Monday, September 30, 2019

Celebrating Mary Brown update #1

It is our first update for the Celebrating Mary Brown QAL.   I am using my Alice In Wonderland fabrics and so there will be small hints in each block from the story.

The hint above is the cup and saucer in the middle of the flower.

I used Broiderie Perse to sew on the little butterfly.  I have never sewn anything so tiny.

The hint in the above block is easy to pick out.

Here are the two blocks together.  We were going to start in the upper left hand corner of the quilt and just do a block a month across the rows.  Well, the first block was a fairly simple one and the block to the right and below it were exactly the same.  Then it was decided we needed to make the block next to these three so we would have a square.  So, suddenly we needed to make two blocks a month for two months to complete this unit.

Can I keep up?  I am really slow at applique~

Be sure to click on the names below to see their 1st month's progress on this lovely quilt.

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
and Jan DeGan no blog but Nanette will post her progress

It is fall harvest time at my house.  My husband asked what day I wanted to do corn.  I said Friday would work.  So, yesterday he picked 80 ears of corn.  GASP!  We don't have that big of a garden so this was unexpected.

I gave 8 to one of my kids and we had 2 for dinner so that left only 70 ears.

I set the ear on it's end on top of that plastic bowl to cut it off.  The cut kernels fall into the cake pan making easy clean up.    It went pretty fast.

I put 1 lb. in each bag, laid it flat, and then folded it in half to freeze.  Then I can thaw 1/2 a package at a time because there is only two of us or the whole package if I'm feeding more.

Your are looking at 23 meals.  Tasty.

  "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
                                                            -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Stitchin' along

This is the next installment on my Cheddarback Quilt.  I really enjoyed making the tree.  I have never made one before.  I used a deep green paisley fabric made by Pam Buda.

I decided to put in all four of my initials for the letter blocks.  The "R" and "M" are my first and middle name.  I'll put in my maiden name and last name in the letter blocks on the bottom of this row.

Here is a picture of the new section and the one next to it.  I'm really liking this quilt.

I revised the border on my AHIQ floral quilt.  It just looked too plain (below) so I added more red.  I could imagine quite a few different ways to do the border but each one was too fancy.  These primitive flowers just needed something country.  I like how it turned out.

I've finished five of my low volume blocks.  It is an interesting experiment working on something so low key.  The pattern for these blocks is called Grandma's Pie Plate.  It is so soothing to just sit down and applique these gentle curves.

Autumn has shown up at our house.  The Locust trees are always the first ones to turn yellow in the fall and drop their leaves.  (They are also the last ones in the spring to leaf out).

This year they had something more stylish in mind. 

That branch isn't dead, it's just retiring early.

Hope you have something fun to sew on this afternoon.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Mary Brown in Wonderland

I originally thought I would use a FQ stack of have of Hope's Journey by Betsy Chutchian to make  this Celebrating Mary Brown quilt.  It's a beautiful collection.  But, I haven't been able to find it yet.  I know it's somewhere in my sewing room so it's a real mystery why I can't find it.  It's not like it's a big room.  

Image result for hope's journey by betsy chutchian

This is one of the quilts made from Hope's Journey from Betsy Chutchian's Blog
It is a very interesting post so go check it out. . . 

Anyway, instead of tearing my hair out and going out in the backyard to howl. . . I went to plan B.

Here is my background.

It's a snow background, not gray.  I'll have to take a better picture later.

I've been wanting to make something using a little collection of Alice in Wonderland fabrics I have from different lines.  I know, it sounds odd.  So, I'm trying to figure out how I can use some of this fabric in Mary Brown without it being too weird.  I don't want the quilt to shout ALICE IN WONDERLAND - I want to just have subtle hints here and there. 

 I have a really lovely floral by Blend that I using as my inspiration piece and I ordered some pastel grunge fabrics (which are adorable) and they came yesterday.

I'm sure I'll be adding pieces and tossing pieces as I go along.

This fabric choice may or may not work but I think I'll know after the first couple of blocks.  If it's just all wrong I'll get busy and tear my sewing room apart and start over.

I'm also in the process of reading a book by David Day called Alice in Wonderland DECODED.  It's quite fascinating and is immersing me in this whole project.
I've had out-of-town company all week and am just itching to get started on this quilt.  I think I'll still have to wait until Wednesday before I can begin  (BIG SIGH).


PS I know I'm crazy.

Friday, September 6, 2019

This is for Julie

I had to go back to 2007 to find a picture that showed the whole frame, not just the quilt that was on it.  The Grace frame uses ratchets to move the quilt forward to quit as you go.  My husband drilled holes in a wooden disc and holes in the side piece that holds the poles.  I use a metal piece (called a ring pin) to put through the hole in the disc and the permanent hole in the side piece.  You'll notice I'm only using two of the three poles. I prefer layering the quilt and pin basting it before I roll it on the frame instead of using the three poles to layer the quilt as I go.

I can do a quilt up to 90" wide.  I made a quilt years ago that was 99" wide and I had to get out the old board and clamp quilt frames to do that one.

Here is the current Grace Frame.
Image result for grace ez3 quilting frame company

My floor hoop is by The Grace Company.  I'm not sure they make these anymore.  It can be taken apart and stored flat.

The cross hatch stitching you see in the white alternate square is basting.

It has a 24" hoop (I think).  You can buy one with an 18" hoop.  I tried to find an online image , there is one on Pinterest but I couldn't link it.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Quilting this time of year

I've been working steadily on the Wheel of Fortune quilt.  I'm using the big stitch and it's going fast.  I am into the 3rd week of working on it and I should be 3/4 done by the end of the week.  The last quilt took me 5 months to stitch and it's so refreshing to be sewing on something that is progressing faster.

I am rather late to the low-volume party but I thought I'd give it a try.  I made 20 of these circle pieces and am now hand appliqueing them to the backgrounds.  It is such a quiet and soothing project because of the light colors.  My working title for the quilt is "Absence of Heat".

Although we are still having very summer-like temps (98 yesterday) the garden has moved on to fall.

These are the Thompson Seedless grapes that I make into raisins.  They are not ready yet.

Roses this time of year always remind me of one of my favorite poems about  fall by


The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

This is asparagus.  It always looks so decorative this time of year.

The Anaheim peppers are  producing more than we can use.

The concords are ripening fast.  I love the smell. . .

And one of the sad parts of this time of year, my lilac bush.  It gets so hot toward the end of summer that the moisture in the leaves is sucked out faster than the roots can replace it.

I have a houseful of company/family that have moved here from Kansas and are looking for a permanent place to stay.  They thought they had a house all set up but the landlord rented it to someone else.  They cook for themselves because they are restricted diets and so they don't require much.

Hope you have a wonderful day,

Friday, August 23, 2019

Ahh! A finished quilt

Lilac Breeze

I finished quilting this quilt by Jan Patek and Alma Allen.  The pattern is called Baskets, Berries, and Leaves.  I couldn't find a link for this pattern, I'm not sure it's still available.  I call the quilt Lilac Breeze because of the fabric line I used to make it (Lilac Hill) and the thing I like best about lilacs is the wonderful scent wafting in the air.

I used Barb Vedder's baptist fan template for the quilting.  I like it because you can mark two units at a time.  You can find out more about it here.  I bought the large single fan.

This quilt took me five months to hand quilt.  I was expecting to get it done sooner but hand quilting is something you can't hurry if you want it to look nice.  Sometimes my hand would go numb if I quilted too long at a stretch or didn't allow myself some days off once in a while.

It's a big quilt measuring 103 1/2" X 84 1/2"  I need to put the bedskirt on this bed so you can't see the aqua colored mattress - Ha!  Feels good to have it all finished.

I had my youngest daughter pick out some quilts so I could share the wealth so to speak.  I have far too many quilts on shelves and in closets.  She ended up taking the quilt that is usually on this guest bed.  I guess she knew I had another one almost ready.  It's funny how things turn out.

I put a toile border around this little challenge quilt but I think it still needs some more red.  I pinned that red strip up to see if that is the answer but I don't think a solid stripe will work.  I could do some HSTs or a checkerboard or applique on the toile.  Who knows?

 I'm going to ponder on this for a while because I need to catch up on the Cheddarback quilt here and my house desperately needs some attention.  I think I'll start out by cleaning the refrigerator.

Hope your day has a needle and thread in it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Little flowers finished

I finished appliqueing the little 6 1/2" flower blocks for the "Floral" Ad Hoc challenge.  They are based on a Cheri Payne flower that I enlarged and gave a different setting.   I got out all my big floral fabrics to audition for the alternating blocks.

Top is blue background Blessings by Brannock and Patek.
Bottom is light background "Coming Home" " Country Paths" by Brannock and Patek.

Top is Navy background "Fern Hill" by Jan Patek.
Botton is green backround "Blessings" by Brannock and Patek.

Top is "Harvest Home" by Brannock and Patek.
Bottom is "Madiera" by Blackbird Designs.

This is Black background "Blessings" by Brannock and Patek and I liked it the best.

This is where I am so far - it's not sewn together.  I have cut out green setting triangles.  I think it needs red next.

I love creating colorful projects but it is so disappointing when one of them bleeds.  Yes, it happened again!  I try to be so careful and pre-wash everything and I am very particular about the reds I use.  Well the red in the flower center with the black and green check stem/leaf is a bleeder.  I had some of this (chicken) fabric that I used in another quilt without a problem.  What I think happened is that my sister gave me a bunch of fabric and she had this chicken fabric too.  I neglected to wash this one - argh!  The bleeding is only noticeable on the back, it bled on to the backing and a little on to the green surrounding it.

Do I replace it?

Celebrating Mary Brown update #1

It is our first update for the Celebrating Mary Brown QAL.   I am using my Alice In Wonderland fabrics and so there will be small hints ...