Monday, March 30, 2020

For my Mary Brown progress click here for those who are checking in for that.

I finished my block earlier this month.

Stay safe,

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What I'm doing to stay busy

I've been trying to stay busy so my mind is occupied with more positive  things.  I am quilting the 1857 quilt in a 2" grid with #8 DMC thread.  I bought a color chart from DMC years ago when I was into cross stitch so I was able to match the color of the backing fabric perfectly.  I ordered the thread from Herschner's online.  I wanted to do big stitch so it would go faster but I didn't want the color of the thread to detract from the applique.

I wasn't sure how many balls of thread I would need so I ordered five.  I have eight rows to do and I'm on row three and the 2nd ball. I can always order more if I need it. (if that sweet store in Stephen's Point Wisconsin is still open after all this. . . )  These pictures are a little dark but when I took pictures with the flash the color was off.

I finished the applique on the first block of The Flowers pattern by Linda Brannock.  It was fun to sit and applique instead of worry about the world for a little while.  I am going to embroider words on each one of the blocks.  I'm prepping the 2nd block which Linda calls the "Volunteer Bloom".  It's like no flower I've ever seen.

Have you seen this?  It's a digital print of the Derby House quilt on sateen.  It measures 80" X 90".  It's a beauty!  I don't know if it will be a backing or if I'll just quilt it as a whole cloth quilt.  I couldn't resist.  I bought it from Quilter's Lodge in Draper and the shipping was free.

Well, here we are in 1969.  It is me (on the left) and my best friend, Jan, standing in front of her brother's pride and joy, a 1970 Opel Kadet.  We are in uniform and ready for our last pass and review. Look at all those shooting medals above Jan's left pocket.  We were members of the Logan High School Sponsor Corps.

I'm showing this picture because I am using this uninterrupted time to work on my life history.  I have sorted and organized box after box (I keep too much stuff).  I am happy to say that I have two large boxes full of stuff to give to to my kids so I'll be getting rid of that as soon as we can see each other.

I have pictures to compile and stories to tell.  This is my office of sorts and that big white box in the foreground is what I am going to tackle today. The brown box is notebook after notebook of my journals which I hope to compile too.  I wrote 2 short biographies of my parents to preface my story and yesterday I typed 2 pages.  I was just going to compose something short and sweet but I can tell already that I have too much to tell for it to be very short.

Who's going to read it?  Maybe nobody but, by organizing my history, it has made me grateful at this time of uncertainty and I feel happy instead of fearful, a double blessing.  I also have a focus instead of just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  (Now, if these aftershocks would stop happening . . . ) 

I do have to share that I read my diary from my Senior year and was so embarrassed that I shredded it.  I was so boy crazy.

I hope you are not ill and if you are that you'll take care of yourself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Too many projects, not enough peace.

Much brighter in person.  Picture was taken in my sewing room with limited light.

This is the latest block for the Alice Jane Blue quilt.  It was a block that seemed to never end.  I'd get one part done and then the block wanted more.  I'm think I'm finally finished.  This is supposed to be the white rabbits pocket watch.  The center of the clock is a tiny appliqued circle.  I don't think I've ever made a circle that small - so teeny.

I made a block for the Cheri Payne Christmas quilt.  I think it's needs a bird (you know, partridge in a pear tree) but I'll determine that later.

I also finished a block for the Flower quilt by Linda Brannock.  I am working on too many different projects at the same time   With the Panedemic situation and the earthquake, it makes me feel so fragmented.

We did have a 5.7 earthquake today with over 80 aftershocks so far.  We're fine but it was already an unsteady time and now the earth shakes and groans.  I spent the whole day watching the local news - I've got a headache.  I hope nothing wakes us up during the night.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

What has kept me busy?

It's not the 30th because there are only 29 days in February this year but here is my end of the month progress on my Alice Jane Blue quilt.

This block shows tumbling furniture as Alice goes down the rabbit hole.

Check out the other people that are participating in the Celebrating Mary Brown SAL
Karen at Log Cabin Quilter
Jennie at Over the hill and running
Julie at Julie K quilts
Cathy at Big Lake Quilter
Nanete at Do it right quilter
Jan  (Nanette posts Jan's pictures on her blog)
Rebecca at Quilting in a Polar Bear Garden

I finished my French Quilt.  It is just such a dainty little thing.

I can use it for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and all summer long with the red, white, and blue theme.

Here are 5 blocks showing what the quilting looks like using Aurafill #12 in red and a small big stitch.

It almost looks like a crocheted/tatted edge on some of the blocks.

I used Rouenerries Deux fabric by French General, Red Grunge, and Nina's Wedding by Anna Griffin from Windham.  I used a piece of the Wedding line for the binding and an old Robin Pandolph floral for the backing.

I also finished the Swoon 16 quilt top made out of Blitzen - picture later.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Why do we do these things?

I was looking forward to the 12" block on the Cheddarback quilt this month.  It is so playful.

But, it was way too hard to draft a pattern that would fit on an 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of printer paper.  So, instead we got a pattern for the inner wheel enlarged.

I was a little disappointed but I understood why.  And I don't blame Gay for giving us this alternative.  It's a great block.

But, I wanted to see if there was a way to figure out how to make this block.  Believe me,  this isn't the easiest way to make a block.

I had a pad of graph paper that measures 12 inches.  I asked my husband if he could figure out a way to draw the pattern for the block on this pad of paper.

He enlarged the picture of the block from Sentimental Stitches Blog on the printer somehow and then through measuring and summing things up  he was able to get straight lines and equal increments,  although some of the dimensions aren't exactly square.  And, thankfully, he came up with the graph above.

I traced the pattern on to freezer paper and then numbered each section (really important).

 I cut out the pattern on the drawn lines and then ironed it on to the back of the two fabrics.

I trimmed 1/4" seam allowance on all the pieces.

You can see that the squares aren't completely square.  But, it all works out if you make sure that you match it up to the exact piece that goes next to it.  (That's why I numbered everything).  I pinned the freezer paper on the fabric to secure it because sometimes it gets loose and I used the freezer paper as my sewing line.  Sometimes I had to re-position the pins as I sewed.

Using the numbers as a guide I made a layout of the block with the freezer paper side up so I could match each of the pieces together with the right mate.  I sewed the right and left outside border sections, then the top and bottom border pieces, then center wheel section, and then sewed them all together.  It was a little tricky but well worth not being in a hurry.

I put a pin in from the corner on the top piece to the corner of the corresponding piece below.  I left the corner pins in and secured the seam with 2 pins and then took the corner pins out and sewed the seam.

I put my needled down right at the corner of the freezer paper and sewed right next to the paper.

Ending at the next corner and careful not to sew beyond it at all.  I made sure that I backstitched at each corner so they wouldn't unravel.

I didn't press any of the seams until I was all finished sewing it together.  It took me quite a while and I had to be patient butting up all those corners to each other but it all came together just as I had planned.

Here is the block before it was pressed.

I pressed the inside triangles all toward the outside pressing the squares into the center hexagon and then it was easy to figure out the rest of the pressing pattern.

And here it is.  There are some gaps between some of the points but overall it turned out great.  Would I do it again?

I hope I don't have to.

Gay has now produced some printable template pieces on her blog for a free download.  Go to the very bottom of the post.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

It's the 30th

Well. . . . .

One of the things Alice found as she fell down the rabbit hole was a map on one of the shelves along the sides of the hole.  I thought that might be fun to include in the quilt.  The only map fabric I had was of the United States in a muted color.  I decided to use it anyway and choose fabrics that might accent it.

I used the flowers and leaves from Block #4.  I embroidered the narrow vines instead of appliqueing them.

From the get-go this block had a life of it's own.

I'm not sure it really goes with the rest of the Alice Jane Blue/Celebrating Mary Brown blocks but it's done and I'm moving on.

Be sure and check out the others that are participating in this Celebrating Mary Brown SAL.  And if you'd like to join along just contact Karen at Log Cabin Quilter.

Karen at Log Cabin Quilter
Jennie at  Over the Hill and Running
Julie K. at Julie K. Quilts
Cathy B. at Big Lake Quilter
Nanette at Do it right Quilter
 Rebecca at Quilting in a Polar Bear Garden
and Jan who also shows her work with Nanette.

Until next month,

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Swoon 16, Blitzen, and the best news of all

I had a 2-day retreat with my quilt group.  So I decided to cut up a Swoon 16 quilt that I've had the fabric for since the winter of 2013-2014.  I'm always scanning the computer for the upcoming fabric lines.  This is Blintzen by BasicGrey and I just couldn't get it out of my mind.

Image result for blitzen by basicgrey for moda

So I ordered a FQ stack and had it sent to my daughter (I was away from home in Wisconsin at the time).  When I returned home she had spread it out on my ironing board in the sewing room and petted it while we looked at it.

She loved it because of the colors and the fact that there are snowmen in it - her favorite thing.  You can see a sliver of the dark gray and green colorway of the snowmen above.

I cut out the 16 blocks but only got one made at the retreat.

 *Note to self - if I decide to start another quilt at a retreat, make up one block at home to familiarize myself with it's construction.

It's a 16" block so it's a little forgiving in the construction.  Thanks goodness!

Here is my stack so far.  I have been working on it all week.  There are 13 in the stack and I've made one more since the picture.  That only leaves 2 more blocks to make.  I'm hoping to do that this afternoon.

This is one of the completed block.  I hope the sashing I have picked out will make these blocks shine.

I saved the best for last.  We have a new grandson.  He arrived three weeks early   The above picture was taken a little while after he was born.  Mom had a rough time getting him here.  He only weighed 5 lbs. and was 17 1/2" long.  It's easy to see how small he is in the arms of my youngest son below.

What a blessing,

For my Mary Brown progress click  here for those who are checking in for that. I finished my block earlier this month. Stay safe, Robi...