Saturday, October 22, 2016

Seldom happens. . .

Every once in a very long while, a project turns out exactly as I had envisioned.  I am so tickled with the way this little quilt looks.

It measures 24" unfinished.  It is based on a pattern from a QAL on Lori's blog " Humble Quilts.  She called it Cheese and Crackers.  The link to part 1 of the instructions is here.

This is a picture of the one I made at the time, it looks nothing like today's quilt.  I wanted to sew it in just blue and cheddar.  My blues are too close to the same hue.  I loved making it and knew I'd make one again someday.

This picture shows my hand for scale.  The small squares finish at 1 inch.

I wanted to make something for my friend who knits.  When I found this focus fabric in Kansas on our way home from seeing grand kids in Kentucky, I knew it would be perfect.

The fabric has balls of yarn and knitting needles on it.  I tried to match some of the colors on the selvage edge.  I ended up using two different reds; one is and orange red and the other a blue red.

I'm going to hand quilt it.  I better get busy because there are additional things in the queue for Christmas gifts.

Grandpa was a hit with the grand kids.  This is a picture of our grandson trying to get between Grandpa and the harmonica to figure out what he was doing to make that sound.

This is our sweet granddaughter, look at all those dimples.

We went to the Nashville Zoo one day while we were there.  We saw a baby sloth (picture turned out dark) and pink flamingos.

We stayed in a motel on the way home that was behind the Ozarkland building that was right out of a Charles Wysocki painting.

 Image 1

Except, technically, Charles Wysocki didn't paint things from the south.  But if he had, it would have looked like this with all the signs all over it.

We left before it opened the next morning.  Tsk tsk!

Off to layer the little quilt.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I am having so much fun

working on the next Grandmother's Choice - Votes for Women quilt.  I am big stitching around the larger parts of the blocks.

It is so relaxing and is going fast.  It's like coloring in a coloring book.  Just wish I could spend more time at the frames.

Here are two more blocks completed for the 1857 quilt.  The block below was a stinker.  I had to really concentrate to make sure I was turning a curve and not a point as I went around the leaves.

This is a cute little block.  I didn't do the more complex lids for the bottles.  It turned out fine.

And here they are with a few of the other blocks.

We had a 'make n' take' at my quilt group "Bound Together" last month.  It is a little mug rug block.  The fabrics are Fig Tree which I don't have much of but I was able to find the plaid (from another line) to bind it.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

I thought I would have the two little doll quilts finished to show you today.  But, alas, I am still working on the binding of the first one and haven't started the quilting on the 2nd.  So, here's a sneak peek and hopefully they will be finished soon.

I also made two little house ornaments yesterday.  Another challenge from my quilt group.

I think they turned out pretty cute.  They were very easy to make.  There may be more in my future.

Here they are together hanging at the mantle.  It is hinting at the holidays.

As I was working on the binding yesterday with the crispness of the morning, it felt like fall to me.  It was Saturday and it felt like it was time to go to the music store to pick up the new music for my daughter.  I started going to the music store in the fall right after my oldest son started playing the French Horn (he was already playing the piano).  Then the next child, a daughter, began the saxophone.  The next two tried drums, violin, piano, but mostly preferred more physical things like football. . .  My 2nd daughter played piano, trumpet and drums in middle and high school, and received her BA (or was it a BS?) in organ performance.  She's the one that really got me going to the music store on a regular basis.  And then, finally, our youngest began violin at age six.  Choosing his music became quite difficult in later years.

So, here I am, ready to peruse the racks and files with no one to buy music for.  It's a sweet feeling not a sad one.  It finally feels like fall.

I am linking up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday here.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

I have been keeping busy

This is a true beginners project.  When I made this (obviously using scraps) I had no idea about matching corners, or trimming threads, or cutting things the right length.   It's pathetic.

But, it is the exact right quilt top for this project.  I am trying to make a Kantha Quilt.  I'm using sport weight (white and yellow) and knitting worsted (orange) acrylic yarn.  I chose the yarn from what I already had.  I like the sport weight, it's easy to pull through.  The knitting worsted weight is harder to pull through and makes my joints ache a little after doing a few rows.  It's not in a hoop or frame.  It's just draped over a long table with two cutting mats underneath to protect the tables surface from being scratched by the needle.

There is no batting.  I spread the top and bottom out on the floor, smoothing it out flat.  And then pin basted it together.  I'm not sure how it will turn out with my wavy borders but so far so good. 

I finished the hand quilting on my second Women of Grace & Charm quilt by Blackbird Designs.  I love the way it looks.  My absolute favorite fabric is the floral in the center star.
There are stars quilted in the large dk. beige corners of the center medallion.

I also spent a lot of hours on the 1857 QAL.  I back basted one of the September blocks and 14 of the border and corner blocks.  I just arranged them around this block for the picture. The border is different than anything I've ever seen in a reproduction quilt. I need to baste a bunch more and then get busy with the applique.

So, I've kept busy but I never get as much done as I think I will.  

I enjoyed looking at everyone's Gwennie Inspired Quilts this week.  Such creativity.

And speaking of creativity. . . I also enjoyed Audrey's latest post.  She's got me intrigued about the new book she is reading.  Kinda quirky but interesting.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Block 28 etc.

Block 28 completed

I finished the interwoven block on Thursday.  The preparation was fairly easy once I got things cut out.  But, it took a really long time to sew everything down.  I like how it turned out.

My design wall

I used pink and yellow for this block because I felt like I need to repeat the yellow found in the upper right block and the pink in the block just below.

 It is a commanding block and draws attention to itself right away.

This is the 2nd WOG&C that I've made.  

I am linking up the Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.  Not because I sew on Sunday (I don't) but because the slow stitching part is definitely part of my quilting life.  AND, I enjoy seeing what everyone else it working on.

This is the 1st one I made.  I gave it to my Uncle who served it WWII because of the blue star in the window of the house.

I made the first quilt with the basket and house in the middle.  It was a BOM at Thimbles & Threads in Draper (wow! has it changed since then) a long long time ago.  The 2nd quilt has a large star for the middle with an appliqued vine in the border.  (see above)

I've been working on this Women of Grace & Charm quilt by Blackbird Designs all summer (hence the slow stitching).  I'm mostly just stitching in the ditch but there are a few areas that need more quilting to secure it to the 100% cotton batting.  The link above is to and since this book is out of print, the least expensive option for this book is $49 - GASP!

And I've been picking peaches all week from 2 of our 3 trees.  I've managed to find a home for 3 bushels of them (not a hard task).  There are still 2 more bushel on the tree ripening. After giving most of them away I decided I better keep some so I made freezer peach pie filling yesterday.  It's so yummy!!!

Gotta love that Corelle - ha!
Hop on over to Kathy's quilts (see link above) to see what progress everyone else is making.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's working!

Two donuts starch basted and ready to sew down

I trimmed and clipped the center. I sprayed the starch into a small bottle and waited for the foam to turn into liquid.  Then I dabbed it around the center fabric with a small paintbrush.

Using my Clover applique iron, I pressed the clipped edges to the applique paper.

Then I dabbed liquid starch around the outside of the piece and gradually pressed it over the applique paper.
The starch method leaves a softly pressed edge around the outside.

I slowly removed the paper.  It came out easily.
I used Untimate Applique Template Paper by P3

Another time I think I'll try using multiple pieces of regular freezer paper pressed together to make it a little thicker.

Using my light box, I put the pattern under the block, positioned the circles, and pinned them in place.  I made a cut where the yellow circle goes under the pink one.
This process turned out to be much easier than I was expecting.  It will still be a little tedious getting all the donuts into position and sewing them down.  But, overall, I'm glad I tried this new method of starch basting.

Upward and onward to all of you who haven't done this block yet.
Don't let it discourage you.
It isn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

a couple of intermediate finishes

I finished appliqueing one of the four August blocks for the 1857 quilt.  It turned out better than I thought it would and that is always a bonus.

Do you like my make-shift ironing board?  It's a bread board with a wash cloth.
Hey, it works!

I'm starting the most difficult of the four blocks.  It has intertwining circles to make up a larger circle.  It can't easily be done with back basting applique which is my preferred method.  So I am trying the starch basting applique.  I just happened to have some "Ultimate Applique Template Paper" by Pearl P. Pereira Designs that is thicker and a little waxier than freezer paper.

Donuts for the next 1857 block.

I hope it turns out alright.  And, isn't as tedious as I expect it to be.
I'm doing it in a pink/yellow combination.  The yellow looks very gold in the picture but it's the back side of the fabric and not an accurate representation.

Now, on to the border.

I finished the applique lettering on the aptly name "Zip a dee doo dah" quilt top.  I needled turned the letters and it was pretty awkward in the center of the lines.  If doing this starch basting method turns out, I will probably use it when I need lettering again.  I know many of you already do this but it's a new technique for me.

Have a nice Sunday,

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

1857 finishes and shortbread

Unique bias black bias for centers

Haven't done the embroidered stems etc. yet

I think I should have chosen a different green for the leaves but  done is good!

Need to add embroidered stems

I don't think I've shown these before.

 I am starting to wane on this project.  I think it's because I'm working with dark hued colors and need a little variety.  I'm not sure I'll do the circles block this month.  It will take some energy to figure out the placement and I don't think I'm up to it.

We will be working 3 days a week for the next 3 weeks because it's corn season at the cannery and I plan on coming home exhausted each day.

Now on to the aroma in my kitchen. . . .

Before baking

There is nothing like a shortbread pan to make me feel like I've made something spectacular

It's cute enough to display without using it for the purpose it was designed.

And here is the final product.  I need to remember to press down more firmly in the corners.  Two of them didn't brown because they were too shallow.  I pressed raw sugar into the dough before it baked so it came out with a double crunch.  I made these to go with the peaches my husband sliced up - YUM!

Our hibiscus at the bottom of the back stairs is rupturing in bloom.  The blossoms only last one day but everyday for the last two weeks has been like this.  It's delightful.

This is Titan, our patio guard tortoise.  He has a smile on his face if you are at the right angle.  He's doing an excellent job.

This is the waterfall my husband has finally had time to build.  He has been collecting the materials for years.
It's right outside the back door and down the steps.  I should have waited to take the picture till there was water running.  Trust me, it's terrific.

And finally, the grand chickens are producing.  It's tiny, it's cute, and it's a good start.