Friday, December 30, 2016

Is quilting really on the wane?



After reading Barbara Brackman's post yesterday I was a little sad.

 I knew the ever expanding quilt industry wouldn't last forever but it was a downer to read some of the statistics from last year.

It doesn't discourage me, just makes me sad.

I admit I don't spend as much on books and fabric as I used to.  Part of the reason is because I have a large stash but the main reason is because I am a traditional quilter who likes reproduction fabrics



and patterns and my local fabric shops/magazines are catering more to those who like the trendy colors and themes.

Kate Spain - cute but not me.

But, I have to tell myself that they are catering in that direction because the quilters who like that are the ones spending the money.  Makes perfect sense.

Also the many of the new patterns that are available are too simple and too "easy" for me.  I want a challenge, I want something intricate.

I guess they are trying to attract beginner quilters
.
I love the ideas that are coming out of Australia.  They seem to be going in lots of interesting directions.

Midnight at the Oasis by Jen Kingwell Designs
Jen Kingwell makes some interesting patterns

I appreciate designers like Barbara Brackman, Betsy Chutchian, Jo Morton, and many many more who are still carrying the banner of "preserving the past".  They haven't given up on quilters like me and I haven't given up on them.   In fact, there is a new book I've got my eye on because of the pine tree quilt on the cover.  Warming up to cheddar has taken me a long time but it sure makes this quilt sparkle.






Here is the book.






Regardless of the trends, I'm not giving up on quilting.  I have many more fabrics to piece and stitches to make before I'm finished!!!
Robin

Saturday, December 17, 2016

What's happening around here

I collected all the hexagon pieces I have finished and spread them out to see what I had.  I liked it so well I decided to start sewing them together so I didn't loose the arrangement.

They are upon a different quilt that is on the bed.  It's not all one quilt.



Sewing these pieces together is not for the faint of heart.  It's darn hard.  I've seen some big hexagon quilts and I have a new admiration for the makers!!!  I've decided to sew the units together as I finish them so it doesn't feel like such a big job in the end.   I've still got a bunch more to make.

I'm sure it would be easier to store a stack of blocks instead of this gangly bit of piecing but it will work out better as I go along.  I've only got 4 more of the 15 finished blocks to put together.





I've been getting some of the cookie and candy making done.  The snowballs (Mexican Wedding Cookies) are already gone.  I didn't really eat them all myself.  I had ALOT of help.

The fudge and peanut brittle are disappearing fast too.  I usually cut the fudge into what I call "logs" and then wrap it in foil.  It makes it easy to grab one and share when I'm out visiting or unexpected guests arrive.  I keep them in the freezer so they stay fresh for a long time.





I have a window on my new back door.  I bought 2 bundles of selvage edged fabric strips a few years ago.  This is from the 12 days of Christmas by Kate Spain.  I sewed the lower group together with the selvages showing last year and then never go back to it.

This week I decided I needed to get busy so I cut the selvages off the rest of the strips and sewed them together.  Then I sewed it together as shown and decided I didn't really need to quilt and bind it because then the light would show through better.  So I just made a sleeve in the top and hem it on the other three sides.

It kind of looks like stained glass.  It's just what I was looking for.




 I decorated my hutch with snowmen and snow related ornaments (and silver reflective things) this year.  I had some lights left over from one of the weddings a few years back.  So I put it under my batting/snow and it came together.





It's the time of year my DH and I love to do puzzles.  He's been sick (in bed) all week long with some ornery flu.  I hope he can "rise and shine" soon so we can continue on.




This is the gift my SIL sent us.  She ordered the Joan Walsh Anglund print online and then put it into a shadowbox and embellished it with a bow on the light post and glitter.  She also included the church, snowman, trees, and deer.  It is absolutely darling.


My only picture of the Super Moon.  I took this picture 2 days before it was full.  It came up as the sun (reflecting on the mountain-tops) was setting.  The sky was completely overcast the night the moon was full.



And finally some progress on my "Peppermint Quilt".  It's slow going but I'm enjoying every minute.

Hope you are well and truly enjoying the season.
Robin

Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Season Afternoon

a little dark so the quilting can be seen

I worked on this quilt in the hoop this morning.  It's nice to be quilting something Christmasy and not be in a hurry to finish.  This one stays here when it's done.



The weather has been so warm that one of our iris' decided to bloom.  My DH brought it in before the snowstorm last Monday.  And, yes, I live in the northern hemisphere.




It was a day to make Christmas cookies.  I haven't made sugar cookies for 2yrs.  It was way past time.




I think I'll make a batch of fudge before I completely poop-out.
My energy just doesn't last like it used to.
How's you're day?

Robin



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Highs and Lows in gift giving.


I finished this quilt months ago but I have been holding it back because it looks Christmasy to me.  It is covering my navy blue couch.  It still needs some tweaking because the blue toile curtains look out of place and fortunately the "U" flag is coming down because they lost yesterday and that is the end of season.  I'm really not upset about the flag coming down (not at all!) but it is sad.




I made two mini quilts for Christmas gifts.  I fell in love with the dark print of the forest scene in this line called Juniper Berry.  This little quilt got aqua borders and a red Christmas mouse backing.  I also embroidered little star outlines around the dots.  I did minimal machine quilting.


The other little quilt had red borders and red lettered fabric from the same line on the back.  It also had a different arrangement of the four patches and solid blocks. I did more machine quilting on this one.  I really like this one the best but, it's already wrapped so only the recipient and I will be able to see it -ha!



A few posts back I was so excited because this little quilt turned out so well.  I carefully handquilted the whole thing and was pleased with the way it turned.

It's a case of "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" because I put it into the washer for a cold rinse to get the blue marker out and it bled.  I rinsed it again, I  used "color catchers" both times. But, not only did it run but the batting I used shrunk excessively.  It is the same batting I have on many of my little quilts.  It was the batting suggested in my Jo Morton class, Mountain Mist all cotton batting.

I guess I won't be washing the other minis.  That, or I'll have to block them to dry.  I couldn't do that with this mini with the chance that the red fabrics would bleed even more while drying .

The pictures below are after I pressed it with steam on the back side to get it to lay flat.




These pictures show where the red bled into the white.



 So. . . I couldn't give this little quilt away with it's flaws.  I had to make another one.  I decided to do something different because the quilt above was tricky to sew and I was determined to not add any red fabric.  I also needed a project that I could finish quickly.


This is what I came up with.  I used a lot more of the knitting fabric and bought a FAMILY hanger to use.  I don't like it as well as the other version but it's done and it's bright and cheerful.



The colors are truer in this picture.


I used "Big Stitch" on both this quilt and the one below.




I also made this cute little mini.  I really want to keep it as it would go in my red, white, and blue living room very well.  But, it will soon be wrapped and on it's way.




My husband decided he wanted to get solar panels for our roof.  Then he remembered that we needed a new cooler.  He knew the it would be better to get the cooler before they solar panels were installed.  So, here it is November and we bought a new cooler that our son and SIL helped install.

The next 3 pictures were the progress of the sunrise on Friday morning.  Sometimes it pays to get up early.




Thanks for checkin' in,
Robin

I'm going to link up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Are the rest of you like me?


While I am busily preparing food ahead for tomorrow's Thanksgiving meal (like homemade cranberry relish) I am also busily trying to finish some of the homemade Christmas presents that need to go home with  my out-of-town guests. 


Love this tiny quilt 

My husband brought in bouquets of chrysanthemums.  He gathered them before they froze .

Don't they add nice color to the room?



AND, I'll close with my view of the " Super Moon" a week or so ago.  It was simply dazzling!

The camera captured the true colors.

Hope your day turns out to be very satisfactory.
Robin

Sunday, November 6, 2016

It was certainly worth it~


When I started the 1857 QAL - I always knew I wouldn't last making all 64 blocks.  I figured I'd make 32 and then put in an alternating block.

I made a uneven 9-patch block and didn't like it at all.  I made a square in a square block and it didn't do anything for the appliqued blocks so I put it into the orphan box.

I then decided to make tiny (2") shoo-fly blocks to use as sashing between all the squares.  It turned out to be too busy and I lost the cute secondary pattern that is created by all the diamonds in the corners.

So when I finished 30 blocks I decided that was enough.  I made 22 side fleur de lis' and 4 corner fleur de lis' to finish off the border.  It measures 62" X 72".

At the beginning of the year I needed something to fill all the long waiting hours at the cannery where I volunteer.  This was a perfect project.  The only problem is that I have two more months at the cannery and my project is done.  (As all of you know, that isn't really a problem, there is always another project waiting - ha!)

I really enjoyed participating in this QAL.  Thanks to Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches for all her work in providing the free patterns.

Robin

I'm linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Two more and Halloween/Christmas


Two more blocks for  the 1857 quilt.  I think I have reached my limit.  I have appliqued 30 blocks so far in this QAL and 30 is enough for me.


The lower triangle is a bit wonky and that is after repairing it.  You should have seen it before the tlc.

I am in the process of sewing them in one unit, 5 blocks by 6 blocks.  I have already appliqued the fleur de lis border units.  Soon I will be able to show all that I've completed in one whole.

October went by so quickly.  I still haven't decorated for Halloween.  I don't think it's going to happen this year.

Cute crocheted decorations my daughter Tina made a few years ago.


I need to get busy on my Christmas Shopping.  I like to shop this time of year because the stores are full of merchandise and not too many shoppers.  People are waiting for the DEALS that come on Black Friday and afterwards.  I don't have very many people to shop for since I just give my grown up kids $$$$.  That has simplified the shopping for me.


Notice the quilt made into curtains.

I decided that some people are true gift givers.  My sister is one of those amazing people. She loves to shop for just the right item and is so delighted to present the gift.  To me, it is just too much stress to be responsible for all that happiness.  I'm not a Grinch, I'm simply not a natural at this.  Although I descend from the greatest gift giver of them all - my mother.  Nothing brought her more happiness than figuring out an idea, hunting for just the right item at the right price, carefully wrapping the gift, (she had a knack), and then offering her heart wrapped up with the bow.  She was terrific and she made Christmas magic.  Instead of inheriting her ability, I was carefully trained to become a gracious gift receiver, trying to give her the reaction that would please.

(It's crazy what we figure out when we analyze things.)

Back to Halloween, I hope your day is filled with fun surprises, great costumes, yummy treats, and family.

Robin

I'm linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.

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.
Robin