Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Glorious Baskets #1

Cleaning out - really more like just looking through - a drawer in my sewing room, I came across a pattern that I bought at least four years ago for embroidered blocks. There are 30 (yikes!) blocks in the pattern and all are different, yet follow the same theme of baskets filled with flowers. Normally I am not drawn to embroidered quilts because of a dislike of doing multiples of the same design. At one time redwork attracted me because of the variety of blocks in a quilt. The numbness of sticking to one color thread did me in, though.

These are supposed to be done in #5 perle cotton. I have a large amount (plastic milk crate full) of perle cotton purchased some time ago from a former guild member's estate sale. There is quite a bit of #5 perle cotton, but also other weights. I find that given a choice I would probably use #8 which is a bit finer than #5. If I have the thread in a color that is close to what is called for in the pattern, I will use it if it is #5 or #8 rather than trying to hunt down the absolutely correct color. The pattern calls for DMC brand and since I own nearly every color of DMC embroidery thread as well as the color chart, it is an easy enough matter to substitute. That said, does anyone have a good online source for DMC perle cotton? The local craft stores have a very limited amount of it and as it turns out (of course!) not one of the available colors except ecru, appears in this pattern. I can google a source but it is always better to have a recommendation from someone who has actually ordered from an online place.

My needlework path began with embroidery lessons from my godmother and aunt, Julie. My own mother never picked up a needle except out of necessity. This project kind of brings me back to those sweet summer days, stitching away on kitchen towels and pillow cases. The finished blocks will be set on point with sashing. I am hoping that a Kaffe Fassett floral jumps out at me and says, "I'm the one!"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lazy Sunday Mystery Revealed

No photos this morning, just a written post. Quiltmaker magazine's September/October issue is out. At least the digital version is out, to which I have a subscription. That means the solution to the Bonnie Hunter Lazy Sunday mystery quilt has been revealed. True to form, Bonnie has managed to keep up the suspense to the very end. Also true to form, there is some work to be done in this last step before the top can be pieced together. The blocks all need sashing for one thing. Sashing that still has to be cut and sewn. The setting together of the blocks is nothing like I imagined.

On another note, the calendar at Bonnie's website indicates that she is booked until 2018. Sheesh. Chances of getting her to our guild in St. Louis seem pretty remote. Instead I have been analyzing her schedule to see if she gets within driving distance and writing off to various guilds to see if they have openings in the workshops. In 2014 Bonnie will be at guilds in Bloomingon, IL and Champagne/Urbana, IL. Both within easy driving distance of here. I have my fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grandmother's Choice: Fair Play

This is block 48 out of 49 in the Grandmother's Choice BOW by Barbara Brackman - Fair Play. I am pretty certain that my setting of these blocks will be on point in a medallion style. The trick will be finding appropriate fabrics for the setting triangles and alternate blocks. The brain is tick, tick, ticking....

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Guy

I needed my design wall back. This quilt has hung there since the first of June, following its mostly complete construction at a quilt retreat at that time. Frustration often sparks action, doesn't it? All it needed was the outermost borders. So now it goes into the closet to join other UFOs. I will quilt it under the gun no doubt as is my wont. I work best to deadlines. It is destined for our guild's charity project due in April.

The pieces made at Jacquie Gering's workshop on Tuesday of this week have to be laid out so I can see what's what.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hmmmmm...Wonder Where This Is Going

I have been making blocks for a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter, Lazy Sunday, published in four parts in Quiltmaker magazine. Part 4, in the September/October issue, is due out any day. I have finished this part just in the nick of time. There are 156 purple ziz zag blocks and 28 of the larger yellow and orange blocks in this step. Other than cutting the turquoise squares for the center of the blocks, all of the other parts and pieces were made in previous steps. This step was largely a matter of sewing the blocks together nine-patch fashion.

In a fit of madness, I decided to save the triangles that were cut off from the stitch and flip method of making the zig zag blocks. Those are also now sewn together into pairs to make very small half square triangle patches. Doll quilt, anyone?

This is a scrap quilt - after all, Bonnie is not known as the Scrap Queen for nothing - and all of the fabric has come from my stash with a little help from my friends. I am rather proud of myself for keeping up with the steps in this project. This is no doubt due to the fact that there are two months between each issue. The layout above is wild guess as I have no idea where this is going. Bonnie is very good at devising mystery quilts that keep everyone guessing right up until the last minute.

Bonnie has organized a mystery quilt for the past several years and has promised us another beginning in November. The steps appear weekly on her blog, Quiltville. The last one, Easy Street, will be published in her newest book due out next year. Here is how mine turned out:

The top is now totally sewn together, including outer borders, and is patiently waiting to be taken to the long arm quilter. It has a lot of company in the closet.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Improv Log Cabins

 I spent the day with members of a local guild making these improvisationally pieced blocks based loosely on the log cabin block. Eventually they will float in larger expanses of white, perhaps with three more that have yet to be born. The workshop was taught by Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio. She is a wonderful teacher and if you ever get the chance to take a class with her, don't pass it up. My brain is very tired this evening. Here is a little bit of her work:




Friday, July 19, 2013

Grandmother's Choice: Barrister's Block

Grandmother's Choice: Barrister's Block is finished just under the wire. New block coming tomorrow morning. Whew!

Friday Finish

Here is the finished baby quilt for my neighbor's new granddaughter. I will take it over to them this evening after we get back from dinner at the new Thai place in our neighborhood. Here is another photo, showing the backing which I found on the sale table at a local fabric store.

 My goal this evening is to get this week's Grandmother's Choice block together - just in time for block 47 tomorrow.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Baby Quilt Progress

A trip to the fabric store yesterday yielded a small pink chevron stripe for the border. After a trip to the gym, I will get the final borders on and then will sandwich the quilt in preparation for some simple machine quilting. Then, if there is time left in the day, or maybe even if there isn't, I am going to play with fabric ala Victoria Findlay Wolfe's "15 Minutes of Play."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Aunt Mary's Favorite

Grandmother's Choice BOW this time is Aunt Mary's Favorite. A simple block that lets the fabric do all the talkin'.

This evening is the July meeting of our guild, Thimble and Thread. We are playing bingo with fabric strips. Lots of prizes, fun, and socializing coming up.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Project

 I have started a new - and I hope, quick - project. I made half the blocks last night. Here is a sampling. The other half of the blocks will be white triangles with pink strips. It will be a baby quilt for my neighbor's new grandchild - a girl in case you couldn't guess. So far I have been able to work completely from my stash, although I may have to break down and buy some white fabric for the borders.

Tuesday evening my friends and I attended a meeting of Hearts 'n Hands quilt guild in O'Fallon, IL. Chris Moline, quilt historian and appraiser from Naperville, IL, presented a program of 200 years of quilt history. She brought with her a treasure trove of antique quilts from her private collection.

This is a closeup of the corner of a fabulous red and white quilt. It is hand quilted to within an inch of its life. Never heard of hand micro stippling? Here it is.

This quilt was made by a relative of Chris'. It is a cathedral windows quilt, although looks are deceiving. The woman who made it didn't like the way her joins looked, so she hand appliqued a one inch white square over each and every one. From a distance it appears to be colored squares of fabric with narrow white sashing, but close up you can see the detail. And, yes, it weighs a ton.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Photos

There are quite a few daylillies blooming in our yard right now. Here are a few to perk up your Sunday. I can't post a photo of the quilt top I just finished. I am testing a pattern for a friend and have promised not to show it until the pattern is officially released.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

Off to go shopping with friends today. Three local fabric stores are having sales and I need backing fabric for two quilts. 9 yards each. Yikes! Wish me luck. Here's a peek at the tops that need backing fabric:

And here is the other one. Somehow I don't have the photo on my laptop and can't get it down off Flickr. Anyone know how to retrieve a photo that you have uploaded there?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Almost Finished!

This is block eleven in a twelve month block program. On Saturday we will get the final blocks. Then it will be time to figure out what to do with them. Don't hold your breath, as I have three years worth of these blocks to finish making quilt tops with.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Grandmother's Choice: Star of Hope

Star of Hope is the number 44 in the Barbara Brackman Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week. I dropped my house guest at the airport this morning and as I write this she is winging her way across the Atlantic Ocean. There was enough time this afternoon to put this block together, so now I am again caught up.