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!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Still Here....

I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone without posting!  My job changed at the beginning of the year and new responsibilities leave no time for posting during the day and  cut into my free time at night, so the blog has fallen to the bottom of the “to do” list.  I have been getting a little sewing and rug hooking done in the time I have, nothing totally complete but several things close to the finish line.  I’m hoping to start pushing a few across that line soon.

When I last posted I was working on assembling my 2018 mystery quilt.  That top is now assembled and waiting to go on the long arm (you can see it actually laying on the machine below - too bad it won't auto-load!).  After that I got back to work on my scrappy log cabin.  Here are all the blocks ready for assembly:

The top is completely together now and is awaiting the back to be pieced and then it will be ready to quilt. Shortly after getting that top together the summer blocks of the week hit the mailbox.  I’m collecting the pieced one and two color ways of the wool appliqué project (I was indecisive).  I invested in a laundry rack to have more space for starching.  Here’s week three drying.

My goal is to keep up with the prep (prepping and steaming the wool blocks, starching the fabric strips for the pieced version) throughout the summer.  So far so good - and I’ve even started stitching on a few of the wool blocks (mainly the freebies).  I also finished week one of the piecing.  These blocks are so cute!  They are 3” unfinished.

And those freebies...they are so stinking cute!

I’m looking forward to the extra day off this week to get a little sewing done.  Maybe I will even get a quilt loaded!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Williamsburg, Wool Club, and FNSI

I am slow to get my post completed for FNSI, but for good reason - I was actually sewing!  Well, sewing, preparing for and attending a TAS meeting and Wool Club but I did spend the vast majority of the weekend on fun stuff.  There’s still a lot more cleaning out and moving around to do to finish the sewing room, but I decided I would rather play this weekend.

I attended the Williamsburg Applique Academy the week before last and did a workshop with Missie Carpenter.  I really enjoyed it!  We were working on her Gardens of a King pattern, which involves some very complicated piecing.  We learned her technique for starch-prepped EPP.  I can’t say that I was completely in love with this technique for those particular blocks - my method of choice would be traditional had piecing.

While I was not thrilled with using the starch prep EPP method for piecing the tiny points, I am completely in love with it for prepping hexies. Missie shared some of her prepared hexies with us and they stitched together so easily - it was SO much better than with the papers inside, and there’s no paper to remove at the end.  I practiced preparing some so I could demo the technique at TAS.

They were so much fun that I almost want to start a new hexie project (or perhaps I should get back the the PG summer BOW from a couple of years ago).

I worked on binding Floral No. 5 at Wool Club.  I’m only about half way around so no picture this time. My reason for mentioning it us actually because I’m all excited about starting a new rug next month.  Our topic next month is “hit or miss” and after recently organizing all of my leftover worms I have been wanting to do a hit or miss rug.  I remembered one I loved at Warsaw a couple of years ago - I’m thinking of drawing up a similar pattern.

I mainly forced myself to get back to my mystery quilt this weekend.  I made good progress, finishing the alternate blocks and starting to piece the rows.  There’s still a long way to go, but I am motivated to keep pushing now.  I really like how it is coming together.

I will be finishing up the weekend working on my Schoolhouse Sampler rug.  I’m almost down to the grass now so the end is in sight.  I need to have it ready to start binding when I’m finished with the other one - and I can’t wait to get back to the rug I started in Eureka Springs!

Linking up with Sugarlane Designs for FNSI this weekend...

Thursday, February 7, 2019

One Monthly Goal - Feb 2019

I have so many new projects and sew-alongs that I want to jump in on but just can't seem to get off the starting block this year!  I still haven't started my Circa 1880 blocks or my String-Along project, I'm rethinking my first Crazy Seasons block (I think I want to go more neutral) and I had planned to jump in on the Temecula Quilt One Block Wednesday but haven't gotten to that, either. I'm still working to get my new sewing space organized and that is taking precedence over working on projects. I am purging loads of fabric and projects (thank goodness my local guild's annual yard sale is coming soon!) but am still completely overwhelmed by just how much stuff I have!

I did manage to finish piecing the four patch/string blocks from my Good Fortune quilt, and pieced a few more of the star blocks, so I was able to get a better idea of what the finished quilt will look like.

I love it!  I need to power through and get this one finished, so I am sticking with it as my OMG project for February also.  It would be great to get the top together this month. Maybe then I will be ready to jump in on one of the many other new projects on my list...

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal for February.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Progress Report

This post might be better titled “Lack of Progress Report”...  I’ve spent nearly all of my spare time at home working on my sewing room move.  I’m amazed at how efficiently I had stuff packed into my old room - there seems to be no end to it!  I don’t function well when things aren’t organized so it’s been tough to get any sewing done at all.  I did manage to get a few more of my Good Fortune blocks pieced:

And I couldn't resist getting a start on the first block in the Crazy Seasons Mystery.  I am using Japanese fabrics and am planning to keep the applique somewhat muted. I may have gone a little too muted with the little bunny in the center.

I also spent some time starting a new rug for the new year. Yet another floral with a number in the name (Fraktur Floral 2). I am using taupes for my background - you can see some of it around the center flower - and have had to make a few adjustments along the way to make sure my design shows up. I'm not really a pink person but I am loving these colors!

I did achieve my goal of getting the alphabet hooked on my Schoolhouse Sampler before starting the new rug. My next step on this one will be to get the background in around the tree on the right and figure out what if any adjustments are needed to make it show up against the background.

So overall the month wasn't a complete fail.  I am looking forward to a weekend at home to continue organizing the sewing room. I don't have any hope of finishing (will that day ever come???) but am really hoping I can get to a point where the chaos isn't so distracting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

One Monthly Goal - January 2019

I am trying very hard to avoid being sucked in to all the various sew-alongs, mysteries and other wonderful initiatives I keep seeing online - that all-too-familiar syndrome Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts describes as a "New Year Flare up of Startitis".  I decided to do away with the list of 12 UFOs this year and focus instead on just sticking with One Monthly Goal. It's so much easier to make these decisions one month at a time!  I'm not promising that I won't fall victim to a sew-along or two (I've already caved on the Moda String-Along), but at least I won't disappoint myself by not working on the "assigned" UFO!

My OMG project for January is Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt. As I looked through my past UFO lists updating my blog it was interesting to find that I have consistently finished the mystery quilts within a fairly reasonable timeframe. Good Fortune is my 7th Quiltville Mystery.  I am not 100% caught up but fairly close - a little over half way finished with the step released at midnight New Year's Eve.

I am also working on my Schoolhouse Sampler rug, hoping to have at least the sampler portion completed by the time I head to a rug hooking retreat mid-month.

I'm dividing my free time between projects and a massive sewing-room clean-out/move. I started moving everything from my current sewing room to my basement over the holidays and must say that I'm a bit overwhelmed...the amount of stuff I have borders on ridiculous...but I am determined to get it all organized!

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal link-up for January.