Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Quirky Little Oak Leaf

My February little quilt is a reproduction of an online auction quilt that I pinned from Pinterest.  I love that the center applique block seems to be an orphan - colors are not repeated in the pieced blocks.  I used Dear Jane block M-7, Junko's Rose Garden, to get started on the applique center.  I drew my own oak leaf and petal (I don't know what the tear drop shape is supposed to represent) using Gwen's drafting tips.  Those pesky inner points are the reason applique is not my forte.  It was great fun digging thru scraps to replicate the quilt!

The center applique is 7" and the hourglass blocks are 1 1/2".  The indigo strips are 1".  [finished dimensions]  The quilt will finish at 18" square.  I'm thinking indigo binding.

I found a backing fabric in my stash (only two to choose from) and eked out batting from leftovers.  The quilt sandwich is basted, but I know it won't be quilted by the end of the month.

Happy February - winter is progressing.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 31, 2020

January Progress

My January Mini was a record-breaker for me - inspiration to binding in eight days!  The quilt is 12" square, so hand quilting breezed along.  I followed the character (wrong turn on a couple blocks) to replicate the charm of the original.  There are 36 1" hourglass blocks in the center and 12 3" Four Patch blocks.  I might not have chosen the best backing, but my winter stash is limited.  Washing added a lot of texture - I used Quilter's Dream Request batting.

Here's my January progress on Dear Jane -

Triangle Right 7, F8 Church Window, D10 Battlefield, Triange Right 13, D12 Crosse Swords, A8 Florence Nightingale, J3 Rick's Volleyball Net, and A6 Uncle Homer.  The block that's missing sashing is A11 Pebble's Protest.  I ran out of fabric to finish the narrow outer block border so hoping I'll find more of the fabric when I return home in the spring.  The DJ blocks finish at 4 1/2" - tiny when the block contains lots of pieces.

I'm also working on a large quilt I started at a November retreat.  This project is fun to intersperse with other sewing because all the cutting is done!

I've selected my February Mini and started drafting the center applique block.  More Hourglass in my future this month.

Thanks for stopping by - Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Excuses, Excuses

I've been creating my posts on a tablet - no keyboard.  It  suddenly stopped charging a few months ago.  The worst consequence was the loss of three years of photos :(  I'm hoping my tech savvy grandson can help me out when he's home from college.

The upside is Christmas brought me a Microsoft Surface (hybrid laptop/tablet).  I'm loving the keyboard, file system, and Office apps.  I'm hoping to be more consistent in blog posts.

Poking around on the internet on Tuesday, I found Katy's post on her 2019 Small Quilts.  What a great idea!  I'm on board - 'A Mini a Month'!  I started Tuesday night, finished the top on Wednesday and sandwiched and started hand quilting today.  What fun!

A 2020 goal is to get my Dear Jane into a completed top.  I started the quilt more than 20 years ago.  I'm roughly half done.  I'm targeting mid November - before the Dear Jane Retreat in Shipshewana.  I've been making good progress in January.

I hope your New Year has started off on a positive note.  Happy stitching!

Friday, September 27, 2019


I recently attended a few quilt exhibits on the Eastern side of the US.  My favorite was 'The Quilts of Union County' at the Packwood House Museum in Lewisburg, PA.  All the exhibits displayed exceptional artifacts, but I'm partial to pieced quilts and the Packwood exhibit and museum tour displayed many fabulous pieced quilts.  The exhibit has been extended to October 12, so if you're traveling on I80 across PA, it's well worth a stop.

Double Nine Patch on point c. 1890 believed to be from the Blyler family.

Geese In Flight c. 1845-1850, hand pieced.

Wild Goose Chase c. 1891, pieced and quilted by hand.  Purchased from the estate of Mary I Shively.

Eight-Pointed Stars on point c. 1926.  The information states the quilt was made for Edwin by the Ladies' Aid Society of Union County.

A Piece of Her Mind exhibit at the DAR included many noteworthy objects - samplers, cards, household objects, quilted clothing and, of course, quilts.

Applique Quilt c. 1850.  I can't read the quilt provenance from my pic - sorry for the omission.

The butterfly bush is still blooming!  What beautiful contrasting colors.

I'll post about the other exhibit and my challenge quilt soon. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Quilt Challenge

Occasionally, Jan and I will instigate a quilt challenge.  The latest one I completed was lingering for a few years.  We each bought a custom jellyroll of reproduction strips from Boline's at the Chicago Quilt Festival.  I can't remember the 'official' challenge rules - I just know I didn't adhere.  I added two yardage fabrics and bits and pieces to finish out the nine patch blocks.  It's been so long ago that Jan's quilt is MIA.  I call mine 'Who Are You?' cause it's so different from my usual.

The lighting is never good for pictures - sorry.  Not sure if it's finished or if I'll add on - breaking more rules :).  Here's a close-up of one section.

We're taking a road trip next week which includes a little retreat time.  I found this Faye Burgos fabric, Chestnut & Vine Strip-It, while working on a fabric storage project.  There are 17 different strips in the width.  I cut the yardage in half and offered the challenge.  Each fabric length is about 40".  I plan on some creative cutting in advance.  My added yardage is across the top.

Here's a peek at my fabric storage project.  This armoire is in my back hall.  It was a big open area with three tipsy stacks of yardage - hard to see and retrieve.  I've been wanting to tackle the problem for a year, but couldn't get the engineer (husband) to land on a solution.  The answer was in the lower level all that time.  Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns :)!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great week!  Weather has been glorious here.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Good Ol' Dependable Math

The center was complete and the inner border would bridge the gap for the independent outer border.  I 'did the math' multiple times - always the same answer :).  The inner border was cut and attached to the quilt center.  The outer border pieces were constructed and laid out on the design wall.  As the first side section was pieced together, I kept thinking it was going to be short in length.  I knew the math was correct, but maybe the logic was faulty.  The first side had to be completed in one session cause I had to know.  It was perfect - Good Ol' Dependable Math!! 

The bottom border and corner aren't attached yet, but so happy everything fits together.

I'm close to completing the top, but have no plan for the next large project.  I'm working on something small that I'll share next time.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer Sewing

I've been having some trouble making fabric decisions on my current project - sashing, cornerstone, and inner border choices.  The first to get resolved was the sashing fabric.  The cornerstone fabric was a dilemma - because so little fabric was required, almost everything in the stash was a candidate.  Yesterday was the day to pick something and move forward.  Inner border fabric is still simmering.  I have a small section sewn together -

Here's just one block for a better look at the cornerstone.  The sashing is an old Documentaries print by Benartex I found in a shop last November.  I had bits of this print in other colorways, but not this brown.   The one yard piece was enough for the sashing with some to spare for future scrap piecing.

I was hoping for low contrast on the alternate hourglass blocks (all brown fabrics), but I see I wasn't successful :).  It's a 5 x 5 layout - 13 Goose Chase and 12 Hourglass. 

I try to do one needle of floss on the sampler each morning before I start my day. 

I'm knitting a sweater while watching the Cubs in the evenings.  Last night Walla decided my project basket was the perfect spot.


And best of all, it's peonie season - a fabulous treat for the senses!!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Square Peg, Round Hole

Hubster has been away on a fishing trip, so I've been free of schedule for a week.  Jan and I did a day trip to Shipshewana.  I picked up a Darlene Zimmerman Mini Long Hexagon template for the Temecula Summer Circles sew-along from last year.  After a couple attempts, I realized this template won't work for a square center - it requires a hexagon.  My second square was a nice convex shape, so I made a pincushion out of it.  Buttons make everything better!  In all my years sewing (a lot) I've never used a pincushion.  Guess it's time to give it a try.

I also started a cross stitch sampler from a pamphlet I picked up at a library sale last winter.

I made a trip to House of Stitches in LaPorte, IN.  I'm always thankful to see the shop is still there - they were very busy when I arrived!  I purchased 30 count hand dyed linen in the cocoa colorway for two projects and two skeins of Weeks Dye Works cotton floss - Indian Summer and Charcoal.

Stitching on this fine fabric wouldn't be possible without clip-on magnifiers - lifesaver!

My current project is 'billed' as the first printed alphabet chart attributed to Schonsperger (no first name and father and son were both printers) in the 16th century.

I feel like a kid on summer vacation!  School is back in session soon.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Contrasting Flying Geese

I've started a project requiring small Flying Geese units with dark nose and lighter wings.  Luckily, I ran across the spark of another project with same measurements and alternate shading.  The units finish at 1" x 2".  Using the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers, I've found a 1 1/2" x 4" fabric strip yields the correct pieces for both units - mirror-image wings for one project and a nose for the other!

I fold the strip in half (1 1/2" x 2") with folded edge to the right.  Using the Easy Angle ruler's 1 1/2" cutting line, I cut two mirror-image wing pieces.

 Opening out the remainder of the strip, I trim up the nose piece, again using the 1 1/2" cutting line.

This yields two wings for one project and a nose for the other.

Here's the start of the small project - a one block sample quilt on display at Prairie Stitches Quilt Shop in Oswego, IL.  They graciously allowed a photo.  An internet search for credit credentials states the shop is 'permamently closed' - :(

Hope sunshine and sewing are on your agenda this week.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Pour l'Amour du Fil 2019

A beautiful Quiltmania Editions book, part of the Collections and Collectors series, was introduced at Pour l'Amour du Fil, Bliss of a Quilt digger by Charles Edouard de Broin.  Charles, a Parisian, has collected American quilts for forty years.  A sampling of log cabin, pineapple and crazy quilts was exhibited at the show.  You'll want to add this book to your reference library - excellent full and detail photography!

Following is a peek of my digs for four days.  It was a magical experience.

I managed a spare hour to walk the historical section of Nantes.  The cathedral and castle were amazing.

And now, back to reality!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Quilt Festival Chicago

Jan and I attended Quilt Festival Chicago a couple weeks ago.  The quilt vending area has dwindled for tradition quilt enthusiasts.  Still, an enjoyable day.

Blue Toile from Paris by Judith Bailey showcases a museum reproduction fabric purchased at Le Rouvray fabric shop on a textile tour to Paris.

This antique quilt has inspired 'The 1876 Centennial Quilt Project' by a sewing group on Lopez Island.    Background information can be found on this blog post.  Installment patterns are available from Lopez Island Quilter's Studio (no affiliation).

This Pineapple Quilt with zigzag border, c. 1880, was my favorite - love that green in the border.  The backing is a red and brown calico of  flowers, fruits, and birds.  Sadly, the quilt was displayed at the back of a classroom area so we didn't get a peak.

Fractured Rainbow by Amy Kidd was a blue ribbon winner - very striking.  It's constructed with uneven Log Cabin blocks using Kaffe Fassett stripe fabric and a common solid gray.

I'm off to France next week for the Pour l'Amour du Fil show in Nantes!  All the ladies from two family generations are joining me at the end of the show for travel.  EXCITING!!  Sadly, investigation finds that Le Rouvray is permanently closed.  Any suggestions for other fabric opportunities in Provence or Paris?

Quirky Little Oak Leaf

My February little quilt is a reproduction of an online auction quilt that I pinned from Pinterest.  I love that the center applique block s...