Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Sweet little underdog

This picture is a little light but it shows the 2" grid quilting.

I finished the quilting on the little 1857 quilt from a SAL in 2015 by Gay Bommers of
Sentimental Stitches.  There were 60+ blocks but I only did 30 so it ended up measuring 59" X 71".

I quilted it with a big stitch using DMC Pearl Cotton.  I have a color card from my cross stitching days and it's for floss and pearl cotton so I was able to match the background fabric perfectly

The backing is a piece of fabric that I've had in my stash for a long time.

This is a better picture of the true colors of the backing fabric

I used it to border another quilt. It was cut in strips because I just used the white stripe.  So I sewed long 3" strips together to make one side of the backing.  The other side is regular yardage.

  As I was doing the quilting I found a little hole in the background fabric.  You can see the little white place inside a circle on the right of the heart.

My DH came up with the idea of just appliqueing a circle over it and another circle on the other side of the heart to balance it.  I will do that today.

Again, a little washed out. . .

This picture shows the "fleur de lis" border all the way around it.  (and the exercise equipment in the lower right corner - ha!)

This poor quilt has had a hard time and as a result is very dear to me.  There is one block that I back basted the corner diamonds on it and then when I was trimming the back - I started trimming the background instead of the applique so I had to repair it.  It is really hard to find  but it's there.  I also got a little off as I was marking the grid but there again, unless you are absolutely studying the quilt top, it is hard to find.

I marked it with blue washable marker.  I rinsed it twice in a tub of cold water to get the markings off.  The first rinse water had a slight dirty look to it from the brown backing.  The second rinse was clear.

I put it in the washer on the drain and spin cycle.  Then I put it in the dryer until it was just barely damp.  I took it out and spread it on the bed to finish drying.  It didn't shrink as much as I thought it would and I'm glad.  I used an 80/20 batting by Hobbs.

I'll make those little circles this morning and then the quilt will be complete.

Thanks for checkin' in,

Thursday, May 21, 2020

As the flowers bloom, so does the quilt

I finished Linda Brannock's Flowers quilt top last week.  This is the first chance I have had to photograph it.    The border is hard to see but the quilt fits right in with the blooming going on in the corner of our yard.  The garden gnome (DH) holding up the quilt is not quite tall enough to spread out the border and still keep it off the ground.  He is precariously standing on the lower wooden part of the fence.

His boysenberries are going to town on the left and the iris' are marching in a parade of color on the right.  Too bad you can't see the blooms behind the quilt.

I didn't add the pieced baskets like the original pattern.  I made a cutting of a rose and put it on it's side in that smallest block above the tulip.  You can see that little block better in the first picture.  I think it might need another leaf?

Since I finished that project (in 2 months) I decided to get out an old UFO.  It's not as old as some others but it's been about 2 years since I worked on it last.  I've always wanted to make one of these quilts (the block is called Jack's Chain) so finishing this up is a good idea.

I wanted to make each 9-patch with a different fabric.  I still need to make 16 purple and 16 orange patches and I've started cutting them out below.

I think I want to use this soft yellow (the triangles are cut out) as the background.  I'll try a few circles of 9-patches  and see how it looks.

I've finished quilting the quilt on the frames (sidebar) and am putting on the binding.  I quilted it in a two inch grid.  At some point the grid got a little wonky.  Drat!  I tried to fix it but, short of picking out the diagonal from upper left to lower right on the whole quilt, it will just have to be wonky.  I blame it on the pandemic. . .

The rhubarb has been harvested and I made a raspberry rhubarb crisp.  Delightful!

Don't you think rhubarb is a funny word?  It is late middle English, from old French "Reubarbe", and that is from Latin "Rheubarbarum".   More than you wanted to know~

Monday, May 11, 2020

Applique blocks are done

Now it's time to get busy on the pieced HST sashing.  I think this part will go fast.

This is the Stocks block and the last one I had to finish.  In the original pattern the vase is tall and tapered from wide at the brim to narrow at the base.

I wanted to use this fabric not because of the pattern by because of the shade of green.

I used it to fussy cut this cone shape for the quilt below.

And all I had were scraps that looked like this.

So I cut one of the wider shapes to the length I wanted,  cut off some of the odd angles, and made it into the vase for the stocks above.  I like it a lot.  The narrow place at the top of the base of my vase is not even but being slightly off balance adds to the mood of this quilt.

The other two blocks I finished were the marigolds below.  I definitely chose a bright gold for these.  I made need to rearrange the blocks so this isn't next to the pineapple block because they are both so gold.

And this next block is a replacement for the cacti block.  I wasn't really fond of the pattern and after making the pineapple block twice (previous post) I wanted something easy.

First I found a flower in a dish that looked interesting in one of Linda Brannock's other books.

The original pattern was too big (I learned that lesson on the pineapple) so I drew a sketch on some graph paper and then started tracing it to make patterns.  But, I was looking for something simple and I had really made this block complicated.  Maybe I'll use it in something in the future but not this time.

I ended up using the stem and leaf on the right of the pattern and then just made a tulip.  I decided to make a pot with handles and this red is the only fabric that would go with the rest.  I had used it in the Cockcomb block so it needed to be repeated anyway.

Also, I needed to repeat the pink from the "Volunteer Bloom" block so this block fit the bill in a number of ways.  It looks like it needs more leaves but each time I tried to add another one, it just didn't look right.  So, I really made a non-complicated block and it went together quickly.

So I'm looking for sashing fabric to make all the HSTs.  I tried the fabric below and I like it but I wanted to see what else I had.  I think it would be funny to use this fabric because it has dandelions on it.  Every flower garden needs a few weeds - ha!

So I tried a fabric with a light background and little flecks of blue and brown in it.

I didn't like this fabric at all.  It is too light and just makes everything look washed out.

This isn't all the blocks nor the actual arrangement for them.

I really like this fabric.  It brightens everything up, it looks good with the background fabrics, and the little design adds some movement.  It also goes well with the fabric (on the outside) that I want to use for the border.  I also have 2 yds. of it which should be plenty for my needs.

It's all coming together.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Pandemic Spring

Wisteria by my front porch

The virus cannot ruin spring.  Everything is blooming and enjoying the rain.

These are current blossoms

One lone (late) tulip

Even the grapevines look like they are blooming with those pink buds.

The rhubarb decided it wanted to be included - silly plant.

Love the lilacs

Arial view of the Bleeding Heart and violets (post blooming)

Violets blooming previously

Previous daffodils

There is such beauty this time of year.  I have a hard time being discouraged when I see nature smiling all around me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

I finished the pineapple block - twice

I don't know why the pictures are so dark - this is with a flash

I finished the pineapple block that I mentioned in my previous post.  It turned out so pretty.  I love the fabrics and the way the foliage wraps around it.  I decided to replace the cacti block that goes under the morning glories with the pineapple because it was so tall.  But, the measurements for the pineapple block just weren't quite right.  No problem, I'd just adjust the sashing when I put it all together.

So, I pinned it up on the design board and . . .  it's too big.

It's not in proportion with the other blocks.  It just grabs you by the throat and demands to be looked at.

I was quite discouraged.  I have been working on this project as my sanity project during this stay-at-home time and to have it not work out was more than I could cope with right now.  I decided to take a sabbatical.  I put everything away; the pattern, the fabric, the blocks, all of it went in the downstairs closet.  I turned off the light, I shut the door.

Well, I lasted two days and during that time I considered different options because I couldn't get it out of my head.  Monday I decided to get out the pineapple block from the pattern and try to adapt it to the size I need.

The results are below.

I have to admit two things.  It is a much better size for the rest of the quilt and I really really like the other foliage better.  But, for the size block I needed to cut, the spread-out foliage was a must to fill the space.

And this is how it looks with the rest of the blocks.  Much better.

I've already prepped the next block, the marigolds, so I'm pressing forward.

No Celebrating Mary Brown progress whatsoever.

You can skip the rest of the post if you're not eager to hear more virus news.

I just found out my sister has gone in to be tested for the virus, she has the symptoms.  There are 3 people in my life that I hoped could be spared from getting this disease because of their underlying problems.  She is one of them.  She's not gasping for breath at this point so that is positive.

What a "Alice in Wonderland" experience this whole thing is.  Nothing is like you expect, the days all blend together, and just when you think you might find a way out of the maze something else happens and blocks your exit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Switching the pineapple block

I found this book by Linda Brannock.  It's called Miss Jump's Memories.  Anyway, I loved this pineapple on the front cover.  In fact, the pineapple block is the reason I bought the book.  There is a pineapple block in the Flowers quilt I am working on by Linda Brannock.  So I thought I would switch them and then I could use this delightful block pattern.

I finished two more blocks for this quilt.  So I am about halfway done with the blocks.

Excuse the threads

I made the Bromeliad Block.  The picture doesn't do this block justice.  The fabric used in the outside leaves sparkles and looks like Christmas lights.  It isn't metallic, it's just the play of the colors and printing.  The middle part is supposed to have dots too but nothing looked good so I left it blank.  And the block is not crooked, it's the photography.

I also made the Bluebells Block.  Again my blue is a little dark but it's what I had and it goes with the rest of the color scheme.

The following pictures are a little dark - sorry about that.

I've been thinking about the other blocks.  I'm not sold on the cacti block - I'll have to make a decision on that soon.  But, in the meantime, the book at the first of my post has other flower blocks in it and I'm considering using one of them instead.  There is the block above I love with that chintz pitcher/vase.

I think this is supposed to be a poinsettia.

I love this grouping.  I'm leaning toward using the one on the far right but the middle one would add some more blue to the quilt.

This one kind of makes me laugh.  It supposed to be a Gladiola.

I'm also considering making this quilt a little larger but adding more of the flower blocks.  But that all depends on how much I want to finish up this quilt and start something new.  You know how that goes, I'm sure.

 I need to prep the pineapple block today and then get busy. 

I'm having fun,

Monday, April 13, 2020

Blocks #3 and #4 of the Flowers Quilt

 I have finished 4 blocks for the Flowers quilt by Linda Brannock.  I am using my fabric scraps and trying to come up with blocks that sorta go together.  The Morning Glory block above should have had a lighter blue but this is what I ended up using.  And, the centers should probably have been yellow but that didn't look right either.

This quilt seems to really have a mind of it's own and it is displayed very well in the Cockscomb block below.

I used a gold fabric for the flowers that never seems to go with anything else.  It looked good with the green I had picked out and then I needed something that would match but also stand on it's own for the hearts.  I found this fabric by Minick & Simpson with embroidery on it.

Here are the four blocks together. (The jury is out.)  I need to repeat that pink from the dots and flower center in the 2nd block.  Maybe the 6th block, that will go under the cockscombs,  can use some pink somewhere.  I know once I get the HST sashing done it won't look as disjointed but it's hard to imagine at this point.

Can I just say, these are unusual flowers!  Just you wait, I'm doing the Bromeliad next.  The center of this plant below looks more like the block than any other picture I have found but the foliage is a lot different.

The menfolk are out in the cool weather  (39 degrees outside) and sunshine chipping and shredding.   I will be so grateful to see the big pile of prunings that has been under the apricot tree since last fall - gone.

I'm so anxious to see life get back to normal.  Probably no more that all those who have to work on the front lines and those who can't work at all.  My son above still has a job but things have slowed down to a halt so he's earning some money around here.

Today I'm going to try and catch up on the 'Beyond Baskets' SAL or BOM from Temecula Quilt Co.  It only has 12 blocks and 2 are sent each month.  I have five completed and so I'm  one behind.   I will probably get the next two in a week.

Stay busy for your peace of mind,
Stay safe for your health,

Sweet little underdog

This picture is a little light but it shows the 2" grid quilting. I finished the quilting on the little 1857 quilt from a SAL in ...