I am withholding my final opinion until further progress when there is a larger area to view.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hannah Baby Quilt #2

The second is done and on it's way today back to Hannah for binding.
Very cute panels on these two quilts, this one got an elephant design.
You can sort of see the elephant design, that's his head on the bottom half of the giraffe! 
Masterpiece lovely fine, 100% Egyptian cotton thread from Superior was used top and bobbin in both quilts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Gill's Rag Quilt

Linking up with Needlework Tuesday
Five years ago while visiting my native land DownUnder, my dear SIL took me to The Cottage On The Hill a quilt shop out in the country at Nundle near where they live in Tamworth-Country Music Capital of Australia. The shop, owned by Kerry Swain is on the family farm and there was a class going on at the time. Here Gill saw a rag quilt and said how she would love one in her favorite colors, of course I said "I can make that!"
I returned to the USA and promptly purchased the flannels to make it and there they sat until I knew my brother was coming to visit and I thought I had best make it up to send back to Aus. with him!
It is my first-and perhaps my only-rag quilt, they are labor intensive I really had no idea! I know of people who make them regularly but not me, I much prefer to put my energy into a traditional style quilt. I did buy a pair of Fiskars scissors with the short blades, without which it would have been a much worse chore snipping all those raw edges so I would recommend them for anyone attempting a rag quilt.
So now my brother needs a second suitcase, in addition to a few things he has acquired there is now a heavy, bulky quilt, good thing it is only lap size! And what a mess they make in the washing and drying, I took out hands full of threads every time I cleaned the dryer filter which was about every fifteen minutes so it wouldn't get blocked- and there are still threads floating around in the laundry! I washed and dried it three or maybe four times and it could still use a couple more I think.
My next project is the blue quilt I started for second grandson and his wife. I purchased fabrics for the original Tumbling Block design but when I switched to the pattern I found at Modern Quilt Studio I needed a lot more medium and lighter blues. I just received this selection below, one looks pink in the photo but it definitely is not, it's blue gray, I promise!
My brother leaves Friday and I have foot surgery Friday morning, good timing! It will keep me off my feet a lot for a week and then I think I will be ok in the air-boot as long as I am careful!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

En Provence

Bonnie Hunter's 2016 free Mystery quilt will release the first sewing clue the day after Thanksgiving.
You can find details including fabric yardage requirements here.
Bonnie is known for her scrappy quilting, but last year I decided that I preferred to use controlled colors for the mysteries, viz. rather than scrapping each color I used yardage and I was really happy with the result which you can see in this post.
These are the paint chips Bonnie has chosen to represent the colors for En Provence.
In addition the original size quilt requires 3 yds. of neutral fabrics
This year I plan to keep to restricted yardage again and I think perhaps I will make it smaller than 87"square. Because I am determined not to purchase additional fabric if at all possible, below are my likely choices. The only one I am unsure of is the green I prefer the striped fabric but I am wondering if the stripe will be a problem. Perhaps it will just add interest!
If you have never sewn along with a BH mystery it's a lot of fun, a large group of around 25 Phoenix area quilters gather each year to sew the the first clue together in a tradition begun by Angela Neff. We have quilt labels with the year's logo and a cake with the logo also.

Hannah's New Baby Quilt

One of two sweet baby quilts Hannah sent me to quilt for her expected great grandchildren, due before year's end.
 The label simply says "Love from Grandma Hannah"
 I strongly encourage labels for quilts, the maker may not care [as my friend really does not] but in years to come some one else may want to know about the identity of the quilter! I was able tp persuade my friend to put this very simple wording so at least that's something!
The basics for provenance are, who, when, for whom and where. I offer free machine embroidery labels for those I quilt usually embroidered directly onto the backing so that it's quilted into the quilt precluding loss of the information.
The second of Hannah's quilts is on the longarm and already started so it should be done in the next day or two

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Modern Quilt Studio

Recently I came across this website "Modern Quilt Studio" and found quite a few designs I liked, the more modern style is appealing to me more and more. The one below in particular caught my eye, and I had to have the magazine with the pattern which by the way, is oh so simple!
Although the colors are part of the appeal I think it could be terrific in many other colors and muted designs. I am planning to do a monotone of blues for middle grandson and wife's wedding quilt rather than the tumbling blocks which I have decided might be optical insanity in a king size quilt! Don't want to precipitate night time migraines, LOL.
This afternoon I made up a few sample blocks, introducing a print just because I like it so much.
I have other blues of varying intensity and am ordering a few more mostly FQ's which I rarely purchase but in this case I do not need to introduce a myriad of more blues to my stash.What looks like white  and out of place is a pale blue in reality and it looks ok, but I am not sure I will use it.
The blocks are fast to rotary cut [from templates] and quick to construct, two blocks measure 8.5"x11.25" so the whole top should be fast and simple. It looks contemporary enough for a very young couple [in their color of choice] and quilting too will be modern- the example is done in horizontal half inch lines, and I already know I will not be quilting that tight. We shall see what inspires me between now and the longarm!
If I can get a lot of the prep done the next couple of weeks I will be able to sit and piece after my foot surgery in two weeks. Since about October last year I have been battling foot pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and a stress fracture and after months of therapy, ice, exercises etc I am ready to be free of this malady so it's off to a simple procedure to finally fix it.
The surgeon does it arthroscopic so it's a fast recovery, in the boot only two and a half weeks.
Meantime there are a couple of baby quilts coming from CA. that need to be quilted and a queen size that will be custom-not sure if it will all be done in two weeks but I will try!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vintage Style Baby Quilt

This is the baby quilt I was working on at retreat and today I finished the pieced border so it goes on my stack of tops to be quilted. I have made inroads into that, I think there are only three of mine now awaiting the longarm. There are two yet to be bound also.
This little guild name tag took me way too long, especially as I am an experienced paper piecer, but I could not get it square!
 Finally took off the last row and trimmed and replaced it then put on binding and I am calling it acceptable, it's a label and it's done!
Linking up with Needlework Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


I have been AWOL from Blogger for a couple of weeks, since my brother arrived from Australia we have been too busy and really no quilting time.
 We took time to show him around a bit, drove to Colorado and spent a week at our house up there along with son JW and his wife and son.
 This is an early original bank building still in use in Silverton, CO.
 The brewery at Ouray CO., the weather was delightful sunny and warm even at 9,000ft.
 The Boy with his great Uncle John on the Telluride gondola.
 DH, son and wife
 This is around 11,000ft, Telluride is a great area to ski. You can see the actual town is way down below in the background.
 A rock wall at the Telluride Plaza, Matthew was keen to try with a leg up from Dad.
 A very cute phone box old time style.
 And time for cuddling in the evening.
 A visit to my friend's farm and meeting the miniature donkeys, Rosie and Pepe!
 And one of several of their roping horses.
 The park in Ridgway has a retaining wall with lots of kid's handprints, Matthew found one just his size! Across the street from the park is the True Grit Cafe where the John Wayne film was made.
An interesting carved tree with a hollowed out trunk.
Another helping hand from Dad!
 The cottonwood trees are in full autumn leaf and this park is awash in gold!
I love this picture with the Boy, so much that I am framing one for both of us!
There is no legalized marijuana in Aus. so we decided to show my brother what a dispensary is like! He looks quite mellow don't you think, LOL?
The only sewing has been on the rag quilt below for my DIL in Aus, I want to send it back with my brother. It's been a long time coming, rag quilts are not my thing so it has been on the bottom of the list.  In fact this will be my first attempt. And likely the last, LOL.
All that's left now is to clip the edges and launder it a couple of times. I have looked around for a pair of the special shears used for this job of snipping all the raw edges but do not know which ones to choose so if you have a recommendation please leave me the info on it!