Friday, December 27, 2019

Falling Behind

As usual, I’ve fallen behind on the mystery.  I’ve been busy with shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking (I feel like I’ve spent the better part of the last week in the kitchen) and then various family festivities and haven’t had much time in the sewing room.  My vacation time is winding down too quickly -  I have so many things I want to do! I finished up step three today and started cutting for step five.  I figure I will stick with the half square triangles while I’m on a roll and then go back and catch up on step four.

I finally finished my monster log cabin quilt right before Christmas.  I thought I finished it the week before but then laid it out for a picture and discovered a block turned the wrong way.  I had to remove the binding, pick out the quilting, rip the seams, turn the block and appliqué it back in place, re-quilt the spot, and reattach the binding. Luckily it was on an edge or I’m not sure I could have done it.  I had to repair the quilting on my regular machine which was no easy task given the weight and size of that beast.  So the quilting is a little wonky but it’s unlikely anyone could find it without knowing it is there.

I’ve acquired a couple more antique quilts in recent months and am looking forward to receiving my belated Christmas gift of a display ladder from my daughter.  It’s supposed to arrive in a couple of weeks and I am really excited about displaying more of my quilts out where I can see them often.  It seems a shame to have them all hidden away in the basement.

I had fun sharing a few of them at our last TAS meeting.

I will be back in the sewing room tomorrow, hopefully getting caught up on mystery clues and thinking about what new projects I am going to start in the new year - there are so many that are calling my name!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Frolic! Week Two

I love it that the first two clues of this year’s mystery have been easy!  I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the sewing room this weekend but still managed to complete the second clue. It doesn't make for a very exciting picture....

And this picture didn't work well at all, but I ran across this pattern when I stopped by Nola's over the weekend for help with another rug.  I couldn't resist - it's so cute!  I want to finish a couple of other rugs in progress before I start any others, but I'm adding this one to my list for 2020.

I'm anxiously awaiting the start of a new BOM, Maggie Macguire's Garden, through Homestead Hearth. Here's the picture of the quilt from their website:

I stumbled across the pattern when a friend from Australia posted it on Facebook, and the shop was able to connect with the designer and get it set up as a monthly program. I can't wait to get started on it!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Frolic Time!

I know we won’t be doing the link-up this year but figured I would post my Quiltville mystery quilt progress anyway since it gives me a reason to post (I haven’t been getting much accomplished lately).  In spite of a late start due to holiday festivities, I did manage to finish all of step one of this year’s mystery, Frolic.

I decided I should break out and actually use my Accuquilt this year.  I figured out how many feet of strips I would need of each color, pressed all my fabrics, and ran them through the cutter. It was only when I started sewing the first two strips together that I realized I had somehow cut neutral instead of purple (my substitute for the raspberry).  So it was back to the cutter for more strips.... hopefully all those neutral strips can be used somewhere else!

Once I had the correct fabrics these little four patches went pretty quickly.  I’m using several pieces from a  Laundry Basket fat quarter bundle for my blues so there are going to be lots of polka dots in this one.  

I worked on binding my monster quilt this evening - I’ve been working on it every night for a couple of weeks - and finally turned the second corner.  I might even get all 39 feet of binding finished by Christmas!

Until next week.....

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sapphire Anniversary Exhibit

I had been looking forward to seeing the 45th anniversary display of blue and white quilts at Houston ever since I heard it was planned a couple of years ago and it did not disappoint!  The exhibit was stunning!

It was pretty awesome just to sit in the chairs along the front wall and take in the exhibit from a distance.

The quilts were a mix of new and old. I loved this antique quilt from the late 1800s. This pattern is quickly becoming my favorite of all designs, rivaling my obsession with baskets.

There were quite a number of antique quilts in other exhibits also, many of them appliqué. These are just a few:

This new Baltimore album was made by a Japanese quilter. The colors really caught my eye - it was absolutely beautiful and so unique!

And then there was this version of the 365 quilt that I started a few years ago. I really liked this version.

I was excited to see that hand piecing stamps are coming back - I found two vendors selling them this year.  I know there are a lot of Cindy Blackberg followers (including me) happy to see new stamps out there.

I also found an Australian shop that makes mylar English paper piecing templates. She demonstrated how she prepares them with glue and they pop out very easily when the block is complete.  I purchased a couple of different shape sets that I am looking forward to trying out.

As usual I came home with way too much stuff, including fabric and patterns I don't have enough years left to get to. It was a great trip, though, and I can't wait until I have some free time to try out my new toys!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Irene's Visit

Irene Blanck came back to visit our local chapter of The Applique Society this week on her way to Quilt Market.  We always love having Irene here and I never get tired of watching her demo her techniques - it's always a great refresher!  She had several new projects to share with us this year, including the quilt she is holding in the picture below. The quilt, named "Class Action", is made from fabric she collected from many of her students and friends last year. The inspiration for the quilt came when she was teaching a class in Toowoomba and fell in love with some of her students' fabrics. She collected little hexie-sized chunks of fabrics from those students and many others in 2018, recording the names of all who contributed. 

The quilt has a long label down the center of the back that lists all of the students who contributed. We are on the list!

Her binding on the quilt was very interesting - I don't think I've seen this done before.  She prepped the hexies and joined them in a chain and then lined them up with the ones on the front, whip-stitched the edges together (trimming the batting to fit) and then appliqued them to the backing.

I was especially excited to see Irene's latest project - I love baskets!  Everyone in the class loved it too and we are already planning for Irene to return next year to teach it.

The borders she designed for the quilt are outstanding!  The corner blocks are baskets also.

I didn't get a lot of sewing done during the class - I spent more time visiting than sitiching - but I did make a little progress on my Auntie Green quilt.  I'm looking forward to having some time to stitch on it this weekend. Next week I am off to Houston, and I am anxiously awaiting the color reveal for this year's Bonnie Hunter mystery.  Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

Monday, September 30, 2019

September Update

I figure I should try to slip in a quick post just under the wire before I miss another month! I haven't been working on anything all that exciting to post about - just  cranking away making little bitty blocks that will eventually become quilts.  Earlier in the month I decided I had better spend a little time on my Circa 1880 project as I need to coordinate a block exchange. I cut lots of strips, made a bunch of strip sets, and then cut them into piles of parts to assemble as scrappy as possible.

I made a pretty solid start on them over a couple of weeks.  I think I have around 100 done now.  Of course I need around 500 in total so I have a way to go.

I managed to keep up with the prep work for all of the blocks in each of the two colorways I am doing for the Primitive Gatherings Wool SBOW.  I've only managed to complete the stitching on one so far....

I fell in love with this mat when I was up at the PG shop. I used my GO! cutter to cut the neutral wool pennies (they sell the colored ones but not the neutrals in the shop). It was really fun to lay out.  I have all the small pennies on now and have stitched one.  Yep, just one.  Another project with a long way to go!

And then there is the pieced SBOW.  I absolutely love the quilt and enjoy making the blocks (3.5" square-in-a-square) but after the first 240 they are getting a little old.  Only 336 more to go on that one (ugh!). I shared this particular photo as proof that Bonnie Hunter's theory that if a fabric is still ugly "you just haven't cut it small enough".  Those little light triangles are pretty darn small and that pencil fabric is still ugly!  I'm not sure whose line that was - perhaps an old Laundry Basket Quilts print?  I have seen it show up in lots of blocks of the week/month over the past couple of years. I'm pretty sure that none of it sold!

September also meant Baltimore on the Prairie time. I took classes from Sandra Starley this year. One of the best parts of class was getting to see all of the antique quilts that the students had brought along.  This one is my friend Diane's, a flea market find from a few years ago. I love the pattern!  Not sure what it is - I haven't seen it before.

If memory serves correct, this one was purchased by one of the students at auction as a sort of consolation after losing out on the quilt she really wanted. She still wasn't over it even though it apparenly happened more than 10 years ago.  I think it is gorgeous!

I don't recall the story about this one, but I love the stars!

I'm off to the AQSG conference in Lincoln in a little over a week.  I am really looking forward to it and will try to do a better job of taking photos and keeping track of them. Shortly after that trip Irene Blanck is coming back to see us again.  Maybe I will get around to posting more than once in October!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Bucket List Trip & IIQSG

My work took me to a conference in Milwaukee last week.  I don’t believe I’ve ever been there before, at least not in many years. I drove rather than fly since the distance pretty much meets the “as much time to fly as drive” criteria and, more importantly, Primitive Gatherings was only 100 miles further and I have been dying to go there for years.  The conference didn’t begin until noon on Tuesday so I left the hotel bright and early that morning and, in spite of terrible morning rush hour traffic, pulled into the PG lot as the shop opened.

The shop looked a bit bare in places as they were in the process of pulling things to set up for their warehouse sale (which I considered waiting for but unfortunately couldn’t work it into my schedule - likely a very good thing!) but I still found a few things that had to come home with me.  I love how they display these quilts on a ladder - I would love to do this somewhere in my house.

And I love this penny table mat!  Fortunately they were out of kits so I will have to use my stash to make it....

It was worth the nearly four hour round trip to check this one off my bucket list and I was able to get back just in time for the start of my meetings.  

After the conference ended on Thursday I headed west to Iowa to attend the Illinois Iowa Quilt Study Group meeting on Friday afternoon and Saturday.  Once again I had a free morning and I saw that The Woolen Needle wasn’t too far away so I headed to lovely Williamsburg, Iowa.  I am so glad I made the trip!  It was one of the best shops I have ever visited. Bolts of gorgeous wools and lots of great samples on display. And that tin ceiling!!

I definitely got into trouble there.  I couldn’t help myself!  From there I headed through the country to Kalona where I enjoyed lunch at a neat little restaurant and then visited several shops and antique stores.  They have three very nice little quilt/fabric shops and an old church that’s now an antique mall. I should have taken more pictures of the town - it’s a fun little place.

Lori Triplett was the speaker for the IIQSG meeting.  Friday’s program was a workshop on dating and identifying the origin of very old chintz quilts, and Saturday Lori spoke about chintz birds.  She doesn’t allow photos of the quilts in their collection so nothing I can share, but both programs were very informative and I was able to pick up a copy of her new book which includes photos of the quilts I was most interested in.

There were many very talented quilters in attendance and show and tell was fantastic.  This antique was shared as a preview of the topic for the April 2020 meeting:

There was a table of Di Ford fans that shared their latest projects.  The four of them were in the same Shipshewana workshops with Di that I attended - but they have made far more progress than me!

And then there was this one - she designed it based on a photo of an antique quilt she found - it was amazing!

I also managed to pick up a couple of items in the silent auction - one of which was a crazy impulse buy that I have no idea what to do with!  It’s two large ziplock bags filled with tiny scraps from the 1920s through 1940s. What was I thinking??  As if my own scraps aren't already out of control... 

It was a great trip and I can’t wait to get to the sewing room - only my nearly knee-high grass stands in my way.  Off to mow!