Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Oh boy! I need some help!

I didn't think it would be so hard to figure out what color to use for the cornerstones in this quilt.  I've never had this much trouble before.


I originally thought I would use these light star grunge squares.  But they do nothing for the quilt with this border. 

So I thought I would use the same fabric as the sashing for the border and see how that looks - meh!

I found a coral colored fabric in the stash.  Coral comes from the sea, right?  

Ooooh!  Too bold!

I tried a less intense red.  It's interesting but it doesn't blow my socks off.

This red is nice but how does it look with the blue border?

That blue border looks like water but I think it draws too much attention to itself.

I tried a gray/brown from the Riverbanks line by Jeanne Horton.  It's the right theme - kinda.

And then with the tan border. . . . . . . . . 

I think I'm going to have to come up with another plan.  

Please, please, please make some suggestions, I obviously need help.


Monday, June 14, 2021

 I realized I had not shown this quilt completed.  I finished it last month sometime.  The pattern is Comfort & Joy by Pat Wys & B. J. Laird.  It is 62" X 76".
The picture is taken in the bright sunlight so it is a little washed out.

I made it for my daughter and her family.  She says the border fabric makes it look like it's wrapped in Christmas paper.

It was really fun to make and I'm glad it's finished well before Christmas.

Off to 100 degree temps and sewing in my cool basement,


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Progress on one front and retreat on another

I just wanted to show the progress from the quilt I started in my last post.  I have only eight blocks done so far but I am in no hurry.  There is no reason to be.  I'm just enjoying the pairing up of the fabrics.

We had no late frosts this year which is very unusual.  Our apricot tree is just loaded with fruit.  The last time we got more than a handful of fruit was in 2014.  The weight is really too much for the poor tree and one branch has broken.

Life is like this sometimes. . . a blessing can turn out to be more than we can manage without help (as shown by the board that is holding up the other branch).


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Since last month

I have been on a self-imposed exile from my sewing room for the month of May.  Sometimes quilting takes over my life from hand quilting in the morning to designing in my head during lunch and reading blogs, to sewing in the studio all afternoon and on and on.  Meals get delayed or not done at all, and because of the pandemic there have been few extended family demands.

 I have been frustrated by the dearth of new patterns, new fabric, and new programs available for the last year (because everything was closed down) and have spent my time studying old magazines and patterns, using my stash (which is pretty good I've decided), and sewed like a mad woman to find peace in our troubled world. (I have managed to increase my stash by online buying - Hello Tilda!)

But, it was time to re-evaluate my priorities.  I love quilting, don't get me wrong.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the uninterrupted time I've had to indulge myself in all things with needle and thread.  Time is a gift.   But, it is time to get back to a more balanced life.

So Tuesday, June 1st, I went in the sewing studio and started a new quilt.  Makes sense, right?

I found this pattern in an old Quiltmania magazine and decided to make it up using all my Janet Clare stash.  I love her fabrics of shades of blue and beige and brown.  I've been more of a collector than anything and it was time to use all those lovely fabrics.

Then I remembered that I already had this pattern.  I had purchased it a number of years ago so I dug that out.  It is much easier following the instruction in English than sorting through the French/English and using inches instead of centimeters.  Quiltmania does have good instructions but the other pattern is much easier for me to follow and makes the whole experience less complicated.

This is and easy pattern anyway, just snowballs.  I will put a different border on the quilt.  Since the fabric is ocean themed and I have a little book of Janet Clare's with appliques of whales and seagulls, I will replace the flowers with flora and fauna from the sea.  Maybe a ship/boat or two will find their way into the border.

The dark blue has little waves in it.

 I've made four blocks so far.  I'm not in any hurry and there are only 30 blocks in the whole quilt.  

I need to spend the other time fixing, painting, reading, enjoying not feeling pressured to complete a project.

I will put a quilt on the frames to work on downstairs during the heat of the day.

The good news is that the quilt shops are open and are filling with fabulous things.  I went to one on Tuesday and could feel the creative energy flowing all around me.  Barbara Brackman's Ladies Legacy is finally in stores and the Halloween fabric was out (I love Kitty Corn!).  

Here is a list of the things I have done in the last year.

Non-quilty - I transcribed all my journals, compiled all the family history and pictures I had inherited, and sorted and got rid of things that don't really matter anymore.


New quilt tops

1.   Cheddarback Quilt                       

2.   Earth w/her 10,000 flowrs            

3.   Hourglass Camp Quilt 1               

4.   Beyond Baskets                            

5.   Floral 36 patch                             

6.   All Around The Town  

7.   Brown bird mini                

8.   Pink & White Ice Cream Cone   


Quilted from previously made quilt tops

1.  The French Quilt                                       

2.  La Conserverie De Murray                      

3.  Manistique                                                 

4.   Fear Not Little Flock                                

5.   Alexander’s tied quilt                              

6.   Glory                                                         

7.   Valentine Quilt  

8.   Christmas in Cedarburg    


Quilted from newly made quilt tops

1.  Solace                                                        

2.  Blitzen Stars                                              

3.  Tiny Tree  mini                                                 

4.   Christmas Star mini                                   

5.  Comfort and Joy                                      

We're having the whole family over tonight for Navajo Tacos and Peach cobbler. 

 It's so good to be back together again.

Hope you are all safe and find joy in your day.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Not quite the way I expected.

I finished the little pink and white quilt with the ice cream cone border.  It didn't turn out quite the way I thought it would - it's the fabric.  It's sweet fabric but from a distance the pieces with blue flowers in them look muddy.  I had hoped for a sweet feminine pink quilt.

I had to trace templates for the border but I've done that before so no problem, right?

Well, they were slightly too big and with this border it has to be exact.

So I sewed the first border and it turned out too big.  I had to increase my seams on every other cone.  It was a bit tricky but I was able to do it without having to pick anything out.

The picture above shows the increased seam allowance I used on the other 3 borders.  It's just barely bigger but it worked out very well.

I didn't steam press this so it looks very wrinkled.  I was able to sew the borders on minus the corner white piece.  Then I had to carefully insert it between the two pink side pieces.  By the time I got to the fourth corner (above) I had figured it out.  I need to unpick the other three.  I think I will mark the seam allowance and stitch them together by hand, that way I can be more accurate.

 And here it is (practically all finished).  I'm not sure what I will do with it when I do finish.  That's a decision I don't have to make yet.  It is a baby quilt size.  I've been wanting to make it for so long that it feels good to have it done but it would feel better if I had a granddaughter coming soon. (My last five grandchildren have been boys and I'm grateful for them - the little rascals!)

I think the binding on this quilt is going to be quite an adventure.  


Thursday, April 22, 2021

I'm finally finished!

Here is my "Glory" quilt all finished after four solid months of hand quilting.

This was a BOM in my quilt group - Bound Together.  We called it 'Block in the Spotlight'.  If you'll notice the center block of the outside squares are all the same pattern.  You chose what you wanted for the center block.  Some used Rail Fence, some used previously made applique blocks, some chose Log Cabin.  It was all up to you.  

Then each month we would hand out a different pattern for the border.  We did hearts, hourglass blocks, Storm At Sea, Stars etc.  We only did it for a year so there were 12 blocks.  I chose to put mine together with this center star from American Patchwork and Quilting called 'Shades of Spring' from April 2008.  And, I added the hexagons surrounding the star.

This picture is a little fuzzy but it shows some of the other blocks.  There are 16.

And this is the backing (upside down).  A beautiful piece of yardage from French General that I found on sale.  The quilt measures about 80" square.

As I was sorting through stacks in my sewing room I came across some fabric I had set aside a long time ago and the pattern for a little quilt above.  It is found in the book 'quick-method QUILTS' by Leisure Arts 1994.  It was my first quilt making book.

As you can see I'm using a much paler fabric than the original.  It is from the line "Patterns of History" by Barbara Brackman around 2004.  

Here is the Ice Cream Cone border all cut out and ready to assemble.  I got lots of yardage on a clearance sale and so I used the lavenders, blues, and greens to make the quilt below.  And I saved the pinks for later.

It won't take long to assemble it now and then I can start the hand quilting.  It will be a take-a-long project.

I got my 'Mayfair' quilt back from the machine quilter.  It is made from Valentine fabric by Deb Strain.  Since it is a Valentine theme I named it after my favorite See's chocolate.

I need to trim it and add the binding and then it will be done after sitting in the closet for a very long time.   I found the top fabric - 2 jelly rolls, on sale at Material Girls. It took quite a while to make all those HSTs.   

-pieced backing-

  Then I found the backing fabric from a newer line by Deb Stain on clearance.  So with all this reduced price fabric it would seem like I made a quilt quite inexpensively. . .

But no, the quilt is 85" X 93" and I took in in to be machine quilted.  

They did a very nice job and it's not sitting in the closet any more.  I took this top in to be machine quilted because I knew I would never get around to hand quilt it.  I took in another quilt to be machine quilted when I picked this one up this week.  That's two rather complicated quilts that I won't have to dread quilting so I can get to work on the fun ones.

I've decided I need to stop making such big quilts that take hours and days and months to quilt.  Or I need to save my money so I can have someone else do it - ha!


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Eventually. . .

 Just wanted to share some of my progress.  Hand quilting something is really a labor of love. 


This week it was hard to motivate myself to work on it.  But I'll finish another row tomorrow and there's only two more to go after that.  

Spring is trying to make an appearance here in this mountain valley.  It will be warm this week, getting up into the 70's but I don't trust that winter is gone.  Even though it's been a mild winter (as Rocky Mountain winters go) I don't think "Old Man Winter" has finished with us. 

 It gets warm enough for the fruit trees to blossom and then it freezes most of them  It happens every year. 


Oh boy! I need some help!

I didn't think it would be so hard to figure out what color to use for the cornerstones in this quilt.  I've never had this much tro...