Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I am flabbergasted!!!

And the reason I'm so flabbergasted is because of all the orphan blocks I found!!!  But that's at the end of the post so you can scroll down if you don't want to wait for the rest.

I finished hand-piecing the center for the Block in the Spotlight quilt here.  But it was so plain that I needed to come up with  more.

I decided to make some hexie units for the corners.  I really like the way it is turning out.

I'm working on the fourth hexie unit and then I'll piece some small hexie designs for the setting triangles.  After all the hexie work and applique I'll still have a 3" border to make so that the center will be the right size for the other blocks to surround.  This is turning out to be quite a monumental project.  I just hope it looks good when I'm finished.  I hope, I hope, I hope.

I've been quilting on the Birds of a Feather quilt. Another lengthy project. . .   Can you read what I've quilted in this rectangle?  It's the plainest part of an otherwise active and busy quilt.  Just quilting a grid was not enough - it needed more interaction with the viewer.

More quilting

Love this little strip above and below with the pears.  I had the idea to do a feather in the background (feather -bird) and I think it's turning out lovely.  It sure is fun to watch it appear as I stitch.

Our weather has been so warm that the apricot buds are ready to pop.  My husband pruned the tree yesterday and I brought some boughs in to see if they would still bloom.


I almost started another project on Monday.  I remembered some fabric I had purchased in 2002 when I was just getting into quilting big time.  Up to that point I knew how to sew and had made a couple of quilts but I was still so busy with family obligations that there wasn't much time to quilt.  In 2002 my youngest entered middle school and the rest . . . is history.

Anyway, I dug deep in my stash and found the soft colored fabric above.  It isn't something I would probably pick out now but I was looking for something that looked faded and this is what I could find. That yellow piece has Peter Pan on it's selvage.  How long has that been?

I got out the fabric, petted it, then even put it in the washer to pre-shrink it while I looked for a pattern.  Then, thank goodness I got interrupted.  I smiled at myself, carefully took the fabric out of the dryer, folded it again, and put back on my shelf.

I really need to finish up the Block in the Spotlight.  I"m afraid if I put it on the back burner it will be another six years (or longer) before it surfaces again.

Have you read Lori's post here at Humble quilts about her challenge with her friends to do an orphan quilt?    I have often wondered about making one ever since I heard about them.  And then I saw one that Bonnie Hunter made and it was fabulous so I knew one was in my future.

I decided to look for some orphan blocks and lay them out to see what I could come up with.  I figured I might have six pieced blocks and a couple of appliqued blocks and just wondered what it might look like.

Imagine my shock when I just kept finding more and more blocks.  WHOA!  The picture above is not all of them.  I have bags and bags of hst in various sizes that could be put in between blocks.  And that zig ziag strip is just the hst blocks that have been sewn together, it's from a charm pack. Some of the blocks on the right and bottom are from my MIL's stash that I inherited.

I'm in a daze.  How I would love to play but I'm going to stitch hexies instead.  What a fun project this will be when I finish the Block in the Spotlight

And I saved the dessert for last just like my mother taught me.

It seemed like a good day for pecan pie.  Can't wait till it cools.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just wanted to share.

I got out my little box of Valentine's decorations and was surprised to to find that I don't have very many heart shaped things to display.  But, I did find this little box that my SIL (my husband's sister) made for me about 30 yrs. ago.  Wow!  Has it been that long?

She recently passed away at the age of 65 from cancer.  In fact, I just realized, her birthday is tomorrow.

She was an interesting and complex person.  She was constantly challenging herself to do or make something unique.  She decided she wanted to make a heart-shaped box.  And I was the lucky recipient of her efforts.

 It measure 1 3/4 inches high and is just less than 6 inches at the widest point on top.

Side view. The top overhangs the bottom due to being stored poorly.

The pink satin lining.

Careful stitches on the fabric hinges.

The bottom.
She taught me so many things like canning, and knitting, and not being afraid to try.

 We sewed together, we laughed together, we each had three babies within a few months of each other.  And then our lives changed, she and her family moved states away, and we grew apart.

I'm grateful for this little box that represents those good times.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

The day glides away

Just thought I show some pictures of what I was working on yesterday.  We are doing a red & white BOM in my quilt group so I've cut it out and am intermittently sewing the pieces together (upper right)  The reason I'm not just sewing the 12" block together is because I got side tracked by the little heart quilt on Cheri Payne's blog and would rather work on that.

I'm continuing to hand quilt at the frames.  I have to admit I love working on this quilt.  It brings me so much pleasure.  I wish my hands could handle working on it all day long but between my calloused fingers and the numbing effects of carpel tunnel, I limit quilting time to 2 hrs. a day and I rest on Sunday.

I'm also hand piecing this center star for the "Block in the Spotlight" quilt I mentioned in my last post.  The  blue and gold ombre stripe (Wiscasset by Minnick and Simpson) looks so lovely. . .

Did you know that you can buy Junior Mints in the shape of hearts for Valentine's Day?  YUM!

I saw the shadows lurking on this barn print I have.  It looks rather ominous until you realize what is making the shadows.  Made me smile.

I made bread today for the first time in over 2 yrs.  I didn't try and bake much in Wisconsin other than cookies and banana bread.  I'm having to learn all over.  I obviously didn't let this bread raise enough before I put it in the oven.  I also should probably divide it in 3rds so the slice isn't so large.  It is a 50/50 wheat bread recipe that I haven't made before.  I'll keep on trying because I love a piece of wheat toast with and honey in the mornings.

While the west coast is being hammered by rain and the east coast in being dumped on by snow, we have bright clear skies and beautiful sunshine.  I am trying to enjoy it because I know we're going to pay the price of so little snow this winter.  And that makes me a little nervous.

What are you doing today?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Working on a UFO

Now that I finished  the previous quilt top - it's done - it's folded up - it's put away - I convinced myself not to start something new and went through the UFO list.

 1.   Stamp Quilt                                  8 blocks made 2005
2.   Butterfly Round Robin                 11 blocks done 2006
3.   Lori Holt Pattern                          Thimbleberries   2008
4.      “        “                                       1930’s  2008
5.   Block in the Spotlight                  Bound Together BOM 2010
6.   Hexagon Stars                              Civil War fabrics 2014
7.   9-patch Pinwheels                        American Jane Potluck 2014
8.   Civil War Quilt                            Barbara Brackman  BOW

I decided to work on #5 Block in the Spotlight.  This was a BOM  2 friends and I were in charge of for my quilt group.  Each quilter picked out the 9" block that they wanted in the center and then each month we would put 3" blocks or a border around it.  The block turned out to be 15" finished.  The block below was the Churn Dash border (as you can tell) but you had the option to put little 3" churn dash blocks all the way around and it looked adorable.

I have 12 blocks done and need to make a center for them to go around.  That is what the half star is in the above picture.

I am piecing the middle star by hand to make sure it's not going to turn out puffy in the middle. Wish me luck.

Here are the other 11 blocks.

I need to make 4 more blocks for the corners and figure out what to do for the 3" border around the center star.  It's coming a long and it's fun because I have no deadlines, no dinner dates, and no company expected.

And I am moseying along with the hand quilting on my Birds of a Feather quilt.  I really  need to come up with my own name for this quilt.

My sister came over today to work on genealogy.  We have a nephew of a great great great grandmother who married, had a daughter within a year and his wife died in childbirth.  He married about 3 yrs. later, had twin daughters and his wife died 4 days later.  All 3 daughters lived but he never remarried - I don't blame him.  It probably broke his heart.

Think quilty thoughts,

It appears I can be talked into anything

This could be considered a squirrel project but since it's my granddaughter's and not mine - I'm not counting it as such.  I was...